Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Roger Dean Kiser

by Roger Dean Kiser
(Brunswick, Georgia, USA)

It is really cold tonight, I thought as I pulled on the pieces of plastic and cardboard I was using as bed covers for the night.


I shivered and I shook for hours and hours as I lay inside that large green, rusty garbage dumpster behind one of the restaurants at the Southgate Plaza Shopping Center in Jacksonville, Florida. I was a big boy now. I had turned 12 years old several weeks before and could already smoke a whole pack of cigarettes by myself without choking or coughing, just like a grown up man.

"God, it's cold this time!" I said aloud.

I heard my voice echo off the sides of the dumpster and it sounded very neat to me.

"HELLOOOOOO," I said so I could hear my own echo again. "God bless America, land that I love," I sang as loud as I could.

I sound pretty darn good, I thought as I continued to sing aloud. "Stand beside her and guide her, from the land to the land of the land."

"GOD! It’s really cold," I said again.

I dug a hole further down through the garbage and began to cover myself with food and hundreds of cartons, which had been thrown away during the day. All of a sudden, I heard something scratching inside the dumpster.

OH GOD, I hope that's not another big rat! I thought.

A large rat had bitten me several weeks earlier over on Riverside Avenue when I had slept in a dumpster behind the large, red brick church.

I took out my package of matches, struck one and held it forward. Sitting directly in front of me was a large, black cat with big, green, shiny eyes. He flipped his tail several times and just sat there looking at me.

"MEOW," he said.

"Are you hungry?" I asked.

"Meow."

I reached over and found the container which held four, half-eaten tacos. I’d found them when I first arrived at the dumpster. Carefully, I unwrapped the tacos and removed bits of hamburger. I laid the meat out on a cardboard box next to me. The cat slowly moved over and began to eat the meat. I finished off the lettuce, tomato and cheese, and threw away the taco shells, because they had coffee grounds all over the outside. Then I reached up, closed the dumpster lid and laid down, trying to keep myself warm. The cat moved over next to me and curled up by my neck. I began to pet his back and he started making a sound like he had a little motor inside him.

"Do you like me?" I asked.

"Meow."

"I like you too," I said as I hugged him real hard.

"WHO'S IN THERE?" hollered someone from outside of the dumpster.

The lid slowly opened and I saw a large, black man standing there with a gun in his hand.

"What you do in there?" he asked me, shaking the gun around.

"I was just sleeping, sir," I said.

"Where you live?"

"I live in the orphanage over on Spring Park Road by San Diego."

"Why ain't you there then? You a runaway?" he asked.

I lowered my head and remained very silent. He raised his flashlight from the ground and shone it onto the dumpster.

"Let me sees your face," said the black man.

I covered my eyes and raised my head.

"Moves your hand, boy," he ordered.

I lowered my hand and looked directly at the light.

"How comes you got a black eye?"

I said nothing.

"How long you been coming outs here anyway?"

Still I said nothing.

"You all alone in there?"

"No, sir. There's a black cat in here with me," I replied. "He's my friend."

"You leave that damn cat in there and youse get out here real slow like."

I reached over and picked up the only friend I had in the world, held him in my arms and began to climb out of the large garbage can.

"You dont's listen very well, do you boy?"

I continued climbing out of the dumpster with the large black cat in my arms. When I reached the ground, I hugged the cat and turned to face the large, black man holding the gun.

"You sure stink," he said, waving his hand about his nose. "How long since you had a bath?"

"I washed yesterday at the gas station.”

He waved his gun to the side and told me to get in his old pickup truck.

"I gotta keep my cat. He's my friend."

"Put him in the truck," he ordered with a strange smile on his face.

He placed the gun in his pocket and climbed into the old truck. He reached over and pushed open the passenger door so the cat and I could enter. I climbed in and off we drove. About half an hour later, we arrived at an old house somewhere in Jacksonville. I had never been to the black part of town, so I had no idea where I was. When we walked in the house, he pointed at a woman, and asked her to get him a towel and some soap. He took me by the arm, led me into the bathroom and told me to get in the tub to take a bath.

"That don't means no gas station washing," he said, pointing at me with his finger.

I sat the cat down on the floor, and the woman came in with a towel and laid it down on the toilet. I took a hot bath and washed very well with real soap. When I was all done, I dressed, picked up my cat and walked back to the front room. The couch and chair were full of holes and the windows had sheets for curtains. I remember that part very well, 'cause I had never seen anything like that before.

"Have him take his shirt off, Bill," said the woman.

"Take off your shirt," ordered the man.

I sat the cat down on the couch, stood up and began to remove my dirty shirt.

"Turns around," said the woman spinning her finger at me in a twirling motion.

I turned slowly around and stood with my back toward them.

"You right. Someone done got this boy," said the woman.

"Who done got you?" asked the large man.

I just stood there with my head down, looking at the black cat, which had laid down in one of the large holes in the couch.

"Who do this to you, boy?" asked the woman.

I stood there silently and did not want to answer any questions. I knew very well what they were talking about. Two weeks before, I had been caught eating a box of raisins. We boys had taken it out of the orphanage pantry, while washing dishes from the dining room. Mrs. W, the head matron, had beaten me on the breezeway porch with a stalk of bamboo, because I would not tell her who took the raisins out of the locked pantry. The black man walked over to me and placed his large hand on the back of my neck.

"You hungry, boy?" he asked.

"No, sir. I had some tacos earlier tonight."

"You gonna eat anyway."

We walked into the small kitchen and sat down at the table, which only had two chairs. I do not exactly know what it was that I ate that night and I do not know if I ever want to know. However, it was hot, it was good and it did not have coffee grounds stuck all over it. I stayed the night with the man and his wife. I slept on that couch with the big old holes in it, and it felt warm and good. The next day, the man drove the cat and me back to the dumpster at Southgate Plaza. He handed me four whole dollars and a bag full of corn bread.

"This kind of life is better than the orphanage?" he asked.

I opened the truck door, picked up my black cat and I said not a word. I closed the door behind me and turned around to face him. I stood there kissing my cat on the back of his neck as the man shook his head and drove away.

Though I succeeded in life; many of the children ended up in prison, became drug addicts, alcoholics or committed suicide. Though I am now sixty-two years old; I have never forgotten my years of never-ending abuse in that Jacksonville, Florida orphanage.

More information about this author can be found at Roger Dean Kiser

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Bob

by Bob
(Connecticut, USA)

My Childhood in a Nutshell: 
I was 11. My abuser was 17. He offered me cigarettes and friendship. I didn't know what it was he wanted me to do. He asked me to take down my pants and he preformed oral acts on my penis. I was UN-aroused, and to my knowledge, I had never had an erection till I got older. Now I knew what I had to do for cigs & friendship.

After a few days—maybe weeks went by—I didn't want to do this anymore and told him to stop. He did "Thank God". But why did God let this happen to me?
Did I do something wrong?
I must be a bad Boy!
SHUT THE DOOR.
Keep every one out.
Hide.
Don't tell anyone.
Years go by.

I'm 28.
My older brother tells me his son was raped by a Boy Scout leader.
My first confession...
I tell my brother to shut up don't talk about it it's bad for his son, this happened to me!
Now the wheels in my mind start to turn.

A few months later for some strange reason, my abuser reappears in front of my eyes for the first time in all these years.
STOP, DANGER, RUN, HIDE, KILL HIM, KILL ME...
I only knew this had to stop.
I got professional help.

After 3 months of some intense psy help and opening the doors, telling my story to my loved ones, I'm on the road to freedom. I am now 52 years old. I live a good life but, from time to time, I have a visit of my past when I read a newspaper or hear a news report. I think time is a good healer, but it never goes away completely.

Bob

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Child Abuse Story ofHealing and Recovery From Mik

by Mik
(Northern Ireland)

Sisters United: 
I've been lucky. I'm now 40. I was sexually abused by my brother aged 8-9. I can't remember when I told my parents, I've blocked it out, it was some time during my 20's but they chose to not deal with it & still let him away with all his crap. He still emotionally damages me and only last month told me I'm spoilt and selfish. I'd like to disown him but I did it before and it only caused more hassle with parents/wider family gatherings etc. Anyway the reason I'm lucky is I have a great understanding and accepting husband. But I also found a 'sister' who was abused by her brother and together we have grown in confidence, strength and self esteem. We even have a special day on May 12th every year (the date we disclosed our secrets) and we go out and spoil each other. She also has issues of anger towards her mother for not protecting her or punishing her son. This is why I'm so lucky as I've found my mirror image who feels what I feel & makes the road ahead lighter & brighter. I hope someone out there is as lucky as me to find a sister to unite with against the world xo




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Laurie

by Laurie
(Huntsville, Alabama, USA)

When freedom came! 
I was 12 years old when freedom finally arrived at my house. My brothers (18 years, 14 years old) and sisters (17 years, 16 years, and 9 years old) had endured years of abuse from my father, and a couple of family members as well.

My dad drove a truck to support our family. Then one day, he just didn't work at all. At this time, my mother had to learn to drive (at age 40 years) in order to support us. There were many times I remember growing up that we didn't have electricity, food, essentials to live day to day

We were a devout Catholic family. Our dad was an enforcer in many ways, physically, mentally, verbally. So, I did what I was told. There was a vivid sense of "fear" surrounding my dad.

In a family of six children, I was next to the youngest child. I remember when the very first incident of abuse happened. My dad had always called me his favorite...he asked me to come back into the living room after everyone had gone to bed. I believe at that time I was around 5-6 years old. I entered the living room at 1:00 a.m. My dad was waiting in the dark, but had the T.V. still on, although the channels were "off", there was nothing but white snow on the tube. He began touching me in my private areas. I felt at that very moment that I was drifting into the white snow. (Survival mode, I guess.) I removed myself from what was happening to me! This is a small depiction of that very moment when my young life had stopped and a different one began.

I am a survivor of physical, sexual, and emotional child abuse. Freedom rang one day in the late 70's for us, when my 16-year-old sister told the school counsellor what was happening at our home. Although it was extremely hard for all of us, my dad was forced to leave our home. I believe that saved my life!!

Presently, I am a parent of 3. I can't begin to tell you what my story of survival means to me, and what it means to be able to share it; it's what we need to do.

THANK YOU for caring!! We can make it to a place where there's peace by always looking for that foundation and just believing that "God" had a plan. I used to question God and get so very angry, "How can you do this to me, us??!!" The Footprints in the Sand poem carried me over for many years after. (Read it!) The lessons learned from my childhood have painfully helped me to look twice over my shoulder; to listen and educate my children and those around us. It took years before my repressed memories surfaced; I thought I was going "crazy" and then it made sense. Our minds have a way of cleaning house at some given point.

I pray that those reading this, and other abuse websites, will reach out to those in need, and stop, look, and listen! DON'T turn and run. All it takes is "someone" that we can build "trust" in: A friend or guidance counsellor at school...and they too will open their arms to receive you and hold you. You are "SOMEONE" that cares!!

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Laurie" are at the link below.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From a Girl Named Dianne

by Jessica
(USA)

I am the youngest of 4 siblings. My parents were divorced when they tried to get back together. I was a product of them tring to get back together. My parents relatinship didn't last very much longer after I was born. My father left after he came home early from work and found her in bed with another man. My mom didn't let my dad see us, so he left and never paid child support. My mother turned to drinking and died when I was 5. My sisters and I went to live with an Aunt that I dind't know very well. My brother went into a boys home. My sisters stayed with me for about 6 months and than got adopted by foster parents. My father regained contact with me when I was 11, He passed away when I was 14. He got remarried and had 3 kids with his new wife.

When I was 10 years old, when my uncle first started the abuse. First it was just touching my privates. By the time I was 12, he was having sex with me vaginally and annally. He made me give him oral sex. Along with the sexual abuse, he verbally and physically abuse me also. He controled every part of my life.

My Aunt worked midnight shift so it was a perfect set up for him to abuse me. I told a very good friend of mine when I was 14, she told her mom and I was interviewed by child protective services. They brought allegations against him, but left me in the house as the legal process took place. My uncle promised me that if I dropped the case that he would never touch me again. I dropped the case and the abuse stopped for about 2 months. Than the abuse got alot worse. He raped me more often, he called me very nasty names and hit me while he was raping me. He told me that he could do anything to me now that I recanted my story no one would believe me. At the age of 15, I became pregnant. He gave me some pills and I expelled the baby. The abuse got so bad that I could feel a piece of me die each time he raped me. I finally decided that if I couldn't get away from him I would kill myself. We lived on a busy 2 lane highway, and I was going to step infront of a mac truck.

I wrote a letter to my step-mom, she called me and asked me if what I wrote was true. I said it was. She helped run away the very next day. We had to go to the police and charges were pressed against him. We went to court and he was found guilty, but only served 1 month. Taking that step started the healing process. To control me he repeatedly told me that no one would believe me, especially since I recanted my story once. I believed him until the judge found him guilty. It was hard to testify in court, but I had to do it. I didn't want another one of his victims to come to me asking me why I didn't do anything to stop him. I found out a few years ago that I wasn't the only one he raped. He raped at least 2 of his other step-daughters from different wives, one of them being my own cousin.

I changed my name when I was 17, thinking it would change my life leaving everything bad behind me. I went on to be very sexually active with many different guys. I met my husband when I was 17 1/2. I married him when I was 18. My husband is my protector. He is a police officer and we have been married for 27 years. We tried for years to have a child of our own, but we stopped trying after 2 tubal pregnancies and 2 miscarraiges. I was 5 months pregnant when we lost our daughter. My husband knows about the abuse and helps me deal with all the issues I deal with on a daily basis. It makes me feel bad that he has to deal with this, I believe he deserves better. I have been in therapy for 7 years now. I deal with depression and PTSD. I am on anti-depressants and will take them for the rest of my life. I was overwieght most of my adult life. I had the gastri-by-pass 4 years ago and lost about 90 pounds. I still struggle with my weight and food. But, I still am skinnier than I ever have been.

I know now that none of the abuse was my fault. It happened because of a very sick perverted man had very sick thoughts and acted on those thoughts. He chose me becasue I did't have anyone to protect me and I was an easy target. I have problems trusting people and if someone betrays my trust, I don't want them in my life. I still wonder why I had to go thru what I did. I wonder what I would be like, if I wasn't abused. I want the innocence back that was ripped from me by a very evil man. It brought me happiness when I heard that my Uncle passed away from throat cancer. First thought was at least he can't hurt any more little girls and my nightmare of him showing up on my door-step ended.

I have made great strides in my life. I have recently graduated college, have a full time respectable job, a very healthy marraige, an adopted son who I adore. My husband and I are more finacially secure than our parents. When I was growing up, I never thought I would be this happy or have as much in life as I do. I know I have more work to do, but I know that I am worthy of the happiness.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Kristopher

by Kris
(Sacramento, California, USA)

I read some of these stories and I feel a closeness with these people. I lived and was brought up in a middle class Christian home. From what I can remember in my childhood was that you lived a normal life until you heard dad's truck pull into the driveway from work. That one little sound changed everything. A wall of fear instantly went up, my brothers and I would retreat to our bedrooms quickly and the house would be dead silent. So quiet you could literally hear my fathers key sliding into the keyhole at the front door.

If you were caught passing him by in the living room or hall you would say hi dad but you would get a look that had no expression. As you passed by you would feel the hair stand up on your neck and it seemed to all be in slow motion. If anything was said it was him wanting to know if I had done anything that day to contribute to the home. At this age I was usually out playing army with my friends on the block. He would go to my mother looking for any wrong doings that may have happened on that day. My mother was a very strong christian woman, she would not lie to my father if he had asked. I do remember her trying to lighten it a bit but that never worked. If I had done something or got into any trouble at school he would find me where ever I was in the house and point his finger at me and motion with his finger to follow him. I as always followed and did what I was told. I usually ended up in the garage or out in the backyard. I would be asked about the day and knowing he already knew I would share it again. My father would then give me his pocket knife, the pocket knife was for me to go and cut off a switch "tree branch" from one of the many tree's in the yard. In obedience I did just that and would hand both the knife and the switch to him. Usually after that before you know anything the switch is flying all over your body. I got the switch at least two to three times a week. I was also followed with a switch while mowing the lawn. If I ran over a rock or twig with the lawnmower the back of my legs would know it immediately. I was ADHD growing up and was on ritilin many years. I know later in my years I began to get mouthy with the beatings. A few times I was picked up by the neck only to wake up on the ground.

My cousin and I once went into my fathers garage to use some tools to build a fort in the backyard. Apparently we left one of the tools in the yard and so I was to join him in the garage once again. He asked me to close the garage and so I did. When I turned back around my father had a hand gun in his hand. He walked up to me and put the gun into my mouth. He asked if I had been in the garage and I answered "we only wanted to make a fort" with the gun being cocked back I was told that If I ever went into his things that he would kill me and he would bury me under the garage and when the police came looking for me that he would turn on the crocodile tears saying he wants his boy back, please find my boy. I never got into his things again. Lesson learned I guess.

Looking back.... Being punched or kicked in the stomach was just normal. The welted and bloody legs were normal we thought. I can remember being in a room with my brothers and us sharing who had the most blood spilled or the darkest bruises.
With all the beatings I took as a child I still remember there was one worst thing, That was to watch or listen to your siblings screaming. I would have so taken their place if I could back then. The other worst part is the things I still feel. The pounding into my head and my brothers that we were nothings. We were worthless we were only in his way and took things from his life because he had to buy us food or clothes. I still hear that voice once in awhile that I can't doing anything because I am stupid and worthless.
My father was always a very bitter man and he held onto grudges for life. I knew he had an abusive father growing up himself. His mother was dying of cancer and his father was abusive to the bed ridden mother. Stories say when my father tried to protect his mother he got beaten down good.

The only thing I can think of and what I did that started the healing was to forgive my father. I did that 18 years ago and from there on my father began to change. I began to hear things like he was proud of me or he loved me. I ended up with two daughters that he cherished and showered with love and positive words. My daughters loved him and only knew him as a kind and gentle person.

People do change and people do break chains. In 18 years I have never laid an angry hand on my children nor have they ever heard a hateful or painful remark towards them from me. So.....Me forgiving my father, is that what changed him? I don't know. But sometimes that's all it takes is for someone to hear or feel a kind gesture that they may just have never heard before. Reminds me of the story of the small mouse who pulled the thorn out of the lion's paw. That one act of kindness Changed everything.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Annmarie

by Annmarie
(Illinois, USA)

Innocent Evil: 
Darlene and everyone out there, I am not a child. I am 55 years old but I was abused by my step-mother after my real mother died when I was only three until I was 18. Then I left home and did what a lot of abused girls did, I married an abusive man. I've been in treatment ever since my husband died in a car accident 18 years ago. With the help of God and two wonderful therapists and lots of time in a psych hospital (weeks at a time) I can't say I'm cured I still burn myself (1 or 2 times a month but that's better than 10-15 times a day).I broke the cycle and never abused my daughter. I can't say I am cured but I am much better than I was. Maurice Gives excellent advice when he tells you to join some kind of sports team so you get to be with people you trust but sometimes because of our injuries that's not possible. I want to give another suggestion. Write, like you do to Darlene. Write just for yourself, Write for a writing group, or write to get published it doesn't matter. I haven't decided if I'm going to try to get mine published. But I keep thinking how much a Child Called It by David Pelzer helped me, knowing he could make it and thinking maybe I could help someone else by sharing mine. I'll share one page with you. This one happened when I was 7 years old and already had epilepsy from being hit by a softball bat. It's late one weekend morning.

I ran home through the snow so that I would get home in time to make lunch for everyone. When I got in the door I looked through the kitchen door and saw, with relief, the clock said only 11:15. plenty of time to rewarm the vegetable soup I had made yesterday and put together bologna sandwiches for all of us by 12. But all of a sudden my Mother Dearest was there screaming at me. At first I couldn't even understand what she was saying. Then I did. She was yelling that I would have lunch late and that I was getting the floor that I had just scrubbed on my hands and knees earlier that morning wet. "Take your clothes off" she demanded. I started removing my outer clothes and taking them to the closet, where they belonged. She stopped me, snarling, I said all your clothes, bitch!

Humilated by having to undress in front in front of her and in such a public place (just inside the back door) I turned my back on her and started to undress, slowly removing my undershirt.

CRACK A heavy object connected with my body at the same time I heard it. An excrutiating pain in the small of my back radiated down the back of my right leg and traveled up my spine. My knees buckled causing me to fall to the floor. It felt like the weight of the neighbors old tree branch that had fallen on the roof last year. Not sure what had hit me, I started to rise and saw myself in the reflection of the kitchen window. Mother Dearest towered over me with a large cast iron skillet. She was lifting it to strike again and screaming "Next time you'll..."

I stopped paying attention to what she was screaming when I started concentrating on something else happening outside the window. Dad had walked across the backyard from the detached garage and come up the back steps. Stopping when he heard the noise coming from the inside he peered in the kitchen window just in time to see the second strike, He turned and went down the stairs, around to the front of the house. Mother Dearest managed three more strikes, each one harder than the next, before the front door opened. I tried not to cry, knowing that would make her even angrier.

Entereing the door , Dad made a point of making lots of noise, screaming hello and slamming the door.

Playing her part, Mother Dearest immediately stopped hitting me and put the skillet on the stove, like she was making lunch, even though they both knew I made all the meals. She looked at me with humor in her eyes, saying softly and kindly, "Ann why don't you go to your room to change clothes. instead of here in the kitchen."

Looking at my Dad, she went on "That daughter of your's has no modesty." And then they both laughed.

Putting the hurt. on paper, at least for me, makes it hurt a little less, because then I can share it to help someone else know they're not alone, or then I can shred it or burn it or destroy it any way I want. Or I can rewrite it to make the story end any way I want. Just an idea.




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Anonymous2

by Anonymous
(Canada)

My Journey to Healing: 
My path of Life is going where I always dreamed it would go. For years I was so withdrawn and had walls so high around me. Now they are slowly coming down and I am becoming the lady I truly wanted to be all my life.

It began when I was 14 years old. My mind flooding with memories as to what happened to me as a child of only 5 years old. Being sexually abused by an uncle whom I never got along with for some reason and resented being around him. He would threatened at first about telling if he took my money as a child, then later on, before I recalled anything that happened, I just didn't like him.

After the first memories came to me, I tried to talk to my grandmother, whom I lived with for years after my mother sent us to live with her for awhile. Why we had to live with them, I didn't ask until years later, but I recall many night awakening to my mother's parties in the small apartment we lived in.

One night, after knowing what happened to me and trying to talk to my grandmother, she didn't want to hear about those kinds of things. In our family, bad things were just not talked about at all. They were swept under the carpet and never to be heard of again. Well, being as stubborn as I was, I told my friends, who listened when nobody in my family would. So as this went on in our family, I turned to drinking at 14 years old.

One night, my uncle came home intoxicated. I awoke to him trying to get under my covers. I reached under my pillow to grab the knife that I placed there because I'd had this awful feeling that something was going to happen...and it almost did. Once I had that knife in my hand, I just swung it like crazy and yelled for him to get out. I was so scared that I got dressed and left the house to go to my friend's. I started drinking again. Drinking to forget what almost happened again.

The very next day, my grandmother found me and brought me home. She let me sleep it off, but came in to ask why I did what I did. I began to tell her what I remembered months before when I tried to talk to her and she wouldn't listen. Then how he tried it again just the night before. She didn't believe me at all. What did she do?? She went to buy me a one-way ticket to live with my mother, who had already moved north from where we were at the time.

When I went to live with her and told her the reason why I was there, she had taken in what I told her and again, resumed her drinking. And so began another life with living with my mother again. We did live with her for a short time in Grade 9, but even then, as she worked two jobs to make ends meet, she would have her parties.

I too, resumed my drinking with my friends who were more my cousins. I partied to forget. Looking back on it now, I see that I was going to live the same lifestyle my family did, drink to forget.

So this went on for a year and a half. The abuse was finally taken seriously when CAS heard what I was doing and wanted to take my statement. So after running around town for months until I hit 16 and they could not send me to a detention centre, I was finally caught after turning 16 years old. Even then, when they got the statement and it went to court, he got away with it all. It was only after it all went to court that the other children he got to, which were 4 other children that hung around together, came to tell me they too were abused by him. Yet they did not come out to tell the truth until after the court date.

I held so much hatred towards this man who was my uncle, but I considered him dead to me.

Yet I was deeply frustrated with my family for not believing me at all.

Being 16 and wild in my own ways, I rebelled, partied and did what I did. I still went to school and got good grades and all. Then I got pregnant which was the best thing that could have happened to me. Pregnant at the age of 16 and had him when I was 17 years old. Best as is knowing then that my mother had finally been a part of my life, a part by being sober most of the first year of his life. Sure she partied from time to time, but she was there for my child. She did great as the grandma that spoiled the grandchild. Yet she was still not there for me when I really needed her the most, for me to be heard and understood.

Life was like this for the longest time with her. I understand where she came from in being a single mom, raising two children on her own, for I became the same person with that lifestyle when I became a single mom of two children. Only I knew that I would not send my children away to live with some other family member while I partied it up. I didn't let my social life get the best of me. I wanted my children to have a better life. I wanted them to have what I didn't. Having my first son's father choose his booze over his own blood made me rethink what I wanted for my kids, so I left him. He had the choice of booze or his son, and he chose the first. So I moved on and later had my second son two years later. After being physically, mentally and emotionally abused in that relationship after the birth of his son, I left him too, on assault charges and moved back home where I knew I would be safe...safe for my children and myself, especially after knowing he was going to come after me for his son and be sorry for what I did. My mom was there again, but still she drank with her friends. But she was around for my children.

I don't hold her responsible for any shortcomings in my life. I know I made my bed and I am laying it in now with my head held high. I'm proud that I was a young mom. If it were not for my kids, I would probably be down a different road living a negative lifestyle based all on anger, resentment and hatred towards family members who were never there for me as a child.

So how did my journey come to be? Life has its ups and downs, and yes, as discouraging as it can be at times, there are certain "people that come into one's life and quickly go...some stay awhile and leave footprints in our hearts and we're never the same after that." And with knowing that, after reading it somewhere, it stayed with me.

There was this one lady who really helped me for the short time that she was in my life. Even with all the counselling I have been through, it was her that really helped me to understand that I experienced so much grief in my life, and that I now had to come to terms with that grief, each individually through the Grief Recovery Program—a 12-week program. Attending this program has allowed me to complete a history loss graph of all the losses in my life. It was during the first day that I learned there are more then 40 different losses one goes through in life. That got my attention.

The Grief Recovery Program has helped me so much these past few weeks that I would recommend it to others to take. The time and process is well worth it all, and even though there are rough patches in the process, it call becomes clear in the end.

I now see myself becoming the lady I always wanted to be. Even though I am still dealing with many other issues with my family and what I have gone through, I am on my way to a better life. Even though I was abused, I see myself more as a survivor who went beyond what one would expect.

I have two handsome teenage boys who made me want to be a better person. I now have a fiance who loves me for me and knows all what I have been through. After two diplomas and working on a third, I supervise two childcare programs and have a better relationship with my children than I did as a child, all the while, for the past 15 years, doing it sober. Sure I have a girl's night out with my friends, but never do I go home and have the kind of parties that my mom had in front of my kids. I hated that as a child, and don't wish that upon my children. Moreso, I have a partner who prefers to spend quality family time at home with the kids (kids that are not his, either, for that matter) and do it sober.

And I can proudly say that I will be getting married in a year to my fiance who knows all this and still loves me for me and who I've become.

Life throws many things in ones' direction, but if you take it on with good friends, support and those special people who stay awhile and leave those footprints in your heart, support you in all you do, want to do and become, it's all worthwhile in the end.

Everything is going to be alright!

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Anonymous" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Cindy K

by Cindy
(Location Undisclosed)

Physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse: 
My abuse started as a child around 3-8 years old. I too did not tell cause I didnt know that was going on until I was 10-12 years old (my sister and I both abuse).

I am not so sure I healed from the abuse due to not seeking any kind of therapy from my mom. I have a different look out of life than most loving kids had when they were growing up, I had to be careful who I trusted, could not make friends easily because I felt ashamed, guilty, weird.

I have a strong sense into children's eyes that tell me they are going through some kind of abuse.

For me it's over and now 51 years old and I am the same way about making friends, trusting, and men/boyfriend were difficult for me to enter act with them.

As I grew up I became a mother of mother of two (boy - girl) and I had to stay home with them because I couldn't work due to the fear of someone not loving them like I did.

I cried and told my mom I cant trust anybody to watch my kids so I can work, we were so poor and my husband was doing the best he could (I never told him about the abuses)to provide for us.

I believe this abuse helped me to know to take the right road: no drinking, drugs, education (1 year). It seems like I have a strong sense of character in people.

For starters if you were abused as a child, don't dwell on the abuse and make a promise to never let this happen to your child/children when you get married, protect, protect and protect until your children are old enough to do it for themselves.

Oh I am so sorry for you and my heart goes out to you!

Love Cindy K




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Hannah

by Hannah
(Arkansas, USA)

I've written before to tell my story of healing from Anonymous from Arizona, which isn't where I live. It's actually Arkansas, but I've grown lot since then.

My older male cousin sexually molested me from second grade to fourth grade. I have now been out of high school for 2 years.

This summer I went to a retreat just like the one I went to when I disclosed my past on this site last November, 2007. This time I had been asked to be a leader in my youth group called 180 remix. I was dealing with a lot of pain from the abuse. I had flashbacks at random times and I could literally feel him abusing me. It hurt so bad, and I was sick of it. I'm not an emotional person in front of people for fear of being made fun of or something. I used to keep everything all bottled up, but thanks to God and my friend, Greg, who's been like a big brother, I'm ok with some emotion.

A week before the retreat, I went to Greg and told him about the flashbacks returning and how at times it hurt to even be touched. That was all I got out before I burst into tears. He prayed for me and fought spiritual battles for me. He held me and let me cry on him. Then he said to tell God what I wanted out of the retreat. I did. I wanted to end every flashback and never feel him violating me again. God made it happen at the retreat called Coram Deo, which is Latin for 'face to face with God.'

One night while during worship, God came down to our level. Everyone could feel Him. Our youth pastor told us to ask god to help us in the areas that we really needed Him. I did, and I cried loudly but couldn't stop. It was the tears that needed to be shed for everything that happened.

That was three months ago, and yes I still remember what happened, but there's no pain, no fear, nothing. I'm a leader for a junior high group and I'm ready to help other girls get through their pain like I have. I really truly hope this helps someone. God loves everyone and it kills him when people make choices to hurt his kids.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Hannah" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Christy

by Christy
(Kansas City, USA)

Things I've Learned from My Life: 
I was physically abused by my dad as I was growing up. I was the oldest of 4
kids. He got mad at anything and everything, but mostly I think he was
frustrated by his inability to make an adequate living for his family and he
took it out on me. I hated my father for years. My mother used me as her
personal maid. I cleaned her entire house thoroughly on a daily basis
and did loads of ironing for her. I cooked all of the meals from the time I was
in 7th grade until I graduated from high school and left home. I often felt that
I had no one to turn to. We moved every couple of years, so friends came and
went. I never felt consistently loved or valued as I was growing up. Despite
their treatment of me, I still loved my parents..doesn't that sound strange??

Just a few years ago, I found out that when I left home at 18, my dad began hitting my younger sister who was 10 at the time. Dad never hit my 2 brothers who were in between my sister and I. Pretty sad, eh?

I've had some therapy, but the biggest difference in my life is what I learned in nursing school . We had life lectures twice per week for an entire year by a
psychologist. One thing that she said made a huge impact on me.. She told me
that no matter what happened in our growing up years, we didn't have to repeat
the mistakes of our parents. We could steer our own ship the way we wanted
to.

After thinking about it..and having a "ah ha" moment, I took this psychologist's advice.

I made many positive changes in my life and I am
proud.

1. At 19, I distanced myself from my father never again allowing myself to be hit. I
didn't get close to my father again for 41 years when I took good care of him in his
last 8 months of life once my mother had died. I chose to forgive him..but never
forgot. I finally forgave my father when I was in my early 50's. I was typing
his autobiography for him and he was sitting beside me waiting for it to be
done. I calmly asked him what HE had experienced as far as abuse when he was
growing up. I told him that I hadn't deserved it. My stoic father ran from the
room crying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry". That is when I forgave him, though I can
never forget the terror.

2. I raised my daughter with lots of love. She was given reasonable
responsibilities but never made to clean my entire house nor cook all of the
evening meals. I never used emotional blackmail nor physical punishment on her
to force her to do what I wanted her to do. She always knew she was loved and we
are close today. And, she turned out well. She is a happy woman. I am
grateful. I broke the cycle of abuse.

3. When confronted with an abusive personality/person in my life now...I distance
myself from that person. I figure that life is short, so why be around miserable
people who love to put me down or degrade or humiliate me. Sadly, my younger
sister is emotionally non-supportive of me and frequently puts me down. We do
not live in the same town and I purposefully am kind to her and do not spend
much time in her company...at all. My two younger brothers have never treated me
badly in this way. It saddens me because I really would have liked to be close to my
sister...There have been others in my life whom I have walked away from because
of this very same character trait.

4. I look for things which make me happy and concentrate on those. One
therapist I saw asked me if I struggle with depression. It is common, she says,
among kids who have been abused. Yes, that is true. And, I am still working on
that. It is strange that depression still haunts me now that both of my parents
are dead. But, it has indeed improved!!

