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Thoughts about when to reveal past trauma???


volpe

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So, I was abused as a kid and was emancipated. As a result, in my early twenties I had a string of bad relationship experiences- I had no guidance and no good examples from my parents. I have grown immensely, have had counseling and my counselor thought I could do without counseling at this point or I could if I just want to see someone from time to time to just have as support in case I have problems. But over all, I am doing so much better! I am about to turn 30 soon, and it is one of those moments I can look back and just see what a better place I am in than when I turned 20 or 21!

 

That said, I have never really thought carefully about when do I tell someone I date about my family. You see, the questions always come up about parents and all, and I have no contact with them. Usually, I just avoid the topic unless it somehow comes up naturally, but I just think I need to be more careful about who I tell it to and when.

 

Question is, when do I tell, and how do I know it is the right time? I think that if I hide it too long then it's like I'm being dishonest and misrepresenting myself, but if I reveal it too quickly I may just appear unstable and kind of needy or something.

 

Any experience with this or thoughts about when you would prefer to hear about this from someone you are dating?

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Volpe, good for you on getting to the point that you are able to deal with this on your own, per your therapist's words.

 

I know what you are talking about. I am estranged from my family and hate talking about them when I meet someone.

 

My strategy has always been to bounce the question back to them. (When you are just getting to know someone -- the first three or so meetings.) I ask a lot of questions about family, growing up, etc, and I am a good listener. Most people are happy to oblige and tell you a lot about themselves and family.

 

After I have known them for a bit, I will slowly divulge info, piece at a time, so that it is not overwhelming. If that person stays around in my life long enough, either as a friend or possible romantic partner (doesn't matter which), I eventually open up about my situation. Most people are understanding.

 

I never felt dishonest as I have never lied. And I will tell the whole truth to friends and people I trust over time. It's really not their business to know everything when I am just getting to know them. But, it can be tricky to answer questions.

 

I hope that helps!

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Thank you both, yeah it is not an easy one at all, but I think you are both right; I just wonder if by not mentioning, it is sort of a lie of omission, that's all. Usually I tell some of the story (not all!) within a few weeks or so, if it looks like it's going somewhere, but I kind of wonder if that is too soon.

It is one of those things- that you just never heal from 100%, but I have grown past the dysfunctional relationships of my parents. The hurt, however, will always be there on some level, that is undeniable- but I think the main thing I had to learn is to expect emotional honesty and support from a relationship- just changing my expectations more than my own behavior.

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  • 3 weeks later...

hi, I have similar stuff. I am also now finishing up my degree as a therapist. DOn't say anything remember Boundaries! You dont need to really talk about this until you are exclusive and feel safe, if ever! It is up to you. You can always say you are an orphan until then. Good luck!

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