Jul
01

When Society Defends Abuse and Abusers instead of the Abused Child

By
470

EFB blog butterflyMany of you have heard about the 5 year old little girl Alexa Linboom who was disciplined for drinking her step mothers grape soda without permission and as a punishment her father and step-mother forced her to drink 2.4 litres of water and several cans of grape soda which caused her to die. “Both parents were charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and two counts of aggravated child neglect.” (court date for this trial is Scheduled for October 2014)

Here is a summary paragraph, but if you are interested in the whole story follow the highlighted sentences and links at the end of the post. “The Vaughns disciplined Alexa by forcing her to drink about 2.4 liters of fluid, including several 12-ounce cans of grape soda, in a span of one to two hours, according to an autopsy report prepared by the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. She was bruised throughout her body and had cuts on her face, the report states.”

In an effort to show what children and adult survivors of child abuse are up against with the way society views child abuse, I am writing about the commenters who STUCK UP for the parents in this situation, saying that the punishment (charged with murder) they received for their actions which ultimately caused this little girl’s DEATH, was too harsh.

Too harsh?

The autopsy report and even the charges state that there were signs of ongoing abuse and neglect but some people commenting still defend the abusive parents.

It has been my experience that sticking up for abusive parents is about parental entitlement; if anything threatens the ‘rights’ of the parents, some people will freak out and defend parents; even parents who caused the death of their child. Adults posted on this article that their parents disciplined them in a similar way and they ‘turned out fine’. Some defended the parents saying that it wasn’t ‘that much liquid’ and they go down the rabbit trail leading nowhere defending that this little girl ‘should have been able to drink that much liquid’… As though the specialists who performed the autopsy must have made a mistake, but the bottom line is that there are people who are completely willing to ignore the DEATH of this child that directly resulted from the punishment she was given because validating that the child DIED as a result of the punishment, threatens the ‘rights’ of parents. There can be no other reason for their defensiveness.

I am using this example because it is extreme enough to get my point across. A child is dead and instead of reading the entire article and realizing that a horrific crime had in fact been committed, some people wrote in defence of the abusive parents who KILLED that child.

In order to support their claims that these parents should not be convicted, several people posted that “the death was an accident.” So does that mean that the punishment wasn’t fitting because the parents didn’t know it might kill her? Does that mean that the evidence of ongoing physical abuse and neglect should not be brought up as evidence against the parents?  And in reference to the actual event ~ If my husband throws me down the stairs, should he be excused because he didn’t realize that action would break my legs? And if I went into a coma and died, should he be let off because he didn’t intend to kill me, he just wanted to ‘teach me a lesson’? Does that make the death an accident?

If a woman is threatening her child by hanging her over the side of a bridge by one leg and the mother loses her grip which results in the child falling to her death, does that excuse the fact that she dropped her child off a bridge. Can we really call that an accident?

Here is a visual for you; Imagine that I am sitting at a table with friends and I reach over and grab my friends glass of soda pop without asking, and I drink it. What would the other people say or do if she started forcing me to drink liquid until I passed out? Imagine me sitting in a restaurant, choking and sputtering while my friend forces me to keep drinking as punishment for taking her soda. And then if it went to court, and my abuser was convicted of wrongful death, and it was posted in the news, how many people do you think would DEFEND the person who forced me to drink until I died?

Why does so much of society view the way that an adult treats a child any differently?

I watched a video of an abusive father whose daughter set up her webcam to capture her father beating her with a belt. The video is over 7 years old, and it if you watch it I will warn you it is very graphic and really hard to watch. Again, it is the comments from some of the commenters that got to me the most. Even though this video went viral, and there was a public outcry against the abusive father who also happened to be a Judge in the State of Texas, people were defending him. People called the daughter all kinds of names and made all kinds of judgments indicating that these parents were within their rights and that the daughter deserved whatever treatment they dished out AND some commenters posted their opinions about the daughter as though they ‘knew’ all about her and why she deserved the beating. The video showed an abusive father, beating his daughter with a belt and swearing at her saying things like “bend over or I’ll spank your f-ing face” for almost 7 minutes straight (well he leaves the room once and comes back and starts over) and people didn’t take that recorded evidence at face value, but instead justified the fathers behavior with all kinds of judgments such as ‘she was so ungrateful and spoiled and posted all types of reasons as proof of WHY the daughter DESERVED the beating and verbal abuse.

What gets me is that the commenters who post in favor of the parents’ rights to beat their children so often refer to the children as though they are NOT actually “people” with basic human rights. This is also where we find the root of the problem; so many people view children as NOT quite people yet and some commenters will even refer to themselves as children who ‘deserved’ to be hit in this way justifying that it didn’t “hurt them”. I find myself wondering if those same people beat their own children or plan to and therefore must agree that what their parents did to them was ‘not abuse.’

But there is a true truth;

When an adult hits another adult it is called assault. And assault is illegal. If an adult hits me, I am going to charge that adult with assault. If forcing a child to drink fluid until she passes out, goes into a comma and dies isn’t murder, than what the heck is it? It can’t be called an accident. Why would people give exceptions to parents? Why would the death be excused as an accident? Why is beating a child ever viewed differently than beating and assaulting and adult?

I chose this topic for my content today because I want to expose the way people think and how we have been brainwashed to think in dysfunctional families which causes us to question the definition of “abuse” and “assault”. If people would defend parents who forced a child to drink grape soda and fluids until she passed out, how much more would people defend parents who verbally abused their children? How much more would society defend parents who used a belt, hair brush, shoe or other object to discipline their children? And how much more would people defend neglect and disregard children who have grown up with the emotional pain of being treated in these ways? Just because those treatments are widely accepted and even supported doesn’t make them ‘right’ treatments. People defending parents’ rights do not make those abusive treatments correct or even legal! It isn’t LOVE to treat children this way. Parents do not have those kinds of ‘rights’.

Parents are NOT above the law when it comes to their children and although many parents act as though and believe that they are entitled to do, say, behave however they wish towards their child, that doesn’t mean that they ARE entitled.

Here is the KEY message I am trying to communicate: The next time you tell yourself something must be wrong with you because you have been discounted, rejected, abused, devalued, ignored, dismissed and broken and everyone has convinced you that the problem is ‘you’ remember that just because “everybody” says “it’s you”, doesn’t mean they are right. And just because people agree with certain practices in dysfunctional families, doesn’t mean those practices are right either.

It was when I stopped fighting to prove that I was right and just believed that I was right, that the healing really began. It was when I saw the truth through the grid of love that I realized that love doesn’t harm. It was when I stopped trying to get the abusive people in my life and the people who supported them and their practices to HEAR me, and listened to myself instead, that my world began to look brighter.

Please share your thoughts about this with me. I look forward to hearing your views!

Exposing the Truth; one snapshot at a time

Darlene Ouimet

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

My Article on the guy who shot his daughter’s laptop ~ “Facebook Parenting for the Troubled Teen”

Links to the News Stories and Videos: Grape Soda Story  ~

 More on Alexa Linboom~ Alexa Linboom  Autopsy Report 

Judge Adams story of abusive father ~ VIDEO (is graphic)

 

 

 

Categories : Family

208 Comments

1

Wow, I get to be first? Maybe? People do not want to believe that parents intentionally harm their children. And maybe the harm wasn’t intentional, but the parents got the same type of treatment so they passed it down to the child. And something finally happened to wake up the real truth, but people still don’t want to believe it.

Kind of like….. when I point out that my mom is WRONG, she says I’m “dissing” her and I’m not allowed to “diss” her.

2

In my country, all the press wrote about a 15 year old girl who ran away from home.She found shelter in a monastery.In school, she was brilliant and she had straight A’s.You should have seen all the cruel comments about her in the media.My parents said she wasn’t beaten enough and that she was a slut who slept with the priest.All this about a child.They never stopped to think that no child runs away from home if she has everything she needs.They blamed the hormones.The police found her and brought her back home,instead of saving her from that hell.People sided with her parents”Poor them, it’s so hard not knowing where your child is.”Now the case is closed.She is forced to go to a therapist who tells her she is the problem.God knows how the girl is punished now for trying to escape.Policemen are seen as rescuers/heroes,while her parents are ‘martyrs’.The girl appeared on tv saying she was just fine,regretting what she did.Different countries, same problem:society enables the abuser.

Even today, my parents boast about what they did years ago when they went to the seaside with my then little sister.My sister was a picky eater,so they found the ‘perfect ‘ solution.They took her near the water and threatened to drown her in the sea if she won’t eat.My sister is now 40 and she still fears them to death.So do I.

3

Hi DXS
Yes, you are the first commenter on this post!

When I read articles such as the one about this little girl, it shocks me and yet this is the kind of thing that I write about all the time! Children who have been invalidated EVEN to the point of death, and some people will defend the killers/ child beaters/ emotional abusers/ molesters People will say publically or communicate to the child that the child brought it on themselves, saying that the kid tempted them, or the kid asked for it the child deserved it.. it is the child’s own fault.

And to go one step further, yes, when a parent feels entitled and they decide that their child is disrespectful in their eyes then the child has no voice no matter what age…

I had to learn the true definition of LOVE and the true definition of Respect and equality so that I could take my life back.

Thanks for sharing,
hugs Darlene

4

Hi Laura
The story you just shared is a great example of what I am talking about here. And it is obvious that she had no choice but to say that she regretted what she did! We all know the fear of the consequences of going against them! And when kids grow up with the fear of those consequences as a reality, (even if rejection or the silent treatment is the punishment as in emotional abuse) it is a hard fear to shake in adulthood until we see it for what it is. That is what drives me to keep writing/speaking. To bust through that brainwashing!
Thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

5

Your posts are serendipitous, I was thinking about just this thing today! People who are abused by their parents have to almost keep it a secret, like the poor girl beaten by her father being trolled, like it was her fault…I hate that this is the way the world works but it doesn’t surprise me. The awful thing is that I have been so brainwashed that I catch myself yelling at my little girl or slapping her wrist, and it takes a full minute for me to think “what the fuck am I doing? I don’t have the right to treat people like this! Just because she’s my child does not mean I can throw her around like a rag doll!” I am getting so much better, I am so determined not to be my mother that I haven’t smacked my child for months now…I am trying so hard not to justify my actions. There are situations in which we have to take the power of choice away from our kids for safety (my toddler wants more than anything to crawl into the road…why?!) but even now I think society is too ready to defend a parent’s over-reactions. I don’t want to be defended, I don’t want to be judged, I just want to be honest and improve, to break the cycle of abuse and treat my children like humans. Tiny, fragile humans with impaired judgement, but humans all the same! In some ways maybe it’s good that my mother lives so close now, because I’m forced to face my demons every week, and every time I speak to her and hear what she thinks of the young kids she tutors, I am reminded that she did NOT do things as well as she thinks she did. And I want to be different.

6

My step father used to swing me back and forth over the basement stairs or gun the gas pedal as I was getting into the car. I always knew if he killed me, my family would blame me.

I buried notes in a tin in the woods in case I died, just because I wanted someone to know that I had been here, that I liked stuffed animals and bird songs. I figured if I died nobody would miss me and it would be like I never existed.

My stepfather asked me when I was an adult what I thought the purpose of children is?

7

Great points Darlene. It is triggering to see people defend abusive parents. That story about the soda really disgusted me; those people killed a little child because she “drank her stepmother’s grape soda.” It reminded me of my own parents, who didn’t see themselves as sharing their lives with us, who looked down upon us and kept their own supplies (the ‘nice’ things that we weren’t worthy of or would ‘just ruin’) separate, took their separate vacations, spent their weekends and days off alone. And we were beaten if we got into my mother’s candy or tried to play with HER pet birds, interrupted HER day off with my screaming when my older brother abused me.

It sounds like the stepmother in that family was raised on an infinitely higher pedestal then the little girl was, and thus drinking some of her soda (but obviously not ALL of it, since there was enough left to kill) was a crime punishable by death. These selfish, immature adults shouldn’t have children if that’s how they plan to act. No one has a right to force someone to drink massive amounts of liquid or food as a ‘punishment,’ children have all the rights over their own body. Parent’s who have dealt with their own issues can find ways to live with children that don’t involve a series of cruel, violent, humiliating or invalidating punishments. Children act out do to unmet needs, not because they are ‘bad’ and need to be beaten.

It makes me sick when people try to rationalize corporal punishment using the same words that my mother did; she beat us with hairbrushes, hands, etc. but then claimed “what, you mean a swat on the butt?” No one has a right to touch a child’s body (let alone a private, sexual part of their body like the buttocks) with the intention of hurting or humiliating them. That’s like someone punching you in the face and then rationalizing it later that “oh, it was just a little hit in the face! there’s a difference between one punch and assault! I didn’t punch you in anger, but with love!” Allowing the bully, the adult, the abuser to define the measure of the abuse is never valid, and the trauma done to the child is only made greater when acts of abuse are minimized. The brain damage caused by corporal punishment doesn’t go away depending on the parents mood when they do it, either, because the child is the one being violated and there is no acceptable amount of physical or sexual abuse, and it doesn’t become more acceptable when it was a parent or a sibling doing it.

You’re completely right though, everyone doesn’t have to agree with us for our truth to be upheld. I know that my life, my traumatic history, the abuse I endured at the hands of my family…it’s a package deal. It’s not a case where I have to throw away half of my trauma because someone told me in the past that what my parents did was normal or acceptable. I don’t have to prove myself to people who experience cognitive dissonance and want to defend their parents for abusing them. It doesn’t matter what I supposedly “did” before being abused, the abuse was still wrong. Learning to live with my own truth wholly and fully has been so powerful, and I’m not willing to give it up for anyone anymore.

8

We live with a LOT of collective cognitive dissonance. For example, it’s usually the far Christian right that throws a fit about a child’s right to be born, their right to personhood, and then proceed to justify abuse with the bible (not all, of course, no offence meant to those that are Christian and/or prolife). If a child has personhood to be respected (which, there is no doubt that they do), it extends beyond birth. Further, many Christians continue to vote “conservative” for policies that are detrimental to themselves and their families. It’s so double sided… this whole idea of “I don’t want the government dictating what I do with my life,” yet they want to legislate what other people do with their private lives and health. Especially for the people who they deem most worthy of punishment (which, really, is just an excuse for wide spread societal abuse).
It seems that society is not just hypocritical, but gluttonous for punishment. We grew up that way, we’re in denial, and so many of us continue to laud the abusers on and become abusers ourselves, out of our own brokenness. Many support abusers in order that they can perpetuate their personal belief that what happened to them was ok, especially if they’ve gone on to become an abuser. I was never so callous that I would justify horrific treatment or the death of a child, but there was a time when I was just tired of hearing what I considered to be whining and complaining. I was one of those people who just wanted to get over it and wanted everyone else to do so, too. Sadly, it makes sense that callous, unenlightened deniers would have their dysfunctional reactions; it does seem to be a natural part of the process to resist healing at some points. It seems our parents and other abusers didn’t think we were worth the effort to be treated any better when we were children. I think many of us along the way begrudge the fact that we’re the one’s having to do the work of healing, as it is hard and confusing at times.
Now, I understand the need for process, for speaking up, and am in that process. I’m so glad that there is this oasis in the desert, so to speak. That is what Emerging from Broken is, an oasis where it is safe to stand up, to process, to speak, to learn, and to call things what they really are. It is maddening that it seems like most of society is not on board. But, I think at least the law is working right in this case. Those people will face consequences for killing their child and that’s what matters most.
Some people will never learn, do not want to heal, or simply can’t. As infuriating as it is, we can’t change their minds, as it is a problem with their hearts. And it is a very sad place for them to be. The internet certainly gives those smoldering in anger a place to vent. They really shouldn’t be given much validity, as all they will ever do (if they don’t change for the better) is hide behind their laptops and spread poison into the world. We don’t have to drink it. But it’s good that we are calling it what it is.

9

I wanted to point also that maybe those people are not in the majority (as my previous comment might have insinuated). Maybe they are more easily worked into a frenzy and apt to leave comments to pick fights and inflame others. But the fact that the laws are there and the fact that functional, sane people will not waste their time commenting in the first place and “shadow boxing” with internet trolls on top of that. I’m going to have faith that most people know this is wrong and are good at heart.

10

Not that I haven’t done my share of shadow boxing… 😉

11

One thing that can happen when we stop believing we are the problem even though everyone says we are, is that we can start to speak up. In speaking up, we can find others who have experienced the kind of things that we experienced. We can find validation for ourselves. We can provide validation for others. We can band together to heal and find compassion and support in the world outside the system that tried to break us. And as we do all that we become the change we want to see in the world.

We are making the world a better place by recognizing we weren’t bad to begin with.

Thank you Darlene for providing the guidance and the space for us to find each other!

12

Hi Lyndsay
We are taught to keep their secrets, it’s all part of the grooming process to get us to behave the way they want EVEN if it doesn’t make sense!
I love what you say here about not wanting to be defended or judged but rather wanting to be honest and improve! Children are people with the same value as all others.

Thanks for sharing, hugs Darlene

13

Hi Kaycee
Holy smokes! Your comments really struck me hard. It must have been horrific living with those fears and with that knowledge. Thank you for sharing your feelings. What the hell did he think the purpose of a child is?? (as if a child were an object! and I guess there is the problem isn’t it; when children are objectified and not seen as people anything goes… so sad.
hugs, Darlene

14

Hi Caden!
Very well said! I spent YEARS and YEARS trying to prove that I was not a whiner, that something really wrong had happened and looking back many of those years were spent trying to prove to myself that I was not crazy, and at the end of the day it was only me that needed to know that I was right, and what they did and what happened to me was wrong, and it doesn’t matter who defends the abusers. I agree with you about the power of learning to live in the truth. I will never give it up either!
hugs, Darlene

15

Hi Jamie
Yes, they ‘have’ to live in their denial because the truth would cause them to live differently. They are way too cowardly to even consider that option!
hugs, Darlene

16

Hi Hobie
YES. That’s exactly how it works! Validation is so key to beginning and then we can be the change we want to see! love your comments!!!
Thank you!
hugs, Darlene

17

This is the paragraph that speaks loudest to me,

“It was when I stopped fighting to prove that I was right and just believed that I was right, that the healing really began. It was when I saw the truth through the grid of love that I realized that love doesn’t harm. It was when I stopped trying to get the abusive people in my life and the people who supported them and their practices to HEAR me, and listened to myself instead, that my world began to look brighter.” D.O.

I am not sure when I stopped trying to get ‘others’, the abusers, enablers and, etc., to hear me, but when I did, things began to improve for me. It is very challenging to stand up for yourself and your reality, when so many people invalidate or minimize the abuse and pain of it.

I have heard this condition/disability referred to as ‘being gutted’! I thought about this for a long time and I agree. If self love and respect is not instilled in us, it is difficult or impossible to instill it in ourselves. This is one of the life long difficulties that abused children have to live with, the lack of a core of love and respect. I have experienced it in myself and I see it in my brother who refuses to get therapy. The hardship and burden of lacking that strong sense of value is an encumbrance to a happy and fulfilled life!

18

Hi Beth
Thanks for sharing ~ I was talking to the producer of the movie I am going to in about this very thing earlier today. It is very hard but unless we find some way to validate ourselves and what happened, we are unable to comprehend our own worth. But when we see what happened and how our worth was not set in place, we can set our value back in place for ourselves! yay! That is such great news!
hugs, Darlene

19

Hi Darlene,

Always a great article from you. I heard the latest internet story about a couple who left their toddler alone in a hot car. This gets more interesting since there was evidence that both the husband and wife had planned this event to make it look like an accident! Luckily they were both caught. I sincerely hope that other borderline mentally “off” parents do not get any ideas from reading these kind of news stories.

Jamie (8):

I am NOT a Christian but Celtic Pagan (Druid/Wicca) and I respect all positive Faiths. There is a well known Christian author/personality named Dr.James Dobson. He wrote a famous book in the 70’s? titled, “Dare to Discipline” by Dr. James Dobson. I have not read the book, but I have read the amazon.com reviews. It’s very interesting since there are several negative reviews written by those who call themselves “Christian”. They basically say that in their humble opinion that Dr.Dobson is NOT a very good Christian man. They found his methods quite frightening and more of a manual for physically abusing children. A Christian woman reviewer wrote that she would not buy his book or use any of his methods. This man also had some kind of a regular radio show and was/is? very highly regarded–why I don’t know.

Kaycee (6):

We could have been twins. I also wrote poems, kept diaries, and notes as a kid. I wanted to be heard and validated. I lived in two houses growing up and when we were packing to move across town to the new house, I seriously wanted to leave a poem in a tin tea box to bury near my favorite apple tree in the backyard, like a time capsule of sorts. But then I got very afraid of what if someone actually found it and tried to find me or my parents and make things worse.

I am working hard to be kinder and gentler to myself everyday. I try to disconnect from all negativity—TV shows, news, negative people—and make my home a sanctuary. I keep myself busy with hobbies so I don’t get depressed again.

Blessed Be,

Yvonne

20

I will answer that question for you Darlene. It’s because “THEY” are abusing parents themselves. When those people defend the abusers actions, it is because THEY abuse, too. There responses to this article tells a story of it’s own.

People who aren’t abusers don’t defend abuse. Period.

21

Hi Darlene, My greatest obstacle to healing from sexual abuse was admitting that I was a victim and not a perpetrator. Our culture sides with abusers and sides against victims. It took a lot for me to allow myself to admit I was a victim. I think many people are in this same condition. They don’t want to admit they are victims and they don’t want to admit that they are reliving their trauma and victimizing their children. Dysfunctional families create a dysfunctional culture and that culture supports greater dysfunction in families. It’s a hard nut to crack but the family is where “man’s inhumanity to man” begins and changing attitudes toward children will also, create a more humane culture. A culture that nurtures children and families rather than being toxic.
Pam

22

Hi Darlene,
Searching the internet,I came across Erin’s law against child sexual abuse.Your blog raises awareness,but maybe you can do something on a political level too.I’m thinking about a law against all types of abuse:physical,verbal,emotional.That way,judges will no longer ponder on how bad the abuse was,or even if it was abuse and not a way of parenting.What i’m saying is,get involved on a political level and enter a law in the parliament.You have a strong voice.How about Darlene’s law against molesters of all type?

If your country adopts such a law, my country could follow and get out of the fog/legislative void.

23
marquis (female)
July 2nd, 2014 at 12:21 am

yay!! So excited that this article came out as I’ve been looking for something like this for years!

“They never stopped to think that no child runs away from home if she has everything she needs.They blamed the hormones.”

My mom told me the story about my 1st born half sister who was abused by my dad. My mom said she wasn’t abused, but that’s, again, another lie because my 2nd oldest sister told me she saw dad beat her with a pipe; bloodied, half sister had black and blue bruises, etc. She was in foster care, running back home and back to foster care. Now, why would someone keep going back to the abusive environment knowing that’s not where they want to be? Possibly because that’s what is known to them.

Half born sister got blamed for getting preggo as a teen and mom did nothing about it. My sister told how she would do ridiculous, disgusting things to get attention and thus decided to have 5 kids because she was never paid any attention at home as there was no nurturing, love, affection, etc. My mom said she is a whore, her daughters are whores.

I told my ex-therapist that I was disappointed in her for siding with my parents all because she has parental arrogance which she got irate when I said that. Telling me she isn’t siding with them and said what you think when you say ‘but they are your parents mean?’ You are basically siding with them indirectly speaking, I am not stupid try listening to what comes out of your mouth! ooh, she didn’t like that at all.

I told people/ex-therapist ‘so, if a dad molests his child. Don’t you think he should be punished?’ I was told he should be punished and there was a “but” in there. I said but what? They said ‘he’s still her father, how can the child live life without a dad?’ I said the child will get over it. I told my ex-therapist and other people ‘that right there is more about the parents than the child’s well being. How could you say I am for the children yet speak against them in the same tongue? That is speaking in tongues.’ Yep, they got even more nastier towards me when I said that lol.

I hear a lot of people claim they are for children’s rights, but when it comes to someone close to them being hurt by their OWN FAMILIES, look at how fast the attitudes change! I’ve experienced that all of my life, very very few people felt sorry for me. My ex-therapist said your a victim, but you can’t keep using the victim act and told her you’re a parent you don’t deserve to have all of this entitlement, since when you are a God? She shut up and gave me this evil look lol.

She said I don’t have parental arrogance, said to her sure you do, you have it right now! This woman couldn’t look at her own damn self! I told her why are your kids so damn important? Yea, I hit it where it hurt and she said why they are important. I said oh? Your kids are important, but it seems to be okay for another parent to mistreat their own children yet you wouldn’t do that to your kids? That was an argument right there. She told me all you wanna do is argue and cut her off say ‘I don’t live for arguing, I am asking the very tough questions that you won’t do or anybody and so busy trying to “cater to other people’s demands out there.” I take it this something you people never took the time to question things very hard. I made a lot of points that you can’t seem to rebuttal back – it’s you who wants to argue with me and your weak arguments are they are your parents, it matters because they are your parents, etc – how is that a concrete, definitive argument?’ Yep, she shut up! So, did a lot of other people I said this too.

I have a right to state my issues and all I am doing is questioning the lies that we were all told as children and what “society says how we should be” – that is what I am arguing about.

Pam,

I knew as a kid how our culture seems to side with the devil instead of looking at the concrete facts/evidence. The facts are there when someone is abused, it’s not “oh, they didn’t know what they were doing,” or “so and so asked for it,” who asks to be abused? I ask that all the time and nobody can’t answer that question! People wonder why victims won’t come out because this is the shit and abuse they get from the public! I mean, you’re trying to be honest and give guidance to other suffers out there, then you get ridiculed for doing it.

I knew I was a victim, never denied it. When you have no control over a situation, I call that a victim. My ex-therapist denied about people siding with abusers, I said take a good look at murder trials how the jurors side with the courts using emotions instead of facts to see if the suspect is guilty or not. She agreed that it is bad because of how people mistreat each other but the abuser is not always to blame as “we have responsibilities too” told her “so does the abuser.” I said since when does responsibility affect the victims but never the abusers? Subject got changed.

“Dysfunctional families create a dysfunctional culture and that culture supports greater dysfunction in families. It’s a hard nut to crack but the family is where “man’s inhumanity to man” begins and changing attitudes toward children will also, create a more humane culture. A culture that nurtures children and families rather than being toxic.”

Agreed! A culture that supports greater dysfunction in families yet the tv shows show happy families! I thought that’s what the society wants! lol. I told people look around, our culture supports abuse we might as well admit it. When dysfunction creates dysfunction and everybody approves, then why do people out there complain about “how life sucks?” I told someone but you said it was okay for that mistreatment of others? Someone on tv agreed that our society supports mistreatment but he contradicted himself that “I guess it’s okay, if everybody else is doing it, why not?” That’s the type of attitude we have in this society. When people everywhere start saying enough is enough, that’s when shit will change.

