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matts

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  • Gender
    Male
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    US
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    My wonderful kids, cooking, reading.

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  • MembershipType
    Survivor

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  1. @abhaya Same back to you -- thank you for being here and adding your voice. I've learned from you. And, I agree, after years of thinking I was the only one-- it feels so good to hang out with other survivors and feel, like, mundane, a total normie.
  2. matts

    Told my boss(es)

    Thank you, I think I am now proud of that moment. So, as a random data point, ~25 years from shame and hiding a big secret to, like, "yes -- that's me, and would be anyone else if it happened to them. Which it does, too often."
  3. I relate to so much of what you wrote. And I just want to, sort of, share my thoughts a little with the hope that it helps you feel less alone. That, like, I and so many of us here cope in such similar ways. To me, I get frustrated when I'm told "you are in control of your anxiety" -- because I feel like I'm doing all I can to control it, and it's not working. So it makes me feel a little bit like a failure, like I don't have the willpower or have some weird need to feel bad. That's not true, but, to me, there is a negative interpretation of that advice -- that I could choose to be over it. Masturbation, for me, is usually, like, a distraction. Sometimes it seems like the only thing that can give me a break from feeling bad. I also have experienced, like, years and years of appearing so calm and collected and together when I am not. I totally agree with you that pretending to be fine makes my inner world (especially dissociation) so much worse.
  4. Oh, thank you for the understanding and book recommendation. I just sent a sample of it to my kindle. Yes, they were affected differently. I am the youngest, by far, and so when they left home I was more alone and the abuse didn't have to be as hidden or furtive. And the abuser also evolved in how they abused. Ok, this is quickly getting so super gross and sad that I can't even write it. And plus my siblings are different people. I'm more quiet, they are super outgoing. I never looked to drugs/alcohol to cope. For some reason I fell out of 'denial' way sooner than they did. Anyways, thank you for replying. And, yes, I really need to plainly tell them. I don't know why I find it hard. I think I did, but it was years ago, and, I don't know, I can sometimes pretend to have that detached intellectual cool about this when talking to them, but it always drops as soon as we hang up. So they really don't know how bad it is for me to discuss it.
  5. I never want to talk to my siblings about our childhood again. They were also abused, so I understand why they want to talk. But I really can't handle it. They have, like, an intellectual curiosity about it. I don't have that at all. It just sucks. It's all incredibly painful. I don't want or need to know any more about what happened. Every frigging time we talk about it, I learn some new twisted, hurtful, or worrying detail. A few things they've told me have so profoundly rocked me that it took months of crying and moping to get to the point where, I don't know, I guess I came to terms with the new, more evil and detailed, story. But I am so, so bad at boundaries. I want to tell them to shut the heck up and not ever talk to me about our abuse again. But I can't. I don't know why. What's wrong with me? So they called again tonight. After dropping more, like, abuse related stuff on me a few weeks ago, and the whole time -- instead of me just saying "Yeah, no, I love you, I love talking to you, but umm, can you promise me to never, ever, mention the abuse again?" -- no, I was just worried the whole conversation that it would turn in that direction. I wouldn't have even hung up if they did, because that's, like, dramatic or something. I don't know why I am such a wimp with this.
  6. Thank you, yes, I now believe that completely. I still feel a little selfish for 'imposing' this by sharing my pain with them, but ... dammit I would want to help them if it was reversed. So I try not to feel bad about it. But also, you are right, by putting it to words, and being honest with them, it is hard, because it forces me to be more honest with myself. And, you're so right, it's so exhausting, and invalidating, to censor myself. And not me, not who I normally am in any other part of my life. Thank you, again.
  7. matts

