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Is it ever too late to "fix" the emotional damage you've don

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Sat, Apr 30 2022, 10:12 pm
I have children who are around low teens. Unfortunately, I had childhood with pretty serious emotional neglect which caused me to become dissociative, irritable and I dont feel real emotions in my body, it is dissociated from my head. I didn't realize this all until I was in my late 20s. I started with a therapist and am making loads of progress. I am a different mother than who I was two years ago. However, the damage to my kids was done. They also can't feel emotions, don't discuss them, become upset but just cry and can't Express themselves.
I have drastically changed my attitude towards them and am now loving, caring and accepting. I've apologized over and over for my behavior. Every once in a while it creeps up but not often and when it does I say sorry.

Is it too late for my kids to feel and not be emotionally messy? Is there anything else I can do to help? They aren't even aware of these issues. I tried to point them out but they don't fully understand.
I am basically raising them on my own with minimal supports so I really feel like I damaged them. Please help
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amother




Bellflower
 

Post Sat, Apr 30 2022, 10:19 pm
.
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amother




Melon
 

Post Sat, Apr 30 2022, 10:25 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I have children who are around low teens. Unfortunately, I had childhood with pretty serious emotional neglect which caused me to become dissociative, irritable and I dont feel real emotions in my body, it is dissociated from my head. I didn't realize this all until I was in my late 20s. I started with a therapist and am making loads of progress. I am a different mother than who I was two years ago. However, the damage to my kids was done. They also can't feel emotions, don't discuss them, become upset but just cry and can't Express themselves.
I have drastically changed my attitude towards them and am now loving, caring and accepting. I've apologized over and over for my behavior. Every once in a while it creeps up but not often and when it does I say sorry.

Is it too late for my kids to feel and not be emotionally messy? Is there anything else I can do to help? They aren't even aware of these issues. I tried to point them out but they don't fully understand.
I am basically raising them on my own with minimal supports so I really feel like I damaged them. Please help


Please know that it is ever too late. I grew up with severe abuse. People on these boards know my stoty from ghe severe abuse forum. Forget the lack of food, lack of proper attire, beatings, yelling, being locked in closet, no choice whatsoever in anything --I never heard words of affirmation or I love you. That pained me to no end.

My mother had bpd and my father suffered from her severly.

My mother continues to attempt to abuse me in emotional and psychological games.

Please know that in spite of above, if my mom would say to me, even once, one time I want you to know my DD I am truly sorry for the pain I've inflicted I have loved you and always love you and I am working on myself and I want to do what I t takes to make our relationship work boom - I'd be totally receptive eager to work with her.

And I'm over 40 and suffered years and years from her.


If you have even a smidgen of caring, reach out to your kids and listen. It's never too late.
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amother




Sapphire
 

Post Sun, May 01 2022, 12:15 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I have children who are around low teens. Unfortunately, I had childhood with pretty serious emotional neglect which caused me to become dissociative, irritable and I dont feel real emotions in my body, it is dissociated from my head. I didn't realize this all until I was in my late 20s. I started with a therapist and am making loads of progress. I am a different mother than who I was two years ago. However, the damage to my kids was done. They also can't feel emotions, don't discuss them, become upset but just cry and can't Express themselves.
I have drastically changed my attitude towards them and am now loving, caring and accepting. I've apologized over and over for my behavior. Every once in a while it creeps up but not often and when it does I say sorry.

Is it too late for my kids to feel and not be emotionally messy? Is there anything else I can do to help? They aren't even aware of these issues. I tried to point them out but they don't fully understand.
I am basically raising them on my own with minimal supports so I really feel like I damaged them. Please help

It's wonderful that you've apologized but I think you should be careful not to keep doing that. It's important to convey your strength and confidence in your new parenting skills, which is so important in giving kids a sense of security.
If your kids are in their low teens, their is so much you can still teach them. Empower them with specific positive feedback about their strengths. Name feelings that they may be feeling and model good coping skills. (I'm so sorry this happened. You must be feeling so scared/frustrated/sad. What can we do to help you feel better?)
I'm sure your therapist can give you more ideas, but if you are committed to doing this, there is so much you can still teach your kids.
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amother




Stoneblue
 

Post Sun, May 01 2022, 12:23 am
You started healing in your late 20’s and made TONS of progress … your kids will have their own journey of healing in their own time as
Well ❤️

I agree with poster above - don’t keep apologizing . Just be strong for them and let them know you are there and be a role model for the new healthy lifestyle you are living …


Also, don’t be hard on yourself for the damage you have caused. You did the best you could with tools you had back then - and you are doing better now because you have learned better tools. And you will pass these “better tools “ on to your children with time.. breaking the chain of generations of unhealthiness
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amother




Jetblack
 

Post Tue, May 03 2022, 10:29 am
I think it’s great that you are dealing with these issues. Imo your children learn more from your actions than your words.
When you develop your own emotional world and your own emotional health, you are helping your children in the best way.
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mitzva




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 8:42 pm
Do not worry too much about your children. Just do what you have to do as a parent, one day at a time.
your children were given their destiny just like you were given yours.


My mom too is like a flower that bloomed late in certain aspects of parenting due to indescribable, difficult circumstances.
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amother




Aster
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 9:17 pm
I am in my 40s. I was not the perfect mother when my kids were younger. I do believe you can 'correct' damage done, but only by changing yourself. Your journey is yours to complete. (Their journey is theirs to complete.) You can apologize to your children for a specific thing "I'm sorry I yelled at you yesterday. You did not deserve that, even if you poured bleach all over the clean laundry on the floor. Lets figure out how to replace the clothes together." You should not apologize for past acts; your growth is enough. You can do the apologizing when you have built healthy relationships and the conversation is brought up (by your kid) in an open, honest, vulnerable moment.

