Nov 8 2010, 09:33 AM
I apologize if this post seems confusing. I would really appreciate any one willing to read my story and give some feedback.
I am 21, female.
I have suffered from severe depression, and anxiety my entire life.
In high school, I started self mutilating to cope with my feelings, and started my struggle with drugs.
When I was 2-3, I was molested by my aunt, who is technically "cognitively impaired". That's really a stretch, because she's honestly very aware and intelligent- able to fool most people into believing that she is "normal".
My entire family lived together- Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, Mom, Me.
She wasn't punished when I told, and everyone brushed it under the rug- I was supposed to be a good girl and leave it be. After all, my aunt didn't know any better. My Grandmother protected my Aunt in every situation. Aunt would tease me, and I would be punished for my retaliation.
My mom and I moved out when I was 11. When I was 18, I moved 2,000 miles away. My Grandfather passed when I was 20, so I moved in with my Grandmother and Aunt to help out.
I've tried my best to show them both respect- I love them. Grandmother is addicted to prescription medication. She and Aunt are severely co-dependent. I've shouldered the responsibility of cooking, cleaning, yard work, and counseling them- they are completely unwilling to change to better themselves, but they have weepy episodes at least 3 times a week. During these, I am expected to give my undivided attention immediately, otherwise they slam doors, make all sorts of noise until I come running.
I tried to talk to Grandmother about how the situation made me feel, but she reminded me that Aunt pays rent, therefor my opinion was unwanted. In order to cope, I turned to drugs. I was completely dependent on them in order to make it through the day.
About a month ago, I landed myself in the ER for a tylenol overdose. I couldn't stand to be in my own skin. It hurt to breathe- I had no one to turn to that would listen. At that point my Grandmother asked me why I didn't just talk to her about things...
So- that is why I'm here, telling my story to you.
I've been sober since my ER incident, and I am making much progress. Four days ago, I confronted the issue which has tormented me for years. I explained, as respectfully as I could, that I was upset about the molestation, and that I would appreciate it if Aunt would not come up and hug me unexpectedly anymore. (she has a habit of doing this- interrupting me while i'm eating dinner, talking on the phone, walking to the bathroom. she stands in front of me, barricading any exit until i hug her.) I explained how grateful I was that they pay rent so I can live, and that I loved them both. I was as delicate as I could be.
Both of them have turned against me. Grandmother got drunk and cried at me for an hour, "How could you feel this way? Don't you love me? Look at what I've done for you! How dare you, etc." Aunt consoled Grandmother, "She should have just left it in the past.' They double teamed me, and wouldn't listen to anything I had to say. Also, I found out that Aunt did this to two of our cousins, who are both older than me.
I guess I'm writing this because I know in my heart that I did the right thing for my recovery. I really need an unbiased opinion.
Did I do the wrong thing? Am I a terrible, ungrateful person? That's what they've made me feel.
Thank you for listening. =]
Nov 9 2010, 08:48 AM
I want to say don't listen to them because out of the three people in the house it's obvious your the only adult. But I know you need to hear more than that simple truth.
So was confronting your grandmother and aunt the right thing? Yeah it was. It was definently the right thing for your recover and the way you did it? Lets just say your using kiddy gloves in a heavyweight boxing match. Your mistake was choosing to be so soft. Even if you'd been yelling your head off at them in anger I still wouldn't call you a terrible ungrateful person just someone who was standing up for themselves, not that I recommend yelling that dosn't get the job done. But you were too soft and that dosn't get the job done either. The only time being soft actually works is when people are LISTENING to you. And little kids rarely ever listen to adults. So no way are they right. They're just acting out like spoiled little kids when they're accused of doing something wrong or their favorite toy is taken away. They throw a temper tantrum, refuse to take any responsibility for their actions and shift the blame to someone else because they're incapable of handling it.
You phrased it that they both turned against you. You need to understand and come to accept that they were never on your side and never will be. I know your trying to win their love and respect but the truth is from them those things mean absolutely nothing, your the one those things are meaningful from. You need to love and respect yourself because nomatter what you do or who you are they will never give those things to you. I tried for years to win my parents love and respect. Then I finally figured out that I'd never get it because they don't have it to give. My dad always liked telling me I was "satanic" that I was "wrong" and that being who I was was hurting not only my family but everyone around me. Eventually I just stopped believing him. I think it's because I began to get out and talked to other people and began to find out what normal meant. So if you want to talk I'm always here. And please I would love to talk to you if you ever need someone nomatter how little or insignificant the need might seem.
