Thank you for providing a great deal of information. It helps me to understand your issues.
The key to understanding why you feel the way you do may stem from your childhood. It was rough, to say the least. Parents are supposed to love and care for their children and act as role models. They’re not supposed to hurt them or let them be harmed by others. The very people who were supposed to be caring for you, either hurt you or allowed you to be hurt. Your father was erratic, angry and unpredictable. He hurt you. You described him as being “ticking time bomb.” You didn’t know to expect from him. People who are raised in these situations describe the experience as having to walk on eggshells. It’s a very disconcerting feeling to live with a “ticking time bomb.” It’s not easy or a pleasurable way to live. It can make you feel uneasy, on edge, unstable, insecure, and unsafe.
You didn’t mention if you still live with your parents, but if so that could explain why you are feeling the way you do. Even if you are not living with them, it could still explain the way you feel. It’s not uncommon for people who have been abused to express the desire to hurt themselves or others. The fantasy of harming others may give you the feeling of being more in control. If you’ve been dominated your whole life, and made to feel small and powerless, it would make sense that you would fantasize about becoming the all-powerful one in control.
Your father was the all-powerful one in your home. You had no control over your situation. He hurt you and there is nothing you could do about it. Of course, you could’ve called emergency services, but you may not have known that because you were only a young child. Even if you would’ve called for help, there’s no guarantee that you would not have been punished by your father for having made the call. Therefore, your fantasies of harming other people may be a form of psychological compensation for your having been in a position of powerlessness.
As for wanting to harm yourself, that may also stem from you having been abused. Sometimes, when a parent abuses a child, the child begins to believe that they are being abused because they deserve it, and that they are unworthy of love, caring and positivity. They start to internalize the abuse, blame themselves and think that they are no good and that they deserve pain and suffering. Such ideas significantly impact one’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. An individual in this circumstance may begin to believe that they’re no good, and treat themselves in accordance with their perceived low self-worth. That might be why you treat yourself poorly and want to hurt yourself. You may think that you are unworthy, unlovable and deserving of abuse and negativity. These are the unfortunate effects of abuse.
Thankfully, these problems can be corrected with counseling. I would highly recommend it. It would help you to better understand your feelings and also to correct the inconsistencies or irrational ideas you may hold regarding yourself and others. Through no fault of your own, you may have developed a sense of identity that is inconsistent with the truth which is that you deserve to be happy, have positive things happen in your life and to be loved and cared for by others.
The great thing about therapy is that it does work, especially when you choose a therapist who has experience and who has helped others in similar situations. Contact your family doctor and ask for a referral. I always recommend calling at least 5 to 10 therapists and speaking with them on the phone. Choose the one you feel the most comfortable with and meet with them in person. That will likely be the best match for you.
If you feel that you might harm yourself or someone else, go to the hospital or call the mental health crisis team. They can assist you in ensuring that you don’t do something that you may later regret. Help is available, you just have to ask for it. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle