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Through-Glass Offline
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Eight Days With My Father. - April 3rd 2009, 10:04 PM

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all doing well. =]

Well, I have some fantastic and not-so-fantastic news...on the upside, I'm going to Disney World! My Spring Break is coming up, and I'm going to be there for the whole time. We leave after school on April 10th, and will be returning on the 18th. Lots of fun, right?

There's a little bit of a catch, you see. The only reason I am able to go is because Burr, my biological father, decided to take me along when he and my Grandmother, Laura, go there. Burr and I...well, let's just say our relationship has been very rocky. He has emotionally abused me since I was very young...he's called me names, blamed anything and everything on me, and guilt-tripped me over things out of my control. He has told me that if I were a better daughter, maybe our relationship would be better.

He also neglected me when I was still too small to care for myself. Besides leaving me at his house alone for hours at a time during visits, sometimes forgetting to feed me breakfast or lunch, he has also refused to pay child support, even when my mother and I were hungry and cold. I spent an entire winter in a home with no heat. He has had the means to support me; he is a Professional Chef, and has been a personal cook for the cast of the Ringling Bros. Circus and wrestlers from WWF. He's traveled all over the world and worked with many important and famous people. While he was doing all of this, I was barely getting three meals a day off of Food Stamps.

My point is...he stresses me out. I have more frequent Panic Attacks when with him, self-harm more frequently, all of that good stuff. We're doing a bit better now, and he seems to be trying. However, this does not erase the hurt he has inflicted in the past.

I need advice on how to prevent these feelings and memories from cutting down on the fun during our vacation. I mean, really...it's Disney World! I'm never going to get a chance to go again. I want to really enjoy this. Scott is coming along, as well, so I will atleast have moral support if I do start to slip. Is there anything else I can do to ensure I'm able to enjoy this trip to its fullest?

Thanks, guys. Stay strong. <3


[/url]
"For the first time
in a long time,
I can say that I wanna try.
I feel helpless for the most part,
but I'm learning to open my eyes.
And the sad truth of the matter is,
I'll never get over it,
but I'm gonna try
to get better and overcome each moment
in my own way"

Motion City Soundtrack, "Even If It Kills Me"
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Jen Offline
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Re: Eight Days With My Father. - April 3rd 2009, 10:10 PM

Hey Jessi,
I can definitely understand why you are feeling conflicted! And it's really awesome that you are looking for ways to take care of yourself--that shows how much you care about yourself and you're being self-compassionate! Which is great.

It's good that Scott will be there, as well as your Grandma, right? So you will have other people to talk to and escape to if you need a break. What other sorts of ways could you prevent a slip? I think that taking frequent breaks from him will be helpful--that way you're getting him in small doses and it's less likely to overwhelm you. I don't know how you feel about positive self-talk but it can go a long way. So if you start to feel yourself getting angry or panicky, say something to yourself like "I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay" and just repeat it over and over again to calm you down. Or "I do not have to panic right now". Sometimes those "mantras" can help.

You could also bring a notebook or journal with you so you can write and get your feelings/emotions/frustrations out, so that they are constantly being released. I've found that a lot of times self-harm happens because ALL the emotions build up til we just can't take it anymore! So if you unload a little bit each day by writing (or whatever else is helpful--talking to Scott, etc.) then it's less likely to all build up and explode.

I hope that helped a bit...good luck!
Jen




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“if nothing changed, there’d be no butterflies”

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Re: Eight Days With My Father. - April 4th 2009, 05:20 AM

Hey Jessi,

Wow, Disney Land, I don't even need to say how lucky you are. You're completely right, this is a once in a lifetime thing and enjoying this time will make memories for you that you can remember and pass on to everyone! Including us when you get back. You're extremely strong to be continuing to work with your father after the abuse, I believe things can get better with perseverance.

I agree with Jen above, her ideas are very good. Luckily you have support there, so use them as much as possible. Remember why you're going on the trip and that the purpose is to have fun. Think of it as your goal, and get into the right mind set. Remember the goal and don't let anything stand in the way. Maybe you could make a list, of all the good things each day. Reflect on those good things and keep the list with you. Then, make a bad list. Reflect on this and for each bad, think of a good that came from it. Something that turns it around. After you've done that with everything on your bad list, rip it up and throw it away. While you're doing that, think to yourself that you're letting go of the bad and having a fresh start. Consider this whole trip a fresh patch of untouched green grass. When you feel things have started to take a turn for the worse, look at the saved lists of good things, and reflect again.

Remember to have fun, ok? Stay safe and leave your father when you feel uncomfortable or irritable. If you feel the need to leave, that's ok, at least this prevents fights. Take care of yourself!

~Stay strong and have faith.


01 // 10 // 11

Baby stand tall. You can have it all.

Don't you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine..

Last edited by SimplyComplex; April 4th 2009 at 05:21 AM. Reason: Addition
   
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Re: Eight Days With My Father. - April 4th 2009, 04:06 PM

Jessi,

I hope you have fun on your trip. I understand how you would be upset with your father for hardly being there I think anyone would. The things he did to you and your mother were downright heartless. Would you say he is progressively becoming a more decent father? If so then I am so glad to hear that. I know forgiveness is extremely difficult and thats not what I am asking you to do. Instead I am asking you to leave the past in the past, accept what happened and move on.

However, if his actions still have not improved then I would recommend spending as little time with him in Disney World as possible. You have both your Grandma and Scott with you to be there for you if things start to get rough. While you are at the parks if your dad starts bothering you then you could always go off with Scott to get some food or go off on your own to go on some rides. When your at your Hotel you could always go for a walk or a swim if he is in the Hotel room upsetting you. Be smart and if you see a situation escalating then make yourself scarce. You can take a shower, go get some food from the hotel lobby, call your mom, or anything you can think of on spot to put some distance between you and your stressors. If you have internet access in your hotel you could even get on TH and talk with us for awhile until you felt a little better. You are not alone and we care about you.

If you ever need someone to talk to then feel free to PM me anytime. I'm here for you and I'm never to busy to listen. I hope you have a magical time at Disney and everything works out perfectly for you. Tell us how things went when you get back. If you are really worried you would have an awful time then no one says you have to go. Take care and hang in there.


Lots of love <3



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