Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

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Iwanthelp
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Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:24 pm

This is gonna be disjointed 'cause I hit my head off a wall twice and I suspect my brain actively wipes 'thing that happened in detail' regarding fallouts with this friend so I don't know how concise I can be.

This is for clarity/answers to two questions: I've had a post here before (regarding a home situation) and I find that with actual practical advice I just...Like I'll follow it but only certain steps, I'll start to blank reading it as I become weirdly avoidant. It's taken me a while to read the "Safety Plan: When you live with the abuse" article for this reason, I've gotten up to "okay this counts as an ID we'll keep note of this" and that's...it. Can anyone explain that? I don't want to stay in this situation obviously but any attempts to change result in...well, fear-avoidance reaction ensues.
I wish she'd just throw the abuser out herself like any reasonable parent should to save me having to leave my own home, the only home I have. I don't want to be a couch-hopper, I don't want to be a guest with relatives tainted with the same generational abuse of angry men where I don't have permission to waste electricity and cling to the computer like a stupid spoilt child. I want to be free but death is looking like the best, most effortless answer. I've half a "I'm sorry but I'm going to go and commit suicide" script in fragments resting in my head in the kind of anxiety-chain thoughts that make you cry but also just make so much sense. So much sense. The system is too broken, too cluttered with abusers loved and adored and enabled every step of the way ahead of the victims they shit on and push under the bus to be destroyed. It's been a constant in online interactions, it's been a constant offline.

second question: friend came over, she wanted to talk to me about concerning shit I had said a day or two before. ("if you drag me into a car again I will commit suicide" at my mum in reference to this viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4020 tl;dr I don't like being forcibly moved without my permission like I'm some ragdoll) My mum had called for a doctors' appointment so that bits' sorted I guess. The topic of the 'dad' I live with came up and... well, standard "they can't admit he is abusive" followed.
For context, the shit he's done:
  • Threatened to break his sons' jaw.
  • Implied he could throw me out, I found a text of a separate incident where he threatened divorce, (that never happened) that the kids get "more knack than me" (I guess meaning attention/care) and that he would get the house. Obviously implying I wouldn't have the place I call home anymore.
  • This is vague and I barely talk about this since another ex-friend abuser threw it in my face: at some point when I was a teenager I went downstairs, he was drunk, said I was...old enough for something? Assumed the worst, screamed, ran upstairs, phoned someone 'cause I was freaking out. I never figured out if that was a csa threat or just stupid drunk rambling but the damage is done even without this ambiguity I don't trust him.
  • Blamed me and the mum for his drinking whilst drunk, 'you drive me to drink' basically.
  • Has gotten aggressive, thrown items, bashed items yelled etc whilst drunk to the point I have freaked out and called police twice. Both parents punished me for this once by taking my computer. That's my lifeline, I need it so every. fucking. time someone tries that I go from 0 to aggressive and hysterical very fast.
    Nothing came of police showing up, she just played it up as him being drunk and me being hysterical then they left.
  • Accused me of flashing people over the internet because I was wearing a sleeveless pyjama top, that I'm "not a 14 year old autistic kid you're a 20 year old superwoman", mentioned he could hack my pc and find out - like my being disabled and coming off as naive is just some fucking ploy to be manipulative and sexual. Again with the 'this feels skirting so close to borderline emotional incest' thing.
  • Called me a bitch once because I didn't know where a pen was.
  • Smacked me as a toddler for ripping wallpaper. It's my first memory. I said "daddy look what I've done" then I get dragged over a lap screaming and the memory cuts off. I don't think I even understood what I did was worth punishing on account of a) he smacked me before explaining it b) I doubt he ever did also I was a fucking toddler this is my first memory.
  • More I won't remember right now - he's just generally whiny, moody and unpleasant to be around and the actual abuse incidents can be months or years apart. Nothing in recent memory but I think he threatened a pet - idk, was in another room and blanked the exact wording.


