Is There Such a Thing as Justifiable Anger for Victims of Child Abuse?




anger and child abuseI posted the following quote on EFB Facebook and I was a little surprised by the response it triggered.

“Abusive, controlling, entitled people and the people who are afraid of them will say almost anything to get you to shut up. They will label you as angry, hateful and unforgiving if you decide to stand up to them and the ways that they regard you. I want to shout at them and to the ones that defend them ~ “What do you think I am angry about? Anger is justifiable in this situation!” Darlene Ouimet

The quote came from one of my recent blog posts about spiritual abuse when the name of God is used to Guilt and Shame victims of abuse, and I wrote it in the context of explaining the abuse tactic of being told what God would expect you to do or what would make God proud of you according to what abusive controlling, manipulative people want you to do, which has nothing to do with God OR his/her expectations of you.

For many of the readers, this quote was validating. But for others it was upsetting. As I read through the comments it became clear to me that the word “justifiable” was the primary culprit that triggered so many reactions. Apparently, the idea of “justifiable anger” upsets a lot of people.

Some people believe that justifiable anger is dangerous and inappropriate. This quote is about standing up to abusive people and how those people reacted to me standing up to them to and the control tactics that are used in abusive relationships to keep a victim in the web. As most of you know I have a passion for the topic of parent abuse which seems to be an even bigger hot button. The quote exposes spiritual abuse, and the controlling and manipulative people I am referring to, happen to be my parents. BUT as soon as I mentioned “justifiable anger” the meaning of the quote was lost to some of the readers. The meaning of the quote lost its purpose and its importance because a “fear belief” was triggered.

The people who reacted in fear over that phrase “Justifiable Anger” jumped straight to the conclusion that everyone who is angry will act out inappropriately with that anger and they started lecturing about those inappropriate actions as though it was for certain that anyone who feels they have a right to BE angry will do something with their anger that will cause harm.

People disagreed with my quote as though they thought I was saying that people who get physically violent are justified although I would never advocate for abuse of any kind. And it is interesting to note that when people jump to the conclusion that all anger leads to physical violence it for some reason reminds me of other arguments where people have validated a parents right to be physically violent with their children which puts the whole concept of this post into a different context.

It is also important to note here that standing up to someone or confronting someone to address their abusive, controlling or discounting behavior towards you ~ ISN’T abusive.

And then the topic of FORGIVENESS entered into the discussion! These commenters told everyone to skip over the anger and jump straight to forgiveness. This is exactly what happens in toxic dysfunctional family systems; the victim of the offence isn’t even allowed to be angry, but the perpetrator of the offence gets to DO the offence, and then gets forgiven for it without ever acknowledging what they did or even expressing any remorse. When does the target of their nasty behavior ever get a say and why are we told that we don’t get a say? Just thinking about the TRUTH about this concept makes me angry because it causes so much harm.

One of the roadblocks that I encountered on the healing journey was that although I didn’t realize it at a conscious level, I believed that ‘anger’ was ‘bad’. I believed that anger was dangerous and that it was wrong and would ultimately only lead to the wrong path.

It was really important for me to take a closer look at the issue of anger especially in the context of emotional healing. In order to answer the question “is anger justifiable?” I had to take a look at a few of the facts and details. My belief system didn’t change until I looked at why it was the way it was.

First of all, I looked at what I had been taught about anger. Growing up I had seen a teacher get angry and emotionally abuse and humiliate children in front of the entire class. I was one of those children and the way she communicated to all of us was that HER anger was caused by our doing. So I learned that I caused her anger. I accepted the blame for HER anger and I was also told that I was to respect my teacher. Her anger at me was validated by the adults in my life.

I also learned that there was a consequence to being angry. I didn’t want to be ‘like them’ so I stuffed my anger.

Then there was my mother; when she got angry the leather strap came out and there was a beating to follow. We also got banished (rejected) to our rooms where we were segregated from each other. Like the teacher my mother also communicated to me that HER anger was caused by me and again I learned both sides of anger; I tried NOT to make anyone angry because of the consequences of doing that, AND I tried not to be angry because that would make me ‘like them’. At the same time I trying to cope with living with all those mixed messages about why they had permission to be angry but for me it was a sin?

The message that I got about anger as a child was actually; don’t make anyone angry no matter what because the price that I paid (when someone else got angry) was way too high.

