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Right and wrong
Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 12:28 pm
I have a very loving, patient, forgiving partner. He comes from a family of psychologists and has also struggled with addiction in the past, so for whatever reason he has been unbelievably compassionate with me... unlike any of the boyfriends I have had prior to him. Before him I would only date abusers and narcissists. He and I hVe a child together and I love him so much. I don’t understand why I keep hurting him though. It frightens me because the last thing I want is to be Anything like my mother who was verbally, physically and emotionally abusive to me. My mother called me every name in the book and any little thing would set off her verbal hate. She would tell me she hated me and that I was worthless. That I should have been Adopted... she would call me stupid and dumb and mock me. She called me bitch and brat and whore and leach. Anyway, every time My partner and I get into an argument I call him mean names I’ll call him and idiot and an a**hole among other things. I also threaten to take our child and leave the state. I always apologize later, but it doesn’t take back what I said and the hurt I caused. I’m afraid that I hVe this problem and Although I’ve never said anything cruel to my child I’m afraid I may one day if I don’t get this under control. My other fear involves my cheating on my partner. Due to never having had parental love, I feel tht I may always be trying to fill this void in my life and I often attempt this by cheating on my partner with random men from my past. I haven’t done this in awhile but I am haunted by all the times I’ve done it. He would never do that to me so I don’t know what my problem is. He has forgiven me countless times ... I just feel like such a bad person like I am no different from my mother and abuser who treated me and my dad terribly. My mother Had a strange relationship with my brother... a special relationship and he was the favorite. They would make out together and take bAthes together and flirt like they were highschool sweethearts. He gave her naked massages. Today he lives directly behind her with their yards connected and they have a big compound together. He is in denial about All the abuse that went on. My brother is a very sick man today but I won’t get into that today. Another fear I have is having a son one day. My partner wants one so bad but I don’t know if I will know how to treat a boy or be close with him. I like to think I would never do the things to my son that my mother did but for some reason I’m afraid. I think when you have parents who say they love you but then act in ways that are opposite of love and hurt you and others, it blurs the lines between what is right and what is wrong, what is love and what is just sick and twisted. I wonder if anyone else can relate to these fears and problems.
Re: Right and wrong
Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:33 pm
I understand some of your concerns.
My mother treated me with the same types of abuse as you have mentioned yourself. I was so determined that when I had children that I would never smack them as punishment - not even a tap on the hand. I remember though when my daughter was little that I did one day smack her. That was a sad day for me because I felt like I had failed as a parent. After that it became all too easy to smack here and there.
When my son was a few years old I also found it too easy to lose my temper and shout a lot and on just a few occasions I smacked both of my children on the backs of their legs.
I eventually acknowledged that there is a difference between smacking as a calm measured form of discipline, and that of lashing out in temper and anger. I want to reiterate that I don't believe that the above distinction makes smacking children okay. Would I say that I abused my children? No, not intentionally. No, not at all. But if I say that smacking is wrong and amounts to abuse then I must have done... which is right? I know that my daughter was five and my son was three when I last smacked them (and even then, these were few and far between events).
So, I do understand when you say you worry about one day saying cruel things or hurting your child. I know that I have made the mistake of saying things to my son that at the time I didn't see was borderline emotionally wrong, but I am so so aware of how I behave and the things I say to them.
Remember, we are human and we make mistakes. Sure I feel guilty and torture myself over the rare past occasions that I smacked or said hurtful things to my children, but it has been six years since I did those things. I need to be kind to myself, and I reckon you should be too.
As for cheating on your partner and being mean to him, I don't know or have any answers there. But the very fact you recognise this pattern and the way you feel is a good thing.
Not sure if any of that is helpful at all?
I've never said this to anyone about how I feel or have been with my children when they were younger. As I say, it was just the odd smack on the hands or legs, not the sort of physical attacks and emotional and verbal abuse I suffered. My children are loved so much and they know it and show it too.
Re: Right and wrong
Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:22 pm
Thank you Crow. You really helped put some things into perspective for me. Making mistakes and being aware of those mistakes does not necessarily make me like my abusive mother. With counseling and self awareness, I think I can do right by my family.
Re: Right and wrong
Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:37 pm
I think Crow did a great job explaining. We cant be perfect. The strive for perfection is often an impact of abuse as well.
I could see that you cheat on your partner to avoid being the first one hurt. To sort of be tougher and such. Or maybe so that if he ever left you there could be a "see I deserved it" bit and maybe put a solid reasoning to it than it just being you. I know my parents left me feeling like a unworthy undeserving person.
Awareness is huge. And then goals and steps to get away from potential behaviors. Its not enough to not want to do the behaviors any more. We often need to replace them with better habits. Less destructive things.
Mistakes make us human, not bad. It sounds like your partner cares very much for you and is very forgiving. It also sounds like he would be very supportive in helping you overcome these things. And forgive yourself.
Re: Right and wrong
Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:13 pm
Thank you for your encouraging words Coconuts. Putting a plan to action, rather than just wanting change, is something I need to be more proactive about.
Re: Right and wrong
Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 3:42 pm
You are very self aware and you know what is right and wrong. You are accountable to yourself and others. Just know no matter what you are making GOOD choices because of this. You are healing, and you deserve and need a supportive partner. More than this you deserve total support and understanding from as many sources as possible - this is the way to end the cycle. Even, and especially, when things go wrong, or you find yourself again compulsively doing something you learned from abuse.
