Empty

Not sure how to put this in short and simple. From the time I was 4years old my parents have made sure that I knew I wasn’t loved and wanted in my family. I thought it was maybe just my imagination growing up, you know that feeling, I’m different type thing but I’ve had family members and friends tell me over the past couple of years that they always felt so bad for me cause they saw the mental, emotional and physical abuse. At 48 now I’ve learned to accept that they love my brother and not me and while yes it hurts I’ve learned to just accept it. My need to love and be loved has driven me through my life and sometimes I made just some poor decisions. I had accepted my mothers words from long ago that no one would ever love me and was comfortable with the knowledge that I would be alone until 2 years ago when I met someone who rocked my world. I really thought he came to my life case God brought him there. I still don’t know what happened but this amazing person disappeared out of my life and it’s left me crushed. I still go to Mass, I pray everyday for relief from this pain and I was doing better till of course the “family” decided to really crush me further and made it public knowledge for an entire community to know I was nothing more to them than an obligation. I still keep praying to God, St Raphael, the Rosary, St Michael and still no relief. I feel so empty and don’t know how to move past this.
Any one have any ideas?
Thanks and sorry it’s so long of a post.

Is there anyone else you can talk to? Can you find a counselor to help you work through your feelings and how you’ve been treated by your family? It sounds as if you believed what they told you although they were cruel if they said such things and it was wrong of them. Do you have a priest you could talk to? You need some spiritual advice and maybe some counseling. Do you still live with or near your parents? that can be difficult.

Thank you for the reply. I’ve talked to our parish priest alot about this issue and I think even he’s at a loss of what to say anymore. He of course says to pray and to try and talk to my parents but I’ve been praying for well over a year now and when I do try and talk to my parents about the pain they cause me they just go passive aggressive and put it all back on me again. I’m just so tired anymore that on some days it takes everything inside of me to try and pray.

You should find a proffesional therapist would may have experience with this kind of thing. What you parents did was not right. God loves you and I will pray for you too!

drskigirl,

I can relate to your story because I’ve BTDT. My childhood was okay until my brother was adopted (I was adopted as well); suddenly the sun rose and set on him and he could do no wrong. I mean, my paternal grandparents now had a male heir to pass on the family name :rolleyes: .

My dad was also controlling, vascillated between emotionally neglect and emotional abuse, had anger management problems which resulted in some physical abuse (especially under the guise of discipline where he would take his anger out on my butt and then blamed me for “getting him mad”). He was also a perfectionist and had chauvinistic tendencies.

While the emotional & physical abuse was hard to deal with, it was the emotional neglect that affected me the most. For example, from 7th-12th grade, I was involved with band and orchestra and had numerous recitals, concerts, and banquets. My mom made it to 2 concerts in 7th grade and my dad missed every. single. thing :eek: ! Except for one year in high school, they missed every open house at school (and the one they did go to, they left early). I seriously thought that they’d miss my HS graduation (it was the only thing they did go to). I learned to not expect anything from my parents because having no expectations is better that being disappointed all the time.

From age 13 - 22, I alternated between severe depression and severe anxiety and even tried to commit suicide at age 15. My parents did absolutely nothing: no ER visit, no doctor’s visit, no counseling…nothing! Not only did my parents make me feel like a defective person, but I always has a suspicion that they regretted adopting me . Well, a few years later, my dad did say that he and my mom shouldn’t have had children :frowning: . Hearing something like that really messes you up and hurts you to your core.

I’d better stop because all this reminiscing is just too upsetting. Suffice it to say that I never felt that my parents loved me and as a result, I had zero self-worth and zero self-esteem.

It affected my spiritual life as well. I had a hard time relating to God as father; I saw God as a vengeful father just waiting for me to screw up in order to mete out a harsh punishment. When I returned to the Church 13 years ago, the thought of going to Confession scared the bejeebers out of me. I was expecting the priest to either deny me absolution, or give me a really, really, REALLY harsh penance. Instead, I received 3 Hail Mary’s and thought the priest was too soft :cool:

In 2001, I started going to therapy (originally for dealing was a rape) and finally dealt with my chilhood “issues”. At the same time, I knew I needed to talk to a priest about my spiritual “issues”, but I had a hard time trusting any father figure (out of fear) . A friend of mine recommended a wonderful Carmelite priest for spiritual direction. While therapy was very helpful, having a priest lay his hands on my head and pray over me probably helped the most.

Six years later, I’m in a much better place (praise the Lord); I’m emotionally and spiritually healthy :thumbsup:!