As long as have abused children or abused people period – the cycle will always continue.

“People who aren’t abusers don’t defend abuse. Period.”

Agreed, for some reason, that seems to be rocket science for a lot of people. I told ex-therapist and other people ‘either you support abuse or you don’t there’s no in between. If you don’t agree with abuse, then say so. Why must there be an in between?’

I loved what Darlene said in her post “is it really accident if a woman dangled her child over a bridge then drop the child and claiming it as an accident?” I said that to a lot of people “how does my mom calling me a whore/slut, someone who will be 18 (10 yrs ago) will have tons of kids and be on welfare, be that I am taking it out of context? There’s no “taking it out of context” that’s what she said, that’s what she meant, there was absolutely no apology and certainly isn’t one now; sounds like she meant what she said!” How could someone justify what my mom said and use ‘she doesn’t how to talk to her daughter?’ No, she just enjoys being cruel let’s be very honest about that take a good look at her attitude/behavior towards me, siblings, and life in general!

Same how could someone justify the crap my dad says that ‘he isn’t sure what he’s saying,’ told ex-therapist and other people ‘that’s another way of not making them take responsibility.’ Ex-therapist told me ‘in their day, their parents didn’t talk to them like human beings and back then nobody talked etc.’ I told her ‘don’t make excuses, doesn’t taking responsibility accounts for each generation whether they talked at all or not? So, it’s okay because “he or my mom didn’t know any better and they didn’t get a manual on life?”‘ She got furious when I questioned her harder on that. Said to her again, you’re not helping yourself in your own arguments. Also told people ‘I guess, poor parents is the new norm, right?’ They didn’t like that.

“It’s because “THEY” are abusing parents themselves. When those people defend the abusers actions, it is because THEY abuse, too.”

Agreed, hear that all the time. I watched an episode on Steve Wilkos and this guy didn’t find it a problem abusing women, that speaks volumes!

Now, I hear people say ‘growing up, I got beat with everything and turned out just great! I made my money, have/had a career, family/no children, etc suck it up!’ Wow, I tell people ‘so, being beaten like a pulp growing up is great parenting? That teaches you to listen to what people have to say? What was the point in the nonviolent movement? Talk out your problems that’s how you get your point across not a damn beating.’ My sister and I talked about that on the phone about those beatings my mom got and she said ‘it’s gonna do 2 things have hatred or be a stronger person. I am not saying the beatings is the right way to do, mom could have said I had enough of that crap; I will never do that to my children. I will talk to my children and love them etc, but she never went down that route ever!’

People’s prefer methods I’ve heard is beating the shit out of kids and people can’t understand why either the kids beat up the parents or kill them. Cursing out kids doesn’t help either, doesn’t make them listen or build their self-esteems – it hurts it badly. I agree that parents are not above the law yet there’s too many excuses out there for them and the “victims should know better” as other jerks out there put it.

Hmm, it’s getting to the point for me, that there’s no point in even mentioning my parents. I will “always be wrong to other people” and don’t see why it matters about who they are or what they do, am I 12 again? I tell people little white lies about them, why tell them the whole truth? Not like it won’t hurt them. I cringe when people ask me about them and gonna start telling people that it’s not a topic I want to talk about. I have had a small number of people get offended when I said that one time, it didn’t end good it was almost an arguing match for no reason. They said I was starting a verbal fight, nope, that was them not me.

However, few people get praised for standing up to abuse while the rest don’t and that’s sad. I have heard how celebrities are coming out about abuse growing up and most people think they are saying this because it is a fad or to look good for the public! Probably see why they never bothered to speak about it before if they knew they were gonna get this much bullshit from people. I have been looking for some memoirs on famous people being abused (besides Dave Pelzer), like women, and see what I can take from that…I guess.

24

Thank you for writing about the societal aspects of all this Diane! So (too) often the healing process is seen to be a uniquely personal/ individual one (and it is also that) that doesn’t involve any social change. But it’s clear to me this change is happening, even if these abusive “parents” with their misplaced sense of entitlement continue to defend their abusive behavior amongst themselves. I’m sure some of these people read EFB too and I hope they are able to begin to question their own upbringing as a result.
The more people speak up about child abuse the less it will be hidden and the less it will be tolerated.

I remember telling my mother after she had yet again justified some egregious behavior by telling me “Because you’re my daughter” that I wasn’t “her” anything at all. I have also heard the “But they’re your parents” excuse over and over. And the answer to that is “And?” That doesn’t give anyone either ownership nor entitlemement over anyone else, nor a free pass to behave abusively.

25

HOLY SMOKES Yvonne!
That is horrible! I am glad they got caught!
hugs, Darlene

Hi Sariah
I defended the actions of my abusers.. it was because of my fear of the consequences of facing the truth. This is more complicated than we first think.
hugs, Darlene

26
marquis (female)
July 2nd, 2014 at 10:20 am

“I have also heard the “But they’re your parents” excuse over and over. And the answer to that is “And?” That doesn’t give anyone either ownership nor entitlemement over anyone else, nor a free pass to behave abusively.”

Agreed! That guilt trips never worked on me and people tried to use that as a great attack method toward me. My ex-friend long ago got furious with me after she told me they are your parents, and said the same thing what gives them the right to be abusive, parents or not? She said it doesn’t give them the right, but they are still your parents. Told her is that the best defensive argument you have against me? She got pissed off. Yep, that’s why I lost friends because “I didn’t have anything nice to say about my parents.”

She also said ‘your heart is so hard and cold that is why you can’t understand how they are your parents, it matters, they are the parents, etc’ and told her ‘I understand perfectly, it is you and everybody else who don’t seem to get it and turn a blind eye to what’s truly happening when it comes to abuse and one’s suffering.’ OMG, that language I just said she had no idea what I was talking about; went from simple English to something else lol. I guess my language got way 2 big for her as I’ve had friends telling me in high school I never sounded like a kid but sounded like a lawyer/judge.

Told people/ex-therapist ‘that’s an excuse and how dare you – shame on you! There’s no weight to ‘they are your parents’ what argument do you have against me? Who asked to be born?’ ‘Oh, they gave birth to you’ I shot that down real quick and said ‘yea? so can any other woman who can birth to a lot of children, what’s your point?’ A lot of people shut up after I said that lol! That’s when they threw in my face ‘you just wanna argue,’ no, that’s not it. I am asking a lot of very hard questions as to why are still accepting this bullshit in society and why is it okay for a parent to do whatever they want with their child. I am argumentative because I refuse to listen/believe the dogmas out there and not following along with everybody else because “society seems to be okay, then I should be okay with it too!”

Yep, more silences from people. Funny, these people called me argumentative and said you just wanna argue yet by them not knowing a clue about life (don’t care how old they are) and going by someone else’s ideologies; that seems to hold more weight than me having the real life experience at age 28, knowing a lot using my own experiences, took the time to read books on abuse and applied it to my experience, used deep critical thinking, yet I get called stupid and cold-hearted by people. What sense does that make?! A person who uses ignorance as a way to make a point and calling it intelligent seems to get more praises than someone who can do simple research!

27

Hi Pam,
Excellent Comments!! Thanks for sharing! I had HUGE issues with the victim word. (I was talking to the Producer of the movie I am going to be in about this fact too!) In the end I had the wrong idea of what a victim was ~ I thought it was a whiner… and all that baggage that goes with the accusations in our world. Once I realized that being a victim just meant that a wrong was perpetrated against me, it opened a new view to healing! Great to read your words!!!
hugs, Darlene

28

Hi Laura,
Did you know that all these types of abuse ARE already against the law? I regularly quote the government pages for Canada and the USA about the laws regarding child abuse.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Marquis
People will say “anything” to get you to stop revealing the truth. They will say anything to get you to look at where you might be wrong instead of looking at them. I had to stop caring about the responses. (and this website is the result of that)
Thanks for sharing,
hugs Darlene

29

Hi Alice
Yes! I remember thinking about the statement “because I am your mother” and I remember suddenly thinking “WHAT the heck does that mean??” “But they are your parents” ~ SAME thing.. I say “so???, what’s your point?” People never know what to say! As you say, “That doesn’t give anyone either ownership nor entitlement over anyone else, nor a free pass to behave abusively.” I say “exactly!”
hugs, Darlene

30

Beth you really spoke to me! I am at the point now where I feel like I need to prove to the people in my life that I was raised by a Narcissist. My M behaviour had a negative effect on my mental and emotional state and although I met a wonderful man who loved me anyway, it almost ruined our marriage our children’s lives and everything that we both held dear to us…Family. All I ever wanted growing up was a simple life. A wanted to get married one day and raise a family. I was blessed with both but it was not easy. Because of the emotional rollercoaster she put me on, I had a hard time being the mother I wanted to be. Sometimes I would yell and scream and expect too much from them. Sometimes I wouldn’t even be able to spend time with them because my head was still trying to deal with all Bullshit from my past. It was terrible. The difference is that I knew it was WRONG to yell and expect too much from them so. I started looking for help. How can anyone justify hurting a child??? I still apologize to my children for not being the best mother I could be when they were little. They laugh at me now because They are 25 and 23 but Imstill think about it. By the time my third child was born, I was on meds and I was a lot better but still a work in progress.

31

I get that, “But, she’ll always be you’re mother…” thing from someone, too. As if, no matter what she has done, no matter what I do I will at some point be required to have some kind of contact with her again. To which, I say No! I don’t have to do crap. I don’t owe her anything. I don’t have to take anything from her, be it bribe gifts for my children or her dismissive, demeaning treatment of me. It has been very helpful to realize that, at least at this point, she doesn’t owe me anything anymore, either. Mother child social contract is long ago null and void. Anyone else in the world does these things to you, no one would fault you for walking away from the relationship. But if it’s your parents; your obliged to continue to subject yourself to them. A fatally flawed relationship is a fatally flawed relationship, no matter who it’s with.

32

I am glad to be here, and think our struggles make us more empathic, loving people if we’re willing to do the work. But, on the subject of not being asked to be born… My mother had me very young in bad very poor circumstances. She told me once that she could have aborted me, to which I replied, I wish you would have. She could have given me up for adoption, as well. But, being the narcissist she is, she wanted what was rightfully hers. The kindest, most thoughtful thing SHE could have done in her circumstances was get an abortion or give me up for adoption. But, she was too selfish. Instead, she used me as a pawn in her jealous back and forth with her mother. She used me as a dolly, as so many of us have been used, the first few years of my life then discarded and begrudged me when I showed the first sign of independent emotion or thought. I really think that the moment she realized I was capable of loving and being loved by others (especially her mother), that was the end of any kind of loving relationship we ever had. She felt betrayed by the fact that I could love and be loved, maybe because she couldn’t. Again, I am glad to be here and life is worth the struggle to me. But it has taken over 30 years of hell to finally feel good about being alive.

33

I don’t normally get triggered by things very easily, but the topic of physical abuse is one that still gets me. I had to back out and come back to this thread a few times to make it through reading it start to finish.

I’m on Facebook and one of the things that makes me want to scream on there is when people post memes about how they had a belt used on them as a child, had their “butt whooped”, etc., and still turned out ok. As though they’re saying, “go ahead, beat the living $#!% out of your kids, it’s ok, they BELONG to you! It’ll make them better people!”

The earliest memory I have of my father being physically abusive was when I was about 6, and perhaps I just don’t remember before then. But I was curled up on our hardwood floors in the den, fetal position, and he was flailing away at me with a belt. And my memory of it is not from my self vantage point, it is from the vantage point of high on the ceiling looking down. I discussed that with my therapist some years ago and he said that is not uncommon for children to disconnect during severe trauma so that the memories become third person, as though you are watching yourself – he said it was a self-protection mechanism of sorts, since the brain can’t endure what it’s going through. So, NO, that did NOT make me a better person.

And so-called “parents” who endanger their children just to teach them a “lesson” – I just can’t understand that mentality. I have children. I can’t imagine doing such a thing to them. When I was 7 or 8, we were camping and my mother pointed out some poison ivy to me and told me not to touch it because it would make me itch. Of course I asked her how it would do that. And continued to query as to how, because I was curious, and asked her if I wrapped it around my neck it would make me itch? I was thinking itch like a wool coat. So I started to reach for it while asking that and she just watched me take it, wrap it around my neck, my face, etc. Of course, the result was horrible and painful, but I guess she taught me a “lesson”, instead of just as easily explaining the danger to me.

There were other times of forced feedings when I would then throw up at the table, again, so she could teach me a “lesson” about eating.

I’ve often told my wife that I can’t imagine doing to them what I went through as a child, I just could not fathom that type of thinking and where it comes from. I’ve broken that cycle of abuse.

I feel like my thoughts are scattered all over with this post, sorry for the disjointed thought process. But thanks for posting this topic, it touched a nerve and made me realize yet again that I am not alone in my thoughts.

34

Sorry, one other thought that I forgot to mention – when I was in therapy a few years ago, the therapist asked me what I thought that my father thought of me when I was growing up. I told him that I was one of his possessions, like his lawn mower or his hammer. Lawn mower, hammer, me. He owned me, and I knew it, and I was just a tool for him, and just like he yelled at his lawn mower when it didn’t work right, the same with me. Otherwise, he ignored it/me. That’s what I think a lot of these dysfunctional parents we see who are trying to “teach” their child a lesson are like – they ignore them until they see an opportunity to vent their rage at them and then do so by “teaching” them something they’ll never forget. They’re cruel, sadistic monsters.

35

Eddie, that’s the way I feel my mother treated me. Her love for me was like her love for the family dog. I still persist in feeling that my father was the only one who actually considered me to be a separate person. I also know that he identified with me a lot and I did with many aspects of him, especially the more rebellious, free-thinking and compassionate sides of him. So really it’s just dumb luck. And I sometimes wonder how much of any of this is “me” at all.

36
marquis (female)
July 2nd, 2014 at 8:23 pm

” Mother child social contract is long ago null and void. Anyone else in the world does these things to you, no one would fault you for walking away from the relationship. But if it’s your parents; your obliged to continue to subject yourself to them. A fatally flawed relationship is a fatally flawed relationship, no matter who it’s with.”

Agreed. I told my boyfriend several months ago that I am not really under any kind of covenant with my parents. So what if they gave birth to us? Like I told people and ex-therapist “you can’t sit here and tell me that there’s a relationship with my parents and I – what’s the relationship? The creativity of making a baby? Any idiot out there can make babies the poorest argument in town! A relationship involves two people (or more people) who have an interest and an intimacy going on, some kind of involvement in each other’s lives. When does a parent/relative who have ZERO INTEREST in the children have any kind of relationship? If you’re telling me a husband has no interest in his wife at all, but she still loves him and wants him to care, how is that a marriage?”

She said that’s different and said no, it isn’t! Is this how you counsel married women?! She told me ‘there’s a relationship between a mom/dad and child, since you have no children you don’t know.’ I said ‘I may not have children or don’t want any at all, but I knew from the very beginning we didn’t matter to my parents at all, again, how is that a real, loving, sincere parent-child relationship?’ Ha! I never got an answer, after pulling teeth, she still couldn’t answer the question. Great at dodging it, putting in her parental/marital arrogance into my situation. I told ex-therapist ‘funny, I have “educated” those with children. I may not have kids, but I know more than you about what a parent should be doing and my parents are a great example of what they’re not doing at all and still don’t care!’

Yep, she got huffy but shut up after that! There’s no closeness at all never was there, never will be don’t care how many kids my mom pushed out of us flawed is flawed like someone said above.

“That’s what I think a lot of these dysfunctional parents we see who are trying to “teach” their child a lesson are like – they ignore them until they see an opportunity to vent their rage at them and then do so by “teaching” them something they’ll never forget. They’re cruel, sadistic monsters.”

Agreed. It’s sadistic behaviors which people only associate sadistic with BDSM, no, has nothing to do with that! If you enjoy causing pain to others (doesn’t have to involve sex), then it sadistic simple as that. Ex-therapist and other people refused to believe it is sadistic and evil, told them ‘how is an evil person a saint?’ Never got an answer.

37

Eddie, the whole belt thing is a huge trigger for me too. And I don’t know how anyone could dismiss being beaten with a belt ” because they turned out okay”. Yes, I remember the belt from as young as three or four. And I still remember the stinging feeling. When I look back at it, I think it was more of an outlet for my mothers rage than a way of teaching a child some kind of lesson. I also remember her coming at my face once when my brother told my mother I had done something wrong that actually he had not only participated in too, but in fact had instigated. The result was my mother with alternating hands, smacked my left and right checks multiple times. Although I was only four at the time I still remember cowering in the front hallway trying to cover my face as she repeatedly smacked both sides viciously hard. Another belt incident I remember very well was at age eleven. To give you some background, I had great difficulty asking my mother for anything that I needed for school because I experienced some very negative reactions at times when I did ask. So when my sixth grade teacher decided our whole class would be getting the daily newspaper and we had to bring in money for it once a week I was terrified to ask my mother for it. Things like this could trigger her rage. I got up courage one morning to tell her I needed money for something and since I was leaving for school I said I would explain it later. That evening in an angry voice she asked what I needed the money for. I said I had to get something ( meaning the newspaper) so I could show it to her and she said ” no” and started chasing me around the kitchen table with a belt flying at me . I remember cowering as far away as I could get from her. And this made me even more fearful of telling her what I needed the money for.
Thinking of all this now is bringing up such anger in me. I don’t care that she’s been dead two years; she was a mean, raging bitch, and I did not deserve one bit of her harsh physical punishment, her nasty demeaning words, her selfishness, her expecting servitude from me while she denied me things that other kids seemed to get with no difficulty at all. I do not feel one ounce of guilt in saying this about her. I’m just thinking that it’s about time I let this out in the open. Mom, you were a nasty bitch and a horrible mother, and I am no longer going to fall into your guilt trip and blame traps, which manage to outlive you. I have nothing to feel guilty about and this is all the undisguised truth. And, wow, does it feel good to express this!

38

I’m thinking this morning about what I wrote in post 37 last night. There really was no alternative when I was a child and getting hit, but to cower into a corner and cover myself up with my arms as much as possible. Who could I have gone to? Who would have listened, or cared? I think I knew deep down as a child that no one would have done anything for me, and infact, I probably would have made things worse. So that was it. A corner and my arms to cover as much of myself as I could was the only protection I could get and I got it from myself.

As an adult I became a teacher of young children. I took it very seriously if a child came to school with any signs that he or she got hurt at home. I reported several incidents over the years. If I didn’t advocate for these kids, who would? I only hope that somehow, somewhere, I made a positive difference in a child’s life.

39

My father used to brag that he broke the wooden croquet mallet stick over my behind. He actually thought it was funny that it broke after “spanking” me with it. I think it is interesting how many abusive parents come across to others as charming, outgoing, humorous, intelligent, successful, etc…in public. At home they are passive, violent, angry, abusive, neglectful. When people met my parents they thought they had it all and that life looked perfectly happy. It is crazy. It is also crazy …or brainwashed…that people respond to a person who has been abused badly as though his or her parents are somehow deserving of being understood and deserving of compassion. The abused person somehow once again gets placed on the back burner and is expected to comply and try harder.
The other day I was at Costco and an old, mentally unstable man was asked to quit ramming his shopping cart against the door and to move away. I walked up after this took place and was standing waiting by myself as I always do.I was evidently standing very close to where he had been ramming his cart earlier. The old man began shouting at me loudly but I didnt know it was me he was yelling at. He came over to me and shook my cart violently and got into my face and was calling me names and shouting. I turned and said “EXCUSE ME?!” and I turned back away from him. I was like a deer in the headlights, it seemed surreal. I almost called the police because I thought he might hit me. I didnt respond to the guy who continued shouting and then he began to insult my looks/physical appearance. I shook my head and ignored him. He became even more angry and rammed his cart to block me from going into the store. There were no employees right there, so I stood there for a moment before I rammed his cart with mine and then moved around him while he was shocked at me doing that to him. There was a crowd who witnessed everything and did absolutely nothing to help me or stop him. I looked this guy in the eye in the store and told him he was a bully. He shouted that I was a “bitch”. I shook my head and walked away. I was shaking…I remembered my fathers anger, but I kept thinking to myself that I am equal to everyone. I am not less than, or better than…I am equal. It allowed me to hold my head up and not allow this bully to crush me. I called Costco afterward and they told me that he had been angry at being told to move aside…I somehow became the target for his abusive temper tantrum. I didnt allow it to get to me like I would have in the past. I know it was HIS problem entirely….and it seemed like a victory to me. I never would have been able to handle myself in that type of situation if I didnt know what I know today, thanks to EFB and Darlene. What really stuck out to me in this situation was the lack of empathy or response from the on-lookers. I even heard laughter. I am at the point in my life where I truly do not care what everyone else thinks or does or doesnt do in their lives for the most part, but I am proud of myself in a huge way to be able to stand my ground for myself. Abusers are so typical once you realize the pattern of behavior!

40

Nadia,
Two of my kids are grown too and my oldest daughter says I am too hard on myself, but I would rather be conscious than careless and unconscious like my mother was. 🙂
Thanks for sharing
hugs, Darlene

Hi Jamie
Something happened when my boundary was drawn ‘in my heart’ meaning when I was 100% sure that I was doing the right thing by drawing one. Suddenly people didn’t say those judgemental things anymore. (perhaps they sense that I will not tolerate it?) One of the coolest things about this process is that it is ever changing and the more that I validate myself, the more my world gets brighter.
Thanks for sharing
hugs, Darlene

41

Hi Eddie
I didn’t think your thoughts were scattered at all.. I followed them all the way! I left my body as well and I was horrified to tell my therapist about it, I thought it would “prove” I was crazy. Turns out that this is a very common coping method for children abused under the age of 5 or 6 and once it starts it will carry on as a coping method until a new way to proceed is found.
I agree with you about these parents who ‘own and objectify’ their own kids and that they take their anger / moods out on these kids and then tell the child that it is for their own good or because they love them! frick!
Makes me sick! and that is why I am so motivated to do what I do! Exposing the truth about false love and abuse!
thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

42

Amber!
Yes, exactly. It is healing and very powerful to realize that you didn’t really have an alternative. It was never your fault and there was no choice to be made by you. Great comments!
hugs, Darlene

Hi FinallyFree
Thanks for sharing that story! It reminded me of so many things especially how when you called him a bully he called you a bitch ~ that reminded me of all the times I have ‘told the truth’ and I was called ‘the problem’. or me telling the truth WAS the problem and the actual problem was ignored! It’s crazy to think of the people standing around doing nothing in this situation! Crazy world we live in.
Thanks for sharing.
Hugs, Darlene

43

Imagine watching that in real life. I was seven. My older sister was twelve. Dad knocked her to the ground and beat her for several minutes. All any of the rest of us could do was watch and cry. Fortunately for her that was a one time event, but for our older brother, he wasn’t so fortunate. Dad started beating him when he was thirteen, and keep doing it until he was about sixteen (when he almost broke his back) . What emotions this brings out. Damn anyone who supports this kind of abuse.

44

Darlene, I am so GLAD you did this. I know exactly what you mean about people commenting on different web media and feeling APPALLED by how prevalent the glorification of child abuse is in society today. Another area that disgusts me is the vilification of drug addicts…who for all intents and purposes are abused children who are now adults. So, we think it’s ok (as a society) to abuse children, and not only do they have to live through the horror of that, but when they grow up we will say “they should be hung in the village square”, “drug addicts should all be gassed like the Jews were during the holocaust” referring to the drug addicts those children have become, thus re-victimizing the victim.

I fancy myself a bit of an ‘internet warrior’ on child abuse/drug addiction stories, so I am well-aware of how angry this must have made you and I APPLAUD you for your actions. Here are some pertinent quotes about the importance of children and the adults who parent them:

“Children do not constitute anyone’s property: they are neither the property of their parents nor even of society. They belong only to their own future freedom.”
— Mikhail Bakunin

“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.”
— Kofi Annan

“…in serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity.”
— Carol Bellamy

“Children need systems that are inclusive and driven by them, systems that will enable them to respond to their feelings and needs at any time.”
— Jeroo Billimoria

“If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all.”
— Pearl S. Buck

“Children are physically the smallest among all humans. Their emotions, brains and knowledge are immature and do not function in the same way as their adult counterparts. Children can be beat, sexually abused, crushed by the vile shaming of their delicate emotions and they cannot leave. They are prisoners in the confines of their childhood. If you believe you are a “good enough” parent, examine your behavior toward your child. Do you treat the child as you would a dear friend? I don’t think many parents at all can say yes to this question. We treat our children like property, not the precious gifts we often say that they are. Parents today who have access to vast amounts of information need to utilize this information in order to create the new norms of parenting: Peaceful, Conscious, truly Compassionate parenting.”
— Me (Connie C.)

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One thing I have learned that is authentic about me is I love doing research and I have accumulated a great deal of information on my family tree over many years of work. Through ancestry.com I have even talked to people from branches that come from a common ancestor but are far removed now.

I have definitely traced a pattern, addiction, sexual abuse, physical abuse, eating disorders, suicide. I even met one woman whose entire family is gone through suicide except for her narc Mother who outlived them all and died in old age. This woman could not bear the thought of having children and had surgery at a young age to make sure she didn’t. She is the only surviving member of her branch and she has changed her name because she felt she could not live with the name her parents had given her, she said she outgrew it.

I know Andrew Vachss has spoken about the first case of child abuse in America, that was prosecuted under animal abuse laws and I remember seeing that on the History channel in a documentary about the history of violence in America. It seems to be an endless cycle, deeply ingrained, in individual families and in our culture.

I have this dark shadow that follows me always. The only thing that has ever made it go away is too much wine. It is a sense of dread, doom, the prickly feeling of goose bumps and raised hairs, knowing something awful is right there, following, catching up, ready to strike.

It makes me feel rushed, anxious, like I have to get everything done now, I can’t stop or take a breath. It makes me startle too easily to the point where a loud noise or catching something moving out of the corner of my eye sends me into an instant state of paralyzing panic.
It makes me avoid unfamiliar places or breaking out of my routine.

Studying my family history is one thing that feels like I am turning around and facing that darkness that has been with for as long as I can remember.

It actually feels kind of exciting to find these missing pieces to the puzzle, like finding this group of people where everyone gets something that nobody else ever seemed to understand before. It makes me think that maybe the cell door has been unlocked and there is a place I can go where this dark shadow will not be able to follow me anymore.