5. I enjoy musicals and plays and go to as many as I can. I try to fill my
life with happiness now.

6. I concentrate on being grateful for what I have and am. Gratefulness
begets contentment which is a form of happiness.

7. My parents did not get along and I wonder if that is the root of their
treatment of me. They constantly needled each other and I could tell they didn't
enjoy being with each other. I got tired of hearing their constant bickering. I was their oldest child.

My spouse and I do not do this. We do not have a perfect marriage, but I
learned long ago that a. I didn't want to be a nag and b. there are better
relationships out there than my parents had. My marriage has improved dramatically in the past two
years since my spouse retired and I am grateful for it. For most of our
marriage, I really don't think he was all "in" it. I felt I'd made most of the
sacrifices and that my husband just took me for granted. He did as little as
possible for me. My husband has made some great strides in the past couple of
years and I'm beginning to feel valued at home, too. It's about time and I smile.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Sharon

by Sharon
(New Zealand)

There are aspects of my sexual abuse which have shaped me, but my life has turned out okay.
My story starts when I was five, although I only remembered anything happening when I was 11, and then only got more memories after I was 20.
My abuser was a family friend who was around since before I was born, and told me that he was chosen by my Mother to teach me things all girls had to learn.
Lots of brainwashing later, and I never told my Mom a word about what he was doing.
I was a very good student. By the time I turned 6 I had been trained to touch him just the way he liked it, I had learned to float away when he inserted fingers into me, and I could give an excellent bj (this included swallowing and licking him clean afterwards).
I hated every "lesson" and felt like a 'bad' child. Sick and dirty, especially when I was the one who had to do things (it was better when he did things to me and I could disassociate).
When I turned 6 he deemed me to be old enough for sex.
The first time the pain was unbearable and I wished I could die. I cried and got into trouble for that, but the pain was really, really intense. After that I learned to either breathe through the pain, or to float away during sex, and then I could get through it without crying.
Anyway, sometime after that, the friendship with my parents broke up, and I just blocked everything out right through my life.
When I was 11 I remembered some touching, and when I was in my 20's I remembered the first intercourse, and only in my 30's did I remember some of the other things that happened.

On the bright side I have three beautiful children (two boys and one girl).
My children don't know about what happened to me, but I educated them about their body boundaries and what is right and wrong from a young age. They are all healthy, intelligent and attractive children.
I was divorced, but got re-married to a truly wonderful man, who is the best husband a woman could wish for. We have been married for six years now and I could not ask for a better husband or a more wonderful best friend.

I am sure there will always be moments where I hurt and times when I think about what happened, but I have found my depressions are much fewer and further between and generally I have a good quality of life.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Chelsea

by Chelsea
(Location Undisclosed)

I came across this website just a minute ago. I have read a couple of the other stories of sexual abuse and I made the decision to tell mine.

I am in the 9th grade right now, and I am getting counseling for my sexual abuse right. It all started when I was four years old.

My mom had a boyfriend that had a son. His son was sixteen at the time. He molested me every night for a month while I was asleep. I was too scared to tell my mom until 5 years later, but only because I wasn't in the situation anymore. I also decided to tell my mom because I felt like I should not just let it happen to anyone else, and if I could stop him from doing it again, I may find happiness. I thought for a long time that it was all my fault, and that I could have done something to prevent it from happening to me.

Now I am doing great. I still have some stuff I need to work on and I will get it.

Last of all, I would like to say something to everyone out there who has ever been sexually abused. Please, don't ever think it is your fault that you were sexually abused and don't ever lose hope!

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Chelsea" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Abbey

by Abbey M.
(Cobram, Victoria, Australia)

As some of you may remember, I submitted a story earlier this year (see Child Abuse Story From Abbey) describing the experiences I had with child abuse. I'm here once again to update you on how speaking to someone has really helped me to achieve a normal life again, in which I can now trust people and not be afraid of my family.

After three months of avoiding Bronson (abusive ex-boyfriend), my mother contacted me. She asked me how things were, and that she was planning to move home to the Murray again. I didn't know what to say. Mum was unaware of all that had happened, and part of me was scared. I think at the time, I convinced myself that she wouldn't believe me. But after what seemed like forever, I met with my mum at a local cafe.

Mum asked me how Bree (older sister) was doing. I just sat there, afraid, not wanting to say anything. Finally she asked, "Is Bree alright? What's happened to her, Abs?" So I just blurted out everything between my tears and Mum held my hand across the table, promising things would be alright from now on.

I moved into a little flat with Mum and although she was still there, it felt like nobody was home. I was so used to big families with two parents, and here I was, a single mother and myself. But I was proud of what we had. Although things were going fine, I still was hiding a secret from Mum.

I never told her about Bronson. I had a fear of being rejected or being accused of being a liar. I thought that, being young, my opinion wasn't worthy to be heard. It took a lot of courage, but still I couldn't do it alone.

I went to one of my teachers on a Tuesday and confessed to her that I needed help with telling Mum. So this teacher of mine called Mum and made an appointment for a meeting. It was easier to tell her, a teacher, than my mum. She had no reason to reject me.

In the meeting, I had a million spasms all across my face and I couldn't stop shaking. I was horrified and almost threw up. But eventually, I told Mum the story, directly from the start. She suggested I see a psychologist, and took me to my doctor the following day to make a referral.

My doctor was very kind. I was very attached to her. I found it slightly difficult telling her, and I was almost sick of telling people the story. But I knew in my heart that it had to be done.

The first time I saw my psychologist, I didn't know what to expect. But she was beautiful and outgoing, but had a gentle vibe to her. I almost immediately opened up to her and I felt a sense of pride and felt courage wash over me. I knew I had made the biggest step in life yet. And I didn't look back.

I'm still living with Mum in our little flat, and I'm doing year 10 at school. Seeing my psychologist has helped me see through abuse from a different angle, while also helping me to deal with watching and experiencing abuse. I now am no longer afraid to see my father. I travelled to Queensland to see him a few times, with my psychologist, doctor and a friend for support. Mum was so angry at him, and chose not to go. I stood up for myself, and really let Dad know what I thought of him. I wasn't afraid to yell at him and let him know how he made me feel.

I still haven't seen Bree or Jake (older brother) for a very long time, and I miss them so much. Wherever they are, if they are reading this, know that everything is alright. Dad can't hurt us anymore and we're still a family. Mum is doing well and so am I, but if you're reading this, please contact me. I miss you and love you both so much. xx

Seeking professional help can do more good than you could ever imagine. It gives you strength, and courage, and allows you to deal with your experiences in a healthy way. Please, do it for yourself and all those who love you immensely. Take care, find the strength and courage in your heart, and speak up to someone you trust. They have no right to judge you or accuse you, and you will be able to move on with your life. I wish all those reading all the very best...

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Abbey" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Heather W

by Heather W
(Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA)

Growing up I was the momma around my house. I tried so hard to keep my sisters safe from all the guys my mom would bring in to the house. I was hit in the face, beat down, raped, molested and put in a tub full of ice water from the time I was 4 years old till I turned 16.

In order to survive this torment, I had to learn survival skills. Sometimes I had to lay there and act like it didn't hurt until he was finished. Sometimes I had to act like I was already almost dead before he would stop, or I would say you can do it again tomorrow if you let me go now.

A few months after I turned 16, my sisters told me that my stepfather had been touching them the night after we listened to my little brother get beat against the wall in the bathroom. At this point, I said it was enough. I told myself and my sisters that we couldn't let it keep going on. We had to tell someone.

So the next day, I went to school and told one of my counsellors about what had been going on. That afternoon we were taken from our mother and put in State custody. For a while we were all together, until I got kicked out of my aunt's house because she didn't like me.

I now live in a foster home with a new mom and dad that care about me and get me everything I need whenever I need it. This is the best place for me. I have survived this life of torment like I hope a lot of other people learn how to survive.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Heather W" are at the link below.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kate

by Kate
(Texas, USA)

A long road to healing with many forks in the road: 
I was born in the mountains of Idaho, moved across the country and finally to Texas. I am a child of a Vietnam Vet with PSTD, life as a little girl was full of awe like normal and fears not so normal. Walking on egg shells was the normal, my parents did not have the skills to raise children in the normal ways. I broke both wrists during one summer and wasn't taken to the doctor. I witnessed violence and avoided being caught by it when I could. I feared for my mother's life that fear nearly came true one violent night my Mother decided to leave my father. He tried to kill her, I heard her screams, and got up and confronted him talked him down from shooting my mother in the head I was just 12. No police were called, my Mother's family picked her up the veil of silence fell on that night. That was at the beginning of my teenage years which to no surprise were turbulent, I am very lucky to have survived some of the situations I put myself in, fast crowd, I was reeling from childhood and had little fear outwardly. My relationship with my father was strained my mother is creative and very offbeat so she really didn't know how to help me or the skills herself at the time. Over the years I repressed the worst of memories.

At age 17, I became a mother in many ways it probably saved my life. Being so young and responsible for a life was a big step, I wouldn't say burden just got me to get my head on early and most likely prevented me from much more destructive things, I have very few friends from back in the day that survived, OD's, suicides, the missing. My Father disowned me at the time for embarrassments. Very hard to handle at the time I was very angry about it. One day I looked at my little girl's feet she had just learned to walk and they were blackened, yucky carpet. I did not want her to grow up in poverty. I am blessed to have extended family out of state that opened their home to me and I worked at a day care and went to college. I graduated and moved back home, band aids over abscesses don't work so the next few years proceeded with my kamikaze self therapy in the form of a relationship I got into, He was a Canadian that was in my same field, from the outside it was normal on the inside, I had found a partner that mirrored my childhood home, not a violent one but the potential was there. I ignored many of the whispers I think we all get in life when we go down paths we probably shouldn't.

I was never really materialistic but a tropical storm came and I lost everything, my car, childhood stuff, pictures all to flood waters. I moved in with my then boyfriend. A few years past 9/11 happened at the end of our relationship, his behaviors became more erratic which baffled me. One night I was playing with Halloween decoration wigs, props being silly, went into our room and he got angry with me yelled in my face. Not normal I'm not a pip squeak I told me he could beat me down but he did have to sleep...lol. I listened to my little voice and when he was at work, I broke into his computer passwords and found some things that really scared me, our mutual bank account was in the red, thousands of dollars, deviant sexual stuff, pictures of women with guns to their heads of all things. I got a very sick feeling in my gut, he had been trying to get me involved with life insurance, he used to sell it. There is a song by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones with a line in it "Have you ever felt a pain so strong you fell to the floor" I can say yes to that, after I saw that information, those pictures I laid down on the floor and thought how could this be? What do I do? I felt my heart say no this is not gonna happen. I decided to leave the next day. While he went to work, I packed my stuff, my daughter's stuff. Christmas and Halloween decorations and drove off into the night. Never saw him again. Of course I was still running you can't run forever. Things that are ignored, those abscesses can't be covered up. You will keep repeating the past until you deal with it, different situations same stuff.

At that time, I started talking to my own Father a little more, hey he was scary, a bit of protection. I left with basically just our clothes and my kiddo's toys, I worked three 12 hr shifts in a row, one off another three shifts. I was stripped psychologically, back on survivor mode. I moved with my daughter into an apartment and slowly got life back on track. Needless to say I had trust issues. I started to study Buddhism, explore life a bit more and opened up some. Life got to a stable point. One evening I was getting ready for work and kept forgetting everything, oops my keys, oh I need to grab that...I stood at my door and couldn't go out, like some big cosmic finger on my head preventing me from leaving. I thought to myself this is ridiculous I'm not agoraphobic and pushed myself out the door. I went down the stairs, never live on the first floor again floods :) Anyways I went out onto the walk way and their was a woman in Ciel blue scrubs, the same color I had on at the end of the walk way being held up by gun point. I screamed and scared of the attacker. Of all people to see that, I went to work that night and as a childhood survivor I started to notice the little whispers, the moments of synchronicity that were happening around me, clues or big keys. At the time I was working an ER unit, we had a lot of overdoses, took me back to earlier days. I tried to help but my well of compassion was getting dry. I was practicing Yoga, mistook an ad for a Yoga conference and took a friend with me. All that day, the synchronicities were clicking, it ended up a New Agey conference, not my cup of tea but I was privileged to hear a story from a survivor that survived the Rwandan Holocaust. i saw the signs of a book to come but couldn't look up at it. Too sad. I listened to her talk, the sad voice speak of atrocities. In my short life I have listened to survivors of WW II's Holocaust, Liberia, Bosnia, all with sad eyes, broken spirits in many ways. I heard that same tone, I actually cried hearing the stories, not for me, but for them. Then she talked about the aftermath, happy eyes, sing song voice. In Rwanda 99.5% Tutsi's died, 0.5% survived. That meant something to me, no matter what get putting it out there a small percent will survive, like me. The message of forgiveness was received. That night started me on a journey to fully heal and be alive. There were and will probably always be some twists on the paths of my life, but to love and forgive, without fear has given me the eternal hope no matter what it'll be okay. No more band aids ;). I now practice meditation which has given me peace and went to therapy which helped a great deal.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Celeste D

by Cindy D
(Laredo, Texas, USA)

I am a former child abuse victim. Throughout my early teens I was exposed to numerous therapists after my siblings and myself were taken away from my mother. we were removed on the grounds of neglect, though it was much more than that. At that age "12" that was the only life I knew, so I defended my mother and lied when I was asked about any physical abuse, afraid of the unknown. I did not want to live with a stranger. The first year that I was in foster care, I would have some what supervised visits with my mother still hoping to soon be reunited with her, after all she was my mother; the only mother I had ever known.

I can vividly remember my final visit with my mother, I recall feelig uncofortable, her personality was hard to surpress and after being treated better at a foster home by strangers I couldnt bare the though of going back to her. Her rights were soon terminated and my siblings and I were up for adoption. It would be a long journey to self discovery.

As an adolecent teen I dealt with issues of abuse myself I carried the sins of my mother onto my siblings. Being the eldest of the Three I was in charge of them, in charge of playing the mother role and I played the role I had previously learned from my abusive mother well, I was even dub "mommy dearest" by my first foster parents which is something I am not very proud of. My behavior was not hidden for long and I was taught that that was not the way another individual should be treated. Thankfully I was able to extinguish or momentrily supress that behavior.

I eventually aged out of foster care after years of hardship and numerous foster home placements including one adoption placement. I was finally out on my own and off to college with the help of a good family which I am still in contact with today and see as my mother and father.

My freshman year in college was a blur, I was lost, I somehow managed to pass my classes in order to maintain the services to help pay for my dormitory, but was engaged in heavy drinking. At the time I was with my high school boyfriend of three years and was a recreational user. At this time I was in a feud with my foster parents and was not allowed to see my siblings or spend time with my family. I stayed away for about a year.

That year I began to frequent my biological mother, who is now a prostitute. I would visit her because I was trying to fill a void that could no longer be filled by her. she shoplifted and I picked up the nasty habit after a while. Unfortunatly I was caught and arrested, my world was turning into a complete disaster, my self esteem was little to none.

I couldnt allow myself to fail, I would not allow it. I finally regained comunication with my family and severed ties with my biological mother, though I like to check on her from time to time I know that I was taken away from her for a reason many years ago and feel that it is best if I no longer see what she has become.

It is not an easy thing to go back and relive the experiences that shaped the person that I am today, but I am in search to find answers and ways that can help others understand the lasting effects child abuse can have on a person and shed light on hope and healing.




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed5

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

I've a great life now with the help of God, trained counselors and many friends. I hold professional and academic qualifications from some of the best institutions and love the work I do. I can laugh and enjoy life.

But my early years were a little difficult. My family looked good on the outside - I had fantastic toys, shelves and shelves of books, expensive clothes, vacations, zoos and parks and museums, dining at the best restaurants and private school.

On the inside...I was strung up naked and whipped with an electric cord and other light, flexible objects till I passed out, bleeding. The earliest beatings like that I can remember, I'm probably about 3 years old. I was molested savagely during many of these beatings.

From around that age, until just before I hit puberty, I was subjected to sadistic, violent sexual abuse and sexual games involving bondage, beatings, sharp objects, large objects, hot and cold objects, pets, salt and so on, occasionally with multiple perpetrators, that would leave me unconscious and bloody on the dinner table. I was not allowed to cry. I was so well-trained that there was no need to tie me down for most of that. But at least no photographs were ever taken.

I believed that it was my fault, that I deserved it, that they were kind to me - they didn't hurt me as much as they should have - I deserved so much worse so I was loved.

Now I know that's not true, and I hope to help other people coming out of such lies.

I suffered PTSD for many years and am still dealing with some of the physical consequences of the prolonged early abuse.

But the hope in my heart everyday is incredible.




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Elizabeth Ann

by Elizabeth Ann
( New Mexico, USA)

My story involves an extremely religious family; the abuse began in childhood, but it escalated when my parents joined a cult-like church group, and forced both me and my younger brother to participate...

As young children, we were all three beaten with all kinds of things...including belts and coat hangers (I have taken all metal and wooden coat hangers out of my present home, and cannot stand the sight of my husband's belt lying around, so I put it away quickly.) Even a few years back, my mother broke my tooth and also fractured my arm. It was bad, bad, bad. My father either hid, or forced himself to obey her and beat us, too. But he mostly hid.

My mother focused her sadistic energies on me, the only girl, because she hates women. (During the OJ Simpson trials, she said that his former wife "deserved to be killed like that." So you get an idea of what she believes!) She even used to stick things in me, like tongue depressors (as a very little girl...I still remember the searing pain, having to bend over the bathtub.) I had bouts of all kinds of infections: worms, and UTIs (for which I was beaten, when I couldn't reach the bathroom in time to go.)

They finally took me out to the military base hospital, where I was forced to undergo an ADULT IVP at the tender age of 4 (I blocked out as much as I could, being terrified.) I think that may have contributed to my present-day thyroid problems.

It let up for a while, until I began to mature into a woman...which my sick mother could not handle. For help with my periods, I was taken to see a VETERINARIAN who had some kind of weird training in diagnosing animals by taking hair samples...at almost 15 years old. I still recall sitting on the same table used to examine dogs, cats, and other farm animals, while this ugly little man looked me over. To this day, people still can't believe me. My mother herself got the top-notch care with the best OB-GYN she could find.

I was yanked in and out of 4 different high schools, some Catholic, others public, to suit her whims...I was then pulled out of school altogether at age 16 and taken to another state to attend a semester at the college there. It was horrendous for me; I never got to graduate, go to a prom, even date. (She told my guy-friend I couldn't go because the prom and the music were "Satanic.")

I brought her home straight A's while going to classes without a bra, without menstrual pads or medication, and without food. I was ordered to "pull down my sleeves" to hide the black-and purple bruises from her heavy hands, even in hot summer weather. I was not allowed even a driver's license until I married the "church-approved" jerk they told me to marry at age 20.

I was not allowed food, because she made the family "fast for the church days" which in essence, was at least 10 times a year, for months at a time: no meats, no fish, no dairy, no oils, no protein. No wonder later in life I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis, requiring me to give up my dreams of having a family and undergo further abuse with a hysterectomy!

I had nowhere to run from the beatings, which I also had to witness happening on my brother...who at the age of 14 (!) was still being given baths by this hideous woman!!! I tried to put my frail body between him and the blows from her. He has blocked it all out, calls her daily, even at age 39...and hides himself in all-night prayer vigils, fasting till he gets sick, and beating his chest violently (he is an ordained deacon in that group). No long-term relationships yet. I don't think he will ever come to terms with what happened to him. I fear for him when she dies...I don't think I am strong enough to carry him.

If I tried to run away, or even go to the corner bus-stop, I was told I would be hunted by the police and brought back as a runaway. One terrible night, after getting up at 5 AM for clinical then classes, then late studies, the beatings began and went on into the wee hours of the morning. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I collapsed and the shaking of my body began...for the first time in my life. I heard her yell to my father, "Oh, go call an ambulance for her!" He crept into the dark room, looked at me on the floor, then walked away. I had to quit the nursing program a few weeks later due to the shaking and PAT.

My father was a "good, upstanding military career officer." They were both "GOOD CHRISTIANS."

My family has now disowned me, after telling everyone I am "Possessed" ! They made sure to contact every aunt, uncle, and cousin on both sides of the family.

MY COMFORT and HOPE:

Very, very small things. Like a walk in the forest, birdsong, writing fairy tales, and painting. Singing to my heart's content. Kissing my husband. Animals. Gardening. Cooking. Chocolate doughnuts. Funny movies (like Shrek) and funny books, like Patrick McManus.

Also, the lovely, beautiful Son of God. NOT the churches. Just HIM. I can look at the Shroud of Turin for hours, and feel completely at peace, everything becomes softer, and as I look at his wounds, I know He must understand. I can't wait to meet Him in person!!!! HE IS NOT LIKE THOSE WHO ABUSED ME. It took a long, long time to realize that.

And life is short. And I am going to grab all the sweet, funny, and happy things I can, despite my health. And then, I am going to enjoy Heaven as only those who have suffered terribly can....

My deepest love to all who have been abused.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Michelle

by Michelle
(USA)

A New Way of Life: 
From the time I was 5-7 years old, I was abused by my mother. My dad did drugs, and he was in and out of prison many times. My mom drank a lot and took out her anger on me. I remember hiding in my shower, with the door locked, afraid to come out. My mom would hit me with baseball bats, and wire hangers. Sometimes she would through me against the wall. I didn't want to tell anyone about it. I was afraid that they wouldn't believe me, and that if my mom found out, she would hurt me even more.

When I was 7, I was sitting at my desk in school, and my teacher asked me to come to her desk, and then she sent me down to the principal's office. When I got there, there were cops and police sitting down. My mom was put into prison, and I was sent to a foster home.

I love my foster parents. They know what I need. I have been in Therapy, and learning how to face my fears and to know that this is my life, no one can control who I am, and who I want to be.

I am now a senior in high school, and I'm going to college! I can't wait to start a new chapter in my life!

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Michelle" can be found below.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Gwendolyn

by Gwendolyn
(South Australia)

my mum didn't want a 2nd girl. she had post natal depression and it wasn't well understood back along. she married my dad for the wrong reason; money, security and to get away from her abusive dad. she manipulated my dad with sex.dad always said she loved me as a baby but i don't remember that. dad did all the childcare for me, and i stayed out of her way as much as i could. she just scolded bashed and hurt me. i always just tried to survive,thinking when i am 16 then i won't have to live with her any more.i did badly at school, never dared to tell my mum anything because she would use it against me. recovery has been about learning to be me, to state my case and not be afraid to do that.nobody deserves to be bullied like that.
i now understand she was jealous of me, esp as i grew into an attractive teen. i was my dad's kid and she was removed from us. i could not understand why she didn't just leave me alone if she didn't like me. i did not much like my sister then but we didn't fight. we just stayed remote. now i see that she had spiteful jealousy and saw me as taking her man. but it was her own behaviour that was the problem i was only a child. i have cried so much for that, but now, i am all cried out and it is ok. just sad.
when i was 16 my dad divorced her for cruelty. he had a huge ledger of all the incidents sinse i was a baby. it was horiffic.the abuse got so bad i went to live with a friend during the divorce. she always blamed me till she died 20 years later. my dad divorced her to free me from her abuse and it was MY fault.he remarried a lovely woman. she talked to me and was understanding and supportive and the healing began. i trusted her and loved her and i still do. she is old and forgetful now but i am so grateful.
i visited my mother christmas and birthday. i always went with my sister and niece and if i went alone she abused me. smoked lots of dope and it was torture to see her. i am not sure if i did the right thing but i wanted to be a good example to my niece. i had bad insomnia whenever i saw her. it ruined christmas for me. when she died and i saw her dead body i thought ' good, now you can't hurt me any more'. but she does. i still feel the hurt of it. she had no remorse, never showed any pity or regret.i remember wishing for that as i watched her die in hospital. my disgust when she asked me to massage her legs, i could not bear to touch her, it made my flesh crawl. she was in pain and all i did was get pillows and prop her legs in different positions. she only ever touched me to hurt me and i never, ever wanted to touch her. it is so sad.
later, i had an abusive marriage. my husband was mean with money, cheated and was always attacking me, often over nothing. that's the same as my mum. i divorced him for cruelty (relabelled 'unreasonable behaviour' by then).i had a nervous breakdown returned to an ex i didn't love, had a miscarriege and then went to live with my dad and stepmum. she put me together again and encouraged me to talk about it. i asked my dad why he did not protect me, why he didn't send me to boarding school. i wanted that.he said he tried, he asked mum over and over to be nice to us.i realise that he needed me,i was his little buddy and companion and made it bearable for him. i love my stepmother so much for making that possible, for making him listen and answer and go to that difficult place and not hurt me more with his silence.parents do have to answer. no excuses.
now i am ok with it. i still cry about it and that is ok too. i help others who have experienced abuse just by listening and understanding. i spent so long lost confused and hurt. i was like a leaf in the wind, blown about by powerful forces i could not control. but now i am a strong woman. i have got a university degree,a spiritual life, i have travelled all over the world, i have my own house and car and dog, and business. i have become all the things i never believed i could. now i am actually grateful to my mother, she taught me about loving kindness and compassion and self-sabotage. not in a nice way. but i got it.
at age 8 i thought; "i'm not going to be like you, i'm going to be nice". and i stuck to it.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From June

by June L.
(Lewisto, Maine, USA)

I am a child abuse survivor. I personally have been abused in every way since birth. Some of it is too horrendous to tell. The outcome is a miracle in itself. I am alive to tell and advocate for those who are still afraid to. I am happily married and have three beautiful children. I have had many years of therapy myself and learned it's okay to love me, who was always told I wasn't worthy of love. So here I am by the faith of a mustard seed. Things DO get better. God Bless You for being here to have this wonderful web page. You are one of God's angels.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Sue

by Sue Steiner
(Ohio, USA)

Horse drawing

Horse drawing

Two years into therapy for complex PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I was so devastated by the flashbacks and anxiety I was in desperate need to finding some relief. Relief was found for me unexpectedly in drawing.

As a child I drew some, not much, because of the chaos in my home. But I began to draw as an adult, trying desperately to find some relief. To my surprise, when I drew, that was the ONLY time in which the abuse flashbacks and PTSD symptoms did not consume me. I began to draw, and as I did, I drew things I never knew I could--portraits and realistic renderings of animals and people! This eventually led to painting. In the midst of all this pain and hurt, I had this hidden part of me that I never knew existed! I could draw and paint things I would have never guessed! As a child, whatever was inside of me that held the hope was shut off, but that hope was released as I began to heal in the form of this gift in art!

I missed out on doing much in school because of a chaotic home life. I missed out on college as a young adult because all I could think of was how do I get out of here? So I pretty much floundered and missed out on educational opportunities because of the after effects of severe abuse. But here was this gift that came to me quite naturally, without benefit of instruction. It has not made all the pain go away, but it gives me hope each time I pick up a paint brush and express myself when words cannot.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Angelica

by Angelica
(Phoenix, Arizona, USA)

I am a survivor! 
I have struggled for so many years to try and remember what happened or when it all began but it seems that I can't!!! Going to school in my younger years was very hard; I didn't know what to think when I saw my friends and their fathers. Was there something at home that happened to all the little girls? Was a father really supposed to touch his daughter that way??? I had so many questions and I didn't know how to clear out my mind.

I was the youngest of 5 siblings and not once did I dare tell my family that my dad at times touched me in a way that made me hurt all over. I grew more and more apart from the world and I blamed my mom so many times because she never noticed, she never accepted that her husband was abusing her daughter. I was on my own, and for so many years I kept that thought. I WAS ALONE....

I am now 18 years old and I just came out of a deep depression. For a while I thought my life was senseless and that the only path to it all was death...I didn't seem to notice that outside the birds sang and that children out there were happy. Never once did I stop to see the sun would rise each and every day. I didn't think I could be what I am today!!! I am a self dependant woman that fights each and every battle! I decided I wanted something different for my life and I went and grabbed it. I am still seeing a psychologist but I am sure that one day I won't need one. When we want change we also need to find the will. I am not only living for me but I'm living to fight abuse!!! I am a survivor!!!

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Jill

by Jill
(Location Undisclosed)

As the youngest child, I was sexually abused, physically abused, and emotionally abused by my family of origin and some of their church/other friends. There was a thin curtain between my everyday life and the abuse. At 38 I finally opened the curtain, ready to deal with it all.

For the last 7 years, I kept looking for validation outside myself, and it wasn't working. There was never enough. I just realized what I was missing when I read many of the stories on this site.

In order to recover from the abuse, I needed to validate myself just like I would any other person who was abused. It's so easy for me to validate others, but so hard to do it for myself. Why?

I guess I was avoiding it because I feared being hurt again by my father or any other of the abusers or their enablers. I feared they'd come back and continue to deny they had done anything. Even if they continue to deny what they've done for the rest of their lives: SO WHAT? Everybody on this site knows that abusers are just denying their responsibility.

I need to make this closure and move on so I can enjoy my life without their junk running in my mind. :) So I'm letting that fear go like a message in a balloon into the sky where it can pop and land back in their lives where it belongs.

Thanks Darlene for offering this amazing website.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From L.L.S.

by Linda
(Buffalo, New York, USA)

My mother died when I was 35. I was very careful never to leave my daughter alone with her for 1 minute. Ever. The buck stops here. My one sister is just like my mom and has 6 miserable, violent, hurtful, screaming kids. The apple didn't fall far from the tree in her case. She's weak. I don't ever go over there. It's been a year and a half.

I am not psychotic because I mentally and emotionally removed myself from the family when I was around 7. My coping mechanism was fantasizing about the family I did want. It kept me feeling loved and distanced from the reality that was. I developed negative coping, though too. I started self-destructing at age 7, I think, pulling my hair out and banging my head. ALL THIS I HID FROM MY FAMILY.

I was in mandatory counseling from age 12 to 18 in school. It made a major difference in my outcome. Especially telling about what happened. I was a brick wall prior to that. I was removed from my mother's home due to abuse when neighbors broke in and found me bound. (I think I was 12.) It's a good thing. I only spent summers with her after that. While I was away, she was nice as pie on the phone. Other than that, she had no contact with me. I received counseling and tried to make friends, which by then was very difficult. I felt socially illiterate.

I'm 40 now. A few weeks ago, with the help of a friend, I forgave my father. I blamed him for a lot. He died of cancer when I was 12. That left me completely alone with my mother. She had free reign where as before if he caught her, he'd step in. I hated him for smoking and dying, as if he did it to leave this world, thus leaving me. Now I know he didn't do all this intentionally, and that hating him is pointless. You know, I forgave my mom easily because she was mentally ill. I feel like she couldn't help herself. I guess. I wonder if God will condemn her for what she did to us. I hope not. My sisters say she could have sought help. My dad tried to have her committed before I was born in the 50's; at least that's what I heard. But he needed family signatures or something? and he didn't have other adults to help him, or some such junk. I think is all excuses. Who will ever know the truth?

At the age of 15 I lived in a great foster home for a year, which saved me. Too bad it was only for a year. I lived with brothers and sisters during the school year. Out of the pan and into the fire. My brother beat me and scared me; my sister's husband molested me.

I'm very successful as a mom. My daughter is 10 and safe. She's a little shy, but she's a gifted student and gymnast. She has a great sense of humor. I don't emotionally abuse her. I occasionally spank her, but I always am careful that I do it with care.

Many people say, "How did you come out so normal?" It's not to say I am normal. Of course I still feel alone and childish and regress and all of that. These people don't know that about me. But it was an inner drive and determination that I had that the others didn't. I was not like my family. I am a sensitive artist and I have vision they all lacked. I used to look at them and listen in my own silent world wondering, "What in the heck are these people DOING?" Kinda funny now.

I love teaching, because I can look out for other little one's who might be living what I lived. I can spot them. I love art, and kids are so much more fun than adults. :)

My big problem functioning as an adult is with intimacy, trust (somewhat) and depression. I am on medication and am seeing a new therapist for it for the first time since college. Dread. It's only as good as the bond and professionalism of the counselor. I hope it's a fit.

I am in an unhappy marriage, and I am finally leaving after 20 years. He's controlling, belittling and there's nothing I do that is good enough. He's gotten worse over the years. My daughter is starting to be affected, so I'm gone.

Anyhow, Darlene, I thought you'd be interested to know the ways I coped. I also escaped through art. Thanks for the feedback on my child abuse story. This is really neat. I can tell people my stuff so they know they aren't alone, and then get feedback. Thanks for this.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Patricia

by Patricia
(Ontario, Canada)

Success... 
I believe the perception of success was shaped into my life through the actions of whom I have been so profusely affected. It’s a vision I cherish and has pushed me to fulfilment despite the obstacles.
It awakened in the presence at the hand of criticisms, sabotage, and violent cruelty. Born in my mind, moulding itself silently. Psychologically concealing itself in my subconscious and easing the physical manifestations of dysfunction that was so prevalent, success lives but ever so faintly.
A hidden power creeping into my spirit, growing stronger with each brutal transgression – I can endure as I weave through the maze of hostility. Adapting, surviving and invigorating my will, believing, yes believing.
A hushed safeguard against scepticism and hopelessness; success knows not fear. Emerging values grasp hold, engrained in the reverence of responsibility. Someday, it encourages, push forward. You can do it; success persuades me to keep walking on eggs shells despite the serious consequences or ridicule I suffer. Protecting behaviour becomes routine against the lies and deception that harbour my secrets of chaos and insanity.
Yet success grows despite daily setbacks impossibly piling cloaking a way out. Focus in the moment; mindful, suspendful judgement freeing myself from despondency.
Battles with self-doubt that clings to the psyche like a dark passenger and infects wants and desires but with every dream – Success cries out. I write my mental script amid positive self affirmations, counting each scarce blessing in the midst of my heartbreaking truth. Focus on new adventures, help the less fortunate, and set a few goals. Yes, I believe success is measured by each obstacle that I triumph over and continue to overcome.
Harder yet is to break the pain of my martyr past, mending my broken destiny success rises up and holds firm with growing knowledge and support. I feel success with every accomplishment. I am blessed with many positive traits and with each success I increase my energy and drive to reach my goals in life. Triumph in the midst of my reality? Yes, for every disturbing internal battle that ignites an emotional powder keg when dealing with affairs of the heart, or for every doubt in my mind I confidently know success is there, perched high within the synapses of my intellect.
Today, when I think of the child I once was, suffering with anguish, my spirit bleeds. It is a terrible blow to ones faith to think of those who were also shaped through the actions of others while in the innocence of their lives, my heart laments. The thought that comes to me is growing out of the darkness of ignorance and into the brilliance of success.




