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Hi everyone
not sure what parts to disclose here, feeling very uneasy posting. I feel like a lot of people here, know that I'm socially isolated but feel it's safer this way. I have a lot of mixed feelings due to covid19; feeling freer or even happier that movements were restricted as I have had little choice but to live this way for a long time. Then I realised how odd this reaction is, opposite to what I was hearing at work. Simultaneously I felt huge grief for the world. I'm experiencing compassion fatigue from all of this.

my life has been wrought with trauma & grief, tremendous violence & loss. I desperately sought help from authorities to stop things over many decades. I have fought so hard through courts etc, I know it has cost me a lot of mental stability a lot of the time. At least my children and I are safe atm. Feeling safe is another thing entirely!

happiness eludes me. I strive for the happiness of my children. I don't know how to attain personal happiness, so have strived for contentment. I work hard physically but feel far more exhausted by my mind. flashbacks and memories often come back relentlessly in my waking hours and in my dreams. Working hard physically helps me sleep better 🙂

I used to be very sociable, quite athletic and had a large family. The abuse has taken its toll. My relationships were undermined by the abuser, so they are lost. My physical health was severely impacted by the abuse also. I have a counsellor but I was advised by a close friend who is studying psychology to seek a more intensive type of therapy. I have completed countless hours in therapy through books, online and in person over decades. My counsellor is very impressed by my persistence, resilience and recovery but I feel awful most of the time.

I have no relationships with extended family anymore which is very sad for me. I have basically given up trying since doors are constantly closed on that front.
Soon I plan to take leave from my work to support my children all struggling in their learning from home programs. I will have to take leave on far less pay, so this presents obvious issues to an already stretched financial situation.

I know there is no magic cure for all the issues I have at hand but I still have hope that things will improve and that I can feel happy one day. I pray there are answers within this forum for me.

Thanks for reading.

2,216 Replies 2,216

Hi ecomama,

Welcome to the forums, we're so glad you decided to join our friendly online community. We understand that it can be an uneasy experience posting for the first time and we appreciate the courage you have shown in doing so. We're so sorry to hear that you've had so much to overcome on your journey. You sound like a very resilient and resourceful person.

It must be really tough with your children struggling in their learning from home programs. If you feel it might be useful, we'd encourage you to visit our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. The website will be regularly updated with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. This service includes counselling support which you might find helpful in overwhelming moments. 

Hopefully a few of our community members will pop by with some wisdom or kinds words. Thanks for sharing your story, ecomama.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Thankyou so much for replying to my post Sophie, it means a lot. thankyou also for the link, I have put the 24/7 counselling number in my phone.

I always feel that with counselling numbers to call that there are other people who might be trying to call and can't get through because I called. I have a lot of anxiety over those thoughts and 99.9% of the time I don't call. I feel like I'm being greedy and should be able to work it out myself.

I am not suicidal any more and haven't been for a long while now, so I truly believe that by leaving lines open, those people have a chance to get help and be saved.

I have an impossible time with the concept of feeling worthy. I guess starting a thread somewhere on that might give me other people's insights.

I would honestly love to feel better, to have peace and appreciate the beauty all around which all seems elusive and has for a long time.

Thankyou Sophie.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Ecomama~

I loved your supporting post to Adrian, it was refreshing with that chrysalis simile and contained wisdom in not trying to be what you were before. In fact I notice you and FUN!, advice on Family Law proceedings, communication with children and so much more. No I'm not going to list them all becuse that's enough to make a point.

I think each, if considered or simply flew from your mind to the keys was sensible, appropriate and was helpful.

It is obvious that your most unhappy relationship, being the subject of abuse and surviving, has given you strengths you probably don't even realise. So many in such a realtionship are trapped, their self is eroded until they have nothing. As it is you are still dealing with the effects of 'isolation tactics' and no doubt many other matters.

As someone with PTSD (from a different source) I can tell you that feeling safe and secure increases, being bound up in memories and flashbacks become less frequent, less immediate and easier to deal with/recover from.

I now love unreservedly and am loved. work and gain satisfaction, and hold my symptoms at a manageable level, I do still visit a psychiatrist and take meds -that's life. BUT I can be happy.

Perhaps your friend is right, a psychiatrist who specializes in abuse, I have something similar and it had made things possible. Worthiness is an example.

I also find talking to other here about their problems, and offering snippets of mine in understanding, is good for me.

I think your post on FUN contains part of the remedy, humor saved my life, helps make life well worth living, and gives me treats to look forward to each day.

I hope to talk with you more


That's probably why you resonate with some you read here and speak.