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Hi Amber (37)

Wow—I guess we both had the same Narc. mom! It’s painful just reading your story. I, too, was beaten starting at age 3 with a belt, hair brushes and other assorted objects. It was never about me exclusively, but rather anything would set my Narc. mom off. This could be her anger toward paying the bills at the end of the month, or watching the TV news, or just about anything. I was VERY afraid of her. I can remember her chasing me around the house and I would try to hide from her like in closets, behind chairs, downstairs but she would not give up. She also had a loud, angry voice where she would scream and yell at me. I could never understand why she was so angry all the time. There was no one at home since I was an only child so she got away with a lot. Even as a kid I asked how come she gets away with beating me, and never takes it out on my father? I really used to believe that there was something wrong with me and I somehow deserved this abuse when I was little. As I got older, I realized that my Narc. mom was simply crazy. The physical abuse, plus verbal and psychological abuse, lasted through my teens and my father never protected me. I tried to be so good in everything—-academics, house chores, and few friends–but I could never please her or make it stop. There was one incident when I was a teenager in my bedroom and my Narc. mom was hitting me and my father was in the hallway and told her to stop. I was on all fours on the bedroom carpet and just as I was getting up, I remember that she kicked me and I fell down again. I lost it in a pool of tears and my father told her again to knock it off and then she finally cooled down. Note that my father knew about her behavior when I was a kid but he never did anything to stop it. But there’s more….I was afraid to have friends come over to my house as a teen. These problems seemed to increase as I got older—why I don’t know. My Narc. mom would yell and scream saying, “how bad teenagers are” and seemed to enjoy that. I was a VERY clean cut teen having been an honors student at a private school, and no drug/alcohol problems, no teen pregnancy, no juvenile crimes, etc. I NEVER DESERVED ANY OF THIS ABUSE! I can’t believe how much I have lived through. There were also times where I dreaded having to ask for extra school supplies,feminine products, and so on and my family was financially well off. Anyway, you are NOT alone! Presently in my adult life, I have absolutely NO LOVE for both my mother and my father. I get angry at having to live a lie and pretend that they’re both good people since they could fool so many social friends with entertaining in their big, luxury house. I will bless the days when both of them pass away in the near future(age 80’s now)and celebrate. Someday I will be at peace and 100% free.

Blessed Be,

Yvonne

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Good Lord, I hadn’t heard the grape soda article. It’s as bad as that guy who just left his child in the hot car, yet there were thousands who signed a petition to have his charges lowered??? I don’t get that. Then it was discovered the other day that this guy and the child’s mother even look up in their computers how long it takes for a child to die in a hot vehicle. Mind blowing.

I have purposely changed everything about how I parent when I had my son. No spanking, no hitting in any way, I let him talk, share his point of view, but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with his point of view either. He is not a child to be seen and not heard. The way I parent, my mother takes very personally and as though it is a slap to her. Ok, maybe it is.

My son is my everything……..but I’m not innocent. He is at a difficult age right now, almost 17, has his first girlfriend, and his priorities have changed, heck, his personality has changed. Yesterday while trying to get him to help me move something heavy off the deck, and him bucking at the chore the entire time……..I told him to stop being a dick and to just help out once without whining. Of course he was ticked, and obviously hurt. I was mad as dickens, but realized that I can’t just go off calling my child a dick. I went to him and apologized for name calling, and instead explained how I felt and how he was being. I’ve had to do this a few times in his almost 17 years. I don’t want to hurt him, I just want heard, and helped when needed. We do make mistakes, we’re humans, but what makes us different is the ability to acknowledge that hurt, apologize and try very, very hard to not repeat the mistake. I’ve certainly conquered doing parenting a lot different than my mother; but sometimes those name callings pop out of my mouth. Thank God it’s only been a few times and not a few times a week like my mother, but it is still a very shameful thing for me and something that I’m not proud of doing at all.

It’s so weird because it’s almost like being possessed, like my mother leaps into me. The choice words are what I have been called a numerous of times. I remember when he was 14 and I caught him sneaking back into the house, from being out with his buddies. I called him a whore. That doesn’t and didn’t even make since. He was a 14 year old boy, wanting to go swimming with a bunch of his buddies in the neighbors pool while the neighbors were on vacation. Not the end of the world at all and certainly not a whore. Funny thing about that incident is that once I yelled that word out of my mouth, I immediately turned behind me and yelled “mom, leave me a lone!” That broke the ice between my son and I and he actually laughed (he knows how my mother is with me) and we sat down to discuss things.

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Hi Yvonne, thank you for your understanding. I am sorry that you went through similar circumstances with your mother with her screaming and hitting etc. Like I said in my last post, I am now realizing just how helpless I was as a child to stop her mistreatment. She had the size advantage over me as well as the position of power where she could inflict pain as well as deny me things. I learned to fend for myself to obtain things I needed, rather than ask her and risk her wrath, and as far as the hitting went, I could only try to reduce my vulnerability by shrinking into a corner and shielding myself as much as possible with my hands. I HAD NO OTHER POWER!! I had no other place I could go and no one to advocate for me.

And like you I was a very good and compliant child and teen who got good grades in school and didn’t get in any trouble as a teen. I was so good all the time. And nothing made her care about me. My only use to her was doing things around the house to reduce her workload like cooking, cleaning, dusting, ironing. It was expected of me but it didn’t bring me love. Like your mother, mine was a screamer. I think that I was just an easy scapegoat for her to take her rage and resentment out on. She complained a lot about her neglected childhood. But she basically turned around and deprived me! I guess she didn’t want a daughter of hers to have what she didn’t have.

Neither of us deserved any of this treatment. And, you know, it took me all these years to realize that it was undeserved. I know this because up until recently I kept looking and looking in a futile search for what it was that is wrong with me that I was getting this rotten treatment for. And I never found what was wrong with me. Because it didn’t exist.

49

Spence, where are you?

Chores, I remember crazy lists, impossible chores. My stepfather would stand in the bathroom and look at the mirror from every angle, if there was one spot there was hell to pay. The shelves all had to be aligned perfectly, we even had to fold his socks and organize them in his drawers by color.

We built a house, he had someone come in and do the framework, but we did the rest, including clearing land, digging holes, we even had to stain the wooden siding all the way up to the roof line. All we did was work. Every weekend was a new project, every day after school a list on the table that could never be completed by bedtime.

I had to do all of the grunge wok, he called me an Ox, a clumsy one at that. He used to say “Big Kaycee to the rescue” if I buckled under the weight of whatever he had me lugging at the moment. He was petite. I’m taller than average, 5″7 as an adult, but I think being a little man played on his psyche. He had me at the bottom going down the stairs with appliances before my 10th birthday.

If I wasn’t working hard enough he would sneak up behind me and hit me, just once usually but I would get a welt. When he would rage he would just beat on me, his face would tun almost purple and he always had his tongue out when he would do it. My Grandma saw him rage once and said he was “plum crazy.”

Amber, it is demeaning being treated as the workhorse. To be the servant, there to serve the needs and wants of the head of the household, third class passengers, the ones who gets no life jacket when the ship goes down. It was never about contributing to a household I was part of, it was never about learning, it was about being marginalized and being less than.

Meanwhile my Mother, she was out getting a college degree and was feeling really good about herself and she just had absolutely no tolerance for me. She would come home and he would tell her of my failures, she had no empathy for me at all. None. She simply saw me as the squeaky wheel. My Mother is a covert narc, makes it so hard now trying to get through to her.

I just reel at the thought of my Mom, I think often about Spence, still with her Mom. I think about how our relationships with our crazy families often foster dependency. I see people like us scattered all over the web still completely dependent on their parents, some whose abusive parterres and families actually have custody of their children. So many of us have failed to thrive in our adult lives because we missed so many essentials in our childhoods.

Despite having a college degree and graduating with high honors, I have always taken demeaning jobs cleaning public restrooms, lifting things that are far too heavy for me, doing laundry, nursing aid jobs, I never took a promotion, I was always afraid I would screw it up, that I wan’t good enough, that I did not deserve any better. I have never even applied for a job worthy of my education. I’m 47 and here I am, still feeling like I can’t even clean a bathroom mirror properly.

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Kaycee, reading your post made me focus on just how deep seated our beliefs about ourselves become. You sound like a well spoken intelligent lady and I bet you would be an asset to any place of employment you work at. Just like you, I always felt that I would mess up at any job I took. I realize now that the belief that I would mess up comes from my mother and others treating me like I wouldn’t be good at anything I do. My father was a perfectionist and would stand over us waiting to catch the slightest mistake and would yell and criticize and I remember being in tears many times over this. My mother treated me like the ugly, awkward undeserving servant who she didn’t want to be doing anything for but demanded a lot from. I guess she thought her job was to sit around and be beautiful and I could do any job she hated. She hated everything: cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing. My brothers just had a few chores to do but the hated daughter ( me) got much more.
I am sorry that you had to go through all of that, Kaycee. And on top of being put into the servitude role, to be called names is just awful. I don’t know how many times my mother called me ugly. She wouldn’t buy my graduation picture to display beside my brothers’ because she thought it was too ugly. When I got braces for my teeth, and when I had to wear glasses for a few months she called me ugly. She would tell me I had big hips and anything else she thought would put me down and in a sick way, elevate herself. I still have issues about my appearance to this day and will focus much more on the bump on m nose rather than my hair, smile and clear skin. Because she taught me to focus on my imperfections, and even if something is mostly positive I manage to zero in on the negative. Thanks, Mom!

Kaycee I am sure you can do many many things well. I suspect that you may also have been groomed to zero in on the negatives and ignore the positives, which probably far outweigh the negatives. It’s a hard belief to undo, because it got so deeply ingrained from all the negatives that were always shoved down our throats. Darlene often says that just because someone says something is true, it doesn’t make it the truth. Think about it. What did they have to gain from demeaning us? We were put in a position where we felt we had failed and we wanted so desperately to please them so we kept trying to do a better job. But they were not going to ever let us think we did anything good enough. They had us where they wanted us to be, doing the work and whatever else they wanted. And we ended up with the belief that nothing we did was ever good enough. But in truth we were probably doing all of these things quite well. We lost our confidence in ourselves. This is what we need to get back by undoing all of their crap.

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Hi Jeffry
That must have been horrific for you to have to watch. I remember being terrified when my mother would get out the belt, and I was just as terrified if she was going after my brother. Thanks for sharing
hugs, Darlene

Hi Connie
Yes we certainly live in an ignorant world. I think that people who have never been empowered to think ~ often just don’t think… I had to learn to think ‘differently’ and then I had to empower myself to speak the truth in spite of the fear of the reactions and disagreement the world had to offer.. 🙂

Thanks for sharing these quotes. I am going to put them in my “quote bank” which is the doc I save for EFB facebook quotes.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Kaycee
It sounds like reading your family history is enabling you to SEE the roots of where your belief system comes from! That is pretty cool. Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

Hi DivaB
There was stuff like that in the comments of the soda pop story too; people disputing how much it actually takes to kill someone and they just ignored the autopsy report which proves that there was ONGOING abuse on this poor child. It makes me sick!

Thanks for sharing the story about your son too! YES that IS the difference. It isn’t about being the perfect parent, it is about the willingness to make amends and show regret and sincere apology and to acknowledge that we can’t treat our kids like they don’t matter or the ways we were treated which resulted in the difficulties that we have struggled with in our own lives! When we look at our own behaviour and admit our shortcomings as parents (TO OUR KIDS) that IS stopping the cycle.

Kudos to YOU. Thanks for sharing! hugs, Darlene

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marquis (female)
July 4th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Connie C,

Thank you for the quotes! Oh, if only people and the mental health field would pay close attention to those quotes and utilize them.

“They are prisoners in the confines of their childhood.”

Agreed, how many years have I been saying this? Oh no, people disagreed with me on that saying ‘I allowed myself to be the prisoner,’ really? So, I allowed the abuse too?! I “invited the abuse to come upon me?” The quote from Mikhail about children are not property, I love that quote as children are humans too with their own feelings, uniqueness, individuality, etc. If you look at history, especially in most royal families, the kids are just there to keep the line going and that’s it. Not any different than today, there’s more selfishness with having kids now than before.

I was having a conversation with someone I know from high school and a friend of hers that I don’t know about children. The woman from high school said “unwanted children come from unwanted people” which is very true yet a lot of people out there call those “unwanted children” selfish because ‘how could they be unwanted if their parents had them?’ I told my ex-therapist ‘isn’t it obvious by everything I am saying in here makes sense that as children, we were “unwanted by unwanted parents?” How does unwanted = wanted by someone? Math doesn’t make sense in this world, why? Anybody can twist the figures/numbers to suit their selfish ideologies.’ Unwanted just means I am your property, your prisoner, your maidservant, etc and omg did a lot of people out there had a fit when I said that!

It’s funny how people out there agree that we have a moral responsibility for people on this planet yet are quick to disagree about parents like ours who did us wrong and refused to take care of us and make excuses for them or excuses for people who have poor responsibility.

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Kaycee and everyone,

I am thinking about your comments near the end of your post #49, i.e. “our relationships with our crazy families often foster dependency” and “so many of us have failed to thrive in our adult lives because we missed so many essentials in our childhoods”.

I often feel like I have a hole in my heart, a hole that wants to be filled up with love from my parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews. I see them bonding with each other while I often receive some marginal attention. I was the whistleblower in my family, others didn’t want to talk about the sexual abuse and how my mother’s invalidation hurt me so deeply. They sided with my mother.

I see how I’ve been stuck for so long…trying to work it out with siblings, trying to work it out with my mother and get her to validate and respect me, trying to engage people who don’t want much to do with me. Trying and trying and trying. There is fear of not engaging with them, because I don’t have enough of an alternate family to go to instead. And there is some inner drive in me, almost primitive, of wanting to have the building blocks of development..#1 being safety and security and attachment that an infant receives in a healthy dynamic. When a person doesn’t get that as an infant and child it is so damaging. I don’t know if it’s possible to “move on” and “let go”. Yes – failure to thrive.

My mother would hit me with a wooden spoon or a spatula but I don’t remember it being particularly painful. What really hurt(s) though, to this day, is her muted and minimalist responses to me, to my pain. It could be emotional pain having to do with her or others, or even physical pain or illness. Conversationally, she simply won’t respond or will say something only kind of related that glosses over the point. I find it incredibly frustrating. She doesn’t face life head on.

At other times, my siblings and other family members also simply won’t respond to me, or it’s very minimal. The neglect and silence and indifference, the lack of caring about my life, is so hard to endure.

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Marquis….sounds like we are on the same page…thanks for your feedback.

I validate all you feel, for I feel very similar. I feel like a thrown away and cast off by society. Although I’ve tried to seek help, I fear I never will fully recover from my childhood scars…so I do whatever it is I think I can do to help the world be a better place, which is reading and writing extensively on the subject. I figure if just one parent sees something I wrote and changes their parenting strategies for the better the world will be one step closer to moving in the right direction.

God Bless,
Connie C.

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I know that fear well Light, to think about not having a family. It’s scary, disorienting, like walking a tight rope without a safety net. Even though they mistreat us, they are still warm bodies. Taking that leap from something, anything is better than nothing to solitary confinement is a huge leap.

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marquis (female)
July 4th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Connie C,

My ex-therapist said oh yea, you can recover no problem! You never forget what happen to you. It’s still a struggle for me everyday to make my plans work so I can leave home for once!

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I’ve recently disengaged from my family of origin. It was difficult because I’d disengaged before for about 3 years, and then re-engaged. I don’t think it would be good to re-engage again.

It is scary, but it got to a point that I couldn’t keep doing the same thing anymore. There was too much frustration involved. What made it easier was that I suddenly realized that I have been making friends for a long time, and those friends treated me with respect and grace even when I was a long way from perfect.

The problem was I still believed what I’d been told growing up and even in more recent years; that no one would ever like me. It was the chosen method of discipline when I was really young. All the various ways the messages was delivered, I ended up having severe doubts that I would ever be lovable, so I have always been prepared for relationships to eventually fail because I just would never be good enough to sustain them.

I’ve had perfect strangers offer more compassion and comfort than anyone in my family ever did. And suddenly a few weeks ago the lie fell apart. Then I was able to actually take in the love that people around me had to give!

No one person can love me the way I’ve always wanted my mother to love me, but the gaps can still be filled, because different people love in different ways and because enough people love me, I’m not empty anymore. It’s HUGE! I don’t have to alone and unlovable.

It still hurts, but less than it did before and it’s easier to not have to listen to the criticism than it is to hear it and try to ignore it.

59

My Mom in her infinite spiritual wisdom also believes that our souls choose whatever happens to us before we are born because our life here is some sort of school. She thinks we need whatever life experiences we have here in order to learn something we need to learn. So not only did we chose this, it is good for us spiritually.

Meanwhile I feel handicapped and often wonder what my life would have been like if I had had even one parent who loved me.

It is weird the way my Mom acts as though I should just accept the pecking order with ,y sister on top, like I should be happy for my sister and recognize her golden-ness as much as she does. My Mom acts almost shocked an hurt if I challenge the status quo. It is like she freezes, gets all wounded, sighs deeply and turns away and abandons me.

I keep thinking that I have to put my own life vest on first before I even decide what to do with my family. My biggest hang up is my son, he loves his Grandma and his cousins. There is enough age difference between my sisters children and him that he will not perceive any differences in how he is treated compared to how they were treated when they were his age and my Mom is good to him. And like Light I have no alternative family, my husband’s family is a wash and I was only able to have one child because of fertility issues.

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Kaycee, I get so riled up when abusers choose (see what I did there?) to use appeals to spirituality or religious authority to justify their abuse. It gets so you practically have to get a PhD in theology to counter them. Your mother is wrong to believe something she has no basis for believing in (in other words she can’t prove it) and wrong to use it to justify that YOU should accept any mistreatment or unequal treatment.
Families can be worse than little cults.

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Alice,
One day it suddenly dawned on me that for many of us, our families WERE little cults……
I did some research on cult mentality; it’s very interesting and also worth noting that the ways incorporated for un-brainwashing cult victims ~ are similar to what we are doing here!
hugs, Darlene

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Kaycee
Isn’t that a nice cop-out to say that we ‘chose our lives before we were born’.. ugg. When I think about what that implies it makes me sick.
And YOU DO have to put on your own life vest before you decide what to do. And remember that when it comes to your son, the relationships that he witnesses are the ones that he will model so if he sees you stick up for yourself he will be empowered to see a more truth based picture. My kids saw me go from walked on and kicked around doormat, (with constant depression) to standing up for what is right ~ they saw me angry, they saw me falling apart and then they saw me take my life back. I don’t get upset about much anymore, they saw me calm down and level out, they saw that transformation is possible! and they know what equal value is today. That is the gift of all of this.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hobie
I got that message too, that no one would ever like me. And I agreed with it because I had learned not to like me. When I started to see that the messages I got were not true, I was able to begin to see who I really was, and as I worked through things I was able to begin to like me. And that is the biggest key!
hugs, Darlene

64

I recently started seeing a new counselor and I have learned more in my 2 visits there than i have with all the therapists I have gone to. He asked me a question that I just can not for the life of me find the answer. He asked “who was i close to growing up as a child”? I have never been close to anyone and I think it is because my abusers made me feel like nobody cared. Always a loner, very hard to make new friends but even harder keeping friends. My counselor has told me to talk to myself when I was small as an adult. I pretend A 5 year old version of me is sitting there and I tell her she shouldn’t be afraid anymore. It is helping me the more I talk. I wasn’t able to say anything as a child so I am finally talking about it and how it has affected my whole life. I was an abusive Mom and both of my kids disowned me. My family doesn’t like to see me. I am slowly starting to believe in myself and trying to like myself. Realizing my husbands is one of the most negative parts of my life opened my eyes. 21 years of just existing are gone! I am moving on and going to be the best that I can be

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[…] When SOCIETY defends abuse&abusers instead of the abused child […]

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[…] When society defends abuse&abusers instead of the abused child […]

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The entire facade came apart when mom got sick and had to go into the hospital. She died 6 weeks later of cancer. Up until that time, the step-family had maintained a very thinly veiled politeness. During that time and since she has died, their true feelings have come to the surface. I was always aware of them and I was never fooled.
The message that I always got from my mom was that if I would be a nice girl then everyone would like me. In other words, I was the source of all of the problems and everyone else was fine. I was not worthy of their love and if I tried really hard, I might become worthy. And, that whatever treatment that I received from them, I deserved. Also, her scorn and bad treatment of me was deserved by me. And, there were all of the trips that they enjoyed with the parents and etc. that me and my children were left out of.
Their bad treatment was excused and so was her mean treatment of me. My mom and step-sister did mean things to me; they were a team, an evil team. My step-sister manipulated and controlled her dad and my mom. She lived with them for 39 years of their 40 year marriage. My mom and her were so close and they deliberately did vicious things to me.
It was such a sick and dysfunctional family that I should have gone NC with them many years ago. It would have been better for me. But, I was caught in the very sick mode of trying to prove that I was good enough to my mom to deserve her love. It is very difficult to get out of that dysfunctional relationship. I tried for years.
Now, that mom is deceased, I am free at last to go on with my life and live freely from the ones who tormented me for the last 41 years.
Better late than never!

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Oh yes, my step-sister is most likely afflicted with Spoiled Child Syndrome. She was treated like a precious princess while I was treated like Cinderella.

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Beth, yes it is better late than never. And “never” for some of these people is having kids in their turn.

Hobie, your post struck a chord. I’m on a second NC and recently thought to myself “Maybe I’m strong enough to love them now”. I don’t know what that means. Maybe that I do love them. But not sure. Maybe I do just want to go back, warm bodies and all. I wonder if this feeling will ever go away?

70

I actually WAS strong enough to love them for a while. But a crisis came along and I crumbled. For some reason I thought that my family had changed and I looked to them for support and compassion. Instead, I was viciously criticized and ultimately abandoned for not keeping my problems to myself.

This time, my children seem to have taken on the same attitude that my mother and siblings have.

Nothing in my family makes any sense. I’m not sure I want to deal with people I need to be “strong enough” to deal with.

The difference now is that I know I have people in my life that DO make sense and can be compassionate and patient with me. And they see something worthwhile in me.

It just took me this ridiculous length of time to get it that I actually CAN trust people outside my family. In fact there are a lot of people more trustworthy than my family.

I DO love them, but I don’t have to let them close enough to keep doing damage to me. I need to love ME more than that.

Hobie

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I was listening to this guy who made some You tube videos about his experience with his narc family. He was saying that even when wild animals kill their young, people will say there must have been something wrong with offspring, not the parent. I did a little investigating on this and sometimes it is true and we do hear case after case of special needs children being killed by their parents. But according to those who study animal behavior, killing offspring is still considered pathological in the animal kingdom and some animals simply are just not good Mothers.

And as the gentleman who made the videos points out, often when a mother in the animal kingdom rejects one of her young, they are able to give it to another, good mother who accepts it as her own and it grows up healthy and strong. This happens frequently.

Some species they say have an heir and a spare, once it becomes clear that the heir will survive, the spare is starved, neglected and eventually dies. This is especially true in Pandas who are notoriously bad Mothers and are now extinct. I read a story of a zoo Panda that had twins and the zoo keepers give her only one infant at a time and keep switching them, because Pandas in the wild will not care for twins, they will choose one. My Mom is a Panda.

The experts say in nature has more to do with resources and that some animals are lower on the learning curve or simply lack maternal abilities. Interesting.

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Meant to say Pandas are going extinct, not that they are.

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Amber#48 paragraph 2…you are describing my childhood and teen years. Really amazing it was so similar and yet til EFB I would have not said I was abused I would have said I was bad or an emotional basket case and always the problem.
My father was her violent abuser for 50 years but she was mine. He was a Narc so I was a possession never a person.
I tried to be perfect because only perfection was acceptable. Less than perfect was punishable.
We were isolated from family and not allowed friends so I had no one normal in my life to go to.
It was so scarey growing up in that house.
She denys everything now. Shes passive aggressive and as abusive as ever . Thankfully I am 2 yrs no contact.
There is abuse in her family. She was the scapegoat.
Her mother was a golden child very entitled.
My fathers family was much much worse. His mother being a malignant narcissist. Her mother even worse so generational on both sides.
There are suicides too. Very few members of both families escaped unharmed by all the dysfunctional behavior. There is a strong pattern to it as I have looked at each member.
Education is the key. Awareness. I discuss these things now with grandchildren and others so it will end in my branch of this family. No denial anymore.

74

Kaycee my mother is a Panda too. She chose my golden child brother. She stood by while my father picked me up by the feet and repeatedly banged my head on the floor and never said a word. I was 6. He was angry at someone else. I knew not to make a sound. Not to even cry. Normal in our house.

75

Hi Karen R. Re: your comments 71 and 72; sorry you went through all of that! And just like you, until EFB I was always looking for what I had done wrong or what was wrong with me that caused people to treat me the way they did. It never ever occurred to me that THEY could be wrong. That goes to show us just how deeply we believed the lies they handed us. Although I still have lots of healing to do, I have felt a lot of relief in knowing that what they got me to believe was actually lies. And it’s a relief to realize the extent of the guilt and shame I felt all these years that really belongs to them and not me. Rewiring my beliefs to the truth is difficult, mainly because the old lies were the only way I ever knew to exist in the world. But Im working hard on it. So hard to break old patterns!
I wish you ongoing healing, Karen R.

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marquis (female)
July 6th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Very interesting about the panda and nature. I guess my mom is the Panda and chose my brother out of all of us, but he can’t stand her yet he would tell my sister and I that she’s still our mom regardless. My mom’s brother seemed to be the entitled one because he is the only male and my mom and her sister hates that yet mom treats us like how my grandma treated her daughters nobody in the damn family sees that as a problem!

77

I am starting to see the pattern more clearly with my mother. She can be loving, but she can also be critical and rejecting – often with a level of subtlety that zings me later. Then I get angry and try to talk with her about it (aka “trying” – me approaching her), the talk doesn’t go well, she doesn’t do relationship repair, may or may not apologize, probably will say more hurtful things delivered calmly, then I’m having an outburst while she’s cool as a cucumber. I look like the crazy one, whereas she is portrayed as the calm one, the queen bee. We’ll have an impasse that can last days, weeks or months….eventually she may do something nice (meant as an apology?) but she typically doesn’t want to talk about what happened (so the dynamic is now that I “need” her to talk about it) and the issue is generally unresolved. Over years and decades this has eroded our relationship. Now I’m older and I don’t feel as resilient or able to keep trying so hard. I’m having physical symptoms. I feel guilt about just letting go and seeing her only occasionally – not trying for a close mother-daughter relationship anymore. Is that OK – to just let go?

I used to blame myself so often, but more and more I see the subtle walls that she puts up. Usually it’s in the form of not responding (for instance I’ll say “this saddens me about our relationship” and she won’t ask me anything about it), underresponding, not trusting, and/or being critical. And then I remind myself that this was the woman who stayed with my father and didn’t validate me and my experience of sexual abuse…so I know it’s not all my fault.

Also, I think of myself as the shock absorber for the family. I seem to feel the underlying dynamics and issues and express it more than others because 1) I’m one of the braver family members and people may have a tendency to leave it to me 2) since I’m a scapegoat I feel more of the negativity because I am not being treated as well 3) My temperament may be that I need more emotional connection than some of my siblings.