This ALSO explains why I was trying so hard to avoid my own anger. Just think about it for a minute; anger, all the way around, was dangerous! I was afraid of anger for many reasons. So how could I believe that anger was a necessary emotion? How could I have ever seen ‘anger’ as justifiable? If I justified anger for me, how could I not justify it for the people that were taking their anger out on ME? I had to sort through the truth about all that because my false belief system, the one I had been brainwashed and groomed to believe was the truth, had to be overcome.

So ~ Setting ALL of that information aside, I looked at what I had to be angry about and left them and all their rules that applied to me but not to them ~ out of it;

Here are a few quick facts about my life starting in childhood and progressing into adulthood;

~my childhood was full of fear; fear of being sexually abused, fear of being hit, fear of being rejected, ridiculed, shamed and inferior.

But it wasn’t just the fear of those things ~ those things were my reality. That was ME those things happened to and I was being told that anger was wrong and that I had no right to it. The word ‘justified’ was banished from my vocabulary if it was linked with the word ‘anger’.

Growing up with all this brainwashing, abuse and neglect at the hands of my parents taught me that I didn’t have the same rights as other people and then my adulthood consisted of me being a servant to everyone else’s desires. In childhood I was trained to put my own wants and needs aside in order to serve the wants and needs of others and deep down I was frustrated that those ‘others’ were never expected to put aside any of their wants or needs, at least not when it came to me. There was no equal value or equal regard for me at all. Those ‘others’ somehow had a different set of relationship rules than the ones that they assigned to me and there is nothing that makes sense about that but due to the grooming process and brainwashing ~ I didn’t know how messed up that system actually was. No one communicated through the actions of REAL love, true respect, or real fairness.  It was up to me to see and validate the real truth.

I have a right to be angry. I was a kid, I was a person, I was a woman, I was stripped of my childhood and my right to equal value. I was harmed, I was not protected from harm, and people targeted their frustrations and anger at me. I was not permitted to have feelings. My parents invalidated me as well and they defended abusers. I think that being angry is understandable. I think that in cases like this, anger IS justified.

So you tell me ~ is there such a thing as justifiable anger? What do you think about this? Please share your thoughts. The subject of anger is a really big one when it comes to healing from trauma or childhood wounds but facing the truth about this opened a whole new path to healing for me!

P.S. I received a boat load of email over the blog post that this quote came from (Spiritual Abuse; When the Name of God is used to Guilt and Shame) from people who I suspect didn’t even bother to READ the post, but wanted to ‘save my soul’ by enlightening me about the ‘true meaning’ of forgiveness. Some people believe that if I want to write about forgiveness while exposing abuse and abusers ~ then I must NOT have forgiven and I must not understand what forgiveness actually is. I sincerely hope that this doesn’t happen with this post as well. Thanks in advance for reading this post and the one the quote is referring to, before you comment against my point. My salvation is not what’s in question here.

Looking forward to the discussion on this one!

Exposing Truth, one snapshot at t time,

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” 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

Related Articles~ See the links in bold throughout the article

186 response to "Is There Such a Thing as Justifiable Anger for Victims of Child Abuse?"

  1. By: AutumnLoving Posted: 28th November

    Your absolutely right. Makes totally good sense to me. I wish I had the I don’t know how to word it, ability? Ability to actually train myself to get angry now even when I know I’m being taking advantaged of and manipulated by people I seem to only attract in my life. Also, standing up to one sided family members if my behavior did change to show anger. Anger of the past and anger of every belittling moment I’m around my relatives. I suppose it would seem weird to most how somebody doesn’t have the ability to show anger in public or even stick up for themselves. For me, it all happens when I’m alone.

