How childhood shapes us

New Members thread, SOS thread, Daily chat and Support, Cutting Down, Abstinence and more.
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tawny
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by tawny »

Hello there, i am new to this forum and have noticed this thread which i have read all the way through and am touched by the openness of everyone. i might start now but not sure how its going to go.

i was born in 1964 and when i was 4 we moved to africa. my early childhood was fine, i think i had fun apart from at school where as a redhead i was bullied and called names and always felt ugly for being redhead. didn't want to belong to any red teams or wear red clothes or anything like that. i hate the way redhead people get given a hard time, its so unfair.

my parents always drank loads and i remember times being brought home from parties in their car (me and my brother used to sleep in the car whilst they partied). sometimes we had to say "dad you are driving on the wrong side of the road" and once he had some other guy's glasses on. sounds funny and they still laugh at it now but its not really funny at all. that's the thing i think they never grew up when it came to alcohol. and the first time i had a drink when i was sixteen, i drank something out of every bottle behind their bar. i loved it but not the hangover that followed.

i decided i was gay when i was 17 and when my mother found out she was furious and told me that i "would kill myself like all gay people" i really felt let down and like a revolting kind of person. For some reason this led me to self-harm and drink and one day a few years later when i was 20 i went too far and cut my arm with a broken whisky bottle and nearly died. I was in hospital for a massive blood transfusion and then the next day i had to see psychiatrists and eventually they decided it was a one off and let me go. my dad came to get me and said we didn't need to upset my mother so we would go for a drink and have a good time. they are like this when anything happens, when anyone dies, when anything goes wrong, just go for a drink and have a good time. my dad was out one night with someone from work and the guy died driving home and everyone blamed my dad as he was his boss and shouldn't have let him drive. still they carried on drinking. their parties were drink fuelled with lots of wife swapping and i hated it. but at the same time i loved to drink as well. i crashed so many cars and nearly died so many times but on the other hand i was doing yoga and trying to develop spiritually so it was all very confusing.

came back to england in 1988 and was pleased to find i could be gay. the unfortunate thing was that i could not be a white south african which i now was. i got given a really hard time and nobody ever asked me my opinion in the first few years, just presumed i was racist (whcih i am definitely not) and since then its been mistake after mistake. most of the time absolutely fine but then BAM the binge happens and I do something really really stupid and feel like the worst person on earth. this has involved acting out sexually and drink driving. I also did a degree in nutrition so on the one hand i was really healthy and trying to get somewhere spriritually but on the other (usually the weekend) i was this total maniac. i now have a wonderful partner and the possiblity of a wonderful life and really don't want to mess it up. so far we have been together six years but the fear is always there that i will do something like sleep with someone else when drunk and lose everything i value.

have made the decision this week never to drink again. this is after drink driving again and destroying someone's lawn with the car. at 20 it wasn't funny, at 44 it really isnt funny. But my folks think it is funny and they are coming for xmas and the look of disappontment on their faces when I say I don't want a drink is dreadful. like i have killed the whole party. does anyone else have this pressure from tehir parents?

sorry have warbled on here enough, sounds like telling someone else's story.
love to you all
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if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you obviously haven't grasped the seriousness of the situation

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Sally Cinnamon
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by Sally Cinnamon »

What a brave post.

Thank you for sharing your childhood with us Tawny, I think you'll find you aren't alone.

Welcome to BE <:)>

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Bupster
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by Bupster »

Tawny, I thought your post was very courageous, and very sad. What shines through is how you've felt worthless so many times thanks to other people's prejudices and almost random bullying. The world must feel pretty arbitrary to you sometimes, and unfair. The other thing that I read is that it's almost like you've brought yourself up, and are still doing so - as if your parents are the irresponsible kids of the family. That also must be very difficult, as if there's never anyone to look after you, and it's instead all your responsibility to look after them and keep them happy. This must have been quite a hard post to write, no wonder you feel like it's someone else's story. Well done for writing it down. <:)>
Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert

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queenie
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by queenie »

hi tawny

welcome to bright eye! not sure if you have posted yet on the new members thread but if not it would be a great way of getting to know a few people. my mum was born in south africa and was red-haired. she was also an identical twin and she used to describe how people would stop her and her sister in the street and touch them for luck. they came back to the uk when she was 6 and my poor gran (whose first language was afrikaans) had to settle in rainy north wales with 5 kids. my mum's dad died not long after they came here (he was welsh and had gone over to s.a for work) so she was really alone.