You are laboring under one misconception, you are as worthy as anyone to use crisis and councelling lies. Simply becuse htey have connotations of suicide does not man htey ate lmited ot htat. Our 24/7 Help ine ( ) plus chat or email, is one such, so suprisingly enough (and This one Id head for) is the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) -you can call more than once without repeating yourself -is another.

Sometimes it simply helps to have a competent caring person to talk with .

A good half dozen people here will be feeling that about you:)

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Goodness me Croix what a train load of positive feedback! I humbly Thank YOU.

I hardly know where to start. Tears welled up in my eyes when you wrote about one unhappy relationship.. is a good place. My most unhappy and potentially the most abusive which may have caused a flow on effect... was with my parents. There was so much abuse and neglect, loss and grief in my childhood that I am only now beginning to remember some of the worst parts (and telling my counsellor about them).

I realise after reading your response that my mother was attempting to give birth to me at a very young age in a war torn country, alone. I know that she suffered from severe MH issues and was even given shock treatment in her teens and was told never to have children. My parents "faith" made them both quite delusional IMHO. They had me anyway in the worst possible circumstances, during a war in a disease ridden country with zero sanitation.

Long story short lol... (I am quite an oldie you see) … from there I was forced into marriage at a very young age then left it. It was very abusive. Wash rinse repeat a few times to the worst marriage but I don't dare to scale which was the worst relationship.

In saying this, I had the most incredible childhood and young adulthood. I had a HUGE family that gathered European style more than weekly. The love and interchanges between us was the most warm and beautiful thing to experience as a child. They taught me SO FREAKING much and I had up to 4 generations around me at any given time. This is my greatest loss.

Moving on.... I do ponder what to write - still wrangling the anxiety monster - but take a leap anyway. I just SAW Adrian as a beautiful pupa not knowing what was ahead or 'outside'. Squirming in his new circumstances, understandably. Breaking free can be the most exhilarating and scary time but more than worth it.

Thankyou for re-recommending the helplines. During my worst times the 1800RESPECT number was INCREDIBLE and I cannot hail their precious help enough. The DV line was also A-MAZING, follow up action was immediate and I thank God for all of them. I understand that when we phone for help, we only get as good as the person who answers the call feels. I had the complete opposite response from the suicide helpline, in fact I felt far worse after that call. I hope you don't mind me telling my experience. I Pray that procedures are better now.

Yours in a world where no one falls through the net.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Ecomama~

I'd expect that was a hard reply to write. and no, I'm sensible enough to know that you get different operators whenever you ring a crisis/help line and some calls simply are not good at all. One of the advantages of the SCBS is that if you do strike a good one you can specify that person again several times (their shifts do govern things a bit)

Being abused does tend to lead to being abused again, I guess a person is vulnerable to that sort of person, often a dreamboat to start with. Each time the abused feels less worthy. I've no magic answer to that any more than you do, though I suspect if you occupy yourself with something you are good at, gives you the respect of others, and most importantly enjoy it, then maybe with time you will see a different person. That is what has happened to me.

Anxiety with posting? Everyone with a conscience feels that -"Will I make matters worse?", it's greatest right at the start. The truth is that anything harmful is weeded out before it hits the screen, and giving someone attention and acknowledgment, all by itself does good. There is no need to 'fix' anything, though if you have an experience that relates and fits in snugly and might help, then you give it a try.

May I risk a joke inspired by your last post? Most people are 'born at a very young age'. I apologize if that is inappropriate, just tell me to be quiet.

I also wonder why your extended family is a closed book? As for you age, if it was the same war then we are of similar vintage.

Having an impressed councilor sounds nice, but does it help? It reminds me of a long course of hypnosis/relaxation therapy. The therapist said they had never seen anyone try so hard to relax. Um, not that helpful I'm afraid

May I ask what is the most important thing you would like?

Croix (who wishes that world existed and nobody fell thought)

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Of that's so funny.... yes I happened to be born at a young age too! lolololol.

I MEANT to say that my mother was a young age when she birthed me. Ooops. I don't think that being young makes you a bad parent.. NO. But she was very young and dealing with a lot then and there.

Thankyou for that, you made me laugh today, so self - care list CHECKED lololol. I'll get you back, it's coming...

You know Croix, you hit the nail on the head there with the feedback about my therapist. Thankyou! I was wondering why I felt, IDK, ummm like "is there more?" I want to say that she has been AWESOME in taking me from a shaking mess to steadying me. She has given so much pointed, researched advice for years. But I see my own MH recovery / development as something like a set of steps (with a steep, slippery, oily slide attached at the side). A therapist has "met me" at a certain step and taken me up quite a few steps, even with the slide backs. It takes a very patient therapist to be there at the slide back, catch me, then walk me back up the steps again!