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Lucianna

by Lucianna
(USA)

When i was younger i had a happy childhood but when my parents got divorced at an early age is when the nightmare started my mum left my dad for an abusive man who didnt like children so me, my little sister and my big brother were forced to move in with this monster, my sister was 2, i was 7 and my brother was 12, he hit me constantly because i used to wake up screaming for my dad but i was always comforted by my brother, we were very close, he used to slap me, kick me and punch me, i was once admitted to hospital with 3 broken bones, the terrible thing is my mum let it happen she used to say i shouldnt have provoked him, i was 7 missing my daddy of course i was going to be very upset after that my brother started protecting me, so he gave my brother more injuries than he ever gave me, causing him to be locked up as my brother almost died from the injuries gave to him, after that my mum started hitting both me and my brother she used to tell us we were a waste of space and that we are the reason she was always miserable, unfortunately he was let out due to the fact my own mother refused to give evidence of abuse and i was too shaken up to say anything, so we carried on like that for the next 6 years as we were all under the legal age, as soon as my sister hit the age of 5 she also got hit but i got it worse out of everyone since my brother did self defense and later developed anger issues and he would fight back, but as soon as my brother turned 18 he filed for full custody over me and my sister and he won the case, due to the fact of the incident that happened 6 years prior to the custody battle, me and my sister have been living with my brother for the last 3 years, and it is now alot easier but in my earlier years i delevloped depression, anorexia and self harming i ended up causing so much damage to myself because of those memories i might not ever be able to have kids, now at 17 i am in college studying art and design and couldnt be happier, i will admit that sometimes the memories still hurt but i have my brother, sister and boyfriend to help me throught it, i am still on weekly councilling to help build my body strength back up and a mental health officer as they feel the incident may of affected me too much, but i dont care as im getting better and healthier and finally on the road to recovery and after im fully recovered im going to search for my daddy who i havent seen in almost 11 years but right now i am happy where i am.

if you have had similar problems you need to report it to the police as by the time you realise may be too late, i was too late and i almost destroyed my life for it, its okay to show that you are weak in these situations i wish i wasnt so stubborn and wish i just reported it in the first place, i would of even stood up to give evidence and cry if i could again because after all this time i realised showing your tears isnt a sign of weakness its a sign that you have been strong for too long, i wish i realised at the time maybe my life would of turned out better but you have time all you truly have to do is pick up the phone and dial those 3 numbers to change your life before its too late and trust me i learnt the hard way. Thank you for listening to my story xxxx




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Cheri

by Cheri
(South Africa)

My mother verbally, emotionally and physically abused me for as long as I can remember. Until the last time I saw her, when I was 50 years old, she could still reduce me to helpless shaking and make me wet my pants. Right now, my head is aching, I feel nauseous and my muscles are really tense after reading the other stories on this site, although so many of them are much worse than mine.

In retrospect, I think the emotional abuse might have been worse than the rest. My dad was an alcoholic but I never knew this until I was an adult. He was kind to me and very loving. I always felt safe with him. The problem was, he went to work in the day and often went away for long periods of time. Later, I found out that he went on drinking binges. Mom seemed to hate me, as though the sight of me irritated her to the point of helpless violence. I don't remember her beating up my baby sister, who has told me that is true. I could never understand what it was I was doing wrong! Nothing I said or did was good enough.

I have only 5 memories of my entire childhood up to 12 years old, and have no idea what took place in this time. One memory is of the day I decided to run away from home for some reason. All I knew was that I couldn't take it anymore. I was about 5 years old. When mom was busy at the back of our house in England, I scooted off to the front gate. I had nowhere to go, no one to help me, no friends, no money, no safe place. We had recently arrived from Canada. It was the most terrible feeling to be stuck in this place of misery and pain but I had no choice except to turn around and sneak my belongings back into the house. The other memories are of being physically abused by a teacher in England because I didn't know my pounds, shillings and pence and 3 happy ones spent with dad camping in Canada during vacations. That's it! Nothing more...

When I was 10, we moved to South Africa. Mom was always fighting with dad but we didn't know why. I guess she took all her frustrations out on me. She hit me across my head if I didn't wash the dishes perfectly. She hit me with a thick stick on my thighs if I didn't wash the clothes properly. She hit me if I spoke - or if I didn't. She hit me if my sister got hurt at school or lost her socks. But never in front of Dad. I was too scared to tell him and, anyway, I thought this was normal family behaviour. I grew up a real loner, introverted and painfully shy - which also drove Mom crazy. She told me I was lazy, stupid, evil, ridiculous, pathetic, needy, unteachable and too big for my boots.

Dad died unexpectedly when I was 15. I was beyond devastated! The only person who loved me was gone forever. I knew that Mom could abuse me without hindrance and my worse nightmares came true. She was going through menopause, had lost her husband, had to work for the first time since marrying and had 2 children to support with no money. Dad hadn't left a will. Mom screamed at me all day long. She forced me to polish our wooden floors on my hands and knees after school, wash all our laundry by hand in the bath and wash the dishes after supper. All this after school. She kept me from having friends, saying they were a bad influence on me. I was depressed, exhausted, afraid and too introverted to tell anyone. My very few friends at school never knew, even though they were scared of my mom. The problem was, I was even more scared of her!

A year later, I married at the age of 16, just to get away from home. That was a disaster but I would rather have died of starvation than return home, so I wandered from one unhappy relationship to another, desperate to be loved and accepted. Every now and then over the years, Mom would find me and phone me. When I heard her voice, my heart used to race and I wanted to faint. Of course, this drove her crazy too, because she thought I was deliberately being evasive and cold.

The last time I saw her, in 2003, she had asked me to visit her on the other side of the country. She sounded so loving that I thought maybe things would be OK this time. I had just completed a heavy 2-year course of studies and got very high marks so I took my marked papers with me to show her, hoping she'd be proud of me. Within 12 hours, she had screamed at me for boasting about my exam marks and thrown the file across the room. She told me to get down on my knees and ask God for forgiveness, out loud. I couldn't, because I was so scared, so she forced me onto the floor on my knees. I don't remember what I said. Then she went for a bath and told me to sit with her. I used to wear very thick glasses back then and the steam from her very hot bath stopped me from seeing anything. I told her I had to leave the room and she screamed like a banshee, saying I was still as unteachable and rebellious as ever. I stood outside the bathroom, shaking and crying for an hour. At 50 years old!

That night, something happened. For the very first time, I recognised her treatment of me as abusive. It wasn't easy. Strangely enough, I'd always put her on a pedestal as being the perfect woman. I left and went home the following day and that was the beginning of a long healing process. It's not yet over but every year is better. I can now recognise abusive behaviour in others and do not allow people to misuse me. I know I am deeply loved, especially by God, and that I'm not stupid, evil, ugly or any other of those entirely negative things. Mom died in 2008 and I discovered, via my sister, that dad was also a homosexual. Perhaps that was why mom hated the sight of me. My sister is my half-sister (another shock to us both) and I was the result of the only time my parents slept together. God obviously wanted me to be born. I wasn't a mistake.

I'm now a 60-year-old woman who knows her own eternal value and respects herself. Yes, there are still times when I have wobblies, but these are few and far between because I have such a loving support system from my family and friends.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story From Grant A

by Grant A
(Canada)

Physical and Psychological Abuse: 
When I was 4 years old - I was a handful, but the beatings were so severe I used to beg neighbours to not tell my dad about what kind of trouble I caused. I had difficulties with math and when I didn't understand he would back slap me across the head and make me repeat what he was telling or trying to explain to me.

If I said it wrong, he hit me again and then hit my mom for not doing what he called "her job" - that is just one example. I became very creative at hiding things, but I was very angry!! High school was tough because I was a bit of an a-hole. Never really understood "why" people thought that back then, but I do now. The biggest mistake I made was not realizing the help I needed. I look back now and I can pinpoint the day I should of went for help.

Fast forward to 43 years of age and I got into a work environment where problems were solved with yelling or throwing people under the bus. What I didn't realize is the "shell" i had put around myself and how few people I'd let in. It eventually came to a head. I left the company, and I could not stop crying and it was at that point I went and found help.

It was tough, especially when I realized how angry I was, how it came across, and how embarrassed I was. But I dealt with it and had a great person help me. I told her a little bit about what had happened and she made a face and looked at me and said "I can help you, I specialize in re-programming the mind".

And so it began, she was a behaviour based psychologist, and it probably took close to a year before I was comfortable trusting people again but I made it. Once in a while I step back and its difficult for me to trust based on the past, but I recognize it and I have coping strategies.

For anyone looking for answers I can tell you it is hard, but so worth it!! Don't be scared!! Take the next step and get help that works for you. The people I call friend 3 years later are probably some of the greatest people I have ever known. They would have never been my friends had I not recognized where I was going and how I had to change.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Candace

by Candace
(Bristol, Connecticut, USA)

As a child, I grew up with an abusive father. While enduring it for much of the duration of my childhood, it provoked a great deal of anxiety, depression, and anger. Although I have two younger brothers, the physical abuse was consistently directed toward me. My father displaced the anger he harbored toward my mother onto me. When my mother did something distasteful or bitter to upset him, my father would find fault with anything I did wrong, however trivial it was, and used it as an opportunity to get violent with me. This he termed as "disciplining."

Upon coming home one summer afternoon, my mom saw me dashing out of the house in tears. She needn’t ask what happened; these were common, nearly daily occurrences. Out of all the years I suffered from abuse in front of my mother’s eyes, that day held significance in that she called the police. Threatening to call the police was a tactic I used frequently in hopes that he would realize what he was doing was wrong and would stop. This, however, had the opposite effect. Rather than instilling fear in him, I became fearful of the consequences of making such a phone call. He used my tactic, my only weapon, to manipulate me into believing that calling the police would result in me getting in trouble, in me getting taken away. One day I threatened that I would tell my teacher and he replied that if I did, I would be the one who would get taken away, not him.

It was only a matter of minutes before the police arrived, along with the ambulance. The police officers asked me a series of questions about what happened, while also inspecting the bruises on my arms. I sat in the car and was told not to look behind me as they handcuffed my father.

My mother called the police that day, not out of a genuine concern for me, but with a selfish motive. I was but 11 years old, but I knew. For the past few weeks, my mother had been having an affair with a man she had known since she was a teenager. She knew that calling the police for my father beating me would result in him being removed from the house. He being removed from the house would enable her to have her boyfriend move in. And he did move in, that very night.

After his arrest, my father’s side of the family held much resentment toward me. My grandmother, a kind and loving woman known to call her grandchildren/children on their birthday’s, did not call me that summer on my birthday. In their eyes, I got him arrested. In his eyes, he was innocent. He persuaded others to believe he never laid a hand on me. It disgusted me how he believed his own lies. My two younger brothers witnessed it on a daily basis, as they often were the first to run out the back door and out of my father’s reach. My mother witnessed it a handful of times, while often interjecting a desperate plea for him to stop. I had a drawer designated for my torn clothes, some of which were my favorite shirts, I could have shown you.

During that summer and the years that followed, I harbored much negative energy. Much of the anger I held toward my father I unconsciously directed toward myself, as I slowly began slipping into a deep depression.

After my father was arrested, a restraining order was put on him, which prevented me from seeing him each weekend as my brothers had. This time spent away from him allowed me to confront the anger and negative energy that was gnawing at me for so long. This process was disrupted when a year after the incident, after my mother’s boyfriend was now out of the picture, she told me she was having my father move back in. My whole body was in a state of shock when she told me. That day will never escape my memory. I knew she was being driven by yet another selfish motive—she missed him. And by allowing him to move back in with us, she showed no regard or concern for how this significant change would impact my emotional well-being. I was 12, and we had recently moved to a new home in Bristol. I was just beginning to see the light out of the abyss—I was becoming more sociable at school and less possessed by social anxiety. I felt happy.

The first night he arrived I hid in my basement frightened, avoiding all interaction with him. Thereafter my fragile emotional state began to collapse; I became more reclusive as my social anxiety re-introduced itself. The physical abuse that I endured for the majority of my early childhood ceased. Although there were instances in which he pushed me against the wall or a dresser, it was by no means comparable in severity to what I experienced before. During the next few years, as my personality began to develop, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities my father and I shared. We’re both on the introverted end of the personality spectrum, while also sharing some of the quirkiest habits. Because of our similar natures, he became someone I emotionally confided in. And at some point during those four years he was with us, sympathy for my father began to bloom. During our interactions, I began to understand and feel the emotional anguish and confusion he experienced and how it provoked him to become violent with me. I saw him through a new set of eyes, as I released the negative feelings and emotions associated with him.

As of yet, I haven’t received an apology, for he does not acknowledge the pain and emotional turmoil he has caused me. He occasionally insinuates his denial of what happened by claiming that everyday there are men who are arrested for things of which they are not guilty. When this occurs, I voice my disapproval by walking out of the room. Despite his denial and disregard, I have forgiven him. But by no means did this occur over night; I learned that forgiveness is a process. My father moving in with us, and thus back into my life, served to facilitate the journey down the long road to forgiveness. As Thich Nhat Hanh wisely says in the Power of Forgiveness, "Forgiveness is not possible until compassion is born in your heart."




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Name Undisclosed4

by Name Undisclosed
( Location Undisclosed)

Sexually abused at 14 years old; still on the path of healing: 
I guess this approach is one of the many steps I have taken to help me heal eventually from the scar of sexual abuse has caused me. Third youngest from family of nine. Parents broke up and both abandoned us. Living with relatives from the age of three.

I was 14, when I was living with my oldest sister to help her managing her four children in exchange for my education while she and her husband go to work.

That night feeling so tired. I slept straight away until... I felt I sharp pain in my vagina. "Ouch"! I screamed! The room was so dark, I got up and saw a man's shadow walking hurriedly towards my sister's bedroom. The door shut. I felt my vagina and felt a very slippery some kind of gel. Suddenly, the smell seem familiar, oh! yuk! A hair gel used by men in the 70's for their hair. I know there is only one person using it in the house, my brother-in-law. (Animal) thought to myself, went to the bathroom and instigated further. So wet and sore, disgusted, I wipe it off and wash myself. Went back to bed and didn't know what to do. I couldn't sleep anymore, I stayed up for the rest of the night.

The next day, I felt really awkward, I couldn't bear to even look at him! I feel like confronting him in front of my sister but, the fear took over my courage to do so, fear of what will happen if I told. (No. I couldn't) Both my sister and her husband left for work that morning, I went and see the lady next door who just had a baby. I mentioned to her what happened and asked what should I do. She warned me not to tell my sister as a few similar events happened in the past did not turn out nice. "Your sister kicked the house maid out of the house." She suggested for me to get out of the house as soon as possible.

I couldn't tell my sister for lots of reason. She doesn't treat me like a real sister the fact that we only share biological mother, she does not want anyone to know about it. She warned me not to tell anyone that we are sisters because according to her, we look different and people can tell. She's worried about what they might say. And told me over and over again her husband's family are well known in town and that she does not want to tarnished their reputation. For weeks, I could not sleep, I find hard swallowing food. My sister had noticed, "why are not eating?" I just answered "I'm not hungry." She slapped me on the face. Do you think I'm stupid? she asked; and banged my head against the dining room wall and kept asking why I am being so stubborn. A few days past, she asked me again, if there is something I want to say. Not in a tone of helping me but interrogating why I refused to eat with them. I realize then, either I tell the truth and be punished or make an excuse. So, I decided to tell her, "I want to go home", then she replied; what home you haven't got a home! you are all abandoned by your parents. Meaning our parents! (Sobbed) I insisted, I still want to go home. Finally a week after, fearing, I might starve myself to death she agreed to send me home. Pretty much after I left, I had my menstruation! Oh! my god, I am not pregnant! (thought to myself) Back then I never knew that you can't be pregnant unless you already menstruating at the time of sexual abused. I don't even know whether he succeeded or not.

Month's past after I left, I continously feeling the itch in my vagina. I could not tell anyone, I worry about what my relatives would say. Base on what I have read about sexually transmitted deseases, I was worried, I had the desease! I wrote to my other sister, asking for her help. She wrote back so upset why I didn't tell anyone. My auntie found out and took me to a doctor. The doctor said, I'm puzzeled, how could you contracted a venerial desease with your hymen still intact? I asked, what does it mean? Doctor explain you're still a virgin. Most of my relatives were so critical about my situation and would not believe what really happened. I thought to myself, I knew I should not have told anyone. From then on, I never mentioned anything to anyone about it. The itchyness did not go away. I knew then, I was not healed.

Finally, my other sister asked me to live with them. I was relieved, now I can have a proper treatment. Then, I met my husband, after ten years of marriage, my husband already knew my history of sexual abuse and living with the desease. A break out appeared for the first time in our ten years of marriage. My husband and I went to see our doctor, after the test result, the doctor called us and told us about the venerial desease and was ready to counsel us, but we both told the doctor we, knew. The doctor was so relieved and said, "I was not sure how you both react being told about 'Genital Herpes'." I asked; why is it coming back? I thought it will not come back. Doctor explained, you will always carry this desease and tendency, you could pass it to your sexual partner. But, the good news is, it can be controlled. So now, everytime I have break out of the desease, I always remember the reason why I had it in the first place. My husband is so understanding and even trying to make me understand to try not to worry. For years, I always wanted to confront my sister's husband in front of my sister, but I couldn't. I thought, the best way for me to heal is to help prevent other children from sexual abuse by educating them. And hoping to help children who are victims of sexual abused.

Believe me, oh, how I hated my life then. So many bad thoughts came to mind but I never acted on it. My will to survive to tell the story continues and hope to live longer to tell my story for as long as I have to. Because, sexual abuse on children is not normal. Children are innocent and needs our guidance and protection.

Still on the path of healing, and manage to live with the bad memories for 34 years.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Linda

by Linda
(Town Creek, Alabama, USA)

My healing began the day after I found this website and posted my child abuse story (see Linda's Child Abuse Story on this site). I was physically, mentally, and sexually, abused my whole life. When I became an adult, I distanced myself from my abusers and became a recluse. I was afraid of everyone. I hated the human race.

A year ago, I purchased a computer and was trying to figure out how to use it. I typed in "child abuse" and got this website. The smartest mistake I ever made! I read several of the abuse stories and I couldn't believe how many people had experienced the same type abuse that I had endured. I decided to tell my own story. The sympathy and encouragement I received from Darlene and the other readers inspired me to climb out of my self-pity and deal with pain through a support group of child abuse survivors. That was almost a year ago.

Today I am a Christian. I turned my life over to God, and I pray for the people who hurt me so badly. I am happy and I go out into the world with new hope. Thank you Darlene, you saved me from myself. I have love in my heart for you.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Linda" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From George

by George
(Location Undisclosed)

After years of experiencing and feeling and running from all of that pain, I've finally laid it down. At some level I laid it down at the doorstep where I began the confrontation.

When I came to City X, I was mentally and emotionally messed up. I remember beating myself with a belt to the point that I bled, left welts, and left bruises all over. I remember thinking that I had to beat "bad thoughts" out of myself and needed to remind myself what it meant to be hit.

The physical pain was easier to deal with than the leftovers of my childhood. I became more and more depressed as my life moved on.

The depression got to the point where I could no longer do my homework well. My performance in class plummeted, and I lost almost all of my self-confidence. Frustration was the name of the game and I became extremely angry. Between the anger, frustration, and depression there was very little time to be happy.

Finally, after a 3-year struggle to lay down the pain of a physically abusive childhood, I've been able to. I quite honestly don't know if I've ever felt this well before. I'm able to take care of my daily life without it being a chore, and I'm beginning to lose weight.

I've finally confronted the emotions and pain that I felt as my dad hit me, my brother unleashed his rage on me, and my mom neglected me. All of that hurt, pain, and emotion, laid down at the cross has been crushed by the sword of God and I'm free to live my life without it.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed2

by Dylan's Big Sister
(Location Undisclosed)


Life of Tragedy and Triumph by Dylan's Big Sister: 
For as long as I could remember until I was 6 my mom had beat me and my brother terribly and was always drunk and high on one drug or another, and she was almost always hung over from the night before. By the time we were 4 and 2 we had experienced physical, emotional abuse and severe neglect, and by the time I was 3 I knew how to change a diaper and find food that we wouldn't get sick off of.

When I was almost 5 my mom married a man that molested and raped us more times than I can remember, and beat us more and worse than my mom did. When I was 6 1/2 my mom decided she was going to take a pilot car driving job with her newest boyfriend, and she decided she didn't want to deal with me anymore so she dropped me off at her mom's house and said I'll be back in a few weeks for "the brat". After my grandma heard what my mom did to us she applied for emergency custody and became my guardian. My mom didn't come back with my brother for almost a year, and soon later took off again for a couple years. I was 10. It was the last time I saw her or my little brother. I'm almost 15 now.

I have been to more than my share of counselors, and so far the only thing that they have been able to find out is that I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Conversion Disorder. I'm currently in counseling...yet again. Every day I pray that my brother is okay and that Mom has stopped abusing him and dating men who do.

There's plenty that I can't do because of broken bones that never healed correctly, and I have a lot of other things that keep me from being able to be a "normal" teenager but it doesn't bother me, much.

I'm entering the 9th grade this year, am in the top 15% of my class and don't let my past be an excuse for what I can't do. Most of my teachers can't tell what I've been through until I tell them, and they are usually 100% shocked. Every year I get questioned by the school guidance counselor to make sure that I am not still in that situation and that I am ok to be in regular, let alone advanced, classes.

Every day I am thankful that I am no longer in that situation, but I'm also trying desperately to find my brother and make sure that he's fine and that my mom has gotten better.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Sharon

by Sharon
(Australia)

I grew up in a family with a Mum, Dad, an older brother, and two sisters. In total there were four kids. My Dad was always close to my baby sister, he never really showed any love to the other three kids.

My Dad had a good friend, who idolized me, and I idolized him, he showed me love, that's what I thought then.

And then that's when it started, he would meet me near my place and drive me to school, I was 11 years of age. I thought him offering me a lift to school was so kind and nice of him, and then that's when it started, he started telling me how pretty I was, how good I smelt, and I felt loved, and wanted.

And then he started touching me. The touching to start with felt wrong and dirty, but then I just switched off to how it felt. This abuse kept going till I was 15 years old. And that's when I realised it was wrong. I could never tell anyone, as I felt so dirty, and I knew if my Dad found out he would never love me.

It was not till I had kids that I accepted what had happened, and I had two breakdowns, and that's when I spoke to someone about it.

And it is now I know I did nothing wrong, all I wanted was to feel loved, by my Dad.

And still to this day, when I am 43 years of age, with two teenager children, I feel loved by my husband, and by our children, and that's all that matters.

Don't ever be afraid to talk, don't ever be scared, don't ever feel alone. And have faith in your self, and feel proud.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

Abuse is real: 
My story of abuse began at 10 years of age. During the years of abuse that followed I through myself into my schoolwork. At the time the abuse wasn't that bad it just became part of my life. It wasn't until my mid teens that I started to feel the full effects of what was happening and just how wrong it was.
Being raped by my *** became life until. I relised that I wasn't really living my life anymore. Between self harm and obsessions with hygiene the years seemed to pass. After I had my own children my feelings really began to show. Up until then I didn't really feel anything. I went into a really really dark place but thanks to a really caring person who entered my life by accident she helped me contact a councillor and 7 years on I still struggle but at least I am living my life.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Christine

by Christine
(California, USA)

My mother used to be a vibrant, charming, kind, and generous woman- though with many psychological demons she kept inside. In the last 15 years, she has disconnected from all friends and family in her life, and descended into mental illness. My oldest sister disconnected from her when she was 23, and after she left, my mom would tell people she had just met about how her oldest daughter was her worst nightmare and say things like "I wish I had dropped your sister in a vat of acid when she was two seconds old". I too, disconnected from my mom 8 months ago. Although the separation was extremely traumatic- I am proud to say that today I have made great progress in my own recovery.

I am stable in a meaningful job. I am blessed with loyal friends who have stuck by me through the decades of emotional abuse. My strategy for bringing myself to life again- was to share what was happening within a very close circle- a circle of those in whom I had great trust. I let myself lean on others when I could feel my knees buckling beneath me. For a few weeks after the trauma, I went to counseling or support group every night I could. I took a painting class, wrote down my feelings and emotions extensively- and waited for my feelings and my confidence, to return. Laughter took a few weeks to re-emerge. Feeling safe in my environment took a bit longer. Confidence in who I am and hope for my future took longer still. Its an ongoing process. I take out my anger on the treadmill as best I am able these days! Memories dont evaporate completely over time- but over time, who you are becoming simply becomes more important.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Brian

by Brian
(Canada)

"WOW" I'm glad I found this site first of all; thank you Darlene. I've read the stories of abuse and healing on this site. This has brought back lots of memories and pain I endured as a child. However, this has helped me to put my life into perspective today.

I am a survivor of child abuse, an achievement I share with everyone here on this site. My healing started the day I decided to move out on my own. I didn't know what I was going to do, but whatever I did had to be better than being sheltered in that home, being controlled and abused daily.

The biggest thing for me was discovering that there was another person inside of me, busting to get out, the one that wasn't being abused and berated, the one who blamed himself for everything.

I discovered a whole new life where I had a full-time job and a girlfriend (whom I married when I was 21). My older brother was very supportive and got me the job. My older sister supported me also. My biggest eye opener was my girlfriend's family, and being around them to see the love and support of a real family where there was no abuse.

This helped me to overcome issues of trust I had as an abused child, and to open me up to people who loved me. I believed in myself because other people believed in me.

When we decided to get married, I was scared, because I thought in the back of my mind, am I going to be like my father. I talked to my wife about this. I told her that if she sees me losing my temper with our children to stop me and point it out to me before it gets out of hand.

I promised myself that I would not be like my father, but it's not that easy. As a child of abuse, you learn behavioral patterns to survive the abuse. Once you are out on your own, it's hard to change these patterns.

I can honestly say the day my first born son came into this world and I held this bundle of joy in my arms, was the day my life changed forever. I promised him on that day that I would love and cherish him always. I did this by always believing in myself, and by being in a positive frame of mind, no matter what situation I found myself in. I changed my behavioral patterns to co-exist with my life in the present, leaving behind the old patterns and learning new ones. The best way I can explain it is: We are all born spiritual beings who learn to live the human experience and what comes with it, and in our cases, that was abuse at the hand of a loved one.

It's about finding that true inner being that is inside of all us, being sheltered by the abuse. Once you find that inner being, you become who you were truly meant to be. Once you find that inner being, you will find purpose in your life, and this will help you to heal and overcome the abuse.

Then together, we can join hands and walk this fight to bring awareness to child abuse issues.

I apologize this is so long, but this cause is an undying passion of mine, and I will walk to the end of earth if that's what it takes to bring awareness to those so blind to Child Abuse.

Thanks for listening and sharing your stories. I share in your tears and pain, and you have my love and support always.

Brian

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Molly

by Molly
(United Kingdom)

My name is Molly and I was abused since I was very little. I grew up with just my dad. He was all the family I had. He used to get very mad after work almost every day, and the things he did to me were terrible! He'd lock me in closets, and keep me there for days, not feed me, throw common household items at me, etc. It was terrible, but he was all I had, so I never said a word. I knew that if I did, he would hurt me even more. Therefore, I vowed to myself to keep my dealings with my father a secret. Luckily for me, although I was a good secret keeper, my teacher was smarter.

In fourth grade, my teacher became suspicious and called up Social Services to check it out. When they did, they witnessed what was going on. They immediately removed me from my father's care, threw me in a foster home and sent my father to jail.

At first I didn't know what to think. I didn't like my foster family, and I knew my dad loved me, but I still couldn't understand why the hell he wanted to hurt me. Because of this, I never complained, never said a word, or even asked about my father. Every now and then, my foster family would get sick of me and send me off to another home with another family. When I turned 18, I quickly packed my things and moved out on my own.

After about a year on my own, I received a letter. This was not just any letter. It was a letter from my father. He asked how I was doing and all the other original stuff one would ask in a letter, but near the bottom, I read a sentence that stopped me in my tracks. My dad asked for my forgiveness. He said he was sorry.

At first I was horrified and became very angry. I couldn't see how he could expect me to forgive him. But after awhile, I thought it over and decided that it would be the best thing for the both of us, to forgive him. It would allow me to live my life to the fullest without having to remember all that went on in the past. It would also free my father, who I had known all along loved me, from the burden of his act.

I then wrote back to him. I told him that I didn't want to see him, but that in my heart, I had forgiven him. I also told him that this action was not only for him, but for me too; to free me from the burden of my past. Ever since I sent the letter, I have felt better about myself and my father. I am so glad I had the courage to forgive him. I haven't seen my father since, and honestly, at this point, I don't want to, but I am glad through my action, I was able to do both of us a favor.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Molly" are at the link below.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Tara

by Tara S.
(Wisconsin, USA)

I have recently turned the wonderful age of sixteen. Four days before I celebrated my birthday I was reading a story about a young girl who killed herself...in her note it said, "If only I could of connected with someone...would of known someone who shared the same pain as me...I'd be living to my sweet sixteen." Her words stayed in my heart for a week, and I have finally decided that I could maybe help someone...if I do this (write my story).

It started when I was five or six. My parents had been divorced for a few years by now and my real father had lost all contact with us. I was in kindergarten when my mother started dating this guy named Bob. My family loved him, and so did I...but I soon realized that his love for me was much different then the one he has for the rest of the family.

The sexual abuse started when I was going into first grade. It started with little things like him stroking my back, and then going to my butt, to him sliding his hands up my legs. I knew what he was doing was not right, but then again as a young girl who was only going in to first grade, I had no idea what to say, or who to tell. My mother was away on a business trip the winter of my first grade year. That's when Bob raped me. And I asked him, "Isn't this how girls get pregnant?" He laughed at me and said, "Don't you want to be a mommy?" Those words have replayed over and over again in my head many many times.

The abuse continued up until second grade October 27 at 8:45...Bob was giving me a spelling test in my room, and because I got a word wrong I had to take my pants down. At that very moment my mother came in my room, and all hell broke loose. She grabbed me and threw me in her room and wasn't yelling, but was in panic. I could see the fear in her eyes. My natural instinct was to start crying. Then my mother asked me, "Does Bob touch you?" Between sobs, I replied, "Yes." She asked where and I pointed on my body. My mother's face grew to complete anger. She whipped around so fast and slammed her bedroom door and locked my brother and I in there. The next few minutes were filled with screams from my mother towards Bob...hurtful words...and the silence...then sobs as my mother rushed in the room and embraced me. I knew I would never be hurt again.

The next day we went to Social Services place at the hospital. I talked to a lot of people that day, too many to be exact. Then I met a lady who changed my life. I still call her my angel today. For three years I went to her. She was amazing. Truly amazing, just like my mother. My life went back to normal and I was happy.

In 7th grade I hit a low point in my life. I was dating an older boy and I had broken up with him. I felt like my life was falling apart all over again. Suicide was my next option, but my mother saved me from that and I went back to counceling with the same lady named Linda who is my angel.

It's safe to say that I'm a normal teenager now. I have a loud and very out going personality. The grades are good, I'm on the soccer and wrestling teams, and not to mention yearbook, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America: a national vocational student organization for students with an interest in business or business education), forensics, drama, and a lot of other stuff. I have an amazing boyfriend who accepts what has happened to me. He still loves me for me and not the haunting past that once consumed me. My friends and family have all supported me...and still do.

You can make it. It just takes time and strength. Never think that you are not good enough! You are! I live my life to make sure that other children never feel this sort of pain. It's a big dream, but it's coming true. One life changed at a time.

Thank you.
Sincerely-
Tara

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Tara" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Lisa

by Lisa
(Tennessee, USA)

I had been sexually abused by my older brother, older than me by almost ten years. It started when I was very young, I mean like toodler aged. I am not going to go into detail too much, but he made me do things to him that no small child should have to,he also did things to me. Anything you can imagine short of penetration, that's the only thing he didn't do. It went on for years until the age of 8 when he married and moved out. My mom or dad never knew until I finally told around age 11, because he had done the same thing to my older cousin, except with her there was penetration. It has been hard for her and me me being 38 now and her 40. It has made me and my cousin very close more like sisters because of this horrible thing he done to us, she gained a lot of weight being a stress eater, and I turned to drugs. We have both came a long way. I have been drug free now for years, and she saw a therapist, and I did as well. I was diagnosed with ptsd, and medication and therapy has helped, but neither one of us can forget. I have forgave him just for my own sanity..but anything traumatic, is just hard to forget.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed7

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

The love of a daughter: 
My dad emotionally abused me. At first I thought it was because I was a mistake. My dad alway's told me time and time and time again that I had been a mistake. After a while I started to believe him. Alot started to happen fter I confronted my mother about my being a mistake - she told me that I was never a mistake, that I was loved from every one. My friends helped me and for that, for my mother I thank God.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kathy

by Kathy Jarrett
(Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Journey to Independenceville: 
As I start to leave Codependenceville, on my way to Independenceville, I am stopped by several red lights, a few stop signs and a couple of trains. Although the distance is short, less than a mile if you go the way by the old church, Colleen's office, and the library, it seems to be taking a long time to get there.

