Nervous childhood

Postby RandomUser » Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:23 am

I apologise if this is a little long or confusing it's just that English is not my first language.

Last year I finally decided to stop being worried (about anything) all the time so I started to figure out what was the root of that problem. So I started a process of taking my memories back to help me clear my mind,when my childhood memories showed up I remembered everything just the way it actually felt for the first time and not with all the layers of nostalgia I usually put on my childhood memories. I realized that I was so afraid and anxious all the time, of course it was childish fear but it kinda blocked anything I wanted to do,I would think in circles all the time,doing what I think of as some kind of ritual to stop the fear,my mother is very religious so I grew up with this constant fear of being "punished" and the only thing that would slow down that fear was repeating apologies (to God I guess) on and on and on,I remember that I couldn't fall asleep at night/get up in the morning until doing this exhausting thing,because I believed that otherwise my whole family would die or something like that,it wasn't just praying,it was a constant fight with my own mind,because there was this little voice (sometimes it's still there) saying blasphemous things in the middle of the prayer,making me think about things I didn't want to think about and then,here we go again,another 10 minutes "praying" to apologise for my thoughts. The thing is,my mom never forced me to believe in anything,she always acted so lovely and caring,and before this "God" thing I was already that way,I needed to repeat things in my head a lot of times before letting it go,go crazy with hypothetical situations,like thinking about horrible things to happen to me or my family and crying in the middle of the night,for no reason. I don't like to romanticize mental problems,i have a normal life and had a regular childhood too, without abuse or big trauma, even though I don't feel exactly that way anymore,every once in a while I feel like that again and I want to know why.
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#1

Postby Candid » Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:24 am

RandomUser wrote:i have a normal life and had a regular childhood too, without abuse or big trauma


You were abused, Random; it just went under the radar, so you can't see how.

I'm sure your mother was good to you, and it sounds as though she was overprotective; the worst she did was to inculcate you with the Fear of God.

I'm here to tell you there isn't a god and there never was, and that the idea of a god watching you all the time, reading your mind as well as more than seven billion other minds, in every language; and demanding impossible standards of you, threatening you with eternal torture if you haven't been good enough... is a lot of superstitious nonsense.

Your problem is a kind of OCD, relentless urges to believe you're going to be punished somehow, that you have to apologise constantly merely for existing, that your whole family might die and it would be your fault—and because you're an intelligent person you know that whatever holy book your mother goes by, it's chock full of nastiness, vicious wars, virgin sacrifices, inconsistencies, repetitions, contradictions.... IOW that it makes no sense and it's impossible for anyone to live by it.

there was this little voice (sometimes it's still there) saying blasphemous things in the middle of the prayer,making me think about things I didn't want to think about


That's your little voice, Random. It knows the truth: that Darwin was right, that we evolved from ape-like ancestors, that the ones closest to us now are chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans, and that all holy books were written by dozens of the brightest of their time, trying to figure out how we got here. They had plenty of superstitions, because life was difficult and dangerous back then, so they tried to figure it out and in the end they gave up, and decided there must be a wise, father-like ... thing that pulled it all together.

before this "God" thing I was already that way,I needed to repeat things in my head a lot of times before letting it go,go crazy with hypothetical situations,like thinking about horrible things to happen to me or my family and crying in the middle of the night,for no reason.


Okay, so what we have is a genuine case of OCD that's fixated on "this 'God' thing" and the notion that if you don't carry out some kind of ritual penitence there will be retribution in the shape of "horrible things" happening to you and your family. And with genuine OCD like this, it's no good me telling you god is just a figment of someone's imagination a very long time ago, and why would you need to apologise to some horrible thing that spies on you constantly yet encouraged bloodthirsty wars, sacrificial virgins and scapegoats of every kind and blah blah blah?

