Jump to content

Is This A Valid Reason To Still Be Upset


Icarus21

Recommended Posts

This past Easter I was at my mom's house for the weekend. I attend college so I thought it would be nice to change the scenery. Well anyways, it is the last day and I had to be back at college in a few hours. Our family had a nice Easter Dinner. So much good food. We were eating and I made a comment to my younger sister(K) saying "How's that diet doing?" because we had soooo much food. My older sister(A) across from me then comments saying "She should really punch you in the face for that one." Ok hear me out. This doesn't sound major but in my situation it is. Before dinner me and my younger sister(K), were both talking about health and weight and how hard it is to be healthy and we had a laugh about it. (This is rare, us getting along) So when I made that comment it was a joke to both of us because it is hard to lose weight sometimes especially during the holidays. When my older sister said that comment to me about wanting my sister to punch me, I was hurt to a point where I couldn't react. Here is why.

My immediate family consist of only girls and growing up, the house was very exclusive towards men. My mom had a really bad marriage and divorce and now is extremely bitter towards men. I hear about how awful they are. Growing up I was the outcast of the family. no one understood that I am a male and do have traits different than females. So I always felt like I was raised to have a mindset of a women. I never had any father figure in my life ever.

My younger sister(K) was always mean to me throughout the years and was verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. She would enjoy slapping me because well she could get away with it. It's gotten so bad that when anyone raises their hand I flinch... I would tell me mom about it but she just says the same thing. "I can't do anything about it." This makes me angry because even if I say something that has no mean intention it will somehow come off as offensive and then I would get called out on how rude and mean I am. But hear she is slapping me, manipulating me, and making up all sorts of reasons why I deserved x,y, and z. I also was molested and physically abused by my sister that I no longer live with because I got adopted.

My younger sister(K) was also adopted with me. But anyways, so when my older sister(A) said that I felt a lot of rage. What I got and keep on getting while living in a house of all women is that it is ok to hurt men but if a man lays a finger on them they are evil. My younger sister will hide behind the "you can't touch a women" and every type of saying like that, that makes her invincible. I'm just supposed to get all the attacks. Yeah it is so funny for me to get punched in the face. how about everyone at the table laugh. What made it worse is my younger sister(K) made an offensive comment to me and everyone didn't even think anything of it.

I also get the teasing and laughs about taking care of my niece. I'm sorry I'm awkward around kids. To be honest I have depression and I am still very young and barely have enough energy to step outside my room. but lets all make fun of me because I don't have those maternal instincts. in fact let's just make fun of me because I have an XY chromosome.

They also loved to tease me about my hobbies. God forbid I enjoyed imaginative play, Legos, videogames, sci-fi(my mom tried to FORCE me to stop watching scifi), hot wheels, and technology. They would get me some of the stuff but then judge me. I was always the "joke" of the family get-togethers. Oh he is just weird. Don't mind him, he is just off in his own little world. Let's not take him seriously EVER....

I don't hate women at all. About 90% of the people I am close with are women. They are very good to me. But my mom's bitterness of men and the treatment I get for being a man is making me become bitter of women which is a big deal because I am a huge supporter of women's rights and I don't look at women at a lower value then men at all. I'm just starting to think of all the ways I have been screwed over in my family because of my sex.

Now I have a huge grudge with my older sister for making that comment because of the things I have been through, and how it is ok in the family to hurt men only. It was the last straw on my tolerance on the blatant hypocrisy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Icarus, thank you for sharing your story. Sounds like your home life was pretty toxic. It really sounds like you were punished just for being male. I was a single mother with a son and daughter, and I taught my daughter that just because my son can't hit back does not mean she gets to push him around. No wonder you have so much anger. It sounds like sometimes it just all boils to the surface. Your anger is understandable, and the behavior of your mother and sisters is inexcusable. I would suggest talking to a therapist or counselor to help you figure out what is healthy versus unhealthy behavior. Family dynamics can be complex and confusing at best. I hope you can limit your time with them. You are an amazing young man for not holding a grudge against all women because of the unhealthy and inappropriate actions of the ones you were raised with. Stay strong, and don't let their twisted viewpoint ruin your ability to relate to the rest of the wide, wide world. :console:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have been through a lot in your life. I think its important not to underestimate the impact of being molested and physically abused by your one sister. Then being slapped by your younger sister and not being protected. I think the not being protected is key here. That can leave someone feeling afraid and trapped as well as interfere with our ability to trust people and build relationships.

