I don't even know where to begin

i have ptsd. it makes me freeze up and get scared of doing anything for myself. if it’s for someone else’s sake, i do it easily. when it comes to doing something i want that is important to me, i freeze up, get scared, and sort of stare blankly until i decide to do something else. i don’t know why. i think it’s because my abuser would frame it as a mistake to do things for my soul. and that expressing myself to them always lead to feeling hurt and rejected.

i know i’m not anyone important, but i also know there are people who love me, but i can’t seem to teach myself that they do and act like it. my abuser was my dad, he emotionally abused me for years, and he did financial abuse too. i couldn’t control anything in my life. ultimately, i couldn’t even escape because i wanted it for myself. my partner at the time, who is my now wife, i couldn’t be with her unless i left. my brother, who used to be my best friend, i now realize is really narcissistic, so even though he cares about me, it mostly becomes about whether or not he’s interested in what i have to say, otherwise he doesn’t really engage. he moved out with me at first, and living with him was really hard, and now i live across the country away from him, but he’s the only family member i still talk to

my dad and step mom are taking care of my half brother and i miss him, but my dad treated me bad. he acts like he did everything for us, but i know he did it for himself because he cares more what people think about him than how we feel. he always talked circles around us and thought he was “convincing” us but really he just didn’t care. because listening isn’t hearing and saying “that sucks,” and not doing anything about it.

me and my brother grew up under my dad’s house because my real mom divorced my dad, we think because she was being abused. some signs were him casually talking about how he recorded her conversations with her friends, and he caught her friend telling her to run away from him. but then my mom also was probably undiagnosed bipolar and nobody took care of her or got her diagnosed or medicated, so she felt she couldn’t take care of us because she was bad. but she was so good. i miss her so much. she died of unknown causes when i was 17.

my step mom was nice, but she was 12 years younger than my dad and she had a lot of expectations on her shoulders. and she was selfish, a little. at first when we were small, she took care of us but as we got older, everyone just treated us like our feelings didn’t matter. i ran away when i was 12 at a choir concert because my friend said she has friends who care about us living somewhere else. it turned out that she lied and when i finally called my mom, i had to go to the police station and they kept asking me where i was trying to go and i couldn’t tell them because my friend didn’t tell me a place. i don’t know what my friend told the police because i never saw her again after that. but she told me so many lies that i just can’t bring myself to ever talk to her again.

my dad told me i got expelled because of that even though i got good enough grades and the teachers liked me and i never did anything before. but he said what i did was really bad. everyone kept trying to gang up on me and ask me if everything was okay. but i didn’t tell them anything and now i wonder why i didn’t. i can’t remember things very well, but i remember feeling unsafe and like no one would believe me. but i don’t know why i felt that way.

my dad told me that i was going to meet the family in the motherland abroad for a few weeks in the summer. when we got there, in the last days, my dad told me i was going to do school there from now on. it turned out he took me there for that reason alone. when i asked him why, he said i know why. i didn’t speak the language and i had to learn from scratch from baby books in school but eventually i got it. but even speaking the language with my dad didn’t make him less mean. he just thought i was more agreeable to our community.

i really loved my dad, despite all that. he told me when i was young that he almost shot himself dead because my mom left him. that he was saying his goodbyes but then my grandmother convinced him to give his life to god, and he did that. and he was a good single dad, but he didn’t really get to know us then either. i came back to the US during my junior year, so my dad messed up my high school prep for college without knowing better. i was totally unprepared for college. my mom died and my brother was the golden child and i was alone.

i let my little brother stay the golden child and didn’t tell anyone about his going off and doing high school kid stuff like faking concerts to sleep over at his boyfriend’s house or anything like that. i kept all his secrets. i couldn’t make him suffer. meanwhile my dad thought i was addicted to the internet. the truth was that i had joined some otherkin cult trying to make a found family. but that didn’t work because the people there were all deluded and making power grabs within the group all the time based on crazy world saving fantasies. it was bad. the group broke.

i was just trying to find friends through roleplay. writing has become hard because i freeze up, because i can’t seem to do things for myself. i’m so scared everyone will see how bad i am and hurt me even more. i’m scared that someone will hurt me and i will deserve it. i tried to take care of everyone, but i can’t even take care of myself. i got depressed in college and flunked out of pre med. and then i went to community college, and then back to uni, and i failed at accounting. finally, i got into the english program but it was kept a secret from everyone in the family except my dad, who somehow agreed.

