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Understanding Step one and step two.
#31
(30-11-2011, 12:52 PM)Roxannesins Wrote: Somehow it feels wrong to write it here, but I dont know where to and I need to try and get this out. I have to let my past go. I dont know if I would be able to share all of this in my meeting, or if it would serve any purpose, because I would feel like I am just selfpitying and taking up place. I dont know if it serves any purpose sharing it here either, but I am telling myself that I need to work on my trust, because I dont trust myself. There is something in your writings that  I can relate to and that I wish to grow into. I now both feel encouraged by your reply and a ashamed for taking up as much space as I am going to do. But here goes.

Here is my therapy.

It was two weeks prior to christmas. I, almost five years old at the time, was at my fathers place, with my father and a friend to him. The three of us was having a lot of fun. They were teaching me how to play poker. We played for money and I remember I won, a bit less than a pound, in one round. My father and his friend applauded me and I felt so happy, also
slightly embarrassed though, because I had a sense of they were letting me win.

Then I heard a noise, and again, and we realised that someone was throwing small stones on the window. My fathers apartment was on the second floor and I went out on the balcony, seeing my mother and one of her friends standing below. It was inbetween snowing and raining. They yelled at me to say to my father to go down in the stairhouse and let them into the apartmentsbuilding.

When my mother came into my fathers apartment and realised that my father and his friend were drinking beer, she got very upset. She got angry and began yelling at my father about he had promised not to drink while I was visiting.

I got afraid and felt sorry for my father. I tried to explain to my mother that we only had a good time, and that they had taught me poker, and look, I even won... My mother wouldnt hear my pleeds and she was still angry with my father. My father told me very calmly to listen to my mother because she was right. He said that I should go along with my mother and that I would meet him at another time. He said he was sorry.

I didnt want to leave, but my mother carried me out into the car and then we drove home.

I have a rather complicated childhood story. Stories like the one I just told happened several times, but in somewhat different shapes. But this pokergame I had forgotten all about and only came to realise at my meeting a while back when a fellow compulsive gambler told me about the first time he was exposed to gambling. My urge to gambling is tied closely to poker. Sometimes I also went binging on black jack when I felt too tired to play poker, but mostly just poker.

My mother was and is always there for me if I needed her. She has bailed me out so many times that I sometimes dont understand that she still would want me as her daughter. She has never been able to fully see and understand me though. And I have hurt her so many times.

When it comes to her emotions I listened to her and supported her for so many years. When it came to my emotions, she would feel threatened or tired or even accuse me of trying to hurt her, when all I wanted was for her to understand me better. Like I wrote earlier I have now stopped to try to reach her on a deeper level, because I know she and I are too different. I am not angry at her anymore but somethings still are painful to think about. I am trying to set healthy boundaries in my relationship towards her.

Like during my whole childhood she would say things, and then if we got into an argument and I would ask her about some of the things she said, she would completely deny them and say that I was making it up. And even when I tried to say things in the most non-threatening ways, she would still throw it back at me, telling me that I was just trying to get at her or put guilt on her. I know she never did any of this to hurt me, it is just that a part of her sees me as a despiteful and mean child. Part of her sees me as a child who always had to question things and ask the unnecessary and hard questions. She told me not to long agoe: even as a child you always had to critizise everything trying to put me down. I do remember asking a lot of questions, I also remember my mother working a lot and being tired so I always wanted to show her extra consideration, I dont remember critizising her. I know that she feels like I did though. Even so the biggest part of her however loves me, which she has proven far too many times by not leaving me.

When I was a child I truly wasnt despiteful though. And I truly wasnt mean. Even if she interpreted me that way. But like I said, I did ask many questions and wanted to discuss things. Partly because I wanted to be acknowledged. Partly because I was curious and wanted to understand about the world and about myself. But yes I felt hurt many times, and perhaps that
made my questions sound despiteful... I really dont know.

As a child my biggest rolemodel was Jesus. And I thought that if I could be as good and as pure as I possible could be, then perhaps I would be worthy of love. This included not only my action, but also my thoughts. I ought not to think mean things about others, but always try to understand and feel compassion instead. In many ways I was a very sad and misunderstood child. Atleast I felt that way. But I always tried to act and think good.

Noone else in my family went to church or was religious, and I got the feeling they thought it was a bit corky. Still it felt safe for me, and for a couple of years I went in the churchchoir and got free lessons by the leading church musician playing the organ. Sometimes I went to the church when I knew it was empty after school. Since I knew where the key was and I was allowed to go there practising the organ, I let myself in. I then would cry and pray that my father would come around and understand how much I loved him. And that noone was mad at him. Perhaps then could he be my father again. I was nine and ten years old.

