I have been a follower of your work since 2015, I have listened to hundreds of hours of your call in shows and have found them extremely helpful.
The reason I am writing to you is because I believe your wisdom will be invaluable in overcoming the horrors of my childhood. And maybe a discussion on this issue between us will be helpful to others as well. I am 21 years old, just setting out into the world, but I am petrified that I will end up like my father.
I have an ACE score of 5. I was beaten, yelled at, neglected and my father was a drinker and sociopathic welfare leech. My mother was also manipulative and abusive. I have defooed for several months now and I am doing better, but I am still haunted by the events of my childhood and my inner parents still torment me daily. I self medicate with marijuana daily, despite knowing the repercussions. My older brother was the favourite (and he admitted it) and he supports my parents financially despite their abuse. I have always been the black sheep of the family and I have always been looking forward to the day I can get out. I got out in 2018 but I still haven't escaped entirely. I am still extremely self critical and struggle with bouts of severe depression. I have a brief history of self-harming and have had suicidal ideation.
Despite moving away, going to university and getting good grades and becoming financially self sufficient with a stable income, I still believe I won't amount to much. My adverse childhood experiences have lowered my IQ and left me with a bevy of bad habits and thoughts.
I tried confronting my mother on what she did but I got the usual excuses and gaslighting. "You were a bad kid." "I did what I could." "I fed you." Etc.
I e-mailed you to be on your call in shows back in 2017, and you offered to have me on but I didn't go through with it out of fear and youthful stupidity. I was living with my parents at the time and scared of them. While I do regret wasting your time, I am glad I could delay talking to you to a point in my life where I have some agency.
Worst of all, because I was not socialized properly during my childhood I can't form real bonds with people, and in every social situation I am the outcast. In every group of friends I am always the odd one out and end up drifting away, preferring to stay in and smoke weed and be alone. I have never been in a real relationship and I have been very promiscuous in past. I am at a crossroads in my life where I am unsure if I will be able to have kids and provide for them and keep a partner around for the rest of my life.
I am tormented by my thoughts daily. I live a life of quiet desperation, one I know will lead to the same outcome as my father. I hope I can escape the cycle before it is too late.
Sorry if my email has been a bit disorganized but my thoughts on the topic are also disorganized.
In short, how do I overcome the horror of my childhood and realize the potential I know I have? How can I be free of the thoughts and feelings that constantly torment me? How can I fix my heightened fight or flight response and how do I become able to normally socialize with others?