Mental Health, Gas Lighting, Self Doubt and Liars: My Story

I am an only child. Only children end up spending a lot of time alone. I was a very cheerful child. But very afraid of my mum. Fear because she was the disciplinarian and my entertainment. My father was particularly interested.

I remember being desperate for his attention as a child. As only children do they find ways to entertain themselves. Mine was playing teacher and lining all my toys up and calling out the register and so on. As I got older, barbies and colouring books, as I got older again a hair dressing doll and PlayStation, then I became a gamer and artist. I'd often show my parents my art. My mum would humor me whereas my father would always criticize. So much so eventually I'd hide my art from him. He picked on me a lot, you know like siblings. But as a father he never told me or appeared to show me he loved me. If we went to a friend of his he'd usually ignore me until they took an interest in me and he'd want me to be a performing monkey.

He lied a lot. Cheated and stole. He also was a con artist. My parents broke up, monthly and 2 weekly. I was always his way back. Convince my mum he was going to take me out to only come over to seduce my mum back into their normal Saturday routine, leaving me sat waiting in my coat and backpack. Until I got sick of the routine and refused to go out with him. I caught him rifling through my mums letters, kidding another woman, I was even made to wait in the car whilst he visited his fancy woman. When he went in she was wearing one thing when he left she was wearing another. (All very Craig David).

When I told my mum of these things she brushed them off questioning what I had seen, convincing me I was wrong. Never once did she tell me that he said I was living or telling the truth. Infact I was threatened by him on separate occasions. He would always sneak up behind me if I was in the kitchen washing up and scare me then threaten me. I refused to be a victim and I'd tell my mum. But it only made things worse as she took his side.

I begged to live with relatives. I even called social services but she convinced them I was reciting stories from my Jacqueline Wilson books. Being the angst teen that I was. I was severely bullied at school and they kept calling me weird and mad I actually started to believe, did I hate my father so much that I had conjured up these things in my head? But as I got older and made some friends with developing young women I noticed the lust in his eyes as he looked at my friends. Disgusted, I didn't invite them around again. I had to protect them.

I remember one afternoon coming home early from college it was a hot day and I was skyping a friend for our coursework. I was half dressed not that they could see but to my surprise my father crept in through the doors shocked to see me, he tried to engage with me but i said I was doing my homework. I typed my friend to stay silent in the hope he'd go away but he didn't, he took his phone out to take a photo of me. I refused several times. Blocking his view with my hand. Big mistake he laughed across the room and pinned me to the sofa. Grinding his hips against mine. Hot breath on my face, shouting "what are you going to do now?" My friend shouted and he released me. Shaken, I ran off.

Too afraid to tell my mum for fear she wouldn't do a thing I started staying at friends houses occasionally coming home when my mum asked and when I needed to wash my clothes. I remember she'd order me a Chinese my favourite spare ribs. I tried to be cordial and sat with them at the dinner table. Mum never seemed to notice how entranced my father was watching me eating the ribs, I asked to be excused and ate them in my room. I was once again disgusted, but convinced I was just making it up in my head. That it's just because I disliked him. On the rare occasions I came home and name he called me, spoilt brat, dyke, ugly I actually started to believe it.

I've moved out for 6 years and not spoken to him during this time. My mum was supposed to have split from him after me overhearing him slagging us off to another woman then asking her to take her top off over Skype. I went over it in my head for hours after my mum got home. I had to have been wrong. It's my mind playing tricks on me yet again. I told her and he fessed up to slagging us off. In fact, the following day he apologized saying, "I don't know what you thought you heard, but what you heard was wrong and I'm sorry you feel so much hate towards me that you have to say these things."

That was it.

But you know what's funny, even though I moved out, it's still happening. And by my mother. For financial reasons and I feel out of revenge for hearing that conversation and telling my grandparents. My mums never been innocent, growing up she'd tell me that she didn't even want children, and often said it when she was angry with me asking "God to give her strength, and who told her to go and have a child!" I wasn't a bad child, honestly. I was very quiet and bullied into being the over honest individual I was/am. Kind and generous and a little to caring and gullible, for my own good. I was a neat freak for fear of upsetting my mum. Other children came home with cuts and bruises I only ever had frizzy hair. Everything else was pristine condition. I remember my teacher years later said "I remember your red boots, Dr. Martens they were. You wouldn't get an inch of dirt on them, always wiping away and signs of a schoff!"