Any comments would be very welcome 🙂

78

Kaycee – I hate when people use religion and spirituality to blame others, especially your own mother blaming you. Your soul didn’t CHOOSE abuse and you certainly don’t deserve it as some kind of life lesson!! Does that mean you could do something mean to her, and then tell her her soul must be desiring this treatment?? Sorry, got a little carried away!

Also, your research and studies are very interesting.

Cindy Baruth #64 – I value your honesty. It sounds like you are making a lot of changes. Perhaps your children will reconnect with you.

Hobie #58 – Your post gives me hope. I still feel holes that I wanted my mother’s love and my family’s love to fill, and sometimes I feel desperate about filling the holes. I have a weighty cloud over me and I’m on edge every day. Discontent. I need more close friends.

Karen #72. Horrendous. I have no words to express how awful that is, and that you were trained not to make a sound.

Your other post #71 inspires me to write out my family tree/dysfunction. There was a suicide.

Alice and Darlene – I hadn’t thought of families as cults, but it makes so much sense!!

79

Amber, “I was always looking for what I had done wrong or what was wrong with me that caused people to treat me the way they did. It never ever occurred to me that THEY could be wrong.” Yes, me too! It still happens often as a first reaction that I have to consciously question.

Light, my mother never apologised for anything, unless you count “I’m very sorry you choose to see it that way Alice” And she also did that thing where after a clash she’d contact me as if nothing had happened and claim she was “just asking after you”. It drove me crazy. And then I’d get treated as the one with the problem. This is hands down emotional abuse Light and I don’t have any more patience left for it. It harmed me so much that I am still dealing with the aftermath.
As far as what is right, whether NC is right. It was not only right but necessary for me. Even if like I said to Hobie I have these moments of wondering if I am strong enough to love them now. But I sense that might be just another veiled search for validation “Look at me mom, I’m strong enough to handle you, prove it by finally being fucking decent to me”. In other words my hope is still that they’ll change. While it’s possible, it’s unlikely. I look at how hard it is for me to make progress and that’s me wanting it! Imagine someone who doesn’t want or see any reason to change!

80

Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.
Alice my mother also treated me as you describe in 77. When I tried 2 years ago to discuss it in 3 separate letters she virtually ignored and minimized all of it.
Rather than accept further abuse from her I disengaged permanently. I did try very hard to connect with her for 7 yrs following my dad’s death.

She used me as a servant. I had been so conditioned to accepting bad treatment as my due that the resulting distress had me back in the “youre the problem” loop.
She put me there as a young child and has always tried to keep me chained there in that mindset.
I now know my issues and have come out of that pit forever. Now I must try to gain back assertiveness which was also taken. The right to say no and have my own opinion. I was taught I never have a right to object to anything to always be nice. Very difficult and scarey standing up for myself as I realized looking back on the head banging incident. That memory revealed the dynamics of my childhood conditioning to me so I now understand all the players in my family and the power play between them.

81

Every time there’s an article exposing abuse, you get these comments that suggest the weakness of the victim, that they should have been able to handle it, other people could, “I did and I turned out fine.” These are the people who see society as too soft, etc. They think victims are “whiners.” Child advocates are bleeding hearts. They never want to hear the “excuses” for why the victim was behaving however they were behaving that they consider to be wrong and in need of “disciplining,” (even if they have no idea what the story was). Kids have less life experience to base their judgments/decisions on and yet if they do something wrong, they were supposed to know better. There’s shame put on them for not “using their heads.” But then of course, the tables turn and an infraction occurs on their part, incomparable to the child’s, and murder charges are “too harsh” and you’re supposed to take into account that the parents didn’t set out to kill their child, etc. (What, because they can’t use their heads, can’t think things through to foreseeable consequences?) So they can dish it but can’t take it. I don’t even know how to respond to people who think abuse is good for kids, like it will make them better people… like, if this girl hadn’t died, then she’d be better off for what this lesson would have taught her. It’s hard to even imagine these people are for real. To them, you wouldn’t do this to a friend because your friend isn’t under your charge/care, and I guess it’s just “too bad” that your friend’s parents hadn’t taught her better manners, that your friend would have been a “better person” if her parents had been responsible parents and had taught her this “lesson.” I’m pretty sure if learning etiquette was on the list of things you’d take away from such an incident, should you live, it would be inconsequential in comparison to everything else you’d be taking away from the experience.

I wonder if the child was a person to anyone. Even to us, she’s just the idea of a person who wasn’t regarded as a person. What I mean is we don’t know her. We know that she was a person and we value the idea of her personhood but the girl is lost.

I didn’t want what happened to me to pass by in vain. The damage of sweeping problems under the carpet, convincing yourself of whatever you want with whatever skewed logic, is sweeping people under the carpet. And you can’t predict the outcome of not valuing a person. Nothing changes the tragedies, big or small, quiet or loud, quotidian or extreme, but you can honour or dishonour them.

After reading this article, I thought about the way I used to be when I heard horrific news stories. I don’t think you could say I ever defended abuse exactly. It was never about questioning justice. I had a sort of protectiveness, though. It was a fairly common occurrence in my family, watching the news on TV while eating dinner, that my mom would respond to a news story saying how she just didn’t get it, how whoever could do whatever bad thing they had done. My dad, not taking this rhetorically, would go on to try to explain how someone could psychologically end up in such a place to do such a thing. At the end of my dad’s explanation, my mom would again say that she just didn’t get it. I think sometimes I would try to explain alongside my dad, but more often I didn’t say anything. My mom never really listened to the explanation anyway. It was a judgment not a question. I had a protectiveness because I identified and projected myself onto the “bad guys.” No one had to tell me to be understanding or to look at things from whoever’s point of view. I would either do that naturally as a personality trait in wanting to understand people or more often I simply identified. It wasn’t that I felt anyone should be left off the hook. I wasn’t thinking about that part at all. It was inside my mom’s judgment, in her unwillingness to go there. My protectiveness was against the sense of condemnation and isolation. This was especially true of incidents where I sensed the perpetrator (of whatever) had been a victim of oppression that just poisoned the person so bad it couldn’t be contained anymore and there was some kind of psychological, maybe psychotic, break. I came from a total fatalistic point of view in terms of my own oppression. My mother had been “the victim” in life—emotionally from her childhood, her mom, and physically from a bad car accident. I kept doing what I needed to in order to keep up the image she wanted and I believed I had to. Whatever amount of controlling behaviour I could see in my mom, it didn’t counter the belief that she was a really good mom who loved me and that I had “nothing to complain about” in comparison to her (or anyone) and the belief that as a whole I had a really good childhood and family. I didn’t have a right to be “bad” because nothing in my family life warranted that rebelling, so I had to be good and “caring,” and the definition of good meant living in the image of, being compliant, meanwhile my insides were getting sicker and sicker. I think sometimes on some level I may have hoped for a psychotic break, to lose my conscience, to have release. As long as I had a conscience, as long as I could be good, I HAD to be good and “good” was an erasing of myself. There’s a lot of rage in living like that. I’d probably want a psychotic break just to be “authentic” but that of course also makes you sick, identifying myself with the rage, as though what felt psychotic/psychopathic in me was my true self, and the shame that brings on—hence my protectiveness toward certain kinds of perpetrators on the news…. Where I stand now is a bit different, mostly because I know now that I don’t HAVE TO wait until I “snap” with the threat of breakdown (like I did), or some psychotic episode, to be permitted… honesty? Feelings? A self? Having the permission to recognize how I was used/victimized/made invisible and validate what wasn’t fair to me means that I am allowed to take care of myself, whatever that entails, as long as I’m not infringing on other people’s rights. Realizing that I have a choice here, that my family is not my victim if I refuse to be theirs, means I don’t have to keep myself in situations that can only make me sick. For me, there’s no “strong enough” to go back to abuse. I’m not going to consent to invalidation, etc. They have to change and I’m not waiting around. I did that.

82

Hobie (and any others),

How did you develop a circle of friends (alternate family) to share love and support?

Thanks. Light

83

Light,

I think the main thing I did was to join a group at my therapists suggestion. I got involved with Celebrate Recovery, which is a 12-step program with a focus on Christ as our higher power. I know that not everyone would be comfortable with that, but it works for me.

The point of a recovery/12-step group is that the people show up knowing they need to recover from something and tend to be more open. It took some time to feel comfortable trusting people there, but the program helps with that.

I’ve also been active in my church for years. I have always tended to hold people at a distance, but I realized very recently that people had been very kind and compassionate. Over the past year I started to invest more in friendships that had a chance to develop, and basically I found out that I had been believing my mother for too long.

She had always told me that no one would ever really like me because she knew what I was “really like”. I never let anyone’s friendship mean anything to me because I was just waiting for them to realize what I’m “really like”.

I had more friends than I realized for longer than I knew.

Hobie

84

Marquis, The reason I had a problem recognizing myself as a victim had a lot to do with the way I had been taught to view victims. In my home, victims got what they deserved for being dumb enough to let abuse happen to them especially, sexual abuse. Since in my home, victims were held responsible, I made myself responsible. I spent decades ashamed of what I’d done and never once considered that those things were perpetrated against me. In a twisted way, my pride was involved and it was harder to admit that I was a “weak, dumb” victim than to admit to being a slut and a whore as my foo labeled and a lot of other adults of that time labeled me. It took a long time for me to see the truth, that I was a gullible, troubled, neglected child who desperately, wanted escape from the abuse in my home and fell for the con of a man who seized the opportunity to prey on a young, teenaged girl. I’m in my late fifties now and wish I could say this attitude has changed but while it is true that it is changing in some circles, in other circles, it has gotten much worse. Society is more supportive of abusers than it is of victims and it is the victims who often carry the shame that the abusers should carry.

Pam

85

Light, I can so relate to your story. My Mother too can be kind at times, it’s just this undercurrent, this understanding that I am lesser, that I will always come last, that I will never be accomplished. It is what is expected of me and my family are heroes who rescue me, put up with me and love me against all odds.

It is assumed that I need to be told how to feel, how to act and that I will worship and dedicate myself to the reining narcs in my family. Nobody calls me unless I call them. I am expected to show up and be there for all family events but if I have them to my house, they are uncomfortable, have other things to do, they have to go.

I get complete indifference and rolling eyes, silence and abandonment if I stand up for myself.

86

I am reading “The Body Never Lies” by Alice Miller, it is profoundly validating and somewhat shocking to read about so many famous people who have endured difficult childhoods. I think everyone here deserves a big pat on the back for being able to face the truth about our childhoods, as this book states, so many people just can’t do what we are doing here. And bravo to Darlene, your bravery, openness, honesty and willingness to put yourself out there is no doubt saving the lives of many by providing what Alice Miller considers essential to transcending abuse, and enlightened witness.

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marquis (female)
July 7th, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Pam,

“Society is more supportive of abusers than it is of victims and it is the victims who often carry the shame that the abusers should carry.”

Agreed, something a lot of people refuse/cannot see. My ex-therapist told me “a person can’t stay a victim any longer and they need to take care of themselves.” I felt like she was saying I didn’t have any rights to be a victim because I am an adult and told her ‘what do you tell abused married women?’ I didn’t like her definition at all.

I was told the same thing at home that victims should know what they are doing. I am 28 still trying to leave home, have a plan, but need more money to make it happen as it is a slow process only working part time. I was told you could have left 10 yrs ago, how could I leave when I had no life skills? That’s a big battle to argue against other people.

People said my mom is a victim but not me because “I am the one with the responsibilities as I will make it and she won’t make it because I am much younger than her” what sense does that make? I said to people what?!?!?

Alaina,

Loved what you said that’s the same thing I said to ex-therapist and other fools out there who disagreed. I’ve told people ‘so, I was suppose to know what I was doing? How is a child suppose to know?’ They didn’t have an answer. I said ‘so, you are making children into mini adults and they should know what they’re doing or saying.’ That’s how my parents treated us because I guess that’s how my dad was treated and I know my mom was treated that way.

Any time a relative kills/neglects a child, my mom said the judgment is too harsh, they are the parents, and parents have the rights as it is unconstitutional! WTF?!? Did you not hear they killed/neglected the kid? What freakin rights do you have? You gave those up the minute you placed harm onto another human being! She blew up at me I said wonder why your 1st born daughter hates you and she screamed so loud told her you did absolutely nothing for her!

Yea, I’ve been called a whiner by a lot of people. ‘Prove your parents wrong,’ yea, but you still have the scar when does that fade away?

“Whatever amount of controlling behaviour I could see in my mom, it didn’t counter the belief that she was a really good mom who loved me and that I had “nothing to complain about” in comparison to her (or anyone) and the belief that as a whole I had a really good childhood and family. I didn’t have a right to be “bad” because nothing in my family life warranted that rebelling, so I had to be good and “caring,” and the definition of good meant living in the image of, being compliant, meanwhile my insides were getting sicker and sicker.”

Agreed. It’s all about living in a fictitious world which is something people could never grasp when I tried to explain that to them. Most people don’t believe in that we “live in a fictional world” and told them ‘what do you think those movies portray? Women in Sex and the City never going to work, still have a place to stay, always had time on their hands to a guy meets girl, gets in bed, and later on already married with a family.’ yep, they got quiet as always. They said that’s different and told them in what way?

It’s sad I still get invalidated to this day by people who see nothing wrong with how my family acts! Like I told other parents out there ‘this is what you call good parenting? Putting children “in their place?” What place is that!? Good job for great parenting! Remind me to never become a parent because ignorance like that is the reason why dysfunctional systems keep happening and the more ignorance of that, the more it is still acceptable by the public.” They shut up, didn’t even get what I was saying, omg!

89

marquis, If you had left at 18 with no skills for independence, you would be like me when I left at barely 16 with no life-skills, a victim of others. I was trained to be a victim by my parents neglect and abuse and also, trained to despise victims, at the same time. Being disciplined by abuse and neglect doesn’t equip a child with the ability to stand up for themselves and protect themselves from abuse. Trying to force that by holding victims accountable for the evil actions of an abuser is a very wrong-headed approach but sadly, a common one. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a situation where we must quietly, outsmart our abuser before we can escape them. I hope you are able to break away soon.
Pam

90

Hi Marquis,
This is for you and for everyone still living with abusers and thinking of leaving in search for a well-deserved freedom.Just like Pam says,in order to leave,you need skills for independence.My sister left when she was 23.She didn’t just pack her bags and left,as that would have meant a dangerous life on the streets and sleeping on park benches,falling prey to rapers.No.She had a place to go.She had where to eat and sleep.She had a trustworthy friend and a job for financial security.Yet, her freedom did not last.Money were not enough,so she fainted on the street.She was hungry and she had to come back home,more humiliated then ever.I’m not saying:don’t leave.But you have to make sure you have a steady job and enough money to maintain your freedom.Realistic thinking is very useful here,for a correct evaluation of keeping that freedom.Once you step foot out the door, make sure you never fail and come back to the abuser,as it will be much worse.Trust me, i’ve seen it with my own eyes.I was a child watching my sister struggling.I’m writing this because i saw the advice LEAVE all over the internet.I think something should be done for victims who follow this advice blindly.I know your heart aches to get out of abuse immediately.But i think here the mind should be the one in controll.

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marquis (female)
July 8th, 2014 at 10:19 am

Pam,

I totally agree! How many years have I been saying that to people?!? It doesn’t equip children to be on their own or figure things out. I read stories of kids who have a strong will and were able to do it on their own, which is a great, but that’s not every kid who can do that and I know that wasn’t me. That worked for my brother and sister, but not for me.

Of course, my ex-therapist and other people totally disagreed saying some of us “had it rougher than you and still made it” I told them “rougher than me? Oh, who has the highest points of enduring a fucked up life?” They shut up when I said that, this isn’t about who had it worse or rougher than someone else, the abuse is equally the same!! I’ve also told people how people out there refused to even help me, gee, why do people think I was in chat rooms for four years in high school looking for a way out? CPS did absolutely nothing and neither did the cops.

My ex-therapist completely blew my feelings out the window saying ‘if it is so bad, then find a way to leave.’ I told her ‘how do you leave with no money? I don’t plan on leaving until I have money,’ this was before I got a job. I did my part on looking elsewhere for help and these nonprofit transitional housing only helped those who were in domestic violence disputes with their husbands nothing about an adult child being abused by their parents.

I hated that I stayed with that therapist and was told to stay with her, I was miserable with her (not in the beginning) but her entire attitude stunk so bad! I don’t know why people never understood that I was trained to be codependent and complain about life like my mom does and to tell me to get over it or be positive is not easy at all especially when your parents are very, very negative and you became the same way as the idiot parents! My parents hate independence yet say you need to be independent so we don’t have to take care of you, so what’s the problem of trying to be independent? The problem is they spoke in tongues a lot of contradictions on their part.

It’s embarrassing still living at home yet trying to move out. I got stuff now that I never gotten growing up, been talking to a social worker at the women’s center for a year now and she is awesome! Those conversations we have is what my parents and I should be having but that isn’t the case. Ex-therapist making me accountable I said didn’t have anything to do with their mistreatment of us growing up!

This is taking a long process to escape, my job can’t give me anymore hours because I am set with the hours they have to give me and gotta somewhat start over in my assets I am striving to get $5k in the bank to start the process of moving plus looking for a 2nd job.

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Marquis,
I, too, hope you can get away soon. It sounds like you’re on your way, even if it’s slow-going. You don’t sound like you’re like your parents. You sound like you’re making real headway, doing what you can to take your life in your hands when you’ve had so many people pushing you down. It’s awful how people make us feel like “whiners” for being hurt for injustices and needing to talk about it. Truth is if the injustices were acknowledged, validated, cared about, corrected, etc., that would certainly facilitate healing, etc. As it is, you have to fight to get away from all the invalidation, etc., before you can start to validate yourself and heal.

What I find awful is how people can use the successes of survivors as a means to shame other victims. So people will look at others who overcame their circumstances, and they turn the adage of “if they can do it, so can you” from something of hope and encouragement into shame. It turns “you’re not alone” into “something is wrong with you if you can’t be like them.” Survival is then this completely individual process you do on the margins after you’ve managed to escape, while society continues to accommodate abuse. In a way that’s realistic because that’s what you do have to do but it’s weird/abusive when it’s the people who are accommodating that way of life who are pushing that fact on you, making it your responsibility, without recognizing that they are a part of the problem. Life can be otherwise.

93

Alaina,
Thanks for calling that out. I have very often felt ashamed and and like a failure that I haven’t had much measurable success. I remind myself that alot of those people who appear to be successful on the outside have made a lot of personal sacrifices and probably put a lot of their personal development aside in pursuit of the appearance of success. Not all, it is a generalization. I try to remember how far I’ve come emotionally. I am learning to love. I think about the fact that I used to live with a pervasive sence of doom, constantly feeling like I might die any moment or very soon, leaving my kids behind. I don’t feel that anymore. At least not right now. I have actually relaxed enough to engage with the people I love. I so enjoy being the cause of giggles because of my ability to be silly with them, something that was very rare in the past. I have come a long way. We are doing very important work here. Whether society at large recognizes it or not, the world benefits from having more whole human beings in it, far more than another person capable of consuming mass quantities.

94

I’ve had to let go of some authors like Wayne Dye who embrace a positive “quit whining about your childhood” attitude. He has actually said this more than once. I now realize how detrimental trying to follow this kind of advice has been. It is adding insult to injury.

I liken it to breaking your leg and deciding to just walk with crutches for the rest of your life rather and be happy about it rather then going through the process of resetting the bone, wearing a cast for awhile and then doing physical therapy work.

It is an idiotic idea when you think about it. I can see why our narcissistic, abusive families want to keep us on crutches, dependent, unable to climb mountains or outrun them, but society and for crying out loud the Psychology field should have caught onto this a long time ago.

95

Alice, Hobie, and Kaycee thank you for your responses.

I was just watching a you tube video of someone who talks about how change your life, which included to “think positive”. He is someone I admire, yet I am of the mindset that simply “thinking positive” often is not possible for someone who has gone through abuse and neglect. The wounds are too deep, and for me, very preoccupying with a pervasive sadness. I started to think about how I could apply some of his messages to my life. I can “think positive” about the positive changes in my life and bring those to the forefront more often. I can find things to be grateful about (this board!). I also like his suggestions of starting one’s day off with a positive intention/routine, and to give to others.

96

Light, I’ve also tried all that “positive thinking” stuff and it just made things worse for me because it didn’t “stick”. It’s sort of like the “negative thinking” had more weight to it but the key is that it wasn’t any “truer” than the positive stuff. It might be easier for other people.

I’ve been opting for the “what is true” approach. I think it helpful because instead of trying (as I was taught) to not feel a particular way/feel a particular way or think a specific thing, I accept that this is how I feel and this is what I think. And then maybe there will or there won’t be action taken as a result.
And surprise! what I feel and think is a mixture of positive and negative.

Marquis, good for you for some refined planning. I think you’re correct in your assessment.

On the “stop whining about your childhood” contingent. I don’t feel as if I am “whining”. I’m speaking the truth out loud about hundreds of events of abuse (even if that contingent would qualify those events through their own lens of parental entitlement (their parents’ and their own) as “parenting”) that took place over many years during which there was no-one to hear me and no-one to take it seriously and no-one to help. I think Wayne Dyer can fuck off in his new age dollar wagon.

97

This article is about the ideology of “positive thinking” and also mentions “victimhood” http://socialcritic.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/its-in-your-head-the-dark-side-of-new-age-narcissism/#more-10

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Hi Jamie,
I agree completely. Last year I reconnected with my family to see if I could work things out with them. I couldn’t and ended up walking away from extended, as well as immediate, and moving to another city. Now I just want to figure out what matters to me, what do I want to do with my time here, what’s meaningful to me, what’s success to me, what will bring happiness, etc. Try to stop and be proud of myself, too. I don’t want to compare myself to other people. It’s just awful doing that. I’d certainly like to have fun. I’ve been feeling too uptight for too long now… I can be positive and hopeful but the uptightness is hard to lose.

99

BRAVO. More of us need to step like this and speak out against the notion that parents should not be held fully responsible for harming their children.

100

Jamie, post #93, this was my therapy appointment this afternoon, where I talked about this impending sense of doom that I have had for as long as I can remember. I drew sunny pictures as a child but always a black cloud over my head and wormy things around my feet. I have always felt next to death, that it may happen at any moment. What the heck is this?

And I too have no idea what might have been, what I could have been if I did not have to deal with life challenging questions, doubts, fears and lack of worth for all of my adult life. This has taken all of my energy and has been the driving force behind everything I have don and everything I haven’t.

I felt relieved today reading “The Body Never Lies” by Alice Miller and hearing she was my age, 48 when things started to click for her.

101

Karen R, I was definitely brought up to be of service to others. In some ways it ended up serving me as I navigated many situations after I had left home. I managed to be ingratiating enough to please others in ways that stood out and that were useful as far as getting certain social and financial needs met. My mother would see this as successful parenting. I see it as co-dependent (not in the “addiction industry” definition of the term) and unbalanced.

And what about my needs? As far as she was concerned I shouldn’t have any. I was expected to “just go along with it Alice” as this was “the done thing”. The kids were expected to adapt to whatever the parental or family wishes were with no room for discussion or expression of any kind. In fact, if I was anything less than glowingly enthusiastic about whatever the thing was I’d get punished.

102

Today I am working on crying. I do the tightening up, armoring if I start to well up, I shut it off. When I was seven and my Mom remarried she came home to find me hiding in the back of a closet. I was crying hard, I had been hurt by him. She grabbed me and said if I did not stop she would take me to the hospital.

My Mom always threatened me with the hospital. When I was really sick and couldn’t stop coughing it was “If you cough one more time, I’m taking you to the hospital.” When she thought I was faking a fever,(I wasn’t), she looked at the thermometer and said “102? Oh my God, call an ambulance, with a fever that high you should be dead.”

I don’t know how old I was when I stopped crying, I have to learn how to do that again.

103

Kaycee, I hope you have a really good, messy, noisy, snotty bawl!! It really helps! I have to tell myself to do that too because I tend to be a noiseless crier because of the abuse. For me there are few things as painful to watch as a silently crying child.

104

Alaina, great points, I know exactly what you mean. I was groomed as a child to see other’s points of view, and to always ‘make space’ for abusers. My own perspective was confused for a long time, knowing that abuse is a cycle, but disentangling that fact from the way I had been victimized was very difficult.

Marquis, I left home at 21, but I too kept getting the message “you should have done this years ago!” and what it basically meant was that they had no responsibilities whatsoever to me as parents, I was just supposed to absorb life skills and aptitude for independence from the ether, and if I didn’t, that was my fault. Which is of course insane, after so much abuse and neglect. And when I wound up homeless and then sick (both due in large part to a period of resumed contact with my mother), it was also another “*eye rolling* how could he be so stupid” moment from their point of view.

But that’s all a lie, some parents groom their kids to be codependant, because they want someone around to abuse and shame and look down on for life. Personally, I’d still rather have been homeless thousands of miles away then living with my parents, even though it is sick and sad that so many families don’t provide unconditional love and support for their own. I no longer care what they think of my life, though. It only matters how I feel about my life, judgement from others isn’t a factor. Anyway, I wish you the best in your plans to move out Marquis, and I’m sure you’re doing everything at the best pace for you, and that’s all that matters.

105

Alaina
Your statement….
. Kids have less life experience to base their judgments/decisions on and yet if they do something wrong, they were supposed to know better. –
really spoke to me.

My mother always used my mistakes to prove that I am defective and the problem. She said many times that I should have known better. Like Pam I was gullible, had no life experience other than Catholic school and had been taught nothing but obedience.
How does that give me the ability to make good choices for myself? Add to that zero self value.
All I ever wanted was someone to love me and to get out of that house.
Add emotional instability and self harm to cope with the abuse.
That was a setup for disaster.
Ah, but I should have known better.
I guess that completely excuses her culpability. How convenient for her.
But she blamed not showing affection to me as a child to my being unhuggable.
Wow the more I look at her words and treatment, the more I validate my choice of no contact.
But in her retirement home I am her bad daughter, she is the victim. First of my Dad and now me. It was alluded to when I spoke to the office mgr taking my name off her contact list. Shame on me! I had to just hang up. Judged and found guilty of no contact with Mom.
It made me angry. Not because I am an angry person ( moms opinion) but because it was so unfair.
Blame the victim, and let the abuser off just plain enrages me. Sorry but this always winds me up.
Hugs to everyone else here and many thanks for the great insights!!!

106

Good for you Marquis making a plan.
When I got thrown out one night age 18 I had no plan. Only my job. Thinking back, I should have expected that the first time I stood up for myself there would be consequences ( punishment).
Having loyal trustworthy friends who
were older and more experienced made my 2nd try successful. Best of luck!!

