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Fear, anger, and regret: My horrible legacy

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I think this is a vent thread, I'm not quite sure. There is just so much that I need to express.


Well, to make a long story short, it turns out that I am more dysfunctional than I thought I was. I don't just have issues I have a subscription to a major publication.


I've been seeing a therapist for the last month; moreover, I've been diagnosed as a Hypochondriac, with generalized anxiety disorder and low self esteem. I knew that I was a hypochondriac, but I didn't realize that I had low self esteem. At first I thought I had gotten over my low self esteem. But I realize I've always had it and I've just been coexisting with it.


To see me in person you probably wouldn't think I had really low self esteem. I am meticulous about my appearance; I am a perfect student; and I always present a really happy face to the general public. And even though I'm quite an introvert I get on well with other people.


But lately I am discovering, much to my own chagrin, that I am such a false person. All of my life I have put on a big front to appease others, much to the detriment of myself. Infact, I am realizing that I've never known myself to begin with. At 25-years-old I am just now beginning to figure out who I really am. I have lost so much time due to fear and low self esteem. I have always pretended to be something that I'm not just so people would believe that I was okay.


Growing up I remember people telling my mother how cute, well dressed, and good I was. And I remember always thinking that it meant something very profound. In fact, I often thought that I was better than other children because their parents had such a hard time with them...So I always wanted to be "perfect" for my mother. I lived for that approval so much that I didn't even go through my teenaged rebellion stage.

I did this because my mom had such a hard time dealing with her other kids AND their children so I didn't want to be considered a burden. So I just faded into the background...


Just recently, after years of inner turmoil and denial, I admitted to myself my true sexuality(I'm gay). At first I thought, "That was my big problem. I just needed to come out..." However, I discovered that was only ONE of my problems. When I came out to my mom the proverbial cow dung hit the fan. Soon my entire family found out, and they are really homophobic. All of a sudden, after years of being "the good one," I find myself being hated and damned to hell for the telling the truth.


Now, I am angry and mired down in bitterness. I hold so much hostility and antipathy towards my family members.

I loathe my older brothers. They have been the perpetual bane of my existence. They have been emotionally and physically abusive towards me all of my life. All I have ever tried to do was earn their love and approval, to the detriment of myself. And when I am finally brave enough to be true to myself they pounce on me like rabid dogs.


At this point I hate all of them. I know there are some who will tell me that I shouldn't waste time hating them. Well, I'm sorry but I do hate them. I hate them for all of the damage they've inflicted upon them. I am broken on the inside. Now I'm working like hell to repair what they've helped to destroy. I wish I didn't have any brothers. And the only bond holding us together is our mother. They started the fire now I have to extinguish it, and I hate them for that too.

I don't like the fact that I hate; but my therapist told me it is a valid emotion. I have to allow myself to feel it for it to go away. So this is what I feel.


I am angry at my mother--and I've told her as much--because all my life I have tried to be the perfect son; and the onetime I truly needed her to be there for me, unconditionally, she betrayed me by not defending me against my family. I know she tried her best, and has accepted me as best she knows how(even though she lets a 2,000 year old rule book rule her life). I've always been her confidant and ally. Whenever the world fell down upon her I was there to pick up the pieces. Sometimes I felt like I was the parent and she was the child. She should not have leaned on me the way that she did, but I was still her pillar of strength. But when I needed her the most she used religion against me, and that hurt.


All during that tumultuous period I tried to be strong. I had to endure people telling me I would goto hell; that I'm an abomination; and that I would die of AIDS or a drug overdose. When I came out I had to stand tall and let everyone know that I wasn't going through some phase that this was reality. But all that time I was unraveling on the inside. I was under so much stress, but I still had to put on my happy face and pretend nothing was wrong. It was all about maintaining a damned image.


Now, I feel like I've come undone. Everything I've held back for the majority of my life is rising to the surface. Wounds that I thought had healed are still raw and festering. In my therapy sessions I cry and just spill my guts. My therapist helps me, but each session there is always a new layer. I feel like I have diarrhea of the mouth sometimes. An hour is simply not enough in some cases. I never thought I was this messed up, and sometimes I wonder will I ever get through this. It scares me to be open and vulnerable to people. I have lived my life in self defense mode. I catered to my fears. Now I want to become apart of the world. I want to have interpersonal relationships. I want to meet the man I love and settle down someday. I don't want to be alone and afraid all the time...


