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Lost in memories

Hey everyone, I'm a 22 year old guy struggling with various issues.


Essentially, growing up as a kid, I got really sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when I was 13, effectively having extended glandular fever.


Life was going downhill before this, but I used to wake up every day for about 4 years and my mum would shout and yell at me for being sick, she would shake me and tell me I was faking it, she'd say things like "Clearly you've chosen not to go to school today so why do I bother?" and "I'd wish you'd just try harder". Every day I woke up and dreaded her coming into my room because I'd be in bed and she'd just start yelling at me, threaten to not cook dinner, make me feel like a dissappointment and that I was a burden, waste of space etc. etc. I wasn't allowed to get angry at her for this because then she would just threaten me, so I learnt to stifle anger and other emotions.


My older brother, well, he was often times violent towards me emotionally and physically. He would tell me to "Just go die in a fire" and that I "should just kill myself", one time holding me up against a wall, his right hand around my throat with his face an inch away from mine just shouting and spitting in my face. I remember the smell and the sweat beads streaming down his forehead. He hated me, and with me being sick, told me I was a burden and that I was only making my family and mum feel like shit.


On the other side of my family, with my dad and step-mum, life wasn't any easier. My step mum was pretty much like and old style Disney Ice Queen, and she'd tell me I was ugly, remind me of all my pimples, call me crazy and tell me I was the reason her and my father were having marriage problems. She would constantly belittle me and my academic achievements in front of my brother and my father, often times laughing and scoffing at me, and telling me I was just as bad as my mother (whom she hated). My dad reinforced her opinion by always taking her side, and I was like a ghost to him, as he only focussed on my older brother and what school/university he should go to and what was going on in his life.


When I was 17 I found out he was an alcoholic when I started living with him and my step mum for a while in order to get away from my mum for a bit. I told my brother and my step mum at the time, but neither of them believed me. He is now in rehab... I told him I didn't like his drinking, and he told me to "get the fuck out of his life", so I did, and ended up in an adolescent psych unit for anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. I didn't see my dad for about 2 years.


I had to drop out of school due to my mental health, and spent the next 3-4 years in and out of various psych hospitals, adjusting medications and diagnoses for a long time. Ended up with the diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder when I was about 19, which my dad has as well.


Now I'm 22. I've held down a few jobs here and there for about 4-5 months each, being a 'bussy' (back of bar staff), bartender and waiter, but haven't worked in almost two years now. I moved out of home at 19, and only recently moved back in with my mum due to my housemate and best mate going to travel around Europe. Friendships have dwindled and rotted away over time, I have difficulty relating to and trusting people, suffer from erectile dysfunction and weight gain due to some of the medication I'm on, and basically have no confidence or faith in people or the world.


I have seen friends and old peers go off to University and have fun, seen others go off travelling and experiencing life, yet I am stuck here, sitting alone at my computer, avoiding life and my emotions because if I engage with them I start to feel suicidal and traumatic flashbacks occur more regularly (I've been diagnosed with PTSD somewhat recently). I can't get the past out of my mind, the years of suffering at the hands of all my family members, unable to escape, trapped in a permanent cycle of being abused.


It's all still too real, and having those flasbacks and memories makes me want to kill myself. I just want to sit at my computer and play video-games to avoid feeling suicidal, but they provide less pleasure than they used to. How does one recover from such darkness, how do you trust people, have faith in humanity, and believe life is worth living if all this injustice has happened to you.


Honestly, I get that throwaway "you never know how life is going to turn out" idea, but my life is one of constant re-experiencing of trauma; it's not a life, it's a prison.


Thanks for reading this if you got that far...



Re: Lost in memories

Hey @Guile (that was always my fave Street Fighter character!) - welcome to Reach Out.

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry that your family has been unsupportive, and even destructive, in the past. Everyone deserves love and support, especially when you're struggling with illness. How are the relationships these days, have you been able to discuss those difficult periods with them?


What kind of professional support do you have these days - are you seeing a counsellor or anything? It's important that you have a network you can trust who can help you deal with the flashbacks and navigate the darkness. Finding your nearest Headspace Centre is a good start. If you're ever feeling suicidal and can't cope, please call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. You don't have to go through it alone and they can help.


Friendships, work, travel, confidence, having a life that isn't a prison is not something that is beyond your reach. It might be slow progress and take setting small goals to work towards, but you can get there! There are lots of personal stories on Reach Out about people who have turned things around after going through similar stories as you, such as this one about alcoholic and absent parents, this one about starting a happiness action plan, and this one on recovering from PTSD. I hope you can find some inspiration and comfort in reading through them.

Re: Lost in memories

Thanks for sharing your story @Guile  it sounds like you are going through quite alot and I'm sorry to hear that. Unfortunately sometimes we have to deal with so much bad before good comes to us. I hope you are able to find a way to deal with the issues in your life. Do you have a psychologist or a social worker that you can chat with so you don't bottle up all the emotions?

It can be very beneficial and help you cope with what you are going through. I think it is very brave of you to realise that you have reached such a place and are in need of help. Do you feel better when you are working, does it provide a form of distraction and keep you busy? If so have you tried looking for a job? @ElleBelle has provided great forums and help line links to deal with what you are going through. 


Please stay strong and hope to hear positive news from you