107

Kaycee,
I have thought about this impending doom thing, really worked on getting out of it (though it does strike sometimes in spite of my best efforts). I have a really hard time at night. I know logically that probably nothing is likely to happen to my children or family. But the fact that things did happen to me (including a kidnapping by a family member) makes it very hard to let go and relax. And on top of it, an abusive, volatile mother who exploded on a dime. Lack of safety. I guess if you grow up in an unsafe environment, it is very hard to not feel like you’re constantly being stalked by a proverbial monster (because, really, we were). Even though my monster is not welcome in my life anymore, the pattern is easily there, a default setting that takes over when I’m the least bit out of sorts (hungry, tired, angry, lonely). I’ve actually been making an effort to take care of these basic needs, because my anxiety is much easier to manage when I remember to do this. I’ve found that I really need moments to sit down,be alone, and zone out, as well. I used to feel selfish and ashamed for going to my room, closing the door and laying down. But now, I do it and know that I need it to be a decent human being to the people around me. I’ve also been working on not feeling like I’m my children’s activities director on a luxury cruise ship and just go with the flow more. I actually had a bit of a hard time last night, even though I said that I was doing better. lol. yay.
Alaina,
I know it is really hard to not be uptight. I think it’s vigilance because of that lack of safety that is the foundation in our lives. I was very surprised with myself that I did well the other day. My friend actually pointed it out to me. We went to a crowded museum with our kids (free day) and I will usually have to bug out quickly if a place is crowded. But that day, I was fine. And when we were leaving, my friend congratulated me on how well I did, she said she was surprised I held out the whole time. I am going to start accepting this as a new norm for myself. (I was going to say hope, but I don’t want to assume that it was a rare event that will never happen again). May we all have more relaxed, contented days, where we take better care of ourselves than we were taught to.

108

Hi Caden,
I think my perspective was confused also because for a long time, throughout my teen years, I was fitting into what my mom wanted and it was like there were deals going on—deals that ultimately didn’t benefit me but I didn’t know that. Stuff that convinced me they were good parents who did so much for me. Plus my mom really put forward the idea that she’d broken the cycle, that the dysfunction had ended with her. She’d come to recognize that how she’d treated me as a young child wasn’t good, but she never put any time in to talk to me about that and work through the effects of all that. Plus she continued to be emotionally/verbally abusive toward my dad. She hadn’t really changed at all. I just had become something different to her, but when you’re the kid who’s being used—the favourite, the golden child, whatever; it’s so hard to understand that there was abuse there. You take what you can get and you don’t see that the privileges are nothing in comparison to what life would have been if you hadn’t been deprived of what you really needed and deserved. I was naive, though—I was waiting for the day she would let me go. Somehow I thought one day it would end. Just get through high school, I thought, but no, she didn’t want to let me go and I had no capacity to go against her. I was putty. And though my mom was often mean to my dad, my dad always saw himself at fault and my mom as a kind of saviour to him. My brother lived his own life and generally seemed to think our parents were great people. There was no hope for me to hold onto the truth in those conditions, especially when my inner world was getting pretty sick and I didn’t want anybody to see that and think there was something wrong with me. The added component was my mom was friends with my great aunt who was a counsellor and they had lots of these talks about the cycle of abuse and I was always around but nothing was ever said about the reality of our family. It was always talks about my mom’s childhood. Meanwhile I wanted to break my dog’s neck all of a sudden for no reason, things like that, stuff that gets listed as precursors to being a serial killer, etc. Of course I had all sorts of other traits that didn’t fit, but what was going on with me was something I could in no way understand at that age. I was just trying to hide it, get rid of it.

Karen,
I can’t believe your mom would say you were unhuggable! There is no way you were unhuggable, that’s ridiculous. It makes me think of when my mom said she’d hated me as a young child. What gets me is that they don’t stop to think about what’s going on with themselves. For my mom, it was about me and the phase I was going through (my “rebellious streak” at age 3/4). It’s not even so much that she had this emotion against me; it’s that instead of stopping and thinking, oh my god, I hate my own child and start thinking about things… realizing that she hated me because she had an unrealistic expectation of me, whereas I was simply asserting my individuality, so that the more she pushed her control on me, the more willful I was going to become, the angrier it would make her… so if she had simply readjusted her expectations, her behaviour, etc… In the end, it was looked upon as a phase she pushed through, I guess, something to get over. The problem was me and my rebelliousness but, not to worry, it didn’t last…. Of course, now, I’m sure I’m seen in a similar fashion. They’re waiting out a phase I’m supposed to get over. I’m supposed to “come to peace with my past” and work things out with them. My family’s convoluted in how they use words but essentially I, too, am the bad daughter. My mom can probably never think those words, or any like them, because her mom has called her a bad daughter and it’s very important to my mom not to be like her mom, so she’ll have all sorts of words to make her feel like she’s understanding and compassionate toward me at the same time she’s most definitely scapegoating me. It’s all a bunch of baloney…. Anyway, a big hug to you… There’s no way anyone who was abused/neglected could have been well equipped for life…. I wasn’t personally shamed for that stuff. Though I was reminded of it. I think my mom liked having me crippled on that level and having it underscored because then I needed her. The stuff I was shamed for was when I failed to know in advance everything my mom would want from me to make her feel secure and loved (and it was usually my dad doing her bidding). My relationship with her was a bit like one you might have with a needy boyfriend or girlfriend, where you have to prove you love them. I hurt her by getting my haircut or going to the dentist without first telling her when I was in my mid-twenties. I couldn’t keep track of what all I was supposed to do. And despite the neediness, this is not a feeble woman. She’s a hard person to stand up to….

I really have to go to bed now, but…

Jamie, thank you for your words, too! And keep holding onto those good days and steps forward. I find that I’ll have hard days right after good days and think that I’ve “spoken too soon” but in the scope of things I can see the progress I’ve made over the years, so I try to keep faith… And yes, I think you’re right. One of my therapists told me that I was hyper-vigilant. I hope it will dissipate in time. Congrats on your good day. I have a hard time with crowds sometimes, too.

109

Marquis, I have known young adults who were crippled by abusive parents and unable to take care of themselves. They were subject to differing kinds of abuse but all of them were kept dependent so as to remain as companions of their parents. The parents used their children to meet their needs and didn’t prepare their children to be able to meet their own needs as adults. There’s a lot of twisted thinking that results from that kind of stunting of children by their parents. I was raised to be co-dependent also, and though I survived, I suffered a lot more damage at the hands of people who targeted me as easy prey. I understand what you are talking about.
Pam

110

Karen, Your description of your relationship with your mom could be written by me. I am the bad daughter too and no matter what she did to me, it got twisted around and she was the victim. I’m not sorry to not be subjected to that anymore.
Pam

111
marquis (female)
July 9th, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Alaina,

I have seen that a lot every story you hear of someone triumphing, someone tears them apart! It’s like I told people/ex-therapist ‘this society embraces negativity didn’t you know that? What positivity does this society actually has? Unless it benefits them in someway!’ Nope, not a peep from these people lol!

I’ve had other “survivors of abuse” tear me down all the time for my feelings and what I had no control over etc I asked them how do you people call yourselves victims and survivors of abuse? They were enraged when I said that and also said you sound just like your abusers, yep, that didn’t go well!

Laura,

I have a stable job for now but need a 2nd job once Fall semester starts. My boyfriend’s mom said the same thing to me keep yourself afloat so you don’t have to go back home ever again! I still don’t have enough, was on my way to almost enough, but had a garnishment taken out and need to somewhat start over again. I don’t plan on going backwards once I leave. People told me I left at xyz age, homeless, and turned out just fine now. I told them that’s you not me, I don’t wanna go down your path and thus these people got irate!

I told other survivors of abuse that my plan is to have money and backup money too not follow down a path of homelessness. I told them I contacted transitional housing last year, 2 were pretty good, others were okay but they still catered to women being abused by men not so much a relative. At least I did my part in contacting them and was told to find subsidized housing, which I have been finding but I don’t make 2, 2.5, or 3 times the amount of rent (depending on the apts) in order to move in.

Having a part time only one isn’t cutting it not bringing me in enough money.

Alice,

I agree. I don’t feel like I am whining and told people ‘how is speaking the truth whining? You asked me about my parents but didn’t get the answers you wanted to hear?’ Yea, people never like what I say and told them to never ask me anything about them if that’s the case! If people want to hear the white picket fence, then as survivors, that’s not the “fictional life” we came from!

Caden,

Thank you for the kind words!

” I was groomed as a child to see other’s points of view, and to always ‘make space’ for abusers. My own perspective was confused for a long time, knowing that abuse is a cycle, but disentangling that fact from the way I had been victimized was very difficult.”

Agreed. Sad as it is, I tried to explain that to other “survivors of abuse” who completely disagreed with me, shunned me, called me a bitch and a liar, making up excuses, etc! Never go on dailystrength.org, a lot of those “survivors” really talk as if their shit don’t stink and I’ve been in a number of verbal arguments with them about whatever issues I was having and complaining they’ve done towards me!

“You should have done this years ago,” true, but how is that helping anybody now? The past isn’t helping anymore, it’s the present we need to be worried about! Nobody seems to believe/understand that I was groomed to be codependent and live a fucked up life like my mom – why is it that hard for outsiders to understand? You could groom a person to however you want them to be! It’s called lies and control! My sister told me I should go to a shelter, I refuse and we got into it long ago. She would have done long ago, but I am not her. I guess I felt “secure” in this hell hole, but nobody else wasn’t willing to take me in! I mean, I’ve told people ‘where were you when I needed YOUR help? Why are you complaining now after x amount of years, when you were never there when I needed the help as a kid growing up?’ People got enraged when I said that and others got really quiet.

If I would have had my sisters’ fighting spirit, I would be 28 now (am 28 but talking about if I could do it all over again) with my own house and accomplishments. Since, I didn’t have that, I feel like I ended up like my parents since that is the “grooming technique” they did towards me anyway. They are a terrible excuse for parents and role models, that’s the figures I had to look at all of my life.

Karen R,

I got serious consequences for speaking up. They took money away from me, wouldn’t get me medical, hardly any food, etc told people out there ‘is this what you call good parenting?’ Can’t believe people had a hard time answering that question and the sad part was mostly these were other parents I was speaking too!

Pam,

” There’s a lot of twisted thinking that results from that kind of stunting of children by their parents.”

Agreed. I have seen on Dr. Phil how a man was “crippled” by his mom because she felt “women out there were too good for her lovely son,” and he was 37 living at home, did what he wanted, she paid his bills, did what a “servant wife” would do is what she said. I told ex-therapist/other people “okay, we would agree that the guy is sorry – probably true in most cases. What about his enabling, narcissistic mom who feels her son doesn’t need to grow up that “everything is paid for? (Something my parents said) Why not point the fingers at the mom who clearly is the problem just by listening to her instead of the guy? We know we would all point fingers at him because he’s a man and should be holding his own weight! Why can’t you say his mom crippled him?”

First, I got silence. Then, they said “He is 37 yrs old he should be a better man than that, why couldn’t HE leave home long ago and make his own decisions?” In their statements, all I heard was HIM nothing about his mom. True, he should have left long ago, the guy said on the show “why leave when I have everything I need here?” Dr. Phil said “you are using your mother,” he said “Why can’t she stop giving me money? Nobody forced her to give it to me, it takes two – one to give and to one to take.”

I’ve heard a lot of bad stories about adults being crippled by their parents because the abuse is all that they know. People told me I am not crippled just making excuses, a lot of them had no idea what abuse really is, and just blabbered all damn day!

112

Pam, message 109; you said you suffered a lot more from people who thought you were east prey. I feel this is true for me as well and I’m wondering how you overcame this. Wherever I went in life; school ( I was bullied), work ( people pushed extra work on to me and blamed me for things I didn’t do), my neighborhood ( women banding together and excluding me) and my family of origin where I was always the lowest and my only use was doing for everyone else. Any tips on how you overcame this ( and I’m happy for you!) would be appreciated.

113

Pam, Amber, that is so true for me too. First my FOO which groomed me just like your families did; then my ex-NH who managed to take the kids away from me through lying and scapegoating; now my husband’s brother who slanders me to family and friends behind my back. And then like Amber said: school, work, neighborhood, and just about any group I become involved in, which means I isolate myself more and more. Ever since becoming aware of it in my twenties (late fifties now) I’ve been working on this and although I’m a lot better than I was I still find myself in these situations. It’s so tough!

114

Jamie, I told my therapist that in addition to having this random impending sense of doom during the day, at night it is almost like Sundowner’s syndrome that the elderly often experience. It is so bad at night. Of all of the things I wish I could get rid of fast, it is this sense of dread that I carry.

I know I said this before but it really seems as I wander around the web that there are many so of us, that we were brainwashed in a manner that fosters dependency on our families,and breaking out of this is like trying to get out of a cult. We are the lucky ones here, we recognize what has been going on in our families and from what I understand that is half the battle.

Pam and Amber, I can so relate to being easy prey. I think having low self esteem makes us magnets for people who will take advantage of us. I have also read that those of us who were family scapegoats tend to be the most sensitive members of our families. People who are highly sensitive are aware of other people’s feelings so much that we constantly read even the most subtle clues that many people miss.

If we have the ability to do this and we have low self esteem, the narcissists and psychopaths out there see right away that we are going to try to please them, that we are needy and that they can take advantage of us and target us.

Those of us who are highly sensitive need to take special precautions, we need to not rescue people, not fight their battles for them, not over share personal information, learn how to say no and how not to be volunteered to do things we don’t want to do, not be manipulated into trying to gain someone’s positive regard in order to prove our worth and we need to learn how to throw up boundaries like a fortress when we sense that slightest feeling that something may not be right about a person we are having contact with.

Much easier said then done, I know.

115

Kaycee #114…I think you have great insight! I liked what you wrote about sensitive people needing to take special precautions. It is something that I have been doing and still working on doing these last few years. I never realized what a “target” I was because of being sensitive for too many years. I even LOOK sensitive so I have continually had people trying to push their agendas or take things out on me or prey on me in some way to get me to do something for them. I have reached a point of healing in my life now so that I have set up those boundaries like a fortress that you mention, and it has changed my life because of it. I still run into situations like I wrote about in an earlier comment, but I am learning how to confront and also say a NO to people that gets through to them as NO. It is so empowering when able to do so! I have to say that I dont feel low self esteem now…I feel equal…BUT ( hopefully this will encourage others!) if you look sensitive and are sensitive, and you look nice and friendly…there will always be those same narcissists and psychopaths who will still try! Sometimes I dont even feel mean or irritated, but I will put on a frown just to keep the people I sense are going to try something. I was out for a walk yesterday and this guy and his dog stopped to “wait for you” (his words)…and thankfully I was far enough away to be able to cross the street after he called that out to me. He creeped me out even if he didnt mean to. I dont care what people think..if I am rude in their eyes anymore, and I just held up my hands and said “I am a cat person and I dont want to do this right now” He wanted his dog to sniff me or something. I walked a huge circle around him and left him standing there. If I hadnt healed and gotten confidence I would have played right into that scene. My experience is teaching me that the more I empower myself by putting up those boundaries and not feeling helpless in a situation gives me higher and higher levels of self esteem. Thank you for sharing so much Kaycee! 🙂

116

I have to qualify my last remarks. It is hard for me sometimes to pull back from being the truth teller, something many family scapegoats are. I appreciate and own that part of myself. But I have been used and have thrown this gift before swine at times.

Have you ever been in a situation where everyone is constantly complaining and upset about something and then you start hearing things like “You are such a good writer” or ” You are so much better spoken than I am?” Then you kind of get elected to be the one to stand up against whatever is going on because of your “strength” or “talent?”

But when the crap hits the fan and you have taken on the job of being the one to speak on behalf of everyone, everyone disappears, nobody backs you up and you get labeled as someon who causes trouble? And then maybe some of the people who were complaining and asking you to step up to the plate start agreeing that you like to cause trouble?

I have to remind myself constantly to chose my battles wisely. I have played out the scapegoat role so many times and I should have an Oscar for some of my performances. I fall into this kind of trap constantly and I have had to take a huge step back from being the truth teller.

As assertive as I can be in these situations, as much as I can take on the role of defender of all and fight valiantly, I have a hard time drawing personal boundaries even with a bunch of 11 year old boys who trash my house and don’t want to clean up their messes.

117

Oh my Gosh, Finally Free, I can so relate. Sometimes I feel like just my body language makes every weirdo out there hone in on me. I walk my dogs and people approach me, I got cornered just the other day by a guy that was obviously higher then a kite and had a hard time getting away. I like the idea of frowning, thanks, going to try that. I also just read to pretend that you are hanging by your teeth from a pices of hanging leather rope. This causes you to hold your head higher and appear more confident as you are walking around out there. It is something I have to work on constantly!

118

I live in a dicey area and wear my “uniform” whenever I go out. My uniform consists of sunglasses and a cell phone. I talk on the phone (I didn’t say there was anyone on the other end of the line…haha!) while walking. This has cut down random encounters with scary people by 80% or more. When a man is walking towards me, I no longer have to figure out what expression to wear, or where to look, or if/how to acknowledge him. I just start getting very talkative on the phone and everyone seems to relax! I even had one panhandler start to approach and then say “Oh, you’re on the phone..” and walk away.

Good for you FinallyFree for trusting your instincts!!! As women we need to take charge and avoid unpleasant encounters with strangers if we feel even a hint of discomfort. This goes for men too.

One of the very best books on the subject of women (and men) learning to trust themselves and their instincts, and how to protect oneself against assault is The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. He gives concrete advice and discusses the similarities in tactics and what to watch out for. There can be disturbing scenarios to read about, but it’s an outstanding book.

119

Kaycee, Light, FinallyFree, Elsie, thanks for all of your insights on the problem of people thinking you are easy prey for bullying, being taken advantage of etc. This problem has bothered me my whole life, and although I don’t think it is as bad now for me as it was during my childhood, I still find that I sometimes attract these kinds of people, so I am very interested in how people overcame this. Do we show more confidence when we go through the process and resolve some of our issues, so people decide not to mess with us, or do we actively have to put people in their places when they mistreat us, or a combination of both? My two biggest remaining areas of difficulty are speaking up for myself and getting away from attracting these nasty types of people who are either looking for someon to bully or someone to get something from..

Kaycee, yes I’ve gotten drawn into a situation like you described where a group of people are complaining about something such as an issue at work. And I get pushed into the role of spokesperson, and yes, everyone else keeps their mouths shut most especially if I get in trouble for what I said. They bully you into the spokesperson role by preying on your need to feel accepted in the group. So they often look for someone on the fringes of the group. Then abandon you when the stuff ( you know what stuff I mean!) hits the fan. I’m careful now not to get suckered into the spokesperson role.

120

to everyone in the thread about being easy prey for bullies;
When I changed my belief system, the way that I was perceived by people changed too which means that I am not such a target anymore. People have a completely different reaction to me now! It is really amazing, but I KNOW it is because of the inner work that I have done in the healing process. I KNOW it is because I changed the way that I see myself through MY own eyes instead of through the ways that I had been falsely defined. It is really amazing!
hugs, Darlene

121

I have been a target in more than one workplace. One thing that contributed is that I was reluctant to say anything to my boss, or her boss if another employee was giving me problems. I didn’t speak up for myself and I tended to endure and take it longer than most people would.

It’s amazing how the way an employee is viewed is often about PERCEPTION… that’s why I’ve always preferred work that can be quantified.

122

Amber, Like Darlene said, when the way I thought of myself and others changed, people backed off. I also, ended a lot of unhealthy relationships. I quit thinking it was my fault when someone treated me poorly and I regained my ability to defend myself. Sexual abuse left with unable to even say “no”. No one can survive without that ability. I also, stopped seeing myself as being responsible for making the people in my life happy as my primary purpose in life. I learned to view my needs as equal to theirs with my needs being my primary purpose to meet and others primarily to meet their own. I look for reciprocity in relationships and avoid relationships where I do all the giving.

In short, understanding how relationships should work gave me a new attitude and that attitude is my first line of defense in maintaining my boundaries. It was a painful process and it came at a cost but everyday, I am happy for the decisions I’ve made. My life isn’t perfect but I’m much happier now than I’ve ever been.
Pam

123

Elsie, It helped a lot when my thinking was rewired. I spent most of my life not knowing I was a scapegoat. I accepted that kind of treatment as normal. Now I know what a healthy relationship should be. I have to admit though that I’m more isolated than I’d like to be. I’m timid about getting too close to people and honestly, there are so many users out there that I prefer being alone or with a few people I trust to having to defend my boundaries constantly. Some of it is my age. It’s harder to start over in one’s fifties.
Pam

124

Kaycee, I think we empathetic ones can’t help but feel sorry for people who have little to no empathy, can’t understand or experience real love, and because they remind us of our parents, we want to help them. After all, they are handicapped. What I’ve given up on is the idea that I can help such people. They can’t even understand what they are missing and my caring heart is a sign of weakness. Whether they are born with their handicap, or a bad environment, or a mixture of both is to blame, they are dangerous predators and feeling sorry for them can put us in danger. Even though I’ve suffered at the hands of not a few such disordered people, I would rather have suffered and survived, with my capacity for empathy in tact, than be one of them.

Pam

125

Kaycee, I’m also, a truth-teller. It seldom crosses my mind to do otherwise and I don’t want to let that go. I have given up on the idea that I can straighten other people out and that keeps me from getting used by people with an agenda. I concentrate on my own walk with God and let him sort out the lives of others.

I too get weary of having to set boundaries with people who insist upon crushing any boundary I set, like pre-teen boys often do and I do my upmost to avoid those kinds of people. At least, with the 11 years olds, there is hope that they will learn respect but when adults behave that way, I know I have nothing that will help them. They have to find that within themselves.

Pam

126

What I wonder about is when is the heaviness going to leave? I know what happened to me. I know my family is wrong and that I’m not the problem, but I still feel the weight of what they think and how they feel and what they want from me. It’s so engrained. I was so enmeshed in my family, carrying the load of their unresolved emotional problems, always supposed to give myself away to fill the role to alleviate their pain—didn’t matter if they were wrong to want that from me, it’s what they wanted…. I just wonder how many times do you have to validate yourself before it’s enough. Somedays, like tonight, I just feel like I have these anchors slung over my shoulders. I know they’re not mine and they shouldn’t be there, but I don’t know how to take them off… or not for good because sometimes it seems like I have taken them off but then they’re back on again later.

127

Alaina –

I’ve heard it said that the journey from the head to the heart is one of the hardest to travel. I’ve had some conversations recently with someone who spoke in terms of “head logic” becoming “heart logic” and I think that’s what you’re talking about.

The weight has lifted for me a little at a time, in specific pieces. Every now & then I have an epiphany or new revelation all of a sudden. Once that happens that piece tends to “stick”.

A couple of weeks ago I had one of these revelations. It was “triggered” in a way similar to how some things trigger bad memories. I read something that created a connection that started a domino effect.

Someone wrote that a perfect stranger would have had more compassion for me than my mother did. !! The person who wrote that was a perfect stranger to me about a year ago and she herself had shown me more compassion in that time than my mother had shown me in my life!

Then I started to recognize how many kind, understanding, compassionate people had shown up in my life, especially recently, while I’ve felt so upset and discouraged that my whole family can’t tolerate me. People were seeing me at “my worst” and still liking me, even loving me! My mother had told me countless times that no one would ever like me if they knew what I was really like. DAM! She was WRONG! She LIED!

At that moment, I had an image in my head of shackles breaking and coming off my wrists and ankles. And I felt like was able for the first time to actually take in the kindness and caring that people had actually been offering me for months.

You know the truth in your head and you know it’s the truth because of the way it resonates for you. It makes sense when nothing made sense before. I think & hope that there just comes a point when the truth becomes heavier than the lies, and the scales tip.

The scales are probably likely to tip when you least expect them to.

Hang in there!

Hobie

128

Hi Darlene,
I saw a video on the topic of abuse.A doctor presented it in terms of a metaphor.A giraffe says she can see the tree-tops.The sheep contradict her:’There are no tree-tops because we don’t see them.”Society defends abuse because some people choose not to see it, even when it’s obvious.Judges are so used to see cases of abuse that they became immune to it and they no longer have a human reaction to it.Their heart has turned to stone.It’s like surgeons having to operate.They are used to see blood and they can’t let their feelings interfere with their job.Abuse is like the elephant in the room:huge,ugly,smelly,…you get the idea.Although it’s standing there in plain sight,not everybody sees it.Blind people surely need eye surgery.The problem is:who will do it?

129

Hi Darlene,
So much of what you’ve said(in this and your other posts) really resonates with me. My biggest problem with other people is that they don’t get that my mom and ex-husband are different with outsiders, compared to how they are with me. “Your mom is so much fun when she’s drunk!” (she’s always been drunk), or “He’s such a nice guy–how can you hurt him by leaving like that?!?” I’ve always tried to fix it on my side, when it’s not me that needed the fixing–at least, not that kind. My ex even convinced the authorities that it WAS my fault, he needed to hit me…
Anyways, I’m working on belief in myself, that I’m ok, and trying to get beyond the past and PTSD. Thanks for writing these–it’s good to not feel alone.

130

My Father hit me with a belt for 10 minutes until I had bruises. My step father tried to kill me with an axe twice. The State did step in and took us away from my mother for 3 years, but then they let us go back!!! To this day, I am estranged from my family but my narcissist mother still claims “the past is the past” and I should “forgive and forget”. She uses the term “honor your mother” loosely. I would never put myself in her path again!! She never protected me and as a child, she threw me into harms way. She is also emotionally abusive as well. Why the heck would I want to be around someone like that?

131

Thanks for your encouragement, Hobie! I guess it’s probably a little impatient of me to want it all to lift right now, to have complete mental and emotional freedom right now. Like probably everyone here, I’m tired. I want it to be over. I left behind the dysfunction in my life and it has been almost 10 years since my breakdown, 10 years since I was first encouraged to sort through my family stuff. I’ve come a long way, I know… Anyway, thank you for encouragement. I appreciate you. I know it just takes time.

132

Alaina, it can be so hard to see progress. I don’t think it proceeds logically either. I’m much better in some respects (I remember to self-validate more than not) but still some ways to go re being my own best friend or parent.
And I’ve found I want to do these things (become my own best friend and parent) not because they are themselves inherently worthwhile but because these are the things you’re “supposed” to do to get OTHER people to treat you better, per the above discussion.

So not doing it for myself but with an intent (again) to control the behavior of other people. I still so often struggle with this and some very fawning behaviors that I then get mad at myself for afterwards. But at some point, like Hobie says above, can’t I also just accept and like that this is how I am?

133

I’m joining the club. I often wish there was a way to speed up the process, and there are Aldo timesI feel that I took some steps backwards. This especially happens when intellectually I know that someone is nasty and has misjudged and mistreated me, but Emotionally I still hold outa thread of hope that they will suddenly see the light. There are days where I can say the heck with them, I’m not putting up with their garbage anymore and then On another day I go backwards and start hoping again. Is there an endpoint to this and how do I get there?
I can self validate but it doesn’t come naturally yet. I have to consciously start talking to myself and listen to what I am saying. I completely understand what everyone is saying about wanting things to go quicker.