I wanted to take everyone with me, so I loaded everyone into my car. As soon as we started off, one of the tires exploded from all the weight. Everyone got out and left. So I started to change the tire by myself. I was having a lot of trouble; one of the lug nuts was stuck. I sat in the car to cry, when I saw Colleen driving by. She stopped and said, "Use this loosening spray I have, and that lug nut will come right off." It worked, and I was on my way again.

After waiting a long time for a train to pass, I became tired. I pulled over to rest. A police officer came up to my car and told me I could not rest there. He gave me a ticket and told me to pay it in 10 days or go to jail. I had no money, so I looked around for Job in Codependenceville. There was a sign in the front of a Law Office that said 'Hiring', so I went in.

I would not be getting my first check in time to pay the ticket, so I began to cry. When I was tired of crying, I got up and took a walk. As I walked by the old church on the corner, I saw something lying on the ground. It was money. It was more that enough to pay the ticket. I went into the church and thanked my Heavenly Father. Then I went back to the office very happy.

At that time I should have been back on my journey to Independenceville, but The Attorney and her family had been telling me I couldn't drive. So I didn't even try to start the car.

After one particularly stressful day of working for The Attorney, I started to have a heart attack. The Attorney was out golfing, so I had to either drive myself to the hospital or die. I got the car keys. I was so scared. I was sure I'd get in a wreck because I believed I couldn't drive. As I started up the car and took off, I was surprised. I could drive just fine. They were wrong.

I arrived at the hospital and they told me it was just stress, not a heart attack. They gave me a bill for $1,000.00 and a prescription for 10 Xanax. I went back to the office. I was so tired. I lay down to sleep.

I wanted to finish my work at the office and get back on my journey. But there was so much work, I could never see daylight. Also, I was very tired and The Attorney kept telling me I looked funny. So I worked and looked in the mirror most of the time.
I would make trips to the corner market and buy things I needed. This felt good. On a good day, I would dream of Independenceville. On a bad day, I would wonder if the town was merely a fable.

I had forgotten about the library down the street, the place where I had first gotten directions to Independenceville. I decided to go back to the library and get the directions again. Through all this time, I had been visiting Colleen, and then I met her family. Colleen kept telling me that I did not look funny. Her family didn't think so either. It was hard to hear because I believed I looked funny. I knew I had to put the mirror down if I was going to be able to see in front of me and start back on my journey.

I prepared myself to tell The Attorney that I must leave Codependenceville. She and her family screamed and said strange things when I told them. I'd lived there so long that I don't think they believed that I was really going to leave.

I packed the stuff I'd brought into the office from my car, back into the car. Tomorrow I would change the oil, get a spare tire, and fill the tank with gas. I had been trying to spend less money at the market so that I would have money to stay in a hotel on my way to Independenceville. Even though the distance was short, I need to be prepared. It seemed that it might take me a while to get there.

This story contains a great deal of symbolism. When I mention Colleen, I am referring to my counselor, and her family is the violence avoidance group I was in. The Attorney is my sister, and her family is my family.

I wrote this story eight years ago. I had just left a shelter for battered women in Florida. I spent the better part of the next year reading books, and going to group and counseling.

Two years ago I married a very kind man that I met at my mom's church. Funny thing, he was born in Independence, Kansas.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kathy" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

Note from Darlene:
I am currently working on creating e-books which will provide my visitors access to specific and relevant child abuse information more readily. As this project will require a great deal of time and focus, I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of offering comments on all submissions. Please do not take my lack of response to your story personally; I mean no disrespect, nor is it intended as an invalidation of what you have endured. Indeed, I am honoured that you have chosen to post what has happened to you on my site. Whenever time permits, I will endeavour to provide supportive and validating replies. I hope you and my other visitors will continue to offer words of support and encouragement to the many contributors who have courageously shared of themselves through this site. I thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Jeanne

by Jeannne
(Location Undisclosed)

I was molested when I was a child, but fortunately I found a way to healing and wholeness. I have read some of the stories here, and my healing is a little different, but I think it is legitimate.

My brother was the one who did it to me, the first incidents happening when I was about four or five, and the later ones when I was eleven. My brother is three years older than me. The first time I was too young to know how to deal with what had happened, so it got filed in an 'ignore' box in my brain. When I was older I remembered those times with shame and guilt, and I swore no one would ever know what had happened. I was one of those painfully shy kids, I hated myself, and I would get depressed for months and months at a time. There were times when the sadness and despair where overwhelming, but I didn't know why I felt that way, and I struggled with the temptation to cut myself. I never crossed that line, for which I am glad; somehow I knew it was something I shouldn't do even though I desperately wanted to. I also thought about suicide, especially when I was in the deepest depression, although it never got to the point where I actually had a plan to do it.

I'm not sure where my brother got the ideas, but I know that he deeply regrets what he did, and he struggled with depression, even more than I did, and I think he still does today, although not as much. When I was a freshman in high school he finally confessed what he had done to our parents. They didn't do anything, I don't think they knew what to do, but that's when I realized why I was messed up inside. It was a couple of weeks before my brother approached me and asked for forgiveness, fortunately by that point I had truly forgiven him, but I still had a long ways to go.

I grew up in the church, so I inevitably thought these things had happened to me because God didn't like me much, He was disappointed in me, and was punishing me. In high school I began to hear whispers that this wasn't so, but I didn't dare to believe them. Then in college I began to take my faith seriously, and as I focused on God, He showed me that He was not the distant, hard-to-please God I had always pictured, but He was one that experienced everything with me, that chose to feel emotion for me. Finally I got to the place where I trusted Him, and I thought things were going pretty well.

Then one day I was driving home from school and I suddenly remembered what had happened to me as a child, and I started sobbing. I remember wondering why I hadn't gotten over what had happened, since it had been years and years. But I realized it wasn't going to be so easy to 'get over' it, so I just prayed, "God I want to be healed, but I don't feel strong enough to face this now, so I'll just trust you with the timing."

It was two weeks later that my younger brother and I went to my pastor's house to ask him to pray for us (it was for something completely unrelated). What he prayed for didn't happen, so I was a little discouraged. The next day I realized I was feeling really down, and pretty soon I figured out it wasn't about what my pastor had been praying for, that was actually a minor issue.

I realized I was in pain, and it was so intense that I was actually checking my body to see where I was injured. But it wasn't anywhere on my body, if it was on my soul or my spirit I don't know, but it was the worst pain I ever remember feeling. I didn't take the pain to my parents, my friends; I didn't think that would cut it, so I just cried out to God for help.

Here's where it gets weird:
As I was praying, I started to get vivid pictures in my brain that I couldn't see with my eyes and that weren't memories in my mind. I saw myself lying in a field, and I had armor on, like I was some medieval knight or something. I couldn't really move, and I knew I was wounded.

Then Jesus walked up. It's hard to describe what He's like in a way that really tells you how He is, but let me say this: He had this huge aura of love around Him that would fill up a whole room; there was not an ounce of condemnation in Him. He was so strong, I knew He wasn't afraid of anything, and at the same time He was perfectly gentle. He was so concerned for me, and I remember He knelt next to me and put my head in his lap.

Then He started to speak to me, and I heard His voice clearer in my mind than I've ever heard it before or since. He said, "I love you." Before I had read verses like "for God so loved the world," but I had never thought it applied to me, or that maybe God would love me someday when I was a better person. But when He said it, it was like the words burned onto my heart, and I knew they were true. He told me how much He loved me, and then He started to tell me how I had value in myself, how I was precious and had precious things to offer.

After a while I had a sense that God the Father was going to show up. At first I was nervous, because I knew Jesus, I had seen Him, He loved me, and He was awesome, but I wasn't sure about God the Father yet. But as I thought about it, I remembered that while they are distinct persons, but they are also the same person, so I said okay, and God the Father showed up, and He was just as loving and compassionate as Jesus. And He spoke to me of how He had created me, and how He loved me and how I had been lovingly made.

It was crazy, but after the vision or whatever it was had stopped, I felt different. Before it had felt like there was something inside me that was destroyed. Afterward it felt like I was whole again, like I was alive. All of a sudden I could remember what had happened to me as a child and there was no pain or shame associated with those memories, they were just things that had happened. I remember it like I remember going to the grocery store: it's painless now. Today my friends will tell me that I'm one of the most peaceful people they have ever known.

So that's my story. I'm not sure what to tell you to take away from it. Maybe that however badly you are hurt, healing does exist, and it is possible to be whole again. God does still heal today.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Patina

by Patina
(Littleton, New Hampshire, USA)

We All Feel Like She Looks

We All Feel Like She Looks

The way I figure that works best for me right now because of my condition...extreme PTSD (post traumatic stress)...the best way to deal with it is to not think about it at all. Until of course I have a flashback and I have no choice but to write it down. The worst part about abuse that I have just begun to figure out is that no drug is a good mix, and the reactions we have to sexual advancement. Which leads to horrible things. Sadly, I had to go through it first, to find out first hand. Prevention for me is only when I am sober and can handle myself. Drugs lead to double trouble for abused men and women. So my healing methods are simple: stay clean, try not to remember, and make the best of your life.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Aneta

by Aneta
(Chicago, Illinois, USA)

I never thought I would be that person to say that I've been abused. I was abused by a man that I trusted. He was my neighbor. He had a kid and a wife. It made me worry if he was doing things to his son. I never really knew what was considered abuse. I thought you actually had to have some guy have sex with you for it to be considered sexual abuse. But I realized the way he was touching me that things could have gotten worse if I did not not stop them. I was always in denial. I was 12 when that happened and it took me a year to accept it happened and than I went to the police. I had my best friend by my side and I knew that if I let him get away with it, he could get away with doing things to other kids. I'm 16 now, and doing better. Of course we all have those hard days. I know I do. But reading inspirational stories on this site keeps me going.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Lisa

by Lisa
(Location Undisclosed)

I am 26 years of age and I am in the process of healing from the child abuse that I suffered. I went through physical, emotional and sexual abuse from my family. My mum never really loved me. I was tortured quite badly. I could deal with it then, but now it's taking effect on me.

I was hit with a belt buckle, hot cups of tea thrown over me, hot dinners thrown down me, locked in cupboards, made to sleep in the same sheets that I had wet the night before, and received hits and punches left, right and centre. I was told how I was a mistake, that she wished I had died when I had an accident and was in hospital;, I was nothing to her! I never received love or affection. In fact, the last time I remember a cuddle from her that meant a lot was when I had the accident and my heart stopped beating while I was in her arms.

During this time, at the age of 11, my sister's boyfriend started sexually abusing me. He touched me and inserted his fingers internally. He would grab me from behind and cover my mouth whilst doing so. He would visit me in the night and touch me, and when he got me alone he would make me do things to him. Whilst this happened, my mum and both my sisters were aware of this and didn't do anything to stop it or report it.

I could go on forever with my story, but the long and short of it is that I have come this far and eventually saw that I needed help. I have started my counselling sessions, and yes, it is hard to talk about all the nasty things that have happened to me as a child, but it is part of healing. Please, if you are reading this and thinking you are not ready, I promise, we are never ready...it's you that has to make the first step to recovery!!

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Lisa" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Natalie

by Natalie
(Location Undisclosed)

I was only in preschool when the sexual abuse started to happen. My brother was seven years older then me and to any young child the older sibling is someone you are supposed to look up to. I can't recall very many details of my abuse because it occurred so long ago and ever since then I've been trying to forget it ever happened. He molested and raped me several times for a couple of years. I believe it stopped around the time I was in kindergarten but I'm not sure. I just know that it did stop, but don't know why. I remember enjoying the feeling of it and sometimes even willingly took the abuse. That part makes me extremely disgusted with my self and is one of the biggest challenges I have today with the whole thing. I know I was too young to realize what was happening but it is still a hard aspect to let go of.

I've only told two people in my whole life of the abuse, my ex boyfriend and my therapist who've I've recently started seeing. I've never told my parents although I have a feeling they knew about it. I have one memory of my mother walking in on the abuse and pulling me away to her room to yell at me. She said I must never be in his room without my underwear on. Wouldn't you think she was aware of the abuse just by that memory alone? But it appears as if she has no idea. My brother hasn't lived with us since I started High School and he isn't around very much but my family knows that I have a strong hatred towards him and refuse to be in the same room as him. They all think I have an irrational hate towards him and often see my demands of leaving as being immature. I'm afraid of what they would say or do if they found out. I'm not afraid of them being angry, in fact I want them to be. I'm afraid that they won't be angry. I'm afraid that everything about our lives that include him will stay the same but their actions towards me will change. I still have a few years left of college, which they are paying for, and I've decided, as hard as it will be to hold in my secret, not to tell them till I don't have to depend on them any more. I think it will be in my best benefit to be able to get away if things don't go well.

Since I've been seeing my therapist I've realize that talking about it is a beneficial form of healing for me. Writing this story is one way for me to do this. I hope that one day I can work with children who have been or are going through sexual abuse. Until my secret is out, I don't think I'll be able to get over it. Until I can get rid of this skeleton in my closet I don't think I'll be able to live a normal life. I've been looking online for websites like this and this is the only one that has been helpful so I thank you for this opportunity to let me get my story out. I hope someone will be able to relate like I've been able to with the others on this page.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Anonymous

by Anonymous
(Arizona, USA)

I'm keeping my name anonymous because if some of my family found this, it would cause so many problems. I don't exactly remember when it started, but I think it was around the second grade.

Me and my cousins spent our summers at my grandmother's house. My older cousin told me I was special. He would take me to a place by my grandmother's house that was private. He would make me touch him in places, and then he would do the same to me. For a while I didn't know anything was wrong, but when he started threatening me to not tell anyone, I knew something was wrong. So I told my only friend in the fourth grade. Even though I swore her to secrecy, she had a nightmare and told her mom, who in turn told my parents. They were outraged . . . and then nothing. Sure the abuse stopped, but I had flashbacks and nightmares for years. I did well in school grade-wise, but nobody liked me. I was constantly picked on, so from the sixth- to ninth-grade I didn't speak in public. I only talked to my closest friends, who also were outcasts.

The ninth-grade summer, my life changed. I went on a retreat with my youth group. We split up into small groups and we were told that we could share anything, and I did. The female leader became my closest friend. She helped me begin to heal. We had groups in the church and we met outside of church and just hung out and helped each other though problems. At this point I was still scared of all males and still believed it was somehow my fault that I was molested. It took me two years to trust the male leader of my group, but when I did he was able to help me understand that it was not my fault. I then hated my cousin and wanted him dead. Fortunately, he didn't live anywhere near me. He moved to his dad's after what he did was found out. With the help of God and my friends, I have forgiven him. Don't get me wrong, I don't trust him and when he comes to visit I'm polite, but the most he gets is a handshake. I will never allow him to touch my body.

It's been almost four years, and I'm still learning and healing, but I have a job and I'm doing amazing. As soon as I get money saved up I'm going to college to be a child psychologist so that I will be able to help kids like me before they get as bad off as I was.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Just Me

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

I've had a very hard time dealing with the things I've had to endure. Only now, I'm trying to notice the good things in my life and not the bad. I've moved into a new foster home and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm working with a PSR worker who is trying to help me. I don't know that I'm healed, but I'm trying. I mean, does that count for anything? I want to be happy more than anything in the world. I'm just not sure how to get there. I've had many therapists to talk about the things that have happened to me, but the problem is, it's hard for me to talk about it seriously.I try not to feel things and if I'm being serious then I feel it. I'm trying to work pass that. I know that what happened to me is not my fault, but it doesn't make the pain any less severe. I'm doing sports, Basketball in particular. I sing and write songs. I keep a journal. I try to tell people how I feel. I tell people my story because it helps me to get it out, but it seems that kids always look at me different. They either think I'm a freak or that I'm crazy, or they baby and pity me. I don't like that. It's okay though. I'm not really in to what others think about me. I don't know if what I'm saying right now is worth putting on this site, but I thought I'd take a stab at it. I just don't know exactly how to heal. The depression is just so bad. But believe me, I'm trying my hardest. I wish I could just blink this pain away. No matter what has happened to me, I know I can be better and rise above all of that. I know I'm strong. I will win this in the end. I will raise my children someday, with love and respect. I will NEVER make the mistakes my mom and others did. I can be a good person. I'm aware of my ability to be better. Now I've just got to figure out how to get rid of this pain. I cry so much that my pillows are permanently stained. oh well, maybe I need to let those tears out. 13 years of keeping them in oughta be enough.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kesha S

by Kesha S
(North Dakota, USA)

Lost, Scared, and Hopeless: 
I'm 15 years old and I've been abused by my mother for many years. When my dad and my mother were married nothing really happened, but when my mother divorced my father, things started to happen for the worst. My mother would hit me, scream at me and choke me. I never was able to eat, drink, nothing unless it was at my father's house.

My father wasn't that bad, he felt sorry for me every time he called me because he could hear my mother screaming at me from across the room.

One night was really bad and I thought there was nothing to live for anymore. I got bullied at school, at home, everywhere I turned. So I thought about taking my life, but I'm glad I didn't.

3 years later, I spoke with my father and said to him everything that has happened, all the abuse and bulling going on. He immediately said for me to move in with him and his girlfriend. And so I did.

That was the best move I could possibly take, now I'm living with my father, his girlfriend and her daughter, going to a better school, and living a happier life.

If you are getting bullied or abused you need to tell someone right away or things could get worse. You will be better off not getting abused by the people who SHOULD love and care for you.

SO PLEASE GET HELP!!

LOVE DEARLY TO WHOM ARE GETTING ABUSED;
KESHA S




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Cathryn

by Cathryn
(Texas, USA)

I realized shortly after my first attempt at writing this, that I could not possibly fit everything in here regarding my experience. So here is the reader's digest version. (still quite long, but not the full novel)

We can start with my Father being paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident when I was 3. I spent most of that year living with various family members. I was never sure of my surroundings. I remember when in Dallas with my Grandma, eating all of my mother b/c pills, and having to throw them up :/
Also I remember seeing my father in traction. You'll read this and wonder why I would call this the most horrifying moment in my memory. Not sure, but it definitely ranks as #1 or 2. If there are any nurses reading this. Please spare us that vision as a young child.

After my Father arrived home from Baylor's OT program many months later, He became addicted to many drugs, both RX and non RX. My mother as well (his drugs and hers).

My abuse included daily beating and assault and extended periods of neglect (outside or in the closet) resulting in untreated injuries such as burns, breaks, loss of consciousness, various sprains, and respiratory issues (treated), several inner ear infections (treated), and bladder infections (sometimes treated). At one point I actually began to lose hair, although I am unsure as to what caused it or why. I wet the bed quite often until I was about 7-8. That is also when I began cutting myself, and or using an eraser to burn through my skin. Also hitting the back of my head against a wall, preferably brick was pleasantly distracting.

Also I was exposed to allot of chemicals as my parents used, and sold various drugs. My father was a gun smith and taxidermist. The Hot bluing method of gun parts requires caustic soda solution heated to 300 deg. F. We had little ventilation, and I was responsible for maintaining the vats. Taxidermy has its own set of chemicals that I remember as "caustic". Also I was responsible for field dressing the deer, and processing. This in and of itself is not bad, in fact I still enjoy hunting, but only because I have been able to rationally separate that experience with that one in which it was explained to me how a human is treated in much the same way at autopsy, and paired with my mother being shot at by him. If I had been a male....

So, When I was 12 My parents divorced YAY!!! right? WRONG. Now I have 4 abusers. My mother and her Alcoholic BF, along with my Father and his violent new wife, who is a body builder and proudly diagnosed as Bi-Polar :(

It became quite brutal at that point, with increasing violence all around. Now, I also had a step sister that I became responsible for. That was tough, but our relationship is all that survives of my childhood.

After my mother took custody of me, she continued in her neglect, and suddenly I was pretty much on my own. I had no idea how to act. I was in a new town with new friends. I went where I wanted and did what I wanted. One night my mother locked me out of the house because she had a friend over.... So I decided to walk to my Grandmothers house. On the way I accepted a ride from my friends father. He drove me to a reservoir, pulled me out of the car, brutally raped, sodomized and assaulted me, then dropped me off on the side of the road about a mile from my grandmothers house. When I made it to her house she called my mother to pick me up. My mother drove me home punching me with her one hand not on the steering wheel the entire way. Screaming at me about being a whore. When we arrived home she threw me into the bathtub and scrubbed every inch of my body. I was 14. You know how they say you probably wont get pregnant the first time you have sex, they are so wrong, you most definitely can and I did. My mother drove me to Dallas 2mo. into the pregnancy to have an abortion, and that was when I knew while laying on my back experiencing the same pain of my rape and worse that my soul was damned to hell. That although I would love my Lord for all of my days I would never be accepted into his kingdom. I wished for death, to just bleed out right then.

I later escaped all of this in a way, by marrying my first husband, and successfully bringing my daughter into this world. I have to say that she is a gift to me because I miscarried 2 times after in the following 10 years. Once in that 2 year marriage (figured it out early at least). Once in my current marriage. both in second trimester, neither with medical intervention because I did not want that experience again, ever.

I dis-associated from my parents for 5 years after my daughter was born and after my divorce. I began setting goals for my life. I started meeting those goals, and exceeding them. I began to know my worth.

First, I worked at a little independent pharmacy as a tech. Then I rented an apt, paid my own bills, went to school, Loved my daughter and needed no ones assistance. It was then that I began to dissolve that self destructive part of me, a small portion everyday over time.

After some time, I met my current husband, after dating for 3 years, and a 6mo engagement we married. We have now been together for over 16 years. When we were engaged, I re-established my relationship with my parents, and was able to form a relationship with them on my terms. I was able to actually have a relationship as an adult with my father and I feel blessed to have had those last 7 years with him. Truly that healed many wounds. My mother is still an emotional strain to me, and I have to tell you honestly, I do not and will never love or respect her, but out of respect for my grandmother I say the words. I feel no shame for my lack of love for her. I feel sadness in never having a mother sometimes.

Also my Sister saved me. Even to this day she is what saves me. I know through her that I DID go through every single one of those days and survived it! I know that we pulled each other up and gave ourselves no excuses. We rejected drugs, and alcohol, we rejected violence, and we rejected our parents and realized them for what they were. weak human beings that could not direct our future, nor determine our worth any longer.

I am now happily married to a wonderful man who accepts me and all of my faults. His family is truly amazing, and led me to the realization, that God has forgiven me for my sins, and that some of those sins were not mine to repent. Also they taught me forgiveness. In forgiveness, there is healing. I don't carry the burden of my parents any longer.

I currently work in Finance for an awesome company where I feel valued, and I am respected for my talents. My daughter has graduated, and will be attending college this Fall.

I will say, that I have had my share of health problems recently, and although I am uncertain to what extent my past experience has created them, or contributed to them; I am involved in some heavy research regarding that correlation. However I do not stress or worry. I gave it up to God, and am allowing him to lead me wherever it is he needs me to be.

My doctors are of science, and they will do their work. I pray for them every night. That He may lead their actions.

That Is my story, so no I am not on welfare, I am not lower class (although my money is sent directly to my daughters school now), I am not a user, or a drinker, or suicidal, I am not a criminal, I haven't abused my child.
I am not a victim of domestic abuse.I haven't killed anybody, I don't have any STD's, or a gambling problem. I know there were some other thing I am supposed to be doing, but I cannot recall them at the moment.

I am happy, and gladness is in me even when health is not. I wish that everyone reading this and relating to my experiences would understand. You are not a lesser human being. You write your own story now. You are whomever you choose to be. Even if you do not feel you are worthy of this life, or of happiness and success. That does not make it a fact. I promise, If you can just set one goal for yourself that improves you and your life and meet it, you will feel that worth & it will be tangible! My first goal once on my own was to gain employment. That began a chain of events. I still have short term/ long term life and financial goals. It keeps me grounded in the future, and in the present. I have chosen to no longer live in the past. I pray you find strength to live outside of your memories and experiences as well. God Bless <3




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Deb

by Deborah Randall
(Laurel, Maryland, USA)

I've been going to 12 step meetings. Working the 21 steps of child abuse recovery. Remembering. Years ago it was difficult when violent memories came back to me. Memories of being screamed at incessantly and for days on end. Of being chased down a dead end hallway. Tackled. Clawed. Hair pulled. Remembering was shocking. At the time I thought it was all normal.

But lately, what has been coming up are more ordinary things. Like being in elementary school, sound asleep in my bed for the night, awakening to the screaming of my name, running into her room and being told to turn off her TV.

This abuse of power. This need to be subservient to a bully all of the time. These are the things I recall now. Being held to an almost impossibly high standard and being ignored at once. The jealousy of getting sexual attention from her companions. That is the root of her hatred toward me.

Then the sexual memories come. I was sexualized before I was raped. I was watched and my privacy was taken away. And, I'm wondering how to rank these violations.

My own Father did something to me that I have no memory of. Exposed me to pornography at a very young age. Slept in the same bed with me every other weekend. Was the teacher in his Masonic lodge where he preached family values from the Bible.

My recovery right now is about permission. Permission to have my own opinions, thoughts, ideas, without worrying about the consequences. I have no mercy for sexual molesters or child abusers. I know they are mentally ill, but I also know they have hurt me and given the opportunity would hurt me again in a heartbeat.

I'm celebrating my anger about being expected to "understand", "go the extra mile", "do a little bit more", so that they can remain mentally ill. NO! I now say and it liberates me.

I have begun to look at it from the perspective of the Goddess. A great good spiritual Mother who has endless nurturance for me. One who will protect me. And a distant spirit Father who has no sexual interest in me and who I don't care to know too closely ever.

I think reclaiming the Mother spiritual energy is helping me a great deal. Giving myself permission to NOT be "Christian" is the kindest thing I could ever do.

And from a spiritual perspective, I think it is my job to speak truth. Because, no matter how ugly, it is the only thing that allows us to evolve. Those who avoid truth and hide inside of their self-created self-contained snow globes, smash into glass a lot.

The world is much safer for me than the house I grew up in. Now, this is tragic, but it is also beautiful. I trust the world more than I trust my Parents. They are criminally ill. It is not my job to care about them. It is not my job to hate them. It is my job to let them go.

This goes against everything I've been conditioned to do. So the Goddess energy comes to me again. It asks simple questions:
-Is your spirit being honored?
-Are you experiencing joy everyday?
-Do the people around you celebrate who you are?
-Do you celebrate the spirit of those around you?
-Are you living in love knowing it is boundless and abundant?

Conversely, it checks in with me:
-If someone is venting their frustration at you leave.
-If someone is diminishing you for who you are leave.
-If someone is trying to erase you leave.
-If you feel jealousy being thrown your way go home.

Home.

I've learned to have a home.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Deb" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Jo H

by Jo H
(Victoria, Australia)

Healing for Life: 
My story includes horrors which have touched the lives of so many affected by child abuse. I am a survivor of emotional abuse, physical abuse, abandonment, sadistic abuse, spiritual abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, rape by strangers and abuse by an organized pedophile group. My abusers include males and females, family members and external perpetrators. I became part of the foster care system and have spent time in juvenile institutions as well as navigating the adult legal system.

To outsiders I look normal. I live in a house with my husband and a white picket fence. I do volunteer work. I go to church. I have close friends. The only obvious signs of my past are the permanent scars on my arms and other body parts self-inflicted from years of self-mutilation. The track marks from years of drug abuse. At only 35 I have 8 of my original teeth remaining as a result of extreme opiate addiction. I have struggled with eating disorders. Bulimia, compulsive exercising and still have extreme difficulty with food on a daily basis. My house is not very organized as I moved so often as a child, and had so much trauma affecting my ability to concentrate, no-one ever thought to teach me how to look after a house or cook. My education is abominable as I got expelled from one school after another, acting out the torment that was my home life. I have a police record. Mostly charges from years of prostitution which I began at the age of 14, also shoplifting as if I did not provide for myself no-one else was going to. Having children has not felt like an option to me as I have so little role-modeling in that area and am terrified I’ll pass the mistakes of my parents onto the next generation. So here I am at 35, trying my best to start again and making plans for what I’m going to do when I grow up.

I’ve been all but shunned by a mental health system which remains ignorant and apathetic to the effects of trauma on the brain and treats me like I’m simply seeking attention because of my history of self-harming and suicide attempts. Finding a therapist that can meet my needs and I can afford has been close to impossible. Functioning in this world when my mind is overloaded with trauma is difficult to say the least.

However there is good news. I have found help and understanding and empathy in a place called Heal for Life, which runs healing weeks in most states of Australia as well as the UK. At Heal for Life I found people who accepted me as Heal for Life is run by survivors, for survivors. All the carers have done their own healing weeks as well as extensive training under a psychologist and continue on their own healing journeys. Best of all, from the moment I got there I have been believed and this has helped me shift my own denial and begin pursuing my truth and tackling it head on.

I did my first healing week at Heal for Life four years ago and have done a number since. Unlike the rigid structure of therapy the healing weeks run from Sunday to Friday and we have as little contact with the outside world as possible so that we can focus solely on our healing. Up to 12 guests and four to five carers attend each healing week and it is carefully structured so that we can open our wounds and feel our pain, release that pain and re-empower the hurting child within. We have groups but do not share story in groups as that is simply re-traumatising. We the guests decide what we wish to work on and when and a carer will walk beside us as we address the trauma which has been held onto for so long. At Heal for Life it’s safe to cry, to be angry, to express our fear, to share our shame and most wonderful of all, we are given the opportunity to experience joy, something preciously rare to many survivors of child abuse. Towards the end of the week we are encouraged to look at the tools we’ve learnt which we can continue to use at home and bring back into our adult selves so that we can return to the world in a safe space.

There are healing weeks for adults, guests range in age from from 18-90 plus. There are single sex healing weeks if there is a demand and some Christian healing weeks by request. Nearly everyone who works at Heal for Life is a fellow survivor and so even though we have extremely limited money, the work that is carried out is a labor of love. It is truly a joy to walk alongside our peers as we all heal together.

At Heal for Life it’s safe to feel and we are encouraged to feel. In a society which expects those of us who have been through childhood trauma and abuse to suck it up this alone is truly liberating. For all who have suffered trauma at a young age we have a wounded child within us, desperate for the needs which were never met when we were little. We are taught that it is the emotional equivalent of cancer.

Childhood abuse and trauma cannot simply be ‘got over’ anymore than cancer can. We have to do the hard yards but as a result we can truly live, for many of us for the first time. At Heal for Life we can cry, we can be held, we can be angry, we can scream, we can reveal our fear and be assured that we are safe now. We can share the depths of shame with just one person who will help us to return that shame to the people it belongs to.

We learn about the effects of trauma on the brain, especially when that trauma is inflicted while our brain’s are still growing. We are taught about triggers and our tendency to be in the amygdale a great deal of the time. The amygdale is the fight/flight/freeze part of our brain which works overtime in survivors. We are taught about attachment styles, parenting styles and the effect that’s had on us. We are taught when we are reacting from our wounded child within, or our protective child, or the wonder children we were meant to be, and how to start responding in a healthy adult manner rather than reacting from our fears. We are taught about boundaries, what is healthy and what isn’t. We are taught about the results of post-traumatic stress and how that affects us on a daily basis. Most of all we are taught that what happened wasn’t our fault and that we can heal from the effects of even the most deep seated trauma. The brain’s of survivors of trauma work differently from those who haven’t experienced this and yet the good news in that by feeling and releasing those pent up emotions and by challenging those negative belief systems we can heal.

Since starting this amazing journey I have decided I want to live for the first time ever, something which was an impossibility before. I spent my life since I can remember wanting to die and trying to die and the lightness of having that weight lifted is immense. I have stopped using drugs. I am no longer a prostitute. I have stopped cutting myself up and hurting myself. I am able to love more, love my husband, my friends, my animals and most of all myself. I have a greater appreciation of both the big and the small things in life. I am determined to tell my truth, both to reach out to other survivors and also to reveal the horrendous things that were done to me and the people who did them.

Best of all I have hope. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to sit here and say that. I thought life was something to be endured not lived. Some cruel trick of the universe intended to test the limits of our tolerance. I’m still on my healing journey and Its undoubtedly a life long journey but one I’m now happy to be on. While I wouldn’t wish my past on anyone I can now choose to learn from it and appreciate the strengths I’ve gained and the skills which serve me well in a world which can be tricky to navigate. It is my personal mission to spread the word to other survivors that there is hope and we can lead a life of joy and fulfilment. My past will always be there but no longer am I a slave to it. I have chosen to learn from it and live the life I was always meant to live, still scarred but no longer crippled. Mine is a story of hope and one by one, as we endeavour to restore our lives and find peace of mind, I believe that we can journey alongside one another, speak our truths and travel this path of reconciliation together.