So: they're not happy I said that to her obviously, they keep trying to talk to me about it, I don't recall what was said but the shitty living situation on account of 'cannot fucking stand him' came up. And this is where it all goes to hell.
  • They just...Won't admit he's abusive, the fact I was smacked as a toddler was brushed off as w/e, him threatening to break his sons' jaw was "a long time ago" and "between <name> and him". Because nothings' happened for so long they go with the logical fallacy of "he's stopped so he's stopped" when no, he will abuse again because he's never been punished for it and I've read enough to know it takes an abuser program to sort that.
  • I'm raising my voice because they refuse to understand to the point of "you're abusive because you said/did x and that scares people". I can't recall exactly what but this is the same stupid lie of a family that had the brother brush off "he scares me" with "well you forget to lock the door and that scares people" like me being forgetful is tantamount to child abuse and makes me unable to criticize it.
  • I don't recall what they said I did but if it was shouting "just fucking die" when talking to myself in my room I still don't have a power imbalance to qualify for abuse, I'm just lashing out at the situation in a powerless way because I have no power. I'd help more on this front but again, blanking, happens a lot with "shit I did that was bad" or "shit I don't otherwise want to remember".
  • They keep refusing to admit he's abusive but physically prevent me from leaving my own room. I got frustrated and bashed my forehead off the wall twice to self harm (hence I feel I got difficulty doing this post up), she throws me on the bed to get me to stop and is kneeling over me screaming at me. I'm closing my eyes and quietly waiting it out because this feels horrible - sure she's upset but she's hurting me mentally at this point.
  • She decides she's taking my computer away, for some reason my mum allows this because they both lapse into treating me like an overgrown child they can constrict on a whim, I leave and go to the river and at this point suicidal ideation is flashing because I know I can't trust her on this topic anymore. Only my online friends, one that's within driving distance, can be trusted not to go 'that wasnt abuse'. Without my computer I'm surrounded by gaslighting 'that wasnt abuse' by proxy.
  • I consider practice drowning but she finds me and pulls me back by the arm, I'm half-silent/shutdown (autistic) because I know I have no choice, I cannot physically run from her or fight her off she'll just catch me and drag me back because my weight is shit and hers is healthier, she's the more outdoorsy one. She keeps snipping at me like me being quiet is 'silent treatment', I'm brought back.
  • She says sorry, that it wasn't a 'punishment' but...because she can also be spiteful childish too, I'm not sure how that doesn't qualify as punishment. My computer is in the car and I have to physically take it out because she disconnected it and my mum was stupid enough to enable her plan all of five seconds.
  • She's...basically like "I apologized now you have to apologize for self harming and I won't leave your room until you apologize". I need time and space alone after an incident before I can wind down enough to apologize, I mentally cannot do it whilst the conflict is still ongoing or it'll just be resentful and dishonest. I try to say as much but she's not having it and not leaving my room. This upsets me because it's like when they wouldn't let me leave my own space, they're tainting a refuge that is meant to be mine and stealing my freedom away.
  • I ask my mum to ask her to leave, she declines, I go to my friends' house thinking "I could down ibuprofen for an overdose then call 101 and ask to be institutionalized because I really fucking want to escape this bullshit" which downgraded to "call and mention I feel like doing that and can I be institutionalized please" whilst I go to see her mum and ask/beg to make her leave my home, her mum says no and that I'm in the wrong.
  • "Why not leave until it all blew over-" my computer, my lifeline to people that see the abuse for what it is was in the room she refused to leave and I need it for escapism or my life is just not worth living at all whatsoever, she was threatening to literally sleepover to wait until I apologized before leaving. I begged my mum like the spoilt whiny bitch I am and I hit enough 'make it shut up' tones that she finally obliged and asked her to leave.
  • Friend was...yeah not happy, 'not seeing x again until they come and apologize' on the way out but honestly I want her to give me a wide berth at this point.


So this is all the shit that happened today and if I'm projectile-swearing everywhere it's because it still feels raw. They came in talking about suicidal ideation and left making it worse. She got mad I don't tell her things and I realize why, I cannot trust her with these topics. I can't trust her with "I want to die because he's abusive and I cannot escape and cannot get validation from the people meant to ensure my safety and security in my own home" because she will fuck up her approach so bad I'll want to die even more.
Being pinned non-physically by her kneeling over me and screaming sticks in my bed. I can't lay in it and relax and think about whatever stupid tmi things I want because that space is tainted now. There's this nice soft mattress cover and I like the texture but emotionally it's tainted.



tl;dr: I feel awful and if you can't get a question out of this walloftext mess that's fine, nodding along with perspective inputs is probably the gist of what I'm looking for.

