Adult Victims of Child Abuse Still Need to be Heard

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misuse of power “Child abuse damages a person for life and that damage is in no way diminished by the ignorance of the perpetrator. It is only with the uncovering of the complete truth as it affects all those involved that a genuinely viable solution can be found to the dangers of child abuse”. Alice Miller ~ Banished Knowledge ~ facing childhood injuries

Lately I have been writing a lot on the subject of dysfunctional family systems. I feel like I am just getting started when it comes to sharing about some of the things that were so dysfunctional in my own family. The dysfunctional mother daughter relationship I had with my abusive mother was only one part of it. I had an emotionally unavailable father as well. There was sexual abuse and physical abuse. I was not heard or even seen as a child ~ as though I was not really a person yet. And that “non person” fact seems to be at the root of everything; the discounted voice and disregarded feelings of the child. We live in a whole world of adults who have not been valued as children but who are expected to function properly in spite of that.

When I was “in the fog” which means not understanding exactly why some of the details about these situations were wrong, but having this “feeling” or suspicion that they were wrong, I could never put all these “facts” together and therefore I was never able to see the real truth. When I first started this blog “Emerging from Broken” I was afraid to share too much, I thought it would turn people off.  I afraid that I would be seen as a whiner, that I would be seen as someone who was “stuck in the past” and unable to “get over it” and that I was somehow deficient in putting the past behind me, EVEN though I already knew that the way that I recovered was by facing the past, realizing the lies verses the truth and changing my false belief system, I was still scared of rejection and of being unheard and misunderstood. (because that was ALL I knew!) I was afraid that I was “wrong” even though this truth was what set me free. I was especially afraid to talk about the dysfunctional mother daughter relationship stuff and dysfunctional family stuff.

In hopes of contributing to the “greater good” of mankind, I pressed on and took the “risk” of being pooh poohed and even rejected, because deep down I believed that others could relate and that I could make a difference with those people.  I figured I would deal with the rest when it came up.

I was also afraid that people would write comments sticking up for the abusers and controllers.  I lived in a world for such a long time where the abusers were protected and the victims were to blame, that it took a long time to sort it all out.  Kids like me were raised with an “unquestioning respect” for authority. Half the problem with my recovery was that one issue! I could not go against that deeply ingrained teaching especially when it came to my parents. I still feared the same consequences that I feared when I was a child. I feared that I would die if they rejected me.

I was pretty confused. It isn’t that we don’t live in that same world now but the difference is that I no longer believe that abusers SHOULD be protected and I no longer discount myself.  I do not acknowledge that false system anymore. It is backwards and I am not afraid to speak out against it.

There is no excuse for devaluing a child; there is no excuse for mistreatment, there is no excuse for abuse. And respecting authority that is causing harm against children and causing them lifelong damage, is insane. I don’t want to live in that insanity anymore.

The world has to realize that children are born totally innocent and are born equally HUMAN with equal value and equal human rights. Children are not property; they are not objects. The damage done to them is NOT imagined by the child and it is not forgotten by the child. Even if the child blocks it out, the damage is there, lurking and festering and causing all sorts of problems and struggle for the person that it happened to.  It is not okay because it happened “in the past”. It is not excusable. The abusers ARE the ones who are accountable for that damage; the guilt and shame belong to them and the only way for an adult child who grew up with abuse to overcome the belief system that manifested because of that mistreatment is to realize that first of all, it really happened no matter how many times we have been told that we dreamed it up or exaggerated it and then secondly to understand that as a child, we were powerless and have NO responsibility for what happened. Those two things set me on the right road to emotional healing.

And I needed to talk about it. I needed to be heard, but not by the abusers.

I had no idea that the more I shared about this kind of family system dysfunction and confusion the more popular my blog would become. My mother daughter dysfunctional relationship articles have been read thousands of times. They rank very high in search engines and are among the most read blog posts here in EFB. There is a reason for that.  I found out that millions of people struggling with depression, addictions, post traumatic stress, self harm issues, dissociative identity disorder and many many other issues also struggle with this same confusion around the dysfunctional family system and the accepted protection and “respect” for the “authority” who is so often the perpetrator of abuse and emotional mistreatment instead of regard for the child victim.