    Been awhile

    Oh, I'm sorry. I absolutely hate learning new things and details. Every time that happens I feel like I have a whole new set of things to be sad about, when I really feel like there's enough already to deal with. I beam this emoji to you
  8. You're amazing. Thank you for sharing all of those thoughts. I am so impressed with all that you do here and that you will be doing even more for work. One of the many reasons I 'never told' is that I just didn't know what would happen next if I did tell. The TV specials would end the story at that moment. Would I be taken away from the rest of my family? Would I have to go to a different school? And etc. So to my mind, it was sort of a choice between "enduring what I already know vs a complete unknown." This isn't the only reason I didn't tell, but ... after going to group therapy and hearing the stories of people who did tell, and how it wasn't a perfect ending -- the, just completely weird mistakes the rest of their family's and the social services folks made -- I am certainly not glad that I 'never told' (it really would have been better if I did), but at least now I know that maybe it wouldn't have made everything a perfect happy ending. Anyways, you write so well. I feel so blessed that there are other people in the world, like you, who, like think about these things and throw so much of themselves into it, and then share what they figure out. My daughter is profoundly disabled, and through her I've met a few social workers, teachers, therapists, and volunteer's at various non-profits, and I am so blown away by these people who are, like, gems of humanity. I'm sure they don't feel that way about themselves, but I'm so happy to know them, and to even know that they exist.
  9. I changed my mind. I don't think it's right to hide or pretend. I talked this through with two people and they convinced me that they will tell me if I am too much, and that they want to help and be with me whether I am happy or sad.
  10. My natural way is to be super open and without filter. It feels wrong and sort of hurtful to edit what I am saying, in person or email, so I tend to open my mouth and start talking or writing from the heart and let it all out before I can become self conscious. Online this means I hit send before I have doubts or go back and read it again and over analyze sentences and paragraphs to delete or reword. I worry this is selfish and I should stop. I think it could be. I'd like to think that maybe true connection to my friends and family is to tell them exactly where I am, and not pretend or withdraw from them when it's not positive. But it has to hurt them to hear that I am presently in pain, and maybe that's unnecessary. If I withdraw and only connect when I am well, then they only have to deal with me when I am my normal (I think positive) self. I don't know. I'm not good socially and I cheat by just being exactly who I am. My friends are so super nice, and it is so helpful to me to connect with them, in both good times and bad, but especially when I am feeling bad. I so, so, appreciate that and feel so loved by it. But I also think, I could and maybe should not do that. I could just be silent, or pretend, and only be authentic again when I am wholly well. This profound sadness I have is entirely mine, and maybe shouldn't be shared.
  11. All day I've really needed to cry but haven't found a convenient time yet to do it yet with work, childcare, and friends in the mix. I feel lucky it's not so bad I can still control when but also really need to just let go and do it.

    1. Capulet

      Capulet

      Sitting with you, matts. ❤️  I hope you can find a few minutes to yourself at some point so that you can 'let it go.'  Hang in there.

  12. matts

    Told my boss(es)