Now, besides the therapy and spiritual counseling I received, here are a few books by Dr. Conrad Baars that helped me tremendously (his daughter has been on EWTN a number of times talking about her father’s work):

“Healing the Unaffirmed”
“Feeling and Healing Your Emotions”

conradbaars.com/Baars-books.htm

Also, check out “Arise From Darkness” by Fr. Benedict Groeschel.

Hope this helps.

MadameButterfly

Both of my parents were abusive and neglectful. I’m sorry for what you have been through. I’d recommend therapy, either secular or pastoral counseling. The priest may or may not be correct that continuing to speak to your parents in depth is a good idea. But when they act like this, it is often better to withdraw emotionally and get support somewhere else. In other words don’t share your feelings and make the expectations really really really low of what you have of them. I went through a serious health crisis a couple years ago with multiple hospitalizations. My parents despite being local were not there much. That was disappointing but it taught me not to ask for more than I would get. My husband was very supportive and I did my best to pull through and made it :wink:

You can get used to getting emotional support from somewhere else. All of the emotional support parents should (have) provided can be found elsewhere, though you may need to be creative in how you look, and without “burdening” other people. A good therapist can help with that. This is not about being self-absorbed or childish, but getting what every person needs. From what I understand and know, it is painful to know that your parents can’t do that, but once you get it from other people you don’t NEED their attention the way you used to. Then for me, it is much easier to back off and say that they have their issues.

There is an advantage to being overlooked or in my case, being the “black sheep” in a case like this. It encouraged me to be independent from a young age. I am much more focused on doing volunteer work that I try to think helps myself and other people than the sister who is the favorite. She is stuck in a rut and has difficulties with relationships and work. She doesn’t need to pursue fulfillment in those b/c she’s always gotten smothered by parental attention (she was not abused). My middle sister is living a good, conventional Catholic mothering lifestyle and is happy. She’s in the middle in terms of the attention she got.

This is not to minimize but to say that sometimes getting “too much” attention isn’t good b/c it basically means “smothering” children and then life is made easy and they sometimes don’t grow and develop.

It’s not your fault. But it’s also not your job to convince your parents to pay attention to you, like a lawyer arguing a case. It is their flaw and problem that they won’t. There is that Bible verse about the stone that was overlooked becoming the cornerstone. You may never be a cornerstone in terms of wealth, power, influence (most of us are not) but you could be that to yourself - not self-centered but realizing your needs and abilities are as valid as anyone else’s - and to people who care about you and you can find them. I have found that when I develop more self-confidence and think of myself as being more stable, I am better able to help both myself and other people.

take care.

I am so sorry that you had to go through this, i really dont understand why some people would treat children with such neglect or abuse? it dumbfounds me. The Lord sits high but he looks low they would do good to remember that. I am praying for you and i pray that you find peace my dear.

Dear lord our father in heaven
I pray that you help this lady through a most difficult time lord
I pray that you might wrap your loving arms around her and let her feel your love
becuse she should know that even when she feels like there is no one, and she feels no one loves her, that you are there lord and that you are her father in heaven and to me there is no greater love than that. Amen.

" the “family” decided to really crush me further and made it public knowledge for an entire community to know I was nothing more to them than an obligation."

Honestly, if I heard someone make that statement about their child I would steer clear of them and not you. I feel that statement is absolutely vile and an sure that I would not be alone in that feeling. This reflex on them and NOT on you.

You must be an incredibly strong person to have make it through all this. All of you are that have had “parents” that have treated you with such little regard.

It is threads such as this that make me wish we were all sitting together and talking so I could just reach out to give you a hug and help you through the best I could.

Your “parents” (all on this thread with similiar stories) do not deserve to be called parents. There are few things in this world that absolutely boil my blood and children being mistreated and treated cruely is enough to put me into a rage. How do people sit by and allow this sort of thing to go on?

Well, I’m being emotional and not being of much help. Do know that I will also pray for all here.

drskigirl I too am really moved my your story and the fact that you are a functioning, loving person despite everything. I too believe that you are wasting your precious emotional energy in hoping your parents will see the light and change. They may some day by the Grace of God but don’t structure your life around that hope. I had a very loving mother who died when I was 13. My father was mentally ill and despite thinking I had a loving extended family absolutely none of them were there for me (or have been since) in any way but particularly what I needed the most - emotional care and support. Your parents are unable to love in a healthy way but you are. God has given you life and loves you always and forever.