My mother claims things about me, even to this day, like that I was a sour looser because sometimes I began to cry  when I lost a family board game. We both remember that I used to win most of the time. We both remember my big brothers bad temper, that he sometimes could through a gameboard off the table when he lost. We both remember that the family sometimes didnt want to play games with me because I mostly won. However, at some point, since I enjoyed playing different boardgames, I began to make bad descisions on purpose, beginning to loose on purpose, just so as they would continue play with me, and just so as my big brother wouldnt get mad at me. However at those times, after I lost they would say things to me like: aaa pooor Paula, too bad you didnt win this time. And that did make me feel upset because they sounded mean. And when seeing that I got upset they would begin to say to me that I was a sour looser, whereupon I would say that I wasnt, whereupon they would continue saying that I was, where upon I would start to cry. Not because I lost though...  My mother still claims though, that I was a horrible sour looser as a child, and when I have tried to explain to her that I wasnt, or just ask her please not to say that anymore because I dont feel like that is true  and it is hurtful for me to hear, she wont listen and just says that she has the right to say what she thinks, that she has the right to claim what she perceived, and to her, she knows that I was a sour looser. THat is the way she sees it and always will, and I cant do anything about that. It might only be a small insignificant thing, it still hurts though.

I have always been very sensitive, and easily have began to cry. But it was never intentionally or in a manipulative way. Mostly I cried because I felt misunderstood or because I felt unjustly treated. I cried because I had no words and couldnt protect myself. At those times my family came down pretty hard on me. Calling me spoiled and even worse making fun of me in rather mean ways. Therefore I learned to try to avoid all crying in the open, and when I needed to cry I ran out in the forrest above my house. There were a big rock that I used to climb up on, and there I could release my tears. Alone.

I dont think I was a child easy to love, I was too much searching for acknowledgements and propably got under peoples nerves. And I did have a lot of thoughts.

My father was hardly ever there for me, in the sense that my parents got divorced when I was younger than two, and after that I only saw him, i am not sure perhaps about ten times. Some of these times, because of my fathers drinking and the people that was around him at those moments, I was exposed to some traumatic situations. However, there is another side of the story. When me and my father was alone, I did feel like I was being seen and understood. He enjoyed discussing things with me. He took me outside teaching me about the forrest. He took me fishing. He taught me to ramble all the swedish kings and the years they were at the throne. He taught me to multiplicate and to spell difficult words, and he enjoyed it just as much as I did. This was before I had even begun school. Isnt that strange that even though I hardly never met him, I feel like he did understand me...

Everyone used to say that I was my fathers girl, and my older sister was my mothers girl.

Everyone used to downtalk my father, because he was an alcoholic, because he was hurting me and my sister, because he was a man.... yes that is the way the arguments tended to go. When I became a mother and went to family dinners with my daughter they began this similar downtalking men again. My daughters father didnt want to become a father and made the choice not to take part. But then I told them not to talk that way about men infront of my daughter. That I wanted her to make her own experiecnes about humans no matter if they were males or females. Even if their reactions were that she will only be disappointed in time when she starts seing men, and that it is better she is prepared, somehow, I dont know why and I am myself suprised, but they acutally have respected my wish. And atleast when I am present they dont talk like that anymore infront of my daughter.

Of course parts of their complaints about my father were valid though. His absence hurt me alot and I used to cry myself to sleep at nights because I missed him so horrible and I was so worried about the way he might be feeling or doing in his illness. I always cried as quiet as I could though, not to worry my mother because I knew she had so much on her plate already. I never heard my father downtalk anyone, except himself.

When I was fourteen and on my way to school I happened to bicycle past my father. I got a bit shocked, at that time I hadnt seen him in several years, and his hair had turned grey. Before it was all black. I was in a hurry and had so many mixed emotions towards him. So I turned my head the other way, pretending I hadnt seen him. Just as I turned my head away I saw him turning his head, him seeing me turning my head away. A couple of weeks later he phoned me up, being drunk and crying. Claiming to be the most horrible father when his own daughter didnt want to say hello to him. And I lied. I told him it wasnt me. I asked him when it was. And I told him it couldnt have been me. He said again, and I told him it wasnt me. And then I quickly excused myself telling him I had to rush off somewhere. And I hung up. And I felt like I had turned into Judas.

Some weeks later I manage to lurk out where he was currently living in another city. I went there one day without telling anyone and pressed the doorbell. First it was quiet. Then I heard his footsteps leading up to the door. There was a peepwhole in the door. Then quiet. Then the footsteps walked away again. I stood there frozen for a while, but didnt dare to press the doorbell again, so I finally walked away. I felt so ashamed.

Three years later I was home from summerholidays from school when the phone rang. I was home alone, answered and heard his voice: Hi.. do you hear who this is? I was filled with all sort of emotions, joy, fright, excitement, and answered him: Yes, I hear. I had butterflies in my whole body and tried to think up something to say, something to ask him, when he asked me if I could help him to look up a phonenumber in the phonenumberbook. I said sure and put down the phone, reliefed, because this would give me a minute to gather my thoughts and emotions. Happy and eager to speak with him, I searched through the phonenumberbook, found his number and lifted the phone once again. But he had hung up and was gone.

About 15 months later I got noticed that my father had died. In phneumonia. At that point I felt like I broke. I was at my school abroad and went down by the sea hiding behinds some cliffs. It was raining heavily and strong wind. And I was crying and screaming out loud. I was in so much pain. And I felt like I truly hated him for dying away from it all. I hated him for never coming through as my father.I was sitting there for a couple of hours and then a searchparty came and found me. Everyone was worried about me. I was wet and cold but told them that I would just sit alone for a short while still, then I would come back.  

I went to the funeral and I cursed him when I stood over his grave. At that moment I truly felt like I hated him. I was 18 years old.

A year before he died me and my sister talked with each other, saying that we almost wished that he was dead. Because if he was dead, we wouldnt have to hope anylonger. Hoping for him to come around. Hoping and waiting was the worst feelings for me ever.

I began to gamble heavily at the age of 30, briefly after I had finished my therapy which I told you about before, and I lost all control soon there after. I still went back though, several times, loosing it all over and over again.

Now it is twenty years since my father died. And I dont hate him anymore. But since I managed to abstain from gambling I have realised that I still miss him awfully... And it still hurts so bad when I think about him...

You are right Dave, that there is growth in me. I am beginning to find a calm within that is less illusive than it has been before. I still have a lot of fears though, and I am still finding it very hard to trust myself.

I am getting more and more aware of my fear of intimacy. Well I have always known I am afraid. But I am beginning to feel like I can work against this fear in new ways, not like before by roleplaying, or while gambling by avoiding, but by trying to
stay humble and trying not to be afraid. Somehow I know it is there in me somewhere even if I still bail out most of the time. I totally agree with you that protecting yourself in a healthy way has nothing to do with fear.

My meetings serve a great deal for me in my recovery. Not the least because I think it is the first group of people I have encountered where I feel like I am accepted and understood. Without being put on a piedestal. Without being judged. With all of my different traits of compulsiveness and how the gambling made me do so many awful things.

Thank you so much for writing that my answers are for me and always will be. I have always felt a sincere mistrust against  myself and my emotions. I am starting to think that perhaps it is wrong to think about my emotions in terms of being trustworthy, rather I should work towards accepting them for what they are.

Like instead of trying to figure out whether my feelings are right or wrong, perhaps I what I need to focus on is to question how I allow them to affect my behaviour in healthy or nonhealthy ways, how I allow them to affect my interactions with others in healthy and nonhealthy ways. One day at a time.

Sometimes it feels like everythings goes around in circles. And even if I understood or felt something a while back, the same issue comes back in a new shape, and I then need to understand it all over again, with some new dimension to it. I am so afraid that I again will fall back into destructive avoiding life behaviours, making myself into a failure, even if I deep down know I am not.

Love myself. Trust myself. I am trying to accomplish this by building on healthy actions and healthy descisions. It is difficult though.

Thank you. With warmth
Paula
Hi Paula

How could it be unhealthy to express your self and expose your vulnerability.

In opening up it is our inner child coming out in time.

If you are seeking pity do you think you are being the victim.

In talking about our self and unhealthy events we are freeing our self to no longer live in guilt shame or regret.

In therapies serves a healthy purpose and sharing helps over come fear of emotional intimacy.

When our fears reduce our trust grows.

Do you think taking up as much space is an expression of how much we value our self.

Why feel sorry for your father had he   done any thing unhealthy.

Did you intetrnalize your father and mother agression and confrontation issues.

Did you feel responsible for how they felt then or feel today.

Your mothers anger indicated that she was a damaged child who never healed also.

I tried to explain to my mother that we only had a good time, would she feel jealous of your good time.

You did not want to leave, because you were having fun or you feared your mother.

Do you think your mother has control issues.

I understand that fear issues were fear based.

May be you think that poker brings back memories of your times of having fun.

My mother was and is always there for me if I needed her, was she able to be nurturing loving and affectionate in an intimate way.

She has bailed you out many was that helping you.

She has never been able to fully see and understand me may be the pains of the past seperated you both from intimate relationships.

Do you think you were the only person to hurt her so many times.

Your mum would feel threatened by talking about past because of pains she had no healed and also associate talking about past was about blaming.

Is she is unable to heal her self she is unable to help you heal you.

She is still living in fear today.

Not being angry at her is good news.

