When Children are not Regarded as Actual People

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causes of low self esteem

I was thinking about the attitude that so much of society has when it comes to children; that children don’t really have rights.  That they don’t have a right to have an opinion because it is believed by so many that they don’t’ really “know” anything yet so they are not given a voice. It is believed that they don’t even have real feelings OR a right to their feelings… (think about how children are commonly disciplined) that they don’t deserve respect; think about how they are treated and spoken to by most adults and often bullied and threatened by teachers.  It isn’t that children don’t need guidance and ground rules, but it is the WAY that it is done that is such a big problem as though they NEED to be disciplined and to know their place ~ or they might become crazed malfunctioning members of society. When this is the attitude that children are regarded with, they are actually disregarded as people. They are “devalued” meaning that they are defined by the actions of others as having “less value”.

Did you know that historically, it was believed that parents needed to get total mastery over their children right away or the children would run all over them and end up being the ones with all the control over the parents.  Parenting authorities wrote volumes about how to “break their spirits” so that children would never question the authority of a parent.  It was believed that children had no memory prior to the age of five years old, so it was believed that no damage would be done to the child if harmful means were used to gain this control.  I often wonder how much of this attitude has been carried over into present day belief systems and parenting ways.

Have you thought about what actually happens to these children who are not regarded as PEOPLE with equal value? I mean did you ever think that maybe this is the root of the reason that we have so much struggle with depression and low self esteem issues in our society? Why do so many people, including some teachers and parents believe that these disregarded disrespected children will become well adjusted adults?

How would that even be possible? How can someone go from NOT being valued or regarded as a person with equal rights, to suddenly accepting responsibility and living up to the expectations of the very people who originally determined that they didn’t have equal (if any) value?

What about that expression “Children should be seen and not heard”?

Or should I say Children should NOT be seen OR heard.  Perhaps, (the adults who regard children in this way believe that) children should be sequestered until they are around twenty years old, and then they should emerge into society, fully responsible, fully functioning, and fully in charge of their own lives, self esteem, confident that they can make a difference in the world and a contribution to society.

Does that make sense to you? It seems to me to be the way that children are regarded when it comes to adults. That first they are raised being defined as “less than everyone else” and then expected to be fully functional, together, ready to get married and have children of their own!

Children have rights as PEOPLE. I was a child who wasn’t regarded as a valid person. I didn’t have a voice. I didn’t have a stamp of approval. I was pushed away, hushed, threatened, violated, beaten, betrayed and it was communicated to me in so many ways that I didn’t matter. I was not a valid part of the big picture. I was not really necessary to the overall success of the family dynamic.  I had my first serious depression when I was ten years old. (There is a reason for that!) No one thought about what caused it. It was “just the way I was”.  I tried harder and harder. AND then, when I “grew up” I was reprimanded and judged for my difficulties with life, for my choices in men, and basically just for the way that I “turned out”.

BUT how did the adults in this dysfunctional society think I would turn out when I was not valued or validated as a child in the first place? And the answer to that question is that they didn’t THINK at all.  I was only a child after all, what was there to think about? AND that is my point.

Don’t those adults remember what it felt like to be that same kid who was treated like they didn’t really matter? Don’t they remember the shame, the humiliation, the loneliness and the confusion? Don’t they realize where their own low self esteem came from in the first place? I guess not. But this cycle has to stop and all the bullying programs in the world are not going to stop the bullying unless the adults realize that they are the ones teaching (by example) the bullying to the kids.

Children are PEOPLE. And I am speaking for all of us who were ALSO once children.  Young people have EQUAL value to everyone else. (I am not talking about equal authority; I am strictly talking about value.)  Children need love and nurturing so they can love and nurture. They need to be respected so that they learn to respect. Kids need to be validated and to be heard so that they can grow in self esteem and confidence.  Children need to be taught by example how they should treat others. It has to be modeled by the adults!

When people are disregarded we learn to disregard. Some learn to disregard others, some of us disregard ourselves, some people learn to do both.  When the message is “you don’t matter” the results are not going to be high self esteem.

What messages did you get as a child and how did they impact YOUR life.  Can you see that those messages were in fact lies? What beliefs about yourself developed as a result of those false messages about your value? Please share.

Busting through the FOG ~ there is freedom on the other side!