But WE were those child victims…and we still need to be heard.

Please Share your thoughts.

Exposing Truth, One snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Shanyn Silinski published a great poem (click title)~ “How Many Stand Silent” on her blog Scarred Seekers

Please click on any of the highlighted titles to read those posts and or to follow the links to Alice Miller and her book “Banished Knowledge ~ Facing childhood injuries”

 

 

118 response to "Adult Victims of Child Abuse Still Need to be Heard"

  1. By: Peggy Posted: 16th February

    I think I must at this point admit out loud that my biological parent abused me. I was beaten and have old scares and broken bones to show for it. I was told many times that I and I alone did it to myself. I have in these past 7 years faced my parents and the psychological games and I have cried so many time and hated so many time. I think I have been facing my demons–remembering and trying to justify so much. Child abuse is a ripple affect this is what I have seen while facing them and memories. When I filed, as a child, child abuse charges on them, I started something I never thought would ever happen. I found some faith and hope in the twelve steps even though I am not a victim of alcohol related events or drugs. I am truly a broken person. If you know of a support group in Central Oregon would you please tell me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 16th February

      Hi Peggy
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
      I don’t know of any in person support groups, but I am sure that if someone else does they will share let you know. Meanwhile we have a fairly large community here if you want to keep sharing. This whole site is about facing the truth about being devalued, abused, etc. and overcoming the lifetime effects of it.
      Thank you for sharing part of your story here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: William Posted: 9th February

    With the greatest of reticence …
    During the Korean War in a Red Cross tent (WoW just like M*A*S*H*)
    I was born in a P.O.W. camp, not so nice. “… if I had had my goddamn druthers I would have put you in a gunny sack beat you to death with a shovel and buried you in the woods”. (such a humanitarian)… The oedipal nazi empowered the vindictive narcissist princess … I was in the US ARMY the first 22 years of my life, I moved constantly, I was ostracized from my siblings as they were entitled by my degradation, there was nobody … with diminishing physical capacities due unto the mortal wounds of time the hyper-vigilance and violence of my subconscious makes sleep an exercise in terror. I never neglected my responsibilities, I too never capitulated. I became apolitical, non-materialistic, non-religious, introverted, asocial loner. The sadistic brutality and/of mindless emotional pettiness never ended. I now find myself subject to the indifference, ignorance and greed driven disrespect of a third generation, entitled, sanctimoniously empowered and privileged by my indentured servitude. 59 years of patterns.
    Do not aim any gods at me, I want no hugs.
    Peace …

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th February

      Hi William
      Welcome to emerging from broken.
      This website is all about breaking patterns. I am so sorry that you went through all that. Please forgive me if in the future I forget and sign “hugs” .. it is my habbit and I mean no harm by it.
      Darlene

  3. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th February

    Hi Vanessa
    I can relate to this; what I found is that I attracted different more caring people when I healed and validated myself. It was like before I expected to be invalidated and I attracted it!
    The process of healing changed my whole life.
    Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Vanessa Posted: 3rd February

    Darlene,
    I truly hope so. If find it very hard to cope with the feelings of rejection. I know that most of my friends do not do it on purpose cause they do not really know what I’m going thru. So I hope I can find somehow some connection here.
    So if someone reads this and are having trouble with making new friendships also please share :)I’ve been rejected all my life, first my whole family, than I ended up sect and when I got out well most people know what happens than you loose more people and get more enemies and at the end my relationship ended also.
    What I really miss are real friends, I have friends, but not the ones you can call when your are really deep in pain and grieve. You start talking, they listen for awhile and slowly you notice they want to change the subject when I think I’m just starting.And because I miss this in my life I can be that person in other lives and I am thankfull for it that I am able to be that to people what I still miss in my life.I know all the credit for that goed to my dear Saviour. Does anybody recognize this?????????????