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:38 am

Hi Iwanthelp,

Before I say anything else, I need to say this: if you're having suicidal thoughts or thoughts about hurting yourself (or if you've already done some self harm), you need to call someone who is trained to help with that and talk you through it. Since you're in Scotland, this looks like the line to call: http://www.chooselife.net/ . And if you feel like you're right on the brink of hurting yourself, you need to go to a hospital and tell them what's going on. Your safety is the priority here.

Beyond that, you're right that this all sounds awful and scary. And you're right that it's unfair that so much of the world still ignores or sides with abusers. It can make you feel like there's nothing you can do. But you're looking at the safety plan, which is a step in and of itself to try and protect yourself. And you're right, it isn't fair that you might have to be the one to leave the house and couch surf. Sometimes life is choosing between two hard, not ideal options. But if getting out of the house is what will keep you safest, then it becomes the best choice. Does that all make sense?

Iwanthelp
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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:28 am

That makes sense. Thanks, feeling a bit less screwy today - I get pretty ugly when I'm pessimistic/angry so was worried I misbehaved in some of the lines I posted. Idk if that makes sense.

Watched an anime for a break and the ending involved casting aside distraction/pretending coping mechanisms and accepting a feeling so that was helpful, in a "I get to take a break and also take on the moral at the end" way. Gonna take a break for a while.

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:34 am

Glad to hear you're feeling better today, and that you've given yourself permission to take a break and take care of yourself. If you want to talk more about self-care strategies and similar, we can help you out with that if you'd like.

Iwanthelp
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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:30 am

Strategies might be good.

I told the mum not to enable shit like her taking my computer away (The computer was in her car so I had to plug it back in and everything myself, the friend goes back to primary school friend but since I was disabled she took on a bit of a leading role but that's still pervading into my being 23 now and sometimes just feels controlling) but she just gets annoyed and shuts down the conversation like 'fine' like I'm being a brat and can't have it with her. Pretty sure that's why I got upset and begged her to make her leave the second time, because the first 'calmly asking' didn't work and going for the 'get the brat to shut up whining' approach did (plus I was pretty upset so I'm gonna loose my cool and come out with "please please please make her leave please please please". I was pretty much going to take ibuprofen or tell a non-emergency number that I felt like doing it to escape if that didn't work).

The situation is complicated because I was meant to go to England with the friend for a week and the ticket is paid already but between "I'm not blanking and letting slide this fuck-up of hers" and her not wanting to speak to me until I've apologized, which...I don't feel like doing and I can't fake an apology this is just a huge mess. I don't trust her right now, being knelt over and screamed at is just horrible no matter how justified she thought it was. I mean someone self-harming infront of you is shitty and all but they were trapping me in my own room, repeatedly belittling my abuse as "doesn't count" (Why does this culture have a thing about how hitting kids when they're small is okay?) and not allowing me to exit the conversation. I know why I don't tell her about the heavy stuff now, because I can't trust her not to make me feel even worse and take a shot at my 'this is abuse' clarity.
I told her I needed time to myself but she kept fucking escalating the situation by staying in my room despite my telling her I needed space to wind down for the right moodset to apologize so she doesn't remotely deserve it. She's acknowledged one half of the shit she's done and not the rest, I'm very hard-pressed to feel sorry for her over the self harm thing right now when people repeatedly took my safer coping mechanisms (Letting me exit the situation, giving me space) away.

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:55 am

Okay, let's start with this article. Even if it's one you've read before, it's good to have it on hand for those moments when coming up with ways to care for yourself is a struggle: Self-Care a La Carte

You mention you use both distraction coping mechanisms and mechanisms where you acknowledge the feelings and get them out. Are one of those two areas a place where you feel like you struggle to come up with safe strategies?

From your description it sounds like you don't feel safe with this friend or feel like she's someone you trust. If that's the case, then skipping the trip might be the best option for your well-being. Do you feel like you could explain your feelings about this incident to her the way you explained them to us here (assuming you haven't already)? Is that something you even want to do?

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:41 pm

Reading the article in bits and pieces.

Probably? I mean with the first I'll distract to the point I'll actually neglect bodily care/forget about it. The self harm probably files into acknowledgement but is always a bad idea.

