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Lack Of Understanding/validation.

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There is so much pain associated with living in the present, it's not even funny. It hurts, and I don't think I can handle it, and so I'm trying to find a way out, but not in a way so much as to escape, but to help me *long-term wise. I am looking to create an *atmosphere for myself where my emotional needs can be examined and addressed.

In short, I am trying to create that *space necessary for grief, and in the meantime (short-term), I am putting aside my emotions (the strong one's, ie: anguish) long enough basically to buy me the time to build a "nest" so-to-speak for myself so that my grief can express itself.

If my grief cannot be expressed I will be sick. Grief/Trauma is toxic. Any author or medical doctor can agree to this. I am angry because I feel like I have to explain; rather, "prove" to significant people in my life the state of my condition. Nobody seems to understand; moreover, they think that I am just exaggerating to get attention (ie, gain sympathy) or believe it to be impossible to have repressed grief dating back to 6 years ago. This is a preconceived notion they have, and it is grossly inaccurate.

I am tired of beating my head up against a wall. In terms of work, it has been difficult for me to work, and in addition to being told "Get over it," etc etc, I have also been told it sounds like I am making up excuses not to work, or work as much as everyone expects. As I said earlier, I am tired of having to "prove" to everyone the state of my condition, and I do not want a major health-crisis to occur for them to see the truth of my concerns. That would be a shame.

Why is it that I have never been able to get the validation I so deserve? I do not choose or want to live my life from the standpoint of a victim, and I think that it is more than obvious in my attempts to discuss my pain and moreover develop a plan (a strategy) to address (heal) the issues of my past. My intention/objective is not to gain sympathy.

My objective (intention), reinstated, is to heal. Why is it so hard for people to believe that I am hurting? I have tried to explain to people in the simplest terms, but unfortunately the only way I know how to explain it is psychologically...

Psychologically-speaking, I have created a False Self for survival needs. This "False Self" has allowed me to survive (note: I did not say "thrive") in a world that has been disruptive to my psyche and completely unpredictable and inconsistent. This False Self kept me functioning... False Selves won't last long... they eventually crumble, depending on internal and external circumstances, either resulting in a nervous breakdown or a major health crisis.

I am trying to prevent this. I am becoming more in touch with my body every day now, and can tell when it is close to collapsing. The truth of the matter is I need help, and I just can't seem to get it. I can only validate myself so much before I crumble... and just give up. It's a fact of life that we need people and we need support, and I am so terribly lonely right now and few (1-2 perhaps) understand.

I cannot go to a therapist again paying out of my own pocket after what just happened with the one I just had... For those of you who do not already know, I am choosing not to go into details right now, but lets just say that my therapist was highly unethical and now I cannot allow myself to trust again. Furthermore, there may be a lawsuit filed against her. Regardless, I wasted $5,000 dollars on this woman and ended up worse condition than when I first started with her.

I do not feel as though I can get my family to listen to me. Max (My biological father) and Lisa (his soon-to-be ex wife) are the only two who can literally help me with the financial. They both have the income and means to provide.

Max and Lisa if they choose to (I emphasize choice because it is clearly their choice) could choose to help me. I do not know the depth of their situation. They are getting a divorce; I do know that. But anytime I try to bring up the emotional aspects to Max I am written off... I'm not sure why, but Max doesn't seem to take me seriously, and he is one of the people (significant people in my life) that seem to think I am whining or not "trying hard enough," etc. If he does not really think this then I need this clearly demonstrated to me, because I am just speaking from my perspective based off what I have experienced.

Again, I do not know what else it will take to prove to Max, etc. that I am hurting, other than a huge health-crisis. Moreover, given the extent of damage done to my faith (trust) right now, I am not even sure I would trust help to be given at such a point.

I do not want things to get to that point, and I should not have to fight this hard for validation. Even if Max wasn't willing to help me at all financially (this is his choice) he could at least listen to me and trust me when I say I am hurting. I don't get this feeling from him. Maybe he has his own stuff to deal with, but the least one can do is pretend.