It therefore makes sense to me that your sisters comment which can easily be a common thing amongst siblings has set off a chain reaction of memory and pain for you and has specific relevance in the context of your family. The general environment and messages that being male is not OK would be terribly harmful for you.

Please do get support with all these things. It is normal that it is effecting your relationship with woman and you dont want that. Oh and you have every right to still be upset. It is entirely valid.

I just wanted to add that in some ways even though I have had the other things happen that I find the emotional abuse is one of those terrible things that one can't easily untangle from.

Edited by Fizzle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20YearsandCounting,

Aww thanks for replying. I did not expect this type of response at all. I thought maybe I was just being "too sensitive." I think that was used to much in my lifetime. I do love my mom a lot and a do care for her, I just hoped she would understand how the comments she makes affects me and how letting my sister(s) get away with that behavior creates a statement that violence is ok against men. Being a single parent would not be easy at all and what a task for just one person. Y9u guys are really strong. I just wish my mom could heal from her marriage as well. It just stinks I'm caught in the crossfires a bit. My mom does do a lot for me but things like this though make it EXTREMELY hard to be around her because I was abused in the past as well and I feel like she is enabling the same thing to happen again and it hurts. I have been better giving myself space. I do live with her so it's not a perfect situation. I'm go back to college I the fall so it's only 2 more months. And i wouldn't be here if not for all the positive wonderful women I did have in my life. I owe them so much. Thank you for your kind words!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flashquish: *chuckles* I do know and thank you! it is nice for someone to say I will be ok in a time where I feel lost. It means a lot.

Fizzle: Thank you. And exactly! I feel like the things that happened at such a young age for me 1-5 and even throughout childhood have put me in a position where it is hard to trust or feel love or feel protected. I get mad at myself because I can't even defend myself. I found out recently I am terrified of people. I don't think that is normal. Luckily I am seeing a counselor at school who is doing EMDR therapy for trauma. I do think it also brought some old stuff to the surface and now I am dealing with everything at once.

Quarkyqurl: Yeah, it is. It is confusing. It seems like everyone in here feels I have a valid reason to be upset. I wanted to make sure because I do love my family. But those types of comments do really hurt and cut "deep" and I can't be around that type of behavior.

Thank you everyone for your replies. I will now try and set those boundaries for myself and work on getting me to a place I feel "safe"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Icarus, when you do trauma work you need to be terribly gentle with yourself and do all you can to protect your boundaries. The feelings brought up from the trauma hang around and at some level you are back in the past at all times. It's like you are living and talking but emotionally you are being attacked by your sister. I hope its Ok to say that.

Well done you for being so brave to face it head on. Have you read up on trauma?

Edited by Fizzle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think you have valid reasons for being upset, having been in a somewhat similar situation. If the "upset" is preventing you from being happy, however, I would be glad to share some ideas for working through it so it would be less toxic. So sorry that this happened to you and has been happening to you for so long! Best best best to you Icarus!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Epictetus: I would love to hear some of the suggestions you have. I just feel most days people do not understand where I am coming from and judge me accordingly. I can't tell them my situation so I have to make up some bs response. I get a whole bunch of why didn't you accomplish this, or why are you always sad, and why are you acting like this. I have a lot both in my past and present that over complicates my life. idk I just don't think people get how this affects me and I can't pretend anymore like it doesn't bother me.

