One of the things I find myself struggling with is the damage my family did to my self identity. I thought that with one parent dead, cutting off contact with my mother and brother would close the door on those dark times and yet I’m haunted by the things they did to me. It colours everything that I try to do. I always hear their voices in my head taunting me whenever I find something I think may be worthwhile. I believe this is what drives my compulsion to help others.
I did see a psychiatrist early on but he was of the Freudian set and they don’t recognize victims of sexual abuse particularly if the abuser was a family member. So I ended up being verbally abused by the person who was supposed to help me cope with abuse. Not to mention the damage that the abuse coming to light did to our family myth. My family could no longer pretend that nothing was wrong and that we were perfect. As the one who destroyed that illusion, I bore the brunt of the blame for the situation. I know that it was not my fault and that their failure to protect me was theirs alone to deal with but it still took years for me to accept that my family would never change. I desperately wanted them to love me and take responsibility for the mess they had made of my mental health but they couldn’t and I was just torturing myself.
Intellectually, I understand some of my mental issues but my emotional state is volatile. I simply don’t know how to get myself to internalize positive and factual messages about myself. I know that if I can’t do that I won’t be able to move on. I am tired of living like this and I want to seek help, but how does on learn to trust again? How can I trust a psychiatrist to help me destroy my demons if my first meeting with one destroyed what little was left of me?