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Broken Cancer Survivor. Im án ashamed mother and wife

Community Member
I am beyond desperate. I have a long life history of CPTSD from childhood trauma to being a victim of crime. I was raped by my ex. I met the love of my life but failed him. I lost 2 out of 5 of our babies. I am always sick.'I have 3 additional needs kids. I am a self-harmer & eating disorder. I cant even succeed in my suicide attempts. I recently battled Grade 3 triple-negative breast cancer. I survived but barely. I cannot cope. I am resisting the urge to hurt myself but I won't. I have 3 absolutely beautiful boys.I fought like hell for my life. I adore them and they need me. My husband&I have drifted apart. I feel so much shame over what I have done to him. He didn't know what he was in for marrying me. I made the "best thing that has ever happened to me" a shadow of himself. He had to keep the family going while I battled cancer. We lost our home and had to "couch surf" with family. We have been homeless ever since my diagnosis. We now live with my husbands side of the family to give my family a break. Living under the same roof with a family like mine, who has so many challenges causes major disturbance. I think I should leave. My husband cant stand me anymore. I see it in his eyes. He told me to go. Im destroying them. Honestly, I am. My husband said 6 words to me I will never forget "YOU HAVE HURT MY LIFE"... and God, it's so very true. I am so disappointed with how I have turned out. I know - deep down - that the greatest thing I could do for the ones I love, is to remove myself before more damage is done. I'm a crap magnet and don't want the boys to know what that is like. I have looked at free campgrounds near by so I can be near my boys. I have no money. I have nothing. I don't even have a car to sleep in. I just have the clothes on my back and the love in my heart for my children. I wished I could nourish the love in my heart that I have for my husband but I can't even look him in the eye. I'm such a disgusting disappointment. The best thing I can do is remove myself so that my beautiful family can pick up the pieces without me causing more disturbance, but I was the victim of a house invasion and have terrifying fears of the thought of camping by myself. I do not know one person here. Im in such deep deep dispair. Has ANYONE been in my position? Can anyone offer me a line of hope. I would never end it, because it would destroy my kids but Im so tortured and cant see daylight... I am shaking constantly. its horrible.
11 Replies 11

Hi WishIwereSomeoneElse

My hat goes off to any parent who leads their child to consciously explore their emotions. It's easy to see the damage that can be done long term when life is largely about suppressing emotions. I'm glad the world is changing for boys these days, in the way of certain emotions being seen as valid, as opposed to being declared as a sign of 'weakness'.

I think that while a basic level of anger is not always a bad thing, as it can be a very telling emotion worth exploring, suppressing it and not exploring it or expressing it thoughtfully can easily have it lead to rage. Rage is undeniably one of those pressure cooker emotions, where the anger's been building to the point where it just can't be contained any longer. A big difference between letting off steam in a careful way and letting it off or out in an almost explosive way. Wondering if your husband has anyone he can 'vent' to, while they're helping him to make better sense of things, emotions included. Perhaps he's not the therapist type. Doesn't mean he can't be led to consider the avenue of therapy when he may be able to better relate to it down the track.

It's amazing how much the mind and body are tied in together. I recall reading a book some time ago called 'Becoming Supernatural' by Joe Dispenza. The supernatural aspect is more so about what is super or incredibly natural for human beings to experience under a variety of circumstances. The book is an interesting take on mind/body/spirit. He writes it from the perspective of neuroplasticity/epigenetics/quantum physics. While it sounds complex, it's a fairly easy read. He's a great writer. The quantum physics side of things (how energy naturally behaves) ties into the relationship it shares with the mind (the brain at work) and the body and its energy systems. Emotion or energy in motion, is definitely something worth exploring, understanding and mastering. Feeling no energy in motion (numbness or emptiness) becomes understandable when we're emotionally exhausted or mentally/physically run down.

Wondering if your husband could at least consider exploring the idea of how mental stress impacts us physically. If he'd like to experience some physical relief from the impact of emotion or feeling this thoughts, perhaps this is something he can better relate to. Maybe it might lead him to go on to consider exploring mental health and how it's ties into the physical experience.

Community Member

Hi You are not alone. You may be experiencing crippling toxic shame. An objective observer might say that you are actually an incredibly, brave, amazing survivor and fighter and your ability to keep fighting your demons an inspiration. Shame does not allow you to see this. Your husband is not perfect either for sure, yes he has a right to his feelings but saying "you have hurt my life" is an age old blaming/shaming relationship occurrence. I have been almost exactly where you are with the same thoughts about leaving - living on the streets nearby my two kids, terrified of how I could manage it, no money, financially dependent on a husband whose resentment combined with my shame (for my depression/anxiety and inability to hold down a job placing all the financial burden on him) has poisoned our relationship, can't kill myself because of my kids - will not deliberately die because I know from personal experience how this will affect them. Deep despair and very afraid because can't even end it. Excructiating pain. Have discovered that people with toxic shame believe they are worthless, don't matter, are a bad person, people they love are better off without them. The constant self loathing thought loops can be very hard to overcome and get through, can cause severe physical distress too. What helped me was to know that I was not alone in this and many people experience the same, scientifically studied and explained. It's not all just about the mind (or frontal cortex) either - the nature of the traumatic experiences that caused the shame means it is acitivated in the survival part of our brain. This makes it very hard to overcome the "knowing" of not being enough . What helped me was to sit with the pain a little and when I noticed the self loathing thought loop said to myself 'There's my silly brain again' . Name the shame. I started by recording my most private painful experiences and mistakes which I had been covering up in a journal because I could not say it aloud to anyone else. Exploring the causes of my shame and reflecting as objectively as possible on how much of a role I played in what happened in my past and the current circumstances helped me to understand that I MADE mistakes but AM NOT a mistake. I then felt more able to talk to someone else I trusted to 'lacerate and expose' the shame wound. It's hard to be vulnerable like this but it helped me to find a path out and reduced the impact of the resentment/shame relationship dynamic on my ability to heal. The real truth is you and your family are not in your current circumstances because you are a bad person. Your kids need their amazing surving mother who is stronger than she knows. I am struggling the same as you and not a professional but I will hold your hand, I will hear your pain, your shame and I will never judge you if you want to talk. You will survive, you will rise, you will thrive. Hope some of this might help you too.