The reason I took three years off after graduating from junior college was because I was afraid to drive on the freeway to a major university. Three years I wasted because I was petrified I was going to get into a car accident and die...However, I forced myself to face my fear and now I am an A student in school. Now I'm not afraid of driving on the freeway but I have so many fears and anxities. My therapist says it comes from being emotionally vulnerable as a child. The fact that I never felt protected comes into play. My mother allowed my brothers to put me through emotional and physical abuse. She won't admit it but I feel that she let them do to me what they did because she knew I was gay then. It was her sick and twisted way of toughening me up. It did not take much to discipline me. I was a sensitive and quiet kid.

I don't want to hold her responsible but I've let her know that I was messed up behind it. She accepts her responsibility...So even though I am angry at her I forgive her because she is trying.



Even though I have accepted being gay(just the way I was born and it isn't going to change) I still feel guilty and ashamed of my sexuality sometimes. And I think this has to do with my low self esteem(another thing I am working on in counseling). My family is hyper religious and homophobic and I hate them for what they put me through. I hate my religion too. I grew up Baptist Christian, and--at onetime--I truly believed in all that stuff. A few years ago, when I was 18, I joined church and got "saved." A year prior I had tried to committ suicide, but it didn't pan out. So my mom told me I should accept Jesus as my personal savior and stuff like that. So I did, and for awhile things got better. I threw myself into church activities...and the human companionship I got from church members was needed. But it was just a bandage over a shot gun wound.

I had just put all of my issues in a neat little box and hid from them.

I spent the next few years praying that god would turn me heterosexual so I wouldn't goto hell and etc...etc...etc...Years passed, and I watched my life run past my eyes. So I finally just bit the bullet and admitted it to myself.

Long story short I no longer believe in my religion anymore. Now I am trying to figure out what religion I DO believe in...My religious beliefs were such an intricate component to my personality; and now I am trying to figure out who I am sans religion. I don't believe in the bible or the Judeo Christian god anymore. I think I would rather be in hell than spend eternity with him and many of my family members...


I thought I was making a move to the next stage of my life, but it feels like I am starting over. I am literally trying to build something from scratch because I've always placed other people's feelings before my own.


My therapist wanted me to write down 10 things that I love about myself and bring it into session. I came up with five. And I am scratching my head on the others. That is so pathetic.

But I could come up with 101 things that I don't love about myself. I have spent all of my teens and early 20's putting myself down and comparing myself to others...I really do want to love me, but in order to do that I have to get through all of these neurosis and anxieties.


I'm so for writing all of this. But I just need to get it out of my system.

Thanks for reading if you did.

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I read it and I am actually very impressed.


I don't know what the five things were nor the hundred and one - but I know one thing from my observation of your previous posts and for me it is the finest quality a human can have because it guarantees all the others.


You are a very kind person.


And it is that quality that will enable you to forgive all the people who have hurt you. It may take a while but you will.


And then you will realise that you have little to forgive in yourself and realise how strong you really are.

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I'm so sorry for what you have been through and what you are going through now. Not having the support and love of your family is a tough thing but the unconditional love is just not there. As for your therapist, I'm a little surprised that she is casting so much blame on your mother and insinuating that your mother new you were gay as a child and used your brothers as a form of treatment to beat you back in to heterosexuality. Your therapist may be trying to lighten your own sense of guilt and passing it on to an outlet where you are focused. Many therapists use their own approach, I just don't happen to agree with this one. As for your GAD, if everyone in the world went to a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed therapist, the majority of the world would be diagnosed with GAD! A GAD is a GAD because of the vast areas in which it covers.


As for being a hypochondriac well that certainly is possible but clearly not a death sentence. Your low-self esteem is probably from years of being afraid that you would not be accepted by friends and family once you came out. You're a great guy and very kind and compassionate, you're sexual orientation is of no consequence here. My brother-in-law who lives with my wife and I is gay and has been through some tough times as well but he has recovered nicely and I will gladly put you in touch with him if you would like. He often speaks with those in similar situations such as yours and if anything else he's a great friend to have in your corner, let me know. DN is very correct in saying that forgiveness will help you move forward and strengthen your inner being.


I'm glad that you are seeking help for your issues and if you ever need to talk, you can find me here.



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Remember that you have the power to be in charge of your own life. When you let other people take some of that power away you lose control.


A prisoner in the deepest, darkest dungeon can still have power over his own mind. Other people can hurt him, even destroy him, but they can't change who he is.

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Well, my therapist doesn't blame my mom. I do. I believe she always knew(because I told her when I was 13...That is when all the abuse began with my older brother)...I still kind of resent her because I told her about all the abusive incidents from my brothers and babysitters(once a baby sitter she hired whipped my legs bloody with switches. My mom didn't do anything to her)...