And then, sadly, we use up all of what the therapist can offer. I know I have challenged her greatly as I seem to do. Maybe her saying 'you're doing really well' (and comparatively I am but...) is a sign that she needs to hand me over to the next one. Even maybe to extend the time between visits (ie phase out slowly) and to attend other courses, with other therapists. I really don't want her to feel rejected lol! Oh dear, that IS something that's holding me back. Bingo.

I hope she sees it like teachers must do, graduating from that platform of education to the next?

I am taking quite a lot of leave soon, so I'll meditate upon that and see what's available. I feel ok with what I've learnt and attempt to put into practice (I think) but I need bolstering. I would like to, one day, have that strength come from within myself and not feel like I heavily rely on a therapist.

I'll have to answer the extended family thing in my next post (oh I can feel my shoulders get shaky thinking about that). I am still very deeply grief stricken over that loss.

For now, allow me to return same by saying, can you tell me what you meant by 'and nobody fell thought'? lol. When someone picks up a mistake I've made, I now use the excuse "I'm a dottery old woman with dementia creeping in, give me some leeway". So what's your excuse?

Thankyou for the chuckle at myself 🙂


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

HI Croix

I will answer, 'what is the most important thing you would like?' question first.

I would like to feel like I belong.

I'm certain that losing the extended family I had for several decades at the beginning of my life has impacted my feelings of not fitting in anywhere now.

Your question is causing me to reflect in a way that I haven't done before. This may answer your next question a little. That huge family was my physical, social, psychological (and at times psycho), loving safety net. I'm sure that's why the neglect and abuse by my primary caregivers was diminished so much. I knew that I was loved very deeply by my extended family. I knew that if they knew what was happening, that they would rush to my side and save me because they did so many times when I was a child. What an incredibly beautiful family to do that for the little me!

I was shunned by many family members by leaving my husband. Divorce was no no even though many did the same after me.

Years of extremely bad rumours were spread by people, most especially by those I loved and trusted. I would be in jail for the rest of my life if those rumours were even slightly true, they were so bad. I'm sure those rumours persist now as they have lasted for decades up to even last year. I report them myself now and nip them in the bud. As many authorities as have been involved now know that it is severe abuse to me. The damage to every part of my life is what I am trying to recover from.

My career has survived and I have never been questioned seriously about those rumours at work. My bosses have laughed and I have worked in my career for many decades. More on that later as more feedback on that has come to light strongly yesterday.

It has taken years of consistently and persistently being myself that is healing my relationships with my children. Ofcourse I forgive my children for not knowing what to think and believing these horrid people at times. They were very cunning in their approaches and convincing in their stories.

It seems mental to say this but feedback (yesterday) confirms that these people are jealous and tried to destroy me. How ridiculous and what a waste of their lives. Oh well that's their $#it and not mine. I have shut down all contact and put in protective measures. I am blessed to have a number of friends who have lasted decades also and besides being shocked at the rumours, they haven't believed them for a second.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear EM~

Can't answer ATM due to NBN (Acronym for No Broadband Now)



Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Ecomama~

To answer your question, I so not need an excuse. I simply say,"I'm just a walrus - so what did you expect?"

I'm glad you got my point on your therapist, I might be completely wrong, but even if right it may be hard to take the matter further, If you could afford it an initial collaboration might be helpful.

Feeling you belong is a hard one. I guess the first thing might be - at least for me - is "belong to what" In your case it used to be a family, generations of them, and their presence now a constant reminder of loss.

I had not thought of the aspects of religion and separation/divorce, it explains a lot. Being forthright has penalties (but of course a small compensation inside) . It's weird your know. I was ejected from my family for the opposite reason, marrying the person I wished -someone they found 'unsuitable', and when I persisted with my plans I ended up formally disinherited.

Sadly teaches one a lot about love.

Still sometimes even in a group with rigorous beliefs there can be one or two that have more heart than dogma and social pressure, is there anyone you know of who might care for you and put all else to one side? I had an Aunt who simply loved.

So we are back to the question of belonging. I realise you have a tangled and most difficult time with family, though my impression is that AC and you in some ways belong, maybe both your children.

perhaps your role is matriarch to which others belong, or are tied to by your wishing to look after them. That takes strength to be the peak of the pyramid

One has to remember one is not an inexhaustible well of strenght, I'm glad you are talking with Mary and Jenn, they are sensible and perceptive, as well as your having staunch freinds.

A career and a flexible boss is a blessing. A career, as I unfortunately had to find out, makes up so much of one's self.