  2. By: Cindy Griess Posted: 17th November

    Wow! I spent today reading through all these posts and so many sound like what I went through. I haven’t seen most of my family for 4 years. I told my Mom that I wanted to come out during Christmas break with my Grand daughter who is 5. My Mom told me that they already have plans for Thanksgiving. I wrote back explaining that after Christmas is when I planned to come out. She told me about everyone who was going to be there for Christmas, of course excluding me! and then she decided that I didn’t really want to see her. It feels like She doesn’t really want to see me so I wont waste my time or money on a 1000 mile round trip just to be hurt more.I won’t let my family poison my Grand daughter so I will plan on spending Christmas with her and my son. I spent too many years being angry and have been much calmer since I avoid my FOO. Seeing them or hearing their voices bring up horrible memories but with my counselor and Emerging from broken I am healing and able to talk freely. The more I talk, the better I feel so i will keep talking no matter what they have to say about how i am shaming the family by airing their dirty laundry. I know they all sit around and talk about how much of A fool I am for telling people I don’t know about my Dad molesting all of us girls. I am the only one dealing with it and my sisters show their anger differently with snide little comments so often and I realized it is their problem and not mine. This will be the 8th holidays season I wasn’t invited. I caused drama! I don’t miss it like I did. They are all unhealthy by talking about everyone who isnt there. They tell me I am hateful and I hurt everyone. I don’t need the negativity.

  3. By: Amber Posted: 11th November

    You’re welcome, Iris. I hope it all works out for you. Is there anyone at your children’s’ school you can talk to who might be able to help you find someone experienced with special needs kids to help you out? A social worker should be able to give you some ideas. Best of luck, Amber.

  4. By: Iris Posted: 11th November

    Amber, thank you very much for your advice and understanding. Yes, it’s hard having no family support and I’ll look into ways of being more resourceful! My children are both very different with different needs, both are non-verbal so I need to find a trusted person who can look after both in times of need! Wouldn’t it be great if there was an ‘adopt a grandma’ facility, just to have someone warm and caring to help out occasionally!

  5. By: Amber Posted: 11th November

    Hi Iris, Parents can be very very different inside the house than they are with other people. My mother was a real charmer and everyone loved her, but with us kids there was a lot of yelling, name calling, put downs ( especially for me, the only daughter) and physical punishments. No one on the outside would ever guess what she was really like.
    I have a special needs daughter. My mother moved far away and was never a help to me. My father occasionally would watch the kids for a short time and I appreciated that. My in laws lived nearby and had a similar attitude to what you describe, where they didn’t want to be put out with babysitting. Once in a while they would do it but it was always a big deal like we were inconveniencing them. Hey, these are their grand kids! Of course they wanted to see the kids but since they didn’t want to babysit, I had to be present. I think it was mainly my father in laws attitude because after he passed my mother in law did more with the kids. But, of course my father in law had this entitlement idea that we would take care of him later in life, even though he didn’t want to do much for us. My mother was the same way. She expected me, the daughter, the servant, to fly out to help her even after years of doing nothing for me. Where do they get this entitlement from?? We’re supposed to give, give, give, but they’re exempt?
    I solved my problem by finding a woman who was experienced with special needs to watch my kids. Yes, it was an additional expense but well worth it. I also traded favors with other Moms of special needs kids in my area. We would help each other out if one of us got in a jam. Our kids were on the same bus, so a quick phone call if one of us was running late would solve the problem. I found I had to be resourceful. I know it isn’t easy, and it is made harder when parents are selfish about helping out. It’s not like I was asking for help every day. Not at all. But an occasional day out without the kids didn’t seem like too much to ask for, yet it was looked at like a huge burden by my father in law.
    Don’t be surprised if after telling you they’re not obliged to help you, that they’re expecting you to be there for eldercare in the future.
    Iris, this is a great venue to discuss things and vent and it has helped me a lot! Take care, Amber

  6. By: laura Posted: 11th November

    Hi all,
    I think any mother should ask herself,before having children, what she has to offer.If she doesn’t have money or time,she’ll neglect her child by putting work first.If she doesn’t have enough patience or love to offer,she’ll abuse her child emotionally and in other ways.It makes me angry when i look around and i see young women wanting children for the wrong reasons.Some already have a career and want to cut one more thing off the to do list.Others say they are getting old and their biological clock is ticking.

    I personally chose not to have children because i analised myself and my daily habits.I’m quiet,not social and i love my alone time.I recharge my batteries by spending time with myself.If one day i don’t get to have me-time at all,i become very cranky.

    Sometimes,when i talk to random strangers,i can tell if their children are loved or abused.I can guess if they’ll have a normal life without even knowing them.I’m not a clairvoyant or anything.It’s just my intuition and my horrible life experience as an emotionally traumatised adult child of narcissists.

