I just found and joined this discussion group. I have to say that I'm awfully impressed by the bravery of all the people who are participating here; you are an enviable bunch.
Since leaving a brief stint of therapy about three years ago I've continued to have a lot of trouble thinking about, or trying to forget the nightmarish experiences I had as a child. Physical abuse from very young, and sexual abuse from age ten to sixteen. The guilt of not checking up on the abusers and talking to someone to get them investigated and stopped... well, don't get me started.
I've maintained a somewhat functional existence in the 19 years since the abuse stopped. I have an absolutely fantastic wife whom I love dearly, and a decent career. I still feel a bit of a shell of a person though, and it's what I've felt for probably 25 years, and well, despite having such a loving wife, am quite unhappy. This maintains a constant guilt that I can't be a more normal husband for her, though I'm not sure she knows the pain I continue to feel so perhaps I seem normal to her. I don't know.
I chose all the wrong ways to deal with the pain and guilt of the childhood, and with a long history of self mutilation and heroin addiction behind me I manage to continue faking my way through the day and looking for the nerve to even wonder if I should be getting some more therapy. That was an ugly can of worms while it lasted, to be sure, and while I was told I was doing the right thing, it sure didn't feel good whatsoever.
A suicide attempt as a teenager had me talking to what seemed to me to be a very angry and apathetic doctor in the hospital. This, I'm sure, went a long way to keeping me the quiet kid thereafter. Damn him, or damn me... not sure who's to blame there. We were both wrong, I guess.
The more recent therapy lasted for about a year and a half, and I'm also dope free for three years now. The heroin use started as an alternative to suicide and very quickly got out of control. There's not a day that goes by that I don't still think about using, but it's not something I ever seriously consider. Just more like enjoying the memory of that state of detachment. Things were getting pretty desperate financially as a result of it though, so I knew it was either confess to her that I was an addict and get clean, or go the whole nine yards and lose it all.
My wife and therapist got just a fraction of the picture of my abuse and by their reaction (shock from my wife and a real sense of compassion and urgency from both her and the therapist) I thought it best to kind of stop there and to keep the rest to myself.
It's just too hard to talk about those things, as I'm sure you all understand. I don't really know where I'm going with all of this. Just trying to string together a "here I am" kind of post.
Again, well done to all of you who have gotten as far as you have, and the honesty and empathy of your writing; it's very admirable.
I guess I'll give this a go for a while; will continue reading and will post to help others where I feel I can.
As of today, I have no advice to offer with the exception of: "do not use drugs to make yourself feel better. They are far stronger than you are and if you get out alive, you will be in an ugly state of want for a long time afterwards."
That said, I really knew this before I started down that road myself, and I ignored the facts anyhow (the "it won't happen to me" blinders were on all the way). Please just know what an all around bad and scary scene it is to be involved in. You will find yourself dealing with awful people that you never thought existed. Yes, many will likely have a similar painful background as yours, but that commonality will not make them your friends. They will be like you in that you both share the same common, urgent goal, and all the ugliness that is generated and overlooked in order to attain it are just nasty incidentals.
whew! That's out. I anxiously look forward to being a member here.
Hope you all are doing okay.
PS. Are there any therapists, counsellors, or doctors as members of this group?
Thank you for reading.