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

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118 response to "When Children are not Regarded as Actual People"

  1. By: Candice Posted: 8th July

    on this September 13th it will have been 3 years since I spoke to my mother and father- the most liberating decision I have ever made in my life, but I’m still trying to recognise myself as a person. I’m certainly not healed yet, but I’m trying!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th July

      Hi Candice
      Trying is the main thing. I finally recognized and embraced my true self when I was able to expose all the lies that I believed about myslef due to toxic relationships and how my belief system was formed by those people. That is what this site is about! Glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Patrick Tulley Posted: 8th July

    I have to agree that children are treated like 2nd class citizens, very often on a par with pets even. You make a very strong case for that too.

    I had some things to add, but seeing as you had so many comments, I don’t suppose mine would be any more helpful. However, I have started a blog myself recently touching on this area of life and thought it might be of interest for you. I am a guest blogger hence the two links. I’m new to WordPress, so still working out how things work.

    http://yikici.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/bullying-self-attack-panic-attacks/

    http://yikici.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/children-empathy-or-strategy/

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th July

      Hi Patrick
      Welcome to emerging from broken. Just a little tip; if you want to attract people to your blog, it is better to add your thoughts here. If people like what you are saying here, they will visit your blog too! (and my blog only allows one link at at time, if more then one link is posted, the post will be held in moderation or will go into spam. ) All comments make a difference! You never know what someone else needs to hear.
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Susan Kingsley-Smith Posted: 5th July

    Boy Lynda and Darlene; you BOTH hit the nail on the head for me about these programs. And yes; its not the program its the people in them who abuse. But geez – Darlene I struggled with the SAME issues! Being told I was powerless and that all of my problems were because I was defective!

    Today I would know when to leave a group that was being abusive or had unhealthy social dynmics going on but back then when I really really needed someone to show me the way – I couldn’t find one person who had anything I wanted in the groups I visited (and I visited plenty for a long time).

    Thankfully though! We have created a new kind of group where those who WERE helped by these programs, like Patricia, can share their learned wisdom and we can support and validate one another as we reclaim the power that was taken from us.

    Whew! So glad we are all here!

    🙂

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th July

      I have written about this in early posts Susan. I should do an updated one. I want to make sure that I am not trashing 12 step when I am only attempting to expose the damage that was done there by often well meaning people. I also looked for sponsors that treated me just like abuseers did. Either I did it their way or I could get a new sponsor. Those kind of people were who I was familiar with. So I guess I gravitated towards them. Oh and male sponsors who wanted to sleep with me. (that was familiar too, that I was only good for one thing and the belief that men would not want to help me ~ they just wanted to bed me) I had to learn all this stuff in order to change it. In 12 step, I mostly just tried to find the proof that it really was my fault and was encouraged to do so. ugggg…
      having said that, like Patricia, I too found some really great things to begin my recovery with, but that beginning (although some great stuff that I learned) for me was not the key to freedom and wholeness.

  4. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 4th July

    Susan Kingsley-Smith, you said in comment #25 that you had problems with 12 step programs, you wrote “sorry Patricia; I know they were a good source for you but the ones I found were less than helpful and full of horny mean men and jealous bitchy women” ~~

    ME, TOO, that was exactly what I experienced in 12 step programs, “horny mean men and jealous bitchy women.”

    HOWEVER… in the early years of my going to 12-step programs, I did NOT have any problems with “horny mean men and jealous bitchy women.” I was married in those early years, to my now-ex husband, and he accompanied me to nearly all of the 12-step meetings I went to, during our marriage. So the horny mean men left me alone, and the women had no reason to be jealous and bitchy, because I was not “competition.”

    It was when that marriage ended, and I stepped up my 12-step meeting attendance, thinking I needed the extra support to get me through that very painful time… that was when the “horny mean men” and the “jealous bitchy women” just about drove me completely out of what little mind I had left!

    So, in hindsight, it seems to me that the women who do well in 12-step programs, are married or otherwise unavailable to the horny mean men, and therefore no competition for the jealous bitchy women.

    That’s been my experience, anyway.

    Another thing about the 12 step programs that definitely HURT, rather than HELPED, me was the emphasis on “admitting that I am POWERLESS,” and taking a moral inventory of all of my “CHARACTER DEFECTS.”