  5. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd February

    Hi Vanessa,
    Welcome to Emerging from Broken
    You have found a place where there are many who understand the wounds. Talking about this stuff really helps to shed light on the truth.
    Please feel free to share as often as you wish.
    Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Vanessa Posted: 3rd February

    It’s the first time I red your whole blog and everything your wrote, well it’s like you’re talking about my life. I’ve had sexual, physical and spiritual abuse. The Lord started my healing process 3 years ago and have to admit it’s a lonely… road, no one really understands the deep emotional wounds one gets to discover on the road to healing. The fight against the feelings of rejection in friendships is the one I struggle the most right now. Yes they always know when to find me when they are in need but where are they when I need them? Can you understand what I mean? It’s not that I don’t call, mail,chat or text them but all of a sudden there is a painful silence and I don’t want to “beg”for an ear or an arm. I throw up several balls but nothing, I find that a difficult road. I’m in the part of healing where I have to learn to recieve, but how can I recieve if no one’s there?? I’ve lost my whole family cause of the abuses, loads of friends also; as a human it’s a lonely road cause no one really understands that the Lord takes of layer by layer in your soul to heal the deep wounds and that it takes time. If I did not have developed a deep intimate personal relationship with the Lord I could not deal with it to be frank. Well I’m not quiet sure why I share this with you…

  7. By: MZC Posted: 3rd February

    Hi Darlene, I just wanted to say how grateful I am to you to have the courage to start this blog. I would have never healed without it. I would have remained in my cowering, shamed, worthless fog for the rest of my life. I thank God for you.

  8. By: Beverly Berzins Posted: 2nd February

    this is so encouraging to read all these comments all these survivors healing. sometimes when memories overwhelm and you feel the words to describe your experiences to much, see on here another person may well have spoken for you in that they have been there and felt the same anguish all helps in the move forward.

  9. By: Sarah Posted: 2nd February

    I used to wish death upon my parents, but not anymore. I basically think that when they do die they will be held accountable for the abuse.. Ive given up trying to bring it up to them. Its ironic because the one God they claim to be on such good terms with is going to be my only hope for their justice, and they will take the family secret of their abuse and craziness to the grave, with no apologies made to anyone. Whats with the misuse of God and religion to justify all host of unnaceptable deeds? Seems to be a theme. Most certainly with my family, and their church.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd February

      Hi Sarah
      I hear you! I found that focusing on my own healing from the damage and standing up to them has been the best justice. They thought they owned me and I made it clear that they don’t. They made their beds and I don’t think they are in any denial about the degree of “sin” they perpatrated on others. There is no excuse and all the justifications they use are lies meant to twist victims into silence and compliance.
      Thank you for your comments!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Julia Posted: 16th June

    Darlene…

    I listened to your radio show and it’s wonderful…Thank you sooooo much!!! I hope you realize how much of a difference you are making in peoples lives 🙂

    I have a question to anyway that feels they can answer this:

    How do you deal with a sister that denies the abuse that happened to you?

    My sister is very introverted…I also think she has some kind of dissociative disorder (she erases any bad things for her memory it seems and she refuses to talk abt anything “bad”). I feel like her denial is harder to deal with than my parents’ denial. Also my father was much more violent with me than her so she might have perceived the situation differently. Any help?… thank you <3

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 16th June

      Hi Julia,
      Glad you liked the radio show, I have another one the third week in July. 🙂
      Your recovery is not dependant on anyone else. It matters not if your sister is in denial, refuses to remember or knows and still denies. The healing process can still take place.
      This is a frequent topic on this blog, so keep reading and you will find some additional info
      Hugs Darlene

  11. By: Betty LaLuna Posted: 15th June

    Thank you so much for taking a stand, facing your fears and sharing with those of us who are also on the journey.

    Hugs!

  12. By: Julia Posted: 15th June

    OMG Maggie you are so right. Mental illness is treated as a character flaw especially in mental hospitals and the blame is put solely on the patient. I believe mental hospitals are really there to make people worse especially from my experience.