Jo




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Story of Healing and Recovery From Paul1

by Paul
(United Kingdom)

I was sexually abused by my cousin in my youth (about 7 years old) and so retained certain problems due to this trauma - molestation i.e. fear, worry, panic attacks and anxiety, worry about how to perform sexually became the norm and depression too. I went many years and used to avoid sexual encounters because of fear/aversion, as it developed into a sort of phobic condition for me. Things got so bad I couldn't have sexual relationships because of this problem. Every time I had a sexual encounter, fear, worry and anxiety because of situation used to creep in.

My life became so depressed.

I went to the doctors, which wasn't much help either, as I was referred to a G.U.M (Genito-Urinary Medicine) Clinic, an N.H.S (National Health Services) funded organization (for all aspects of sexual health), and they're pretty useless.

So to put my life back on track I privately paid to see a sex therapist which helped me to deal better with my situation. Cavajet was also used for my erection difficulties and psychological impotence because of the effects of the abuse I suffered.

People can recover from abuse, so you're not alone.

I recommend psychosexual counseling and Cavajet impulse. Don't get fobbed off by doctors, clinics, etc.

Don't Give up.

You can be Saved - Pray for Strength

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Brittany

by Brittany
(Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

I'm an adult child of a parent with untreated Borderline Personality Disorder. My entire childhood was filled with fear, hopelessness, abuse, and abandonment. I had only one sibling, a younger brother, who my mother absolutely adored. He was her favorite child and she always made it very well known. Since I was the only other female in the household, my mother took a strong hatred for me. She was always accusing me of having a sexual relationship with my father (which never happened) and would try to blame all of her marital problems on me, even as a young child.

I took like one day at a time because that was the only way to survive. I remember how confused I was always feeling about my home life. Am I a GOOD daughter? Is it my fault mommy is so unhappy, so angry all the time? She was constantly running out on our family in the middle of the night, not coming home for a few days at a time. She would pick up my little brother and kiss him good-bye, tell him she loved him. She'd then look up at me, crying on the stairs above her, and say "You little f***ing b***h". Countless names were hurled at me (I won't post them here) and several different wishes she had for me (such as "I hope you get raped").

There was minimal physical abuse but when I think about it now I would have rather been smacked than go through the daily abuse and torture I endured. In my teenage years I was very lost and rebellious. I hated my family and I didn't know who I was or what direction to take in my life. The only thing that kept me sane was staying as far away from home as possible. When I turned 18 I moved out immediately.

I have completely cut ties with my mother. I have no contact with her what-so-ever and I never will again. This and ONLY this has made me a much more stable person. Instead of thinking about her as my mother, I think of her as a mental patient. If a mental patient called me a "bi**h" or a "wh**e" then I wouldn't be offended. I find that if I think about her as being mentally ill then I don't take as much offense because she is, in fact, crazy.

Be strong. If you have made it this far, you are still breathing, you are still fighting, and living, then you are on the right track. Take it one day at a time, get your education so you can get a good job, move out, and NEVER have to go back again. Never look back. Grieve, let yourself cry. But once you're done, you're done.

Keep your head high. You are NOT your parents, you are your own person and you are never trapped. There is always a way out!




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: I welcome you to follow me on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I hope to hear from you there!

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Mag

by Mag
(New Jersey, USA)


My story is one of hope and success. I was sexually, mentally and emotionally abused by both of my parents and (each them knew the other was doing it)from the age of 3. That said, I have recovered and now I am a survivor. I have come full circle and now I help other survivors of abuse with a weekly self-help meeting in my town. It is possible to heal and let-go of the negative and painful past and hold on to the good wonderful memories in your life. We do have to process the flashbacks or memories when they occur but in time this gets easier and not as traumatic. Take care of yourself and love yourself all day everyday because it was never your fault. And hold your head up high because you survived!




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Name Undisclosed3

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

Proof That You Can Live Again: 
I feel strange writing this down in black and white but I know now how I feel a very distant feeling not so long ago. When I was 4 years old I lived in New Zealand with my family. Little did we know that when we moved into a new house with lovely neighbours my worst nightmares would become reality.

As many people have, my mind has blocked a lot of the abuse so it is hard for me to remember when it first started. I used to go over to the next door neighbour's to play with the children who were all older than me but they were like big sisters. It all started when I would knock on the door to go round and play and the girls weren't there. Their brother would invite me in and say I could wait for them. That's all I remember about the start.

Like most abused children, I didn't know what was happening was wrong. I still remember feeling as if I had a big secret and the weight of the world on my shoulders at the age of 4.

I ended up becoming very attached to my mother and not wanting to leave her side, crying all the time and my behaviour was recognised by my kindergarten so I have a lot to thank them for.

Growing up I have always felt like I had a dirty secret that I shouldn't talk about. My mum and dad are very open people but it was the unspoken truth that never got talked about. It wasn't until I was in my early teens that I started to feel different from everyone else.

I started what I now know were common OCD behaviours as my mechanism to cope. I feared not only for my own safety but also my brother and sister's and become obsessively over protective of them both. I kept this well hidden as I had the pain for so many years. One thing I have learnt from this is that you learn to become a good liar when you go through something as hurtful as this, but the main person you're lying to is yourself. At the end of the day you're the only person who can let people know how you're feeling and take those steps towards recovery and finding your voice again.

I spent years unwell, self-harming for hatred of myself...and 3 overdose attempts...until I finally got the help I needed.

Therapy is one of the most painful things I have been through in my life, but the most rewarding by far. Whilst going through therapy, I discovered that I had blocked out so much more than I could even imagine. I found that I had not only been abused by my next door neighbour, but also by my grandparents' adoptive son. Some may say that they would rather not have uncovered something that they didn't even know had happened but I know deep inside me somewhere that was eating away at me, and if I hadn't ever found out then it would have eaten my soul away and I would have had no idea why it was happening. I feel that at least now I knew I could come to terms with both cases and move on with my life.

I'd recommend CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to anyone. It has freed me from my trap of a mind and helped me realise it was not my fault. The only person that was stopping me and holding me back was myself, my thoughts, my concepts. I can't change what happened to me so I have learned to change the way I think about it instead.

I'm now in recovery and I don't think I will ever forget, but to be honest, this is who I am and there is nothing I can do to change it so the best revenge in my eyes is to get on with my life and show my abusers that what they did doesn't matter to me and they have no hold over me anymore. I am my own person and nothing can change that.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: I welcome you to follow me on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I hope to hear from you there!

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Adopted Guy

by Adopted Guy
(Christchurch, New Zealand)

Adopted and beaten by adoptive mother, only child of 5 to be deliberately left behind when she finally left my dad:I was lucky enough to only have 1 crazy parent, my adopted dad was a man of integrity and character. although i think i knew id been beaten(thank goodness i have no memory of it), i never connected with the emotion until my dad was dying of bowel cancer. watching him die was the saddest thing for sure, but nothing like the exhaustion of waking up to child abuse. my sister saw me getting beaten once and as an adult she'd still cry about what she saw. id always tell her that we just needed to forgive - i literally had no emotion about it. when i started talking to my siblings about it, 25 years later, what i thought happened once turned out to have happened many times, as different family members recalled it happening on different occasions, but had never spoken of it. like others, i believe in a God who is loving and merciful, but nothing colours your perception of God like a violent and powerful adult out of control. i have had counselling and in many ways have come a long way in the last two years. i am 32 and it all happened under the age of 6, when she left.

in the last two years my dad has died, my wife of seven years has given birth to our first daughter, in the town that i was abused in(we no longer live there, but our daughter was born there, which for me, was like claiming that town, and making a new start with a new life, almost redeeming it in a way).

so now there is a new start, a reason to look ahead and not back. i know that because i have faced the abuse, i am not looking ahead in denial of the past. i still have some days where my head goes round and round and its hard to stay positive, but i'd like to think those days become fewer and further apart. as for the loving and merciful God, that is certainly who He is. time to set aside my fears and wrong associations and dare to believe that someone so all-powerful would choose not to use the power they have to hurt, but to care for and to defend the helpless, to stand up for injustice, and to accept the rejected as if they were His own, and as if they had always belonged to Him...




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Colleen

by Colleen
(USA)

Growing up with my mother and watching her go from relationship to relationship was very uncomfortable and confusing for me as a child. It was ok when my half sister was born but after two years into her life, she was gone because my mother fought a lot and she wanted my step-dad to take care of her. So I was deeply saddened by this because I loved my sister so much and missed her when she was gone. Afterwards I grew up as an only child. My mother continued her life and re-married my second step-father. I thought he seemed very cool at first. He seemed to care a lot and he listened to my problems. My mother seemed to never have time for me or her mind seemed pre-occupied. I really thought she was in love with my step-father until he went on westpack one day and I found her in bed with another man. I was ten at the time or eleven. I confronted her and she said not to worry about it. She said we all had needs and that she wasn't getting what she wanted at the time. I was angry at her for cheating on my step-father because he loved her a lot. When I turned thirteen, things began to change. My step-father came home smelling of booze one night. He walked into my room and stood at the foot of my bed and stared at me. He leaned over and kissed me on the lips. It felt weird and I didn't know what to do. I was too scared to tell my mother and I was confused by the situation. Things got worse and worse as time progressed. Then my mother left me. She moved out with another man by the time I was fifteen. She left me with my step-father. He continued to sexually abuse me until I was sixteen. He went to jail and I had to move back in with my mother. My mother was doing drugs and drinking. She didn't want me there. She always would say cruel things to me. She would hit me a lot on my back and pull my hair. One night she almost died because she tried to take her own life. I was angry. I wanted out. We got into a heated argument one day and she threw all my clothes outside and told me to leave. I never came back again. I was 17 when I left home. Now I am 40 and I have been through some therapy to help me cope with the pain. My mother still lives and I have told her in an email about the pain she caused me. She got mad and said she wished she had aborted me. I have two wonderful boys (my children) and I would never tell them such a horrific thing. I love them like I wanted to be loved. It's been a long journey through all the pain. But day by day I am seeking ways to improve. My children help me too. They love me unconditionally and so do I.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Redeemed

by Name Undisclosed
(USA)

I don't remember any of my childhood. If you asked how my tenth birthday party was, I wouldn't be able to tell you. I wouldn't be able to tell you how my first ten years of life were, or even twelve. I remember bits and pieces, and they're mostly about being scared, or being at school with my friends. I remember getting a puppy for the first time, and having that puppy run away. But that's it. Nothing more. And much, much less.

My dad wasn't the best guy. He was hurtful, and his whole body just radiated so much hate towards everyone that would say a cross word towards him.

I remember once, I was little, I don't remember how old. I remember watching TV in my big sister's room when all of a sudden I heard a big bang. My sister and I walked out of the room and went to the kitchen where we saw our mom lying down on the floor, her face towards the refrigerator and her back to us. I then remember seeing my brother grabbing a frying pan and smacking my dad's head with it, causing a loud clang. And then I ran back into the room and cried.

My dad and my brother were arrested and my sister and I just cried on the front porch of the house. I didn't know if I was more scared or shocked. We tried to comfort each other, but we failed miserably.

That's all I really remember. Everything after that went blank, but I know that that is what changed things for me. It's like everything that resulted from that abusive fight was stripped from my memory. I just remember that suddenly, my dad was back in the house, as if nothing happened.

I began to play by myself more. Secluded and withdrawn from the world. I remember actually playing that I was killing things. I remember pulling the heads off of Barbies and tying dolls up. I was a weird kid, and I didn't know why.

My dad wasn't physically abusive with me, it was more emotional. My dad is a genius, or close to it. And when I was having trouble in school, he would always yell at me, and I didn't like it. Soon I just came to the conclusion that I was just the dumb kid, the lost cause. So I said "screw it" and just didn't care.

Middle school came and went, I don't remember much except getting into a fight that led to me having a dislocated hip joint.

Then high school. I had some best friends that I thought were amazing. They were the misfits, the people that everyone thought were weird, and boy, did I fit in. There I was the genius, the goody-two-shoes. I was the one who didn't do anything bad, that had all the luck. And I liked it.

I had nightmares upon nightmares of things chasing me and me not being able to move. I still have nightmares of ghosts and spirits breaking their way into my room.

I don't know why I am afraid of such little things. If someone walks towards me slowly with a creepy look in their eye, I'll involuntarily start crying and cover up my face so I don't have to look at them.

Then something changed. I was born and raised in a Christian family, but my dad was the one that was raised from a Buddhist family and didn't really have a religion. Suddenly, during sophomore year, God came into our lives, and everything changed.

My dad, instead of telling me that I was dumb, suddenly started to say that I was smart. He said good job to me after I was done singing on stage, and it almost made me cry.

Everything that I needed. Was in a good job. And now, I'm better. There aren't any more scars or regrets or questions about my past. I just look towards the future now, and I see it as bright and without death or drugs or drinking. I see it as blessed, and cherished, and protected and full of life.

I didn't like relationships with guys. And then, I met this one guy. He's a Christian. He's dedicated to God, which is why I'm so attracted to him. We've taken a vow to live our relationship for God and God alone.

When I met him I realized something. That in order for me to heal completely from my traumatic childhood, I had to first be okay with myself. I had to realize myself worth. And once I did that, happiness just came in at every angle. And now I'm loving life.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Steve D

by Steven
(Chicago, Illinois, USA)

One of my first memories as a child, from perhaps when I was 2 or 3, was of my mom gripping my face and then pushing me backwards to the floor on my highchair. As an adult I learned that my mother had been sexually abused by her older brother and physically abused by her mother and father. In the 1960's when I was growing up most people did not acknowledge or get treatment for their emotional issues. Unfortunately for me my mother focused much of her anger and rage at me throughout my childhood.

My parents were divorced when I was 4 and in another stroke of bad luck my step father was also abusive. Much of the violence and shame that they focused on me was because I had enuresis, I wet my bed. They beat me with belts and electrical extension cords to punish me for my condition, sometimes when I was naked laying on a rubber sheet. They called me names like "piss-pants" and paraded me for the neighbors in a diaper when I was 5 or 6. My mother once told me when I confronted her "I thought I could beat it out of you".

The violence was not limited to punishment for bed wetting. Other infractions like not helping with chores or throwing a paper airplane out my bedroom window (on fire into the snow) or complaining about having to move 5 times, including my sophomore in high school were met with vicious beatings. They would throw me to the ground and stand over me and kick me, pound my head into a wall, throw objects at me like dinner plates and punch me in the head with closed fists. Almost as bad as the violence itself was the constant threat of violence that was communicated in specific threats screamed at me.

Somehow I survived. To cope I masturbated. I masturbated starting at 4 or 5 years old in a desperate attempt to make myself feel good. In my mid 20's I discovered pornography. In the back of my mind I still had respect for myself and never engaged in dangerous or lewd activities, however I now realize that the porn was a way for me to keep shaming myself. I had picked up the belt and starting using it on myself, recreating the shame that belonged to my parents.

I am still recovering for the effects of child abuse at 49. Despite the severity of the abuse and the effects that it has had on me as an adult I am convinced that one day I will achieve a sustained period of calm, happiness and redemption. I believe that every person has a core, an inner self, that belongs only to them. No matter how severe the trauma the core survives, the person that you really are, stays intact. I have become aware of my core as separate from the feelings and memories of the abuse. It's not always there, but I have had fleeting glimpses of it. Sometimes only a moment, sometimes several hours and sometimes several days. This is what keeps me going. This is why I am convinced that I will be redeemed and live free of fear, able to love be loved. For anyone that is reading this please believe me when I say that you too have a core that was not touched by abuse. Remember that you are separate from the feelings that you have about your abuse. Never give up, even when every fiber of your body is telling you to do so. You are not your thoughts and you are not the pain that you suffered as a result of the abuse.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: During the week of February 15 - 21, 2010, I will not be able to comment on story submissions, as I will be attending a conference in Atlanta with only limited online access time.
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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Maurice

by Maurice
(Eire/Ireland)

Having related my story about being beaten on my bare bottom at nine years of age and at 11 years for 7 years after that (see Maurice's story on this site), I am still haunted by the feelings I get quite strongly from time to time, even at my age of sixty two.

Yes, since acknowledging and accepting I was abused by this so-called Guardian of me 12 years ago I am much more able to say I love me. From the age of thirty three I have let go of a lot of false thinking about it all. But from time to time the effects, especially if I dwell for any length of time of how wrong he was to me by baring my bottom for him to beat as he pleased. Yes, the abuse of the innocent child does have its effects which linger on. Thanks to a site like Darlene's I make a greater sense of my abuse. I have great and true friends who help me to be truly a Believer in the real me male human being nowadays.

Professionally I have been assisted to understand the effects that what wrongly happens to you as a child can linger on in the background for a good part of your life. Child Psychology is a great study. So thank you Darlene and all your visitors for your love, care, and concern shown in all your comments. They make me feel good about myself.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

Finally Learning To Cope: 
It started (at least what I remember) at 3 years old, being beaten with a belt by my mother, leaving red welts. I used to hide in the closet or under the bed afterward. My brother escaped this abuse because he was a "boy" and therefore could do no wrong in my mother's eyes. From that, it progressed to hitting me with her hands, a pot or pan, a chair--pretty much anything she happened to have handy. My hair was pulled, sometimes tufts of it pulled out. Along with this came the name calling. Sometimes vulgar names, and at early ages I didn't even know what some of the names meant.

Where was my father?

Oh, he was always nice to me but conveniently at work, in another room, or outside while this was going on. Sometimes sitting in the very next room where he could hear. He once told my husband that he knew that she had a temper and he just let her do what she wanted to avoid confrontation, but no mention of even knowing what she was doing to me. She used to tell me she didn't even care if other people saw bruises on me that I just made her so mad. I was never sure what I even did that was so bad, especially at 3, 4 or 5. Sometimes it might have been just accidentally spilling a glass of milk or forgetting to pick up a toy.

Throughout my childhood I prayed to God a lot to make her stop. I spent a lot of time alone in my room. As I got older I started to backtalk her, and put my arms up in defense, but that only caused her to hit harder and threaten more.

I was rarely allowed to have friends over or go to friends' houses. Maybe she was afraid I would say something. Of course I never told anyone, I was too embarrassed. I know now there was nothing to be embarrassed about, but back then that was what I felt.

In public and at school I always faked that I was happy and I developed a pretty good sense of humor. I guess that's how a lot of abused people cope.

At home we were also never allowed to play loudly, run around, yell loudly in play, and we were definitely chastised if we cried over anything. I learned to keep a lot of my feelings in. I felt pretty alone.

Luckily, as an adult I met my husband and I finally felt comfortable and trusting enough to tell him about my past. He encouraged me to finally cry and let it out. He listens, he hugs me, he gives me the affection and feeling of safety that I missed out on. I'm very thankful.

It's been years and I know I'm still in the process of healing. Different things will cause me to have flashbacks of what I went through, but I'm learning to concentrate and focus on what a good life I have now. I'm nice to people, sometimes too nice I think, as in being a little bit of a pushover. I think that might be because I'm afraid of making people mad. But I'd rather be too nice than let out anger at others and mistreat them.

I pray every day. I hope someone reading this will know that while it may not be easy, there is hope for a normal, happy life...I also hope that if someone is being abused they will tell someone and get help, especially someone outside of the family who will believe them--clergy, a physician, a teacher, a counselor...I'll continue to pray for everyone who has experienced this.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Elizabeth B

by Elizabeth B
(Location Unknown)

I was born and raised in a little Country.My parent's were not married,I was about seven years old when my mother left town to seek employment.My siblings and I was left behind with our aunt, who whipped and abused us every oppitunity she had for very little or no reason at all.Weather it was with her fist in the center of my back or across my face,a broom stick across my chest and arms or a drop cord over my entire body,is just to name a few of the many encounters we had to live with on a daily basis.I can still remember her raking my skin with her nails as she gave me a bath(was I that dirty). Life for us was a living nightmere.

As I got older I tried to justify why my aunt would treat us the way that she did,but I'v come to relize that nothing could, especially after watchinng her with her very own child.For she never treated him so cruel.

I remember asking my father to find a place for me to stay ,but no one listened to a 10 year old girl,for that reason as I got older I made many attempts to run away from home,I was not happy there at all. Today I am 39 yrs. old a mother of two ,I have a husband that adors me ,a great job and a good life.I have forgiven my aunt for all that she has put us through,even though it would still be nice to hear her say, sorry!

Nevertheless in all of this the greatest lesson I'v learned,is how to treat my children and what not to do to them.For no one can take care of my children for me.God gave me the job of mother-hood the greatest job ever given to women.

ELIZABETH B




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Nettie

by Nettie Ballinger
(Fort Myers, Florida, USA)

I was abused as a child: sexually, mentally, and physically. At age 5, my stepfather started to molest me. It continued to age 8. Then he started to rape me and beat me. That continued to age 10. Sometimes he had his brother and his friend join in. I was going to therapy for the abuse when I was 5 - 10 and the driver who took me there molested me. At the age of 13, my mother's boyfriend started to rape me. People told me it was my fault, and I started to believe it. I stopped fighting him and let him do what he wanted. By the time I turned 16, I had tried to kill myself 3 times.

Now I am a mother of 3 and a wife. I am a Sunday school teacher and a woman minister. I help other women that have been through it. I am 27 years old. I did not get over it till I was 26, so it stayed with me. I will never forget, but I can say that I am a survivor. It may hurt and it always will if I think of it. But I am still alive today, and I love my family. I choose not to let my past interfere. I know what was done to me, but I know I deserve to be happy. It does not hurt the one who did it to me if I stay unhappy, it only hurts my family. I say to you now as a woman: It does get better, but only if you want it to get better. I say to you as minister: God can take it away. You are not alone. Look to your family. Know that not everyone is out to hurt you. Know that people care and love you.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Anonymous

by Anonymous
(Indiana, USA)

Abused and am recovering the horror: 
I was sexually abused from age 5 to 15 by many. From 5 to 10 was our pastor's son. It all started out with games and him talking me into doing things to him to. He used God against me, and made me believe lies that I know now are not true. That is how he was able to get me to do things to him, and him doing things to me. This story can be so long, but I am making it brief.

I am also a survivor of Physical abuse from my mom, principals, teachers, and pastor. I was in a Christian school growing up (so-called Christian school). The abuse that went on there is horrifying.

From ages 13 to 15 I was abused by different boys. I used to think it was my fault. I never realized it was abuse until I started counseling.

Counseling was my best decision ever. I used to be so ashamed of my past and disgusted with me. I am now seeing that it is not me who was the disgusting one, it was them. I always felt inside I am not worth anything. Now I am seeing that I am, little by little. I used to think that God hated me and that he thought I was such a dirty nasty person. I'm not...he loves me. My healing has come a long way, and I am still healing, but I am doing so much better now. I am thankful for my counselor.

I want to tell everyone out there that has been abused that it is not your fault. Also, to get into some kind of counseling. Don't wait until you're 29, like I did. Start as early as possible. It is scary, all that we as abuse survivors have to go through. You can do it!!!!

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From KC

by KC
(Location Undisclosed)

I am a 20 year old female who suffered over ten years of emotional and physical abuse from my step mother. She was originally my baby sitter from the time I was almost 2 til I was almost 16, and ran away.

I didnt realize how much I thought about what happened and how it effected my everyday living. I have 2 children and am pregnant with my 3rd. I have a loving and understanding partner now, who is always there for me.

I decided I was going to talk to someone about my anxiety and sleeping issues. They diagnosed me with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

After doing some research, I finally felt relief knowing that is was actually "something", not just me thinking I was crazy.

I have made an appointment with my therapist and hope to do some major changing and getting control back of my life.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Rene

by Rene
(Africa)

It was the year 1964 IN South AFRICA CAPE Town WHEN I CAME INTO THIS WORLD. My Mother had a unhappy childhood so as i grew older and wiser I UNDERSTOOD WHY MY PARENTS DID WHAT THEY DID TO ME , MY BROTHER AND MY SISTER. You see when you grow up from infant to child to teenager ,the life you had with your parents to you was in the norm... So as you get older you cant understand why you do ,think, react differently to other people. Why dont i feel happy, even though you are married to a wonderful man, have food on table, bed to sleep in, but cant seem to love yourself. you see I was 5 yesrs old my brother 3 years aND MY SISTER 9 MONTHS OLD WHEN I WAS TAKEN AWAY 1ST FROM MY PARENTS, i was taKEN 1ST TO HOSPITAL AND EXAMINED BY A DOCTOR AND A CHILD PSYCOLOGIST.The results was more emotional sexual abuse & neclect.
I inproved and so they put me in an orphanage home the year 1969. My sister was apdopted a few months later, my brother was also put into an orphanage 1 year later. We were all three seperated from a young age. my mother was a depresssive and she was also hospitalised alot. in the year 1972 ,I WAS TAKEN OUT OF THE ORPHANAge and gien back to my dad as he had remarried. My brother and me were united. My sister was adopted aND ALL MY YEARS GROWN UP I KEPT THINKING OF HER. mY MOTHER DIED TRAGICLY AT THE AGE OF 36, AND THAT REALLY HURT ME INSIDE. i DONT WANT TO GO INTO TO MUCH DETAIL AS i have been to many psychiatrist ,psychologist, you name it, and I did not feel forfilled or healing with any of them. I have started to write and what a blessing, my childhood experience and how im surviving. Im doing it to heal and if i get it published it will be a bonus. FOR THE 1ST TIME I FEEL STRONGER, MOTIVATED, EXCITED AND WILLING TO WRITE MY LIFE.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Patricia

by Patricia
(North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA)

I shared my story on the child abuse stories page, and now I want to share my story of healing and recovery. I am happily married now. I was abused as a child in the 1960's. My father abused my mother, my sisters, and me. He nearly killed my mother and me. My mother was 9 months pregnant with my youngest sister. My father stabbed her in the chest, broke 2 of her ribs. No charges were ever brought against him. Twice, he shoved my third sister down a flight of stairs, causing her to break her shoulder bones. Before the falls, she was a very normal toddler. After the falls, she ended up mentally retarded. She is now disabled with mental retardation, agoraphobia and panic disorders. However, she is loved and cared for by myself and my youngest sister. She is living a very happy life now.

My father left us in the summer of 1968. My mother and sisters moved to Pennsylvania. My mother raised us to be productive and happy women. She died in 1989 from cancer. Her remaining years were filled with peace and the love of her children.

After my mother's death, I became a nursing assistant. I loved caring for people. My youngest sister is now working full-time as a nursing assistant. She is caring for my handicapped sister. Sadly though, my second sister is married to a man who controls everything she does. We do not have contact with her because of him.

I, myself, found the love of my life in my forties. I was given a wonderful gift. I am happily married to a very gentle man. Happy endings can happen with love and support from caring people. With such a loving mother and loving grandparents, life becomes happy again. The scars heal. There is hope. We need only to forget the past, forgive the abuser. Go forward. There is hope.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed64

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

A little different story: 
My father was a binge-drinking alcoholic who might go for weeks or months without a drink and then disappear for a week with his Friday pay envelope. We might get a call that he was in jail and needed bail money, or he might show up two, three, or four days later when his money ran out. He was a union construction worker who made good money when he worked, but his drinking and sometimes long periods without work kept us in poverty.

My mother always worked very hard to try to make ends meet, but it was a losing battle. Her frustration and anger led to bouts of uncontrollable rage. When my father returned home after drinking, he and my mother would have screaming fights for hours, late into the night. I remember lying in bed praying to God that He would let one of them kill the other so that the screaming would end, and I could live somewhere else. I never considered where else I might live, but it seemed that anywhere would have to be better than home.

As the oldest male, I was a surrogate target for my mother's rage when Dad was not at home. The fights between my mother and father were rarely physically violent, but it was common for my mother to beat me for minor infractions when my father was drinking. I never knew what would set her off. When I was quite small, perhaps five-years-old, I was watching Saturday morning cartoons in the living room. Dad hadn't come home from work the night before. My mother apparently had called something to me from another room, and I, zoned out on the TV as kids can be, did not hear her. What I remember is that she stormed into the room, picked me up out of the chair, and threw me on the floor. She then kicked me until I passed out. I have many similar stories. I had a deep and consuming hatred for my mother through all that I can remember of my childhood and into early adulthood.

My father was pretty much absent from the family, or only a peripheral member of it. His father had been an alcoholic, and Dad grew up in foster homes after his mother died of cancer when he was nine-years-old. This was during the Depesssion, when many people who took in foster kids did so to try to make ends meet with the state-supplied money, never intending to give the foster kids any love or much in the way of food or clothing. As a child, I think I felt that my father was as much a victim of my mother as I, and I loved him. As I grew older, I realized that his problems began long before he met my mother. Thinking back on his life, I believe that he never had an opportunity to learn what it means to be a father or to have a family.

I have struggled with depression all my life. I can not remember a time when I did not have suicidal thoughts as a child or an adult, until I finally began taking antidepressants at the age of 50. I was a very good student in high school and won a National Merit Scholarship to one of the top colleges in the country. For years, I had lived for the day when I could leave home and escape the unhappiness, but when I left for college, the unhappiness followed me. I nearly threw away that college opportunity by getting heavily involved in drugs. It was the late 60s, and psychedelics and marijuana were popular and readily available. I was very much into self-medication: as long as I was high, I could avoid focusing on how shitty life seemed to be.

A year after college, I cut my wrist in an unsuccessful -- and probably half-hearted -- suicide attempt. I was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward, where I first realized that just because my parents were miserable, that didn't mean that I had to be. I learned that children of alcoholic families grow up believing that they are responsible for their parents' unhappiness, and that if the parents are not happy, the children have no right to be happy.

I decided that I did have a right to be happy and that I would no longer carry my parents' problems on my own shoulders. Deciding to do that, and making it happen are two different things, and the road to my own life and my own joy was neither easy nor short. It required a lot of work, a lot of support, and eventually some effective (and legally prescribed) anti-depressant drugs. I went to grad school, met and married a wonderful woman who taught me what it means to love and to be part of a loving family, and had a daughter with her.

Our daughter knows my history and those of her grandfather and grandmother, and I wonder if our openness about that played any part in her career choice: She is a child psychiatrist.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kyrie E

by Kyrie E
(Location Undisclosed)

Although tests said that I was bright, social situations baffled me. It was easy to comprehend books and recognize patterns in numbers, but interactions with other people baffled me. I got in trouble frequently, but my understanding of why was often pretty limited. Interactions with other kids were also confusing. When I was 5, another girl came over to play, and after she left, my mother said that she probably wouldn't be coming back. I figured that this meant I did something wrong. By then, this was starting to seem inevitable. Sometimes I'd get angry and frustrated, though, which would get me in more trouble.

In third grade, the teacher was sometimes nice and sometimes scary. Sometimes, I'd get in trouble for inappropriate laughter. The weird thing was that it wasn't especially fun, but the harder I tried to stop, the worse it could be. Later on, it occurred to me that this might have been a sign of stress.

One afternoon when I got home from school, my mom wasn't there. It turned out that she had been over at the school talking to my teacher. This seemed like it probably wasn't a good thing and the fear started to rise. Did I start laughing inappropriately? I can't remember doing this, but my mother later said I did. But I do remember being up in my room after that and my mother telling me that I could either take off my pants and underwear and get hit with the belt or run away. I took a look at the belt and decided to run. My mom made me stop before I left and hit my hand with a ruler because I'd been biting my nails.

After wandering around the neighborhood for a while, I ended up at a friend's house. My father showed up and quietly said that it was time to go home. He sounded kind of sad but not angry. When we got home, my mother was crying and she hugged me. I was very confused and wondered if it had also been bad of me to not just let her hit me with the belt.

About a year later, my mom gathered the family in the bedroom and asked everyone if it would be OK if she took my sister and left. I figured that meant that she wanted my sister but not my brother and me, and wasn't completely surprised. So I just sort of mumbled that I didn't know and tried to stay out of the situation. Dad persuaded her to stay, and I was not sure how to feel about this. Many years later, Dad told me that my mom had had a few problems of her own and she had been talking about going away to get some kind of help.

In 5th grade, my mom decided that we were going to go to a Catholic school. The transition was not easy - many of the kids had known each other since kindergarten, and the rules were different. I had no idea how to fit in, and remember finding spit that someone had left on my uniform sweater. My mother decreed that I was supposed to have a kid over once a week. But when I tried asking, the nicer ones would usually decline politely, and I overheard some of the others mocking me for asking. So I'd sometimes have to sit in my room all weekend writing sentences as punishment. I remember at the end of one of those weekends, she came into my room and tore up all the sentences right in front of my face.

One weekend in late winter, I went over to the local public school to play and was happy when another kid wanted to play with me. He was older than me, in junior high, but we ran around and played hide-and-go-seek. We ended up in a secluded area, and he came up with a new game. He wanted my to take off my pants and he would just stick it in a little. This sounded like it would hurt, but I didn't want to be rude. So I compromised and unbuttoned my shirt and unzipped my pants a little. This seemed to satisfy him. When I got home, my mother didn't believe that I had been at the school and spanked me and sent me to bed without supper. Later when I told her that a guy had wanted me to have sex with him, she said, "You didn't let him, did you?" I still had to stay in bed and didn't get any dinner. Years later, I brought up the boy, and she said, "You don't forget when something like that happens to your kid." I felt like screaming, but didn't say anything.

When I turned 11, a 15-year-old high school boy came to our family as a foster child. He was nice to me and seemed to like being around me. Also, I didn't usually have to write sentences as punishment for not fitting in at school on the weekends when he was there. Then he got even friendlier. He threw me over his knee and patted me on the butt one day, and he also started giving me long, sloppy kisses. He'd sometimes sneak into my bed at night and climb on top of me. He wanted to have sex, but I lied and said that I was afraid of getting pregnant, despite being too young to have my period. Given what had happened after I'd encountered the junior high boy on the playground the year before, it didn't seem like a good idea to tell my parents what was going on.