Just may be you have reduced your expectations of her and other people.

Certainly she would completely be in denial, being accountable is very hard for dysfunctional people.

She had unreasonable expectations of you she hurt her self.

You remember asking a lot of questions, was it your insecurity r did you want to understand more.

People who want to discuss things is very healthy.

Your questions would make your mother feel inept and inadequate and insecure.

She was not satisfied with her self. 

You being curious was very healthy.

Do you feel worthy of love today, do you Love your self.

Your father would come around and understand how much I loved him. 

That was empowering. 

Being competative is healthy if it is not obsessive.

I have always been very over sensitive, that is understandable.

The addictions and obsessions is just the symptoms.

Sadly I was unable to articulate my feelings and my emotions in a healthy way.

As a child we are supposed to be protected by healthy parents, if they were unable to protect them self there were unable to protect you. 

You releasing your tears alone well done. 

Your father was hardly ever there for you because of his own limitations nothing to do about you.

In down talking men indicates they blame men for their own problems.

His absence had nothing to do about you.

And I lied. I told him it wasnt me. 

Being honest was difficult because of the pains were burying.

You I hung up because it was to painful.

Do you hear who this is? 

I was filled with all sort of emotions, joy, fright, excitement, and answered him: Yes, I hear. 

He did not understand that you were both very vulnerable emotionally.

But he had hung up and was gone.

Did you take that as rejection.

Your father had died. 

And I was crying and screaming out loud. I was in so much pain. 

Do you think you can heal from those pains today.

I went to the funeral and I cursed him when I stood over his grave. 

Did you honestly believe he hurt you with intent.

At that moment I truly felt like I hated him. I was 18 years old.

Are you able to go to his grave and tell him how much you loved him.

He lived in fear of your mother and lived in fear of rejection.

And it still hurts so bad when I think about him...

You are right Dave, that there is growth in me. I am beginning to find a calm within that is less illusive than it has been before. I still have a lot of fears though, and I am still finding it very hard to trust myself.

I am getting more and more aware of my fear of intimacy. 

That is very powerful.

Take your biggest fear and ask your self what is the very worst that can happen.

If you are willing to accept the very worst that can happen.

Your fears will reduce.

Yes protecting yourself in a healthy way has nothing to do with fear. 

It is healthy for any person to be put on a pedestal. 

Recovery is about healing maturing and becoming healthy and whole in our self.

For me being compulsiveness or obsessive is not healthy in any way.

Once fears reduce trust your relationship with your self and others will grow.

Needs come first then our wants are a way of us rewarding our self for being healthy and productive.

Certain feelings and emotions are not right or wrong, it is more about what is healthy or unhealthy.

When you love yourself, then you will learn to love and trust others.

No thank you. 

With warmth

Dave
Reply
#32
(06-07-2011, 11:52 AM)Paula Wrote: Dear Gadaveuk

I am moved from your writings in many ways.

I too carry a hurt child within, even if I haven´t heard from that child in many years.

I agree with you that talking about the past does not necessary mean putting blame or carrying resentment. There was a time when I did that. The disappointments of not being able to reach out and be seen for myself, to constantly feel misunderstood triggered a lot of rage towards my mother. She is not the one who hurt me as a child though.

And it is just like you said. My feelings for her stemmed from frustations and pain. Today I relate to her in a very different way, because I dont try to change her anymore, I dont need her to fully understand me, and I can accept her for who she is. I love her very much.

I did come a long way. My whole life was focused on personal growth and understanding. Since very young age. I went to intensive psychodynamic therapy and finally felt understood and approved for being me, not for my accomplishments. My gamblingaddiction took off after I went  through therapy. Even if I had always been an addictive personality.

After therapy I went quiet. It was like I had lost my words and I who used to talk with friends and family for hours and hours, being the strong supporting other, began to isolate myself. I had so many thoughts and words on a deeper level that I couldnt express, and when I did I felt like noone understood. It was like the meaning of using words was gone. And I started to doubt the power of symbolising pains and fears with words. I began to doubt the value of selfgrowth.

I felt confused, and more and more began feeling desillusioned, hopeless and powerless. My meaning in life was personal growth and helping other people. Now everything turned meaningless. I began  to gamble and it further pushed me into a depressive state where everything in my brain was like cotton and I couldnt think or perceive hardly anything. I have big memorylapses from this time.

Since a couple of years I am not really depressed anymore. My thoughts and emotions are beginning to come back and I am a more humble person, vulnerable in a new sense, but also stronger. I am more dependent on having caring and loving people around me. But I am also more selfsufficient and not as dependent on people approving of me anymore.