134

Alaina #126 they leave when you choose to longer give them weight.

For me, my switch into clearing the fog and lifting the weight was giving up my faith in God, and that a higher power had my back. I still believe, but I no longer place my faith into prayer, hope or blind belief. My strength comes from despite feeling completely rejected by god, I still believe I am fundamentally worthwhile as a person. I prayed for help as a child, for my my mom to be healed, for my stepmom to stop lying, for my father to not be so vicious with hiding after hiding, from a leather belt, thin bamboo from our hedge, or the wet sneaker tread I hid for days. I got none. I prayed for help with my stepmom and her lies. Her lying about what I hadn’t done or said, covering up for her kids bullying, or what ever was made up resulted in each hiding. I don’t justify their behavior any more. I tried for years. Thinking if they could just understand, they might be different. That maybe I could be better, that they would love me then. All I wanted was to be seen as a person. Something that never happened. I left home, but I never left my childhood behind. I carried it through each toxic dysfunctional relationship, looking for love, for approval, for respect and losing the last broken bits of my heart in the process. Until I had my son. And I learnt what unconditional love really is. I can feel it. It’s terrifying. I’m slowly placing together the broken shards into some kind of functional heart. I can’t stop living; I love life too much even though I feel old and used up at 39.
So I quit wasting my time on people and things that do not share the same fundamental belief about me. I am a worthwhile person. I’m dealing with the anger of all the choices made about my life, in my life, for my life, past, present and future.what keeps me sane is being non negotiable on believing I am worthwhile. Not worth much, but still worth something better than what I’ve known so far. I’ve learnt that I can’t teach or show my son self esteem because I have none. I deserve it. I can’t teach him resilience. It’s hard to be resilient when your “trained’ nature is to be submissive. It’s hard to grow when you’re too busy surviving. I deserve to thrive too. I choose to no longer let anyone else own that power. It’s mine. Only I have no clue what to do with it. I start over when I turn 40.

There will always be people who accept and tolerate abuse, who openly support breaking children’s spirits in the name of faith and logic. I believe they do it because they themselves are either victims or guilty. No one in their right mind can believe the death of a child at the hands of their parents to be justifiable in any way.

135

Alaina, I too want to speed up this process. I’ve read a lot lately and many authors insist that until we process the feelings and do grief work on all of the old emotions, nothing we do will stick. One author said feel all those old emotions until you cannot stand yourself anymore.

Hobie, I’m thinking a lot about my family in what you wrote about finding others who love and accept you. My family is deeply seeped in narcissistic traits. We don’t have friends who love us and help us, we help them. It is a superiority thing. Our friendships are more like caseloads than real friendships.

With my role in the family, I can only be helped, nothing I can contribute has any value because I am a lesser. I am part of the caseload with repeat intervention status. My family has always been deeply judgmental of any friendships I have. I never learned how to have real friendships. I am working on learning how to gauge my current friendships and to not be such devoted volunteer to see what is real and what is not.

It is a schizophrenic thing, my family gives and rescues many so called friends and feels sorry for everyone else beneath us yet at the same time goes to great lengths to maintain a certain image to all of those people that are deemed beneath us.

Karina, I had to give up on God too. It’s like you can spend your whole life calling and calling but unless someone answers, eventually you have to just hang up the phone.

136

Hi Roxanne
Welcome to EFB ~ It’s always “how can you hurt them” instead of “it’s terrible how they hurt you” and I had to be the one who finally saw that for me. As you say, it was always me that had to do the ‘fixing’ and when I finally saw that they didn’t want to hear me, and that they were not willing to see their part in it, I started to focus that energy on me and on healing myself. I learned to empower myself. My dad ‘is’ a nice guy in the eyes of many but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t totally destructive in MY life. It was freeing to validate to myself that I was not the problem by seeing the truth about how I was made to think I was the problem.
Glad you are here, hugs, Darlene

137

Hobie,
I had a very similar experience too! Sometimes I SEE the freedom in images like that! It’s so cool and YES that is the heart knowledge. I tell my clients that the boundary is drawn in the heart and that is when the real difference happens, but (sadly) it has to be drawn first in the head and voice/mouth. That is the process. This didn’t happen for me overnight either. 🙁 although I am happy about that because looking back if I had all this insight at once, it might have killed me!

Alaina
The heaviness left me eventually. One day I woke up and I realized it was gone. (It returns very briefly once in a while when I am down about something specific but it goes so quickly now.) One day I just knew that I would never be the same, that life would never be so hard, that I was meant to be me! Keep hanging in there, it will happen!
hugs, Darlene

138

While I understand intellectually about how respectful relationships work, it must still be deeply ingrained in me emotionally that there are different rules for me than other people for respect, love, decent treatment. Yes I know intellectually that I have equal worth and deserve good treatment, but as Ive said before it hasn’t quite caught on on the emotional level. I think it’s absolutely true what Darlene says about people sensing how much you value yourself and they treat you accordingly. And their treatment reinforces your bad feelings about yourself and then people continue to treat you bad and make judgements about you.
This triggered an incident from when I was fifteen. I was casually dating a guy, and one day at school a girl I only knew from a couple of my classes said to me, “yOU have a boyfriend??” The emphasis on the word ” you” showed me that she clearly felt surprised by this and I also felt she was implying that I didn’t deserve to have one. Prejudged as undeserving because people must have decided I was of too low a value for this. This happened with other things too. Somehow the family always thought everyone else should be living their lives and everyone else was allowed to be imperfect, but not me. People would get annoyed if I was traveling or doing something else fun. I was “selfish” if I did these things but other family members had the right to do them and never considered selfish, and in fact there were times I was expected to give things up so that the others could enjoy life.
Anyway, it is good to vent as these triggers come up.

139

Something about saying “It’s terrible about how they hurt you” isn’t so much of an indictment against the abuser, but a validation of the hurt the abuse caused feels so empowering. It’s amazing how the messages we send ourselves subconsciously about how we don’t matter just warp our view of life.

I thought the adults knew what they were doing that the world would always feel someone stable. It wasn’t until I became an adult and saw how crazy some of the adults were, that I started to realize how depressed I felt when I felt I was floundering. I’m starting to accept that an adult is mature. We use the term mature adult, however, it’s incorrect in my opinion. Adult implies maturity. Funnily enough, you know you’re mature when you can acknowledge your emotions and manage them. This is the very thing we’re taught not to do growing up. Stuff everything down. Pretend you don’t feel anything and carry on.

Is it any wonder why so many people suffer from various ailments. It’s as if our inner child is screaming for us to pay attention.

140

Hi Everybody

I scrolled through your stories and cried several times in between. Though my story is completely different but the pain is common. The way it has effected us is similar and reading about you all made me more aware. It would be great if you all could read my story and could give me more insight into it because healing seems distant. Right now my head is still in the cloud. I am sorry if I am hijacking this space for my own issues.

Unlike most of you all I never faced physical abuse myself. I witnessed it. I would suddenly wake up to my mothers cries in the middle of night because my father would beat her black and blue. She would even pass out and then he use to get scared and pour water over her. The next morning he would apologize and beg her to not mention the beatings. These beatings happened after intervals but a slap now and then was common for excuses as less salt in dinner. My mother put all her attention and love into me but I became very moody and difficult child. But I loved my mother to bits.When my father’s violence became too much to handle my mother and me moved in with my grandparents(my mother’s parents)and after a year my father cried and begged and apologized and we moved back with him. To our relief he dd not hit my mother again. I was 5 then. Then I lost my mother when I was 9 in a car crash. I dont know how i survived. Grief took over me completely.

My father started looking around to settle down again and after 6 months got married again. On the day of the wedding somebody took me to a doc’s clinic. it was a village and told me to wait for my turn and forgot about me completely. late in the evening they remembered me. I kept sitting outside on a bench. Then my grandparents decided to take me under them because they didnt trust him with me. So whenever he celebrated my step sister’s birthday i had to make appearances because he had told his frnds that i live with them. he didnt even pay for my expenses to my grandparents. Sometimes my aunts would mention that in front of me and it made me hate myself for being a burden.

My youngest aunt who was barely out of her teens too lives with my grandparents and she had this philosophy that nobody should show concern, pity or sympathy towards me. She always told me she had my best interest in mind when she criticised me. She use to call me a lizard. She use to tell me I had horrible black knees and oily hair and that I am so irresponsible that I cannot be sent to any school picnic. she also reminded me that I was a difficult child and how I had made my mother’s life difficult. If I cried she would tell me that I cant handle criticism and that she is only making me strong in life. And I use to belive that. my self esteem dipped and my grades fell down.

sad thing is I still find her behaviour confusing. At times she would help me with school projects. she use to cry when if my grandmother(who sunk into depression after my mother’s death) use to tell me to go to my father’s because I was like him (during the times I had an outburst). i belive it was my father’s fault because he left me. he even told me he loved my step sister more than me.We are no longer in touch since many years. but dont know how to undo the damage. whenever I have an argument with my husband I tell him to not talk to me for a while and to leave me alone but since he has the habit of having the last word he would keep pushing my buttons till I have an outburst and then shame me for it.

141

Hi
I had an experience fairly recently with this idea. My gf said to me.. did u hear about this amazing accomplished dentist and his son overdosed himself, i feel so bad for him.. i said … really u feel bad for him? He must have been the shittiest father for his child to do that… She said … no way, how can u know that?.. I said… Think about it, what kind of dad doesnt know their child is on the brink like that? What kind of monumental pareting neglect this is… My gf got all quiet, i could tell she had no argument for this but her brain could not accept that such a figure of authority could be at fault, or that the parent could be at fault.

142

Hi Chai
Welcome to emerging from broken
Thank you for sharing your heart breaking story. There is hope for healing here.
hugs, Darlene

143

Callynt
the child within each of us IS screaming for our attention. We are the only one’s that can undo the false beliefs resulting from the damage ‘they’ caused. We are the only ones that restore our own self esteem. The biggest part of healing for me has been learning (I AM STILL LEARNING) to listen to myself when myself is trying to get my attention. Myself says “Darlene ~ I need your time” and I say… okay in a minute… and myself says “Darlene ~ I need your love, your affirmation that I am loved ~ and I say “okay okay….” but it’s getting easier..

and I used to get angry as if to say to myself ~ JEEZE just leave me alone for a minute! ~Just like “they did” just like I learned to treat myself from them… but today I am learning to be gentle, to listen, to validate (like when myself says I need a break, I take one. I meditate every morning, I do deep breathing every time realize that I am tense… I have some pretty summer dresses that I wear just because, and colourful jackets that make me happy.

The more self awareness that I cultivate, the more ME that I become. That is the process!
hugs, Darlene

144

At first this talking to my younger self when emotions arose seemed artificial, uncomfortable and rather stupid. I put up some pictures of her during different stages of childhood and struggled to identify with her. Many times I felt hatred and disgust for her.

I can’t say it happened it happened over night, but me and my younger self are starting to connect. On busy days when there isn’t much time to do emotional work, I kind of check in with her now, just to say hello.

This seems like a very small step, but over the last few weeks I have taken 4 naps. Naps are a luxury I have never allowed myself. If I was tired, I had to load up with caffeine. I had to perform. It did not matter how I felt, how tired I was, what mattered is how much I got done.

My younger self was besieged with huge work projects and chore lists. I was told not to bite the hand that fed me. My step father often compared me to an orphan because my biological father abandoned my mother, my sister and I because of me. When my Mom got pregnant with me, my father did not want the responsibility of another child. It was all my fault. I had to earn my keep.

By the time I was 8, I was responsible for cooking, cleaning, laundry, garbage, snow removal, lawn care…. In addition I had to work at my stepfather’s rental properties fixing fences, painting, carrying furniture and appliances in and out and even cleaning up dirty underwear and drug paraphernalia from tenants who often left the places trashed.

Later when he bought property for us to build a house on I had to dig holes for posts, saw wood, clear land. I was his work horse. The dirtiest, hard labor jobs were always assigned to me. I was the family’s clumsy ox, that is what he called me.

Taking a nap when I am tired is a new form of self care for me. I have to work hard to shut off the vitriol that goes on in my mind when I decide I’m exhausted and I need to rest. I have to resist making excuses for the tasks I leave undone when I do.

My husband looks at me like I’m crazy when I start giving him the list of everything I’ve accomplished or when I berate myself to him for the things I failed to accomplish. He insists nobody in our home notices the last load of laundry is still in the dryer and nobody cares that I didn’t scrub the kitchen floor. He says he much prefers me well rested and feeling good to a spotless home.

I tell my younger self that she can rest, it is okay, that her value is not in how much work she can do. I tell her it is okay to take care of herself, that this is her right and her primary responsibility.

Today she protested a lot because there was so much to do, but I told her that I am the adult in this relationship and it was not healthy to drive ourselves past the point of exhaustion and we took a little nap. I think we are making progress.

145

Darlene,
Again thank you for pointing out what should be obvious but definitely is not! After reading this post I want to watch the videos but can’t right now. I know they will be a trigger for me! Even while I was being sexually abused my father would regularly use a belt for “discipline” and become more enraged when I became “immune” to the beatings and refused to cry. I also had my head plunged into the toilet because I didn’t like what we were having for supper. He wanted me to throw up to prove to him that I didn’t like the food. What kind of logic is that?

146

Thanks to everyone who responded. I think maybe deep down I’m expecting that I’ll have to go back to my family at some point, that I won’t get away with this. It always felt like it was only a matter of time before I caved in and gave them what they wanted. After all, what they think and feel only matter if I have to actually deal with them. It’s like I don’t trust myself not to put myself back there, so I won’t let myself feel the freedom of being free of them, as nonsensical as that sounds… But it is the heart stuff vs. the head, like you said, Hobie, because I know in my head that I won’t ever put myself back into those circumstances, not ever. I won’t ever have to reconcile what they want from me with how I want to live. It is hard to fathom the idea, though, that I don’t ever have to deal with them again. I tried to think of ten years from now, what will life be like to have lived that amount of time without any contact, to know that I’m safe and free of them.

Alice,
I could relate so much to what you said about wanting to do things because you feel you’re “supposed to” so that others see you in that way and respond to you in the way you want, or the way that would reflect whatever… I also could relate to your comment about fawning behaviour, except I’m not sure what the truth is there. Sometimes I see it also, for myself, as being afraid of being too approving of whomever or whatever. Like maybe the “fawning” wasn’t really fawning but actually genuine feeling in the moment, but I’m afraid maybe of being ridiculed or shamed or proven wrong to have felt the way I did, or betrayed. Or I think I acted that way because I wanted something from the person/situation when maybe I didn’t, or maybe I did but was also totally accepting and okay if it didn’t happen and that didn’t necessarily mean my behaviour was for the sake of getting something. Or afraid if I admit that it wasn’t fawning but actually genuine feeling, then does that mean I’m tied to it, do I then owe something or am I free to change my feelings and opinions, etc… Or it was premature, based on what I wanted something to be, in a way maybe to entice it to become what I wanted it to be.

Amber, I know what you mean about holding onto a thread of hope after someone has mistreated you. I can see someone interpreting that as being reflective of relationships with family, like a sign of not fully accepting that they were never going to change, and playing out the role with others to see if they will change for you, etc… But I’m not sure that’s always exactly the case. Sometimes you just want to give people a chance and it’s not always 100% clear if the person/situation is or isn’t worth the time/energy to see if you can sort things out. I also want to believe in the good in people and the capacity to change. I’ve definitely wasted time, though, going back and forth. I think it may be about how long it takes to judge a situation. I do know (at least theoretically) that there are times when people can mistreat you and not really understand that they have, not mean it, and be genuine sorry when they hear of it, or people who themselves misjudged you or a situation and react in a way that’s mean-spirited but if you can talk about it, it can be resolved. I think the main thing is being able to talk about it. If I know that talking and listening are not possible, then I’m out, for sure.

147

Hi Marquis (111):

I totally feel for you. My life in my 20’s was simply sheer hell trying to get away from my parents’ home for good. I felt like I was some kind of prisoner planning my great escape to run away. Plus I had to endure gossip by my parent’s social friends who felt it was like their business to try to understand me—but NOT! These gossipy types were angry and irritated since I was still living at home while working at low customer service jobs in fast food restaurants. Nobody saw my real abuse since it was so hidden by living in a big,luxury house in a nice neighborhood. (There was no real love and I was merely the live-in maid). I truly had no one, since I was an only child without any good extended family members. My few good family members died when I was younger growing up. It was a hard decision for me but I planned different scenarios of how to get out. I made a couple of phone calls on a pay phone (over 20 years ago in a different city) to a womens domestic violence shelter. One day I made the decision to just leave because I couldn’t stand it anymore. So, I loaded up my old car with a box of important papers, suitcase with clothes, bath cosmetics, small TV set and phone, and a couple of boxes of photo albums, yearbooks and momentos. I also had a locked black, footlocker trunk in my back car trunk, loaded inside with all my most precious possesions—my metaphysical books and Wicca tools. I made sure to get a post office box for my mail and packages at the post office, NOT a mail boxes store—too expensive. Before I left my parents, I changed my address to forward my mail to the P.O. box. Then I sold my small jewelry collection at a local pawn shop for extra cash. I went to my bank and withdrew my small bank account and opened a safe deposit box for keeping cash. (This was before the days of pay pal accounts and bitcoin). At my former job, I got paper paychecks and would directly cash these checks at my bank without depositing money into my account. I did not have a lot of money, kind of like your situation, but I had to protect what I had and not let on that I had any savings at all.

When I first went to the DV shelter, I had to make a phone call about a block away at a pay phone, with a woman down the street watching my every move. I told her the truth at the intake interview that I was being abused by my crazy, violent mother and my father was not there for me. I told her the truth that I had NO MONEY in my checking account and that I had only worked at a PT job. (My money was in the safe deposit box and I kept it quiet for future emergencies!) This intake worker at the shelter asked me questions about my job/employment history, education, type of car I owned, if I owned a house or rented, general medical history, and how much money I had in bank accounts. I am a clean-cut person with no past alcohol or drug addictions, no criminal background, and no children. What they were really looking for were recent marks like bruises and cuts on me and they gave me paper charts with a body outline to fill out. She also asked about any recent suicide attempts and I told her the truth.

Yes, I did have a serious suicide attempt about three years ago and I ended up in the hospital. I told her that I had the medical records to prove it but she wasn’t interested. Then this social worker had the nerve to tell me that, “this was so long ago!” Can you believe that? Apparently, she wanted to see recent bruises, cuts, etc., although I could argue that my situation was more long-term abuse and in my humble opinion, far more serious. I did get admitted into the shelter but I was very discriminated for not having a husband and kids. Some of the women were nice and some were angry and fighting all the time.

I stayed with this program and I was placed into a transitional housing program for women. The house was an older house, originally a boarding house near the university. It was a two story house, with hardwood floors and paneling, several bedrooms, and one full bathroom upstairs and one bath downstairs. There was a main living room and a big kitchen. The women had a rotating chore list and a weekly mandatory kitchen meeting in the evening. I had a weekly meeting with the site manager. We all had to get food stamps and medical. I also had a free bus pass to ride anytime and place for free, good for one year. The rules were that all women had a job or they were going to school. (I worked at a low clerical job). Plus, they made sure that you were seeing a regular therapist weekly. Again, it was the same story with some nice women and some nasty women. I was lucky to have two friends from this group of a dozen women. One friend told me that she had a safe deposit box like me with $5000 savings. She owned a good,used car and was looking for a job. She had a bachlor degree but had a hard time in getting a job. The next step up after living in this transitional housing was getting into a section 8 low cost apartment, living alone. I won’t lie to you since it was hard. I had tried to move out of my parent’s house in the past, but only to move back since I did not have enough money or stable enough situation. I remember how I secretly cried to myself at night on my pillow thinking that how come I didn’t have any good family at all like an aunt or uncle’s house to go to. (Also, if you go to a DV shelter they destroy your records after seven years. In the women’s transitional housing they destroy your records after three years).

Eventually, I moved into a better apartment and worked. When I was older in my late 20’s, I applied for the maximum financial aid and became an older college student. I graduated at age 32 with a B.A. degree and I was able to go forward in my life. I am still going forward and I’m not totally where I want to be in my adult life (age 46 years old now). I have learned not to be too hard on myself. When I was in my 20’s, I would daydream about getting older like in my 40’s–age I am now. Now, I work and I’m single and I own a house. I have improved greatly, but I had to take that first leap of faith years ago.

I’m sorry if you were hurt by these so-called therapists. I also had problems with many past shrinks. I was called names and told that I was “too afraid to move out” or that “I couldn’t grow up”. These shrinks would fight with me saying that I need to move out. Yes, of course, but I would argue back saying that I have no money and no safe place to go. I understand that it’s such a Catch-22 situation when you’re young and single and trapped living at home with abusive parents.

I wished that my Narc. mom would have to go through shelters and apply for food stamps. Yes, I was humiliated. Back then, the food stamps were the paper “monopoly money” with a photo ID card. The cashiers could give you paper food stamps as change or if it was a small amount, then real cash back. I remember one time going into a convenience store and a grouchy old man would not serve me since I had paper food stamps and he refused to give me real cash for the change. It was in the university area, and a college girl looked at me like she was afraid of me, and grabbed her boyfriend’s arm. I’m sure that my family had more money than hers, but no one knew my back story of abuse, women’s shelters, and starting out in life with basically nothing.

Maybe you can check out more social services in your area online, with a so-called fine tooth comb. Sometimes these DV shelters will take a few “odd cases” like mine. Yes, I was also a little bit discriminated since I chose to become a child free woman in this life–and I’m VERY happy with that choice. But the point was that there were some resources in the system even for me.

Also, consider placing an ad on Craig’s List for a live-in domestic helper. Yes, when I was younger I took a job with an elderly lady and lived in her house. I got free room and board and a small salary. I was not a nurse, but more of a helper. I drove her to her doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping, church, etc. It was not my whole life but I was free from abuse. You could try going into a live-in job for for a disabled person or even as a live-in nanny childcare job. I am not being a pushy person here, but someone said here on the board that your bit of savings cannot last too long in the real world and working at a low pay job, and paying rent. If you could work at a live-in job, then you could save money from having to set up an apartment with furniture, housewares, etc. and still keep your emergency savings. I’m sure that you will move up in the world. I certainly have but you must take that first leap of faith and go for it. If the live-in job does not work out, then there are other similar jobs out there. Sorry, I’m not trying to sound too preachy. I sincerely wish you every happiness. Don’t give up!

Blessed Be,

Yvonne

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Hi Laura and Alaina:

I was hurt by these success stories of abuse victims who got away from their parents at a young age. I wrote about my story and it was hard. I got out at age 23 and I’m sure that there are victims with stories who left at a very young age. It’s not that they were better or more successful than me, rather that they were given opportunities. I would cry out with, “if I am not such a bad person then why wasn’t I given a golden opportunity to leave at an even younger age?” Sometimes past victims like to brag about their stories with no compassion for others. Everybody has a unique situation.

For Kaycee and Alice:

I am NOT a new age person but basically a Celtic/Norse Pagan and I practice Druid/Heathenism/Wicca. I am NOT a fan of Dr.Wayne Dyer. His early books back in the 70’s were OK and they were about self-esteem and assertiveness. Everyone is unique in regards to their FOO situation and healing. Wayne Dyer likes to brag and show off a lot IMHO. I never watch the PBS specials on TV anymore. He cares more about having an adoring fan club and making loads of money. His TV specials consist mainly of telling inspirational stories with guests that anyone can get off the internet. But my name isn’t Wayne Dyer and I do not have a cult following like him. I can recall watching part of a TV special where he was talking about feeling lighter in life by simply clearing out extra stuff. He then went on to say that through the years that he had collected loads of trophies and awards and that it was all stored in a townhouse that he was renting. One day he simply rented a truck and dumped all of his awards throughout the years into the truck to be hauled away into the garbage. Then he quit renting the townhouse that showcased his awards since his wife did not want them all in their main house. So much for gratitude! What a phony! If people want to show off by saying that they “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” when they were young to leave an abusive home, well fine! But everybody is not the same, with the same opportunities with the right people and at the right time. What worked for me in my past may not work for the next person of today. Thanks for sharing!

Blessed Be,

Yvonne )0(

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Stanley (145),

That is the most illogical logic! I am so sorry that your father did that to you, and I hope as you begin to heal, you don’t even consider once that you did ANYTHING to deserve that. NOTHING!!!!!

Callynt

150

Hi Yvonne,
At the shelter,did you have the privacy of your own bedroom or did you have to share it with several other people?You said there were many women in that shelter,but i’m interested in the sleep conditions.I’m asking because my sleep is very easily disturbed.I’m a friendly person and,if i were to leave,i wouldn’t mind having other abused women around during daytime,but NOT at night.I’m thinking about leaving when i have enough money.Until then,i’m just gathering information.Also,did you have to pay for shelter?I imagine it was only a temporary shelter,with a time limit attached to it.If i get kicked out from the shelter and i still don’t have a job,i’d be back to point zero.
I hope you don’t mind my questions.I just want a realistic perspective from somebody who has been through the process of leaving.

151

Stanley, it’s not logic, not an ounce of it. It’s abuse pure and simple and I am so sorry you were so mistreated.

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I’ve only skimmed all of this, because otherwise I think I would’ve gotten very triggered, and that’s not healthy for me, and I had to go back and forth between working and crying. But I certainly can relate to so many of the posts, and am so proud of the healing happening here.

Thinking about that little girl with the grape soda and the entitlement of Narcissistic parents, or reading about the man who recently and it seems deliberately left his young toddler in a car to bake to death because the babyboy served the so called dad no purpose anymore: I am outraged, but numb to it all. Unsurprisingly, my childhood was a crazy quilt of vast extremes of inappropriate indulgence mostly in the form of wildly expensive clothing, in and out of private schools, intensive ballet and piano lessons “training”, coupled with over the top physical and emotional abuse and neglect, to the point where there was no food in the house, no heat despite living in a very wealthy neighborhood–not bragging on myself, just significant to my story. I’ve been in therapy since my early twenties, even along with my parents for a period of time with a founding theorist of family therapy–just happened to live in the right place at the right time–even included my Ex-N who later in our lives aggressively alienated our 24 year old daughter from me and my entire family.