I don't feel confident she'd take explanations well, like I tried "I need space before I can apologize" during the incident but that went down like a lead weight on a cartoon character. I just can't see her admitting fault in the rest of what she did considering how she was being, at best I might go for "you can accept I won't apologize or I'm not going on the trip" and letting it simmer unresolved if I go. I can't see her admitting fault so that seems like my second best option.
May try having some words via skype/text medium as I don't trust her for an in-person meet and I compose myself in text better. Phone might get shouty.

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Heather » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:41 pm

I'm feeling a bit confused about what the friend is asking you to apologize for (sorry, just a lot in these posts, and your writing style and my reading/learning style are not a good mix).

Can you explain that to me again, like you would a small child? :) And can I also check in with you on if you want to go or be anywhere with this friend, even if they accepted you were not going to apologize? I mean, do you want to be around this person at all right now?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:33 pm

That's fair, my typing style is a bit all over the place and my articulation when I get upset flies out the window.

Basically: I hit my head against a wall infront of her twice and she wants me to apologize for that. Someone selfharming in front of you = upsetting understandably but I'm hard-pressed to feel sorry for her because I did it in the first place because she was belitting things I went through as a child as 'not abusive' and physically preventing me from leaving my room with my mum, so I couldn't escape a stressful situation. She refused to leave the room until I apologized (because "I apologized for taking your computer now it's your turn" logic I guess. She pretty much took my computer away to punish me for it) to the point I had to beg my mum to make her leave, because I need downtime to myself away from the situation before I can get into the mindset needed to apologize. I told her as such, she didn't give me that space I needed.

I mean on top of that she threw me on the bed and knelt over me to scream at me after the head/wall collision so I don't want to look at her right now.
I...Suppose I don't, I'm just hoping shit blows over/the "yeah I don't want to look at you right now" feeling leaves in time or that's a train ticket wasted. There's been similar conflicts before where I blanked the details afterwards, like I go with the "friend/mum always right" assumption and hit a weird calm reset mode where I forget some of the details of a conflict but I'm not doing it this time.

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Heather » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:28 pm

Okay, thanks.

So, do with this what you will, but personally - and if you were my friend asking me for advice about this - I would suggest you don't even worry about the issue of apologizing because this person clearly isn't emotionally safe for you to be around, period, so you shouldn't have ANYTHING to do,with them anymore. It's clear they just are not good for you, or, should one want to be exceptionally generous, you are not good for each other right now. Yes, you both were pretty out of hand in your own ways, and probably for very different reasons, but she did you active harm, and that's never someone to be around if they can be avoided in my book.

I might also suggest you use your train ticket for yourself, go on that trip solo, and treat yourself to a wonderful solo trip. Traveling solo can be really invigorating and exciting, as well as nicely introspective, all of which soundike things you could probably really use right now. Is that an option?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:56 pm

With the trip...not really since my autism would be highly incompatible with that, the ticket was booked to go alongside hers in the first place 'cause my selfcare/navigating the adult world skills aren't at the point where I can take a train without another person there with me.

I wouldn't feel ready to totally cut her off and I may wind up making the wrong decision and going with her regardless but the advice is noted. There's just not enough time for this to blow over organically before the trip, on the plus side I'm slightly steeled for "okay here's some nerdy online stuff I can do in the event that I wind up not going to England". If she wanted to not waste her money she could've not chosen to act in an utterly horrendous way: that's my mantra for holding off on money guilt at least, disability makes refuting "you're a burden/waste resources" hard.

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Heather » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:04 pm

What's the timing like? Could you invite someone else who might want to go (and get their own ticket)? I'm assuming you really want to go, mind.

I don't think guilt on your part with any of this is sound. I mean, they're feelings, they are what they are, but I do not see wrongdoing on your part. I see you were clearly in a terrible space, to the point you were self-harming, which I doubt you were exactly choosing to do, and this person reacting about as badly as someone can to that. Someone who, presumably, had a lot more control over their behavior than you did at the time, no less.

Per going on the trip with her: is that something, what I said earlier notwithstanding, you WANT to do?
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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:19 pm

I think the ticket was booked alongside hers, eg we'd be in the same seat. There was a lot of prep before-hand so it's kinda a with-her-or-nothing deal, plus I was meant to be staying at hers. It's more organizing than I care to deal with short-notice and without the 'going with friend' aspect that got nullified there's not much point. In short, I'm pretty screwed on that point and nope.