But what she didn't realise was, I was being reminded every time I put them on "do you know how much they cost me, they better last you, as I'm not buying them again. Money doesn't grow on trees. Don't think I'm like them other mums that just let's their kids treat their things anyhow!"

I could go on and on. But I will tell you this it's left me with no self belief and very little confidence. Anything I do isn't good enough. And I'm my harshest critic. That along with the reoccurring voices of mum & dad. It's true what psychologists say, I ended up falling for a man exactly like my father.

I'm single now because I just can't trust own judgment.

Can I be healed? Who knows.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Great read. I appreciated your honesty.

    And you don't have to be with someone who is exactly like your father. While finding yourself, surround yourself with some extraordinary men. Men you would want as a father figure, men other people trust and would never do anything to hurt you. If you surround yourself with them, I think you can change the kind of men you are attracted to.

    I pray the best for you. I hope you become the person you aspire to be. You sound pretty amazing already :)

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words I really appreciate it, it's incredibly tough as I'm going it alone now. No contact with either parent. I'm trying to make sure I keep busy just so I don't get too bogged down with thinking about it all. Thank you again I needed this today x

    • I'm glad it helped. I didn't think it was much, but okay :)

      Yeah, that sounds incredibly hard: zero contact with either of your parents. It honestly kind of makes me think of the book "Prozac Nation" by Elizabeth Wurtzel. I don't know if you've ever heard of it. You might be able to relate to it. But don't read it if you're trying to avoid being bogged down.

      I kind of understand what it's like to be without a father figure, though. My dad was sick while I was growing up, and though he was kind, he couldn't always participate in my life. He died when I was 18. Ever since then, I have been trying to collect men to have a positive influence on my life. I've found a few at church, and they have helped immensely. I can't imagine my life without them. I really hope you can find those kind of people for yourself, too. If you're scared of men, you can ask women you trust with your whole heart to help you find some non-shady ones.

      Keep your chin up. People like you are what movies are made!

Join the discussion

What Guys Said 16

  • Well a very said mytake but a act of out most bravery to even share this one and this shows, the real strength lies inside your heart and you just have to use it. It takes a man to even endure something like that and even more than a powerful man to talk about it and "YOU ARE THAT BAD ASS MAN"
    Some people call me traditional but that's why I hate this 21st century. We are always greedy and look for ways to get rid of one partner to fuck another but we forget about the children or How should I call it We dump them for our pleasure and it will continue in generations until we have stop it for good.

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  • Sorry u had to go through that but u know what even u went through all that and yet here u are who has the strength to share your take to get help.. well tell u what it's a baby step u r taking and hopefully as u progress u will be able to walk and stand like u did before by receiving help so u can move on and have a life u had before... always always no matter what hell u faced think positive from inside out and surround urself with good and positive people with positive energy... u can overcome it I believe in u

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  • Who is the one person who can and will care about you more than any other for the entirety of your life? ... You are. I would like to suggest you fall in love with yourself while you are single. In the way that says you will look out for you heart and mental health. As you do this, I believe your confidence and trust will build in yourself, and then you can express that and share it with others.

    There are good folks out there, that have been through similar emotional and psychological abuse. You are not alone, and opening up online can be a good thing. Ignore naysayers and the ignorant trolls. Many of those that have been mistreated will understand and share their thoughts and encouragement with you.

    I'm so sorry you have been through this, and I believe you are making a good decision by avoiding such toxicity. Yes you can be healed! You just need to know you can and want to. It sounds as if you are already on your way to healing! Good Luck!

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  • First thing: Cute to read how you played teacher with your toys :)
    Second thing: Sorry, but your father sounds like a creep indeed. Almost like a rapist.

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  • Interesting

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  • Oh man, that sounds so bitter. I hope you get all the strength and support to overcome all the things that has been hurting you for so long.

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  • except the part of *You can't stop appologizing* i have all other symptoms

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  • Thank you for sharing. It was and interesting read.

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  • Interesting

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  • Gas lighting? Just like in the movies.

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  • Interesting story. You need to keep care of your health now.
    www.fashiontrends.pk/.../

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  • Intresting

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  • Man... Gag is full of weirdos...

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    • weirdos were her parents, and insensitive creeps like you. you dont even quailfy as a human.

  • Your story was painful to read. I am an only child. Yes, you can be healed. I have been in years of therapy as I healed. I absolutely hated my parents... my dad for being abusive... my mom for not protecting me from my dad. I stayed away from them for years. It did make me independent and strong. My friends became my family. You can overcome this.

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  • good one

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  • Cool

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What Girls Said 12

  • You can be healed. But not by anyone else.

