Ask Gwen: Abusive Father


I grew up with an verbally, mentally and physically abusive father. He’s still alive and I do not have a relationship with him. I’m close to 55 years old and am still stuck with his opinions of myself. I have done tons of reading and intellectually understand what is happening but it is still in my gut. I know that even when he dies I will still have this to deal with. If I know he is going to be at the nursing home where my mom is I still feel sick to my stomach at the thought of seeing him. How can I stop this? How can I stop being afraid of life? How can I get going? I’ve been through 2 marriages and am alone now. I am not sure why I’m here.

Gwen’s Answer:

My dear, you must do some work with a good therapist. It is so difficult to heal this on your own. You have been traumatized, and brainwashed into thinking of yourself in a negative way. It is good that you have done so much reading, and understand, intellectually, how you have been affected. So much of the kind of negativity you experienced as a child is stored at a subconscious level, and it is hard to access that by ourselves, with our intellect.

Your inner child is still suffering, even though your mature adult side wants to move on. A compassionate therapist can help you with this, as well as in dealing with your feelings about your marriages. It is highly possible that you are suffering from depression as well, which would be understandable given your background. A talk with your family doctor might be in order, and he or she could likely refer you to a therapist as well. Do not be discouraged, because if you seek out the help you need, you will eventually feel much better, and will be able to begin to live the life you were meant to live.

Healing Your Inner Child MP3

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