And all I can think about is the entitlement, and the abusers’ shame, which I think drove much of their actions. And I forgive nothing, and unfortunately don’t forget much of it either. Two of my cousins have had therapy for their PTSD related to witnessing my abuse, since I ‘ruined every family gathering’ translate: my Father was so anxious at being judged/found out by my mother’s family at every family function he lost it and beat me up, for infractions such as putting my feet in little Mary Jane’s on my grandparents’ furniture (what the heck I was only two and a half years old, my legs didn’t reach any longer than that) but I still was dragged off and yes, I DO remember it looking down from the ceiling using dissociation as a coping skill, and I learned the ‘how not to cry’ act very young which is why my cousins sought treatment as they were sure each time that he had killed me. I also remember overhearing my Father, all 6 feet 11 inches of him, yes, physical freak of a man, scary to even see, telling my uncle how he would beat me until his right hand hurt too much to do it anymore and then he’d use his left a few times for good measure and then he figured that’d be enough. And here’s how where we lived came into play when I was a teen: my father had busted down the door to my bedroom so many times when I ran there for shelter that the parents no longer called the handyman to repair it—well, this time my mother and younger brothers weren’t home and I did something inexplicable to enrage him. So he choked me and left me for dead, literally.When I awoke in my own assorted bodily fluids, I finally was frightened enough to call the police: why? because I was afraid he’d come back and be so angry that he’d finish me off, and I was too weak to run from the house as I had many times before. The dispatcher handed my call over to an officer who told me that I was ‘a spoiled rich brat who lived in a beautiful house and had everything I needed and probably got handed everything I wanted. So I needed to shut my trap and apologize to my father for whatever bratty thing I did that pissed him off.’
That was when I knew I was really doomed. Clearly my dad was likely afraid of the consequences if he did murder me and I’m still here to write of it forty years later, but yes: it affects me every day, in every relationship I’ve ever had, and despite years of therapy with mostly good therapists it will affect me until the day I die. I make bad choices about hiring employees who are not trustworthy, about relationships, about friendships, you name it. I stayed in a doomed mentally abusive marriage for far too long because of my poor self esteem and lack of judgment, and now I have lost my only child, as has my entire family.
I am so sad for the adults and for those who are children now experiencing this. I can’t imagine anyone feeling they have the right to lay hands on a child.

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And I cry every morning and every night for missing my daughter, who was so aggressively alienated from me that she hates everything about me and my entire extended family, yet adores her Father who has been physically and emotionally abusive to her, is an active alcoholic, and just got fired the second time at age 60 thus is unlikely to be hired again in his field, telling everyone he ‘retired’ to direct a consulting business.

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Hi Beckett
Welcome to EFB ~ It is devastating when the abuser gets the children on his or her side against the other parent. My heart goes out to you.
I healed by looking at the past where all the damage happened, for the purpose of seeing how my belief system got so messed up. This whole site is about that and there is so much hope here!
Glad that you have joined us.
hugs, Darlene

155

Hi Stanley,
That is horrific what your father did. He should have been put in prison.
Thank you for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

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Hi Laura (150):

My experience in the DV shelter was like 23 years ago and in a different city. If you go to an intake appt., sometimes the shelter is full and they will give you a Greyhound bus ticket to go to another DV shelter in another town (yes, with kids) and have a social worker come get you. Things may have changed a lot since then but I don’t know. At this particular DV shelter, the women who came in with kids were given one room for one family. The mom typically had a twin bed and there were bunk beds in the bedroom for her kids, with sometimes two sets of bunk beds. There were a couple of small dressers and a closet. I believe that you could lock the bedroom at night. Because I was a single woman (translation: no kids) then I had to share a bedroom with two other women. There were twin beds and each woman had a dresser. I remember that there was a common shower area and large restroom area on each floor of this two story house. There was also a large bedroom on the first floor with disabled access, including a specialty bathroom for a woman in a wheelchair (yes, there was one disabled woman while I was there). The DV shelter was in an old house by the university area, and on a bus line. There was a main front office, a big kitchen and dining area, and a living room with a TV set. Outside, there was a play area for kids with toys. The house had a couple of washers and dryers, but the staff’s rules were that you had to do laundry and hang up your clothing outside on lines when it was not raining.

No, you do NOT have to pay any sort of rent or extra charges. It’s not like being in a motel. Like I wrote, what the social worker is looking for are recent signs of physical abuse like bruises, cuts, black eye, etc. They also ask for police domestic violence reports and hospital reports. I swear that I spoke to the social worker and gave her the whole truth about my situation. Again, they do ask about the car that you own, work history, and money in bank accounts. If you’re on a higher income level, for sure they won’t take you. I would seriously suggest selling any small jewelry collection or valuables to a pawn shop for quick cash if you’re not working since you need to have all the cash you can get to last for awhile.

These shelters also have a woman lawyer who come in weekly with legal papers. Some women decide that they can’t take it anymore and need a divorce and they can get it done easily and free. There may be some nominal filing fees but since you’re in this government program the fees are waived.

The DV shelter is NOT a luxury spa vacation. These DV shelters run on a lot of government money and donations. You are given free food, clean weekly towels and bedding to borrow, small cosmetics bags donated, and sometimes clothing donations for moms and kids. I came to the DV shelter right after Christmas and they still had a small artificial tree in the living room and Christian/Jew decor. Apparently, the kids were given a toy donation for Christmas from a charity program and the women were given a gift certificate for a hair salon appt.—another private donation. There is an evening curfew for women and their kids around dinner time, with longer hours on the weekend. They claim that they can’t discriminate based on race or religion. I have said many times on EFB that I am NOT a Christian, and I practice Wicca/Celtic Paganism, and I was discriminated by the woman Site Director. I told the truth about my real religion, but surprisingly she was the only one that I had a significant problem with. I believe that much of their food was donated. Yes, they all take turns cooking for the entire group in the house. One night a week for dinner was Mexican night, like beans, rice, burritos and tacos. For Saturday dinners, they had an outdoor barbecue with grilled chicken and extras. Breakfast was like different boxes of cereal, and lunch was sandwiches and fruits. It’s a shelter with rules. Everyday you have a rotating house chore like kitchen duty, mopping floors, etc. Some of the women are nice but there are a few mean ones,too. There are no drugs or alcohol allowed! Also, NO PETS are allowed. There are no outside visitors. There is normally a small smokers area outside the house only. If you ever feel threatened, then you can go to the front office 24/7 and put in a complaint. If there is ever a violent, disturbed woman, like high on drugs or threatening you, this woman can be thrown out. They can also call 911 or the police for any emergency. You must attend their weekly evening house group meeting. Then you are required to meet with a shrink like three times a week for an hour appointment. The shrink ends up bored and falling asleep and not listening to your story like they all do! LOL! The kids go to public school during the week, so that the moms can go to their DES interviews. Most women qualify for EBT food stamps, medical, free bus pass and other free job training programs/college. These job training programs typically do not give you a job, only the schooling. These women are allowed to stay like two or three months in the shelter maximum. Back then, they had a large book listing all of the transitional housing and the social worker would make phone calls to see if there were openings. There are low cost apartments and various forms of section 8 housing. I know that if you came from a special government program, like a DV shelter, the rents were adjustable based upon your income level. At the women’s transitional house where I lived, each woman only paid like $50 a month rent, and that included utilities, but that was over twenty years ago. (Most of the women in the women’s transitional housing were older women coming out of an alcohol detox program—with a few exceptions like me from other programs). In the transitional house program, all the women were either working at a FT job, going back to school, or doing volunteer work while looking for jobs. If you did not have a job right away, then you could back-pay the site manager for the rent owed. It was the social worker/manager’s job to help you apply for the next housing step which was a low cost apartment for low-income people. Many people going into this low cost apartment came from progams and it was adjustable rent/utilities based upon their job. The house manager had a weekly counseling session with you, and included budgeting where they made you open a savings account to deposit a certain monthly amount. It wasn’t such a bad experience if you view the big picture at that time in my life.

I would highly suggest for any women thinking about this is to plan ahead carefully! You can only load up your car once to get out.

You need to pack: marriage certificate, all birth certificates, passports, kids school records, college diploma, medical records/RX, all clothing—including winter coats, umbrellas, luggage, box of photo albums, trophies, momentos—not too much, kid’s favorite toys/pillow/blankets, cosmetics, prescriptions/vitamins, kids textbooks/school supplies,, alarm clock/watch, few good electronics—laptop, ipad, cellphone, amazon kindle reader, few used books to read–(hide your good electronics). Please seriously consider getting a post office box for your mail before you leave home and forward any important mail or personal mail, including receiving packages.

I would seriously close your bank accounts/credit union. If they think that you have too much money in your savings account (they don’t care if you explain that it’s for your kid’s college fund) then they might not take you. I would suggest getting a safe deposit box at the bank. There are women who can actually say that they simply ran out of their home with only $50 in their purse, since their man controls all the money! (I would seriously keep a few thousand dollars in a safe place for emergency purposes and it’s no one’s business). The social worker will also ask about your job history and education.

There is also a legal way to go back into your home in a safe manner called getting an “EX PARTE” order? This is when a cop accompanies you back to your home in a police car with legal papers, and you’re only given a half hour to go through your entire home to take anything that you want. The cop will not help you lift or move boxes, and you can only take a few boxes with you that can fit into the car. I suggest taking a roll of heavy duty trash bags and a few empty boxes with you.

I really don’t know what else to tell you. Try to Google information on DV shelters with recent stories and comments. There might be more recent suggestions. The one that I went to years ago would be considered kind of average. If you really don’t care for the DV shelter experience then you can have your exit interview right away and simply leave. However, they will not take you back so think about this. Some DV shelters have good transitional housing programs and job programs, while some just throw women back onto the street. It all depends on where you’re living and the resources in your area.
Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Blessed Be,

Yvonne 🙂

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Hi Yvonne,
From the bottom of my heart,thank you for such detailed information.Only now i realized how hard it was for you to make the decision of leaving.You stood up for yourself and you proved all your abusers wrong.It takes a lot of maturity to manage life and money by yourself.
I’m an introverted dreamer and i had this image of a perfect shelter.I saw it as a place of healing,where all victims gathered to listen and help one another.I thought women thee were all like sisters,united by the same ordeal.I had very high expectations,thinking freedom was waiting for me with open arms.You survived a real jungle up there,with no experience to fend for yourself,and you made it.I guess this world is too tough and mean for me.I can’t imagine your first night there,with no shoulder to cry on.If it weren’t for your clarifications,i would have failed in taking my life back.I needed an eye-opening confrontation with reality.You helped not only me,but also other naive girls/women who think leaving magically solves the problem.Blessed be,
Laura

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marquis (female)
July 13th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Yvonne,

Who said on here that I have a low paying job?! My job pays me now 10.35 including a 1% raise from the district and whoever said that needs to go back and reread my previous posts that I said “The pay isn’t the PROBLEM it’s the lack of HOURS that I am getting AND can’t get ANYMORE hours because of the rules at the college,” where did I say low paying job that’s 8.50?!? Told my boyfriend I told you I was gonna move up wasn’t gonna settle for a lesser job.

So, I live in AZ, a cheap cost of living. Sorry to disappoint some, but part time job or not, still moving. Why do I have to keep waiting for a full time job? It’s still gonna take me a long time to get/find any full time position. Like I told people, my freedom means more to me than anything else. I can’t keep waiting and waiting, I have to do this now or otherwise I will be here at 35!! Has anybody ever heard of rent control/subsidized apartments? I mean those do exist! That’s who I have been going to and speaking about their apartments and it is about income restrictions. The apartments (are subsidized, owned by the city) at my boyfriend and his mom’s house, I met their requirements since I am eligible for affordable housing. Another apartments I really liked wanted 3 times the rent nothing less than 1500 which I am under 1500. I am gonna get a 2nd job anyway once intersession is over next month when the Fall classes start.

However, other apartments wanted 2, 2.5, or 3x the rent. I haven’t signed any papers just browsing and my boyfriend’s mom has been giving me advice saying I need $5k. My sister said you need a year’s worth of rent and be on the job for a year – that’s CA’s rules not AZ. The places I have been going to wanted 6 months on the job and next month will be my 6 months on the job.

Those shelters and transitional houses don’t fit me at all too many questions for me which is why I did apartment hunting. I know you need the money to stay afloat which is why I need pay equal or a bit more than what I am getting. I will be checking back with a financial coach later on seeing if I am on the right track on my finances. Building up this money is taking too long because it’s part time.

“I also had problems with many past shrinks. I was called names and told that I was “too afraid to move out” or that “I couldn’t grow up”. These shrinks would fight with me saying that I need to move out. Yes, of course, but I would argue back saying that I have no money and no safe place to go. I understand that it’s such a Catch-22 situation when you’re young and single and trapped living at home with abusive parents.”

I was told by people the same thing was afraid to move because it is gonna turn into a Civil War battle with my mom nothing but constant screaming etc. I was told at 23 that I am a selfish bitch for wanting to move out and not take her mother with her. My mom told you have it good at home and you know that (guilt trip anyone? my ex-therapist didn’t see it that way), what good thing at home? Being called every name in the book is a good thing? It’s gonna turn into a knock out fight when I do move now. I was called names too my parents feel I should at home forever and need to move out to be an adult – wtf it can’t be both?!?

Yea, it is a Catch-22 but nooo! Lots of people didn’t see it that way saying ‘it’s not a Catch-22, it’s just you making excuses to not move out. I didn’t wanna end up on the streets with no money and back then no car to get around, but we have buses not that they run late anyway.’ They said ‘you always complain about money – money money money! Money is not an issue if you just move out, etc.’ In high school, why do people think I was in chat rooms trying to find someone to move in with if they were normal/decent? People forget I was told to never work, that it is selfish for a woman to work, marry a guy like my dad and get beaten up/abused daily like my mom, be a mooch to his assets, etc. I mean yea, some people had to endure homelessness before things got better and I wasn’t gonna be someone who was gonna endure being homeless which is why I stayed at home because I knew that’s where I was gonna end up with zero life skills. Nope, nobody wanted to hear that! So, I am just working harder to get the money that I need in order to succeed. To stay afloat I just need to keep working and saving. My boyfriend’s mom told me ‘you don’t wanna move and give up staying where you are. You don’t want to be in a situation where you had to move back home all over again.’ Which is true.

Also, there’s nothing more social services can tell me. My social worker at the women’s center has told me about rent controlled places and we already had a conversation about transitional housing before. I mean, what more can they tell me? Like I said before, aren’t many options for adult kids with abusive parents out there anyway.

Well, I will keep everybody updated when the time comes.

Darlene,

I agree. People not wanting you to find out the truth and will do anything to persuade you that you’re in the wrong, yea, know that far too well. I told my ex-therapist and other people ‘you have to be smart about why someone is trying to persuade you into thinking it’s not abuse, it’s not this or that – think of politics the very best example! Why do you think the media has people caring about Kim K.? Because to keep the public away from the real underlining issues in this country or elsewhere it’s a form of brainwashing.’

160

I was searching for more information on WHY I have all these maladaptive social behaviors and I found this. Rang true for me http://www.secasa.com.au/sections/survivor-s-journeys/survivors-on-the-healing-journey/why-can-t-i-get-on-with-my-life/

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marquis (female)
July 13th, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Did anybody hear about Baby Gabriel story? His mom got released from prison after 5 years and her lawyer said she is a changed woman, really?!? I don’t feel 5 years was long ago and I am sure most women out there felt that sentence is too long, a poor “distressed young mom” not sure if she was ready to be a parent or not.

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I wish you the best,Marquis.Leave,but don’t let the pain in your heart cloud your mind/judgement.May you find freedom on the other side!By the way,i’m 33 and still living with my abusers(not by choice).You don’t know what’s in my heart.Hurry now.God forbid you end up like me!

163

Beckett, I am so sad for what you experienced! It wasnt fair and I can only imagine what terror you must have felt as a small child..even as a baby! Your father sounds like he was a miserable monster of a person. I hope it will encourage you when I write that you absolutely can find healing here. I also went through the ultra confusing “wealthier” lifestyle, while being abused and neglected. I have written about it on many many posts here! It took me a lifetime of desperate searching for healing to finally end up here at EFB, and it is a process, but there can be freedom from all of that crap of the past! Hang in there! Comfort and hugs to you! 🙂

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FinallyFree

Thanks for understanding.
I’m not saying my experience was any worse than someone who lived in poverty: but despite the outward experiences, I often lived in poverty as well. I might have been dressed to the nines, but there was no heat and no food in the house. My neighbors often fed me, and I stuffed that food in my pocket for my younger brothers.
It’s hard to be taken credibly at age sixteen or fortysix when well dressed and well spoken and particularly afraid of making a scene.
I wish to continue (begin) my journey towards healing, unafraid of what others think of me. They never seemed to think much of me before—bullied, outcast, teased, not rescued by my parents from this, they didn’t notice or if they did blamed me for it.

I am ready for a new day.

Finallyfree, I am open to any suggestions you can give me

165

I have been immersed in the literature. I have read so many quotes from “The Ya Ya Sisterhood,” “Terms of Endearment,” “Postcards From the Edge.”

There is always some point of redemption in these movies, a Mother who is willing. My Mother is far more repressed. She rejects any attempt I make at healing our relationship. She has big walls, big boundaries. She isn’t real, she is closed off.

I feel bad around them, my family, I shrink. I can’t always identify why. I feel like a circus freak, I feel ashamed. But I can’t talk about it, I am not allowed.

Things have changed, we are all grown up, my Mom has been alone for 36 years, she hasn’t been with anyone since she divorced my stepfather (very weird I know).

She is mostly nice enough to me now. She wasn’t before. There is just something unspoken, an agreement we all have that I was to blame for much of the crazy that she made our childhood. That I am lesser. All kinds of things that are not so easy identify but things that are still there that make my cheeks burn in shame around my family.I have a place, I have to stay there. But it is more than often covert, nobody talks in my family, they turn away. It is looks, it is body language. it is just like being the third class passenger among the elite.

The abuse was bad when I was young. My Mom never bonded with me, we never had a mother/daughter bond. I think after she left her second husband she sacrificed having anybody else to try to make things better but there is a barrenness there with her. Especially with me.

These movies make me so sad because my Mom is far weaker than any of the characters I hear quoted in all of these books I am reading once I see the movies. It is like they create a false hope.

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marquis (female)
July 14th, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Laura,

I do agree. Interesting, when I tell people I am with my abusers not by choice they scream at me and some abused wives get sympathy yet I never got a damn thing from people. Hmm, time will tell and will hopefully have all of my ducks in a row to leave.

“The abuse was bad when I was young. My Mom never bonded with me, we never had a mother/daughter bond.”

Agreed. I never had that mom/daughter bond with my mom yet people refuse to believe that because she gave birth to me, so what.

167

Hi everyone

I wanted to share a link to a new blog written by Will Meecham. I’ve been following his old blog The WillSpirit Blog for several years and have enjoyed following his journey of recovery from childhood loss, trauma, and neglect.

He’s just announced the launch of his new blog.

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-adversity/

Daisy

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Daisy, I had a hard time with his announcement. I think those of us who were abused are taken off our natural, authentic path and forced to travel a different path that is not of our choosing. The question of what we could have been if we were not abused is something we will never be able to answer.

I’m all for being grateful for gifts and for insights and growth but his author states “You might say that those of us raised badly have been entrusted with a dangerous but precious gift.” I think that idea is dangerous.

I disagree with his assertion “….we can reach levels of acceptance and clarity less available to those from more supportive homes.”

I am inclined to agree with Andrew Vachss who says “Healthy, happy, productive children — children who evoke their maximum potential — are no accident. They are not a fortuitous result of randomly scattering seeds on unnourishing ground. No, such children are always a harvested blessing, deeply dependent on climate and care. We create that climate and that care; and its most precious, indispensable element is *safety*.”

Maybe I’m just crabby tonight but his article rubbed me the wrong way. The beginning line “Can you imagine feeling grateful for childhood adversity?” My answer to that is no and that is not something I aspire to be. It sucked, it was awful and my lifelong career has been trying to heal from it. My preference would have been to be loved and allowed to be my authentic self and to have chosen my own path.

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marquis (female)
July 15th, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I don’t see how it’s such a blessing as my ex-therapist would say. She told me ‘it makes up one part of you as we have a lot of different aspects of our lives,’ so why would I want abuse to be one part of me? My adversity was a crime ridden from me as a child as I see nothing as a “blessing” I believe it has cursed me and my siblings.

I can’t agree to “oh, it makes up one part of me,” that is not something good to say. I’d say it’s just a history that shouldn’t have happen which ex-therapist didn’t like but oh well and had other people didn’t agree with it too…IDK….

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NEW post published today on the home page of Emerging from Broken ~ in two hours this post has generated 500 “likes” and has been shared over 125 times in social media, just that I am aware of!
Please join the conversation there for my new post “Spiritual Abuse ~ When the name of God is used to Guilt and Shame”

Hugs, Darlene
http://emergingfrombroken.com/spiritual-abuse-when-the-name-of-god-is-used-to-guilt-and-shame/

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“so why would I want abuse to be one part of me?”

I don’t understand this idea either. My mom has tried to suggest that the hardships I’ve been through due to her have made me the “strong” & “independent” person I am. I pffed at that one. Seriously like she’s trying to spin the neglect and abuse she subjected me to into a positive thing! I laughed sardonically at her when she tried that one on me. No look, I HAD no choice but to try to do most things by myself, to try to figure out why it was happening, what I could do about it. I was reading psychology books at 16. Fuck I was reading Anthony Robbins at 16. And books on rational thinking. Books on how to relax and reduce stress. I was going to the pool several times a week to reduce stress. She only ever taught me things that were useful to her. Nothing that equipped me for life or relationships that weren’t about one person having to kow tow to another. Thankfully there was a friend’s mother who taught me about money (she worked in a bank) and we learned how to cook for ourselves in high school. I learned about personal hygiene and care from TV and magazines and about menstruation from school. And sex from Judy Blume books and Madonna. No-one in my family adressed any of the above with me. They taught me about taking care of others and being deferential and polite and self-negating.

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marquis (female)
July 17th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

“Seriously like she’s trying to spin the neglect and abuse she subjected me to into a positive thing!”

My parents say that too and I have had other people out there who felt this was okay and it’s a positive thing to learn! That is scary and told them ‘really? was it a positive thing to learn from by someone who was abused to kill someone? It’s a great lesson, remember?’ They wanted kill me when I reverted it back on them. My ex-therapist tried to use that crap besides the “it makes one part of you” bullshit and you can get a lot of positivity out this abusive environment! Oh boy, like talking to an idiot!

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Marquis, so I’d love to ask that therapist “What positive things exactly do you mean?” You know, my current conclusion is that therapists are a mostly a lame bunch of parasites making bank off the pain of their “patients'” inability to fit into a world in which abusive parenting is still to a large extent the norm. It’s like asking someone who is asleep to help you.
What I will say is a “positive” of this journey is that my abuse was so at odds with reality and the truth that it turned me into someone who had to find out what the truth is. It is possible that had I not been abused I would have been asleep and complacent about it for the rest of my life. And that’s about it.

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It’s interesting, this concept of “Well, it made you a better person.” One of the therapists that I had been seeing a while told me something interesting along this line. After I had recounted the various physical, sexual, and emotional abuse to him, as well as the suicide attempt and drug abuse in my teen years, he said that there is a branch of psychology devoted to studying people who have enduring severe trauma yet they go on to flourish in life with a good job, family, etc. He said that those children are termed “super kids” because by all expectations they should have withered in life, yet they succeeded. He said that psychologists study them to try to learn what it is about them that allowed them to succeed where other children didn’t, even those who endured far less traumatic lives. The thinking is that they can apply whatever those learned elements are to those who aren’t thriving in life. I don’t know if there’s anything to all that, but it did seem to send me the same message – “Yes, you were severely traumatized, but look at what a great person it made you into, in spite of it all.” Perhaps he was just trying to build confidence in me at that moment, I don’t know.

And while I love my dear spouse, when I finally disclosed to her about the sexual abuse from childhood, her response was “Well, at least he didn’t kill you.” My mind pretty much shut down at that moment. But really, that’s the “positive” aspect of it – I wasn’t killed?

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Hi Eddie
I have met people who seemed to do well after experiencing child abuse, and the only common denominator that I find is that they were validated, believed, heard etc. They were not ignored, shushed, invalidated etc. And it is interesting to me at least, that those same things are the only thing that worked for me to be able to move forward and thrive now.
There is something about being told “yes you were harmed but look at you now” that almost makes me crazy! There is something so ‘invalidating’ about it. Like I should be grateful for what happened. I always say “well I wonder what I would have been like it if DIDN’T happen?” and it is okay not to know what I would have been like, but I don’t want to be told that “in spite of it all” stuff. It always reminds me of a little kid hiding in the closet, shaking in fear and telling themselves that ‘it’s just a dream… nothing bad is going to happen’ all the while, something BAD really happened.
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

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The only positive I can think of for me is that it’s made me a more compassionate and empathic person. I’ve been acquainted with people who didn’t seem to “get” depression at all, or abuse. Just didn’t seem to grasp the magnitude of damage, sometimes even admitting that they just didn’t understand. So in that sense I think I can relate to the pain because of my own pain, if someone were to confide in me.

At the same time I believe that there are wonderful nonjudgmental people who were never abused and can be a lifeline of empathy and support as well.

Other than this, the experience has thwarted me and I am trying to overcome it and thrive. I can see how comments like “it made you a better person” or “in spite of it all, look at you now” would feel so invalidating.

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Can you imagine if you had a time machine and could visit your child self, hurt and alone? And what would I say—so, you’re hurting, but don’t worry, see, what’s going to happen is you’re going to get hurt some more and it’s going to add up and it’s going to stay inside you and fester and make you really sick and you’re going to think something is wrong with you and you’re going to hate yourself and punish yourself and cave in on yourself and your brain is going to go berserk and you’re going to fear for your life, and when finally you’re able to start talking about all the pain inside, letting it out, the people who you are supposed to love you the most are going to put it back on you, which is going to cause you a good decade of intense pain, trying to fight to regain your broken spirit. You’re going to try to stay positive and not cut yourself or kill yourself. There will be times when you’re in so much pain that you’ll disconnect from your body, you’ll hover above or you’ll feel like you’ve disappeared entirely; sometimes it’ll happen when you’re out in public and you’ll try to stay attached to yourself but you’ll be afraid that one day it might happen and you’ll walk in front of oncoming traffic…. but like I said, don’t worry, because after all this suffering and the rejection and abandonment and betrayal from the people you thought loved you, you’ll have so much insight into life. You’ll be able to feel real love with an intensity that people who haven’t gone through all this will never know. You see! You’ve been especially selected to go through this experience! You’re lucky! You’re special! It’s a gift you’ll come to cherish! Then give my child self a peck on the cheek, a pat on the head and leave….. It’s like when my brother told me his wife was pregnant and I was so happy that I hadn’t died and would get to be an aunt. My therapist at the time (a good one) told me that was really sad, and it was really sad—because there was no reason that I should have been on the edge of death like that. But it was true that I was grateful to a degree that maybe I wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t gone through that experience, but it would be really, really warped for me to think then that the experience was “good.” It certainly wouldn’t be my choice. You don’t need to be abused to appreciate goodness, nor to not take things for granted and make the most of your time on earth… And why is there value put on some seeming success if it comes at the expense of a child (as a means to the success)? It reminds me of writers whose work becomes more valued after their suicide, or it’s believed that the height of their talents was reached because they went to the end of the line or something. I don’t want to argue crap like that. We’re talking about lives here… so back to my time machine… if I could visit my child self, part of me would want to kidnap her and raise her elsewhere but I don’t know if she’d come with me just yet and I suppose I’d want it to be her choice to leave. I suppose I’d just stay with her, with an open invitation and plenty of love, support and validation, until she was ready to leave on her own. My previous therapist also said that it was being heard and validated, supported, by even just one person that made all the difference.