I don't know what else to say... I need the help financially more than anything to be able to get the long-term, intensive therapy I need. To be quite honest, and any trauma therapist would agree with this, I need grief counseling at least 2-3 times a week for all the trauma I have endured, and I am not saying that like "pity me." I really am hurting, and I really am at a risk for a major health crisis. What will it take for people to open their eyes and see?

What does it take for someone to give who has the resources? I cannot speak for anyone else, but I can speak for myself, and I will say that part of my plan (honest and ambitious) is to get myself to a place of emotional sobriety and financially leverage where I can supply the means for other people. ...where I can give back for what's been given to me. I want nothing more than to be able to provide for myself (We are no good to others unless we can be good to ourselves) so that I can provide for my family and community.

What goes around comes around.

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Not2b4got10, you have found the right place to talk this through. It is such a safe environment, no one here would ever dream of saying "get over it". We have all been burned by the flames of grief here and you will find nothing other than empathy here.

Could you perhaps start by telling us your story? It helped me to do this. Simply telling someone what you are going through gives some validation. It's a starting point ...

we are here to hold your hand through this.


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  • 2 months later...

My story? Oh, wow, I wouldn't even know where to start... I guess it starts here:

For the first 23 years of my life, I was told to be a certain way, to perform, to put on a mask of exuberance. I was taught to always be cheerful, to always smile, to pretend you’re happy even if you’re not, and to pretend that everything’s okay. My family operated largely under the umbrella of denial; it was crazy-making at its best. From a very young age, my heart was broken because I learned that it was never okay to be yourself. I learned that external appearance mattered more than genuine self-expression, that personal integrity should be compromised in exchanged for self-compliance, and that reputation was the single-most important focus despite how false the means were at obtaining it. Reputation for my family was largely and frequently sought out in an effort to preserve a temporary, yet illusionary security. This preoccupation was the furthest thing from healthy living and resulted in much damage. A family that was by nature built on shambles could pass for “normal” so long as the image of “togetherness” was maintained. After years of conditioning I grew to believe this was in fact reality. The result was a way of coping, or behaving rather, of real yet superficial means of demonstrating competence that was very painful, only it took many years to recognize the extent of this pain. For years, rather than being valued for “me,” I learned that I was valued for what I did. I got the impression very early on that I must be someone else in order to be accepted. I learned to pursue the misconstrued values rewarded by my family members, namely my parents, and particularly those of my mother, which were both unrealistic and convoluted and vaingloriously linked to the expectations my older brother and sister, which I was often ruthlessly measured against in order to obtain any sense of personal value. For years, I was valued for my accomplishments and ability to maintain an attractive demeanor at the expense of my own True Self, which was unacknowledged and virtually unrecognizable at the time. I learned growing up that I was only as good as my last touchdown and that I would be loved according to what I brought home to the table. With this being said and due to my personal attributed testimony with intensive psychospiritual growth and help, it is my personal-held belief that once an individual loses touch with his/her True Self and has misidentified (a.k.a taken on the role) of a False Self and mistaken it for the actual Self, the individual can, through a series of steps, reclaim his/her True Self by first learning to recognize and identify the False Self and the maladaptive role it plays in alienating the True Self. Not being valued for my True Self was a very sad way to live because for many years my deepest needs, feelings, and desires were not being nourished. Rather, my False Self was receiving all the applause. I lived from a place that Carl Rogers would call “incongruence,” a place where the outside does not match the inside. My own authentic qualities were substituted and replaced for a more “acceptable,” luring, but counterfeit image necessary for survival. This was quite a sad way to live, and for many years I spent time after time trying to understand this in unhealthy ways. I would spend much time trying to gain people’s approval in an effort to preserve this “image” that had been created and so notably glorified in an underlying effort to be loved. I thought if I could just get the validation I’d always hoped and rightfully deserved then I would be valued and