  7. By: Iris Posted: 10th November

    Hi, I’ve never commented before as I didn’t feel strong enough to put into words what I’ve been feeling of indeed if it is all in my head. Everyone’s comments have helped me tremendously in feeling less isolated. I always thought I had good parents until I had my own children and then I began to feel extreme anger towards my parents. Growing up, we were always told that if we had kids of our own that we were not to expect them to look after or help us as they ‘had brought up their own’. We always had to put dad first with everything or he would explode with rage and take it out on us (usually me or my brother). The smallest things could set him off. We were always on eggshells. There is too much to go into but now in my forties, nothing has changed. Whenever I am alone with them we always fight: he flies into a rage, insults me, calls me a nasty bitch, ungrateful, vicious bitch- al labels I have grown up with since I was about 13. This could be for something as simple as asking for help to get my kids off the school bus or requiring a ride somewhere- his arms start flailing, yelling abou how can he manage that , what if this happens or that happens and a huge drama ensues because I’ve asked a simple favor. Then I dare say it’s ik, no big deal I’ll make other arrangements then the insults and name calling starts. He would usually hit me at this point if I answered back but now wouldn’t dare as I’m married with kids. He never does this outside of the immediate family. My mom can be there the entire time and will deny it or worse, say ‘well you were answering back’ as if I’m in the wrong and deserved it. I’ve carried this shame around my entire life, whenever I made friends I’d tell myself, if only you knew what a nasty person I really am. We speak and pretend everything is ok but when we meet or I’m alone with them it starts. I have special needs kids and they ‘help’ when it’s convenient to them but everything comes with conditions. Once I didn’t even ask for help but was told that they were not ‘obliged’ to help me. Honestly I don’t know what to do and I’m sick of bringing it up and being told that they’ve done everything for me (I’ve lived o/seas from them for 25 years!) go figure! This happens akways on their visits to me. Outwardly they are the perfect parents. No one would guess at my pain. They have never ever told me or my siblings that they love us. Thanks for listening and I just wanted to get that off my chest!

  8. By: Alaina Posted: 2nd November

    Hi Alice!
    Why should a child be grateful? I still feel that way sometimes, too, when I feel grateful in certain circumstances but also have a sense that I feel embittered or fenced in at the same time as grateful, usually in relation to someone having some kind of power in a situation, or me being vulnerable (it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily abusing their power; it’s just the fact that they have power and I’m aware of it and trying to find my footing, though sometimes it is because they are in some way abusing their power). It’s a gratitude that’s acknowledging that another person could do you harm (or worse harm) if they wanted to but are refraining themselves (because they’re such good people or because you haven’t “pushed” them to it… yet) and instead are allowing you to have this particular degree of kindness that they have chosen for you. I don’t think a child should ever catch glimpse, however covertly, that their parents could destroy them if they wanted to; this is something you should never know. A good, healthy parent absolutely could not destroy their own child. It’s not a mistake or an accident. So when you feel at a very deep gut level that kind of gratitude, it seems to me that it’s indicative of something very wrong.

    I think the desire to rest things on the unconscious is a desire to get what happened to us as close as possible to being an accident or mistake as possible… but I’m coming to the belief that no matter how unconscious something is, it’s no more an accident or a mistake than something done in full consciousness. The reason I think this is because there’s a purpose. Accidents and mistakes don’t have purposes—purposes that benefit the person who has made the mistake.

    And then look at the fact that when you point out the truth, it doesn’t elicit comprehension, or eye-popping “oh my god I can’t believe I did that” revelations, but rather endless forms of denial, some of them very complex. When we’re stuck questioning ourselves whether the truth is true, their denial is effective and maddening, but when there’s no question that the truth is true, their denial rings very suspect.

    It’s like something submerged under water with parts of it sticking out. Say a tree. A single solitary branch could be just a branch, but a bunch of them in pattern will suggest that there’s a tree under there. And every branch carries in it the idea of the tree, that it belongs and is part of a tree. So when you point out, hey, there’s a tree under there, why the denial? The problem for so long is that you doubt the tree yourself; they’ve campaigned (however consciously or unconscious, overtly or covertly) so long that, no, there’s no tree or that it’s something else. But they so resolutely deny that there’s a tree when you suggest that maybe…; they won’t even go to look to see if maybe…

    I suspect some of my naivete in life is protection against that terror you mentioned because when you do get a sense of that force and the full extent of what was done to you and what its purpose is, namely to feed off you at any cost (up to and including death) to serve the other, it is terrifying. If you’ve grown up in a healthy home, then at some point you will get a sense of that force but as something outside, as “other,” which is, I’m sure, scary enough, but when it’s close, so close it’s inside your life and then inside you, well it makes sense that you’d develop many ways to protect yourself against realizing the truth. After all, how can you live with that truth if you can’t get outside of it? You warp it to make it something else because you can’t possibly live inside that terror with constant full understanding of what that terror is.