I basically deduced that I have so many issues because I had to fend for myself.


Trying not to blame her, but it is hard because I still feel so much pain from all of that...to this day.

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Well I'm glad to hear that it wasn't your therapist! Look you lived a tough youth and the resentment is strong but letting your past control your present state isn't healthy. There are many here and out in the RW who care about you as a person and accept what others cannot. Blame your mother if it helps but the reality of it is she is a different person than you thought and you are a different person than she thought. When those who you have helped are not around for you in times of need, it hurts I understand that. Forgiving her will hurt as well but the releasing your anger towards her will help the healing process.



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Well, when you are 12 years old, 5 ft tall, 88 pounds, going up against a 27-year old man(my youngest brother is 15 years older than me) that is 6ft tall and 200 pounds, the odds were easily stacked in his favor.

It was child abuse plain and simple.


I sometimes wonder why my mom let it happen, but her big excuse is that she doesn't remember it ever happening. That is her way out of everything. There was one incident where she sat and WATCHED my brother beat the living hell out of me(infact, the neighbors saw it too as he dragged me into the front yard to do it)...


Yes, she and I are very close. Because I am the only one who is there for her unconditionally. Yet, my other brothers treat her like dirt and she bends over backwards for them...She is such a masochist. That is the only word I can use to describe my mother. She takes beatings just to make sure the family stays together no matter how dysfunctional we are.


Anyway, It doesn't matter to me--at this point--whether my family is accepting of my sexual orientation. I had to FINALLY come to that conclusion for myself. But, like I said, things are strained...My mom told me, when i came out to her, that she would love me and stand by my side unconditionally...She did until my wicked older brothers started poisoning her against me, and then she took their side when I needed her the most.


So I do feel some bitterness and resentment...I didn't expect her to do cartwheels over the news. I just needed to know she would be there. Instead she revealed all and the world collapsed in on me...Now here I am, trying to put the pieces back together.


Maybe this happened for a reason...as I am now being proactive and taking control of my life. That is the best thing that has come of this.

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Oh thanks RC for your advice.


I definitely wouldn't see a therapist that blamed my mom for my ills...I see a gay affirmative counselor, and he mainly listens to me and tells me what I should do. So far all of his advice has helped me...


Not only do I blame my mom and my family members but I also harbor anger at myself. I regret not speaking up more and being heard. I felt that I had to be the perfect child all the time...and it hurt me more than helped me.


As it is all I can do is go from here. One day at a time...

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OK, here are is a dozen things I love about you FoxLocke!

  • Intelligent
  • Kind and caring
  • Compassionate
  • Considerate
  • Respectful
  • Loving
  • Tidy
  • Hard working
  • Likes to learn
  • Opens up feelings
  • Open to change
  • Wants to live

I read your OP with a laughing and a crying eye. Laughing because your therapy does work, crying because of what they did to you.


I see some of your conflict in myself. I had no big brothers but my mom did a (better) job by herself. I remained a virgin until age 23 when I moved to Hong Kong. In hind-sight my anti-mom complex was overcome by Asian girls. Still, I had plenty of issues hidden inside and added many others, some of the last are resolving themselves here. My anti-mom complex finally seems cured by family values and my own family. My upcoming birthday will be my first with a birthday cake and all that together with a bunch of kids including mine!


As Relationship Coach said, be concerned about your low self esteem, it's the amplifier for all good and bad. Read my Work in Progress Journal, some ideas about behavioral patterns wrt low self esteem.


Most important is that you build your self esteem. You deserve to be understood but to expect understanding (from your family) is very foolish!


Do not expect understanding! This solves half of your self esteem problems. Be tough, be a little selfish and do what you have to do.


Find more things to do and to complete. Start small.


Make a journal here too.


Your therapist is good, keep up the good work!


Expect to resolve what you want and expect that you will live your life! and work for it.

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Foxlocke I'm sorry that you're dealing with so much. At least you're working on improving yourself & making an effort to overcome all of the turmoil you went through all of these years. You are such a great person & I really truly think you're someone special.I say focus on you & improve your self-esteem, easier said then done, TRUST ME I KNOW! I think our main problem is truly loving ourselves 100% completely, when we love ourselves, really nothing else matters. In the end therapy will make you stronger & I can list 10 great things about you. Keep your head up Foxlocke, life can be rough... I know so well, sometimes we have to go through things to make us stronger in the end.

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