When I was 12, the foster kid pushed my parents too far and they ended the relationship. That year was also the year I had to go see a counselor. She was nice and told me that whatever I said was confidential, but I wasn't so sure. After one session, my mother had demanded to know what we talked about and I knew that she sometimes met with my parents. So telling her about stuff like the foster kid or the time my mom had slapped me across the face until my nose bled seemed too dangerous. We ended up working on my social skills and she tried to explain what you were and were not supposed to do. She was nice, and I made some progress and relished the praise and attention.

The transition to high school was a little difficult because most of the kids were unfamiliar and I had to figure out a new set of rules. But once I settled in, it was a lot better than grade school. The next year, my mother got a job as a sexual abuse prevention educator and she went around telling other people's children that the parts of their bodies covered by their swimsuits were private and they had a right to say no to touch that felt wrong. It was impossible to put into words why I sometimes felt so angry.

Cynicism made me feel less vulnerable, and my high school friends and I reduced sarcasm to an art form. If you set your expectations low enough, it seemed, you were less likely to be disappointed. That was the year some Catholic priests were arrested for child sexual abuse, so we had plenty of material. It wasn't until many years later that I recognized that cynicism also had a cost.

That summer, I volunteered with my high school service club at a face-painting booth that was raising money for child abuse prevention. A few weeks later, I got a letter in the mail from the organization thanking me. My mother walked into the room with the letter and demanded that I open it and read it aloud to her. I had no choice, but felt white-hot fury. My father could not understand why that had bothered me so much.

Adulthood ended up being better than childhood. I hit a wall in college, but ended up making it through and getting a graduate degree. Sometimes it seems like I should have accomplished more than I did, but I like my job. Ultimately, a psychiatrist concluded that the difficulties with social skills and some other things were related to a subtle disability, and medication helped me with some things.

Someone said that forgiveness involved giving up hope of a better past, and there's a lot of truth in that. There's been a fair amount of "coulda-woulda-shoulda" - if I'd gotten treated earlier, if the situation had been better, if I'd made different choices. If, if, if.... Would I have been able to achieve more? Maybe. But what's done is done. A wise professor once told me that the principle of optimality involved picking the best path from where you were now, regardless of what had occurred in the past.

In his poem "The Dry Salvages," T.S. Eliot says,

"And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;"




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Someone

by Someone
(San Diego, California, USA)

I am not healed yet: 
i have just started the therapy. It opened so many wounds. I don't know how to deal with it. Sometimes i want to die. I wasn't aware of how frozen I was. I am extremely sensitive. It hurts too much. I wish this goes away. I am crying without a reason, like life passed by me, i am in a cold and dark place that nobody can reach. I hope i can handle this.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Samantha

by Samantha
(New York, USA)

An Update: 
The last time I posted an entry on this website I was in pain (see Child abuse story from Samantha). But this time I am here to tell a happier story of my life.

I am happy to say that after extensive therapy and counseling I am sleeping through the night, unmedicated. My son has turned one and he is my whole life. The best news about him is that though I could not prove my rape (by my stepbrother), I was able to keep his "father" away from both of us via family court restraining order. Though he is incarcerated for a long time, I just needed to make sure after he got out for a little while and tried to find us. My brother has "repented" and moved out of state to practice his religion, and I periodically get letters of apology. My cousin (one of my molesters) died in a motorcycle accident.

And now I'm getting Married! To the most amazing and understanding man who is adopting my little boy, and not to be too lucky, but I'm pregnant again. And I'm going to college to become a cop. I started in September and it's going great. I have so much support! My life is GREAT. I hope others find this fate!

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Samantha" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Jennie C

by Jennie C
(Tennessee, USA)

I am 16 years old and lived in a house where I was beaten at least three times a week for 14 years. Until two years ago I lived with my mother, who beat me. I would come home from school and try my best to hide from her. Almost everyday that my dad was working; she would come and beat me. She has broken my finger,and when we went to the hospital no one would report her. On several occasions she would end up beating me until i passed out. She was eventually reported to DHS, but unfortunately they didn't find anything to accuse her of. She was a police officer for nine years so people don't believe that she would ever be capable of doing anything like that. The abuse that I suffered has left me with several physical and mental scars. She never physically touched my little brother, but is mentally scarred also from witnessing her beating me. My family has been in court fighting against her for the past two years. We have finally gotten visitation with her limited to three hours supervised visitation a week. Since I have moved out, I have found a mother figure, and have become very founded in the bible. I have learned that no matter what happens GOD is always there. People don't realize that the children that go through this don't just have physical hurt, but we have to grow up without a parent(s). What i would suggest for others that have gone through a similar situation is: find a parental figure that will always be there for you, and find a good church fellowship.




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From James

by James
(Hawaii, USA)

Hard Work, Cruel Beatings, and Humiliation: 
From at least as young as 5 or 6 years of age, I was physically and psychologically abused by my father, and also by my older brother. There is no other truthful way to describe what they did. Throughout the time the abuse was happening and into my young adulthood I felt that what they were doing was wrong. In response to my objections for their treatment, they ridiculed me and beat me and taunted me all the more for my crying and being cowed by their actions.
My father had from my earliest memories used whippings for punishment of my brother and myself. This was often in a calculated use of a switch from a tree. Sometimes it was in an outburst of rage and he would use whatever he could grab first -- such as tool handles or belts, or he would just grab us by the arm and kick us until we fell down. The whippings sometimes left welts or bruises that stayed for several days.
At an age as early at about eight I was working in the main crop produced on the farm, tobacco.
The house we lived in at first on the farm was very old and small. When I was nine years old my parents decided to build a new, larger house. To pay for this required that we increase by a great amount the size of the tobacco crop and the amount of custom machinery work we did for other farmers.
It was also at about this time that my older brother began to physically abuse me quite a lot, although he had always been a bit rough. He was very physically strong, even for his age, and I was smaller and physically weaker than most boys my age. On numerous occasions he punched and kicked me. There were several ?black eyes?, bloody noses and split lips. He broke my nose by kicking me in the face. At first I told my parents about his beating me. They told him not to do it, but he did not stop. He would beat me even more for having told them. Since they could not or would not stop him and he took revenge for my telling them, I quit telling them.
Being a child, and one who had such limited world view of what was right and wrong, I felt very conflicted as to whether my own perceptions were correct. Over the years it became obvious that it was abuse. There were a few people in my life that suggested as much ? the school bus driver, my maternal grandfather, and other children.
My relationship with most of the other students at school was not very good. I was not good at sports and I came to school with tobacco stains on my hands. School events or activities that required money were always out of the question.
Through elementary and junior-high school, I would sometimes be kept at home to work in tobacco, and in the winter would work at night with my father and brother pulling the dried tobacco leaves off the stalks to prepare them for selling. This made it difficult to do homework in the way it needed to be done.
When I was 14 my father's poor health prohibited him from continuing to farm and he went on disability.
During the time I was in high school, since my father was no longer working, we went fishing together some, and this helped our relationship. Still, sometimes at home he would get enraged at something I had done or said and beat me. This is not to say that I never did anything to deserve correction, but I never deserved the beatings he gave me. On one particular occasion he used a metal clothes hanger and beat me until blood rose to the surface of the welts on my back and arms. It was during this time that I began having nightmares about being beaten by him or my brother. I also did some sleep walking.
When I was 17, my maternal grandfather shot himself in the head. This was of course a shock to the family. For me it was a shock because I had for some time recognized that killing myself was one way I could escape from the pain in my own life. When he shot himself it made me realize how close I had come to doing the same thing.
As I grew older and lived on my own, I continued to struggle with what it all meant and slowly came to see the abuse for what it was: two bullies taking advantage of their physical power over a weaker person unable to defend himself and with no opportunity to escape. This brought me to realize that part of the pain, no less than the welts, bruises and broken nose, was the shame I felt for not defending myself in some way.
Eventually, in my heart I was able to forgive them. This came as part of my own spiritual awakening in my early twenties and the realization that they would need to deal with their own consciences, and that I could live with my own conscience better by accepting that reality for what it was. This forgiveness took me a long way toward healing. Forgive, yes. Forget, no. The insult and injury of the abuse, and the feeling of betrayal it gave me, was too much to forget.
I had learned along the way, from counseling sessions and media reports, that generation-to-generation repetition of child abuse is common and a cycle that is not readily broken.
When I became a father myself, I realized with great clarity why it was absolutely essential that I should never ever forget the abuse I had received at the hands of my own father. When I held my first child, only a few minutes after she was born, I committed that I would not repeat that abuse.
Now, with my own children as young adults, though not yet parents, I can say with certainty that I have not perpetuated that cruel cycle. Can I really be proud of avoiding the perpetuation of something so terrible?




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Rose

by Rose
(West Virginia, USA)

I think it started when I was only seven, or six, I only get flashbacks- All I truly remember, without any flashback help, was that it happened after we first moved to Massachusetts. My father had just married my step-mom, who I happily call mom now. She raised me, not my Bio-mother, who walked out on my brother and I when I was three, and he had just turned six. My step-mom owned property in Massachusetts, one property that held three houses, the main house, which held five bedrooms, the second biggest held three, and then, there was the cabin. My mom chose the second house, with only three rooms. We had lived there for two years before my parents moved us back to where we are now. At my age, I didn't know that it was sexual abuse- but my older brother, who I thought as my protector, started to sexually abuse me. He hid me from my parents fights, so I just thought it was something that brothers and sisters did, you know? I kept remembering this when I first started dating the man I married, when I was fifteen. It started after we had, had sex for the first time, when I was 16. I had my first flashback that night, and they kept coming. He started to worry when I would shy away from him, and especially more so when I would flinch away from my own best friend, the guy I had been friends with since I was four, the man that I thought of as a brother, we even kept contact till now. My husband (my boyfriend at the time), kept asking me what was wrong, but I started to withdraw from everyone once I realized what I was dreaming about. I eventually told him, and I remember him wanting to tell someone, wanting to confront my elder brother, but I told him not too, my brother had moved out when I was fourteen, and had moved in with our biological mother. I hadn't seen him in years, so, he left it alone, besides, what could the police or anyone else do? The statute of limitations had already ended. It had been thirteen years, since it happened, and a year since the S.L. had ended. We came to a decision to see a therapist about the flashbacks, and it has helped me a lot since. I eventually, as a part of my therapy, told my parents, who were furious, my father, whose psyche was already fragile due to PTSD from his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, lost it completely, and my mother was horrified at what had happened, and hurt that I had never told her. I told her of my therapy, and she requested to go with me one day, but was disappointed to hear that I went by myself, and that I didn't want her to be there. I told her that someday, maybe, we might be able to talk, when I was ready. That day was almost a week ago, I set aside a day to go to my parents, and I talked with her for the whole day, we settled all ruffled feathers, and got back the relationship we lost when I had married my husband. I may have struggled, but I overcame my abuse, I may have blocked the memories to avoid pain, but I still got over what has happened, and I moved on. My husband and I now have two children, and are as close as ever. I'm proud of myself for overcoming this, and I know he's proud of me as well.




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Tiffany1

by Tiffany
(Location Undisclosed)

I shared my child abuse story here a few months ago (archived at: Child Abuse Story From Tiffany1). I cannot say that I am at the end of my road to recovery (I am still in therapy) but I am taking a big step right now toward my own healing that I wanted to share with you and the visitors to this site. I am taking steps to move out of my house! I haven't let my mother know yet - I am still working out how I will tell her because she has been pretty verbally abusive. I certainly will need courage for this....

Thank you, Darlene for your advice - I am hoping it will be easier to heal when I am away from the situation. To all those in abusive situations, know that life gets better. It takes courage and time but everyone can heal.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kevin F Part 1

by Kevin F
(Australia)

Hi Darlene,
Thanks for your great website. I've been reading it lately and find it confronting, triggering and very validating for me. It's helping me in my healing/recovery from physical, verbal and sexual abuse. I'm sending you the story of my abuse as part of my ongoing healing/recovery process and in the hope that others (especially men) will be triggered and validated by it.
Best wishes,
Kevin F

I’m 55 and live in Sydney, Australia. I grew up in Ireland in the 1960s and 70s and I experienced sexual assault and all kinds of physical/emotional violence as a boy.

I survived and am recovering from it and want to write this for myself and for others with similar backgrounds who have memories of abuse. I think the sexual abuse of boys particularly has been under-reported in a big way and has always been very prevalent.

A bit of background. My parents were educated, well off people (for the time). My father was a person who used religion as an addiction or escape from reality, in the same way people use alcohol or drugs. A religionaholic. My mother worked mainly at home and was a person who had constant, violent mood swings and used her children as targets when blowing her top and physically and verbally letting off steam. A lunatic. Having to be around her was living next to a volcano; you were constantly watching for violent explosions and often had just a few seconds warning to get out of the way.

I’ve often felt, looking back, that we were brought up in our very own private ‘industrial school’ (industrial schools were the name for the notorious institutions that were run by Catholic religious orders in Ireland in the past and were centres of child abuse and child labour).

We had our own private version and it was run by the violent and ever-present lunatic and the mostly absent religionaholic. The religionaholic spent lots of his time with priests - he was generally out at night attending meetings of various Catholic organisations (e.g. the Legion of Mary) and hanging around with priests.

And I have memories of sexual assault. When I was a toddler (maybe two or three years old). And I know the religionaholic was party to it, most likely with a priest. I don't have the memory of names, dates, places and times (which people ask for). What I do remember is the experience of shock and pain and confusion. I wasn’t talking at the time, so even if there had been anyone willing to listen (which there never was), I couldn't tell. And at that time, children were bashed and not heard and that would have happened to me if I said anything at all.

So the religionaholic just threw me back in with the lunatic and then took off again. In order to just survive day to day in that house, I had to block all this experience off and suppress and dissociate from it as best I could – without of course consciously realising that’s what I was doing. That was because as a toddler, I didn’t understand what had happened (I had no words for it) and nobody who would listen anyway.

And just a word about the day to day view of the Catholic Church then on assaulting/molesting boys. The main reason sex was sinful to them was that it could create a baby outside marriage. Therefore any kind of normal sex with a woman was a HUGE sin. On the other hand, the assault or molesting of boys hardly mattered at all; it was just a small sin, if anything. The bishops and the State authorities ignored it except where somebody was overdoing it or getting too many complaints, in which case the offender was just moved to another area.

I found as I grew that adults outside my house also didn't want to know. When I tried to say something to a neighbour and then to a teacher at my secondary school, one told me to shut up and the other stopped me by immediately changing the subject.

Continued in Part 2




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kevin F Part 2

by Kevin F
(Australia)

Continued from Part 1: 
There's always been a HUGE taboo about identifying or in any way speaking about sexual assault of boys. This was 150 per cent true when I was growing up in Ireland. It was never mentioned/reported in any media and, although widespread, there were very few words to discuss it. Of course, there was never ever any real taboo about DOING it. It was a perfect situation/structure for the molesters – the great conspiracy of silence benefitted them greatly. And that was their heyday - they had open access to boys of all ages in Ireland, while they used religion to maintain control and keep everyone in fear and on their knees.

And so for me the whole thing began to come out/manifest in my childhood and all my life as on/off depression, anger, mood swings and other physical/mental symptoms. Of course I had no idea what was causing them. And doctors were a complete waste of time. It’s only in very recent years and with medication that I’ve been able to overcome the depression and identify the cause. And been strong enough to go back in and undo the memory logjams I created just to survive but which then started destroying my life.

I was in my thirties and living in Australia before I had any real understanding of what had happened me.

I decided to go along to private therapy/counselling in Australia around 1990, when I began to read some self help books and became aware that my chronic anger and rage, mood swings, anxiety and other symptoms were not common. The therapy quickly identified that the constant violence and abuse at home were likely to be behind these symptoms but my memory of the sexual assault was very suppressed and fuzzy then and I mentioned it but didn’t feel confident about discussing it.

The ‘talk’ therapy was useful to trace the causes of my problems etc. and all the stuff came up very quickly. But the counselling/therapy consisted of talking about and being repeatedly dragged thru all the trauma that attached to all my experiences. There wasn't any cure for me - I'd say over the course of a year, it actually made me worse. So I stopped going.

Very little seemed to be known then about the long term effects of sexual and physical/verbal abuse. It was assumed that just talking about it would miraculously ‘cure’ it. There was little information publicly available then about the symptoms and effects of clinical depression and mental illness. Survivors like me knew nothing then and were just self medicating with alcohol or whatever else was available.

Then of course, the whole ‘false memory syndrome’ theory business came along and had me doubting my memories because I had repressed/suppressed them so deeply in order to just survive.

So as the years went on, the depression/mental illness symptoms ebbed and flowed, generally getting worse. The response from doctors, naturopaths and others I went to for help was generally ‘shut up and get on with it’ (similar to what I’d encountered as a child).

Then about five years ago, I was researching some of my symptoms on the Internet and, by chance, suddenly realised that I could have clinical depression. My doctor wouldn’t believe me but I insisted she refer me to a psychiatrist, who I managed to get to prescribe medication for me. Eventually, we settled on Prozac, and this really helped with lessening/getting rid of many of the symptoms.

I know it's trendy to 'diss' Prozac and other medication for mental illness but I doubt I'd be alive today if I hadn't found it. The clinical depression was getting worse each year and destroying my life. The medication reversed this and allowed me to overcome the symptoms. Also to be able to dig my way out from under them and get some kind of objectivity/distance.

I visited Ireland for a holiday in 2011 (the first time in many years) and although I didn’t mention anything, I found that visiting places and talking to people kept bringing back the memories of physical/personal abuse and also, for the first time in years, the sexual assault. The parents were both long dead at this time. And if they were still alive, they would just deny everything as always.

And so I went back to the Internet to research and listen to people’s stories and accounts of abuse and sexual assault as children. And found them very triggering and they really confirmed for me my memories, my feelings and my experience.

And so this year, I started emailing my siblings (3) with the story. It was a big shock (they said) and two sympathised and suggested therapy while the third doesn’t seem to want to know about it at all.

A couple of other points to finish. I’ve been told by people I’ve shared this with that I should stop whining about the past and just look to the future. As someone who tried this method for years and years, I can say that, unfortunately, it doesn't work. Your 'past' stays with you all the time and keeps coming up. The more you try to deny and suppress it, the more it comes out and sabotages your life.

People have accused me of coming out with this just for attention; well, most of the response/attention I've always received has been of the 'shut up and go away' variety. And I don't come out with this kind of experience looking for some kind of compensation either. You don’t get money for this and no money can give you your life back anyway.

So that’s my story and a few thoughts to go with it. I have the feeling that there are lots of middle aged/older men around the world in my situation or similar. The Internet is an incredible tool for information sharing and communication and your website is one of the best around. So I do hope that others find this story and be triggered and feel supported and confirmed in their memories, as I was by others.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Jenny D

by Jennifer D
(South Africa)

Incest was rife in my family due to an absentee father to some degree but it went back to previous generations so it's difficult to say where it all began.

I did, however, have a paternal grandmother who was a devout Christian and had it not been for her input in my life at an early age I would not be here today. She instilled in me a faith in God which has kept me from taking my life.

My single largest problem was, I had buried the memory of my father sexually abusing me so deep in my subconscious it remained buried for more than 40 years. It took the loss of a son in 1988 to resurrect the memory and I honestly thought I was going insane. I was 47 years of age then and so dysfunctional I actually belonged in an asylum.

I have read so many very helpful books on the subject over the years (I am now almost 72) but the thing that troubles me is how little effort is made to educate the public in general on the serious repercussions of sexual abuse. I honestly believe many perpetrators are not aware of the damage they are doing to the child because the body betrays us and the perpetrator genuinely thinks the child is deriving pleasure from it which is not untrue. What they do not realise is how damaging that stimulation is to one so young. Why else do we refer to the act of sex ending in a 'climax'.

In my early 40's I realised I was just a child in an adult body. To what degree could this further affect a child's body to the extent that sexual organs cease to grow?

I watch a lot of crime stories on TV and so many men are behind bars who were sexually abused at an early age.

Society is so quick to condemn people who are acting out the rage that is buried within them. I give God praise daily for His ongoing patience and love and the healing I have received through Jesus Christ. However, my healing came too late in life for me to find any happiness within a loving relationship with a male.

I'm not sure that my input is of value to you but I would like to encourage people like yourself to spend more time educating people about the affects of this abuse.

With love in Christ Jesus




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Ritapearl

by Ritapearl M
(New Zealand)

My earliest memory of being molested was when I was six years old. My stepfather came into my room, extremely drunk and starting touching me. I remember being so terrified that after that I couldn't sleep at night. He continued to molest me for eight years.

I found ways of keeping myself safe...sleeping in the tree outside my bedroom when Mum wasn't home, or making sure I wasn't home when I knew my stepfather was drinking. I never really understood why he abused me. Out of pure fear for my safety, I kept silent for ten years before finally going to the police. When I finally told my mum what her partner had done to me, she didn't believe me. So I moved out of home and found a flat with my cousin.

After moving out of Mum's, I thought about laying the compliant against my stepfather, but kept putting myself off it by making excuses for him: 'He was always drunk when he touched me' or 'It doesn't matter, I'm out of that house now.' But the truth is, it does matter. It mattered to me because I believed that I had the power to make sure my stepfather couldn't hurt another child.

For a quite some time, I regretted talking to the police and laying a formal compliant, but after a few months, I realized that talking to the police was just a part of the healing process, as painful as it seemed at the time. I had to jump through a few hoops to get my case to court, but once I found my voice, I was determined to make sure it was heard.

It took nearly two years for my case to get to court and when it finally did, I was more relieved than scared, it was nearly over. After three days of sitting at the court house (one and half sent giving evidence) it was time to go home and wait for other people to give their evidence. It was an anxious wait. I kept myself sane by being with people I trusted and preparing myself for whatever came my way. It took another three days to finally get the verdict.

Not guilty.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was chatting on MSN with a friend, and then I got a phone call saying that he was found not guilty. Now many would think I was angry (a VERY small part of me was), but to me it was over.

The court case was a great learning experience, and to be honest, that's the way I see being sexually abused (try to). Although at times I feel like my stepfather took my childhood, I also believe he taught me things that no one else could ever teach me.

Because of the experience, I learnt how to love others and cherish the people around me. He taught me how to keep myself safe and how to read people's body language. He taught me that although life has its downs, it also has its ups (even if you have to take time finding the ups, they are still there).

It's been six months since the court case finished, and I just celebrated my 18th birthday. I'm now looking forward to starting University next month to study the health side to psychology and start working towards a PhD. I haven't really fully recovered, but I know with time I will.

To those who have been through abuse...you are not alone. There are many people out there that have been through similar experiences. Find someone you can trust to talk to because honestly, once you have found your voice to talk about what you have been through, I believe you will start to heal.

If you are currently going through a court case, all I can say is I admire you for it. Life can only get better from here. Even if it doesn't seem like it, it does get better.

I know it's hard to stay and be positive when you have been abused, but I found that looking for the things that the experience taught me really did help.

Good Luck
And I hope this is a help to someone.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Ritapearl" are at the link below.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Emme

by Emme
(USA)

For many years my brother Nikki and I were severely abused by my father. There are so many scars, physically and emotionally that will never heal. But I have found an approach that helped my brother heal.

Nikki was severely beaten and emotionally abused. After our father's death, he had a serious breakdown and beat on me in our apartment. When he finally stopped, he realised what he had done and tried to shoot himself. I stopped him and held him in my arms. "I'll love you no matter what, because you're perfect," I told him. He looked into my eyes, his expression one of shock and hope. "You're not mad at me?" he asked. I shook my head. Because though many people told me I was simply condoning more abuse, the strangest thing happened: he stood up, looked me in the eye and said, "This is the last time I will ever raise a hand to anyone. I'm sorry I beat you, and I swear it will never happen again."

I was a little wary, but I wanted to give him a second chance. I was right in giving him a second chance, because now after 6 years, he hasn't even raised his voice to me. What he needed was to let it out, without reproach and restraint. He did, and then he needed someone to tell him that they still loved him.

Many people told me I was insane to do this, but it has led to the happy and healthy life of my brother and our children. I am not saying this exact approach is for everyone, but it most certainly worked for him.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Emme" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Helen Louise

by Helen Louise
(Chapala, Mexico)

My first memories are of violence. My father toward my mother, and both of them toward we children. Incest started on my fourth birthday. This went on all during the years my childhood, until my father fled to another state because he was reported for molesting a child outside of the family.

I don't have to tell anyone who has been through that kind of life how frightening and confusing it is. I began drinking alcohol for relief before I was out of high school; it was the only anti depressant I knew about. Two pregnancies resulted, but I hated sex. I had a child but was unaware of my adult status. I ran away with a man to save myself, and he shot me, then a year later committed suicide.

I would like to tell you that I was a good person anyway, but I was not. I tried to be, but the need to control my environment and the models I used to do it, made me act as a self centered bully all too much of the time, even toward my children.

Nor was I honest. I began stealing in childhood, then graduated to cheating on my taxes, then to stealing my daughter's inheritance. There was little about me that was likeable. I was giving back to the world exactly what it had done to me.

I became addicted to alcohol after my husband's suicide. I was in yet one more relationship where I was letting myself be dominated and the effect of sweet wine was a handy distraction. I had a two year run, that time.

I saw a psychiatrist for a couple of years. We talked about a lot of this stuff, but I never could get in touch with my emotions about the incest and never told him how much I was drinking. I did learn that I was a victim (as an adult) by choice and took responsibility for my life.

Later, I discovered marijuana. It has some very interesting effects, among them calming post traumatic stress. Luckily, I was living in an idealic little town where I felt every little threat; that allowed me to concentrate my attention on my internal processes. And, it showed me the beauty in life. I began to center.

Another stint of alcoholism and I wound up in Alcoholics Anonymous, thank God! I had been going to Vedanta lectures, attending an incest therapy group, volunteering at an abused women's shelter, and I was looking for life to present me with the way to quit drinking. AA clearly knew how not to drink.

Not only have I been free of alcohol for twenty-six years, I have learned a way of life that makes life worth living. As addiction is an elevator ride to the agonies of hell, recovery through the methods of the 12-Step programs leads to freedom and joy. Alanon, by the way, is what I have used to stay sane.

One learns in the program that there are choices available that had been unimaginable before. Most important of all, one learns incremental change in a safe and usually nurturing environment. All of the Anonymous programs use the same methods. They work for any problem because the program concentrates on solutions. The past is important only to understand the present. And, your best effort, made on a day by day, or minute by minute basis, is good enough on the spiritual plain.

I believe that there is a benign universe and when we free ourselves of the pain of the past, we put ourselves into alignment with natural forces, for in all the world, there is only now, this minute. I believe that there can be forgiveness and redemption. Amazing Grace is available if one asks for it and is willing to practice doing the next right thing, with a little help from a friend who has been there and knows the way.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: I welcome you to follow me on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I hope to hear from you there!

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Natalie

by Natalie
(Austin, Texas, USA)

Emotional scars from childhood abuse or trauma have a tendency to get bigger and change form as it follows us into adulthood. We drag it along because its part of us, handed to us when we were innocent kids, and don't know what else to do with it. Then as we begin our lives as adults, collecting new life experiences as they happen, we start to see our baggage in a different way. Having children can be a real eye opener as we see ourselves in our children. Looking at your 8 year old daughter, now the same age you were when sexual abuse started, it becomes heartbreaking to imagine that you were that young and innocent. It gets clearer in some ways and more confusing in others as you see JUST how wrong it all was, but then as you look at your child, you can't wrap your head around how someone could do what you suffered through, FOR YEARS, to a CHILD! You can't imagine your child going through what you did. And then it becomes a whole new ball game for you.

You start to realize that your perception of what happened has been through your eyes as a kid, and it all starts to look VERY different as you start to see through your adult eyes and you get to live it all over as you try to understand it in this new light, as an adult.

It's not over because you grew up, like you thought, but rather just the beginning of a new chapter in the book you wanted to burn and forget. And it brings a new set of emotions that will burn a hole in your soul, if you let it.
And here's what I know from my experience: Shoving this deep down inside yourself is like having cancer and ignoring it. It won't go away, it will get bigger, and it will eat you up IF you don't face it.

If you're like me, you'll come across this idea of facing your past about a zillion times, and will ignore it, until you can't.

Everybody's story is different and unique. So many other factors can have a part in addition to abuse that makes a "tried and true" method, or a "how to get over your past 10 easy steps" guide impossible. No one can have all the answers but a bunch of victims sharing their stories can hold some answers for some, or a path, or validation, or some value to someone. Some stuff will stick with you, some won't, some stuff may not make sense or interest you until a later time.

There's so much out there to learn from BUT, it won't mean a thing to you until you are ready for it to. You will carry your pain until you can't.

Here is how I was able to finally lasso my past, quiet my heart, find my self: move on already.
I had to first change the way I was thinking.
Stop it with being stubborn and stronger than this, it's not about that. Stop focusing on what happened, and take a hard look at what I've done to myself. I needed to see the anger, fear, etc, and how I let it in and let it effect my life.

I kept hearing about forgiveness, that I needed to forgive in order to heal. What? I knew what forgiveness was, from a day to day life standpoint, but to forgive my abuser to me was like letting him off the hook. Doing him a favor, How could I forgive when I wanted him to suffer, die, get cancer, be alone, feel some sort of mental agony. RAGE! Rage and forgiveness don't mix, I had to stop being so angry to even START to entertain the idea of forgiveness.

When I was 40, something happened that caused me to force myself to come forward with my dirty turd secret. My abuser (father by adoption) had volunteered, and was given, a position in the Catholic church as CCE teacher for a class of 8 year old little girls, no boys, just girls the exact age I was when he started with me, and continued for the next 10 years.

Coming forward about what happened to me in order to protect them was 22 years after I moved away, and something I HAD to do. A lot of stuff happened during those 22 year, and I changed, A LOT, like I grew some huavos, and I couldn't have done it at another time in my life. That's a long story, but to make this short, he was fired from All catholic responsibilities, there was a grand jury hearing to see if there was any evidence of abuse to the CCE girls, but no indictment, I consider that good, in hopes he hadn't hurt one of them. He gathered my mother,(who I suspect has known all along) brother, sister, and their spouses to tell what he did to me, (addressing the big elephant lurking, I guess) He told some lies about what actually happened so it didn't seem so bad, like i was a teenager, i came onto him, that kind of thing. Then no one was to say a word about it once their meeting was over, sweep it back under the rug. Hurtful stuff, insult to injury, and it stirred up a huge nest of anger for me. The church did their part quietly, no one knew what went on, just that he had to step down. Due to all the other legal stuff the Catholics had been addressing in the press in regards to sexual abuse, they weren't making any allegations without a formal charge. So that was hushed.

I was pissed, I felt disregarded, violated again. I thought his day had come, the secret would be out. Everyone would know what he is, i would have my day of redemption and be set free. Nope. (note: you can't find peace from the outside) Didn't go down that way, but it did allow me to bring it out of the dark, talk about it, and it wasn't scary, as a matter of fact I was furious, in a whole new way. It sparked the beginning for me to face it, in an unexpected way, but I felt ready.

I wrote and wrote about it in a journal, got it all out, but something still wasn't right. My words were fierce and raw. I wrote about what he did, I called him all kinds of names to belittle him so I could rise above him. He was an ignorant simple minded small town nobody that wreaked havoc with disregard and hid behind the church! A pathetic excuse of a man and waste of human flesh. I wrote horrible scenarios as to what I thought should happen to him. What the Devil should do with him. I felt better after writing all that I was feeling, it felt like it was out if me now. But the anger was still there, and it was bigger than it had ever been! And forgiveness was no where around. AT ALL! So I spent the next year spinning in circles with this. It was like a hot potato in my hands and I kept tossing it around, waiting for it to stop burning me.

Fast forward to a year or so later, i downloaded this book onto my iPhone called The Four Agreements. There were ideas and stuff I read before over time that I disregarded, but now, I related to it, it allowed me to change how I think. I realized that forgiveness was for ME, not them or it. Forgiving him and having mercy, with the hopes he will one day see the destruction he causes and change, for his sake and others in the name of happiness and peace. Because I thought, how can he possibly be truly happy? He probably never will be and I think that's sad. Because that's what we all search for, at the end of the day, we just want to be happy. Right?

I realized all this time I've been blaming him, the situation for my woes, when actually I LET my anger and fear control me because it came with my baggage that I've been dragging around. And that baggage is old emotional garbage and poison that belonged to them, that I took when they gave it, what I didn't realize was I didn't have to keep it, I didn't have to hang on to their emotional garbage and let it poison me year after year. And it served no purpose any longer. I had to let it go, and I was beginning to see how. And it has been a great freeing experience for me. Letting go is like jumping into freezing cold water on a hot Texas summer day. You know it's going to be painful at first, but when your body and mind get used to the feeling, its like, "aahhhh," and you know, once you reach a certain point, there's no going back, you faced your fear, and it no longer has control, it can no longer hurt you.