    I’ve come to understand that my parents would treat me, and see me, the way they do even through a breakdown and potentially having died as a result of the undercurrent in our family narrative—that I exist for such and such a purpose. I realized that it doesn’t matter if I die or not, they will hold onto their ways. But what I’m understanding more of is that they planted this in me, too. Their control and brainwashing was so deep that I had a breakdown as the only means of freeing myself, outside of death. Others would have been able to rebel before that point. So it’s not just that my parents would take from me and expect from me my whole life, but that I’ve been programmed to go with this, to do this for others if that’s what they want of me. Like there’s a certain pattern of psychological buttons they just have to press, and ta-dah, I’m theirs for the taking up to the point of my inevitable collapse. That’s where the grateful thing comes in, too—in knowing that people can do this to me.

    I fear being traumatized going to the police, too, especially because I know that it will fall in line with the same old, same old. There’s a through-line with what happened to me in my family, then to the dysfunction workplace and the “friend” I met there. They all took advantage of and used the same part of my character, the same weaknesses, for the same purposes (only in different avenues), and in the aftermath can use those same weaknesses and soft spots to fault me, and ultimately get away with things for lack of proof. I’m tired of coming out of situations in which I’ve been exploited/victimized only able to “learn a lesson” about how to next time maneuver myself, because I hate this feeling that it’s an “abuser’s world” and I have to find a way to live in it, so as to least be victimized. Going to the police won’t actually change that, either, I know; it might just enhance that feeling. The almost-year of confrontation with my family—even though I stood up for myself and spoke the truth—now feels kind of empty, like in that, too, I was the victim, I suppose because of realizing how much time I put into trying to get them to see “the tree” and it being essentially a stupid endeavour when there’s good reason why they don’t want to see it, that they’d designed a whole life around getting themselves and others to not look or to un-see it, and that I took quite a beating in the process of speaking up. I mean it wasn’t stupid in that I wouldn’t have known otherwise and I needed to know the truth, so I don’t regret doing what I needed to do—to understand how and why it was a stupid endeavour and that it’s not me. I try to keep my mentality as one of overcoming things, but looking at my life I can see from another angle a perpetual victim, trying to dodge my way through, sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, and that with those I have stood up to, it has been like talking to inanimate objects. I suppose the truth just makes me depressed. I’d like to know which specific actions are going to help me not feel like a victim anymore, so that I can take those actions, but for now I don’t know what those actions are and I’m feeling depressed.

  9. By: Ruby Posted: 31st October

    Oops i meant comment 42.

  10. By: Ruby Posted: 31st October

    Oliver. Your comment (24) is like ripped from a page of my journal. It makes me feel connected and understood in a way I cant even fully appreciate yet. Thank you. I just found this blog today.

  11. By: DXS Posted: 31st October

    I’ve avoided admitting that my mother was anything other than unconscious (or herself damaged) for just this reason.

    Same here. I think my mom just doesn’t “know herself” and she isn’t aware of how I feel. She thinks that if SHE feels a certain way, so should I. My mom never says what she means, and never means what she says. But she thinks that if she said A but meant B, I’m supposed to JUST KNOW she meant B and it’s my fault if I didn’t realize that. Ansd she thinks I’m “too sensitive.” But to me, she is the one that is “too sensitive” but oh now, she denies that….

  12. By: Alice Posted: 31st October

    Hi Alaina!

    What a well-written post on this topic. So the ‘family as exception’ rears it’s head again “It’s odd how when it’s family, we’re supposed to dismantle our feelings and swallow down the lie that this is the admirable way to live…”

    It makes me want to ask, ‘what the hell is wrong with the family?’ I’ve seen so many families where this is the expectation. My own placed heavy demands on me without any real reciprocity (and god-forbid I would even suggest there COULD be reciprocity) bar the old saw of ‘But we fed and clothed and put a roof over your head’.

