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Don't know if I have been abused?

Hi, whoever is reading this
I have never posted anything on a forum before so frankly I am a bit desperate right now. I guess I should give a little background information on myself. I am an 18-year-old female who has autism and suffers from anxiety and depression. I recently have gone back to high school after dropping out a few years ago because I want to go to university.

Over the last six months, I have not been getting along with my parents particularly my father. We are constantly yelling, swearing and arguing with each other. I am consistently getting really angry with him over things that shouldn't result in so much anger because they are only minor annoyances. I have been trying to figure out why I have been reacting to situations in a way that is so unlike me and I am scared that I have figured out the reason why. I think there is a possibility that my father has physically abused me since I was around 12 years old but I have suppressed this knowledge until now. I am unsure if he abused me or if I was just a bad kid who deserved to be punished. Having autism when I was growing up I could become extremely overwhelmed from certain situations and I could end up expressing these overwhelming feelings through violence. I would bang doors shut, throw objects and push people away from me because I didn't want anyone to touch me or be near me. My dad would become extremely angry with me and if my mum wasn't there to stop him he would stand over me yell in my face and hit me. One incident keeps popping into my mind and has been traumatising me over the last few days. When I was around 14 something must have happened that made me have a panic attack and I was all alone at home with my dad. I remember him running towards as I was crying and rocking back and forth. He kept coming closer towards me and I couldn't handle it so I kept yelling at him to go away but he refused to so I hit him. This made him furious so he leant over me, yelled in my face and told me that I was a fuckin bitch and etc. He then proceeded to be violent towards me. I then limped inside because I didn't want any of the neighbours to see me and locked myself in the bathroom which is where I hid until my mum came home.

Memories like this one keep popping up recently and I have been finding them to be really distressing. I don't know what to do. I don't have anyone who I feel like I can talk too. If I bring it up to my parents they will either dismiss it or tell me that I was also to blame for what happened so I shouldn't complain about it. Am I overreacting? should I just try and forget about it and get along with my parents? any advice would greatly be appreciated.

 

Re: Don't know if I have been abused?

Hi @elizabeth18. Tiny bit of background; I'm autistic and have anxiety and depression as well. My brother was borderline abusive towards me, not as bad as your dad was with you at all.

 

That sounds a lot like abuse, and I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

 

 I am unsure if he abused me or if I was just a bad kid who deserved to be punished. 

Firstly, how he treated you does not seem at all like a reasonable punishment. 

Secondly, having a panic attack is not wrong of you. Trying to reduce your distress by telling him to keep at a distance is not wrong of you. That isn't something to be punished for.

He only made things worse by coming closer, especially after you told him not to, pushed you into an incredibly stressful situation, and got angry when you reacted badly. That isn't your fault, and what he did to you was not your fault.

 

What you went through sounds so traumatic, and I'm sorry that your parents are invalidating you like that.

 

If you wanted to talk to me about any of it then go ahead.

 

As for trying to get along with them or not, I would do whatever you think will be healthier for you.

Re: Don't know if I have been abused?

Hi @elizabeth18 , welcome to the RO forum - thank you for bravely reaching out and sharing. 

What you've shared with us sounds like a traumatic and scary experience, and I can understand that you're thinking a lot about it and feeling distressed. 
I think it's important that you get a bit more support on this - a good place to start is to call BlueKnot  on 1300 657 380-  you could chat things through with them around what's happened to you and what to do  next. It's a free hotline, and they specialise in abuse and trauma.

 

I'm sorry to hear that your parents are dismissive of your experience-  and arguing with your parents while living with them must make your home a challenging place to live. 

It doesn't at all sound like you're overreacting. I guess the important thing to think about is how to cope with your home environment, and get the support you need to process your past experiences. 

 

Do you have anyone else that you can talk to about what's going on at home? 

 

We have a lot of resources over here about abuse that you might find helpful. 
We also have some info on how to cope with fighting with your parents here.