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During a therapy session once my therapist asked me to try and talk to myself as the young child that I was, to carry on a conversation with him about whatever I wanted to say to him. I couldn’t do it, it just unnerved me to the point that I literally couldn’t speak and was shaking. The therapist quickly told me that this was ok and we moved on.

A good friend who is a fellow sexual abuse survivor knows my story and what an issue I had with my 12-year-old self at the time. I was still going through a lot of self blaming for it, wondering how I could have been so stupid, etc. I had shown my friend pics of myself back at that age, so he knew how scrawny I was. He went to a Wal-Mart and asked a woman working in the boys department if she could help him find some shorts and a shirt that would fit a smallish 12 year old. He then brought those to me and gently showed them to me and explained that this is how small I was back then. Holding the clothes in my hands, I completely lost it and just bawled. That was a major healing point for me, getting over the self blame of that little boy that I was.

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Eddie, that is beautiful…what your friend did for you.

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marquis (female)
July 18th, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Alice,

I agree. I told my ex-therapist and others ‘so, this is positive? really? They said ‘at least you weren’t killed by your parents or put out in the streets,’ and ‘that’s suppose to make it all better and go away?’ Yea, they got irate when I said that lol. I don’t see anything positive about my situation didn’t know I am suppose to “enjoy it” like other people have told me in the past.

I told my ex-therapist ‘wow, boost my confidence and kill it by telling me at least they didn’t throw you out. Interesting, that’s what you call “trying to build my self-esteem?’ Oh, she was mad! Always mad funny how she called me an angry person lol look who is calling the pot called the kettle black!

“You know, my current conclusion is that therapists are a mostly a lame bunch of parasites making bank off the pain of their “patients’” inability to fit into a world in which abusive parenting is still to a large extent the norm. It’s like asking someone who is asleep to help you.”

Agreed! If they truly want to help people, they need it to see their clients’ perspectives from their own eyes not what their textbooks from college says or the entire systems tells me what to do! Listening to someone isn’t about how “the world thinks you should do/see it/things” it’s about being an active listener to the client. My ex-therapist said ‘well, nobody really listens these days,’ and said to her ‘gee, I wonder why! You just proved my point!’

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Hi Light#176,
To those sadistic ill people who say that abuse made you a better person,i would make a passive-agressive remark:”I’m so sorry you didn’t get the chance to experience what i went through!You missed such an enlightement!Pain really elevates your spirit.Now i understand why i’m a better person than you.” That’ll teach them!!!!!

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Marquis, “Agreed! If they truly want to help people, they need it to see their clients’ perspectives from their own eyes not what their textbooks from college says or the entire systems tells me what to do! Listening to someone isn’t about how “the world thinks you should do/see it/things” it’s about being an active listener to the client.”

I so agree with this. It’s also how parents should engage with their kids too. I’m hopeful that both of these things are being done by some very good therapists and some savvy parents.

However, if the actual rôle of therapists is to get people to fit a bit less awkwardly into a sick system (I mean by that a system that produces so many negative effects on people, I don’t mean in some 1960’s barely understood “political” way) then we’re not going to get very far very fast.
And of course I can hear the objections to this idea ringing in my ears. “But but what about social order? What about hierarchy? What about “discipline”?” And you know I think we probably just have to have faith at that point and understand that if what we’ve been doing so far has been making us sick and leading to too many undesireable consequences then we have to try something else.
And stop with the outdated religion that says we are born bad and need to be bullied into goodness from the start.

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marquis (female)
July 19th, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Hi Alice,

I agree about the parents should be engaged and active listening to their kids. I took a communication class back in college and my ex-instructor, who is a parent, said ‘ever heard of because I said so? What does that mean? Those who are parents, we use that on our children. We always wonder why kids’ challenge that meaningless statement, so therefore, we need to explain to children and to others why we say no and why the kids can’t do this or that.’ He also said how ‘because I said so’ is just an abuse of power which it is.

Of course, my mom completely disagrees with “explaining anything to children.” She said children should understand simple as that, there’s no such thing as explaining anything to children. I saw a month ago a heated debate between Hannity and some female guest on his show about explaining stuff to children. Hannity said ‘I don’t have to explain shit to my parents and no means no!’ The guest said ‘I explain to my children why I can’t do xyz….’ She disagreed with Hannity on explaining things to children, I wonder if that’s a grey area parents struggle with?

You always see on TV how kids don’t listen to the parents and vice versa, somebody should say ‘both sides aren’t listening to each other! It takes two people to listen to one another’ I remember a woman in the audience on a talk show I was watching long ago told a teen girl that ‘her parents didn’t HAVE to listen to her because they are the PARENTS,’ the teen said ‘then, I don’t have to listen either. I have feelings too you know? My parents need to listen too if they expect me to listen.’ You’d think the host would have something intelligent to say, nope, he sided with the parents! They tried to use a psychiatrist to help and it didn’t do much, the girl said she has every right to be heard as a human being and her being 16 has nothing to do with her.

I agree with her you want kids to listen then the parents need to stfu and listen! She was full of anger and I understood all of these adults sitting there not giving a damn about her needs (sounds like the children are seen and not heard). The idiot psychiatrist didn’t help, funny, on these talk shows a lot of these therapists/psychiatrists don’t seem to help at all just make shit worse for the kids better for the parents!

Anyway, the entire mental health system needs fixing – remember Obama talking about it and hasn’t said a word since! You got a system claiming they are helping people, in what way? By giving doping them up with pills and telling them to come back later? I told this to my ex-therapist saying ‘you are no different than a doctor!’ Ohh, she was hot when I said that! How are they helping people yet I hear people who have been to many different MHPs and a lot of them just abused them instead of helping them? Asked my ex-therapist that and never got an answer. A lady I saw on a blog similar to this one said she went through 10 different MHPs and said they were all terrible made her feel even worse and refused to go back and see them. She said how she was working her issues on her own and read other stories where people had tried suicide attempts or were still stuck in their situations.

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Marquis, my mother had a saying about “Children and animals shouldn’t see something half-done”. And I have no idea what she meant but it sounded like she meant that kids and animals were similarly impaired when it came to understanding the ways of grown ups.

My mother did not listen to me as far as anything important went. I think in her mindset, children were to obey and follow their parents’ wishes and smile while doing it thank you very much. To do otherwise was “talking back” and punishable. Even the not smiling part!

The more this process continues to unfold for me, the more I think that kids should be way better considered for their abilities as well as their inabilities to understand things at the different stages of their development.

If that seems like a huge indulgence (I caught myself thinking it right there) then perhaps one should rethink allowing themselves the actions that bring another person into the world in the first place.

A person’s reaction to that idea of a child as “another person” will be illustrative of many things.

I think that my mother saw explaining things to me as “justification” and from the arguments I had with her, she preferred a retreat into her authority as “mother” to providing a clear and honest explanation. I don’t think she felt I was worth one.

I don’t watch those TV circuses like “Dr Phil” because for the most part they only serve to highlight the status quo when it comes to parent/child relationships. I don’t see any benefit.

I enjoy reading RD Laing on the family. He gets much more into the actual experience of family life than anything that is portrayed or we expect it to be. My family ruined the word “mother” for me. They ruined the word “love” and they ruined the word “family”.

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marquis (female)
July 20th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Alice,

My mom has some fucked up sayings that don’t make any sense! She told me children are just children and should stay that way, wow, some parent! My parents have the same mindset children should obey, sorry, are they pets?!? That’s how people seem to treat them! Children should listen to parents, yes, but to obey and do as I say, hell no! I believe a lot of children could do way more like you said if we weren’t told for generations to sit down and shut up somewhere.

I haven’t watched Dr. Phil in a long time and notice any time a parent/child comes up, nothing about the kids’ feelings always gotta be the parents’ feelings. Some things he said made sense the rest I wanted to question because the suggestions/advice isn’t a “one-size fits all” as people like to sit there and believe and people think with my situation if it fit them then it will fit me – really?!?

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Marquis, to me that sounds a bit like “Children should know their place” and I wonder where did this idea come from? Could one imagine a child as one’s equal (albeit a younger one that needs help, care and protection as they go about their growing?)

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marquis (female)
July 22nd, 2014 at 12:35 am

Alice,

Agreed. I always wondered where it came from too…

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Hi Everyone!
I just found out yesterday that the sign up for the free download “guide to getting unstuck” booklet has not been working properly for weeks now! It has been fixed, so if you didn’t get your copy, please get one. (See the form on the Upper Right Side bar here)

This will also add you to the my email list and you will be notified when I have important news such as when the E-Book “The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” will be available.. and it is in the process of being formatted and should be available by the end of next week!

Hugs, Darlene

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Thank you for your words!!!

I was adopted….raised for almost 15yrs as my adopters child. Four brothers and a sister, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa on both sides, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.
I was told I was chosen…I was told I was special…I was told I was loved and I believed I was.
When I was 15 I was told I’d be going to a ranch in ?missouri…I was born and raised in Riverside CA.
I was told they would come and visit….it was for me to become a better person.
I had just turned 15 two weeks prior.
I was young and naive.
I’d never had sex, done drugs or been a bad kid.

I went to the ranch.
I stayed at the ranch for six months with no visit and barely 2 calls from my family.
I tried to kill myself….still…no calls…no one came…
Six months later the ranch was closed for “abuse.”

I’ve literally been on my own every since.
I have been through more than I’ve ever seen in 5 lifetime movies.

I tried telling on my adoptive dad for coming in my room at night
…but I was TOLD nothing happened.

My family had brainwashed me, abused me and left me for dead.
They told me my birth mom was dead and always wanted an abortion anyway.

Somehow I made it.
I made it to raise 3 children…even got married a little while ago.

Abusive parents are everywhere.
They are put on a pedi stool because they adopt.

When I was about 30yr I suddenly found my real mom.
I found out she was looking for me my whole life.
She knew I had kids.
She knew I had kids????……how???

My adoptive family told her I was happily living down the street and hated her for giving me up.

My mom died looking at a picture if my two boys…she died thinking I hated her. She left me her wedding ring. She had no other children…

She died six months before I found her.

Adoptive parents are put upon pedi stools simply because they adopt.

Please please take a second look when you see another child adopted.

Abuse happens everywhere.

I am not ok but I am finding my voice.

My voice will set me free.

My name is Sadie.

Society defends abuse and abusers more than you know…

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hi Sadie
Welcome to Emerging from Broken! You are not alone as an adopted child who was abused. There are many others here as well. You are certainly right about the fact that abuse happens everywhere AND that society defends abuse and abusers. I think you have found the right website!
Thanks for sharing your story. I am so sorry that you didn’t find your birth mother before she died.
hugs, Darlene

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marquis (female)
July 28th, 2014 at 10:23 am

Hi Sadie,

I used to think that adoptive parents were better than real parents as adoptive parents have “more love” to give to chiuldren. LIke you said, abuse is everywhere and adoptive parents can be abusive too. I have read stories on slate.msn.com on this woman who adopted a child in China and talked about the child like a dog how she and the young girl didn’t bond at all and said ‘I was glad to send that little brat/bitch back to China where she belongs!’ Why did you adopt her in the first place? I believe if people are gonna adopt kids, they need to 1st bond with the child(ren) both sides need to bond because why adopt and the kids will never bond?

Anyway, I have read more and more stories of adoptive parents being abusive and it isn’t all that cracked up to be. I always thought ‘gosh, do these kids have hope? They hope the adoptive parents love them (some do and some don’t) and want to be loved.’ I also read how these adoptive parents are adopting kids either in the States or overseas for the wrong reasons no different than actual birth parents giving birth to kids for the wrong reasons. Nobody in the media thought to feel sorry for the Chinese girl and people pretty much sided with the American mom saying “she couldn’t handle raising a foreign girl as the girl is too difficult to raise.” Here’s an idea: If your gonna adopt kids from overseas, learn their culture/language that way the kids can have something to celebrate. These nations I heard were saying how Americans are adopting kids for the wrong reasons like adopting Asian children because they want “very smart children,” is the wrong reason to have kids.

I read another story of a woman who’s adoptive parents were sorry the adoptive mom told her ‘you should be grateful that somebody took the time to adopt you at least I saved you.’ Should be grateful and at least I saved you?! I never asked you to adopt me is what I would say! What is with these guilt trips and shaming towards adoptive children too? These parents, biological or adoptive, what’s with this ‘you owe me attitude?’

Yep, so even adoptive parents are protected too by society. It’s like everybody out there is saving someone else’s ass instead of exposing the truth for what it really is!

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We very specifically teach our EMT students how to identify child abuse and how to report it. EMT’s are state mandated reporters. We take this very seriously. What bothers me the most about articles regarding child abuse and borderline child abuse, or any physical harm to the child, is that I mostly see people sticking up for the parents, making excuses for them. If anyone speaks out against it, their comments get attacked and buried. I will never understand what it is about this world that leads people to jump so quickly to hurting children. We soon intend to offer babysitting courses both online and in person, targeting teens, in attempt to change this view on harming children by rolling parenting skills into the curriculum. That way, way when these teens have kids of their own, they will be better educated parents. Education is the only way to stop it.

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marquis (female)
July 31st, 2014 at 11:35 pm

I agree about education is the only way, the problem is people have to WANT it and the way I see it out there is most want to stay stupid and believe anything some other fool says!

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Hi Jenny
That is great that you teach this way.
Our society follows a pecking order and it’s all about power and control. Children are the weakest on the totem pole and that is why they are so targeted. (people have ‘power’ mixed up with love)
I think that education is part of the answer; I think another part of the answer is for adult survivors of this stuff to find and take their voices back~ the more people who are empowered to stand up to this stuff, the less controlling people, will get away with it.

Hugs, Darlene

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I am currently in a situation trying to free my two teenage cousins from the evil of their mother. Our system only creates more tragedy and heartache for the rest of the family. Her endless acts prove time and time again to be exhausting! We have been to every authority figure with no avail, this is a true crime that is unpublishable to our justice system.

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I couldn’t even watch the video. Poor child. Makes me wonder if the sperm donor (he doesn’t deserve the title “father”) is some kind of pervert who got sexual pleasure from this and putting it on the internet for the pleasure of other perverts! I have noticed how people tend to always take the side of parents. For instance my parents were pretty controlling even when I reached adulthood and my friends know this yet when I mentioned that to one friend she said “they were just trying to help you” which hurt as she seemed to be implying that my parents were right. I have also noticed that parents, albeit not all of them, often tend to side with other parents. Maybe it is because I never had children that I always tend to naturally empathise with the child.

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Hi Jackie
Welcome to EFB ~ Yes, that is what this site is about ~ getting to the truth of the whole thing and the entitlement issue is huge. I say to people when they say “they were only trying to help you” I respond “how do you know what they were trying to do??” and then I say “what do you know about my situation? or about my parents?” There is a real bottom line truth and that is what we are getting at.
hugs, Darlene

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Hello everyone,

What I reallt hate is when you tell someone something that your family did to you that us so horrific and abusive, and they try to say something nice about them like “well they did take you on vacations every year” or some other crap that couod not possibly make up for the bullshit they were putting you through.

My son’s father who is abusive does all sorts if wonderful things for him. They go to the zoo and movies and parties and signs him up for sports. Is that really a good thing when he does it to compete with me and could not care less what his son actually wants to do, besides yelling at me in front of him and telling him lies and treating his mother (me) like total crap?

God it pisses me off. Its like being discredited all over again.

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Hi Anna
That really gets me too! It isn’t just “like being discredited again” IT IS being discredited again. The good doesn’t cancel the bad. (I wrote a whole article about it ~ http://emergingfrombroken.com/take-the-good-with-the-bad-or-the-bad-with-the-good/)
Thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene

200

Ooh, a new blog. can’t wait to read it will do that when I get off of work later.

“I couldn’t even watch the video. Poor child. Makes me wonder if the sperm donor (he doesn’t deserve the title “father”) is some kind of pervert who got sexual pleasure from this and putting it on the internet for the pleasure of other perverts! I have noticed how people tend to always take the side of parents. For instance my parents were pretty controlling even when I reached adulthood and my friends know this yet when I mentioned that to one friend she said “they were just trying to help you” which hurt as she seemed to be implying that my parents were right. I have also noticed that parents, albeit not all of them, often tend to side with other parents. Maybe it is because I never had children that I always tend to naturally empathise with the child.”

Agreed. I had friends who took my parents’ side knowing it was “sad to see the way I was being treated.” I felt like they didn’t have a mind of their own and my ex-therapist said ‘oh, they didn’t understand. How could you expect them to understand abuse?’ I said ‘Listen to someone’s story and truly understand where they are coming from, there are books and videos on abuse, etc there’s no excuse like you tell me!’ Yea, she didn’t like that comment at all.

I had a friend long ago who was being abused as she never really said it but I could tell by the way how her mom would treat her. I would never side with a friend’s parents or whoever was abusing them and one day she didn’t like the suggestion I gave her about her mom saying ‘that’s my mom, how dare you say something like that. I could never do that regardless of what she is doing to me.’ Oh boy, saw denial on her part and felt like why did she bother to ask? I’ve had very few parents who sided with me while the rest bashed me and had this “parental arrogance,” their bruised egos being threaten.

According to people, I will always be wrong why do they bother to ask me anything about myself? Like I have a gazillion people against me out there telling me I am wrong and they are right. Like I have said in a lot of Darlene’s blogs that there’s no balance between parents and children.

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Darlene, I’ve been enjoying your site very much! I am no contact with my siblings who’ve been abusive in ways I won’t go into here because of their length, but I am still struggling with the loss of a family who doesn’t want to know my side of things; this has left me feeling even more vulnerable and I’m finding it still a challenge to stand up for myself in some situations. Someone simply walked up to me and give me a look that said ‘move over’ I want to sit there, and I just got up and complied! This sort of thing makes me wonder if I will ever ‘get it’ that I have the right to say ‘no’; or at least say ‘sit over there’. So simple, but it doesn’t occur to me until afterwards, much later. Something is trying to yet tell me I don’t matter, even though my family is nowhere around.
I read the following article, which came across as advice, but only made me feel worse about myself. I think you are an example of someone who has shown courage, so your family probably leaves you alone (?) about your blog and statements. I wonder if this is just what I need to do, gain courage to let people not like me if that’s what they’re going to do–but on the other hand it often seems better to just leave situations where regular contact with them is bound, inevitably, to go the wrong way.Here’s the article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/stand-up-for-yourself-pushover_n_3443039.html

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Wow, Darlene, how your site has grown in the two or more years since I was last here. And now I see that you have a book coming out soon — awesome! Congratulations!

I am horrified beyond belief that there are people who defend murdering parents. My mind can’t even fathom that.

When I was 12 my mother told me she needed to get something off her chest that was bothering her. She said she had decided to make me her confessor, because if she confessed to an adult, they might call the police and have her arrested and she would spend the rest of her life in prison. Then the five of us kids would probably go to five separate foster homes and never see each other again, she warned, because “no foster home will take all five of you in. So, if you don’t want that to happen, you must promise to never tell another soul what I am about to tell you.”

My little sisters and brothers meant the world to me and my mother knew this. She knew my silence would be guaranteed by her warning.

After I gave my solemn promise never to tell anyone what she was about to say, my mother then calmly and matter-of-factly told me how she had been trying to gas us all to death, all those nights when the central heat had stopped coming on and the house had gotten so cold and I had gotten out of bed to go turn the thermostat up, only to discover it was already turned up as high as it would go. On each of those occassions, I had then gone to check the furnace and had found the gas pilot light was out… so then I would go wake my mother and she would light the pilot and then set the thermostat back down to normal while the house filled with heat.

I had assumed that the furnace was faulty, although I had briefly wondered how the thermostat kept getting turned all the way up each time the “faulty” pilot light went out. Maybe, I had thought, one of my preschool siblings was turning it up when the house got cold? Although I had also wondered how any of them could reach that high, or how they could go out into the hall and turn up the thermostat without me seeing or hearing them.

But now my mother was telling me that she had been putting out the pilot light on purpose and then turning the thermostat up as high as it would go, in an attempt to fill the house with gas so that we would all die in our sleep.

“I brought the five of you kids into the world, so I have the right to take you kids out of the world,” my mother said. “And since life is so hard, I think I would be doing all of you a favor. But apparently this new furnace has a safety shut-off valve built into it. I have been trying to override it and the last time, I thought for sure I had it figured out. But it still didn’t work, so then my plan was to drive us all off a cliff. That’s why I told you to get everyone dressed and out into the car the other day, so we could go for a ride. But I changed my mind at the last minute, because I thought that would be a painful way to die, and anyway, I can’t think of any high enough cliffs around here…”

I felt like a big part of my soul died when my mother confessed that she had tried, multiple times, to kill us all! I have had a lot of therapy over the years and I’ve done a tremendous amount of healing. But there is still a part of me that feels permanently scarred. At 61, I am afraid I will never completely get rid of the wound of knowing that my own mother actually tried to kill me, and my siblings.

After my mother told me her terrible confession, she waited with an expectant look on her face for me to respond. I knew from 12 years of experience that I needed to say exactly the right words, in exactly the right way, and with exactly the right tone of voice, or else she might slap me, or worse. But… what is a 12-year-old supposed to SAY to something like that?

As my numb, shocked, terrified little-girl brain scrambled for the “right” response, the only thing that came to my mind was a form of denial — although I didn’t know anything about denial, way back then. I was brought up in church, so a Biblically-based response is what came to my mind. This is what I said, “But Mother, you know how it says in the Bible that Christ was tempted in all ways, but without ever committing a sin? That means it isn’t a sin to be tempted to do something bad, it is only a sin if you actually do it. You did not really kill us…. so that means you did not sin!”

I was wrong, of course. My mother did in fact sin very grievously, as it was only the safety valve on the furnace that had kept us all from being killed! But bear in mind that I was only 12 and I had just heard one of the worst things a child could ever hear. I wanted it to Not Be True. I wanted my mother to NOT REALLY have tried to KILL us! But the fact is, she was no less guilty of murdering all of us than she would have been if there were no safety shut off valve and we had all died.

Here is something else that seemed really bizarre to me at the time. When I told my mother that she was not guilty of sinning, because we were still alive, I expected her to be happy to hear that. She had started off the conversation by saying she needed to get something off her chest that was bothering. So if it was really bothering her — if she was feeling guilty, in other words — shouldn’t my words have made her feel better about herself?

But rather than being pleased by my answer, my mother was FURIOUS! She looked at me with PURE HATRED in her eyes, and she has treated me as though she hates my guts, ever since.

It wasn’t until very recently that I finally figured out WHY my mother HATED my response to her confession of multiple attempted murder. Actually, my therapist came up with a possible reason for her furious reaction, and as soon as he suggested it, I knew he was right. He said that my mother must have wanted me to agree that she had the right to take us all out of the world, since she had brought us into it! She wanted me to say something like: Oh, yes, Mother, you are right, and I am sure we would all be better off dead, like you wish!

Weirdest of all, my mother has complained many times over the years about the mean things her own mother did to her. Yet the things her mother did to her were nothing by comparison. I’m talking about stupid petty complaints, like her mother trying to make her eat foods that she disliked. HELLO — if a mother has the right to kill her children by virtue of the fact that she brought into the world, doesn’t it stand to reason that her own mother had the right to feed her child garbage, if she so desired?

In the Malignant Narcissist’s world, No One but the MN has any rights. Not even the right to LIVE, if the MN decides they should die.

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The comment I wrote 2 and a half days ago, comment number 202 posted on November 17 at 3:48 pm, posted immediately. But the comment I just tried to post on Pam W’s new post, is apparently being held for moderation. I think holding comments for moderation is an excellent idea. I just don’t understand why my comment here posted right away, and not my comment on the newest blog is not? I had told myself that I was silly to feel unwelcome on Darlene’s blog. Maybe I wasn’t so silly after all? Or maybe new comments on a brand new blog only are held for moderation? I will find out when I hit “submit comment.” If this comment does not post, if the comment count stays at 202, then I will know. And I won’t be back.

If that sounds paranoid, that’s just because you haven’t lived my life.

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Alaina Adams aka @LadyQuixote,

Darlene is away for a week. Pam W is moderating the blog while she is gone, if I understand & remember correctly.

I don’t know if you have had difficulty on this blog before, but my best guess is that Pam is being cautious. I don’t know how it is determined which posts are held for moderation, but I’m also guessing that there is software involved that scans for trigger words or something.

I can understand how you feel if you’ve been mistreated as most of us here have been. I hope you come back at least long enough to see if there is an explanation for the delay in your posts.

Hobie

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Hi Alaina, did you see Darlene left you a post on the blog in question explaining the glitch for your post? All is well, great post you wrote over there btw! Thanks for sharing!

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There is a recent story about a Mother who killed her learning disabled son and his infant daughter. It is do disturbing and it looks like it was all about her thinking she had the right at this man’s mother to control his life or even take it if she deemed he would be better off dead. It is very sad that people like this don’t have their ideas about their rights as a parent challenged before they go this far.

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2014/12/15/records-show-sylvia-majewska-accomplished-artist-controlling-mother/20415819/

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Those last two paragraphs…YES! thank you for this blog!

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It’s a war . Targeted children never really live , no matter how old they get or if they die at a young age. No, they don’t get help. People in the upper class of society don’t want them in the world in the first place. Lower class society has become a breeding world for the most sadistic and heartless. Middle class society is crazy.They’re the blind ones! They actually think that as long as they live a descent healthy life that their future generations will thrive forever. Did I mention it’s a war . “We don’t want any of you here and sooner or later you’ll die out .” A sadist is a very sick person . There isn’t a cure . You should see the disease for what it is . It’s in every part of society. You will yell at your children when you have no way out and no help. You might not ever beat them or even leave a mark on them,but you will at the very least yell at them . When your spouse has your children to mock you , call you names ,and even pull a knife out on you , no matter how good natured you are you will say or do something that you swore you would never do . Forcing a child to consume something is not what I’m talking about . That IS the evil brain disease . Planned assault. I don’t care how it appears to be spontaneous IT WAS NOT! If your married to the devil you already lost your children . If you are the target they are weapons. You can spend fifteen years or more trying to
be a good parent . You cannot ask how their day was , you get hateful responses just for asking . That’s what it is like for one of the targeted when they are all grown up . Their parents , siblings , extended family members and all of their friends ( you never really have any) and then your very own children and then grandchildren if you don’t become a hermit or die.

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