Dear one, if you need to have an imaginary friend, make it one who really does adore you exactly as you are. Have a guardian angel who regularly tells you how wonderful you are, and has a sense of humour about the terrible things you used to apologise for incessantly. In other words, let that blasphemous little voice tell you what's true.

Some crackbrained nonsensical religion makes sense to your mother. It works for her and she hasn't gone mad with it. She probably reads her holy book selectively, liking some bits and skipping over the crap. It has a different effect on you. It's ruining your life.

Get your hands on a copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and understand you don't need some impossibly strict imaginary father figure making the rules and planning to torture you.

That blasphemous little voice has been trying to get through to you for a long time. I suggest you start listening to it.
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#2

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:31 pm

RandomUser wrote: ...even though I don't feel exactly that way anymore,every once in a while I feel like that again and I want to know why.


My guess...

There must be a trigger or triggers, e.g. a member of the family tells you that they are not feeling well. It is not likely that random thoughts make you feel like that again, but specific thoughts.

It sounds like things outside of your control are a common trigger. As you have grown older you have more freedom to take action. As an adult you have more control over how you handle issues than when a child. Butm every once in a while a problem surfaces that you have no control over and this might then trigger the old feelings.
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#3

Postby RandomUser » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:46 am

Candid wrote:I'm here to tell you there isn't a god and there never was, and that the idea of a god watching you all the time, reading your mind as well as more than seven billion other minds, in every language; and demanding impossible standards of you, threatening you with eternal torture if you haven't been good enough... is a lot of superstitious nonsense.


That's okay,I don't think about God or any other religious stuff since my early adolescence,and you're right,the fear of God represents the fear of a strong father like figure.

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my previous post,I really appreciate it,I've never done this before (you know,asking strangers online) actually I never talk about the way I feel, I've been thinking about going to therapy for 3 months but I can't because there's always something else.

I have to admit that I don't feel so good,I've been into these obsessive processes for so long that I feel tired and exhausted,I'm generally numb and feel detached from real life,I don't feel safe in my own head,I'm trying to avoid falling into a new "circle of thought" once again which usually lasts months and ends up with me feeling weaker and more confused and anxious,so I prefer just being numb,the problem is that if I just ignore myself I get very vulnerable,angry and irritated. I hate to feel like this,they always say that it's okay to feel bad,but I don't want to,what if I get depressed and can't get out of it?

I'm turning 20 this year and I like to think that maybe this is just a passing phase,I'm not looking for free therapy online,but a fresh and honest point of view would be very helpful.
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#4

Postby Candid » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:41 am

RandomUser wrote:they always say that it's okay to feel bad,but I don't want to,what if I get depressed and can't get out of it?


I'd take that risk, myself. In a similar vein I can remember thinking if I started crying I might not be able to stop, when in fact crying was exactly what I needed to do.

I believe depression and numbing out come from the same place: a refusal or inability to feel our feelings. Logically you know it's extremely unlikely you'll get depressed and not be able to stop. The horrible thing about depression is the absence of feeling.

In particular I connect depression with anger denied. Maybe next time you're home alone you could shout "I'm angry!" and see where that takes you. This is a psychodynamic approach https://www.simplypsychology.org/psychodynamic.html and usually best done with a therapist or wise friend who'll push you to keep going when you'd otherwise back off.

I'm not looking for free therapy online,but a fresh and honest point of view would be very helpful.


No one's qualified to offer therapy here, but sometimes it helps just to talk things over, doesn't it?
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#5

Postby tokeless » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:30 pm

I believe depression and numbing out come from the same place: a refusal or inability to feel our feelings. Logically you know it's extremely unlikely you'll get depressed and not be able to stop.

Absolutely agree. The years I worked in addictions work all I saw was avoidance of feelings. I sometimes think aren't reared to show when we're hurt. As a child I was comforted with "big boys don't cry" as a way of getting me to deal with the pain...
Many people are uncomfortable seeing others express emotions and that's why they try to 'help you' not feel them
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