It's hard to shake off in part because...it's like, if I did the 'passively lapses into X is Always Right' post-argument thing I usually do the memoryblanking/false calm would take over and the trip would happen but I think that habit has been going on for far too long and I need to acknowledge that she's been horrible.

I was looking forward to the trip but at the moment I don't want to look at her and I don't think there's a big enough time window (20th September) for either of us to be calm enough. I'll regret missing it but I'm leaning on "I don't trust her to behave or see reason during" + I'd be staying with her for a week afterwards. I don't think she'd do "I'm gonna literally unplug and take your computer to be placed in your mums' car" to any of her other friends, like I don't think I can trust her not to be controlling in the span of that week. It would put her in the position of 'look after me' because I need help with self care and shit and that's just too much opportunity to be a control freak again.

just keep remembering being screamed at by her leaning over me, closing my eyes to turn my head away and silently wait it out because I'm not physically strong enough to escape. bluh.

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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Heather » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:40 pm

Okay. So, sounds like the setup right now is just bad, and the timing and way it was planned is all wrong to really have other options but going with her.

I feel like you feeling - if I have this right - like just not going, as much as that sucks (and you can probably tell I wanted it for you, too!), is probably the b at thing for you. Hopefully. You can do the travel you want to at another time and in a situation that is actually good for you.

Standing by what I said: she seems unsafe, and you, as a result, feel unsafe. So, I think that as much as you can, separating from her is the way to go, if nothing else lose, at least for now, and as much as you can. You also sound - not surprisingly - highly traumatized right now so spaces you know and do feel safe in, or already know how to make as safe as possible, are probably the way to go. Traveling in just a few days, when you sound highly post-traumatic, in any situation, with anyone, is not likely wise.

And if you ever want to talk about plans to move out and live away from the situation you're living in, we are always glad to do that, just for the record.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Iwanthelp
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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:03 am

Yeah, I don't think going with her is safe either so I've cancelled. Went as well as you'd expect.

[11:27:07] me: I'm not going to England so just cancel/refund my ticket, it's too soon a time period for the argument to blow over and I don't trust you to be in a caretaker capacity without being controlling right now. Your behaviour was horrendous beyond trying to take my property away from me and I can't bring myself to feel sorry for you.
[12:14:06] her: This is <name>s mum - anna will not contact you again.
[12:14:14] me: Okay

I'm just gonna...wait out until the 20th blows over before making any kind of plans to be doubly certain that I'm not gonna cave and go. It's not sunk in yet so I'm just kind of doing the 'blast breakup song' thing to try and feel something but it's not quite hitting me yet.
The flat 'okay' is because I don't want to push past 'dont contact' and the situation hasn't registered mentally yet.

The 'sounds post-traumatic' bit is something to think about. I really should think on 'how do people move out' plans instead of opting for the avoidance route but I'm gonna use all this crazy shit as an excuse to just invert and not think on hard stuff for a while. It's feeling pretty hard for me to not lapse into thinking "I'm being the difficult wrongperson here yep" since...well, all the other conflicts blew over into 'x is right i am stubborn and wrong' but not this one. This response is pretty unlike her, I don't know if it's because I'm finally not rolling with the conflict 'resolution' pattern or what.

Sam W
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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:12 am

High five on cancelling. That sounds like it was hard, but it was a needed step for you to take care of yourself.

What do you think of a plan where you plan something you like/enjoy for the 20th to help you hold that boundary? In other words, you make a new plan, something that you can get excited about so that you're less tempted to cave. And you can tell your brain, "nope, we cannot go on the trip, we have planned to do X instead."

Alright, for the how to move out plans, let's start you off with this: The Scarleteen Safety Plan
That article walks you through different steps and options based on your current situation. If you want go over specific details of your situation that you think might cause a snag in you leaving, we're happy to do that.

Iwanthelp
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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:23 pm

Oh yeah that's definitely a good idea. I'm probably gonna plan nerdy online stuff 'cause I've been slacking on the ingame group front and it's something I can be enthusiastic about, provides some purpose in that I'm bolstering something+having fun at the same time.