    I planned to keep it professional, even though I'm not good at that. I'm one of six employee's at a very small company. We all work from home and primarily communicate by online chat and video calls. I've known the owner for something like 15 years, though only worked for him for about a year. They are all Good People. I carefully crafted a message to the owner, being obtuse and what I imagine a mature corporate professional adult would say (though I really don't know), something like: I'm going through a very difficult time and in the process of something that's sort of like grieving and am not going to be effective at work for at least a week. I need more self care, like walking in the woods with my daughter or baking unnecessary pies. I've tried to hold it together but really can't hold it together by the early afternoon. I'm happy if you want to cut my pay in half. I don't want to go on vacation, I like working and don't want to give that up, but also understand if you want me to take time off an come back when this is over. And he was so super nice and said take all the time I need. And to write to my manager boss, who I've only known since starting to work here. Which I did, much the same message, and he wanted to video chat. I was of course worried since I know he's a nice person, as much as one can see through remote work, but I'm really no good at filters. What comes out of my mouth at any moment tends to be exactly what I am thinking. I don't mind this outside of work, but I'm always conscious it could be a huge problem with work. I've tried to grow up and learn filters or bending words, but it's really not natural to me. In group settings I usually decide to "not talk" if I think it isn't appropriate, but 1-on-1 there's no space to be silent. I started the video call sort of repeating the same thing I sent by text, carefully crafted to be 'professional'. But he said he's also a person, a human, and related that once he had someone report to him who also went through difficult periods, and they still stay in touch and are friends. This person's daughter had a complicated medical condition, which my daughter also does -- especially with Corona -- and I've related the barest details of that with our groups casual style of communication. He said he's here for me and grateful for me to share with him and etc. Anyways after a little bit and confirming he actually wanted to hear what it is I said something like "Ok, I don't know the polite way to say this but I was raped for half my childhood, and my sibling who was also abused, and I've told to not talk to me about it, last week talked to me about it. And every time I learn more about this horrible story, that I don't even want to know more about because it's hard enough to be happy with what I already know, it throws me into a new period of profound sadness and grieving." And then we talked for maybe five minutes longer, where he complemented my work output in the last year and me as a person and said take all the time or vacation I need, whatever three weeks is fine, and I said something like "I don't want to give up with normal life and will do half days, I am really not comfortable pretending I am working full time when I am stopping at noon" and he said that's fine. I also said that my friends are amazing, that I am not one to hide or say everything is fine when it's not, so I get plenty of support from them. I guess I just want to share that maybe(?), even though it is probably a super bad idea, it maybe has worked out to be honest and transparent. I don't know if this will only be a week or two, that's what I hope. It's been that and much worse in the past. But my new idea is to self care. Also I need to text my sibling about boundaries. I so completely don't want this BS now or probably ever. I feel like this is maybe success. I don't know yet. But my wife is so supportive (she has hugged me tight through so many of my fits of crying or barely coherent conversation), and my daughter is too -- though she doesn't know what I am sad about or the depths of it. Our neighbors gave us a little sailing dinghy they didn't want (I don't know why they gave it to us), and tomorrow afternoon our plan (when I am, like, without reservation off work) is to sail to a deserted island nearby and go swimming. I'm really looking forward to that and time with her. We sailed for an afternoon this weekend, she drove and I just looked at the water, and though I worried about breaking down and crying in front of her, I didn't, and it was so fun to just see this teenage person become, like, a person, or who they are. Maybe this will turn out bad. I don't know. But now, somehow, I own it. It's me. Mistake or not, it's mine. We can't afford, yet, for me to be fired. But whatever. It will work out. And, after a whole childhood of pretending everything is fine, when it's very definitely not, I'm kind of relieved to not do that. And if they fire me, whatever, that's on their karma. They pushed for information, and I gave it, but I am completely not ashamed. I've learned from group therapy, and you all here, that I am normal. I am having a completely normal, human, reaction to what happened, and dealing with it the absolute best way that I can. If that's not enough for any person, then f them. Though holy crap is it hard to share with a new person. I dissociated, which is a thing I do, and still am doing that. It's so frigging hard to be casual or "ideal" or "perfect" (though I disagree with how our society defines those words), especially in this weird situation of boss/employee. These conversations were both a step forward and backwards. I am so stressed out. But whatever. I have like thirty years of experience handling stress, and this is nothing compared to actively being assaulted or confronting my daughter dying at any moment. Also, you all are so great. In these difficult periods, I don't know where I'd be without you all.
  13. "Crying while doing the dishes" is a new first for me.

    1. MeBeMary

      MeBeMary

      Sitting with you. :hug:

    2. behindthesehazeleyes

      behindthesehazeleyes

      *hugs*....I have always hated crying. But we are supposed to cry. Getting it out in that way is good. Hope you are feeling better now.

  14. matts

    Blood is thicker than water

    That's rough. I can't believe your family did that. I'm sorry. My daughter is also disabled, and when we were young parents nearly every physical therapist, nurse, intern, doctor, and social worker subtly questioned us on our parenting. Her disability is genetic, and they certainly knew better than to imply that it had anything to do with the pregnancy or our child raising skills. It was demeaning and worrying-- what if one of these people decides we don't pass their little test? We got a lot of latitude because we fit their positive prejudices and assumptions: we are white, wealthy, and can talk fancy/sciencey-- and the social workers encoded that in their reports. But we worried about other parent's experiences, how easily do these people turn on parents who live in a crappy apartment, or whatever other ways of not fitting their positive stereotypes, and make their life hell? And oh my god I got so frustrated in a few long hospital stays, where every new shift nurse and intern would pull that. My kid is in crisis and they want to subtly 'check' if something is wrong with my wife or I, if we are drug addicts or completely incompetent flakes -- because, like you say, they apparently believe disabled children are caused by something the parents are doing wrong.
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