Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Has your childhood harmed you?

When I visit some blog friends I see that many are coping with sad events that happened during childhood. I am not implying that all emotional problems are due to a strange family but I believe we cannot deny the influence of childhood in our lives.
There are many kinds of harms such as physical and emotional abuse; abandonment in all it's faces; parent who is narcissistic, alcoholic or has any destructive behaviour; being ignored or treated indifferently and numerous problems we cannot even imagine.
The way it affects each person is different.
I would like to know if you were affected in childhood, how it has manifested and how are you coping with this.
Thank you and I hope you are taking good care of yourself.

I will not be commenting. I think it is more interesting to people read one another experience.


Anonymous Drifter said...

I grew up with an alcoholic father who would rage every week-end but was a totally different person throughout the week. I never developed a sense of what was normal and what wasn't. To this day I struggle with validating my own emotions. My childhood had a huge impact on me.

Marian said...

Wow, Ana, this is really a complex matter. But well, the somewhat simplistic answer in my case is that my mother was the perfect narcissist, who saw her life purpose in creating one double bind after the other, and one mystification after the other, while my father was emotionally and physically almost completely absent. (He'd decided, he'd rather put all his energy into his career than into feeding my mother's narcissism, and that I was much more suited for the latter job than he.)

So, yah, the "classic" - according to Laing and Bateson - setting, you might say. Couldn't but had to go wrong.

Ana said...

Wow Marian!
I believe we are sisters.
Same here, exactly! Father also narcissist.
I also had many double-binds messages from both sides.
Someone told me about Laing and at 19 -years old I bought "The Self and the Others".
I had an idea that there was something there very important to me but it took me 20 years of psychoanalysis to understand.
You are the first person that talks about double-bind. I did a post on it last year.

Marian said...

Ana: It took also me this long to fully understand. I did get it intellectually a long time ago. But in order to heal emotionally, you first need to understand on an emotional level. That's why crisis actually was a gift in a way. It brought me into contact with my emotions.

kim said...

Ah, this is a tough one. If you have seen the film "Ordinary People" I do not need to explain my family or childhood. If you have not, well...my father was exceptionally loving and as understanding as possible. My mother was extremely distant (she grew up in a household full of love, ironically, but her mother was severely mentally ill) My mother emotionally abused me, ignored me and I recall one or two moments of brief physical abuse but nothing like most people have gone through. She would throw things at me, tell me I was going to grow up and be a prostitute, etc.

This was all before the age of 15- and that year, I was raped. It was brutal and I still (20 years later) do not remember all of the details. I have been in therapy for it, but it never worked. I spent most of my life after that never in a relationship. I drank, I had sex with complete strangers, I escaped in any way possible! It still affects me today, very much so. It is my hope to defeat those old fears and pains and HEAL. My husband (we married in '06) has been very patient but I sense him growing impatient. So, I have been thinking about looking into a sexual abuse group or something.

that's it for now...very tired.

my love to you....

Ana said...

I didn't even get it intellectually. Along the years I did read it from time to time.
One day I read the part where double-bind is explained and I finally understood and could identify examples according to my experience.
I'm really glad you found help with this concept.
It's good to know i'm not the only one.

Ana said...

I'm speechless.
Just wanted to ask if you have been with the same therapist all the time or tried another one.
I was lucky to find the right person. I've tried two and if it was for them I would never be on therapy.