How to recover from mental/physical abuse?

Posted , 8 users are following.

I am genuinely at a loss at how to control my anger and pain. I want to make him suffer the way he made me suffer. I was physically abused from a young age, strangled, smacked, items chucked at me. He use to break all my belongings to show me who was in charge. Ive never gotten over it, and now in adult life I dont do well. I have had depression and anxiety from childhood (though only diagnosed for 8 years or so), and it affects every part of my life. I had to give up work, I cannot leave the house, sometimes not even my bed. My house gets in a mess out of sheer inability to move sometimes. I seem to have very little happiness and I rarely socialise. I constantly want to punish him,this being my dad. He went on to have an affair after moving us to a new town and is now engaged to a lady half his age. He treats his new family a lot better than me, and has even recently locked me in his room and proceded to scream in my face. Hes physically thrown me out his house last year so its not stopped in adulthood. The problem- hes dying. His illness is killing him, and Im constantly being told to leave him alone. How do I over come this? I have a woman from the mental health team helping me and on meds/see doc regularly. But I feel like Im gonna end it, I feel like its never gonna end. I have a lot of issues with suicide/self harm, and its just getting worse again. Its causing nightmares, too little sleep, I cant do anything to wind down. What can I do? 

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21 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Corrie ...I doubt anyone (I especially) is going to offer you the kind of comfort you so much seem in need of clearly need some peace n closure..

    Yours is a really sad ..tragic ..and his art rending story or rather set of circumstances; that even now still reverberberate in your life.

    My very humble advice/suggestion is TRY and do things ..positive things/activities to bring a little peace; albeit droplets of peace into your life.

    You may find that doing something different no matter how seemingly irrelevant or insignificant just by virture of it being a 'new' thing/activity MAY offer some distraction and respite from your normal everyday train of thought. Clearly your focus ..maybe often your sole focus has been on your past/your father/your childhood experiences. BUT remember YOU are more than just these thoughts, memories etc. Consider for one moment ..imagine if there was a medical procedure that could remove just those negative memories and thoughts that you spoke of. What would your life and your mood and your thinking be like then? Obviously no such procedure currently exists but TRY and visualise it. Do things that focus your attention on positive things/activities ..for example Do you like to read? OK then, buy a positive quotations & sayings book or locate a website that you can read from, and immerse yourself in wholesome and positive, even life changing words of wisdom and inspiration. Who knows well as the obvious benefits, you mind find that some resemblance of peace comes through a newfound forgiveness and letting go of the past; atleast the painful parts of it.

    Other possible sources of support/healing might (MIGHT) be found by going to a church or joining a talking victim support group (research NAPAC online for advice re. Childhood abuse etc).

    Others on here will nodoubt offer other words of encouragement and advice...Good luck!

    Wishing you peace!

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    • Posted

      thank you for yourkind and helpful words. I know theres not quick solution but its nice to read what other people have to say! I do little things,I do enjoy reading, and cooking. I find cutting recipes out of magazines can be very helpful, if only for a small time. I think living alone as well means I have a lot of time to dwell on the past. I sometimes google quotes and write the ones I like down, and read them when Im upset, but sometimes I get in a state where I cannot focus long enough. I hope I can find a way to forgive, and I am away to research the NAPAC now, I have never heard of it so it will be something to look into. Im also looking into doing online courses, I love to learn but cannot handle the action of leaving the house, so going to college/university as it stands just now seems an impossible task. Thank you for taking the time to read what I wrote, and thank you so much for taking the time to reply to it. Little things can make someones day, your message being one of them! Take care and I wish you all the happiness in the world. smile
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    • Posted

      Thing to keep in mind Corrie that sharing what you did helps others. You wouldn't know it ..but you helped me a little today.

      ..."I think living alone as well means I have a lot of time to dwell on the past"...

      Yes ..BIG YESSSS ...I think 50% of my pain and issues are related to the fact I feel so alone and isolated and do far too much thinking. Thinking often leads to more thinking ...and then all I seem to focus upon are things I don't want in my head or to control my life and sap what little happiness I've fought so so hard to get.

      Best wishes Corrie ...remember you are MUCH MORE than those crappy thoughts and negative memories. I imagine you to be a great cook ..not sure why I sense that ..but I do.

      Goodnight and thanks

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  • Posted

    Please look up the following organisations on your computer:

    NAPAK (National Association for People Abused in Childhood)  0808 801 0331

    PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) 0800 181 4420

    Rape and Sexual Support Centre (RASACS) 0808 802 9999

    and finally just to offload some of your trouble I suggest you should call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90. They are totally confidential and are the best listeners there are...........

    Please let me know how you go on.