    I grew up being told all of my life that I was nothing but one big DEFECT, and taught that I had NO POWER. It was only when I began to take back my power over my own life, refused to define myself as being full of DEFECTS, and focused instead on my great God-given STRENGTHS, my INHERENT WORTH and EQUAL VALUE, that I finally began to HEAL.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th July

      Hi Lynda!
      Great comments! I realized the same thing about the 12 programs; not the fault of the program but it really hurt me too to spend all my energy on acceptance of powerlessness (when as you say I never HAD any power!!) I did my step 4 with the emphasis on being accountable ~ for all the abuse that happened to me! That didn’t help me one bit! It helped me to try to keep on accepting abusive behaviour that I didn’t know was even abusive yet!
      Thank you for sharing
      hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 2nd July

    Dear Patricia (and Dear Anyone Else who didn’t know they had the right to say NO to abuse),

    When I was 12, I also did not know that I had the right to say NO to any adult, especially not to my parents. I was 12 when my dad grabbed me and said, “I don’t care if it’s wrong, I love you any way,” then kissed me long and hard on the mouth.” Then he said, “Don’t tell your mother.”

    I didn’t know what sex was, when I was 12. I had lived a very sheltered life, we didn’t even have a tv, because of my parents’ super strict religion. I didn’t understand why my dad would say that loving me was wrong. I didn’t understand why he kissed me so hard and long on the mouth. And I didn’t understand why he told me not to tell my mother. But I obeyed him; I did not tell her. He was the head of our house, he was the sole breadwinner, and he was also the preacher of our very strict church. My dad taught from the pulpit that the man was the head of the house and that the wife must submit to him as unto the Lord, and that children must obey and honor their father and mother… and the father came first. So, I did not what my dad told me to do, I did not tell.

    If my father had taken the sexual abuse further at that time in my life, I have no doubt that I would have done whatever he wanted me to do, and I also have no doubt that I would have kept it secret, because I had been groomed all of my life, by my parents, but especially by my dad, to do whatever he told me to do, immediately and without question. I had been taught all of my life that Lynda had no rights whatsoever.

    HOWEVER… by the time my father tried to take his sexual abuse of me further, he had been thoroughly discredited in the family, in the church, in our town, and in my eyes. You see, it was not long after my dad’s sick sexual kiss, that he came so close to killing my mother, I actually thought she was dead. My father was arrested, and then put in a psychiatric ward, where he stayed for a long time. He was fired from his job at the electric company, he was banned from his church, and my mother filed for divorce.

    I had been a witness to my dad’s violent attack on my mother. I no longer trusted him. In fact, according to the religion that my parents had raised me in, my dad was considered by those in our church to be possessed by demons… his pychiatrist diagnosed his problem as Multiple Personality Disorder, which is called Dissociative Identity Disorder, today.

    I was 13, when my dad tried to molest me the second time. By that time, I knew what sex was. My dad had been out of the psychiatric hospital for a few months. My parents’ divorce had become final, and my dad had remarried, almost immediately, the head nurse of the psych ward where he had been a patient for so long. Highly unethical.

    According to the terms of the divorce, our dad would come over to our house to visit the 5 of us kids, every Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon. Sometimes he would bring his new wife, and often he didn’t.

    One Sunday he came without his wife. He spent most of the day sitting at the kitchen table drinking beer and talking with my mother, not visiting with us kids. I was doing my homework in the bedroom I shared with my much-younger twin sisters. As the evening got laterr, I decided to take my bath to get a head start on getting ready for school the next day. I went into the bathroom and was filling the tub with water. I got undressed and was about to step into the tub, when my dad knocked on the locked bathroom door. “I’m leaving now, Lynda, and I just wanted to say good-bye,” he said through the door. I said, “OK, just a second,” and I grabbed up my dress that I had taken off, it was the type that buttons all the way down the front. I put it on and, instead of buttoning it up, I held it closed in front of me, sort of wrapped around me, so that nothing would show ~ at least, I don’t think anything was showing. I was a shy girl, and wouldn’t have wanted to show any cleavage, that was totally banned by the religion I was brought up in.

    While holding my dress closed in front of my chest, I opened the bathroom door just a crack, wide enough so that my dad could give me his customary good-bye peck on the cheek.

    When my dad saw me with my dress wrapped around me, he got a creepy turned-on look on his face, and he reached inside the front of my dress, and grabbed my left breast. I immediately shut the door on his hand, not hard, but hard enough so that I could pull myself away from him. He bellowed in rage as he pulled his hand out of the door. As soon as his hand was clear of the door, I slammed and locked it.

    I know that I would never have done that, if my dad had still been “my dad,” if he still been the head of the house, the authority over my mother and over all of us kids, and the preacher in our church. If my dad had never been so thoroughly discredited by everyone in my world by the time I was 13, I would not have known that he could NOT to do me whatever he wanted to do.

    When I was 15 and in a mental institution, and my 40-something-year-old psychiatrist tried to molest me, I fought him off, and then I told the nurses on him. The only reason I knew that I had the right to say NO to him, was because two other patients on my ward had already warned me about that doctor trying to rape them. Otherwise, in my love-starved, 15-year-old ignorance, I have no doubt that I would have welcomed his sexual advances, thinking that he was doing it “because he loved me.”

    But, I knew that he was doing sexual things to other women, too, so I knew he wasn’t singling me out as his “special love.” PLUS, and here is the biggie…. that doctor was divorced when he was first my psychiatrist, and because he was very handsome and had a gentle soothing voice, I had a big crush on him, and considered him “fair game,” because he was single. (I think this was before I knew he was sexually molesting other patients.) But, about a month before his first attempt at molesting me, he told me he had just gotten remarried “to a beautiful, wonderful woman.” My fantasy-crush on him was dashed. And so, when he hypnotized me and tried to moelst me, I fought him off.

    Frankly, in my 15-year-old fanatsy world, believing in the fairy tales I had grown up on, of a Prince Charming coming to rescue the damsel in distress, wanting and needing love so desperately, and wanting and needing to be “saved” from the horrible insane asylum… if my psychiatrist had not just recently “broken my heart” by announcing that he was newly remarried to “a lovely woman,” I am sure that I would NOT have fought off his advances. I would have believed that he had the right to do whatever he wanted to me, because he was the adult and the doctor and I was the child and the patient, and I have no doubt that I would have believed that he was doing sexual things to me because he had fallen in love with me.

    It has belatedly occured to me that, for those survivors who did not fight off their abusers/rapists when they were young, my story of how I fought off my dad when I was 13, and later at age 15 tried to fight off my psychiatrist, who then had to drug me unconscious with the truth serum, sodium penthothal, in order to rape me, my story may make some women feel bad because they didn’t fight. I never meant for my story to make anyone feel bad in any way, and I hope that my explanation of why and how I had come to the point where I could fight off my dad and my psychiatrist, may help take some of that hurt away.

    I repeat: IF my dad had not come within a hair of killing my mother, and then been arrested for it, and then put in a mental ward, and believed by everyone in our family and social circle to be either insane, or demon possessed…. IF my dad had still been the “man in charge of the family….” it would never have occurred to me, at age 13, to refuse to allow him to fondle my breast, or anything else.

    Furthermor, IF the handsome 40-something psychiatrist that I initially had a crush on, hadn’t shattered my silly romantic young-girl fantasies by getting remarried, AND if I hadn’t already been told by a couple of other women patients that they were having a sexual relationship with that very same doctor, then I most certainly would have naively welcomed his sexual advances, believing that he was “making love” with me, because he was “falling in love” with me. I was just young and ignorant enough to have believed that a 40-something psychiatrist, who had grown children in their 20s, would be able to fall in love with his 15-year-old mental patient, and it would be fine and good. But the fact that I knew I wasn’t his “one and only true love,” caused me to fight him off.

    I very sorry, Patricia, and anyone else who may have felt bad when they read about my rape experience, I am very sorry if the fact that I fought off my abusers to the best of my ability, until I was drugged and couldn’t fight anymore, I am very very sorry if that made anyone else feel bad because they didn’t fight, or try to say no.

    It didn’t even occur to me until I read your comment #86, Patricia, that I needed to explain how and why I was able to fight, when ordinarily, at that young of an age, after a lifetime of being taught that I had no rights and no value, in ordinary circumstances, I have no doubt that I would NOT have known that I could, or should, fight or even say NO to my abusers.

