Dysfunctional family to family of choice?
I was the designated scapegoat in my dysfunctional family system from childhood through age 52 as an adult, so I know the bitterness of unfair dysfunctional family disappointment. I was an honors student when I lived at home, and when I went to college I got a rare Fulbright Scholarship which would have made any parent proud.
But I got nothing but criticism and ridiculous attacks on my credibility instead. The weirdest was when I got an actual beating in high school when I got home from starring in the school play. Not the usual parent's response to their kids' success. Most parents would cheer their kid from the sidelines for things like pitching a good Little League baseball game. Not mine.
My dad happened by my bedroom one night when I was in high school and asked me what homework I was working on. I mentioned the author I was reading for my high school teacher's homework assignment. He didn't like that author, so believe it or not, I got another beating--beating for doing my homework. Most parents would be glad their kid did his homework. Not mine.
It never stopped through adulthood. No matter how many coping skills I acquired in my therapy, all they did with that was use it to twist it around to say that I was in therapy because I was the only crazy person in the family. It showed it was never going to change with them, never. So as many of you know, after I got punched in the face for nothing by my 80 year father at Christmas 6 years ago, I quit going back for more. I started coming here to DS PTSD instead.
Now I try to show appropriate kinds of care to people who don't get it from their loved ones because I know what it's like. A student of mine was pregnant throughout the class she took from me this Spring semester. Last night I ran into her by chance at the grocery store. She showed me a photo of her new baby, and I said to bring her by school today, since it's the last day of summer school, to show her baby off to us.
Turns out her baby's father ran out on her 6 weeks before the baby was born, so there's no guy that's held the baby and made a fuss. So I held the 3 week old baby and I was the one who made a fuss.
I guess what it shows is that some of us don't get the family we deserve, but we choose other people and make our own family of support anyway. Like when we come here and support each other on DS PTSD.
Does anybody else here at DS PTSD have this "family" of choice as their support or is it just me?
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