    Yes, and it was made so fucking clear at every second it was THEIR roof and the clothes were whatever took the least effort to throw at me. That I am an ‘ungrateful’ daughter when so many kids don’t even have that. And my heart breaks for them. Why should we be asked to compare sadness? Why in the first place should a child be ‘grateful’? I’ve never really asked the question but I am now. Why exactly?

    I was very struck by your idea that “Even when the abuse was unconscious or passive, once you feel it as a pattern across time, you feel the inherent cruelty and sickness that are intent on destroying you, not as passive, disparate moments, but as an actual force.”

    I’ve avoided admitting that my mother was anything other than unconscious (or herself damaged) for just this reason. At some point in this process there’s a terror that arises exactly out of the full realization of everything that was done to you. Is this the same terror we sought to avoid feeling as children?

    I don’t know what to say about reporting to the police. The inability of police to listen to women is all over the news right now. I fear that they will traumatize you further. But that is my own fear.

  13. By: Alaina Posted: 30th October

    I’m late to the discussion here and haven’t read even close to all the comments yet, but I appreciate the post, Darlene, and the comments I did read!

    Yes, there is definitely justifiable anger. I suppose it’s hard to understand that anger can be a driving force to establish peace when all you’ve known of it has been destructive, but I’d be surprised if anger wasn’t a crucial aspect to all those who seek justice and equality, who want to right wrongs. All those people who have won nobel peace prizes, for example, do you think they would have accomplished anything if they were happy with things, or if they separated themselves from reality or from themselves, so that they wouldn’t feel the “badness” of anger? I would guess that they felt the full force of their anger but had the mental and emotional capacity to use it constructively.

    It’s odd how when it’s family, we’re supposed to dismantle our feelings and swallow down the lie that this is the admirable way to live, but honestly if you were witness to a person doing serious harm to another human being and didn’t feel any anger at all, I’d wonder if there wasn’t something seriously wrong with you, if maybe you were a sociopath or something. Then there’s the notion that, yes, you can feel the anger but that it’s better to weave around what makes you angry, to hold your anger to yourself, work it out on your own time and hold your truth to yourself, without ever expressing your anger to anyone else. This is fine if it works, if it’s what’s best for you, but to think that makes you superior to those who actually choose to express their anger (in a non-abusive, constructive, justice-seeking manner) is absurd. I’m inclined to think it’s the other way around—that it takes more gumption to stand up expressing your anger (in non-abusive ways) than to keep it to yourself and that there is more possibility for more positivity, and certainly change, if we are able to speak up about that which makes us angry.

    I’ve been thinking about going to the police about my assault. I know I have no evidence. I know it’s pure he said/she said. I know I won’t get justice. I know it will be hard and scary and I can’t predict what might happen. But just to do it anyway, to put it on record as me saying this happened and this was a crime, regardless of how it’s taken from that point forward. I tried last weekend to write down the events—chronologically and detailed as I could. It’s really hard. I didn’t get very far at all. I’ll try again this weekend. Somehow it’s harder to write it chronologically. I think our minds fragment trauma for our protection. All the fragments themselves are traumatic and painful but when you put them together and follow them through from beginning to end, it’s much harder, strikes you down to the core—I think because that’s when you start to understand and feel what happened to you, what was done to you, systematically—both in terms of the culminating effect of one thing on top of another and another, etc., and in terms of experiencing a sense of the motive/driving force of those who have abused you as a kind of through line. It’s only with chronology that you get the full sense of the malevolence of your experience. Even when the abuse was unconscious or passive, once you feel it as a pattern across time, you feel the inherent cruelty and sickness that are intent on destroying you, not as passive, disparate moments, but as an actual force. It’s why I came to the conclusion last year that my family wants to kill me. They don’t ACTUALLY want to kill me, but… yes they do. So long as they don’t reject the dysfunction, they will keep wanting and trying to achieve that which wants to kill me (despite my many, many attempts to explain)… ergo they want to kill me. Anyway, about my assault, I know I can’t just go to the police without writing down what happened because I won’t be able to talk, not in detail. I clam up and panic, etc., and if I do this, I want to be in shape to do it. I don’t want to end up at home, trying to manage and curb the desire to hurt myself because I pushed myself into something I can’t handle, but I also want to be able to do this—for myself, to say it happened, that it wasn’t okay, it was a crime against me that deserves to be reported to the police. And for the sake of a history if there are any women after me. It’s awful that as victims we end up carrying the weight of other people’s responsibility—their guilt for what they did. We shouldn’t but it’s what they inflicted on us. I wish simply to give it back to them because it doesn’t belong to me. But so much work, so much easier said than done. And yes, it makes me angry. All the pain, all the time and effort, all the life it destroys, because other people don’t want to take responsibility for themselves, because they don’t want to care, because all they want is what they want at the expense of anything or anyone. Yes, that makes me angry, and rightly so.