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  • Posted

    Hello Corrie, I am so sorry for your childhood abuse, and i can relate to childhood abuse and mine being my father also. I found counselling really helped me to come to terms with the abuse and knowing that i was not to blame. You are also not to blame as you were the child and your father being your supposed protector failed you. No abuse is acceptable whatever the relationship. Saying this i could only deal with the abuse after his death as then that is when i could finally let go. He abused my siblings too. We have all suffered depression and self esteem, low confidence. I am sure you will one day become a stronger person because of this and will have compassion for others. I did voluntary work years ago with victim support and took a RSA in counselling and that helped me to understand mysellf better. I now do online courses as i am not able to work because of physical dissability now. I still suffer depression but i can cope with it better with medication. You may never know why your father treated you this way, i have unanswered questions. Even on his death bed when he was helpless i felt sorry for him and he asked me to forgive him, i was the only one of my siblings there, the others wouldn't go. I could of turned to drink or drugs, i am glad to say i didn't. Thou i did rebel in other ways. I also learned we can never change someone only ourselves. The best revenge is to be successful with our lives, i am not saying this is easy. Counselling is a painful journey but the end result is worth it. I also had group therapy and did courses on confidence and self esteem. Please pm me if you wish to talk. hoping this helps.

    Best wishes


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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply! It helps to know others really do understand! My father never lay a finger on my younger brother,just me and my brother thinks the sun shines out his bottom! I'm currently in councelling fortnightly but it hasn't done much for me yet,its mostly dealing with suicidal feelings just now but its good to offload! I'm trying to prove to everyone in not a victim,I completed 2 years at college,6 years of secondary,had a job,and have a flat-all by 19,and have had a stable relationship for two years,so I hope that will sting him a little-not letting the past ruin my future! We need to show people that we can do anything! You've really helped make me feel better thank you!smile
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  • Posted

    Corrie - you took a huge step by typing your story.  So often people hold on to the fear and rage but you have taken a step to release it.  I don't know if this would help, but how about creating story boards?  I was unfortunate enough to be in a relationship with someone who abused my daughter.  When she disclosed it was a brutal shock and the start of an uphill struggle.  One of things we came up with to help her was the concept of story boards.  She couldn't get to grips with why she had let this person do things to her.  I explained that she was very little and this man was very big, so what chance did she have to stop it?  We re-created this in drawings starting with her as a tiny stick man on a piece of paper with a really big stick man.  Then I suggested that perhaps we make him funny or make him a balloon (so we drew that) next she can stick a pin in him and we drew that and so on.  We both found it theraputic.  I know this is very simplistic as it was done from a child's point of view.  But perhaps the drawing and being able to take control of the end of the story would be helpful to you?

    Wishing you peace

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    • Posted

      I cant imagine what you and your daughter have been through,and sharing your story has helped me and will others,so thank you! That's a wonderful idea,and I think it could be really helpful-I'm willing to try anything! I hope your daughter is doing well,she sounds remarkable! I wish my mum had done what you had for your little girl! Your q credit to her and Il definitely try the storyboards put-thank you😊
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  • Posted

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Your father is a brute and an abuser, but this you already know. You have been so brave and strong to live through your childhood, and it's little wonder you have issues with anxiety and depression.

    The anger and hate you feel towards him is real and understandable. The trouble  is, it's eating you up inside and this guy has had enough of a bad impact on you, so please dont let him take anything more from you.

    Have you ever had therapy to unburden yourself of this anger?

    Have you tried writing a letter to your Dad (you dont have to give it to him) expressing what he did to you and how he made you feel?

    Your angry feelings are born out of feeling powerless and neglected, so I think it would help if you can find a safe way to get these awful feelings out.     

    How you feel is totally understandable, I just hope you can find a way of not letting your Dad fill your life with anymore negativity.

    Dont think about ending it. You've lived through the worst of it, now is the recovery stage. I wish you all the very best x 

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    • Posted

      Thank you Helen! He still affects many aspects of my life. To this day he claims I'm just a drama queen and its all in my head. I'm currently receiving counselling and ita helping. What makes it worse is hes well loved in town and people think I abandoned my dying dad etc. I still wonder why me,he never hurt my brother,but I'm glad it was me! I am fighting daily to stay safe and alive,and so far I have done little things,clean my flat,write recipes-little things to keep my mind active! Thanks for taking the time to read and replysmile
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  • Posted

    Hello corrie94

    I'm so sorry you had to experience that terrible childhood; no child should be treated that way. I have a similar type of history and I have been diagnosed with CPTSD/Co-Dependency/Agoraphobia etc etc...

    I am not a health professional and I am only stating my opinion based on the masses of time I have spent online and reading books researching Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The spectrum of Personality Disorders seem to answer what happened in our childhood, to a lesser or greater degree depending on the severity of the abuse.

