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I posted this on my LJ. It isn't directly related to the abuse,… 
14th-Apr-2009 11:05 pm

I posted this on my LJ. It isn't directly related to the abuse, but I believe it may stem from it. The earliest memories of my childhood were around 3 when the abuse began.

I go on facebook and I get this sense of jealousy, sadness, and anger. I've found kids I went to school with at Linton Hall that were 3-4 years behind me. I found Lori and Julie (next door neighbors..."sisters"). It's just.....I see all these pictures of them growing up. Of these girls having a childhood, friends, smiles that look genuine where you can see the happiness in their eyes. I see them in high school now or getting ready to go to college. Some are even in college. Where am I? Still stuck in 7th/8th grade at 12 or 13 years old. I even remember then feeling like I didn't change since I was 5. Maturity? Dissociation? Disconnected from the real world? I don't know. I don't feel immature, never have. Kind of "that's so stupid and dumb! imaginary friends, "house," hopscotch, etc. were pointless to me as a child. I couldn't find joy and fun from simple things that every other child did. Cartoons were boring. I didn't like any "childhood" activity fun. I wanted to stay with the adults and join in their conversations all the time. Of course I didn't know what they were saying, but I felt more comfortable there than with dolls or anything else a kid would play with. I see these girls not worrying about their bodies and embracing the changes. Me? I wanted to disappear. The ED took complete control and has been that way since I was 12. Let's not even get into the fact that they are completely comfortable with their sexuality and enjoy being female....I can't stand it and desperately want to change that. I was constantly bored growing up even if I had anything I wanted available. Not selfish and like "meh, i'm bored, next toy b/c I could get it." but just....I didn't care. I felt again they were trivial and stupid and immature. I still am constantly bored. NOTHING really seems to hold my attention and isn't stimulating enough.

I don't know if I was emotionally stunted at 12/13, but as I said, I've always felt this way from the earliest memories. I honestly felt like an adult in a tiny body of a toddler. I never fit and in never belonged. I still don't. I want/need to be in the adult world and I can't get there quick enough. I don't know if intellectually I was "higher" than many kids my age...wasn't tested. Not bragging because honestly, I feel incredibly stupid, again because things are so boring to me that I just don't care. My mind wanders and I can't concentrate at all on the material.

HOWEVER, at the same time I'm terrified of it. The closer and closer I get to where I've felt I should be my entire life....the more I'm afraid I'll fail. This is a huge contradiction I don't think anyone really can understand. I want to go back to being a child. I kind of WANT to relive the childhood and not have a care in the world. I remember growing up constantly being worried, thinking in an adult manner, trying to think the best way to do things and was very analytic, so much so that I exhausted myself out....I am still that way. Everything had to be orderly and perfect from that young age today. Today it is the OCD that continues.

I've never really written this out before I don't think...was I a messed up child that has continued into adulthood?
15th-Apr-2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Your not alone in feeling the way you do. For all my childhood/teen years I had to be an adult and didn't get along with kids my own age because of what was going on with in my family.

That otherness has carried over into my adulthood, for a time I struggled because I thought I was strange for still enjoying toys,games etc. Than I realized that as part of my healing journey it was benefical for me to embrace those things I didn't get to enjoy as a kid. I joke that my life now is my second childhood and I've learned to not be so upset about liking things that my peers may not.

When I see other people's pictures on Facebook I get this feeling of watching a tv program, like "wow that's how the other half lived" b/c I don't know what it's like to have had a normal(well non abusive) childhood/family dynamic.

Maybe you can focus on those childhood intrests and learn to enjoy them, after all there are plenty of adults who enjoy collecting dolls,toy trains/cars etc.

15th-Apr-2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
Yea, that makes sense. I too look at facebook or see children playing and think "so that's what it was supposed to be like?" There are a few "childish" things I enjoy now (namely coloring), but I use them as a way to keep me from doing negative coping mechanisms. Part of me still says "stop, that's so babyish and stupid!!"
15th-Apr-2009 04:11 am (UTC)
I can relate to a lot of this. There are two "main" parts of the brain: the rational side, and the emotional side. In a child with appropriate development, both sides of the brain develop equally. However, when something prevents one side of the child's brain from forming, the other side over compensates. If a child is emotionally neglected/abused, the emotional side of their brain isn't developing the way it should, therefore the rational/logical side of the brain works double to compensate. Or vice versa.

Anyway, maybe that's not relevant to what you're talking about. My brain is rapidly slowing down, but it seemed like it related.

15th-Apr-2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
Please don't apologize, there's no need. This actually makes sense. My emotional side stopped developing (not like I was like a 5 year old) and just kind of went away. It makes sense that my rational side would take over.
15th-Apr-2009 04:18 am (UTC)
Abuse definitely affects our maturity - we can become emotionally stunted at the age we were abused, while also becoming adult-like overnight. I was similar - as my abuse worsened, I couldn't be like a kid anymore. I was serious all the time, and only got into the trends to appear normal.

Our instinct, since we effectively *skipped* childhood, is to alternate between being very mature and adultlike, and outright regress back to childhood. We're still trying to process it all. We didn't go through the same development as non-survivors, or those who survived abuse as adults. It can be monumentally difficult for us to go back and experience a happy childhood, all while trying to balance an adult life.

So it's not that you were "messed up" - it's that you survived trauma which affected your development. You're not worse than a non-survivor, just different. Your brain developed similarly to mine and many other survivors'.
15th-Apr-2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
Yea. I did the trend thing too. Still didn't fit in, but I seemed like a child/teen and faked my way through. I was serious all the time and couldn't laugh at jokes because it was "stupid to be laughing at something so meaningless" I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this, but that in itself is unfortunate.
15th-Apr-2009 04:56 am (UTC)
I feel a lot this way, too. I felt very mature as a kid. Looking back, I think I was, because I had to be.

One thing I do about it is allow myself childish joys when they don't interfere with my adult life. I keep stuffed animals. I play with toys. I *love* bubbles, and I usually have a non-spill container of bubble solution in my purse or in my car. During one really bad year, I had a pacifier. (I don't admit that very often :-) It seems to help to let that part of me out when I have the time.
15th-Apr-2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
::embarassed:: I do have a lot of stuffed animals. I have one since I was born that's with me all the time, even on vacation. I haven't slept with it in my arms since I met my girlfriend, but it is on the floor right next to me every night. Same with my ::coughbabyblanketcough:: Hehe bubbles....that's cute! I like them too. I was TRYING to play with a 2 year old with bubbles, but it was difficult to relax and have fun and act childish around her, but I tried. Just a year ago I wouldn't have been able to do even that much!
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