It can be a struggle and sometimes heartbreaking to know that you have to create your own support system because the people who should be there for you are unable or unwilling to give you love and support. It can be done however. Right now you are obviously experiencing all the pain of the withdrawal of what you experienced as a real and life-giving love in your recent relationship. I recommend you find a loving and caring Catholic counselor, maybe approach your priest or Catholic Community services for a recommendation. Try and be involved in one social activity which gives you joy and stress relief maybe St. Vincent DePaul at your parish or similar. Exercise, dance or walk to relieve stress and emotional pain. If you can afford it a regular massage can help you allow your body to be cared for in a gentle and healing way. Healthy human touch and comfort is important.

I see your decision to post this thread as God supporting you and acknowledging your pain. Accept that you cannot change others and focus your emotional energy on everyone and anything in your life who/which is loving, caring and healthy. There may be people who have reached out to you but you have not recognized that they care for you. Reflect during a prayer time and see if God brings anyone to mind.

Over the years I have made some very strong and lasting friendships especially with women who can empathize with all that you are experiencing. We reach out to each other, pray together and laugh together. Together with my husband and children they have helped me form a circle of love around me that helps me cope emotionally. The saddest thing is when you have so much love to give and it seems unwanted.

God has a plan for you, it is good and life-giving. Do your part in caring and nurturing yourself and forgive your struggles. God bless you, please keep us up to date.

First of all I’d like to say that you are an incredible woman. You are a survivor and an inspiration. You haven’t lost your faith despite all of the hardships you have been through and you haven’t lost hope. Good for you. You are an amazing woman.

I too was abused badly as a child, only my parents DO love me in their own dysfunctional way. My father abused me in every way possible and it was a nightmare. I lost my innocence before I was 5 years old. My mother suffers from depressions and is very self-centred most of the time and she’s not capable of being a mother. I am friends with her now b/c she is a good person.

To have my parents tell me that I’m nothing more than an obligation would break my heart. That is very sad. If I were you, I’d cut contact with them until you have the power back. Seek therapy to get that power back. You need to empower yourself and learn to love yourself. How sad this is. It angers me to know that you went through such sadness.

No wonder you feel empty if you have never been given love. No it’s time to give that love you so much deserve to yourself. Go and seek therapy. Fill yourself up with love.

Go out and try to make friends. Take classes or something. Help at an RCIA group maybe?

drskigirl,

I was thinking about your situation again last night and wanted to share some other things I have learned from my childhood experiences.

  1. Forgiveness is essential (“Father forgive them for they know not wht they do,” has been a verse that I say over and over again to myself).

My parents both came from poor, immigrant families that were very, VERY dysfunctional. My paternal grandfather was an alcoholic and physically abusive, my paternal grandmother suffered from depression and was in and out of hospitals for treatment (electric shock therapy :eek:). My dad’s older sister became a surrogate mother for him and his younger brother.

My maternal grandfather was an alcoholic and my maternal grandmother was emotionally distant and neglectful (and my maternal great-grandmother…:eek:,…she would have had her children taken away today for all the abuse she committed).

My parents had it worse than I did. Since they never dealt with their traumatic childhood, they were walking wounded and even though they were physically and intellectually adults, emotionally they were stunted. They couldn’t give what they didn’t have.

  1. Grieving your loss is essential. I had to grieve the loss of a relationship that I deperately wanted (and needed), but didn’t have. This has allowed me to have a cordial relationship with my parents now. They are who they are and I will never change them; I can only change how I relate to them. I will never have a close parent/child relationship with them and I’m okay with that. I also know that talking about serious subjects with them is a no-no and when they say something offensive, I just let it go in one ear an out the other (smile and nod, smile and nod). And while I’ll do anything to help them as they get older, we can never live under the same roof.

  2. Find some parental surrogates. Besides looking at St. Joseph and our Blessed Mother, find some people in real life to fill that void. My best friend’s mother was a second mother to me during high school and college and my in-laws, especially my m-i-l, have been like parents to me in adulthood (I consider my m-i-l a good friend).

I vowed that I would break the cycle of abuse and I believe that I’ve done a pretty good job so far. I just have to be careful that I don’t go to the other extreme and try to do too much for my kids (or be too lax). I also have to force myself not to emotionally retreat from people, especially my husband. I’m a work-in-progress, but as long as I’m aware of my struggles, I can work on them.

MadameButterfly

I befriended a priest who has filled this role for me…more like a brother, but he also gives me the love that I wish my father had given me. It’s very healthy to find someone like this in your life.

I’m so sorry this has happened to you :hug1: that was very wrong of your family to treat you like this. I wish I could say something helpful. You ARE loved and cherished… I used to think that God’s love for us is something abstract and general, but He loves us very personally and individually. He loves YOU infinitely. Here is something I read that helped me to realize this. mcpriests.com/03_I_thirst_PrayerEN.htm God bless you hug

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