but the same year i changed majors to english, my dad forced me to get a job so that i could get a “reality check”. i worked at subway for a summer. i didn’t get to use any of my money because my dad put it in some other account. and my step mom kept talking about how it should be for surgery to remove my body hair (i have a lot of body hair from having pcos). when i started college again, then my dad opened me a debit account and started putting my money in there 300 dollars at a time. but all my money from student loans was with him, all the refund checks and everything. i couldn’t even drive, because they said i would try to kill myself, so i wasn’t allowed to learn no matter what i said. so now i’m almost 30 and i still can’t drive but i’m trying to learn right now.

after i graduated and ran away, then i tried again to talk to my dad and step mom because they were my only parents left. but my dad ignored me every time i talked to him and then just talked about whatever made him feel good, like asking me if i pray or about my cat. i tried many times to tell him about my best friend, my wife, but he didn’t even want to listen about her when she was presented as just my friend. so finally i told him that i’m marrying her and he said he wished me a happy life and stuff, but then my step mom called and asked when they will arrange my marriage. and i asked her, didn’t my dad tell you? and she didn’t know, and then i told her i’m marrying a woman, and she thought i was joking. in my last call with my dad, i told him to get help for therapy because he is hurting everyone around him. he tried to make it about himself, saying how he protected us from my “evil” step mom who wanted to kick us out when we were in our 20s, and i thought it was normal of her to expect that we start looking out for ourselves at that age. she wasn’t trying to push us out, even though she was ashamed of us when we were around.

so i told my dad i won’t talk to him until he sees a therapist and he said how will i know? and i told him i would know, because i do know that i would know. but he started talking over me after that and getting mad like i was ungrateful, but i don’t know. i told him i don’t give a f*** and hung up and blocked everyone except my brother. but i still feel lonely because my brother is really self involved and doesn’t really care in a genuine way about other people. he’s a good person, but he is just very focused on himself and doesn’t know how to connect with others well.

i see a therapist and am medicated but i just feel lost even so. i keep trying to find answers about how to focus on myself and care about myself genuinely but i’m so upset that no one was there for me in the past and i still feel like having no family in my life means i’m worthless. that i’m a bad kid because i had to leave my family. i miss my mom so much, because despite her problems, she loved me and my brother for real. my wife loves me a lot, too, but i get so scared that i’m going to put too much on her, because i can be very intense when i’m upset and she had depression and anxiety, so i don’t want to burden her more than i already have.

i want to write my stories but it’s hard when i feel like my voice is unimportant and what’s the point. i want to do things for myself but all i can manage to do is feed myself and go to work and play games and do chores. i can’t do the extra stuff. i only go on adventures when my wife is there.

i don’t know what i want to hear. i am haunted by these feelings of being unworthy and small and disappointing my family. i want so badly to fit into my wife’s family but i’ll always be an in-law. i wish i was a good person with interesting thoughts but i don’t know who i am with the past at my back. all i know are stories and that thinking about my story makes me really upset and sad. i guess i want to not feel alone and that’s why i’m here. i’m sorry i took up so much space and text. i don’t have any community anymore like i did back in my hometown because i moved out to the west coast to be with my wife. it’s been really good, but meeting friends is hard now. i’m sorry if nobody knows what to say. i don’t mean to be difficult. i just don’t know how to be me in a way that’s okay with everyone.

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Hi there!
I’m very excited to be able to be the first one to welcome you to HeartSupport! I hope that you will find much support here, and feel comfortable and able to share as much or as little as you need in this safe little spot on the internet!

i’m a writer by nature, and i understand all the feelings about having stories but thinking they might be too unimportant. But writer to writer… Tell me about your name @empress
What made you choose that? It’s such a powerful name, unashamedly powerful.
To me, i can guess the thoughts that went into choosing the name we see and interact with, (Same when I had to choose mine, i ad to decide between some Goddesses, ranging from powerful and fierce to kind and nurturing).

I’m so glad you have a therapist and your wife sounds supportive, which is lovely to hear.
I can securely and loudly say that you, as a person, and just as you are, do indeed matter. you write very wonderfully and powerfully, and your inner self shines through your words for me to see.

You said it right, your father treated you badly. As a child, the only way we make sense of “I’ve been treated badly” is to say that we deserved it somehow, caused it somehow… and that is so far from the truth Adults make their decisions, and sometimes they make the worst decisions when it comes to their kids. They do things that hurt them, and the way we’re treated as kids literally affects our development.

You weren’t bad then, you aren’t bad now.
And you are important. And your life matters, your thoughts and feelings matter.

i look forward to chatting with you more here. The world’s a better place because you’re in it, friend. I also invite you to check out the HeartSupport streams on Twitch, there’s a lot of different streamers as well.