cherished and provided with unconditional love. The love that I had hoped for never came, for it continued to be misplaced. My image continued to be the most important means of warranting approval while my deepest feelings, needs, and desires remained largely unknown. I continued throughout the years to gain approval the only way I knew how-- by continuing to “perform.” I got the grades, got the rewards and awards, said and did all the “right” things that I believed would merit the necessary recognition; still, I was unhappy and underdeveloped without the slightest clue. I did not have access to the feelings buried deeply within my heart because I was so out of touch with that part of me. My heart had been deeply overlooked in exchange for approval of another Self; a Self that I eventually learned to mistake as my own (The False Self). The unfortunate result was living a life that was virtually non-existent, a life marred by pain. I was not aware of the insurmountable pain at the time and the extent to which my True Self had been repressed. My False Self nevertheless showed its colors when I found myself in a highly destructive relationship where issues of physical abuse were present along with psychological and spiritual, very similar to the very relationship I had with my mother. I had hit my “rock bottom.” I considered myself to be spiritually, physically, and emotionally “bankrupt” at this time. My faith in much of anything was virtually lacking. It was at this dark place where my life turned around. Through journaling and a battered women’s group I was attending, I was directed to Alanon—a 12 Step group that helps individuals reclaim their Selves. It was at this point that I can recall a light, which I strongly, personally attribute to the presence of God, or what some in the recovery field might call one's "Higher Self," was shun on me and made its way inside, and I was able to, for what felt like the very first time in every respect of the word, for a few short moments, see a glimpse of my own true beauty, and though only a glimpse, it was enough for me to know that I'm truly worthy and deserving of all the love that God has for me and that I've always had for myself but never known. I truly do believe that God was with me at this time and that it was his love and strength that allowed for me to open up my heart just enough to open myself up to the priceless gift of receiving love and of endless healing. I trusted in the universe and in myself and shifted the negative energy through the help of trusted friends, my higher self, and God, or “Higher Power.” Through this excruciating process I have learned to trust myself and to peel away all the layers built around my heart. I have learned to dissolve the layers bit by bit by letting God's light shine in. I have learned to trust again gradually, and am still in this process. I am still healing. I am nowhere close to perfect nor will I ever be because I don’t believe such reality exists; it's a journey I’m traveling. I am on a healing path and honor each day. Looking back, I realize that much of the fear I experienced during these painful moments was anticipatory fear: fear of the fear itself. I opened myself up to receiving and since this decision has been made, I have experienced God's light and graciousness. It is my belief that where there is light, there's love --and hope, and from this comes true strength and courage. From courage comes knowing, and from knowing comes wisdom. It is at this point that life can be experienced. It is at this moment that we are re-born. From the ashes arises something entirely new, a spirit so radiant that even he/she couldn't see all that they have become. "Born again," a star.

Then (Part II) I lost my father... he died on me... He had a massive heart-attack, my only security, and I found him dead.

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I was hoping to address you by your first name, if it was available, but not2bforgot10 says a lot. Seems to sum up your story in a single word. And then so many more words in the body of your posts. Reads like you are overwhelmed, as are most people that come to these forums. You found a very good place to be heard.

You clearly outline a root conflict in your life, the struggle for self-expression amidst what sounds like a whole body of sham relationships within your family. I don't know whether I'm getting that right, but that's my best reading.

You write of your journey to recover your life, after so many years of having been conditioned to a wrong set of values. Some of your ordeal, particularly the spousal abuse, makes recovery that much more difficult.

It is only in the last line of your posts, that you mention the passing of your father. You list this as "Part ll". I hope that means you will be writing more about that.

I agree that sometimes we need professional help to deal with psychological stress. If that's not affordable, there is a professional grief counselor here, Marty, who may be able to suggest other resources. Meanwhile, just keep posting to these forums. My own grief is crushing, but the support from other people here has helped immensely.

Ron B.

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