i never quite got it about white south africans until having white south african friends as an adult - they had come over here because of trouble in south africa because of their politics yet people assumed they were racist just because of their accents. it must have been really strange for you to suddenly swop one reason for not fitting in for another entirely different one. one of the themes that i have noticed on bright eye is that people have felt for all sorts of reasons that they didn't fit in as kids and then as adults and they have used drink to mask it. it certainly applies to me too.

i think the thing you describe about parents (or indeed friends) putting pressure on you to drink is a common one. people feel better if they are surrounded by people the same and someone who is saying 'actually i am drinking too much so i am going to cut down/give up' is a threat to their world view. i hope you are able to stick at it in spite of pressure - it sounds like drinking has put you in some really dangerous situations and on any one of those occasions it could have cost you your life. when you have been on bright eye a while you will find people with stories very similar to yours. somehow it makes it all fall into place when you realise there are patterns to behaviours and that you haven't just been off the wall on your own.

look forward to reading more of your posts.

queenie

ps - just read bupster's reply to you - she is so right about the parent thing. if we have no proper boundaries as kids we don't learn how to set them in a natural way as adults.
how many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change...

henryporter
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by henryporter »

Hi Tawny

What shone through from my reading of your post was your underlying positive beliefs and what seems to be a clear understanding of where you want to be.

Add to that your membership to BE, I think you know, more or less, the choices you need to make. I think all of the members here do………..more or less.

All the best with everything.

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tawny
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by tawny »

Wow and I mean wow!!! I just came back from a weekend in Paris visiting my other half. I wrote my post before I left and hadn't had a chance to look at the forum over the weekend. I am bowled over by the wonderful, beautiful words that everyone has said. I am touched. Sometimes you know you can write something and its like getting it off your chest and you don't really expect to get anything back but you do hope in your heart of hearts that someone will hear you and acknowledge what you are saying or nod or smile or say something that makes it feel like they understand and have been where you are. that's the feeling i have now. I have been in group therapy before, where you say hello my name is and this is my story and then you tell this break your heart story that you have never dared tell and nobody reacts because really what you are doing is sharing and you aren't necessarily supposed to expect anyone to react and you are left with a oh my god i have just said all this stuff that scares the hell out of me out loud and its out their floating on the breeze if you know what i mean. hmmm. so i got back from paris and i didn't log in because i thought that perhaps it was there floating in the breeze and then i got all your responses and i am just sooooo happy.

we live in france now and my other half has gone to work in paris because we ran out of money renovating our stone house and we don't want to leave so she is there and i am here in the countryside on my own with our two cats (who are great company) and the radio and you guys! so we will probably see each other every few weeks or so money depending, so i went there friday with all the best intentions never to drink again in my life and we went to a bar and i drank straight away - like straight away, no pondering, nothing - why is that? huh?! its like when you get really bad PMT and before you know it you are standing in front of the chocolate machine and you are RAMMING the chocolate bar down your throat! so i had two drinks and then saturday same and then sunday same./ so far so good and it was all very controlled but this is what happens, the day will come when i binge so i did a deal with myself that i would only drink with her because we don't drink out of control, i am comfortable and dont have to get drunk or please anyone or anything but i still think that I should actually never drink. really that is the only solution.

i never had anybody come up and say it was lucky to be redhead, that would have been something. i think it happens all over the world especially in britain, its joked about but i promise you for someone who is redhead i can bet that it hurts deep down, anything but ginger you hear people saying when they discuss their baby's impending arrival. even now when people say you have lovely hair i kinda look at them to see if they are being genuine and my mother always says "you hated your hair when you were little!. well why the hell do you think that was? all the things we get told growing up we believe, we don't make them up, they are forced on us. don't draw outside the lines, don't colour in pencil, use something different, don't jump, don't run, don't be - my black friend's son was at school recently and the teacher told him not to use a black crayon because it wasn't a bright colour. she found this out from him because he made a few comments about black not being a good colour and asked him about it. all these comments stick and its annoying that the people who make them generally have absolutely not a clue the damage they inflict.

i hate to be down on my folks though because they are old now and i am a grown up so there is no point in all that. But i do get angry and especially when the whole drink thing comes up - how to say no! its because its all packaged and all singing all dancing labelling and bottles just makes you think it isn't a poison but it is! just as sure as any other drug you would put into your body. childhood does shape us for sure = i remember so many things. my mother said to me when she finally accepted that i was gay - well we will always love you even if you murder someone. actually at the time i felt relieved and grateful - now i just feel WHAT was that about.

thank you thank you for all your incredible responses. i am soooo glad i joined this forum even though i have messed up already. but slowly slowly....... and i am warbling again

going to go and read lots more of the forum
love to all of you and keep keeping on
tawny

:P :P :P :P <:)> <:)> <:)>
if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you obviously haven't grasped the seriousness of the situation

