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Ever since a child I was neglected by my father and my mom was almost never home because she had me at a young age and was in college so my grandmother raised me. That was in Colombia. When I moved to the US, I left my father behind and he kind of forgot I existed, my mom remarried I consider my stepdad my actual dad (from now on I will refer to him as dad). For the most part between the ages of 7-9 I was very very happy. There were only a few incidents which involved me getting shoes thrown at or slapped but I think everyone goes through that at one point or another during childhood. Then my parents went to court against my father (bio) because he wasn’t paying for child support. I’m an effort to get me attention from my father, my parents neglected me ironically and I became a very angry child. At this point I was already the oldest of three (one from my father and his wife and another from my mom and dad). I was pressured to get the best grades, be the best in class, be the best big sister, and always do what I’m told and never complain or even make the wrong face. And with my grandmother, she would often critique what I wore, my hair, my face, my hygiene (would say I was never clean enough so I’d scrub my skin red) and every small thing. I eventually had three other little siblings, two on my mom’s side and the pattern continued. But then my mom joined the criticism. Eventually, my mom, after having four kids, developed severe body image issues and mental health issues which she took out on me. She’d go from telling me that I was the only one that helped her and made her happy and that she’d be dead without me, to five minutes later barging into my room and screaming that I’m a selfish brat who cares for no one but herself and makes everyone around her miserable, all because I left a glass on the counter. When I started developing severe social anxiety, depression and body image issues (she’d started to pick on me about how I was getting fat) I would tell her and my dad but they both refused to believe me and said I was only doing it for attention. I stopped bringing it up and became severely suicidal until one day I came home from school and fell in the mud. My mom and grandmother laughed (I looked pretty funny) but when I saw that my jeans had a tiny hole in them from the fall, I had a complete mental breakdown. My mom finally decided to believe me and I started going to therapy and getting treated for depression and anxiety.
After about a year of things getting better and my mom working on herself too (this meant she stopped saying those hurtful things), on February 17th in 2020, after we were already having issues with my dad (he would neglect the kids and leave my mom and I to get them to school and help them and take care of the house while he slept and went to bars [plus they decided to be in an open relationship so even though my mom was dating one other guy, he was sleeping with every woman in town]) he took out his issues on my mom and my mom attempted suicide. He found her with the pills she’d taken with a hard cider and yelled at her for half an hour before calling 911, saying he’d tell my siblings and I that she killed herself because she didn’t love us and then once the ambulance arrived, grabbing and dragging her so hard down the stairs that he bruised her arm. My grandmother who is very closed minded and didn’t know about their open relationship thought that he had cheated on my mom and that that’s what caused my mom’s reaction. He replied that she should ask her daughter because she’s the whore. The entire rest of the day, he went to the hospital (he actually went to a bar for two hours and then got kicked out of the hospital after arriving drunk and angry) and my grandmother sat quiet and still, so I took care of the kids and I didn’t know what was happening. That night, he came home after the kids were asleep and yelling at my grandmother that it was all my mom’s fault for being a bitch. I go protective and yelled at him from up the stairs not to talk about my mom like that, especially with the kids around, and he got so mad that he charged up the stairs. I ran to the bathroom and locked myself in but he broke the door open and started yelling at me telling me what happened and that my mom was a selfish bitch and that she deserved what happened. My grandmother almost called the cops (she didn’t cuz she’s Latina and that’s how we’re raised unless he were to hit me). After I cried myself almost to sleep he vas me into my room and cried and apologized and tried to say that my mom was being abusive and I almost believed him. But for the next two weeks, I watched him repeatedly act as if nothing was wrong until my siblings walked into the room and then he’d start crying and follow us and lie to the kids. I’d constantly have to keep them away from him because they didn’t need to see that. I became the therapist for my dad (even though I physically hated him at this point, I had to act normal so that he wouldn’t try to take the kids away from us) and my grandmother, as well as my mom while she recovered and her new bf who stuck by us through this whole mess (they’re still together and he’s an awesome guy). After this, my mom left for a few months to LA and my grandmother moved out. They THEN both forgave my dad saying that he was still a good person for taking me in as his own daughter. But once my dad realized he couldn’t abuse my mom anymore, he mentally abused me for over a year in every possible. And my mom used to make me hug him and give him kisses on the cheek, which made me develop physical triggers (I can’t have people touch me or it makes my skin hurt) and a lot of issues. Since all of this went down, I started gradually disassociating until my brain was so numb that the three times I tried to kill myself, My body also went numb and limp. I’ve now been disassociated for two years straight and even though I’ve learned to live with it and have started to accept and forget the whole thing, I often start to panic, feeling like I’m in someone else’s body. The disconnection between my mind and the world around is so bad that I often wonder if maybe I’m psychotic (when it gets bad) and this is all a hallucination, or maybe I’m not real, or maybe I’m an alter I’m my own body. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror and even though my mom and I have a good relationship now (after the incident, she went to therapy and her therapist told her she was fucking me up and she’s changed almost completely, so we’re very close now), I have to remind myself that she IS, in fact, my mother, and my siblings, the only reason I haven’t literally jumped off a building or bridge, I have to remind myself that I’m related to them and that I can’t be their trauma like others were for me.
thank you so much for reading this through if you’re still here, I needed a rant and I needed others to hear me because before I found this support group, I hadn’t met anyone who could even come close to understanding how I feel and how I may have gotten to this point. But the only thing that helps me is pain, which led to self harm. But since I’m trying to get clean, I want to know what helps you guys, because I feel like every day I get a day closer to losing myself and my mind completely.

· Administrator
230 Posts
@LauraTME ,
Thanks for sharing your story, I hear you.

From my experience, self-injury is both the way to keep yourself feel at least a little bit real, and to gain some sense of control. I used to do it, a very long time ago, as a teen, and I stopped when I found other things to soothe me, such as setting a (study, career) goal and pursuing it as if my life depended on it. It was just as obsessive and possibly not the healthiest thing to do, but I did what I could. There is also a sub-forum on self-injury that you may want to check out at Self Injury, mental health forums, mental health support, mental illness forums, mental forums, psychology forums, depression support, anxiety support, support groups

I hope you will gradually find your way out of DPDR, as it is possible with healing, and also with getting yourself out of a toxic environment. There was a lot of bad and unfair things happening to you, and you did the best you could to protect yourself - by dissociating. I find dissociation the ultimate survival strategy in face of trauma, and what I used to tell myself, is that it is not fair that I suffer (while severely dissociated) only because I already suffered (trauma), and that I will never kill myself because there is no justice in it. I want to have the best possible life, I owe that to myself. I hope you will have it too.

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