    Parents who are capable of inflicting such cruelty on their children are sick [mentally ill]. They are sicker than we who have received their sadistic treatment and there is no cure because they've passed the point of no return. But there is hope for us, we can understand how and why this happened to us and go from victim to survivor!

    They [parents/carers] were most likely abused themselves and instead of becoming sensitive empathic people and suffering depression and all the myriad of symptoms we have. They went the complete opposite way. They became aggressive a@#*holes and vented their anger about their own abusers onto us. When your father is out of his pram angry with you he is really angry at his abuser only he wasn't able to retaliate then and he never will be able to, so he picked on a defenceless child. I think the mental problem we have is the Stockholm Syndrome of loving our abuser and hating them too. This is a terrible thing to have going on in our heads no wonder our mind & body is in such turmoil.

    My own mother is definitely NPD although she will never be officially diagnosed because she believes "I'm the problem". This is a woman who gave me away when I was a baby, demanded me back as a toddler and then placed me with a sexual predator and teenage babysitters who tortured me, and then it just got worse! She could only treat me this way because no bond was established and in a sick mind like hers I don't count, I never counted. A step toward my healing is to accept this truth, although it is appalling I feel it helps.

    These horrible truths are nearing the surface now because it has been a nasty secret for too long and at least I can communicate online to discuss with others and find support.

    Families hide these secrets, they prefer beautiful lies to the ugly truth and this perpetuates the problem.

    Talk therapy for me is the best and the Mental Health Teams, I feel, could really help us in finding adequate counsellors who really understand the full horror of child abuse.

    I'm very angry and mad as hell at my extended family & neighbours who did nothing to stop the abuse. They made excuses for her behaviour because they were all frightened of her, the cowards!

    I hope you can find something in my long-winded post to know you are not alone and people like us care about you and all the other children and adult children who have and unfortunately will suffer child abuse.

    I wish you all the best, S


    Bomb in the Brain - Stefan Molyneux

    When the body says No - Dr. Gabor Maté

    both available on youtube

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    • Posted

      What you say is true. I also had an abusive childhood. I believe my father was abused thou only my own conclusion as his mother abandoned him when she left to shack up with another man. He never forgave her and i think my fathers dad was a brute. My father then abused us children but i also believe i reminded him of his mother in looks so therefore he hated me for that. I also think he had

      a narcissistic personality. Like you say he abused us when really he  was venting his anger against his own abuser, his father and his anger towards his mother. Your knowledge and and reply to Corrie are spot on. I hope and pray for peace for all those who suffer at the hands of their parents who are mentally ill, and lets not forget that years ago these things were not talked about or accepted as illnesses like today and men would never have sought help like they do now. My father believed we were the problems. The times my father said " you should never have been born " and " your delinquints " " B........ " 

      the physical, mental and emotional abuse damaged me growing up and still affects me to this day. Thankfully the viscious circle stopped because myself and siblings have not followed in his footsteps and 3 of my siblings have no children and my brother and i have not abused our children. Unfortunately thou we all suffer depression and i think it's mostly down to the suffering we all endured. 

      I wish you the best in your ongoing recovery.


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    • Posted

      Hello elizabeth20203

      Thank you for your reply x I'm really sorry to hear you too had such an awful childhood. What a start in life for you. I share your suffering and I think you are a champion of great courage and strength of character to end the cycle of abuse. You and your siblings should be very proud of yourselves for that, truly.

      I'm going right to the bit where you say your father said those things to you. That is an incredibly damaging thing to say to an impressionable child!

      How on earth is a child supposed to process a statement like that!

      Wishing a child never born has the same effect as abandonment. As your father was abandoned so he then abandoned you by that statement. It has an erasure element to it, rub you out as if you did not exist. This could be why many of us feel totally alone, invisible like a ghost. A parent or caregiver has told us not to exist. In fact every time someone told you not to cry, not to be angry or deemed you too sensitive that is invalidating you as a human being.

      You can't be too sensitive. That is who you are; you were made that way because of how you were treated. You know logically a child could never deserve the maltreatment and yet no one validates you and says "wow that's terrible to have been treated that way" most people will cross the street rather than hear a story like yours, others or mine.

      I am angry and cannot let go of the past, not yet, we have every right to be angry. Bad things were done and personally I'm done pussyfooting around keeping quite about my body being hurt and used, my pets being killed and the mental cruelty that almost drove me insane.


      The Amygdala [reptilian brain] is the oldest part of our brain and is essential for survival, it remembers every attack you've experienced. This is in order for you to remember the attacker [lets say grizzly bear] and it uses the fight, flight or freeze mechanisms as protection but it goes horribly wrong when the [grizzly bear] attacker is at home with you or comes home from work everynight. Where do kids go? They go inside their own head, the only place that is safe. This is a massive simplification of a complex neurological process but if broken down into digestible pieces I think we could see why we feel this things we do.

