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Advice Please...

Anyone else have a neglect/abusive childhood and end up in the same type of relationships with friends and boyfriends...relationships in general. I feel like my friends were not good friends at the end of the day and my relationships with men were dysfunctional and abusive as well...very much a pattern in all areas of my life for years. I have chose to end friendships and relationships with friends and family due them being a huge part of my life back then. I am in a better place now and I am married to a wonderful man and have a baby, and I am so happy with my life today, however I have no relationships and I don't know how to even begin to start meeting new people healthy supportive relationships. Im not a very trusting person...these days. It even kind of scares me to think about letting people into my life again. I'm looking into therapy as's been a long time coming. Any helpful advice?

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:39 AM on Sep. 10, 2013 in Relationships

Answers (6)
  • I broke the cycle of abuse and cut off everyone who was a negative influence in my life, and my life hasn't been better.
    When you've been hurt so much, it's extremely hard to trust ANYONE! That never leaves you.
    But, that being said, you have to allow other people in. A little bit at a time, feel them out. You'll know if they were meant to be your friend or not.
    I try to surround myself with people who bring me up versus bring me down.
    Learning to trust is not easy and I firmly believe you're lucky if you can count your best friends in one hand!

    Answer by KTElite at 12:46 AM on Sep. 10, 2013

  • Other than suggesting therapy, I really can't help you, BUT your story is EXACTLY what I try to tell people when they want to stay in a crappy or abusive relationship "for the kids". Kids learn what they see at home. If they grow up thinking that's what married life or love is supposed to be, they carry that with them their whole lives. That's 100% what happened to you, and I'm sorry you had to go thru all that garbage before you could see what love is supposed to be!

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 12:48 AM on Sep. 10, 2013

  • I've been where you are, and I guess the only thing I've really learned is, trust your gut. If you make a friend and you start to feel like that person is using you or not treating you well, it's probably true. Look at it honestly, and don't waste months or years making excuses and justifying problems. Not to say you can't be forgiving, but if someone keeps up behavior that makes you feel bad, move on.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:58 AM on Sep. 10, 2013

  • Therapy is a good first start. As for forming other relationships, I think the best thing would be to be to seek those through the positives in your life. Like your children. If they are young, through play groups or mom's groups. Or if you are religious, through church groups. If you are not used to putting yourself out there then smaller groups would be easiest. I've met some of my better friends through my kid's activities.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 8:57 AM on Sep. 10, 2013

  • There is a pattern happening and it is a common one. It's a pattern of relating, and that includes our own patterns (or habits) of relating to (or avoiding) our own feelings. We tend to repeat dynamics, repeat relating in ways that ultimately are hurtful (dysfunctional) not only because that's what we "learned" but because humans have an instinct to heal! It can seem perverse but recreating unresolved dynamics in the present, in the lives we are living NOW, creates the opportunity to find resolution. It's like our unconscious is spotlighting or a shining a light on exactly what needs healing, what needs our attention. It's also true that our old hurts & unresolved issues (triggers) come alive in the present whether or not the present situation is closely or literally related. The suggestion of similarity is enough to trigger an "old" reaction to something "new," and the reaction shapes how we proceed.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:36 AM on Sep. 11, 2013

  • That means if we have a lot of baggage or unresolved issues, we frequently react to things in the present as if it IS the past situation. It's an emotional reaction conditioned by traumatic childhood experiences. This is precisely why children's behavior can "push our buttons" so much, and triggers such intense feelings/reactions inside. Sometimes we recognize that it's our "stuff" intruding into the present, that our reaction is out of whack with what's actually happening. Often we don't! We take our reactions as true/reliable information about what IS happening (about what someone is intending, etc.)
    So then our triggered reactions shape HOW we proceed, which means the actions we take can shape our present conditions to more closely resemble or duplicate past dysfunction. This happens even in positive, strong relationships, just because of the way trauma conditions a person, and because healing is needed!
    Therapy can help.

    Answer by girlwithC at 9:54 AM on Sep. 11, 2013

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