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hi sita!

thank you for your support. i feel really listened to by your response. it can be hard to validate my thoughts and consider them rational, so i really appreciate the acknowledgement that they are.

i chose empress because it’s part of my typical online handles. when i first chose it a long time ago, i was really interested in historical dramas with emperors and empresses. but i grew into the name as more of a reclamation of power from being colonized, so it’s sort of like i want to govern myself, my realm is me, my body and my mind. i wish i could say i feel as strong and majestic as a real empress, but it’s the only thing that makes sense to me as a username because it’s been so long that i’ve been using it now.

how did you come to settle on sita?

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Hearing your story really touched me, I’m so happy you’re here! Genuinely

You are so important and your story is powerful and also important. You didn’t deserve or do anything to deserve the way you were treated. It’s so hard with parents who gaslight or manipulate. You were a child, and you weren’t meant to bear the weight of expectations or know how to handle someone speaking those words over you.
I am so proud of you for standing up to your dad and encouraging him to seek therapy. It’s a hard boundary to set especially with family.
You’ve acknowledged this cycle and it stops with you. Of course it doesn’t come with ease and without heart ache when we have to set the boundaries, but often the alternate is worse. You know that because you experienced it.

I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother, and at such a young age. I’m sure there are many things you wish you could have shared with her and learned from her. I wish she would have had the chance to get the help she also deserved.

I imagine being so young and coming into an instant family she didn’t get much time to prepare for how to co-parent. I can only assume there was a lot that the both of you had to learn in terms of forming a family dynamic.

This person sounds like they used the trust you placed in them. At such a young age it’s hard to know the foresight of situations and I’m sure hearing those nice things she told you perhaps made you feel like you could find peace from all the things that were taking place in your life.
I do hope you are able to find that peace with your wife. I know you mentioned that there’s a sorrow for the fact that they aren’t your blood relatives, but sometimes our chosen family are the ones who show us what love really is.

It sounds like you have a passion in writing! It’s not always easy to find a course or job you know you’ll love. There’s total and error in many ways because you can never fully know the expectations of what it presents until you try it. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. I know many people in their 50’s who went back to study and changed careers! As far as fearing that your writing is bad, perhaps there’s a community who will help give constructive feedback about it. Skills can take some time to develop and the more you learn the more different techniques and styles you might find you like too!

From what you have shared you have an abundance of worth and value that even if others don’t respond, they may read and find hope from the things you’ve had to overcome. And maybe one day when you feel confident sharing your stories, it may be the escape they need. I love reading and words have so much power to them. Words can build such a strong image and create such strong emotions in us. They help us show the world who we are and what we need. Yes words can tear down, and I hate that you’ve had that happen to you. Maybe it’s time for you to reclaim those words. Change the narrative of the story that was forced upon you.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your words with us. I’m sure there’s a lot more I could keep blabbering on about, but in the end the most important thing is that your value can never be minimised by the things others have said or done. You are important.

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hi again,

words to me are both powerful and sacred, I’m Hindu, so my religions has loads of prayers and mantras and sound is one of the most powerful things to me. Choosing a name therefore (to me) is an excellent way to assert yourself. I so truly love the name empress.

Sita isn’t my real name, but it’s the first time using it here, because it’s a powerful but calm form, that undergoes a lot of trials and being wronged, but that never changes the actual person or who she is, nor her ability to be kind and a pillar of quiet resilience. That seemed a better fit for how and who I wanted to be here. Normally my other avatar is the dark Goddess of Time/Death/Destruction, who is also loving but super duper fierce and that kind of love and support wasn’t the right fit for here hehe).
{I can babble about this for hours too, btw, so babbling is fine for me to read}.

Well, I’m going to say that maybe there’s a part of you that has embraced your inner Empress, and I salute your reclaiming your power from being colonized. Here’s to you friend, on your journey to being an Empress to yourself, of yourself, for yourself!

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thank you for all your encouragement. i feel at a loss, but in a relieved sort of way. i think i forgot that it’s ok to talk about bad things that happened and tried to carry it all myself. i really appreciate all the things you said and will think about them for a while to really digest it.

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From: I Am Reclaimer

Hey Friend, You’ve been through A LOT! I think it’s important to celebrate the fact that you’ve been able to go through all this dark stuff in your past and become an indipendent person and that you have somone by your side that loves you. Our past can really haunt us and if we’re not careful it can ruin the present moment that we have with those that love us. I think that you have an incredible story and writing it out could be a really good outlet to help you heal your past. I also want to mention that you becaue of the stuff you experienced in your past, you’re a seriously strong person that is worth the world. I think that your story can also help others having difficulty with their pasts and their mental health. You’re a strong person and that needs to be celebrated friend - thanks for sharing your story.

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