I realise that I probably still carry a lot of pain and anger and fear within, since I am a  compulsive gambler, and I keep hurting myself and the people I care about. There is no reason why I would be this selfdestructive otherwise.  Hopefully I will be able to work this through now that I have stopped gambling, if I manage to get in touch with my higher power, which is still illusive to me.  It is also difficult because I don´t feel like an angry person and I have always have had difficulties expressing anger. My anger comes in the supressed form and I am not able to acknowledge it.

It feels helpful for me to focus on my behaviour and feelings towards one new day at a time, since I tend to forget what it is like to be happy and enjoy. I believe the past is important to get in touch with and heal my inner child, but I believe that focusing on today could make all the difference.

Love to all!
Hi Paula

Today I understand that in the past I could be suppressive aggressive or I could be outwardly aggressive. 

The anger only indicated that my hurt child was still in pain.

How was that hurt inner child going to articulate the feelings and emotions I had buried for so long.

In step five we open up more far beyond money and gambling stories.

How did emotional abuse impact on me and how did I feel.

How did physical abuse impact on me and how did I feel.

How did sexual abuse impact on me and how did I feel.

To move on from being the victim I needed to give my inner child a voice from a place of peace.

The boundary was going to be set, I will speak out for myself and help people understand that such unhealthy behavior is no longer acceptable.

If people continue to be unhealthy I will walk away from them.

In sharing our trauma and as we open up we grow to have a healthy empathy for our self.

And only then can we have a healthy empathy for other people.

Thank you for your sharing.

Love Dave L
Reply
#33
(30-11-2011, 12:52 PM)Roxannesins Wrote: Somehow it feels wrong to write it here, but I dont know where to and I need to try and get this out. I have to let my past go. I dont know if I would be able to share all of this in my meeting, or if it would serve any purpose, because I would feel like I am just selfpitying and taking up place. I dont know if it serves any purpose sharing it here either, but I am telling myself that I need to work on my trust, because I dont trust myself. There is something in your writings that  I can relate to and that I wish to grow into. I now both feel encouraged by your reply and a ashamed for taking up as much space as I am going to do. But here goes.

Here is my therapy.

It was two weeks prior to christmas. I, almost five years old at the time, was at my fathers place, with my father and a friend to him. The three of us was having a lot of fun. They were teaching me how to play poker. We played for money and I remember I won, a bit less than a pound, in one round. My father and his friend applauded me and I felt so happy, also
slightly embarrassed though, because I had a sense of they were letting me win.

Then I heard a noise, and again, and we realised that someone was throwing small stones on the window. My fathers apartment was on the second floor and I went out on the balcony, seeing my mother and one of her friends standing below. It was inbetween snowing and raining. They yelled at me to say to my father to go down in the stairhouse and let them into the apartmentsbuilding.

When my mother came into my fathers apartment and realised that my father and his friend were drinking beer, she got very upset. She got angry and began yelling at my father about he had promised not to drink while I was visiting.

I got afraid and felt sorry for my father. I tried to explain to my mother that we only had a good time, and that they had taught me poker, and look, I even won... My mother wouldnt hear my pleeds and she was still angry with my father. My father told me very calmly to listen to my mother because she was right. He said that I should go along with my mother and that I would meet him at another time. He said he was sorry.

I didnt want to leave, but my mother carried me out into the car and then we drove home.

I have a rather complicated childhood story. Stories like the one I just told happened several times, but in somewhat different shapes. But this pokergame I had forgotten all about and only came to realise at my meeting a while back when a fellow compulsive gambler told me about the first time he was exposed to gambling. My urge to gambling is tied closely to poker. Sometimes I also went binging on black jack when I felt too tired to play poker, but mostly just poker.

My mother was and is always there for me if I needed her. She has bailed me out so many times that I sometimes dont understand that she still would want me as her daughter. She has never been able to fully see and understand me though. And I have hurt her so many times.

When it comes to her emotions I listened to her and supported her for so many years. When it came to my emotions, she would feel threatened or tired or even accuse me of trying to hurt her, when all I wanted was for her to understand me better. Like I wrote earlier I have now stopped to try to reach her on a deeper level, because I know she and I are too different. I am not angry at her anymore but somethings still are painful to think about. I am trying to set healthy boundaries in my relationship towards her.

Like during my whole childhood she would say things, and then if we got into an argument and I would ask her about some of the things she said, she would completely deny them and say that I was making it up. And even when I tried to say things in the most non-threatening ways, she would still throw it back at me, telling me that I was just trying to get at her or put guilt on her. I know she never did any of this to hurt me, it is just that a part of her sees me as a despiteful and mean child. Part of her sees me as a child who always had to question things and ask the unnecessary and hard questions. She told me not to long agoe: even as a child you always had to critizise everything trying to put me down. I do remember asking a lot of questions, I also remember my mother working a lot and being tired so I always wanted to show her extra consideration, I dont remember critizising her. I know that she feels like I did though. Even so the biggest part of her however loves me, which she has proven far too many times by not leaving me.