    I was going to a psychotherapist/psychiatrist just recently and he diagnosed me with paranoia although what I think I really have is social anxiety (I am terrified of authority figures…for a good reason). I don’t believe that the FBI is after me or that aliens are coming to get me or anything crazy like that…I am just scared to face CERTAIN people. Nevertheless he kept insisting I have paranoia and whenever I told him anything abt the past he seemed to look at me in disbelief and completely disregard what I said and move onto another subject. This got me so depressed that I started cutting…

    Anyway thank god I am not seeing that man anymore. I do think he was a good person…But I think all psychiatrist are brainwashed to think and label people rather than look at them as a whole person with dignity.

    hopefully the medical system will change for the better one day…

  13. By: The Maggie Posted: 15th June

    i scrolled down to comment with my fingers on fire…

    then it was gone…

    a flurry of “you’ll get in trouble” by the littles and *POOF*

    ok! i found it again. “we are the child victims and we need to be heard”

    i get SO ANGRY at how little regard there is for adult victims of child abuse. mental illness of any sort in the US is treated like a character flaw, even if only by the lack of parity with insurance companies. that is almost never the case though, i don’t know one person with a mental illness who hasn’t been told to “get over it” or been accused of making it up…hell abuse survivors from the same family that can acknowledge the abuse was wrong but that “you just want to remember the bad stuff”.

    we try to prevent child abuse, we try to remove children from abuser’s households (that is a whole other topic of anger for me) but once you are 18 or hell, a rebellious teenager you are ON YOUR OWN.

    there is help out there but it is hard to find and incredibly limited (as compared to help with “physical” ailments)

    i can find anger for all of these issues. and speak up for others. but somehow i am not able to maintain anger at my own abusers…i sympathize with them too much most of the time. all of them were abused in someway as well…i have to try to remember though, help has existed…therapy has existed…AA has existed…and it isn’t right that their lack of strength to change and heal shouldn’t mean that *I* have to pay the rest of my life for it.

    they’ve all said that at some point “i’m not gong to spend the rest of my life apologizing for this” or something similar…i will pay for it for the rest of mine though. i should say that WE will because i split into effing pieces.

    Which not only do I have to live with the after effects and memories of abuse but I have to deal with people telling me to shut up and get over it or that i’m lying?! That is EFFED UP.

    Sorry, apparently a nerve was struck.

    Stupid out of town therapist….lol

    at least we can laugh right?

    -M

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th June

      Hi Maggie,
      Welcome to Emerging From Broken. I’m glad that it hit a nerve, 🙂 it was when my nerve got hit that I started to stand up for myself, and for the truth. If you read more of the articles in this blog, you will see that I also had trouble being angry at my own abusers, and made excuses for them daily, but it was when I finally looked at the truth that I started to recover. There is lots to this, even to the reason why I defended them. and I agree with you ~ it is “effed up” but there is a solution! There is hope! Glad you are here.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Keren
      Yes, I have written about the whole label and diagnosis thing.. in fact I just did a radio show about this topic. Here is the link if you would like to hear the replay:

      “Dealing with Diagnosis beyond the labels” Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Vicki Posted: 14th June

    Believe me. It’s gotten worse. Before I started doing any work from the work book and book, ‘The Courage To Heal,’ I never had any flashbacks or discomfort when working with pediatric patients who are being abused right now. We come to deal with the physical scars. I had no problem whatsoever handling that kind of call. Then, suddenly, I practically fell to pieces on a call where someone had been raped and tried to kill herself.
    They suspended my duties, and I’ve never been confronted with needing to get rid of my cable service in order to be able to pay my rent.
    It’s gotten more than worse. This shit is downright scary and my dad, whom I had to ask to borrow money from, totally disagrees with what I’m doing since it inconvenienced him by making him need to give me money. That’s exactly why I didn’t want to ask, but there was nothing else I could do. The new job jerked around my hours and made sure they only have to pay me half.
    Backtracking, all I can say is when you work in emergency medicine, and see current abuse, it brings it up-apparently-if you suddenly decide you’re going to ‘do healing work.’
    BTW when you report every detail of what happened to the child, like you’re suPOSed to, the abusive parents decide it would be nice if they start threatening your life. I’ve NEVER liked that attitude and I like it even less now, which I hadn’t thought was possible until now.
    Is that all any of them can do? Threaten to beat you up or kill you just b/c you’re not putting up with their shit?
    They almost remind me of Osama bin Laden. He gave as his reason for killing people, ‘they weren’t doing what I think they should do, so I killed them.’