I remember one time I was talking with my mom it got to the point I couldn't take it anymore so I just walked away from her. She came after me naturally and continued yelling making me listen until she'd finished. Subconsiously from that and other things I learnt that I couldn't get away which is why I turned to suicide. If you havn't already taken your self mutilation to that end and have learnt that if you don't stand up for yourself you'll go down that road again then trust me that if you don't stand up for yourself you will go there. You were right to confront them but it didn't change anything so now you have to take the next step, leave, and start putting your life together. I know that you feel self centered and wrong for thinking about yourself but you have to start. It's not selfish to get away from people who abuse you; to leave a situation which is making you unhappy or especially suicidal. Your family tells you otherwise because they don't want you to be human. They want you to be their idea of this perfect "thing", a doormat that they can step on, a slave to take care of them or a person to talk to but only when they need it. They don't want you to actually be a person. And that's not alright. You are a person and you need to be treated like one; not just once in a while but all the time. So start treating yourself right and leave period.
And as always if you can definently seek out professional therapy for all the abuse you've been through. If you can't, just start putting your life together the best way you can; you sound amazingly well together considering where you could be. So you will definently make it through your recovery!
Nov 10 2010, 03:15 PM
thank you very much for the insight. =] it really did help to hear such reasurring logic.
Nov 18 2010, 02:34 PM
You have been a very strong person. The important thing is that you keep in mind the reason why they don't want to accept what you have to say is because they would have to admit to what truly happened. Once they do that then they know they are accepting responsibility for her actions and risking the rest of the family should find out. Since they don't want to admit to it then I would recommend talking to your cousins that experienced the same thing you did. Maybe forming a support group within your family if they are open to it. If they have children or there are other children that would be around your aunt then this is something that needs to be addressed, if not openly, then privately between you and your family members whom have went through the same thing and the ones whom are willing to listen. For the safety of these children and to prevent them from going through the nightmares you and your cousins went through with your aunt. If at all possible, try to appoint someone else to care for them. Seeing the people whom have scarred you for life is difficult, especially if they are unwilling to accept the reality of the incident. Most of all, remember, you need to take care of yourself first before you can care for others. Suicide and depression are just your inner demons getting the best of you. You need to remind yourself how strong you are and that you are someone special.
Dec 13 2010, 05:49 PM
I want you to listen to me. I ran away when I was 14 and ended up in a group home then at 17 I was on my own. I had to leave because of abuse and becuae of the TOXIC nature of the family members who did not protect me, care or even have compassion. I was in a deep depression for years and could not have a healthy relationship until after I healed my pain and got into my recovery. Thank god/dess for recovery. Stick with your recovery and start looking for a job, sounds like you have lots of skills and there are alot of home health aids in need, the pay is not great, BUT you have to be treated with dignity and respect and some are live-in. I rented a room for years before I really got on my feet. I got grants and went to college because I wanted to, if I did not want to then I would have gone to training or read books or whatever it took to improve my situation because I was determined never ever to be under the control of others in power who were toxic to me ever again. Toxic people still trigger me but I have so many friends in recovery now years later that I can handle it. I have better self esteem and I hardly get depressed. A meeting or phone call or just rest can pull me out of it. I dealt with the "guilt" of leaving them behind but they never cared, they bad-mounthed me and never tried to find me or helpf me or call me back when I did call. So all that CARE was inside of ME not them. So find others who care and let go of those who are not capable. There are alot of emotionally immature people in the world, dysfunctional, personality disordereds and other things, they are not like that because of a bad childhood (or we'd all be like that) and they can't be cured. So in a way my depression was a wake up call that I was not in the right place and I was not happy and there were other choices and other paths out there for me. I love my freedom. I was a waitress, hotel maid, worked with elderly, worked at fast food, it didn't matter, I'd get my own check, pay my rent and be safe in my own little room that only I could be in unless they were invited and this healed me alot too - having my own power. I think depression is like a lack of power. Hurting yourself is just another way of trying to deal with the numb hopeless feeling and there is no future in that either, it just adds to the hurt. They taught you by example to hurt you and not care - that is what your recovery is all about, changing that old beleif and behavior to take care of you and to care. See what is good in your life and think of things that can make it better. Keep making friends in recovery. I'm glad you shared, you have an inner strength that you can tap into. Make a plan and stick with it, when you have fears, guilt or obligation feelings, run, not walk, to your recovery friends who will give you a reality check. If you can take care of others you can take care of yourself. If I could do it again, I'd still leave, I just wouldn't wait so long before making new friends in recovery because I was very lonely and needed social skills and to learn healthier ways and promote self care. But it all worked out, no regrets here. I'm stronger and I just want to help others younger than me who are going through it so they know they are not alone and the can make it. JPBailey, MA
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