Sharing Something

I have suffered dreadful depression for several years. I guess some might call it a "mid-life crisis" but it wasn't that. It was the sudden, shocking, realisation that I'd had a horribly abusive childhood. Not sexually - in fact sex was a taboo subject at home but ongoing, consistent, emotional abuse at a sustained level from birth.

I guess when you grow up like that - and are isolated as much as possible as I was from other friends (a typical tactic of the abusive) you don't notice it. That's just how it is and you get on with it.

But then something caused me to realise what had happened and it precipitated an emotional crash that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. That became a dark chasm that sucked my life out of me. I was in purgatory for many years. It was exceptionally painful and a horrible time and I became pretty disfunctional. I lost my job, my home, and I became a recluse.

But I was finally able to get a good therapist, and that helped me a lot. But then I got a rescue dog - and he made a world of difference. He'd also had a tough life and he was something of a kindred spirit. He was gentle and shy (I'm not necessarily either) but he also showed a capacity for affection and he made me laugh every single day. He's just a lot of fun to be around, his needs are simple but when they are met he's a happy chap and his happiness rubbed off on me. We'd go for a walk and he'd just run around and be goofy and sniff stuff and then come tell me about it with a big soppy grin on his face.

He's been with me 2 years now and I guess a combination of therapy, time and his faith in me has helped me to turn my life around. I'm angry about how I was treated but it's a focused anger - I channel it into positive energy that moves my life forwards in a good way. I woudln't have been capable of that a couple of years ago.

If there's a moral to this story - and I'm not meaning to preach here - it is that no matter how bad things get, they needn't destroy you. This thing can be beaten. Maybe not all alone but it can be done. Whatever else you do, beleive that - I'm here to tell you it's true
Riffster Riffster
51-55, M
1 Response May 20, 2012

I hope you're right. I too have become a reclusive after years and years of emotional abuse by my parent. I don't go out. I already have a dog I love. I am raising my 16 year old son, and he's the most important thing in my life. But it's hard to see the light. I'm so angry at my parent, we haven't spoken for a long time. The things she used to say to me. I've fought depression since I was 15, but it's gotten so bad in the last 3 years. I don't work anymore, although I was a very dedicated professional until 2008. I really hope I can find the peace and resolve you have found. Our stories sound very similar.

hey mdg

Our stories do indeed sound similar... but if I can offer you one piece of advice it's pretty simple: You can never change the past, but it's how you let it impact you in the now and the future that really makes the difference. There's no specific magic I guess but making an effort to not let the past defeat you worked great for me.