  14. By: Lia Posted: 30th October

    I haven’t even read all the comments, only the first 20 or so, but so much of it applies to me, and how I feel and everything….need some time to absorb all of it. I can relate to so much of what everybody is saying though. Thank you all for sharing, this website has helped me so much already, so glad to have found it.

  15. By: Alice Posted: 27th October

    Hi DXS, thanks for the kind words. I’ve noticed a lot of people who have been through stuff like we discuss on EFB become champions for “the underdog” or other people who are being mistreated later in life. In that small period during which I was bullied, I was really more upset that my parents did nothing than the kids who were doing it. I had a kind of an understanding that allegiances at grade school were fickle and today’s best friend could turn on a dime into tomorrow’s worst enemy and then back again. But when you realize no-one has your back in your family, it’s so horrible. One of the consequences is it turns you into someone who know’s they can only really count on themselves. And I wonder if that contributes to so many kids not speaking up about what they might be going through. I was “bullied” once more in high school with a “joke” that was played on me by the “mean girls” in school but it kind of backfired on them. “Only” my pride was hurt that time.

  16. By: DXS Posted: 26th October

    Alice, your “Victim of bullying” story got to me. As a kid, I got the “occasional” bullying from the “cool” kids, but I didn’t really get serious bullying.

    But for some reason, bullying has become a very passionate subject for me. I don’t know why but something is driving me to want to do something about bullying. I read about it constantly and just want to find a way to do something.

  17. By: DXS Posted: 26th October

    Amber, your “people pleasing” thing rings with me. I kept trying to please my mom to get her to love me. It took me years to figure out this is what I was doing. I just have to realize it’s not my fault she can’t love me. She just isn’t capable of love, whatever the reason is.

  18. By: DXS Posted: 26th October

    I read on another website that “just because your parents did all the right things, doesn’t mean they loved you.”

    This helped put things on perspective for me. Yes, my parents did all the “Right” things. But I never felt loved. One of my siblings once told me that they never felt loved, either, but since then, that sibling has denied saying that.

    I guess that’s why I approached all relationships with a “supposed to” thing. As in, “you’re SUPPOSED to act this way, do this, etc.” Then I got tired of “supposed to’s” and broke them up.

    My mom claims she “wanted” children, but it’s always phrased as “your father wanted kids.” But my dad, for him, it was “kodak moments” and nothing else. My friends used to always discuss which of their parents was the “worse” for discipline. Well, in my family, all discipline was done by mom, dad refused to participate in discipline. So mom got “stuck” with it.

    A couple weeks ago, I visited my Dad’s grave with a two page letter I wrote, expressing all the anger I had over being ignored by him. I found a way to “bury” the letter under the dirt near the grave.

  19. By: Kris Posted: 24th October

    Kaycee#139….what you said is exactly how I feel too. Unfortunately being abused has us share some commonalities. I am pushing 50 too and I am just learning how to stand up on my own two feet. It’s scary to say the least. Our parents robbed us of that opportunity because they were too busy telling us how we needed to do everything “their” way and what WE thought didn’t count so we never learned how to stand on our own two feet because their goal was to have us dependent on THEM for the rest of our lives out of their own sick fear of us rejecting and abandoning them if they didn’t find a way to keep us connected at their hip so to speak. Even when they weren’t there they were if you know what I mean. Had to break that sick connection. Not an easy task.