When I was a child I truly wasnt despiteful though. And I truly wasnt mean. Even if she interpreted me that way. But like I said, I did ask many questions and wanted to discuss things. Partly because I wanted to be acknowledged. Partly because I was curious and wanted to understand about the world and about myself. But yes I felt hurt many times, and perhaps that
made my questions sound despiteful... I really dont know.

As a child my biggest rolemodel was Jesus. And I thought that if I could be as good and as pure as I possible could be, then perhaps I would be worthy of love. This included not only my action, but also my thoughts. I ought not to think mean things about others, but always try to understand and feel compassion instead. In many ways I was a very sad and misunderstood child. Atleast I felt that way. But I always tried to act and think good.

Noone else in my family went to church or was religious, and I got the feeling they thought it was a bit corky. Still it felt safe for me, and for a couple of years I went in the churchchoir and got free lessons by the leading church musician playing the organ. Sometimes I went to the church when I knew it was empty after school. Since I knew where the key was and I was allowed to go there practising the organ, I let myself in. I then would cry and pray that my father would come around and understand how much I loved him. And that noone was mad at him. Perhaps then could he be my father again. I was nine and ten years old.

My mother claims things about me, even to this day, like that I was a sour looser because sometimes I began to cry  when I lost a family board game. We both remember that I used to win most of the time. We both remember my big brothers bad temper, that he sometimes could through a gameboard off the table when he lost. We both remember that the family sometimes didnt want to play games with me because I mostly won. However, at some point, since I enjoyed playing different boardgames, I began to make bad descisions on purpose, beginning to loose on purpose, just so as they would continue play with me, and just so as my big brother wouldnt get mad at me. However at those times, after I lost they would say things to me like: aaa pooor Paula, too bad you didnt win this time. And that did make me feel upset because they sounded mean. And when seeing that I got upset they would begin to say to me that I was a sour looser, whereupon I would say that I wasnt, whereupon they would continue saying that I was, where upon I would start to cry. Not because I lost though...  My mother still claims though, that I was a horrible sour looser as a child, and when I have tried to explain to her that I wasnt, or just ask her please not to say that anymore because I dont feel like that is true  and it is hurtful for me to hear, she wont listen and just says that she has the right to say what she thinks, that she has the right to claim what she perceived, and to her, she knows that I was a sour looser. THat is the way she sees it and always will, and I cant do anything about that. It might only be a small insignificant thing, it still hurts though.

I have always been very sensitive, and easily have began to cry. But it was never intentionally or in a manipulative way. Mostly I cried because I felt misunderstood or because I felt unjustly treated. I cried because I had no words and couldnt protect myself. At those times my family came down pretty hard on me. Calling me spoiled and even worse making fun of me in rather mean ways. Therefore I learned to try to avoid all crying in the open, and when I needed to cry I ran out in the forrest above my house. There were a big rock that I used to climb up on, and there I could release my tears. Alone.

I dont think I was a child easy to love, I was too much searching for acknowledgements and propably got under peoples nerves. And I did have a lot of thoughts.

My father was hardly ever there for me, in the sense that my parents got divorced when I was younger than two, and after that I only saw him, i am not sure perhaps about ten times. Some of these times, because of my fathers drinking and the people that was around him at those moments, I was exposed to some traumatic situations. However, there is another side of the story. When me and my father was alone, I did feel like I was being seen and understood. He enjoyed discussing things with me. He took me outside teaching me about the forrest. He took me fishing. He taught me to ramble all the swedish kings and the years they were at the throne. He taught me to multiplicate and to spell difficult words, and he enjoyed it just as much as I did. This was before I had even begun school. Isnt that strange that even though I hardly never met him, I feel like he did understand me...

Everyone used to say that I was my fathers girl, and my older sister was my mothers girl.

Everyone used to downtalk my father, because he was an alcoholic, because he was hurting me and my sister, because he was a man.... yes that is the way the arguments tended to go. When I became a mother and went to family dinners with my daughter they began this similar downtalking men again. My daughters father didnt want to become a father and made the choice not to take part. But then I told them not to talk that way about men infront of my daughter. That I wanted her to make her own experiecnes about humans no matter if they were males or females. Even if their reactions were that she will only be disappointed in time when she starts seing men, and that it is better she is prepared, somehow, I dont know why and I am myself suprised, but they acutally have respected my wish. And atleast when I am present they dont talk like that anymore infront of my daughter.