If you change how you act, your kids will catch on, ie lower volume of voice, don't engage when angry, bring simcha into the house, make time for thier story, etc., that's enough.
My parentlng goals are:
1. Act in a way that helps my kids feel loved.
2. Be in my kids corner no matter what. Say it, show it. Be it.
3. Don't take it personal, and be an ADULT in my interactions.
4. Strive to be the person I wish my kids will grow up to be, and/ or the parent I wish they had.

They may not get it now, but they will remember that you changed and took responsibility. That will give them chizuk to work on themselves when they are ready.
This is not really a chiddush- it's how you have to parent when your kids hit adolescence anyway. (through adulthood too.)
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amother




Taupe
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 10:14 pm
I just want to tell you that you are amazing for. Implementing all this change!! This was very hard work on your part and the greatest gift you could've given your children! Keep it up!
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amother




Snapdragon
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 11:53 pm
amother [ Sapphire ] wrote:
It's wonderful that you've apologized but I think you should be careful not to keep doing that. It's important to convey your strength and confidence in your new parenting skills, which is so important in giving kids a sense of security.
If your kids are in their low teens, their is so much you can still teach them. Empower them with specific positive feedback about their strengths. Name feelings that they may be feeling and model good coping skills. (I'm so sorry this happened. You must be feeling so scared/frustrated/sad. What can we do to help you feel better?)
I'm sure your therapist can give you more ideas, but if you are committed to doing this, there is so much you can still teach your kids.


One thing about my mom is that she apologized. It didn't make me look down at her. It made me look up to her.

Something I learned about this week is about a "do-over". I want to start doing that. Instead of apologizing, I want to say, "that didn't come out right. This is how I wish I did it".
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amother




Mint
 

Post Tue, May 24 2022, 12:54 am
I Have such guilt about having smacked the one kid that triggered me like nuts.
I did take parenting courses and did EMDR and would like to think that u am a different person.
But I think part of my parenting struggles came from trauma of my own mom,s struggles and I hate that I feel like I’ve bequeathed that to my own kid. Those early days are seared in. Even though adult me has compassion for my mom, child me within me is traumatized. And I’ve passed that on. One of my biggest life regrets. But I did the best with the tools I had at that time and tried to do teshuva. Says the rational part of me. But the emotional part shrivels when I think how I’ve contributed to a little kid’s literal trauma.
I’ve actually thought to write a post about this asking how we repair. 😩
Edited for clarity
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amother




Snapdragon
 

Post Tue, May 24 2022, 2:09 am
amother [ Mint ] wrote:
I Have such guilt about smacking the one kid that triggered me like nuts.
I did take parenting courses and did EMDR and would like to think that u am a different person.
But I think part of my parenting struggles came from trauma of my own mom,s struggles and I hate that I feel like I’ve bequeathed that to my own kid. Those early days are seared in. Even though adult me has compassion for my mom, child me within me is traumatized. And I’ve passed that on. One of my biggest life regrets. But I did the best with the tools I had at that time and tried to do teshuva. Says the rational part of me. But the emotional part shrivels when I think how I’ve contributed to a little kid’s literal trauma.
I’ve actually thought to write a post about this asking how we repair. 😩


You still smack him or you have smacked him in the past?
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amother




Mint
 

Post Tue, May 24 2022, 2:13 am
amother [ Snapdragon ] wrote:
You still smack him or you have smacked him in the past?
edited the post. It was in the past. At that time I kept trying not to. And it was a horrible cycle. BH can’t remember the last time I smacked him or was even triggered. He’s a challenge for me to parent. But without me going into my own crazy headspace.
My point is that although I don’t smack anymore I still think there’s damage done. My mom stopped certain things at some point but there was damage done. Sad
And I’ll add that I think it’s damage to the kids who witnessed it too. 😩
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amother




Snapdragon
 

Post Tue, May 24 2022, 2:34 am
amother [ Mint ] wrote:
edited the post. It was in the past. At that time I kept trying not to. And it was a horrible cycle. BH can’t remember the last time I smacked him or was even triggered. He’s a challenge for me to parent. But without me going into my own crazy headspace.
My point is that although I don’t smack anymore I still think there’s damage done. My mom stopped certain things at some point but there was damage done. Sad
And I’ll add that I think it’s damage to the kids who witnessed it too. 😩


Work on showing him how much you love him. The only thing you can do is go forward. You can tell him that you didn't have tools and now you are learning tools. You can tell him that your hitting was because of a deficiency in you and not because he is bad. You can explain that even adults make mistakes and even adults have to work on ourselves and change our behaviors. Once you've stopped the hitting, don't let the fact that you have hit in the past make you feel distant to him now because you're traumatized. Just do better from now on.
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amother




Snapdragon
 

Post Tue, May 24 2022, 2:37 am
I started having weekly or semiweekly dates with my kids. We spend quality time together. Instead of being afraid of your past actions, create a beautiful relationship going forward.

I think that if your mom hadn't just stopped the bad behavior but had actively invested in making a loving, safe relationship with quality time with you guys that you would feel better.

I also spend 5-10 minutes per day with each kid. I spend time on their beds and listen. I suggest replacing the bad touch with good touch. I give them a hug and kiss "I love you good night, sweet dreams", every single night. Without fail. Even if I'm fuming at them because they didn't behave. If I go out then we do it before we leave and I tell them that I will give them another kiss when we get home, even if they're sleeping. When I get home, I actually do give them another kiss while theyre sleeping. All these hugs and kisses are so unnatural to me. I had to "break" myself to do it.

I don't remember where I read it but a 7 second hug releases serotonin. Try to do it daily. In the beginning, only do a 1-2 second hug and build up from there. They might fight you in the beginning but they'll learn to love it.
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