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Was I abused as a kid? Do I have childhood trauma?

When I was younger my dad was overly protective and overly involved in my life; we couldn’t go outside to the front yard without telling him and if we were in public my sister and I had to go to the bathroom together and he would just wait outside the toilet block, I had to check in with him about most things I was doing, he was like this until I was about 15-16 and then once I got to high school he was more neglectful.  
 
My dad was an angry person when I was young and he scared me I think, he used to get angry most days and yell at me and my sister, I remember feeling like I was always disappointing him, I don’t remember what he used to say to me so idk if I can say I was emotionally abused because I was young and I cant remember, maybe I was just being a bad kid. I remember once when I was maybe like 5 or 6 I didn’t want to fall asleep alone or because I was scared of the dark and so I was crying and dad dragged me outside in the backyard and locked me outside in the dark until I stopped crying and agreed to go to sleep but I think it only happened once and I don’t know if my brain made it up lol. He used to yell at me when I was struggling to do my math homework and he would yell and punch the table when I kept getting things wrong and I always cry when I struggle with math or don’t get a question right in a test at uni now. He also used to get a bit physical when angry and get up in my face and grab me or push me and I tripped down the hallway and I used to run to my room and cry because I was scared but eventually I got sick of it and started arguing back and then he was a bit more grabby and pushy.
 
I know that it sounds bad but I honestly think it sounds worse than it was like I am successful and our relationship is better now and I'm not that fucked up and I'm pretty sure my issues aren't his fault or related to that. Like I know he loves me and he apologised for it after he was mean and tried to get help and be less angry and we did have good times so I'm conflicted if it was abuse and if I have childhood trauma, I know that based on the technical criteria it probably would count I just don’t feel like it does.

Re: Was I abused as a kid? Do I have childhood trauma?

Hey there @Charlie-29-1999 I just wanted to let you know that I'm happy you felt like you could open up about this here. It sounds like even though these experiences are in the past, that they still play on your mind sometimes, so it's good that you're talking about it. 

 

I'm really happy to hear that things are better with your dad these days and that he has apologised to you, thats really important. I think it can be hard looking back on times where you feel your parents could have done better to handle their emotions. One massive thing I've learnt that has helped me a great deal, is that I can still love my parents and recognise that they are human and have made mistakes - but I can also have my own experience of that and that is totally okay. It doesn't mean that our parents were bad people but it's also okay to feel upset by those memories and need to chat to someone about it. 

 

Some of things you mentioned here are like being grabby, pushy, slamming fists on the table etc are things most people would find unsettling and it isn't okay to treat anyone that way. So, I completely understand why you've felt the need to chat about it. 

 

Just know that we are safe space for you to air out your memories of this and we are happy to listen to you Heart 

Re: Was I abused as a kid? Do I have childhood trauma?

Hi @Charlie-29-1999

as @Bre-RO mentioned, thankyou so much for being so vulnerable and opening up here! 

 

I am so glad to hear that you and your dad have a better relationship these days, and that he apologised for his behaviour and sought help, that's awesome! However, It sounds like there were things you experienced in your childhood that are still causing you some pain? I was wondering if you have spoken openly to anyone else about this or perhaps would consider seeing a professional just to help process how you're feeling? 

 

Re: Was I abused as a kid? Do I have childhood trauma?

@Charlie-29-1999  I'm really sorry you had those experiences with your dad when you were younger. Smiley Sad It really wasn't okay for him to treat you like that. Parents definitely aren't perfect people. I'm glad that your relationship is better now and that he's apologised.
I don't think it's uncommon to still think about these things from time to time. Even though he's apologised, that doesn't take away what he did and your feelings are totally valid and normal. Only you can decide whether or not it was abuse or trauma. Everyone's definitions and the things that they are affected by are different, but no less valid.
How do you feel when you look back on these memories? What helps you cope with anything you might be feeling?

Re: Was I abused as a kid? Do I have childhood trauma?

Hi @Charlie-29-1999 

 

Thank you for sharing your experience, and opening up about what happened before. Whether it was abuse or not, it's good that you can identify when your father was going over boundaries and being hurtful in your relationship. It's great to hear that you guys are making amends, but a reminder that apologizing does not mean as much without the following change in behavior. It's also great to hear that you are in a healthy relationship as your own, and whether your issues are or are not due to your past experiences with your dad, you can at least be aware that it might be and have more insight on how to address the struggle.

Re: Was I abused as a kid? Do I have childhood trauma?

Hey @Charlie-29-1999 

 

Thank you for sharing your story. Its very brave of you! 

I am so glad that your dad has apologised and that your relationship is better now. Sometimes it can take a lot for a parent to remember or bring themselves to apologise. I know some parents have the mindset that they're never wrong and the kid is always wrong- can be very toxic! I'm happy for you that you got the apology you deserve. Heart Even after an apology though it is completely valid to still feel hurt sometimes especially if it's something that has deeply affected you. I hope you continue your journey of healing and we're always here to listen! 

Re: Was I abused as a kid? Do I have childhood trauma?

Hi @Charlie-29-1999, I'm sorry that you had these experiences during childhood and I'm also happy that you have a better relationship with your father now. I agree with others that whether these negative experiences were abuse or trauma depends on how you think about that because only you know how these experiences influence you and everyone has different resilience levels, so we can't decide that from our perspectives.

Re: Was I abused as a kid? Do I have childhood trauma?

Hey, @Charlie-29-1999 I'm proud of you for opening here. I agree with others that although he has no apologised and you have a better relationship with your dad this does not in any way invalidate your feelings. I also agree that although these situations have affected you, only you can decide if it was abuse and how it affected/affects you.

Im going to link a youtube channel that I looked into when I was too questioning if I went through abuse as a child in specific emotional abuse and childhood ptsd.  Crappy Childhood Fairy - YouTube 

I hope that it helps and that you feel comfortable continuing to share your story with us.