    I've been in your boat and while my experiences were different and, in my opinion not so severe, I do know what its like to grow up with no self worth and feeling like the only way to be a good person was to be perfect but always being told I'm wrong and unwanted.

    I've been there.

    The way I've been healing is tearing off the band aids that id used as a child to keep from breaking, in other words I'm changing how I treat myself.
    Instead of patching up where I'm "wrong" I'm building up where I'm right.
    I'm giving myself the childhood that my parents were too blind and stupid to give me.

    I've moved out. I'm allowing myself to explore my interests I'm allowing myself to be wrong.
    I'm letting myself make mistakes and when I do I tell myself that I'll do better next time, instead of deciding that with every mistake I got more and more stupid.

    I can think and feel how I want and I don't have to consider how my parents feel because its MY life not theirs and what they want doesn't matter if it will only make me miserable.

    I've not forgotten them, and I can't yet bring myself to forgive them.

    But I'm making my way.

    You CAN be healed. Its not easy, but if you go for it then it WILL happen. If there's a will, there's a way.

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    • I'm sorry that you have had to go through this too. It's horrible. For a long time I thought I was normal. Like just OK. You know the kind of person that despite all that everything was fine. And if I'm honest I think I was. That was until I worked in healthcare and I started to see parents coming in with their children and daughters like and love their fathers, self employed fathers that would take time out of their day to attend appointments with their children. Families that celebrated a child's bravery. Parents that discussed things properly. Then came along the safeguarding pointing out certain things to look out for in vulnerable children and adults. That was me. But no-one knew because I was trained. Trained to hide the truth. Pretend everything was OK. To tell people that "if they ask you about what goes on at home not to discuss it, tell them to come and ask me!" What was she so afraid of.
      I broke contact with mum and am having therapy.
      Thank you for replying, best wishes x

  • Love yourself first. Take some time for you, and work on your judgement. It'll take time, and that's alright.
    Ask yourself what kind of partner you really want. Kind? Sensitive? Responsible? Funny? When you are ready, look for those traits, but don't turn a blind eye to the bad ones.

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  • Your life sounds a lot like my upbringing except he didn't try until I was 20 something and I gave him a look that could kill. Sorry all this happened to you, if you want you can inbox me as I'd like to talk to you. Yes gas-lighting, I've experienced it and still do, many people are weak minded and do it to those they are threatened by, this has created more unstable people, just the way this sick world likes it.

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  • that was one sick man. i'm terribly sorry you had to go through all this, and definitely can understand you on getting bully in school cause people couldn't understand. noone knew and cared what you've been going through at home. i hope you and your mother find peace.

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    • but your mum is equally if not more responsible. she had a loose screw. she should have abandoned him years ago.

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    • Prayer is the only thing that can save you. No wound and trauma God can't heal. If i were you i'd find an orthodox priest to recommend me some books to get introduced in faith, and would begin praying with "Christ show mercy on me" every day. i hope the best for you.

    • and i would combine this holy treatment with a seculal therapist. you won't to take a holistic approach.

  • Your story brought me to tears. They were obviously taking advantage of the fact that you were only an innocent kid and that you didn't know any better. They tried to belittle you and make you feel like you're crazy for seeing the things that you saw and hearing the things that you heard. Im glad that you left that toxic environment behind- it wasn't healthy. Now you can move forward with your life- and who knows,,, one day you might even help children who are victims of Gas lighting. By posting your story- you've already started helping.

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  • Thank you for sharing your story. You're to alone on this and there are ways of growing and coming out in a positive way. I've also past some "family violent" experiences that once let me with no confidence.
    Time, meditation and refocusing in your self love, growth and dreams has been the greatest healing system for me.
    Allow yourself to "love them" from a distance.
    ^^ I give myself this advice and is helping me a lot.
    Remember always you've didn't choose your parents, but you can choose and construct your life. Who you are is made from your thoughts heart and what you want to focus on. You'll grow stronger, happier and wiser. :)

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    • Thank you for replying. I'm currently in therapy. My therapist just took a month off but in my last meeting I posed the thought. " perhaps my continued problems come from being self absorbed? If I continue to give this more thought it continues to keep a hold on me." She asked me to think about it until she returns and I actually cut off my whole family.

  • Thanks for sharing this

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  • I’m sorry for everything you’ve dealt with.

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  • I'm the victim of gaslighting.

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  • Almost all families are somewhat toxic

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  • interesting

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  • Thanks for sharing

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