Fizzle: I read up a lot on trauma. Both post traumatic stress disorder and when I kept searching, borderline personality kept showing up. I just know from what I have read so far is people who had rough childhoods like me, have common issues while growing up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is rare for people to bring full awareness and the full commitment of their free will to bear on most decisions and actions. Often people act from instinct, poor unbringing that has become second-nature, unconscious fears and other strong emotions, fatigue and a multitude of other things. This does not mean that people have no responsibility for their decisions and actions. But it does mean that there are often powerful impediments to full voluntariness of action. This doesn't make the destructive actions of others any less painful. But it can help sometimes, at least, to realize that people do a lot of stuff while on "autopilot" so to speak. Many people have problems with self-hatred and get some relief from the anxiety of of it by projecting it onto others: family members, friends, strangers, whatever unfortunate person happens to be in front on them sometimes.

Because of this, . . . in light of this . . . it can sometimes help to realize that very personal acts and comments are not personally directed even though they feel and seem very very very personal! I would like to give an example if that is okay?

Sometimes children who felt abandoned emotionally can take that into adulthood and cling to others, not knowing why. Or sometimes children who were smothered by needy love can push people who love them away, not knowing why they do that. Of course, when we are on the receiving end of this behavior, it is very personal and hard to take. Sometimes children who were over-criticized grow up liking to put others down, often not knowing the deep reason why they do it.

You are a very deep and complex being. No one on earth can know you well enough to judge your being or insult you truthfully or fairly simply because no one is in your mind but you. So it can help sometimes to realize this if possible.

One other thing is this. A person's worth and dignity is based on their being not on what they have or what they do. Many people were raised to "believe" their worth and dignity was something at the mercy of outside forces, like others, achievements and so on. The greatest thing you do is "being." The greatest thing you have is "being." And that can never be taken away from you as long as your are alive. People who are criticizing you are "hoping" you don't know this. They are hoping you think your value is like that of a machine, based solely on functionality. Or a cart of groceries that goes up and down in value. But these people can be less fearful when we realize our value is not "given" to us from external sources, but comes from our very being. Your being is good. It is very good. And that ontological goodness can never be taken away from you.

Maybe this is not helpful to you. But it helps me a lot in life. Again I am so sorry that people are judging you! All the best!

Edited by Epictetus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand pretty well the feeling of people not being able to understand and explaining not being an option. I'm not sure it is possible for anyone to understand the reliving of trauma unless they have experienced it which is normal I guess. I don't want people knowing my personal business, don't want them to treat me differently and yet there are certain things which I do have difficulty with. And yet I am just plain tired of hiding it and lying. Pretending is becoming intolerable. Pretending to myself or to others. Complex trauma does have some overlap with borderline personality even though it isn't the same thing. It sounds like you have your head screwed on right and are doing all the right things! Huge credit to you especially since you are still so young.

Edited by Fizzle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sorry you have had such a terrible experience. You know the saying that 'you can't pick your family', I think that certainly applies in your case. My mum was very bitter towards men after she and my dad divorced, even to the point where she said some nasty things to my husband before we got married and that has damaged my relationship with her, so from that point I can sort of relate. It sounds as if you have been physically and mentally beaten down to the point of total submission, where now they just expect you to take their abuse. They probably don't even realise they are being abusive, let alone the damage it is doing to you. I am no expert but, I would say that you have to take back some form of control. YOU need to decide when you are not going to take that kind of abuse any longer. No-one can make that choice for you. I don't mean you have to fight back and make the situation worse, but even just recognising internally when a situation is becoming abusive and just quietly taking yourself out of it, could help. I don't mean you have to lock yourself away, but you need to train your mind to consciously realise when the negativity is becoming too much and just go into another room, or go for a walk.

As for the Easter episode, people who haven't experienced depression may tell you to 'get over it', those of us who have been depressed know the impossible truth, there is never any 'getting over' certain things. If it's playing on your mind then you just have to get through it. I would say don't hold back, let your mind run over that memory again and again, let the emotions run and try to allow yourself some form of release. Perhaps once you've had the real emotional reaction that you clearly suppressed at the time, then you may feel able to let it go a little.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

It seems to me that your mother is the one who really deserves the blame for most of your mistreatment. It was her job to teach your sisters at a young age to treat you and everyone else with kindness and respect. And even if she has a lot of bitterness towards men, for god's sake that shouldn't apply to her own child! How awful.

