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Self-hatred and childhood trauma.  


I have grown to utterly despise myself because of my gambling addiction and inability to function like a man. I told my doctor I would happily line up for a firing squad I hated myself so much. I've been reading a book called 'Broken brain' and it explained about how coping strategies are formed as children when child neglect is present. I might be looking for excuses? Maybe I am just a f**k up but I was neglected to the point that I fell out of my bedroom window as an 18 month baby and fractured my skull. Eventually my twin and I were taken into care aged 6 when my parents could no longer cope. My twin is an alcoholic by the way. This realisation that I was set up to fail from an early age gives me some comfort. I understand that my parents didn't intend to damage me but they left me feeling anxious and depressed and the only thing that lifted my moods was gambling. At 44, there is no room for having a bet. It leaves me in crisis and hopeless. 

I would guess that probably 90% of people in prison are in there due to being neglected as children. There's a cycle of repeating that same damaging behaviours. My father was also a gambling addict. He grew up without a father and sought refuge in having a bet from an early age too. I haven't had children. This cycle has to stop.



Posted : 23rd October 2019 1:42 pm

Hi canterbury100,

It's very sad to hear that you were neglected in this manor and as a psychotherapists who works with people who were deprived of the chance of becoming an emotional well adult I can assure you that your childhood issues are not an excuse for your struggles in your adulthood. Cptsd (complex post traumatic stress disorder) which is caused during the developmental years has massive complications on your sense of self, tolerance to stress and ultimately leading to seeking self medicating destructive behaviours. It took me a long time to realise that although I didn't suffer physical or sexual abuse during my developmental years I was certainly lacking the attention, loving connection and approval/validation of my worth. I was also overly controlled/criticised whilst not encouraged to understand and express my emotions. This caused me to develop into an adult that had a very poor sense of self, lots of anger, frustration and resentment and no emotional skills on how to cope thus leading to me needing to fix my emotions and feelings with addictions. For a long time I believed that because my parents provided me with food, clothing and shelter my childhood was good but through therapy I realised that I was missing alot of what a child really needs. My parents like most didn't go out of their way to harm me but on the flip side they weren't emotionally well within themselves or have the skills for me to develop emotionally. CPTSD is typically multi-generational.

I hope you are able to get the support you need to help you on your journey 

Kind regards. 

Posted : 23rd October 2019 4:01 pm


I spent many years blaming my mother for decades of abuse and for me having low self esteem and resorting to gambling and other addictions...

I realized I have to let it go and take responsibility for what I do next...

There is a saying "When you hold on to resentment, it is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die of it..."

They did me much harm, but then I did the rest to myself...

Not any more. That was the past and now it is time to move on into the future...

It is hard, but soo rewarding...


Good luck.



Posted : 23rd October 2019 4:11 pm

Thanks for the replies,

I totally get that holding onto resentment is not doing me any favours. I agree that we all make mistakes and need forgiveness. My mother is Schizophrenic, had polio as a child and was sexually abused by a family member. She was expelled from school and was physically abused by my dad. She should never have had children. We all went into care at some point or another. I am angry that she kept having children when she couldn't cope. However, a family I was fostered with had a son that ended up a heroin addict and went to prison. His parents were loving, kind and supportive and yet their son is an addict? So that's why I wonder if I'm just looking for excused for my problems? I find it very hard to cope with stress and have a very low opinion of myself despite being popular and winning the employee of the year in one of my jobs.

Thank you Wallis. I will look into CPTSD. Educating myself about the causes of addiction is helping me immensely. Addiction is a leaned coping strategy. We can all change this.

All the best


Posted : 25th October 2019 11:23 am

Another group you could try would be SMART. (Self Management and Recovery Training.)

It is all about dealing with addictions of all sorts and learning to think differently and manage urges and cravings etc and live a more balanced and content life...

They have groups/meetings all over the country. Their website gives much more detail...

Give it a try...


Posted : 25th October 2019 7:45 pm
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