Have looked at the article in bits. Biggest snags are disability (self-care skillz are lacking), I don't feel employment is an option 'cause of lack of overall self care and everythingelse skills and the housing list has been...I'm on it but had to be shifted to one involving assisted living recently. Like apparently I've been on the wrong one for three years. :|
It feels like some far-off thing which isn't possible right now (Still at 'what are bills where they do go' people manage a lot of logistics for me so I'm not totally sure how it all works).

Heather
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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Heather » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:38 pm

If you don't mind, can you fill me in on what, if any, disability community or helping services you have, particularly specific to your specific disabilities?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Iwanthelp
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Location: Scotland

Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:46 pm

The other adults around me tend to handle paperwork so I'm not even sure half the time. Have/had a social worker, went to...some kind of autism meet-up thing but lost interest and stopped going, that was just for socializing. I'm on benefits but never exactly seen a bank account. I'm not sure the social worker is even a thing anymore, she was a temp. I mean I literally have papers saying 'electronic shared assessment' on my desk and use the blank side for keeping notes on game stuff. >_>

Heather
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Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Heather » Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:08 pm

Thanks.

I wonder if you might reconsider going to the meetups. I suggest that because that way, you can meet people who do live independently, or more so, anyway, and learn some strategies from them, even pick their brains about how they did it and do it. Anyone with any kind of disability knows what a huge deal dependence and independence is, so chances are that people who have gotten more independence for themselves will be glad to share what they know with others trying to get there.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Iwanthelp
not a newbie
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My sexual identity and orientation: bisexual. turns out biromantic as well so yay
Location: Scotland

Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:18 am

Some kind of social worker lady came in yesterday asking about groups I might be interested in. There's some autistic one for games so might get to see that in a week-ish, may hold my interest longer and fulfill the same 'ask people how they managed' niche?

On another note, feeling kinda...weird, like abandoned about the friend thing. I mean she dropped me via her mum which isn't like her and kind of...This was a friend I had since Primary and I know logically she was fucking horrendous in her behaviour except not really because there's so much surrounding "x wasn't abuse also x is just like their totally reasonable opinion man how dare you be upset at that" or that's the vibe I get. I'm getting accustomed to "a friend who belittles your childhood experiences as Not Abuse is being a piss-poor friend even if they were brainwashed into thinking abuse is normal themselves" but it's hard and I feel like I'm being difficult and if I did a passivity forget-reset as I usually did after an argument I wouldn't be in this mess. Like being trapped in a room and told 'x isnt abuse' is horrendous obviously but it's so hard to break out of "well it's not like you can expect better and it's An Opinion™ anyway".
It feels like I'm the one whos' bad and difficult or at best "maybe if you had been fluffier and not did x this wouldn't of happened the way it did".

She showed up yesterday and I hid upstairs, neither of us talked and there was just mutual not-happy glances at best and it turns out she was just collecting a train ticket from my mum but was still on edge for 'please don't confront me, please don't drag me away'. I'm a little afraid she'll do that today 'cause of the time my mum dragged me into a car to go somewhere. She still has me added on skype despite her mum saying she wouldn't contact me on skype it's a mindfuck and I don't understand anything.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
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Location: Chicago

Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Heather » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:01 am

You know, as someone who has experienced and survived multiple kinds of abuse (including abuse within a family in an era when it was very common not to be believed by just about anyone), I can't imagine, when it was a choice, staying close to someone in my life, or keeping them in it at all, who denied my abuse happened to me and was abuse.

That is such a tremendously painful thing -- especially when abuse, all by itself, often takes a long time for an abused person to acknowledge as something that really happened/is happening because abusers typically gaslight -- and on top of how hurtful that it, how can we really even be close to someone who is basically trying to have a relationship with us that's based on an idea of our lives and who we are that is false? That refuses to acknowledge our realities?

So, I absolutely do not think this is about you being too sensitive, or wanting things that aren't valid and reasonable. Just as an example, imagine how your friend would react if, say (presuming this is important to her), you denied that her gender is what it is, and said you didn't really think it was as she said. Or denied that her parents really were her parents. Or, heck, had she been abused, denied her abuse.

You're not being difficult. You want something very basic here, and your friend is refusing to give that to you. You also can expect better. This isn't how everyone behaves, and this is also a choice a person has. This is how SHE is behaving and how SHE is choosing to behave. You can expect better of people and I'd suggest you always do.