    In Truth, Peace, and Love,
    Lynda

  6. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 27th June

    Darlene, you posted this when my computer was in the shop last week and I just found it in my unopened emails tonight. You could be describing my childhood too. This was posted the same day that my first guest blog article was posted over at SASSU – Sexual Assault Survivors Standing. The post was called “Incest: Protect Your Children by Patricia Singleton.”

    http://sassuempowerment.blogspot.com/2011/06/incestprotect-your-children.html

    In this post, I talked about the first incest experience that I remember at age 11. Then I ended the post with a list of 10 things that I was taught as a child that would have protected me from the incest if I had known those 10 things. I wasn’t taught those things because as a child, I had no value to the adults in my life. I was taught that only adults had power or control and that I had to do whatever I was told just because they were adults. Those beliefs left me wide open for being abused. I didn’t know that I had any rights, much less the right to say no to an adult. An adult could do anything that he/she wanted to do to me because I had no value. I had no power as a child. This post needs a Trigger Warning because of the memory that I wrote about in the beginning. I have never written about my experiences in this kind of detail. I think that this guest post and a second one that I wrote a few days later for another blogger is why I felt so raw emotionally on Father’s Day.

  7. By: joy Posted: 25th June

    Pam I agree that hiding place is a must and I am going there more and more. I am so so very grateful to my “T” for helping me learn to go there .. to use is as a place to go when the memories are too intense and chasing me so.

    I know I must deal with the memories even if I leave them outside me .. as they wont let me go. They are challenging me to to answer to think. and I really don’t know what to think. I dont have answers. I dont know why . I just simply dont

    joy

  8. By: pam Posted: 24th June

    Kate,j
    I’ve shed many as well. It is interesting to note that the Pharasees also said that they were sons of God as they were not born by fout ornication. We see many of those types of “sons of God” also. today. They have never left us. The true son of God is the one who lives out his father’s wishes out of love for him and not out of any false human elevation. The real deal is not a religeous bafoon, he is simply humble and truthful That is why I love him and pray for the rest while keeping a safe distance.;0)

    Pam

  9. By: kate Posted: 24th June

    the true nature of hell for me, in this life, is something that Darlene said the other day. We were told many conlficting things and we try (tried) to believe them all.

  10. By: kate Posted: 24th June

    But we looked happy and were happy in our wedding photos from three years ago. We had a private wedding. NO parents allowed. No one allowed except my kids. No planning or coordinating or criticizing, etc.

    I called my dad the morning of my wedding and let him know that we were getting married that day. My kids couldn’t keep it quiet, so they probably already knew and my mother drove her car out to the house where my fiance had spent the night (at a friends’ house) to spy on us that morning. I went out to pick him up, and as we were leaving the driveway, on the two-lane highway, I see this semi-truck slam on his brakes and lay on the horn while he tries to avoid hitting the car in front of him, which is driven by my mother!

    So we called, and we went out for about five minutes to tell them we were getting married and left from there for the courthouse. My dad wanted to know if the mayor of our county was marrying us, as the mayor is my cousin. I said that I was never again going to attempt to coordinate other peoples’ lives with my plans, including wedding plans. He said that he thought that was very wise. Oh please! Get me a bucket so I can puke.

    And all my life i have had digestion issues around the foods we eat, we eat themn as if it were a ritual, potlucks, holidays, whatever is popular, etc., but they are bad for my tummy, so I have tried various diets all my life, and I get ridiculed. Yeah, so these are just some of the “rituals” that I have shed in my life.

  11. By: kate Posted: 24th June

    Pam,

    I agree with blind acceptance of anything. It is so easy to live a life simply being a spectator of all the rituals that go on around us, sunday rituals, entertainment rituals, holiday rituals, and how many of these are truly HAPPY times,??