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queenie
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by queenie »

hi tawny

good to see you back. well done for keeping the lid on the drinking. one thing that bupster says is that even for folks who are planning to cut down rather than cut out it is a good idea to have a period of abstinence to evaluate what goals you want to set yourself. from what i have read on the forum, it seems harder to get back to controlled drinking when you have been physically dependant on alcohol but if you read around the forum you can see different people's point of view on that one.

i don't know if you have seen the catherine tate sketches about gingers? here is a link to one of them:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bUhLIjlTNSk

my mum was a proper redhead with white skin and freckles and she was quite beautiful. i didn't inherit her colouring - my natural colour before i went grey was reddish browny - but i have always dyed my hair some sort of shade of red. i know fiend said life has been better since she dyed her hair red. i can't imagine someone saying they didn't want a ginger baby - some people are incredible. anyway - to hell with them. what stands out from your posts and those of so many of us on here is not feeling we fitted in for a whole raft of reasons. well, you fit in here, tawny. <:)> <:)> <:)>

queenie
how many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change...

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tawny
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by tawny »

hi queenie

definitely right, yes, a period of abstincence or better still i should just give up. the people whose lawn i ruined by driving all over in in the car have become decidedly chilly after initially being ok about it and saying "we all do it" etc etc. anyway not to ponder on that. have joined the november hop so am determined to make it through november.

thanks for your kind words, will look at catherine tate.

nighty night
tawny :D
if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you obviously haven't grasped the seriousness of the situation

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patty
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by patty »

Hi tawny,

Your post was so sensitive and brave, you sound an increadible person. Ginger too!!. My son is a proper copper nob and was the most beautiful baby you could have ever wished for, everyone used to stop and admire it. Hes grown up so proud of it and his nick name is ginge!! and he always says that the people who have problems with ginger hair is that they havent got it, as its only a select few are blessed with true ginger hair!!!

good luck to you,

Love patty xx <:)>

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tawny
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by tawny »

HI Patty,

thanks for your post - i love ginger people now - when i was a child i didn't, i just presumed they hated it to but that's not the case and i know that now. i love my own hair but its taken time! your son sounds wonderful and very well adjusted so well done!!!!

hey excuse me for being a poor country mouse but is there anyone out there who can tell me how to get one of those doody (are they called "avitars") ha ha. sorry - just no idea!! :oops:

love tawny :D :D :D

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tawny
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by tawny »

actually patty - hate is not the righnt word, at all, i never ever hated them i just felt that they were having a hard time like me so i felt sorry for them and thought it was a bad thing that had happened to us all, gawd can you imagine that! well its cool now and i think it rocks totally.

love tawny
if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you obviously haven't grasped the seriousness of the situation

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Sally Cinnamon
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by Sally Cinnamon »

Great to see you back Tawny. Hope you enjoyed your weekend? Sounds like you'll be living a dream by moving to France! So you did drink, but you controlled it and that's the key thing. Whether you're cutting down or abstaining totally this is the right place.

I know exactly what you mean about people going cold. I think a lot of people feel pressured when faced with someone who has upset them to say 'Oh, it's ok - don't worry!' when really they're offended but are too mousy to say so, the easiest option is to just withdraw (no pun intended!). I wouldn't worry about it though, ok so you drove over someones lawn - it's not as though it was one of their kids, and now that you're controlling your drink it probably won't happen again will it! Best to move on, you can only kick yourself for so long and you've obviously done plenty of that!

Thanks for coming back and posting, enjoyed reading it all <:)>

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Sally Cinnamon
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by Sally Cinnamon »

Avatar.

Goto:

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Profile
Edit Avatar

Image needs to be no bigger than 100x100 pixels, so you can either chop down a picture yourself using paint program in windows, or go hunting through google images for 'avatars' until you find something you like.

I browse websites and save piccies as I go! If there's anything in particular you'd like as an avatar drop me a line and I'll send one across if you don't have one

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tawny
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by tawny »

Hi everyone

Sally, thanks for the info on the avatar, understand it now duh!!

you made me laugh when i read about not driving over their child. i know its not funny but in that context it sounded so funny. no thank God i didn't do that. but that is exactly the type of thing that scares the hell out of me. that is why i don;t really think that i am someone that should drink sensibly because the time always comes, be it one week or one month later when i simply don't. i lose concentration. But I think it is great if other people can do that.

got sent some cds by a friend called The Psychology of Achievement- its amazing because it covers so much of what we have all been speaking about,. about our learned patterns and how our childhood really affects us, would really recommend it to anyone out there.

tawny xxx <:)>
if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you obviously haven't grasped the seriousness of the situation

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Sally Cinnamon
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by Sally Cinnamon »

Hey, I'm the same. Learnt my lesson trying to cut down and am now abstaining, and it's harder than I ever imagined. I am/was a real binge drinker. 2 or 3 bottles of wine a session were no trouble, a bottle of bacardi same thing. Not every day, but three or four times a week. I cut down to one bottle only, and that was much better but throughout it all I would wake up with severe paranoid depressive hangovers, and thats not even going into blackouts and the embarassment I've caused myself.