I would also really pay attention to the feelings you keep expressing about feeling unsafe with her and not trusting her. I think those feelings have a basis in reality and that they're important when it comes to your own safety. As you know, I don't think you're safe with her either. I think she's shown you that very clearly.

What can you do today to feel safe?

I am also glad to hear about the group as a possibility for you. :) Having some community in areas we need help and support really can be a game-changer.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Iwanthelp
not a newbie
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:28 am
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My primary language: English
My pronouns: she, cis so no real issues if I'm misgendered
My sexual identity and orientation: bisexual. turns out biromantic as well so yay
Location: Scotland

Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:08 am

Not much of an update - sometimes I'll just go quiet 'cause I feel I've got nothing more to say. Wall of text of thoughts ahead.

The good:
Recently gotten into an autism-related group which has been pretty good, I'm not getting close to anyone necessarily but I feel I can interact with the folk there and I'm enjoying myself, it's something to change up the routine in the week.

Ruminating
Haven't contacted the friend who...yeah, came up in this thread. I try not to actively blank feelings but they're very out-of-sight-out-of-mind so it's hard to not wind up doing that. She's still added on some contacts lists, I've taken to a facebook and one skype removal which I suppose is getting there. I don't want to be friends again as I don't think it's safe but I'm half-lingering in an inbetween limbo of not truly picking one way or another, one involves "well shit this is real and I can't go back" the other end would involve hanging out with someone I'm just afraid of now? I think it'd take months of self-reflection and work on her end to undo her patterns but...the kind of person who gets their mum to go "x isn't talking to you again" isn't gonna do that.

I feel like maybe she was some kind of narcissist - the Friend Is Always Right paradigm was pretty strong and sometimes it hurt. There's a lot to look back on in hindsight when I remember it. Sometimes she was helpful, sometimes I helped her, sometimes she wound up throwing me under the bus pretty fucking hard - sometimes because we were just dumb kids who didn't know enough about topics and just assumed but...I mean, few examples.
"therapy is just to help crazy people calm down" probably impacted me seeking out help I needed when I was being bullied to the point of self harming,

child on child sex abuse content warning
"he didn't know any better" surrounding a fiasco with her younger brother (younger than me also) being sexually abusive was pretty fucking hurtful. He was displaying predatory behaviour such as sneak-attacking/making sure others were there or trying to play it off as innocuous (She literally gave me an example in a catch-x-blindfolded game where he found them with an initial touch then raised hands to grope chests and went 'found her'), playing off walking into a room I was getting changed in as 'just looking for x object' and there was at least one incident where he was still touching one of his sisters afterwards. He punched one of them in the groin when angry and she tried to handwave that as "well x girl kicks dude in the groin when mad" which...yeah, reaching pretty fucking hard considering one is last-resort self defense and another is just literally assaulting someone because anger.

This was...eight year old creeper vs however old I was, 12? 10? Hit puberty pretty early. And yeah curiosity-motivated child-on-child sexual abuse still hurts but all the "he didn't know any better" pretending like he was innocent and not trying to predate on other people with some knowledge that it was wrong hurt. A lot. A webforum at the time didn't support my interpretation of "yeah no fucker knew what he was doing from the start was wrong", surrounding family didn't so I came out of it pretty goddang miserable.

content warning done
...'kay that turned into a pretty long tangent, what else. Eh, she blew off a lot of my "I think I'm bi" which slowed down my realizations of identity. Some of it was she has/had a lot of "x doesn't count if z right" going on herself internalized but still kinda sucks for kiddy-me feeling a pull to lgbt content.
I'm trying to remember scraps of some argument that involved...sounds really goddamn dumb but she wanted to go home and I wanted to stop and pet dogs. She kinda chewed me out because idk, I'm immature, I don't have a job or some shit, I'm taking too long to get back and that is the worst and evidence of overall wrongdoing etc. Some point there was a dumb remark dropped about "if your an adult dye your hair blue" (...because my mum disallowing stuff I wanted is meant to prove anything?), how she's worked with kids that behave better than I did.
It was all dumb and I think culminated in me being held/restrained, trying to elbow her to escape and my doing a hard reset of "owait Friendname is Always Right", blanking it and mistaking that for resolution. My mum again allowed for this shit.