      I don't think I am carrying anger and bitterness I am just speaking my truth and the only people who want to shut me up are the abusers and abuser apologists. My friends understand, my therapist understands, other abused people understand and that is all that matters.

      I believe what kills people inside is keeping the pain inside and I think that's why counselling is so therapeutic. I will shut up about my past when I am bored of talking about it, when I have told every last story and every last tear has been shed.

      helen23957 quotes 'carrying anger and bitterness' and of course it sounds ideal but to me that sounds very much like forgive, forget and move on. This is impossible if you have not first dealt with the injustice and apportioning blame where it belongs, because it sure as hell does not belong on the shoulders of the abused child or adult children. And who does forgive and forget benefit, the abusers of course.

      It has been suggested to me that I forgive my mother who treated me in the most hideous way possible and involve her in my life as if nothing happened at all. This is said in a well-meaning way I think, as helen23957 quotes seems to suggest but how would this benefit me?

      I would feel as if I stabbed myself in the back.

      Thank you for reading my reply and I hope it didn't come across as a rant elizabeth, I wish you well and helen too.

      I wish you all the best, S


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    • Posted

      I admire that instead of being a victim,you've studied what happened and have grasped why people act the way they do! Everything you say I believe also- I think my dad was abused as a child,he was in and out of care and watched his mum die of the illness he now suffers,whilst his dad would batter him. Instead of wanting to protect me from his demons he inflicted them on me! So I agree,he must be mentally ill! Your past sounds horrific,and you've managed to over come it-it gives me hope that I too will be able to accept it in time. For now I'm stuck in the bitter hatred towards him. What bugs me is he gets a second chance at being a great dad and loving partner- I dont get a second chance at a happy childhood,so I get angry. It helps to know others have gotten through their past,and I look up to you! I hope Il be where you are one day!
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    • Posted

      Hi again Corrie, prepare for a supportive rant lol x

      Thank you for your reply and yes I do try hard not to be a victim. My over active mind does not rest very much at all and I intellectulize about the whole psychology of our predicament.

      The Amygdala has no sense of time, so an abuse is remembered as if it was happening now not years ago. That is why it is so very painful and it happened to the smallest, trusting, eager to please little children. The wound is still open, it has never been healed, it still bleeds.

      I hear you when you say you feel like you're "stuck in the bitter hatred towards him " and it bugs you that your father gets a second chance at being a great dad and loving partner, while you will never get a second chance at a happy childhood and that's a very painful reality.

      I know because I'm right there with you!

      My mother is roaming around the south east of england without a care in the world. To look at her you wouldn't believe the evil things she has done. She is totally deluded... I think she believes she's a saint.

      What do we do about it?

      Personally I see my abusers as losers, they are not intelligent, they are not genuine, they have no empathy, they do not "feel" and they are not really living at all. They are like an empty husk or shell. They do not possess a soul because if they DID they would crumble at your feet whilst begging for your forgiveness for the horrible way you were treated.

      If I have hurt someone Corrie I feel bad inside, if I hurt someone really bad, I feel terrible inside and want to make it up to them.

      Has your father apologised in a genuinely heartfelt way?

      I'm confidently suggesting he has not. If he had and you felt he ment it, a lot of your pain would leave you. He does not want to carry the pain of his childhood so he has given it to you [projection]. 

      My mother said "so, I was a bad mother" while lifting her arm in a sweeping movement as if she brushed away the past in an instant. That is not a heartfelt apology and it is my understanding that she is incapable of ever making one.

      I refuse to carry this burden for my mother so she can enjoy the rest of her life while I sit and cry about my own. I use my spirit, strength and determination to try each day and achieve something for me. Even if it's the simple act of making myself a cuppa lol. She will not ruin my life anymore than she already has

      I am not bitter but I am angry and anger is a natural emotion to feel when someone has trampled all over you. OOOh you mustn't feel angry that's not nice. Why? I think it is healthy to feel a genuine emotion and label it.

      If the abuse happened once I'm sure it can be overcome sooner but if it happened everyday of your formative years who the hell is going to tell you to "get over it"?

      I will tell them to feck off, they have no idea what it does to children.

      Anger was probably an emotion you were prevented in showing when you were a child whilst the abuse took place. I know I was not allowed to show anger, if I did I was ridiculed for it.

      My childhood was horrific and I would not wish it on anyone but I am a human-being, I have flaws but I don't kill animals or harm children. I'm polite and kind but I do reserve the right to avoid people who wish me harm. I have learnt to say the word no a lot more.

      I really haven't got over my past but I'm getting better at living with it. Forgiveness may well be the answer but I decide who and what I forgive and when I feel it benefits me I will let it go.

      I wish you the very best Corrie because you are worth it!



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