  15. By: Lynn Tolson Posted: 14th June

    The song “Yakkity Yak…. Don’t Talk Back” comes to mind re: Vicki’s comment here, and how the psychiatrists wants quiet if/when a patient does not agree.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th June

      Exactly Lynn,
      Good example! It is another example of the misuse of power and control that we have all been groomed so well to accept.. ugg

  16. By: Lynn Tolson Posted: 14th June

    I don’t necessarily agree that you need to get worse before you get better. What is worse than already being as low as you can go, as alone as lonely can get, and a “whiter shade of pale?” There is nothing worse than what has already been experienced, and the depth of the trenches it has taken us. In my experience, it was not the psychiatrists who helped me, but other mental health professionals such as social workers.

  17. By: Vicki Posted: 14th June

    This message is to Darlene, or any others who may understand it or have experience with it. I don’t understand why my doctor told me to stop trying to help myself if it’s too painful to do it.
    Wouldn’t he, as a psychiatrist, understand that you get worse before better. I mean if people who don’t work in mental health get that concept? I’m really confused as to why he doesn’t seem to know that.
    I also wonder if I’m allowed to ask him why he’s against me making myself worse before I get better. IDK ANYthing in terms of what’s considered proper protocol when talking to a psychiatrist, the only thing I’m positive of is that he’s like most doctors who, if their patients disagree with them about something, they want the patient to be quiet. They assume they know more than the patient which, in a lot of cases, is technically true. But, then, if they know more why won’t they share the reasons for what they advise you to do?
    I’m wondering, and feeling like I have to do the entire journey of getting help alone; in terms of professional aid, that is.
    Thanks for listening.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th June

      Vicki,
      You can say whatever you want to say to a Dr. or professional. They are supposed to be there to SERVE you.
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Vicki Posted: 13th June

    I AM seeing a psychiatrist, but I don’t understand our relationship. All he does is talk about medicine, take two of my vital signs (blood pressure and pulse) and take my weight.
    I’m still trying to get a therapist, and there’s this really long waiting list. But the last therapist I had didn’t even believe dreams mean anything at all. Well, my question would be, If they don’t mean anything, why in the world would my mind visit the same dream about 100 times since it happened?
    And I lost my insurance, that’s how I lost my therapist. I got my insurance back; now I’m working on getting a therapist. I just can’t believe how inept my own profession is. Everything really IS a slave to insurance, and I think it’s BS. I agree with my friend Robb, who used to work on Wall Street and still has friends who do. He said health care has no business being a profiting business. It should be not-for-profit.
    They have literally hundreds of businesses they can choose to run. They don’t have to make health care and funeral expenses into a profiting racket.
    He got angry at how they treated his mom while she was dying. That’s when he decided that health care doesn’t need to be a capitalistic venture.

  19. By: Julia Posted: 13th June

    Vicki,

    I read your post and I feel so sorry abt what you are going through. Maybe you should see a psychiatrist just to help you get though this for short while until you feel better. I know there are medications out there that help with nightmares. I was on a small dose of seroquel for awhile and had no nightmares (they use small doses of this medication for sleep). I had to get off of it because I couldn’t stand the side effects. I know I am not qualified to give this advise but just letting you know my personal experience. “the ashamed to be alive feeling” is the worst feeling I have ever felt… I hope it will go away one day. Wish you all the best,

    Keren

  20. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th June

    Hi Keren
    I am glad to hear that this blog is giving you courage! Courage is something that came in very handy for me!
    Thank you for sharing. I am sure that as you read the other posts in this site that you will have many more insights.
    Hugs, Darlene

    Hi Vicki
    Yes, I felt differently from one day to the next, it was part of how I coped. It was part of the intricate survival system that I created since childhood. But it doesn’t prove you are lying about the whole thing at all, it only proves that you can still block it out.
    Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Vicki Posted: 13th June