    I saw the most disgusting thing to me today. My father, who couldn’t STAND to be photographed by his family members is photographed with my mom at an engagement party for a single mom from his church. He told me many times how he admired this single widowed mother for really doing the tough job of raising her kids after their dad died. What that REALLY meant was that she did the tough job of staying in their church after her husband died, the church that ostrasized her former husband, the church that declared her former husband “unsaved”…because he didn’t join their church…so he dies and his wealthy wife gets to contiunue to stay home in the same home and be a mom, all the while I lose my husband in a divorce, lose my home, community, have to work without job skills after being a stay-home-educator for many years, SHE also gets to go to school to get job skills, I am struggling, being belittled by my parents the whole time while they admire her. My parents’ reponse to me new husband was completely negative to us and behind my back, while they attend ENGAGEMENT party for this other mother and my dad just BEAMS for the camera, something he would never do for his own family. And that “happy couple” getting married?? THEY don’t even look happy in the photos. You couldn’t BE happy in that church unless you were part of the founding family, OR worshipped them!

  12. By: pam Posted: 24th June

    Darlene,

    No excuses for bad behavior here. I just like to examine the reasons why certain traditions develop. I want to know if there is any value in them or if they should be trashed. People too often accept traditional ways of doing things just because they are tradition.

  13. By: pam Posted: 24th June

    Joy,

    We all need a hiding place. Even people who weren’t abused have other issues that give them a need to withdraw and deal. I think people who have lived a life of being abused have had so much death and destruction in our lives that it gives us a clear longing for life and wellbeing. A desire to give what we didn’t experience. It is a way for us to fulfill our own longing. A way to drown out some of the cruelty we have experienced.

    I see progess in you, Joy. You seem much stronger this week.

  14. By: Jenny Posted: 24th June

    Joy,

    Yes, I already have a job helping others and it is very rewarding…it makes me happy to be able to help. That is the common thread I see amongst survivors is we want to bring joy into this world…not anymore pain…we have had enough of that…I feel hopeful that this world is a better place because of people like you Joy….take care 🙂

  15. By: joy Posted: 24th June

    Pam

    Thank you am sometimes not in the hopeful spirit .. those moments I have to run for my safeplace that my “T” taught me of. .Or run for the youtube videos but run I do . I don’t like to stay too long in the memories by myself. I think it’s best to confront them with my T as they scare me.

    I appreciate your kind words, Pam, I so hope that my dreams come true .. I really am happiest when I can do for others.. its makes me happy to help others.

    Joy

  16. By: pam Posted: 24th June

    Joy,
    I think you are an amazingly hopeful person despite what you’ve been through. I believe that you will live your dream and bring to many what your name implies. Your tender heart gives me joy every time I read one of your posts. It is a treasure.

    Love,
    Pam

  17. By: joy Posted: 24th June

    @Jenny yes. you hit the nail on the head..dysfunction keeps me in this awful place.. I wish I was stronger. .I sometimes do what I shouldn’t do. .Sometimes let my guard down and for that time that one time I do . i have to go through so much torment and anguish.

    I don’t know exactly how many times I was sexually hurt before they took us away.. but I know now more than twice as i am seeing in my memory different things which are very painful. .there are a couple years I cannot remember at all. From the time they took us till the time i was in 4th grade is all fuzzy to me too. I do remember very vividly the beatings ..the baths.. the time mom put the pillow over me . the time she put the scissors in my neck ..the first time she and bro did those things. those are clear as day and make me wince yet to recall them.. but the other things . are only pieces. that are coming up . and they scare me.

    I am so glad jenny you havent quit and hope you never do. I have no desire to quit. .i have been through too much to give up . .i have the desire to become something . I want to help people some day I do little things now but really want to work with people who are marginalized in some way ..be it through disabilities or minorities.. I think giving back what one receives is a good way to live ones life..don’t you?

    Joy

  18. By: Jenny Posted: 24th June

    @ Joy,

    I totally understand your confusion….that is what the dysfunction does to you to keep you in that awful place….I am sorry you are in that spot…I have been there many times and it is a lonely spot…but remember you are not alone….I understand….I was molested for I don’t know how many years as a child by my step grandfather…all hazy…and I went on to men who treated me horribly….until my daughter was sexually abused by her father….it has been a horrible ride, somedays I just want to quit but then, if I quit who will pay for it? I will…she will…and we deserve better than that….and you do too….be patient with you….big hugs….