We hear this kind of thing all the time, "face your fear, forgiveness is the answer, change your mind change your life," etc, inspirational little nuggets of wisdom are all over the place, we even use them as screen savers as reminders. But it's always easier said than done. It's seeing that the grass is greener on the other side, you wanna go, you just don't know how to get there, it's scary, And it's frustrating until you stop looking at your screen saver, or fortune cookie paper in your wallet to remind you what to be inspired about, or stop looking for an apology, or to get even, or someone else to give you peace, those things won't get you to your personal happiness, peace, or whatever you call it until you look at yourself, your actions, your words, and stop blaming other people or situations. Then learn to forgive yourself so you can forgive others, and peace will follow.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Julie

by Julie
(Washington, USA)

Happy Survivor: 
I am Tracey, who posted the following story on this site in 2007: Child Abuse Story From Tracey

I thought about this site today and decided that I'd like to follow-up, years later. I'm very happy now. I had a lot of therapy and resolved to deal with a major problem that the abuse I received from my mother didn't help at all. I've transitioned from male to female and I'm finally living my real life, happy, and free from the life-long problems associated with gender conflict as well as those associated with the abuse. Although Tracey was my real first name at that time, I've since changed my entire name with my transition. I'm thankful for this website where I could post some information about the abuse and the types of abuse that was inflicted on me. It helped a lot.

Sincerely,
Julie




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Lauren4

by Lauren
(Missouri, USA)

It's Alright: 
While this story is not a happy one, inheritantly, it has a happy ending. I wrote my personal story here about 9 months back (Child Abuse Story From Lauren4). I wrote of childhood emotional abuse from my father and a childhood sexual assault at the hands of an acquaintance.

I am so happy to say that I have reached out to a wonderful organization since then.

I had no idea how damaging the childhood abuse - certainly the sexual assault - was to me.
I allowed it to control every move I made. To top it all off, I had blocked out certain aspects of the assault, so I only had vague memories of it.
Because of this, I had 'weird' quirks - not wanting to be hugged from behind, not wanting my face or neck kissed, hating pet names such as 'sweetie', 'cutie', 'love', or 'babe'.
I was always suspicious of any man who gave me a compliment, or offered to help me for any reason. I believed that I'd 'owe' them.
Through my therapy, many of my memories came back: I was distraught, lost and felt like I was sinking into quicksand for a time, until I realized what my memories meant...
I no longer had to wonder about all of these quirks, I had set reasons for the way I felt. It was such a validation.
For the longest time, anyone I confided in about the lack of memories would say, "If you blocked it out, you don't WANT to remember. Anything traumatic enough to block out of your mind has to be awful."

They meant well, but it made me terrified of my own mind.

Yes, what I remember is awful: I have not, and will not share the grisly details with anyone but my therapist who is specifically trained to deal with survivors of sexual assault.

For me, it was so much worse not remembering. Not knowing why the nightmares occurred, the feeling of being insane was more than I could take at times.
I'm not saying everyone should run out and try to remember the details of their own assaults if they don't already - certainly not.
It took me four months of intense therapy for me to remember and write it all down on paper. Even then, it was a struggle to wake up and face the fact that this horrendous thing happened to me.
I was a very small child, and someone took horrible liberties with me.

What that person took was beyond wrong, but I have my own life to live. I cannot allow myself to put on the brakes and stay in a dark, shadowy place because of him.
He doesn't deserve that control.

As for the abuse from my father...

We have a good relationship now. I never believed people could change - but he has.
He is still not perfect, he makes mistakes and has his flaws, but I see him about once a month give or take, and I have moved on from the frightened child that I was.
I truly love both of my parents. They were scared, confused people trying to do their best. They failed in many ways, but in the ways that they didn't, they excelled.

I just wanted to come here and share a happy ending - or beginning - to a sad story.

Thank you for allowing me that.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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The Three Little Vases – A Story of Hope

by Susan D Miller
(Louisburg, North Carolina, USA)

The Three Little Vases
By Susan D Miller
 
A long time ago, there was a wonderful glassmaker who made the three most beautiful vases in the world. The first one was pink and delicate, but it could hold a lot of flowers. The second vase was red, and thicker than the pink one, but it couldn’t hold as many flowers. The last one was blue, and even though it was the smallest of the vases, it was still really tough. The glassmaker loved her vases very much and filled them with fresh water and flowers every morning. Every night before she went to sleep, she would wash the vases very delicately and put them in a special cabinet where they would be safe all night. They were all very happy until one day the glassmaker never came to take the vases out of their cabinet. They waited all day and all night, and all the next day and next night, and even the day after that. Finally, the little vases knew that they would never see the beautiful, kind, glassmaker again. Deep inside the vases, where no one could see, a deep crack appeared. Sometime later, another glassmaker came along and said she would take care of the three little vases. She had made her own vase which was green and lopsided. She put fresh water and flowers in the green vase everyday but paid no attention to the other three vases. They were sad and hurt but they were glad they were together. One day, the new glassmaker put dirty water and dead flowers in the vases. She told them they were ugly and did not deserve the clean water and fresh flowers that the green vase got every day. They started to get cracks inside the delicate glass that the glassmaker had taken so much time to make perfect. The cracks started small and tiny, but as time went by, there were more cracks and they got bigger and deeper.

One day, the new glassmaker put the red and blue vases out with the garbage. A nice young girl saw the red vase and took it home. She washed it out very gently with soap and water until it shined. She put fresh water and flowers in it every day until the cracks deep inside started to heal. Sometimes the red vase remembered the kind glassmaker and the other vases and got sad, but the pretty girl would put more flowers in it, and it would be happy again.

The blue vase was found by a kind young boy. He washed it out really well and put all of his shiny marbles in it. Every day, as the boy added more marbles, the blue vase started to heal and the cracks and crevices weren’t as big. Sometimes, the blue vase got sad when he remembered the other vases, but the boy always seemed to find more shiny marbles to put in it and the vase was happy.

The beautiful pink vase was still with the new glassmaker. Since it could hold the most flowers, it also could hold the most dirty water and dead flowers. The new glassmaker knew this and always put more dead flowers in the vase. This gave the delicate pink vase more and more cracks deep within its glass where no one could see. One day, the vase fell off the shelf and broke into a hundred pieces.

The red and blue vases were very sad that they would never see their pink friend again and got big cracks in their glass. They did not break apart because they both had someone to put fresh flowers and shiny marbles in them. This helped the cracks heal just like before. All of the healed cracks in the vases made them beautiful and stronger than ever.

The red and blue vases have never seen the new glassmaker or the ugly green vase again. Even today, they have fresh flowers and shiny marbles in them. Sometimes, they remember the dead flowers and dirty water and they get real sad. Then they see how strong they have become and are thankful they are not with the new glassmaker anymore. So, even though they live with people who did not make them, they are still loved as much, or maybe even more, than all the other vases in the world. They never ever worry about hurting or cracking inside again. They know they are strong enough for anything.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Amy1

by Amy
(Location Undisclosed)

Many Strong Lessons: 
Thank you for this site, Darlene. Reading some of the comments and insecurities of others, I finally found the strength to stop denying and ridiculing myself as "the sole victimiser and victim". I feel secure that that our personal boundaries are like onions, not doors or normal houses, and they are *justly* filled with layer upon layer. At almost 21, I can now be clear and assertive, and feel free to enjoy. I love awareness.

Just recently, I had a healing dream. In it, I had a new boyfriend, whom I didn't know well, but he was really nice. We may have been friends, but not close friends. We were at my home, and scheduled to leave for a gaming activity soon - something like paintball. In the next scene, somehow the topic of my underwear came up. It was showing a bit. I said I liked it because of the frills and bunny and he said it was really cute. We were sitting around with friends and I was lying on the couch. He was staring a little blankly. I looked down, and to my shock my underwear was showing again. I didn't mean to do that, and quickly covered myself. I was giving him the wrong signals and wanted to disappear. I went to my room but on the way, accidentally brushed against him, and he was hard. I went faster to my room and checked that my outfit was fine for the game.

Just then he came in, which was a normal thing for us as friends. I had a loving family who cared a lot about my well-being, and they were just in the other room. But they didn't matter. There was a dirty, used sanitary liner on my bed. I picked it up to hide it, clutched it, and sort of curled on the side of my bed. At this point he didn't suspect a thing was wrong, and I'd only been giving him encouragement. He spooned me, but respectfully. He felt my leg, I liked it, I was so sensitive to his touch, but I kept being afraid that it would become inappropriate. I would have enjoyed kissing him, but I was afraid that if I did kiss him, it would mean I'd have to do more. I was afraid of feeling guilty for not putting out even though I'd led him on, that he would be upset or otherwise make me feel inconsiderate for not doing so. I was afraid of ridiculing myself for having poor judgment again, if he turned out to be a bad person.

But in the dream, he was very considerate - in his ACTIONS and general demeanor. Nothing was inappropriate, and I felt safe and strong enough to tell him what I felt.

Because I experienced the dream, I more fully realised that I do have rights. I have the right TO NOT FEEL GUILTY for standing up for my rights, even if it would make others unhappy. I have the right to stand up for my rights. I realised that another's happiness does not cancel out or outweigh my unhappiness. I am now certain that my needs, my basic emotional needs TO NOT FEEL VIOLATED, come before the requirements of others to feel good. I have no obligation whatsoever to give up my body, my temple, to those who don't really care about me. And if they really cared about me, they would be happiest respecting my basic rights. Regardless, I feel proud and safe when I am assertive and own my personal power, and this is only good!

This is a key incident from my actual past:

I had just ended an unhappy, empty, blasé, mostly sexual relationship that had lasted over a year. I had done this by breaking up with the ex, sleeping with some other guy, then 'not being taken back'. Things didn't turn out so well with the second guy, at which point I had been introduced to his friend. I was 16, was naïve and sheltered, and his friend was a 24 year old goth. I liked him and wanted to be friends, so agreed to go over to his place.

We cuddled, watched movies and ended up kissing and taking off clothes. I thought it was far too soon, but then went down on me. He gave me eye contact and he would have stopped if I'd said something, but I was confused about my stance on sex. It was nice enough, it made others happy, that sort of made me feel happy, safe, worthwhile. It felt a bit wrong, but I thought that was just me being silly.

After that, we decided we were in a relationship. It would last the 3 months I had left in the country, before I moved overseas with my family. We cuddled and kissed often, and looked so sweet together. The first time we had sex, I was on top. I went slowly because it hurt, and I am quite a small person. But that annoyed and frustrated him. He didn't say anything, but his face did, and that was enough for me. From my general home life, I had learned it was inconsiderate to be unhappy about certain things, we should just be happy with each other, we should be nice, it's so sad for us not to be happy. I hurt myself. I violated myself. I pushed it in and made him happy. And then I learned to enjoy it, and want it more. He never gave me enough sex, and I was always asking for it to be harder.

Two weeks before I was to leave the country, I tried broaching the subject of how our relationship would continue, and suggested that it'd be easier to break up. He didn't want to. He cried on the last night, and told me he loved me. Two weeks after, he got drunk and slept with a random girl. I was so angry, because this showed he didn't care about me, I'd given him 'so much' so that he would care about me, and not long ago at all, I'd told him I'd had a nightmare about him sleeping with another girl. I told him that it made me cry, and he should have cared more that I cried (this is tied to another incident with someone else, but that's another story). It took me a while, 2-3 years, to understand how this was all so twisted, and to not get caught up in the same negative cycles.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kelley

by Kelley
(South Carolina, USA)

I'm a 30 year old college graduate with a bright future but a haunting past. I was abused for many years by my sister's husband while living with them. It started with him giving me hard drugs & alcohol after my sister would go to bed. I was an atypical kid. At 12 years of age I didn't shy away from his offers of drugs & booze. I felt so "grown up" and "cool" to be so young and so knowledgable of drugs and drinks. I'd even brag about it to friends. That all changed one night when I was 13. We were drunk and high on drugs and he showed me his penis. It was erect. I figure that he had been planning that moment for a long time. He asked me to show him mine and I did...real fast...like a stupid drunken game a teenager might play with their girlfriend/boyfriend. I was so drunk that I passed out and didn't wakeup until much later that day. When I awoke I began to remember the occurrences of the night before. I felt ashamed that I had reciprocated and I was determined to get a handle on things myself, without anyone ever knowing. That was the hardest time of my life. Fighting that man off of me while keeping this sick secret from my family. My abuser would use my dependency that I had for his helping me, for example, I depended on him for rides, he employed me through a company he owned, against me. He would threaten to drop me off in the middle of nowhere if I didn't "perform" for him or worst of all he would threaten to tell my sister. At that point in my life I would have rather died than have her find out about the abuse. As years went by I got very depressed and drowned myself in drugs and alcohol. I knew that regardless I was going to HAVE to do what he wanted me to do so I'd get so messed up that many nights I blacked out during the abuse. Sadly, this method of forgetting was my best tool for coping. The abuse finally stopped when I moved out with my first love. With his support I could get the hell away from my abuser and I did but it put a huge strain on my sister's and my relationship. I didn't call or come around anymore. While in my first semesters of college I'd decided to reunite with my sister and her husband. I told him that first night that he was to never make any advances on me or I WOULD TELL (I was feeling quite in control.) He agreed but continued to prod and poke at me for "favors". The next night he had a bottle of Tequila. I drank my share and passed out but not before tying my pj's waiststring tight and in a knot. I woke up with him on top of me struggling to shove his hands down my pj's. I was awake but he must have thought that I was blacked out because he kept going on even though he had to have seen my eyes pop open. I laid there that night like a dead fish while he raped me. The next day I confronted him while he was driving me to college. He threatened to drop me off on the side of the road but by this point I didn't care about having to walk. I was so sick and tired of the guilt and abuse. I scrambled to find my cell phone and my books and purse to get the hell out of that truck and I accidentally called my mother's phone. She wound up receiving a message with me screaming at him to keep his penis off of me and so on and so on. Basically, that message contained all the rage and frustration that I had been holding in for years. My family was supportive and my sister divorced my abuser. I've quit drinking and no longer do drugs and I'm in counseling for women with backgrounds like mine. I really don't know how I made it out alive. I punished myself constantly for what my abuser had done to me. I felt like a dirty, worthless, piece of garbage. Thankfully, I held on to hope and the belief that my experience might someday save someone else from a similar situation. I also have learned to not blame myself and I've surrounded myself with supporting, loving people.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Mirren

by Mirren
(UK)

At the age of four i was sexually abused forced to do things i didnt want to, to have pictures taken of me naked forced to keep it a secret,told i deserved what i got,it carried on till i was eleven,i thought and soon began to believe i didnt belong in this world and at the age of ten i had suicidle thoughts i didnt know where they came from...

when it came to the end of it...i had no hope left no reason to live,my self esteem was so low and i was only eleven...but now im fifteen...the differnce three years can make of counciling and people and just siting and listening to you and not judging,im a surviour of being abused,but for others its not stopped and are still victims...

... ABUSE THROUGH OUT THE WORLD HASN'T STOPPED ITS STILL OUT THERE,BUT ALSO THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO WILL LISTEN AND WILL HEAR THEIR CRIES,YOU JUST HAVE TO RUN TO THAT HELP AND PUSH AWAY THAT FEAR BECAUSE YOUR NOT ALONE IN THE DARKNESS THERE IS ALWAYS THAT SILVER LINING .....SO MY HEART AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE STILL VICTIMS OF ABUSE...




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Shantelle

by Shantelle
(Saskatchewan, Canada)

Time to Heal: 
I was molested by an uncle and my father. I really don't remember much of the abuse from my uncle. I do however remember my father's abuse. You see my mother went to Bingo 2-3 nights a week, leaving my brother, sister and me at home. My brother, the youngest in the family, always went to a friend's to play. My sister and I had to do the dishes and clean the kitchen right after supper.

My mother would head out to bingo, leaving my sister and me in the house with him. Once our chores were done, we would ask to go and play. He would pick one of us and say sure, and make some excuse for the other to stay home. Clean our room or sweep the floor or dust, whatever. When my sister would leave, I was taken into my parents' room and awful things happened. I am sure I should save the details.

I remember the abuse still happening when I was in Grade 4 because that is when we watched a video in school called Good Touch, Bad Touch. They talked about just say NO. Well, that is no easy task.

When I was 13, my sister left home and pressed charges against my father. One day a female police officer came to the house and took me to the police station. I was so scared. I told them about the abuse from my uncle and what I could remember. Then she asked about my father. I told her he did, but I didn't want to talk about it. I was too scared.

Naturally, when the officer took me home, my mother questioned me. When I told her what I told the officer, she was furious. She sent me out to one of their friends' place. Until my dad got home. Then they came out to their friend's farm and held me in the bedroom until they thought they had me convinced that he never did anything and that my sister had brainwashed me into thinking he had. I was so scared.

My sister took my father to court. I think I was about 15 years old by the time it actually made it to court. You see, aside from my father's sexual abuse, we also had a mother that physically and verbally abused us. During the court case I was scared. I felt I had to lie. My parents told me my sister was a prostitute and probably living on the streets in Regina. (Lies.) I believed them. I was scared that if I told the truth, I too would be living on the streets. I saw the way my entire family abandoned my sister. Except for one uncle. But she wasn't living with him.

My father was not convicted, so no punishment. Life was pretty good during court. They were being nice. That all ended the day court was over. After the court case, my mother's abuse started back up. Now there was no sexual abuse, but verbal and physical.

I, like many other people, considered suicide. I just wanted out so bad. I had a goal. It was to graduate and get out. But at times I just couldn't take any more. I had a suicide plan and letter written. But I had met a guy who treated me really good. He never pressured me for sex. He treated me like a princess. He was so good to me.

I graduated that year and moved out of my parents' house. Now I was free. I started college that fall and I continued to date the same guy. We ended up getting pregnant. He was the first man I ever had consensual sex with.

My mother was furious that I was pregnant. My father wasn't that upset. I was so afraid I would have a girl. I sat with my boyfriend and told him about the abuse I was put through as a child. He was so mad. He wanted to kill my father. He then broke down and cried. He was hurting for me. He really cared. I shared my concern with having a girl. I knew I would have to confront my father.

My daughter was 5 months old when I finally found the courage to confront him.

I told my mom first. She called me every name in the book and told me to get the ---- out of her house. She called for my dad to come in the house. I was crying. I couldn't even do up the snaps on my daughter's snowsuit. He came in the house, and my mother said, "Your daughter has something to tell you." I looked up, tears running down my face. I was shaking so bad. He put his hands in the air and said, "I didn't touch you." I never even got to tell him what I had to say. But he knew.

That was the last time I spoke with them. I called my grandma, and she cried. She said she new something was happening, but couldn't prove it and how do you say something like that. Later that same night, I had a bunch of phone calls from family. They all apologized and cried.

At first I was angry. How could they not protect me and my sister? But I am okay with it now. They just had no proof. I forgive them. My one aunt told me, "He took that day from you then, don't let him take another. If you sit and dwell on the past, he wins." She is right. So my choice was either live in the past or move on. I chose to move on.

I married that boy I met in high school. We have been together for almost 11 years. He has held me while I cried. He has been there for me every step of the way of my healing. I have a beautiful daughter.

I have so much to live for. We all do!!

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Mike

by Mike
(Europe)

My story, may be it will be useful to someone: 
I am not sure if my story will be very helpful but anyway...ok, I am 43 years old male, married and have a children. Until I was 40 I hadn't realized I was sexually abused. Some how one morning it came out from my memories and only then the healing process started.

At that time I was 3 to 5 years old. Therefore, it was only once as I can remember. The abuse offender was my fathers sister - a lone unmarried lady.

Now I feel comfortable because it explained many things what happened to me: very early beginning of self-masturbation, sense of shame and uncertainty, occasional panic attacks had brought me an uncomfortable life. My psychological tests were not OK.

But since I have discovered that disgusting event everything stood in right places. And now I have no panic attacks, not any troubles. And even my last psychological test was absolutely fine.

Now I feel like having a healed wound which doesn't hurt me anymore.

Additionally, this all process of healing was without any professional assistance it was inside me all my life.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Betty B

by Betty B
(Hawaii, USA)

Through the window of a child's eye: 
I was raised in a family where sexual abuse seemed to be normal, in my mind I believed that every father molested their daughters. My father was a police officer but I looked up to him believed in him and respected him. When I was 11 years old My father turned into a beast after the sun went down, for years I blamed myself. I was handcuffed to a bed and raped by my father and as he was raping me his friends stood and watched and cheered him on as though they were enjoying it, a few times they raped me also. I lived a very frightened and lonely childhood, I hid all my feeling inside, all my emotions were numb. As I grew into an adult I realize that not all fathers rape their daughters, as i grew up the pain that dwelled inside of me was overwhelming.at 15 years old I ran away and I never turned back I made a promise that I would become everything that my family was not. I went to college and I got my degree in culinary arts. I had a passion to be for all the little girls who had no one to turn to, I write about my story so others know there is hope to set yourself free of the beast that took your childhood away. Today i am 52 years old but I never forgot what that little girl went through. I let my pen be my voice, you don't have to stay silent. I am living proof that there is life after being violated as a child.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From

by Beth
(USA)

dream beyond the horizon

dream beyond the horizon

My chains of abuse: 
I believed for years all the horrible things my parents done was because I was a bad kid, each time my father sexually abused me he would say (THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO BAD LITTLE GIRLS). Those words echoed in my mind for many years, I believed I was a bad kid. I made the honor roll, was on the track team, volunteered at the nursing home. I would clean the house, cook and take care of the younger children. It's unimaginable the scars my parents left on my chest to carry for the rest of my life. I looked in my fathers eyes one night, I told him when I grow up I'm going to be everything you're not, he hit me in my face as i hit the ground, I believed every word. I lived in fear every day of childhood, i use to lay in the grass and watch the stars, I would pray God please take me out of here, set me free. I said that same prayer every night for 6 years. One night after my father abused me I waited for him to go to sleep, I took his gun out of the cabinet, I stood there holding it shaking, I stood there crying inside my soul for the little girl who he took her innocence's away, the little girl who he took her self-worth, dignity and pride away, replaced it with guilt, shame and fear. I couldn't kill my father, I knew if i did I would be just as guilty as he was for hurting someone else. That night I packed a back pack with 2 changes of clothes a jacket and headed for the truck stop 26 miles away, i took 20.00 dollars out of his safe, left a note i would repay it. I walked in the freezing cold for 5 hours and finally I made it. I spent the night in the cab of a truck, in the morning the trucker took me to San Diego, ca. I was barely 15 but i managed to get job and enrolled myself in school, i finished with honors. I went to college got me a degree in culinary arts. I worked in a kitchen for 6 years then I bought my own little place and I called the reason why....I held poetry reading and tea clubs, one day a lady walked in the door, for a small meal, we ended up talking 3 hours, she later became my therapist, my guardian angel. I slowly found healing for that soul that was broken, that little girl who only wanted to be loved, accepted, and protected was finally free of the chains that kept me tied to the belief I was a bad person. I adopted a little girl who I later would call Liberty. I had a dream as a little girl when I grew up I was going to buy a house, didn't matter what color, long as it was safe, this was my childhood dream to have a safe home, free of abuse. I showed Liberty everything my father did not,I taught her to be honest, caring and trustworthy. I stressed to her that she was never to hit anyone, she is now a mother herself, when I watch her hold her daughters hand and guide her the words I told my father echo in my mind. I don't ever want any child to feel what I felt for 37 years, those words were like a shadow by my side,my father is dead I never got to say good bye. when I ran away I never again looked back, wrote a letter, called or went to visit, the day I ran away was the day I began live free of abuse.I missed a family at times, it would of been nice to share my life with a sister, I KNEW WHEN I RAN away I could never turn back. That life of abuse is only a memory today, I now have a life. I became everything my father was not.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Tina

by Tina
(Tennessee, USA)

Well I'm 40 years old and just started having these very powerful emotions well up inside of me concerning the physical and mental abuse I suffered as a child. Since I was 25 and wanted free of alcohol I have been in every self help book and meeting known to man-including therapy. I have been in church along side everything else.
Although I have had some set backs, things appeared stable and successful. ESPECIALLY considering the improvements I had made in my life.
I have dealt with the abuse issues but they never really surfaced until now, at least not as overwhelming. I have definitely been on a lifelong healing experience. My Father died last year from a long fight with cancer, of which I was able to rely on me the whole time. I had forgiven him and the role reversal was touching.
Since that time my husband has turned against me. He used to adore me(although he had issues). He has always tried to control me and verbally abuse me at times, but not like now. I have been horribly lonely. I have done everything possible to be the best wife possible. I do not want the reperecussions of divorce for my children, or for me. It is at this time in my life that the pain from the abuse has surfaced with a vengeance.
I just wanted to "Google" "how to be happy in an unhappy marriage", and while I was at it look up how to heal my life from the effects of childhood trauma. And wah-lah here I am. This is my confession to the world that I am NO LONGER A VICTIM! I mean I am super charged like never before to take my future to the next level-WITHOUT ANYONE bringing me down(my mother has really tried along with a few others lately)!!!! MY GOD I FEEL FREE! Thank everyone for their testimonies, I have been up all night long reading them.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Michael

by Michael
(Virginia, USA)

Left Behind: 
Healing is the correct language for this heading. We are healing. It is a process. It will be different for each of us. This is a little part of my story and I hope that it may be of some use for someone out there. I know what it feels like to be alone and afraid. We all do.

I am 54 years old, male, married for the second time around with two adult children and two step children in the home at this time.

My memories of abuse began to surface a little over a year ago. I got into counseling quickly as I would advise anyone reading this to do. Don't go it alone, you've been alone in this long enough.

A recent change in my approach to exploring this whole chapter in my life is to begin an open conversation with the little boy I left behind in my unconscious effort to cope with what must have been an incredibly difficult time in my development. I began to realize that I separated myself from the child who was being abused to the child who was busily living in a happy and well adjusted family, going to school, playing ball, playing in the school band, and going to church with many of the cousins, aunts, uncles, and others of my large extended family. I left him behind because he was the one going through the trauma, the isolation, the hurt, and yes, even the pleasure of the abuse carried out by my neighbour.

The abuse lasted three years. Opening up this actual conversation with this little boy seemed a bit awkward at the beginning, but as I invited him to speak I found that he has a voice. He tells me things I had forgotten, including feelings I had about things that occurred later in life. It seems that he is the place where I put my hurt and shame, embarrassment, and fears.

It is important to not tell this child of your own, your left behind one, to tell you anything. It is very important to understand that you are simply letting this other part of your own person know that it is now safe to talk, to tell, to share, and that you will be there for him/her and the he/she can trust you. You must understand that this child is stuck back there in the middle of all that was happening at the time and that you can never expect anything from him/her. Your role is to invite, to reassure, and to share. Yes, you can speak to this child in the quiet moments when you are feeling at peace and let him/her know that it's OK. If he/she ever needs to say anything you will be there to listen, not to judge and not to tell him/her what to feel or do. Just to listen.

This conversation that I started a few weeks ago has revealed unbelievable things to me about myself. Long forgotten stories from my childhood, long buried feelings and emotions from that time and later in my adolescence.

You should only do this if you have a counselor or support group of some kind to help you through the results. The feelings can be powerful. The results can be healing. Don't expect it to be all peace and love, this child may have some hurt, anger, and disappointment to share with you, but you may find too, that you can love all parts of yourself, even the parts you blame and hold responsible for the abuse. Use caution, but whatever approach you use, explore and learn about yourself. Healing comes from within, with help from without.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Child Abuse Healing Poem From Michelle

by Michelle
(Missouri, USA)

I Fight it Every Day: 
My mind is a total wreck
My body doesn't know how to feel
Why am I still going thru hell

But I know I am not alone
Why must we be driven from our home
To get away from the everyday
Torture and pain,that causes most to go insane

But not me,I will stand up,I will get better
I'll drink this cup,and when I grow up
I will help someone just like me
I will help them to be free

For all of us have to stand together
To form a bond against the weather
The big bad storm that comes our way
That beats down on us everyday

Take out that umbrella put it over your head
Stop listening to the voices,stand up instead
Lift up your chin stick out your chest
I want to see you at your best

It wasn't you that made your life
It isn't you that should live with strife
Stop worrying and feeding the past
For it is YOU now that has to last

You are loved no matter what they said
You will be loved until your dead
But keep living now YOU MADE IT THRU
This poem is from someone that REALLY LOVES YOU




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Tammy

by Tammy
(Pennsylvania, USA)

I am a survivor of childhood physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse. I am a victor not a victim.

I have experienced so much healing in my life since I started counseling 6 months ago. If I knew what the future held on this path I would still chose it again; for even though it has been and is so hard, it is so much more worth it. To be free and whole can never cost too much.

My approach has been to, no matter the cost, embrace the truth. Truth as it is, not as I perceive it because of my abuse. That people are free to make their own choices and my abuse was the choice of my abusers, for me my parents, there is no fault for me to claim. I am innocent, free from shame and guilt.

I have not always seen the truth right away through out this journey, but as I have trusted in my God He has shown me truth as He knew I could handle it with Him, His power. Once I see the truth I embrace it no matter the effort or the cost to me emotionally.

I have also ALWAYS been honest with my counselor. Is it easy? No. Is it painful? Yes. Is it challenging? Of course. It is all of these and more, humbling, difficult, heart-wrenching. Yet the real questions are, is it worth it, does it help me to move forward, is it useful in my healing? Yes, yes, yes!

Honesty and truthfulness, effort and faith in my God. These are the keys that have helped me.

Do not fear starting this journey, fear not starting it. For in the starting your healing begins in the not starting you remain broken. Allow the truth to set you free.

John 8:32 "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Matthew

by Matthew
(Chicago, USA)

I must first state that I really do not believe "healing" has an end point. I have grown and keep growing.

My mother was/is schizophrenic my father was/is an alcoholic. They constantly abused one another in fights that were difficult to comprehend. I had many brothers and sisters and we emulated our parents' behavior and fought each other. We grew up in neglect where basic needs like proper clothing or being taught basic self care was not addressed. I remember loving moments from both my mother and father but I also remember incomprehensible violence. My brothers and sisters basically raised each other and did the best we could.

My parents divorced when I was 9. My mother was hospitalized by the time I was 11 and was in a mental health institution and various halfway houses. When my father had custody the abuse he usually sent toward my mother went towards my brothers and sisters and me. Mostly verbal abuse, continual sabotage of achievements, unreasonable demands to wake up in the middle of a school night to serve him dinner, and some physical abuse. And a lot of neglect. If we needed something other than food or shelter we would have to buy it ourselves with little resources. And anything that revealed the neglect, ratty shoes or clothing, were addressed with more abuse. In other words we were abused anytime my father saw his own neglect.

Many of my family members still suffer from the effects of these patterns. Some are now caring for my father, still neglecting themselves, and my father who now needs more and more assistance.

I left my home when 17. By then I was being abused on a daily basis both physically and through the worst rageful curse words imaginable. I lived with a friend's family and then a pastor's family. I was able somehow to repress the abuse enough to move on and apply for school and receive a scholarship.

When I moved to Chicago I lived in poverty, and could barely keep up with the demands of school and work. I felt the trauma occasionally but really just repressed it and pushed it aside. Dealing with the trauma was a threat because I felt I would go homeless if I did.

I saw psychologist and psychiatrist seeking help but this did little, they were not very good. But then when I was 27 the anxiety, the grief, the rage, began coming to the surface. I then looked harder for the right therapist. I began to have seizures, chronic depression, manic like symptoms.

This is part is very important: I told the therapist that I was really afraid of going homeless if I addressed the trauma issues. I requested that he sign papers to receive Social Security disability while addressing these issues. He agreed and the application was accepted. Finally my recovery can begin.

This is very important! If you are chronically depressed, have PTSD symptoms, chronic anxiety to the point that disrupts your ability to work you are entitled to receiving assistance for a disability. Please do not neglect yourself the way your parents have neglected you. Do not deny yourself this important step in your healing. If you need it, apply for it, and keep it private. Do not reveal to others who might shame you for it because you are receiving this.

ONCE I had this support I was able to go through the really hard work of therapy. I kept a journal and sketchbook the entire time. And required myself to draw and write out my trauma, my rage, my grief, my fears. I wrote out the terrible memories I did not want to remember. I wrote my dreams, and I drew and drew. Drawing and Writing was a way I could become more and more aware of what happened to me.

The biggest step was re-parenting. Giving myself the things my parents could not give me for one reason or another. Weather stroking my own shoulder while crying myself to sleep, or buying good (used) clothing. Where ever I could recognize a neglect or an abuse it was my job to reverse it. To give myself what I did not receive. Even going over the points of my life and congratulating myself for my accomplishments. Including the accomplishment of surviving!

The loss of my mother to schizophrenia was a huge emotional hurdle to recognize the deep pain of it. And then also to find the missing mother in myself. Then to encounter the rage and abuse my father inflicted. This was another hurdle because when I remember that abuse I would become so enraged it was difficult to even think clearly and then such deep grief.

But eventually I was able to forgive my father and mother. And this is important to, but do not forgive them too soon. Do not pretend to forgive when you are still outraged. Forgiveness will come. It comes when you begin to recognize that they were themselves victims of their own abuse, or perhaps have been abused, or simply have an illness like alcoholism or schizophrenia. Forgiveness comes when you grow past them. And let go of hate and rage, abuse and self abuse.

When I got to that point it truly was a deep spiritual revelation. An illumination which is difficult to describe. But then from there was the need for a return to the world again. And I did return one step at a time. I finished my degree, Got another degree. I now work independently. I have a loving relationship. I live in a nice apartment. And I am not overwhelmed with trauma. I can work, play, and love.

Please know that you can recover from abuse and trauma. Do not doubt it. NO ONE CAN TELL YOU HOW! Not your therapist, not a guru, or yogi, NO ONE but you. And that is the hard part. But believe me you can do it.