Of course parts of their complaints about my father were valid though. His absence hurt me alot and I used to cry myself to sleep at nights because I missed him so horrible and I was so worried about the way he might be feeling or doing in his illness. I always cried as quiet as I could though, not to worry my mother because I knew she had so much on her plate already. I never heard my father downtalk anyone, except himself.

When I was fourteen and on my way to school I happened to bicycle past my father. I got a bit shocked, at that time I hadnt seen him in several years, and his hair had turned grey. Before it was all black. I was in a hurry and had so many mixed emotions towards him. So I turned my head the other way, pretending I hadnt seen him. Just as I turned my head away I saw him turning his head, him seeing me turning my head away. A couple of weeks later he phoned me up, being drunk and crying. Claiming to be the most horrible father when his own daughter didnt want to say hello to him. And I lied. I told him it wasnt me. I asked him when it was. And I told him it couldnt have been me. He said again, and I told him it wasnt me. And then I quickly excused myself telling him I had to rush off somewhere. And I hung up. And I felt like I had turned into Judas.

Some weeks later I manage to lurk out where he was currently living in another city. I went there one day without telling anyone and pressed the doorbell. First it was quiet. Then I heard his footsteps leading up to the door. There was a peepwhole in the door. Then quiet. Then the footsteps walked away again. I stood there frozen for a while, but didnt dare to press the doorbell again, so I finally walked away. I felt so ashamed.

Three years later I was home from summerholidays from school when the phone rang. I was home alone, answered and heard his voice: Hi.. do you hear who this is? I was filled with all sort of emotions, joy, fright, excitement, and answered him: Yes, I hear. I had butterflies in my whole body and tried to think up something to say, something to ask him, when he asked me if I could help him to look up a phonenumber in the phonenumberbook. I said sure and put down the phone, reliefed, because this would give me a minute to gather my thoughts and emotions. Happy and eager to speak with him, I searched through the phonenumberbook, found his number and lifted the phone once again. But he had hung up and was gone.

About 15 months later I got noticed that my father had died. In phneumonia. At that point I felt like I broke. I was at my school abroad and went down by the sea hiding behinds some cliffs. It was raining heavily and strong wind. And I was crying and screaming out loud. I was in so much pain. And I felt like I truly hated him for dying away from it all. I hated him for never coming through as my father.I was sitting there for a couple of hours and then a searchparty came and found me. Everyone was worried about me. I was wet and cold but told them that I would just sit alone for a short while still, then I would come back.  

I went to the funeral and I cursed him when I stood over his grave. At that moment I truly felt like I hated him. I was 18 years old.

A year before he died me and my sister talked with each other, saying that we almost wished that he was dead. Because if he was dead, we wouldnt have to hope anylonger. Hoping for him to come around. Hoping and waiting was the worst feelings for me ever.

I began to gamble heavily at the age of 30, briefly after I had finished my therapy which I told you about before, and I lost all control soon there after. I still went back though, several times, loosing it all over and over again.

Now it is twenty years since my father died. And I dont hate him anymore. But since I managed to abstain from gambling I have realised that I still miss him awfully... And it still hurts so bad when I think about him...

You are right Dave, that there is growth in me. I am beginning to find a calm within that is less illusive than it has been before. I still have a lot of fears though, and I am still finding it very hard to trust myself.

I am getting more and more aware of my fear of intimacy. Well I have always known I am afraid. But I am beginning to feel like I can work against this fear in new ways, not like before by roleplaying, or while gambling by avoiding, but by trying to
stay humble and trying not to be afraid. Somehow I know it is there in me somewhere even if I still bail out most of the time. I totally agree with you that protecting yourself in a healthy way has nothing to do with fear.

My meetings serve a great deal for me in my recovery. Not the least because I think it is the first group of people I have encountered where I feel like I am accepted and understood. Without being put on a piedestal. Without being judged. With all of my different traits of compulsiveness and how the gambling made me do so many awful things.

Thank you so much for writing that my answers are for me and always will be. I have always felt a sincere mistrust against  myself and my emotions. I am starting to think that perhaps it is wrong to think about my emotions in terms of being trustworthy, rather I should work towards accepting them for what they are.

Like instead of trying to figure out whether my feelings are right or wrong, perhaps I what I need to focus on is to question how I allow them to affect my behaviour in healthy or nonhealthy ways, how I allow them to affect my interactions with others in healthy and nonhealthy ways. One day at a time.

Sometimes it feels like everythings goes around in circles. And even if I understood or felt something a while back, the same issue comes back in a new shape, and I then need to understand it all over again, with some new dimension to it. I am so afraid that I again will fall back into destructive avoiding life behaviours, making myself into a failure, even if I deep down know I am not.

Love myself. Trust myself. I am trying to accomplish this by building on healthy actions and healthy descisions. It is difficult though.

Thank you. With warmth
Paula
Hi Paula 

Your sharing was very deep and explores the pains of our past.