On another forum a person asked how to stop hurting others. Another person answered by saying by learning as much as they could about emotional abuse and understanding how that has impacted them. This rings true for me.
Your partner can see that things like the name calling and even cheating are self destructive - my partner did too. Most likely because you have communicated this to him and expressed your distress. He sees you, sees your struggle to change, he sees through you and loves you for who you truly are, and who you are choosing to become. You deserve this compassion. You need it, to learn to show this for yourself - to be free to make the choices you want to make.
If you experienced and witnessed so much abuse and bad learning you will be effected by it, you will be poisoned by it. How we allow the poison to pass from our systems is what counts. Because, however tragically, we can't change what happened to us or how it has injured us.
I think we will make mistakes. It may or may not be okay for others. Everything has consequences. Somethings that are wrought are literally beyond our control or reckoning - things that are done generations ago continue to destroy us and our loved ones. For this there is nothing that works to fix it, no bending to our will - we need to be accountable for our actions, but in doing so we take up the weight of everything that went before. Only infinite compassion, kindness and finding humility to be vulnerable, allowing ourselves to be supported, are effective. Often that means a form of surrender - letting go of the need to control. And loving enough to wake courage, loving those vulnerable hated parts of ourselves.
So much of what you write resonates with me. Acting out is for me too a total f'ing nightmare. I am already looking for 100 and 1 reasons to hate myself and condemn myself. I already feel like the worlds worst possible human being and have been struggling my whole life to redeem myself from my profound wrongness, never feeling enough. So when I slip, which I do, it ends up being a total trauma storm and a stripping of any self worth I may have managed to gather to myself. I find myself now punishing myself through self isolation, not daring to make life choices - like having a child, or even dreaming of a future I truly want, because I am terrified of myself. Because I feel defeated by the weight of all the injury - debilitated by it.
I did the same thing for a long time with my partner that you describe. There was a lot of emotional and verbal abuse in my family, particularly from my mother, my father of course too, but also among the siblings in my family. We had huge fights and screaming matches. Lashing out. Lashing out over and over. So when my partner and I first were together and with less intensity with the years passing, a switch would flip and I would just totally verbally abuse him and push him away. When he stayed, when he forgave me and saw through me, the CSA and trafficking memories began to surface - that angry stuff for me protects very vulnerable parts of myself. Long story short. Though that switch can still go off, it rarely does anymore. I have definitely changed. But I couldn't have done this without my partners patience and understanding. His inner strength.
As for the cheating... I hear that you want monogamy. And that you are not in a consensual open relationship. Look... I don't think it's a reason to condemn yourself. I think it's about not really feeling boundaries. I didn't even feel myself crossing a boundary when I was with other people when in a relationship before this one. Yet since I've physically being living together with my partner I haven't cheated, that's 17 years now, even when I spent 6 months away in 2015, it was a relief that I didn't cheat... but I did before I was able to be vulnerable with my partner.
I still fear cheating too, that I will be in social situation and won't be able to say no, (fear of sexual explotation or assault), or will just act out. Being attracted to someone else causes a lot of confusion and anxiety - particularily because I am bi, and pan, and never got to sort out my sexual identity because of trauma. I just don't feel like I have much self control. I have also often felt like a sexual automaton, watching myself from outside my body or lost to it. I want to learn to tolerate and sit with those feelings of attraction, without needing to act on them. Now what I do is run. If I feel attracted, I leave or I distance myself. And it's another reason to hate myself and feel loathsome. A strange combination of fear of rejection and fear of myself.
I think about being with others. Sometimes I just want to leave the weight of intimacy I have with my partner behind. The self confrontation of it. We struggle because of the CSA memories in the bedroom, it's very inhibiting. It sounds like you were injured by your mothers incest too. I just want to pretend that it never happened or doesn't effect me - I like sex - ( I think, or is it just compulsion?). But again being close to my vulnerability trying to build courage to have a sexuality it allows me to have choices. It's the protection I need from making bad choices, or more honestly not having a choice, compulsive behaviour. I would never choose to cheat.
Wow sorry to have written so much. Hope you can forgive me. Don't know if anything here is helpful. Please feel free to disregard anything that does not feel relatable or helpful.
Re: Right and wrong
Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:31 pm
Hey EH, I am out doing all this dreadful Christmas shopping. I haven’t gotten a chance to read your post yet, but I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you. I look forward to reading and responding when I get home. Thanks for replying!
Re: Right and wrong
Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:24 pm
Hey EH, ok I was finally able to read your response. I agree it seems to help to stay self aware and informed about emotional abuse. For too long I did not know the first thing about why I did the things I did. I feel so lucky to have a partner who has stuck it out. I feel like don’t deserve his love and forgiveness but you have reminded me that I do In fact deserve to be loved and treated with support and compassion. I need all the reminders I can get! And wow I gotta add 17 years of no cheating is awesome! I hope I get there one day.
I’m so sorry you have these experiences with self punishing. I, too, isolate myself! I never thought of it as a form of self punishment, but that makes sense now. For me, I tell myself the isolation is to prevent myself from getting hurt or hurting others. I’m terrified to be in a situation where I could let someone take advantage of me or make advances on me. You are right that being close to my vulnerability could build courage and strength. I’m so glad you have a loving partner. What a kind, sincere heart you have. Sharing your experiences and advice has really made my day, EH.