    I am afraid of everything and it robs me from doing things that I want to do. I am terrified of people in general. I can’t let myself go to that place of letting myself get close to someone. It’s just doesn’t feel safe to me. I am constantly being triggered by things that happen today that remind me of the abuse from my past. That is what having DID does to you. I am my own walking torture chamber and that is why I isolate myself because the less people I am around the less I will be triggered. The whole darn thing is so sick I can’t stand it. You couldn’t make something like this up if you wanted to yet there are still idiots out there that don’t believe DID exists. I think to myself let them live a day in the life of me and then see what they have to say!!! lol

    I too get all of this intellectually but my heart hasn’t received all the messages yet. I still feel like crap every day. My therapist said knowing the truth is better then living a lie and I said to him maybe when you get to the other side of broken but right now I think to myself what good does knowing the truth really do me??? I am STILL sitting here with the same old pain from things that happened to me 48 years ago.

    Ultimately I do believe “the truth will set you free.” Just had to vent!!! That has been my motto from the start. Living a lie will only cause you MORE unresolved pain and I figure that one day I will finally chip away at all of this junk so I can finally can have a life because right now I don’t have a life. I exist and I survive but I don’t live.

    Some days it is just harder for me to see that then others and today is one of those days. Falling into ANOTHER depression. God is trying to show me ANOTHER truth and all my truths just cause me MORE PAIN!!!! Woe is me and cry me a river but that is how I feel today!!! Lol

    So hard to keep yourself positive when you know you are about to be hit over the head again. People like you keep me going. I am so grateful for that. Thnx for letting me vent. Sorry I was of no help to you!!!


  20. By: Alice Posted: 24th October

    Hi Amber and Pam,

    Thanks. Yes I think there was something of wanting to be SEEN to do the right thing when that’s obliged by others but in private the ‘reality’ of the relationship takes precedence. Same goes for clothing and behavior. We kids would be well-dressed so as to be “presentable” to certain people on “special occasions” (included visiting the grandparents) whereas everyday on “ordinary” days I was wearing worn second-hand clothes (which are fine btw, I still enjoy shopping ‘vintage’ haha) but it was about how much more important our mother’s view of herself through our well-dressed presentation and ‘polite’ behavior was than us. So we were punished when we belied the former.

    So really it was my mother’s own neuroticism that she was trying to effect through us.

  21. By: Pam Posted: 24th October

    Kaycee, I’m glad you are going to be okay and sad that you are going through so much at once. I’ve always had problems believing that I would actually get anything good out of life. I have an underlying suspicion of anything good in my life, that it will be jerked away, or that it is all a trick. I also, have a hard time receiving help from people or asking for any kind of help because I feel like I’m setting myself up to be hurt. I know now that all of that is based on the way my parents treated me. I very much relate to your description of an evil higher power working against you. For a child, there is no higher power than our parents. They should be there to watch over us and help us but when they continually jerk the rug out from beneath us when we put our trust in them, it makes it really hard to trust anyone, even God. I’m aware of this source of general mistrust in me now and I talk myself away from it but I still don’t have a natural trust in the helpfulness of others. No matter how kind or benevolent, I still have suspicions. Underneath, I still fight thoughts of not allowing myself to expect anything good, that whatever appears to be good is just a trick.

    I was nearly 50 before I started facing myself and my past. It has taken me 30 years to recover from the first 18 years of my life. The good thing is you are here. I made a lot more progress from the help I found here than in the previous twenty years before.


  22. By: Pam Posted: 24th October

    Finally Free & Amber, Thank you for your sweet compliments and for making me feel like I belong and have something to contribute.


  23. By: Pam Posted: 24th October

    Alice, All of that is beyond confusing for a child. No wonder you feel both ways at once. You should feel angry about it. They set you up to fail no matter which way you turned. It’s awful to have your heart confused that way. There are a lot of lies to ‘unlearn’ in the incidents you described. I’m sad you had to live through that.


  24. By: Kaycee Posted: 23rd October

    Kris, thank you. I think somewhere deep inside, I am still living in my childhood and I have a hard time interpreting current events as separate. I love what you said and it is my mantra today that they can’t hurt me anymore. I tend to view everything that happens in my life like that child who had no choice, no voice who being tossed about on the waves of craziness that was my family. I can’t believe I am pushing 50 and trying to grow up and face the world like an adult.

    I get it intellectually, it is just hard to get my feelings to follow and I usually just end up a hot mess chiding myself for not being able to feel okay despite knowing what I know.

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