The pains of your parents were not healed long before they married.

Their aggression and confrontation had nothing to do about you.

Yet I did internalize their pains fears and frustrations.

Person pleasing and trying to impress was never going to resolve their relationships with you or with each other. 

To learn to love our self is done by our words and actions towards our self.

We do not need to get validation compliments from other people we need to validate and compliment our self.

To be patient and tolerant with our self and learn to be content with any form of progress.

I questioned what is happiness, today fro me happiness is being content with who I am today,  being content with who I am with, being content with where I am, and being content with what I have.

The things I wanted from parents they were not able to give me.

My parents were not able to love them self so they were unable to love me. 

I wanted my parents to be nurturing and encouraging with me, sadly they were unable to be nurturing and encouraging to them self.

I wanted my parents to be protective and respective of me, sadly they were unable to be be protective and respective of them self, so tehy were unable to be protective and respective of me.

Did my parents pains fears and frustrations become my pains fears and frustrations.

Did my parents pains insecurities become my  insecurities.

With step five and our sharing of our emotional intimacy with another person is they have started healing and let go of their past they will help you do the same.

We will learn to learn from the past no longer living in it.

The nurturing and healing will expose many traumatic moments and over time our conscious being and or response time improve slowly.

I have exposed from seven years of age to my early twenties.

Once I heal the first  seven years f my life I am sure my recovery and healing will be complete.

Sadly in recovery rooms they will be people who will think that once we abstain that is what recovery is all about.

For me it is not so, for me being non religious helps me open up my mind to many possibilities I never even thought of.

Our sharing is suppose to be a stimulation to more open minds and open hearts.

Thank you for sharing your self and your past with us.

Very strong healthy stuff.

Love Dave L
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#34
Hi
My instant reaction in anger hatred intolerance helps me understand that I am not healed and have emotional resolve from my past.
Even once a person has died it will mean we may not have emotional resolve with our self or with the perpetrators that caused pain and trauma to me.
By us allowing our self to talk about the past is not us playing the victim if so we would want sympathy and pity telling of or experience.
By us sharing our painful trauma means we no longer carry hatred resentments to people who have hurt us.
Yet by talking about experiences and setting healthy boundaries based up on peace we help others overcome fears and their anxieties.
I found the only way I could stopping people from picking on me was to have a voice and boundaries set from a healthy place.
The change from avoiding people life and situations to acknowledging our past we learn from it yet no longer live in it.
If we are still connected to unhealthy dysfunctional people who will justify unhealthy actions and unhealthy words we will need to have our say, to not justify any part we play but to just say that I was a part of the unhealthy life and I have learned and resolved my past and moved on from being unhealthy.
Did my unhealthy actions and my unhealthy words hurt other people, yes I did and I was a very unhealthy person at that time.
Being in the recovery program I am able to understand that I am healing and moving on from my unhealthy past.
The rage in me that rises unexpectedly was the remains of my past pains.
Being angry expressive aggressive should not be dumped on other people in any way.
Me being angry suppressive aggressive should not happen as I am not dealing with things in my life internally or in a healthy way, it is wise to talk things out with people not emotionally attached to the situation.
Unhealthy dysfunctional people will justify and blame their unhealthy actions and my unhealthy words and would even say they wanted justice.
Saying I wanted justice was not true I was in effect wanting vengeance and wanted to transfer my pains fears and frustrations on other people.
By us sharing the pains of our past enables us to not only heal the pains but also reduce the fears due to the pains caused up on us.
What I found was very strange as I healed that hurt little child in me that children and dogs warmed towards me and came up to me.
I then understood that they saw in me my fearlessness, and that I was not only not a threat to other people and that fearlessness showed that I was more trusting than the normal person in our society.
Is it healthy to live in any kind of fear today, have I faced my fears, have I faced my biggest fears in my life today.
When I face my biggest fears in my life today, if the very worst that can happens can I accept the very worst out come.
Instantly when I am willing to accept the very worst that can happens my fears reduce instantly.
By facing our biggest fears, every fear we face after that gets easier and simpler.
My fears of rejection and abandonment was so huge, today those fears are so low there si no stress what so ever.
By being fearless I can be myself today.
No more person pleasing, no more seeking approval, no more doing things conditionally, no more trying to make people laugh, no more trying to impress people.
By doing step twelve I am suppose to make other people feel comfortable so that they no longer filled with fears in our meetings.
The reference to the light bulb moment when suddenly people can not only relate to another persons therapy they can see and feel them self in another person today.
Some times it takes years for the light bulb moment to happen yet it is very powerful and has an impressive impact on other peoples recovery.
Love and peace to every one.
Dave L
AKA Dave of Beckenham
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