  19. By: pam Posted: 24th June

    Darlene,
    This post and the comments following has got me to thinking about where all of this ‘stuff’ comes from. My family were pioneers. Their lives were difficult and often painful. I think the daily grind of just trying to survive gave them very little time for emotional issues or even time to think about how their actions affected their children. I think their lives would probably also cause them to view God as hard and exacting. I think that view of God has been passed down through traditional methods of disciplining children. This isn’t an excuse for the treatment that I received as a child but it is on reason. There is a big difference between reasons and excuses. If we know the reason, we can take action to change. Excuses cover and hope to let the issue slide.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th June

      Hi Pam!
      Yes, I realize all of that is also very true. In my life today, I try not to lose sight of how I overcame all of the struggles that I had as a result of my childhood which led to all the future struggles in adulthood. The goal here is not to find the reasons why, (because they don’t change anything) but to find the belief systems that developed as a result of that treatment. Knowing the reasons always led me down a rabbit trail of feeling sorry for the people who undermined my existence. I can look at the reasons today, but I don’t give them any credit when it comes to changing my belief system about me.
      Remembering this has helped me tremendously.

      p.s. Pam and everyone ~ I will be publishing Pam’s guest post later on today. This is her second part continuing from last weeks very successful post about human objectification.
      hugs, Darlene

  20. By: kate Posted: 24th June

    Diane,
    You were to be sure and confess ALL your sins weekly, but somehow baptism was supposed to wash away sins as well? Am I the only one who finds this inconcistent?
    I guess the message there is to keep going to church every week to see what they want you to do next? You never really know, otherwise, they wouldn’t have a following or an income.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th June

      Hi Charlotte
      Yes, I agree, there are many parents who overlook this one important thing. To regard children as individuals with some basic human needs.
      Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Jes
      Welcome to EFB
      This whole blog has a lot to do with what you just shared. The things that are “said” to us that define us as being a certain way and since we are so young, we believe all of it. And we carry those beliefs into our adulthood. For me it wasn’t about not caring anymore so much as it was about changing those beliefs back to the truth so that I could be free to be me.
      Glad you are here!
      hugs, Darlene

      Hi Diane
      This is exactly what I am talking about! WOW. Thank you for sharing this snapshot..
      hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Elise Posted: 24th June

    Diane-

    I will never go to a church again either. My mother also forced me to go. I find too many people who actually hinder my worship and progress. I found a friend in one of the Pastors who had what congregation members would have thought ‘radical’ ideas. (My church was VERY old fashioned) I find I am able to practice my faith out in nature. A hiking trip up into the mountains or walk along the beach. Its so terrible that people do an say those kinds of things. Your mother telling you that your babies will essentially go to hell is awful!! No mother deserves to hear that!

  22. By: Diane Posted: 24th June

    I was raised as a catholic and just can’t step foot in a church now.Growing up,I was forced to go to church.My mother would drop me off and go back home to sleep.I asked why I had to go when she didn’t.Her answer was…”my parents forced me,so now it’s your turn.”I was 9 yrs old,sitting in church listening to the priest tell me that everything I did,every bad thought I had was a sin and I was going to burn in hell.When my mother picked me up she would ask me if I confessed all my sins.It was horrible because she would give me third degree.When my children were born I didn’t hurry to get them baptized which bugged my mother.She kept telling me that they need to be baptized to wash away their sins so if they die they’ll go to heaven.Just what a new mother wants to hear,huh?

  23. By: Elise Posted: 24th June

    Joy,

    It saddens me that members of the church would take something so beautiful as God’s word and twist it to give them an excuse for inaction. I’m truly sorry this happened to you. God would never be displeased by “complaining.” He is there to comfort and listen and no one, not even a pastor has the right to say otherwise.

    Somehow through my experiences I’ve held on to my faith.
    I think the belief that he has never given me more than I can handle and when it hit that
    point when it felt like there was nothing, absolutely nothing, someone I didn’t even know saved me.

    I apologise if I got too preachy. Pastors and church members who act like that infuriate me. It really is using his word as an excuse for inaction.

    Many many hugs

  24. By: Jes Posted: 23rd June

    According to my Grandmother I was “born that way” and I ruined my parents marriage at age 10. They decided to get married because my Mother got pregnant with me on purpose to trap my Father. I have heard this from both sides of the family. I have heard a lot of things from both sides of the family and how they think and how I “am”. Personally I don’t care anymore. I’m going to be in their minds however they decide to think of me, may as well give them something to think about.

    Everyone says that my husband won’t make it in the military. So far he’s been in a year and is working his way up.

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