Last blip was four days ago after abstaining for five and I've sworn off it now. I'm trying to lose weight instead to give me something else to think about! The psychology of drink is so utterly complex, and the different circumstances of everyone who comes here makes this forum such an wonderful place to come to for support, advice or just for a feeling of calm I reckon. Really glad you're feeling better - it's vitally important you can laugh at yourself though you know, that's why I put the driving over kids thing the way I did. OK, it wasn't funny, but when you talk about it and peoples behaviour afterward, when you're evolving and making yourself better things suddenly do become easier to laugh at 8-)

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tawny
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by tawny »

Hey Sally I am also trying to lose weight and actually it is coming off. Yeah gives me something else to focus on, but not just weight for weight sake, trying to do the whole Calorie Restriction thing. so eating fewer calories but making sure the ones i do eat are very nutrient dense. I did study nutrition so there is no excuse for it not to work. there is a theory out there that if you restrict calories and eat nutrient dense food you can live longer so here goes!! typical day i eat fruit and muesli with oat milk for breakfast, something like a veggie and pulse soup for lunch and maybe chicken, rice or something yummy for dinner. its easy, i enjoy eating this way and now that i have cut out the wheat, dairy, alcohol, sugar etc don't seem to get any cravings. its great! and it is so incredible how well you sleep when you don't drink. that alone i think for me is worth giving up.

am going to try to get through this week with no drink at all. it can't be that hard. i did give up once for eighteen months, but was going to a centre in London every day for acupuncture, therapy and that helped keep my mind focused. now i have to do it alone, well not alone of course, because we are all here together which is just groovy!

speak soon :D
if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you obviously haven't grasped the seriousness of the situation

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qwerty
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by qwerty »

[quote="Fiendish"]Bupster,

Hi, just logged into this thread, have been avoiding it. I wasn't bullied at school, but was picked on. That made me more unfriendly, aloof, even aggresive...no-one bullied me, but that was just a show, I was scared, miserable and mouthy. The thing that made me sit up, was what you said fiendish, about bullying at work, I was bullied out of my job 4 years ago, and I still hold a resentment...like you, I don't want to go into details...just yet, but a lot of the time, that really does fuel my drinking! (I know this is a rant..sorry, got it off my chest for the first time) xx
Liz. xxx.
Oh would some power the gift he gi us...to see ourselves as others see us

Janette
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by Janette »

Okay, my childhood. I came from the average small-town American family. Or so I thought. I am the youngest of 4 kids. My parents did NOT drink. Except for having 1 on New Years Eve. The same bottle of Seagrams Seven was in our cupboard for over 10 yrs. My Dad would have at the most 2 beers a year (in the summer) after mowing the grass. We went on a family vacation every year of 8-10 days to the New Jersey shore. My parents also never argued in front of us, but neither did they show any physical affection to each other or us kids. My Dad actually made home-made wine and gave it away. I wasn't bullied in school, wasn't the most popular but neither unpopular. I got along with everyone. Sounds to good to be true, doesn't it? So what happened?

Actually I have to honestly say I got mixed up with the wrong crowd, and my first serious boyfriend at age 16. (I still consider 16 a kid) to age 21. Started drinking, started smoking cigarettes and marijuana. Next came the crystal meth. Which I was highly addicted to. (something I did not speak of yet). But that was almost 30ty yrs ago. Yes I'm old. Anyway, he physically beat me, bad and alot. I had more black eyes and broken facial bones than any prize fighter. Okay, I won't get into my next serious boyfriend, actually fiance, because that story is just if not worse. And I rambled on enough.

Guess what I am trying to say, that addiction happens everywhere to anyone. Good or bad childhood, rich or poor. Would I be an addict if I hadn't hooked up with that first boyfriend? I have no clue. Maybe, maybe not.

But thats what I am today, an ex-drug addict. And now an alcoholic.

Janette
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queenie
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by queenie »

janette

the fact you managed to come off chrystal meth shows you are one strong person. you can do this.

Q
how many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change...

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Lush
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Re: How childhood shapes us

Post by Lush »

Janette, that was a very brave and honest post, and I totally agree with Q's reply. <:)>

You are so right about addiction - it doesn't discriminate whatsoever.

Susie
xx
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