    Well, since somebody mentioned having an ‘ashamed to be alive feeling,’ I feel like I should take the opportunity to mention that, for the last nearly 10 years, I’ve had a nightmare of exactly those feelings.
    It’s still happening almost every night, but it’s not about my abuse as a child-that I know of-it’s about my former husband dying in the World Trade Center. In the dream, he’s always looking right at me, but never notices I’m there, and he keeps repeating the same question in a voice that sounds likes it’s filled with hollowness: “Why didn’t somebody help me?” he asks. “Why didn’t they come and get me out of here?”
    I’m always literally frozen, unable to turn away or ignore him. And, even when I DO respond to the question, he doesn’t even hear my gd answer. I tell him: “Their chief recalled the firefighters that were almost to your floor [this part really happened, outside the dreaming world] and told them to come back down, b/c the S. Tower had collapsed. They couldn’t risk losing more firefighters. They couldn’t reach you safely.”
    But he just repeats the question, over and over, and I can’t wake up and I don’t know what is real or not real when I’m dreaming and it feels like being locked into a personal version of Hell in Dreamland.
    After they played Osama bin Laden’s capture and death like the fiddle of a life time, the dream reappeared and has been there ever since. So brilliant job on the reporters’ behalves. They know how to create torment and trauma or, at least, make it worse.
    I had found a way to control the dream until that happened. Some people may disagree with that, arguing that I must not have or it wouldn’t have returned. But whatever I was doing was working. And the media didn’t NEED to play it out longer than the gd Nile, for God’s sake.
    I’m angry about the dream returning. I can’t possibly convey how terrible this dream is; and this is the first place I’ve recorded its details.
    The site for family of 9/11 victims deals more with happy memories of your loved one. If you have issues like the one I’m describing, he recommends that you get help from someone else. The administrator feels underqualified to give professional advice about such issues. Like he said, he’s a stock broker, not a therapist. He doesn’t want to hurt people by trying to help them in a field he’s unqualified to do so. At least he didn’t tell me to “get over it” or any of those other platitudes. He just thinks that anything he says would be considered a layperson’s viewpoint.
    Anyway, that’s why I wrote it here.

  22. By: Vicki Posted: 13th June

    Is it normal to have angry feelings one day and, then the next, feel like the abuse never happened to me? That’s the way I am with almost every experience I’ve ever had, and it’s starting to get on my nerves.
    I feel that exact same way about what5 happened to Eric. If you asked how I felt, I’d have to say “Well, sometimes I feel like it just happened yesterday, other times I feel like it happened a long, long time ago. And, still other times, I feel like it never happened at all.”
    What the hell IS that? Other than one of the things people in my family pounce on, like an overly hungry cat desperate to feed, and tell me proves I’m lying about the whole thing.
    I never got this far with my therapist; but, if you think I should wait until I have a new therapist before answering, I’ll understand.
    Thank you.

  23. By: Julia Posted: 13th June

    Kate,

    your words are so kind. I really appreciate you help. I am growing stronger and hope that these migraines will go away soon. Unfortunately exercising and eating well does not eliminate them. I am currently on a medication that seems to be working well so I am really excited. I am hoping to get a permanent job and be more financially independent so I can get out of here. It’s just difficult because I have these medical issues in the way. You are right I am too close to them but this blog really gives me the courage to at least emotionally disconnect from them.

    Darlene,
    “The motive behind those kinds of statement is to make you doubt your memories and emotions”
    You are so right…this helps me see the situation in a different light. It’s really difficult because they tell me they care about me so much (which I can’t deny because they do financially provide for me) but then they try to protect themselves rather than attend to my feelings which makes me so much worse. I am just so confused. I feel I will stick to being emotionally detached from them because because I can’t live denying what happened to me for their sake. Thanks for your kind input,

    Keren

  24. By: joy Posted: 11th June

    Hi Pam

    Thank you so much for your kindly words of support..its somethng I have not been able to get over yet….Knowing that the rest are acceptable even to my stepfather ..and me not.. is hurtful too ..
    I am sorry Pam you suffered during holidays..

    thank you again..

    joy

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