My point in the above paragraph that was, she could be pretty belittling despite assigning herself to caretaker/"make sure Iwanthelp doesn't wander off and fall down a goddamn well" role. I wonder if that was part of some abuse pattern I didn't see until it was too late and blew up in a more extreme, visible example. I avoid walking by her house now. If she comes to see me I'll feel dread in my stomach, she's still in England so that's not anything to worry about for a while yet.

anxieties
Sometimes I'll keep myself up an hour later because my mind wanders to the amount of people who have been abusive or enabling abuse to me in different circles and situations. I think I came up with five separate incidents. People getting off scot-free and the unrelated stalker still existing is infuriating to me. Some purported to care about/be against abuse.
I've had two or three dreams with her in them lately; one where we fought physically but I did the let-it-blow-over-and-reset-without-processing-it thing because she bought me icecream and I felt bad and...the rest aren't coming to me but there's a running theme of conflicted feelings. Think in the latest one I bailed to the house of some dude who's blog I read to get away from her except it looked like her house. Logic.

I guess my point is I'm processing this very slowly and a lot of unresolved anger and realizations are coming up. It'd be easier if I didn't just blank incidents of wrongness so hard - I don't know where that 'ability' is coming from, being abused in general and told to shut it if I talked? Unconsciously trying to pretend shit is okay because there was no escape/alternative?

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6834
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
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Location: Desert

Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:26 am

Hi Iwanthelp,

Glad to here that the group you found is going well :) .

With cutting contact with your friend, what if you frame it to yourself as that you can cut contact now to protect yourself and if, in the future, you want to try reaching out to this friend again (though I'd only advise doing that if you've gotten information to suggest she's changed) you can. It sounds like part of what's happening is that being stuck in that limbo is adding more stress to your life. So by making a choice to remove her from your contacts, you might feel less like you have this big decision hanging over your head.

The feelings you're describing around repeatedly running into abusive people are ones that lots of survivors express. My theory is that abusive people often have the ability to spot people who seem vulnerable. But where most people see someone with a vulnerability and decide to be aware of and gentle with it, abusive people see it as a means to get what they want. That's entirely their fault, not the fault of the person who's vulnerable. If you feel like those people keep turning up in your life, one approach can be to try to learn how to spot the red flags that signal their approach (that's not a foolproof tactic, of course). Is spotting manipulative behavior something that's ever come up in the group you're going to?

Iwanthelp
not a newbie
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:28 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: idk
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she, cis so no real issues if I'm misgendered
My sexual identity and orientation: bisexual. turns out biromantic as well so yay
Location: Scotland

Re: Can't process (Abuse/suicidal thoughts/self harm and arguments)

Unread postby Iwanthelp » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:40 am

I don't think it's a thing that's came up in the group I'm going to, no. No manipulators that I notice/it's part time and casual so it'd be hard for them to entrench themselves in the way I'm thinking. Butyeah I should definitely bite the bullet and remove her as an admission that she's got to go.

With spotting red flags - read all the research/articles etc, most of the frustration comes in folk outwardly pretending they aren't abusive, mutual friends saying they disagree with abuse only for both sides to support it under the guise of "that's not abuse". I've spotted, ousted it and gotten away before at least, it's just frustrating that it keeps happening with some frequency in part due to "butbut my friend isn't abusive". Like you find socially conscious friends but they start indecisively shuffling their feet when it comes to actually doing the work of dropping an abusive friend that's harming people in their circle?
For extra mindscrew some of the friends that'd help with one abusive situation would actively aid in another when it was one of their friends they didn't want to admit was abusive, which sucks. Can't do half-measures on that.

With this friend, she's someone that's been entrenched from the beginning so - like with family, hard to process and admit it was abusive in part because gaps between incidents could be huge and it was a huge part of growing up and what got established as normal early on. Never want to be controlled like that/the half-child friend who gets ordered around under the justification that they need help again. The good thing about her being out of the picture is now I can officially cut off any abuser no matter how hard they entrench themselves - also that I can cut off anyone who tries that going forward without getting mired in lies of "but friend is Always Right and you're just being difficult and unreasonable to refuse the 'help'/you can't expect anything better because you're disabled and having your needs tended to innately involves controlling behaviour".


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