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Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma & A Family To Top It All

Community Member

Hello and welcome to the pilot episode of "It's That Messed Up" I'm your host, Seele (Say-Lay).

Characters: Seele, The Partner, Child A (Currently 5YO), Child B (Currently 2YO)

Location: Rural NSW, Riverina.

The Boring Details:

I'm a 28YO Male survivor of childhood domestic abuse (Physical, Sexual, Mental, Emotional). I suffer from Depression, Anxiety & Stress. I also have low self esteem and a perverse hatred for myself.

After reading another Thread in these forums I have decided that I am going to try and start exercising from tonight onwards.

Roughly 4 years ago my partner and our daughter, Child A, moved from Canberra to a small-medium sized country town in the Riverina of NSW. This followed a period of almost 3 months where we were homeless after both of lost our jobs within a span of about 6 months. Since then we have struggled tooth and nail to build ourselves back up to a point where we can start feeling happy and comfortable with our living conditions again. In that time we've also had a second child, Child B.

Since my adolescence I've always had an issue with Anger Management and my general mental health as a result of the way I was dragged up by my mother and her many partners since my father left her when I was a child.

In my opinion I think I am spectacularly well adjusted considering my childhood and teenage years. My partner however, feel differently. She is adamant that I need to seek professional counselling so I can "Get Over" my childhood. I've seen several counsellors and mental health professionals over the past 6 years we've been together, most of which have done nothing but try and desensitise me to the trauma of my childhood by forcing me to remember particular events over and over. I never found this particularly helpful and it never resolved the anger issues I was seeing them for in the first place.

Since falling pregnant with our first child my partner has had a dramatically decreased sexual drive, to the point where we now regularly go up to 6 months without touching each other. But there will be more on that in future episodes.

Since I'm almost out of space in this text box now I'll sign off and hopefully be back with an update in the next couple of days.

Thank you all for watching "It's That Messed Up"

4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Seele

Wow, you have a real life "It's that messed up". Childhood domestic abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, mental) is traumatic for anyone. Some may think and feel they have coped with it better than others.

It's good you found your way to Beyond Blue Forums. Welcome! People who respond to posts are friendly, supportive, caring and respect individual's privacy.

You sound like you think you're okay, i.e. In my opinion I think I am spectacularly well adjusted considering my childhood and teenage years.

However, your partner thinks differently. That must be painful and hurtful for both of you. Also, for a counsellor to try to make you remember your childhood so you can be de-sensitised sounds dreadful to me. I too had a childhood, with the same type of trauma. None of the counsellors (psychologists) I've seen in the past 20 years have ever made me 'remember'. They have always been supportive and helped me identify those areas of my life that have caused me angst/pain and those areas I want to improve to make me a better person.

It is interesting also that the anger issues you say you have were never addressed as part of the therapy. Psychologist and counsellors have different styles and perspectives. Not one size fits all!! I've had to change when I don't think the psych is meeting my requirements. So maybe you need to think about changing too. Go back to your GP and explain what's happening.

During my 20s and 30s I was a very angry person and would fly off the handle very easily. I hated this within myself and tried changing. In my 40s i started going to a psychologist who taught me cognitive behavioural therapy techniques. This helped me to 'cease expressing' my anger, however, it never addressed the underlying issues of why i was an angry person in the first place and how i could cease feeling angry.

Twenty years on, and I'm just learning - I'm making changes to my belief and values system that drives my automatic responses to certain situations. The psychologist I've been seen since January this year has already made the world of difference to me.

Your post does leave me a little confused though - you think you are well adjusted, but your partner does not. In your post you have not really indicated what 'you' want from the interactions you have in the forum.

Maybe tell us about 'what you want' for you? How do you want to feel better as a person?

Look forward to your next instalment of "It's that messed up"

Kind regards


Community Member

Can I ask how long you were seeing the Counsellor for? Maybe you haven't reached the point yet where healing begins or maybe seeing another therapist would help. It can take a while sometimes to find the right therapist.

I think that if you really are doing your best with what you have that your partner needs to know this and somehow try to understand . It sounds like she struggles with dealing with your past too and she might benefit from getting some Counselling also.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Seele,

I’m so sorry that you went through that as a child. None of us choose the family we are born into, and sometimes we get a truly bad hand. I also understand how your wife’s attitude and words can feel very minimizing. Perhaps you could explain how you feel, but sometimes people who haven’t been there will never truly ‘get it’.

I know some people have had enormous luck with psychologists/counselors but, like you, I have always been a tad skeptical (or perhaps just unlucky).

You seem to have a lot of insight into why you feel the way you do and what is wrong, probably more than a psychologist. I think that psychologists can help by calling out the damaging self talk that we can get into, catastrophising or self-pity etc and coping skills. That being said, I think you may be well placed to manage your anger and really analyze why you get angry. Is there something that you say internally during these times? what tends to trigger your anger? I think we all make a choice to ‘lose control’ of our temper. Do you do it because I’m some way you feel that you are entitled to be angry given your past? What are you trying to achieve with your anger? Anger is one of those things that, I think that to change, you need to get to a point where you simply don’t want to live like that anymore. What is the point of it? Where does it get you etc? Your past may have been traumatic and upsetting, but it doesn’t have to dictate how you control the next chapters. I think that you need to stand up and take back a bit of control of your life.

Community Member
Hi Seele. I've been through a few counsellors/psyches/gps and have found the same. Always dragging up the past trauma and you are reliving it again and again and never resolving the problems you need to deal with or what's going on now. Interestingly there is a more recent theory that this form of counselling can do more harm. The current train of thought is to work on becoming functional by changing behaviour and our reactions and ways of coping (Or words to that effect) Recently when I reluctantly sought treatment the only useful thing I learned was that after so many years of counselling "I am not emotionally ready for trauma counselling"and in taking my "history" is a waste of my valuable time and energy when i need to learn to deal better with the now not the then. I think you have to want help/treatment/counselling or theres no use. Regards Gg