I would second the suggestion to seek therapy for the traumas you've experienced, as well as your toxic family situation. I wish you the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just came back to this post. Thanks for more of the responses! I still love my mom and honestly believe that she doesn't purposely try to hurt me or say things that clearly offend me. I believe that is why it is that much harder to separate from her.

I was in quite a bit of shock how everyone just casually laughed at that bit about me getting punched in the face. I felt totally alone and singled out.

I kept telling my mom that my sister has abusive tendencies but she doesn't want to listen. She tells me she already know how manipulative my sister can be but she allows it at the same time.

She acts like she knows all about her but in reality my sister over the years had control over my mother, whether it would be storming out of the house, yelling, or demanding to get her way. I mean she is a tad better than she was before but then again my mom totally bowed down to her wishes.

Epictetus- Your phrase about self worth strikes deep. I actually been spending months and months trying to find it again. It is really limiting without it.

Adrianna and henrithecat- I feel like my mom is oblivious to the whole thing and Adrianna thanks! I feel guilty for feeling those emotions.

And henrithecat, I am currently in therapy and thank goodness. I learned so much and learned that this stuff isn't ok because I been putting it all on me mainly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

use this as proof that you still have work to do in your therapy.

also use this as proof that you have made progress in your therapy -

you might have had a very different response to this before therapy. It seems like you are taking this in stride. I don't want it to seem like I am suggesting you are not in pain - clearly the event described was of note for you - but I think you dealt with it very well.

The next bit is merely a suggestion - and perhaps talk to your therapist about it. It seems as if there are several things about your experience that poked at your emotions - have you ever thought of using mindfulness when dealing with these things that 'poke' at your emotions - or even to deal with the emotions themselves?

(this is only a suggestion because I find mindfulness is a very mixed bag - some people have great results with it -some people find it ridiculous - others try it and have it not do much - and then come back to it and find it more effective - or find it more effective with practise)

Thank you for posting your experience here and sharing with us. It helps me to read about other people sorting out strong emotional responses and comparing it to my own :)

ST

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Silentthunder- Can you tell me more about mindfulness. I am actually not very informed on it. Oh just looked it up haha. I do this a lot. I usually keeps me from spiraling into a deeper depression. It is still a trait I am working on but I use it a lot. It keeps me grounded in a sense.

Being mindful does become hard though in certain situations though. I still don't really trust many people. And recently I have lost a lot of patience dealing with many people. I believe I was TOO mindful and overestimated people's intentions which lead to me feeling used, manipulated, or flat out disrespected.

A lot of times though I do look at situations from a distance and analyze them. I did over that dinner. I felt hurt and while I thought I may be overreacting, my intuition was telling me I wasn't.

I believe mindfulness for me is usually effective a few days after a said event. I need those days to just feel my emotions.

I feel I do have a better handle at dealing with my emotions. I used to vent on Facebook about things that would genuinely bother me and it wasn't the most healthy place to do so. Now, I don't even have a Facebook and if I do have an issue I will excuse myself and focus on something else at the time being and then come back to it later.

But yeah what my older sister said just generated a series of bad events and it made it seem like she was condoning those events which scarred me.

But right now I'm in a stand still and haven't made really any significant progress in fighting my traumas. Most days I am just angry at myself I can't move forward quicker than I hoped.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to read more about mindfulness. it is very interesting. Thank you! My trauma which focuses on past and future things will definitely try and compete with trying to focus on the present. I would feel so free if I could focus on the present a lot more. I will actually ask my counselor that. That is a great suggestion :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was trying to find a site with mindfulness exercises - but most of what i was finding were just meditation exercises - which is good too - but its not really descriptive of what I was mentioning before that involves dealing with your emotions. The dbt site that Fizzle posted has a couple of good exercises to try here:

http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/letting_go.html

scroll to the part where it talks about letting go of painful emotions. see if you can try and of the exercises below it.

(dbt is a little bit different than mindfulness - it incorporates mindfulness in specific ways for specific reasons but I won't get into thata here - there are many different types of mindfulness like ACT / RFT etc - but they all basically involve mindfulness and trying to just observe something in order to try and be okay with letting it go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...