I would add much much more. But for here in this place I just want you to know that it is probably the hardest work you will ever do but do not avoid the work. And do not allow other people to shame you because you are doing this work. Keep it secret if you must, find the safe places to bring it: 12 step groups, therapy, group therapy, and a therapist. But in the end it is something you will find in yourself.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Adam A

by Adam A
(USA)

It takes time...

It takes time...

It takes time. That's the only thing I can say about everything I've learned from healing. I'm thankful I've never been sexually abused, but I was physically and emotionally abused. I came from an incredibly broken and controlling family and used to get hit as a lot as a kid. I even had cans thrown at me (like cans of green beans and other assorted foods).

That's why I went into therapy
One day I had finally had enough of the unhappiness and craziness and I somehow found the frame of mind to enroll in therapy as a young man. I went in there just wanting to be happy again. I'd been suffering from a lot of depression brought on by a lack of solid social support as well as a chaotic home life. By this time, there wasn't nearly as much hitting only because I had grown strong enough to defend myself.

And that was the start of a long and winding road...
I began learning how to trust again. I slowly started peeling away the layers of anger and began freeing myself from the psychological chains that had kept me down for so long. It's still sometimes tough talking about it after all this time.

But it does get better
Eventually I made some great friends along the way, and that's brought me a long way. I feel much happier. And I realized that while the pain recedes, the abuse is a part of your life. It's an experience that stays with you and shapes you to a certain extent.

It surprises me as I write this but...
While there's a part of me that wonders what it might be like not to have been abused, I accept it and have moved on with my life. In my mind, the best thing you can do as a survivor is to live the best possible life you can.

That's what I've tried to do
And I'm still learning. I've done volunteer work in the court system to assist in cases of child abuse.

It takes time
I'm getting there. And so can any abuse survivor.

-Adam A

P.S. My sincere thanks to Darlene for putting together this website and posting my story. It's great to see survivors supporting each other.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Alexis

by Alexis C.
(USA)

My Heart

My Heart

My mother had six children: three boys and three girls. I was the fifth child and I was the oldest girl, so I had to do all the chores in the house. I started at a young age. By the age of eight I was doing the cooking and caring for my siblings since my mother was always out at the time. She was with my father and two other men. She would always leave us with an older cousin of hers; he eventually raped me. At the time my brother saw the incident, but was threatened to not speak, or else. So it occur a couple of times, but then he got arrested for something he did, I really don't recall, but I know he was gone. For me, it was wonderful he was gone.

I used to have so much hate in me, especially because that was not the end. When I was about nine, my mother left my father and finally stood with one guy. He used to beat all of us so badly. He hated my baby brother. When he was about four, my so-called stepdad hit my brother so bad and my brother was so afraid of him. Then one day when he was going to hit him again, my brother took a toy knife and was trying to make it like he was going to cut him for hitting him. He really got a bad beating, and then he was put in the washer and he would just close the lid and leave him there for a few minutes.

We were abused till we were teens. I was 13 when my stepdad touched me and kissed me while I was sleeping. I only told my sister and she didn't believe me, till one day he did the same to her. Things got worse.

My mother's oldest brother moved in and was sleeping in the living room. He used to try to get in our rooms and he would even offer us girls money if he could touch us. At the time I really blame myself for what people were doing to me. I thought it was my fault that all this happened to me.

I started to cut myself and hurt myself. I tried to kill myself. Then at 16, I saw that the only choice I had was to find a boyfriend and run away to be safe, but things didn't work out all that well. My mom found me, so I reported her. But then I found out that I was pregnant. My mother told me if I said what was going on they would take my baby and leave me in a home. I got so scared. All I cared about was my baby. I told the people that I lied, so then I went with my dad. He eventually took me to my baby's father's house and I stayed with him for 12 and half years.

I didn't finish high school because I had three girls of my own by the time I was 21. But even though I have been through so much, in my case my girls changed my life. I left my girls' dad, but three years later met someone new.

I am married now and currently in college. My girls are all teenagers. The only thing I would ever change in my life is the horror I went through, because my mother didn't protect me from harm, but I still don't hate her. I still call her now, but it did take a while. I just don't want her to live near me. I like it that I am far away from my family. My family now are my husband and my beautiful girls, which I love so much. And no, I did not go through therapy or nothing. I just would look in the mirror and tell myself I love you and I will take care of you and I will be happy and not suffer, and thanks god that so far everything is wonderful and I am majoring in nursing. It's sad that kids have to go through such trauma. They are not safe these days, not even at home. Take care and god bless.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Alexis" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From D to the C

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

im not the best writer, but i'll try my best, i was emotionally abused by my stepfather, he would threaten that i had to leave, he would lock me out at night, even on cold winter nights. Around this time i wouldv'e been 12 or 13 and i was still developing and didnt get life entirely yet, so i had little understanding of why i was beeing treated bad. All i knew was i didnt like it, i didnt like feeling scared, or having to change the way i live becuase he cant stand for someone to be different. i eventually started to realize that i cant let him treat me or my mom like this! Tried many times trying to explain to him how he was messed. He never understood but he had grown up to be that way and will never chage or it will take awhile, so i eveutally statred to battle with him not phycally as much there was a few of those battles, but everytime i would come on top, i'd win the battle even if he didnt think so i knew so, i kno i was hurting his feeling like he had done to me. normally thats not how i would try to fix and handle a problem, but thts all i knew how, the only way you could get thru to him!,now im 16 moved out, my mom moved out too, wee are doin alot better, i see my mom smileing again, when for bout 3-4 years shes been feeling miserable. One of the mostthings i didnt hated bout him is he made me and my mom so stressed and irratable tht we didnt get along anymore either. now i apprecaite her dearly, i couldnt live without her!!!! thts my healing story...




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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Anna

by Anna
(Formerly from Lynden, Washington, USA)

It's still strange to me that the event that led to my going into hiding was my dad killing my dog. I think about some of the things I've lived through, and I'm surprised I ever survived.

My dad was a sadistic man who hated women. I never did find out why he hated his parents—his mother in particular—as much as he did. They were wonderful to me, but it could have been because I'm a girl. He was obsessed with me, he's still obsessed with me. He's mentally ill.

My mother was severely abused and tortured herself growing up. She's schizophrenic. Her goal in life, in regards to me, was to have a daughter with MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder, now called DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder). She was obsessed with that book about Trudy Chase. My parents are horrible people; and even though I'm free, I'm still afraid of them. I couldn't do anything against him or my mom to protect myself, but when they tortured and killed my dog, I had no choice but to act. I moved, literally at midnight, had to find a different job, and finally ended up moving out of state.

In the last 10 years, I've moved 14 times. I changed my name. I went into a completely different field than I'd been to college for. Everything is different. For a very long time, it felt like my world was over. I was shunned from the immigrant community to which I was accustomed. I had no family to rely on. I've had to literally scrape my own niche in the world so I could survive. A lot of nights, the only reason I didn't give up completely was because I believed I was the only person who could properly care for my budgie.

I'm a lot better than I was when I escaped. It's taken a LOT of hard work to get where I am. Through sheer luck, I found an amazing therapist, and because of her, I've been able to relax enough to accept myself as I am. I don't technically have an eating disorder anymore (I had anorexia and bulimia in high school and college). I don't cut myself any more. I don't binge drink. I don't do any drugs. I don't place myself in dangerous situations. I can actually feel fear. I'm finally in a stable relationship. I still haven't got a job; I'm not sure why. I land interviews, but for some reason I'm never called back.

I digress.

I guess in the end, all that matters is that you value yourself enough to get out. It might seem impossible, but with the right timing, it is possible. Never give up. That same energy that's keeping you alive right now will save you in the end. Keep telling people until someone listens, until someone believes you. It took me 20 years to find someone who would act on what I told them, and helped me see that it was possible to leave. I say 20 years, because even though I reported my dad when I was 18 and CPS investigated, they did nothing to help me or my younger brother get away from our parents. It was 2 years after that when I met an amazing therapist who helped me see it was possible to leave.

Even before you get out, you can find therapists who will listen. Even Crisis Centers will listen. Find a phone and call them. There were many nights I'd be hiding in my closet after my dad left, and I'd call from the wireless phone. Just having one other person know is a huge relief.

Once you get away, find a good therapist. Don't settle, either, you deserve the best. I found that Insight Therapy works wonders for me. Also, medicine for depression and to help me sleep at night (I have PTSD, among other things). If you're surrounded by people who know what's happening, and no one will help you (teachers, doctors, religious officials, police, anyone at all), you can file a report against your abusers with a sheriff, and you can then get Crime Victims Compensation. It is the duty of public officials/teachers/etc. to report suspected child abuse. That's why Crime Victims will pay for you to get the help you need.

Mostly, I take one day at a time. When that is too much, I take one hour, or 10 minutes, or 1 minute at a time.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Anna" are at the last link below.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Ros

by Ros Taprell
(New South Wales, Australia)

A poem I call: Walking with Pain

A poem I call: Walking with Pain

A poem I wrote today to get me through my every thoughts, and I hope to help others in the same way.

All through life I seem to have no real life where
Did it go what was out there for me?
Why was it I went through this life of what I call?
Unjustness nowhere to run, but the street
Where was I meant to be was it the unknown
Many unspoken worlds many silent nights of not
Knowing what to do in bringing up my own life
Punished for what for being a kid for wanting to live like others
Wanting to speak my mind, was I able to no never.
Have you heard kids to be seen but not heard?
Yes well very true in the old days of life
Silent was on the outside but anger on the inside
Wanting to know were I went wrong what I did
So bad that I deserved this unknown love
I was just a kid living to be a kid
I do no wrong like every kid say I speak true like any kids would
But not this kid lies was a way out of punishment
Lies were a way to live lies was a way of hiding
What they call the true family of peace
Peace no peace in this family no justice' was done
Got away with all she could that was all in her fun,
Secrets be hide the walls of a very abused child
Not able to speak as fear filled my eyes
Where could I go to find my our heart for truth
My soul that so wanted to be loved by the woman once known as my mum a woman that gave birth to a child
So pure so tiny but yet not able to survive the power of no love
This child turns in to a woman and carries anger herself
Trying to find the true life of herself
Did she achieve and finally achieve
Or was it all too hard
Did she strive to battle a war that would face her or was she so fearful?
Of those closed and hidden doors.
She a woman of pride a woman that survived
A woman that battled many walls but still trying to knock down all her walls
A woman of power a woman of strength
A woman that holds her head up and walks
In the life she leads for herself
The pain is so deep but the memories are still there
This woman just walks and breathes the fresh air
She opened many doors and climbed many walls
Now is walking all her talks
She is an action woman with whatever she says it all in the life of walking with pain
She is getting there with a huge road ahead but with a smile from ear to ear
As she looks ahead, she will make it through life with her pride so wild
And now the energy that keeps her alive this woman is me and yes I did achieve
And I will walk until I break every wall and I stand so tall
And be proud of myself to achieve to walk with no pain anymore
Slowly I will gain but for now I survived this wicked life

By Ros Taprell

And I'm not ashamed to show my face for the world to see the power I have in me.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Sam J

by Sam J
(Chicago, Illinois, USA. )

Dear Friends: 
I was born and brought up in country other than US in average family. I was physically and verbally abused by my mother only. My father was very supportive but most of the time he was not at home. My mother had alcoholic father and I really don't know about any abuse in her family during her own childhood. I am 30 years old now. I came to US for higher studies when I was 25. Since childhood I was severally beaten, shouted at, angered at for even very small mistakes by my mother. Even if something goes wrong, no matter how small it is my mother would beat me up to hell. It would hurt me so much, I was may be 5 or 6 years old. I was full of anger that time. I was overly angry with my mother. I love my mother the most in this world. So this was big, big and big shock for me that she feels, thinks and behaves in such way that I have no worth or value. For small reasons she would use the words, "You are not going anywhere in your life, you will remain poor for rest of your life, you won't be successful, you will be begger all the time". I was very good student in my childhood. Everybody would astonish what would I become once I get older and mature. I still remember all teachers, friends,their parents and neighbours praising me. It felt so good from inside that I can't express. I was a wonder kid. But nobody knew what happened inside my house. My mom would treat me like a trash but sometimes she would love me like anything, would prepare delicious food for me, will tell me nice stories. But her daily abuse left many scars on me. I am the guy who says sorry at least 10 times to people. She made me believe that everything what happened in house was my fault and will have dramatic effect on my future. She would literally treat me like a trash and I wonder why is she even doing that. Outside my home, I was king and in home I was depressed man. I was thoroughly convinced by my mother that what is happening is for my own good and it is my fault that so many bad things happened with me. She would personally advice me it is not her but God is punishing to me by her. Then I got angry over God. I started praying God, what wrong did I do to you, why are you angry over 9 year old guy etc.

I could never concentrate, I had always low worth, low self esteem, sad feeling, unhappiness, racing thoughts, lot of sound in my head and my head aches 3 times in week. I have no job. I am living like a begger. I started therapy but I was convinced that I have no worth and my internal dialogue would say that I don't deserve anything. I did few sessions and something happened, my therapy stopped. I gathered courage after 3 months to go back to therapists. Each day is curse for me, every morning I think this is lousy day and same old bad things and expereinces will happen with me.

But after I read other people's experience, books by Louise Hay and other self help books, my attitude and thinking has changed. I have regained faith that my condition is curable. I have started all my exercies now and committed to change my thinking and my experiences. I am glad, happy, thankful and grateful to God that such things happened with me, now I know how much trouble kids or other people go though in childhood. Now I am determined than ever to make my life beautiful. Now I have decided if wrong thoughts, feelings and beliefs about me make my life hell, then I can make it very good by changing my thoughts, feelings and beliefs. I would never have thought about such things if I would not have been abused in childhood. Your website gave me courage to put my story. Thank you for that.

I hope everybody gets courage to face the truth.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kara

by Kara
(Grand Junction, Colorado, USA)

Another picture I took in Japan

Another picture I took in Japan

Finally: 
I have written a couple abuse stories here on this site, but tonight I will write of my healing.

I was over at my boyfriend's house earlier this evening. We were playing 50 questions, not 20 but 50. It's kinda like getting to know each other better. I asked him, "Why and in what way do you see me beautiful?"

His answer: "There was something about you that just drew me in and no matter who my friends tried to set me up with, I always came back to you. You're different. You're not completely focused on yourself. And you care about things. That's why I say you're beautiful."

We sat there in silence for a few minutes. Then he asked me if I was ok because I hadn't said anything. In truth I was trying not to cry. I told him I was ok. And right after I said it, it hit me. I was ok for the first time in a very long time. I truly was ok. The pain was gone. And I really did start crying. Poor guy. It scared him. He thought he had said something wrong. It took me a while to explain that they were happy tears.

After I was done crying, I wrote another poem. This time for my boyfriend.

Finally
I've cried all my tears.
Enough to fill an ocean.
The last one finally fell.
I'm ok now.
My heart's not broken any more.
You've filled in all the cracks.
You held me when I cried,
That ocean full of tears.
My life has turned around.
I'm not afraid to trust you now.
Nothing else is wrong.
I'm truly happy now.
I've cried all my tears.
Enough to fill an ocean.
The last one finally fell.

My healing has come in small bits and pieces. I talked about what I have been through. That's what truly helped me. So talk about it, write about it, do something to get it out in the open. You won't regret it when you can say the words "I'm ok now" and truly mean it.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Jillian

by Jillian
(Location Undisclosed)

My story of abuse may not sound that bad. I include this disclaimer only because the legal definition does not cover all corners of what is, rightfully, child abuse. My definition of child abuse is anything a person can do to a child that significantly impedes their emotional, cognitive, physical, or spiritual development and pursuit of happiness and success.

I want to describe my experiences in a nutshell, because I'd rather focus on how I healed. But a nutshell belongs nowhere near what I experienced. She didn't just "raise her voice." She screamed like a banshee at the slightest provocation. She didn't just have "mood swings." She had crazy roller coaster emotions that were all just too much for any kid to keep up with, let alone one in an emotional coma from years of walking on eggshells.

The slightest wrong step would send her over the edge, and the steps were always changing. One day you would ask her to get a cup down for you from the cupboard, and she would just get it down for you. The next day, the same request might make her launch into a screaming fit. Now, an adult may be able to cope with an experience like this because they understand "highs and lows," "mental illness," "exceptional stress" "emotional coping," but a kid has none of this. Naturally, I thought her explosions were because of me, and some sort of unidentified stress I was putting on her. So I tried to compensate with a natural talent of mine - cleaning. This only provided another outlet for the abuse. She would complain that "she does everything around here and no one ever helps her" despite my considerable assistance. She would ask me to do things for her (i.e. sweep the floor, dust, vacuum) then she would say I did not do them and I needed to do it again. This sent a strong message of "nothing you ever do will be good enough."

I want to share one particular instance that really drove home this message. One day she was brushing my hair and she asked me to get a scrunchy from the basket in the bathroom. I couldn't find one. She insisted there was one. I still couldn't find it. All communication lapsed. She started roaring (not words just sounds), charged into the bathroom, ripped the shelves from the wall down into the bathtub, picked out a scrunchy, and held it up inches from my face. She snarled through clenched teeth "THERE, A SCRUNCHY, WAS THAT SO HARD." As a kid, I could not handle outbursts of anger like this. I would usually cry and run away, but this time, something different happened. I went completely numb inside. This ended up being my survival tactic. I did not rediscover the part of me that feels interpersonal empathy until I was 19 and ready to admit that I was abused as a child. When I started to hit puberty at around age 12, I became an unwilling part of my mother's soap opera. I say soap opera because she would make elaborate theories about all the ways I was out to destroy her life, or back stab and use her. None of these were anything but fiction, but I still had to put up with them. One moment she would be ignoring me and jump in the bathtub crying with a bottle of wine and calling her friends telling them (and me) her daughter is destroying her life, and the next she would be squeezing me in her arms and sobbing all over me, saying how she can't live without me in her life. I never understood any of it, I would just have to keep pulling my emotions in and play along with whatever it was she wanted.

So with that out of the way, I want to describe what I looked like at the end of 14 years of abuse, and how I started healing.

1. As I mentioned, I had cut off the parts of me that show affection or feel empathy towards other people because those had been exploited or rejected so many times. If people shared problems with me, I would only give a blank stare, not knowing what to feel or say.

2. I was completely unable to show anger towards anyone or anything, because I could never out-anger my mother, and her anger would be fueled by my anger.

3. Related to the above reason, and compounded by the "walking on eggshells" feeling, I couldn't ask for things, even simple things. For instance, I worked in a restaurant, and couldn't ask the grill cooks for sauces, etc.

4. As such, I also could not speak up for myself if injustice was being done to me by people I regard. I had what we call "learned helplessness." I still have this to some extent.

5. I suffered from invisibility. Years of being invisible in my own home to avoid my mother and her outbursts led to me being invisible in society.

My healing process was complicated, and began when:

1. I stopped telling myself "other people have it worse." If you are reading this, do not ever say that to yourself. Sure, other people have it worse. But when you break your arm do you sit there and be grateful you don't have 2 broken arms, or do you get yourself to a hospital fast? Then why isn't it the same with emotional wounds? I was hurt, I was suffering for it, my life was suffering, my chances for success (career or personal) were suffering, and something had to be done.

2. I let myself feel my emotions. All the hurt, all the anger, all the self-blame, all the guilt, all the agony, the rage, the fear. My emotions were right where I left them when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

3. After feeling the emotions through, expressing them fully, after many tissue boxes, I felt forgiveness. It wasn't her fault, and it wasn't mine that she acted the way she did.

4. I talked to other moms and parents about their experiences with parenting, and the stresses involved. This helped me understand my mother's perspective.

5. I studied up on alcoholism and mental illness for the above reason.

6. I learned that we inherit all of our problems from our ancestors. In looking at my own problems and issues, I understood exactly where my mother was coming from. Frustration, feeling like she's not acknowledged or appreciated, not being able to directly express or receive love, abandonment, feeling like you have to play games with people to make them "prove" that they love you. I had coping skills that allowed me to avert acting on these impulses, but they were there.

7. Self love. Self love above all will erase the effects of abuse.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Jo

by Jo
(Virginia, USA)

Here's something I wrote to help me one day when the going was rough. I am 46, and started talking with a therapist about a year ago to deal with the effects of child abuse from the age of 5 to 17.

Here's my poem:

I knew a little girl
Living in a mixed-up world.
She always seemed so happy on the outside.

But her Daddy didn't love her
And her Mother was above her
Her little heart was broken on the inside.

A man who should have shown love
Instead did prod and poke and shove
Reinforcing that she really didn't matter.

Her whole life she'd pretend
Knowing the hurt would never end
Often thinking she was madder than the hatter.

Now that she is grown
Oh the horror she has known
She shoved it all inside and tried to hide it.

Then suddenly one day
When in such great dismay
She found someone to talk about and share it.

What a great relief
Though at time so bitter sweet
Peeling away layers of her wound.

Many days bad feeling reeling
Sent her mind away and wheeling
Remembering childhood that stopped too soon.

That's what I have so far. Hope it means something to someone else too!

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Alice

by Alice
(United Kingdom)

My favourite flower

My favourite flower

MY STORY: 
My mother had 5 children, of which i am the eldest and only girl. she had 2 of us when she met and married my stepfather, i was nine years old. I lived with my grandmother until i was thirteen then was sent to live with my mom and stepfather
by then she had given birth to three half brothers. My grandmother had shared an intense hatred for my stepfather from the first time she met him, and was reluctant to send me to live with my mother but she felt it was in my best interest do so.
the first incident of abuse began when i was 14, it happened as i sat at the kitchen table doing my home work, he came into the kitchen and as he stood over me he reached down to turn the page in my work book then squeezed my left breast, i jumped up from the table and ran into my room and locked the door. i was extremely ashamed and terrified i stayed in my room until my brothers came home, and told the eldest who suggested that i told our mother which i did, and i was surprised when she accused me of lying, she said he wouldn't do that to me and she didn't even bother to ask him.
after that incident he became more and more bold, he would pound on the bathroom door whenever i was taking a shower and demanded to come in to use the toilet, (we had only one bathroom) my brothers shared a bedroom so i had a room to myself and he would sneak in at night when my mom was asleep and try to fondle me, i had to start putting a chair under the doorknob to keep him out, which made him more angry and vindictive, he would do everything from planting things in my room and accusing me of stealing them, to not allowing me to play the stereo or use the phone, the worst came to the worst when he hid in the closet in my room and raped me when i came home from school one afternoon, he then threatened to have me and my brother deported,(we are originally from Jamaica), i never dated,i always thought i was ugly and that when people look at me they could see me as an ugly nasty girl my one salvation was
i loved to read and despite all the abuse i remained a straight A student,i thought about suicide but the love i had for my brothers prevented me from going through with it, i was the eldest i felt i had to protect them as he was often physically abusive to them too, i cried myself to sleep many nights after he would rape me, then i met this guy at my school who became my best friend i broke down and told him everything, he offered to beat up my stepfather but i talked him out of it, he did however called cps and reported it, when they came to investigate my mother freaked out and called me a liar and said she would send me back to Jamaica to live with my grandmother, that didn't happen, i was removed from the home by cps and int foster care until i was 18, i won a scholarship to a good university, where i earned a bachelors degree in social work, i never spoke to my mother again she refused to see me or speak to me, she died in 2007 and i never attended the funeral, i now have a fear of any black man with the physical characteristics of my stepfather, i never married, i don't even like sex, and i never had children, i am now 50 years old, i survived through counseling and great friends, and of course my brothers, i now work with women in domestic violence situations and help them through their various situations, and that helps me to become stronger everyday, why? because i am a survivor! god bless.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Courtney S

by Courtney S
(Ohio, USA)

Surviving PTSD Caused by Child Abuse: 
May 1991, I was born to my parents. My mother was thrilled. Unfortunately she had a short bout with post partum depression. During this time my dad was juggling work and me. He always had a temper. This was the first time I would see exactly how bad. At four weeks old I was hospitalized for 10 days from seizures, dual retinal hemorrhaging, and severe bruising. That's right, I suffered from shaken baby syndrome. Thankfully I survived. Unfortunately for me, abuse got worse the older I became. At three my parents separated, and the beatings began. At five the molestation started. Fortunately at nine my father was evicted and did not return into my life until I was old enough to defend myself. So six years of physical abuse, four years of molestation and rape, plus the emotional toll from the pain I faced I was downward spiraling. The miserable part was that this was merely the beginning of my suffering. After my father left I was placed in foster care. Pretty well all the foster fathers stated clearly, "You weren't raped. You enjoyed it. Have sex with me or find your own way." I obliged the offer. I left as a junkie working under the table at exotic dance parlors, made my money, and had older friends buy my hotel rooms with my money in their names. So here I was, strung out, heart broke, emotionally destroyed, and begging to be cared about. Go figure, that, that didn't happen until I took control over my life for once. At 17 I did just that. I was detoxing in a secluded park, wanting to find whatever way I could to end all the torment I had gone through since birth. Finally, I slept a little. To this day, I'm still unsure how long I slept, but the dream I remember as if it were a millisecond ago. I was in a palace, an elegant gown draped around me as if I were royalty. Soon a man, taller than I, semi muscular build, multiple tattoos, piercing blue eyes, and light auburn hair spoke. "Princess, where are you? Why are you hiding? Pain can be beauty, but no more running."
I woke up baffled. Needless to say the man in my dream exact description is now in my life. I married that angel two years ago. We now have a beautiful son. Everyday for me now I strive through those PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) my past caused to show my son that no matter how horrible a situation seems, you will survive. Mommy did, you can too. My dream is to help anyone I can suffering even if its to give a minor bit of hope and friend to listen intently and offer arms to feel safe in.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Monisha

by Monisha
(India)

I was alone, I was sad but I also had a hope which dragged me here to light: 
I know everyone here has the same wounds that I had. When I was a child (8 years) my mom worked late. My brother had his own set of routines and I was left alone with my neighbour. He was very nice to me. He was next to my brother. We played and sang together along with my brother. I don't remember much about how it all started but all I remember were those painful memories. Then I had same problems like every other child. I dint have anyone to tell. No one ever asked me or no one ever knew what I was going through. May be I was a great actor. I dint have any of those signs that other children possessed. I was normal through the day like every other normal child or at least acted like that. I really have no idea what gave me so much strength at that age to face such circumstances. I was myself when it was night. I cried and suffered at night. Fought a war to hide it all through the morning. It was more like watching life through window.

My neighbour left but his wounds haunted me. Day and night. I emerged into a person with two personalities, one that suffered, one that acted. After about few years it became a routine for me. I dint know how to express. I dint shout when I had stomach ache or any other pain. It was all silent, my screams were all silent. Only I knew what was going through me.

In few days I came to a state where I couldn't explain myself. I dint have a self of my own. I always acted like what everyone wanted me to be. I still remember the silent pain I went through when my friends told me that I am very dynamic and strong. I laughed bitterly at my own lost self. I wanted to commit suicide. Ironically there was another blow. My friend committed suicide and she passed away the week before I was planning. But I was still persistent on destroying myself. I stood on my school building for about an hour. My friend committed suicide and I dint know the reason. "Everyone is fighting the same battle that I am fighting". Something stopped me from jumping and I came back home. I cried all night. I decided that day that I want to be happy.

I thought the only way to be happy was by killing the person who started everything. I still find it bitterly foolish for having such a childish thought. I then realised that the more importance I am giving him the more he is winning. So I decided to change my life in my own way and live for myself.

The path was not easy at all. First I wanted to tell someone but no one were around. I dint lose hope because "I want to be happy". This was the only thing that went on in my mind. I went to a church and confessed. It wasn't enough. I had so much I dint know where to start. So it was in bits that I wrote it. First I started to replay all my forgotten memories. It wasn't easy at all. I thought I would fail and never get up. But still I had to do it. I don't want to be a child trapped in childhood and suffocating. I wanted fresh air and wanted to see the world God made for me.

The path was hard. I read a lot of self help books, danced and did yoga. I dint believe initially that they would change me. They gave me a lot of support. It was like seeing the outside world and opening windows. The self help books I read were:

  1. Monk who sold his ferrari
  2. books by osho
  3. books related to meditation and Buddhism
I started writing down and telling myself everything. Well telling myself was a problem, cuz I had to do it without my mom's notice. So I acted as if I was speaking on phone with someone. This way no one disturbed me and I had time with myself.

I wrote down or told myself all the happy memories that I could remember from my past. Then I prepared myself so much and started with my memories that involved abusal. Even typing them makes me shake about how I faced them. It was as worse as facing them when I was a child. But I had to do it. I have been escaping from those memories since childhood. But now I am ready to face them. I had dark days I never had before. I started remembering all my bad memories which I never knew existed. I do admit that thought of suicide came to my mind. But I am no more that weak child. I told myself that I was strong and so god is giving these obstacles and one thing that made me survive was "hope to be happy". The determination to regain the lost happiness.

I had all my bad memories in front of me. All of them I had only two chances to face them or run away. If I face them I can start moving on in my life. I faced them for few months. I hugged my legs or my pillow or shouted at my dolls and cried. It's not easy to film abusal memories on my mind. It was suffocating. I wrote rewrote everything. Tore them, burnt them. I also found myself. I was lost somewhere back in those memories. I was still a child crying not really knowing the reason why. I found myself and stopped acting for others. If I am sad, yes I am "you got a problem with that". One of my best friends helped me while others spoiled it.

One thing that I dint allow to get into my mind was what everyone were thinking of me. I wanted to be me and feel free. I switched off cell phone avoided everyone. I wanted a room to breathe and that's what I found while replaying all bad memories. In that process I found myself.

I still don't say that I am healed totally. But the only proof that I am writing all this as if nothing happened, not even a single tear drop not coming from my eyes and me writing as though it's someone's story is a proof of my rebirth.

I now have my form of expression, my mood which I understand, myself which I can firmly state and life ahead which I want to live. I feel so proud now when my friends tell me I am dynamic and all. I came from a state of dark depression to a state of hope and optimism. I am still not able to forgive the person who took away my childhood from me. I donno what will I do if I see him. I won't probably kill him hehe but I will grit my teeth, shake hand, come home and cry. It still takes time for wounds to heal and leave scars. I now have a life, family I love, and a goal. If I am not happy now I will be happy.

I am now determined to help anyone who needs help. Trust me I know how it feels. I am a pro at this. I've seen this for more than 18 years. If you need to talk, need an advice, need help about what books to read please I will be so happy to help. Write to me here on this site....

Thank you for reading this....




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: I welcome you to follow me on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I hope to hear from you there!

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Amy

by Amy
(England, United Kingdom)

We are all a work in progress: 
I didn't like who I was throughout my teen years. I had been abused over 3 years from the age of 11, and then I had been sexually promiscuous, compounding the negative effect of the abuse on my self esteem. I did the norm for someone like us: shop-lifting, one-night stands, self-harm; all hid behind the charming mask of an intelligent young girl who came across as being confident.

I had promised myself I would come clean with my parents at 18 and address my issues, but instead I left England to work and travel. A friend of the family found me a job on a private yacht. An exciting job, travelling and earning attractive amounts of money. Naturally I jumped into a relationship with this friend. He was nice, he had got me the job, I felt safest being in relationships, safe from being a "slut".

The combination of leaving home, working full-time and being in a loving relationship catalysed my choice to confront my demons. I had missed my planned deadline to sort myself out, and this troubled me for the year I was with this person. I confessed everything that had happened to me, and I went as far as to admit to this person that I had once abused my younger brother when I was around 13. That was the scariest thing I had ever done in my life, something that had been eating me up for 5 years and I told this person.

He held me, he told me he loved me, and he told me it wasn't my fault.

Finally I knew I was lovable. I knew deep in my heart I was loved. I was with this person for a year, living and working together on the yacht, then he had to leave. It's been very difficult to cope with being away from him and I went a bit OTT with partying, but I didn't go back to my promiscuous ways because I've learnt my lesson.

A few weeks ago on my 20th birthday I had a serious accident and I could have died from my injuries. I'm recovering, and the process is slow and painful. I have to leave my fancy lifestyle of travel and money and go home. I have spent the past few weeks researching the effects of sexual abuse on children. I have found it comforting to have words to explain feelings and behaviours I didn't understand before. It is all becoming very clear.

There is no formulaic approach to healing. It's a personal journey that some people delay or never start. I have always always been a person who wants to do "the right" thing (thanks to my fallible yet wonderful parents) and so I think of my life as "the house that John built". I want to use stone foundations, not sand. I've got plenty of sand, plenty of mistakes to make me crumble later in life, but now I've made the choice to think long-term when I make decisions. I've made the choice to use stone.

To some people this will help, to some it will not be very cohesive. I have left out a huge amount of detail of course. I'm not yet ready to start pouring out the depressing details again. I go through phases. I am trying to be patient and understanding with myself. I know I have the potential to use my past for good, but right now I am coming to terms with my past by taking it slowly and just reading at my own pace. I don't read everyone else's sad stories and relive my pain. I'm just in the process of rationalising what happened to me. A self-defence mechanism I have always used...rationalize and minimize.

I have had to grow up...being an angry little child has not added to my life, so I'm leaving that child behind and becoming the person I want to be. I'm being kind to myself. I'm loving myself.

I went to a funeral a few months ago and the vicar said the line, "Love your neighbour as you love thyself", then he pointed out that in order to love your neighbour you have to first love yourself. This hit me like a ton of bricks. It is the truth. People who hurt others do so because they are hurting themselves. You cannot love another human being until you learn to love yourself. If you don't have the patience and will to learn to love yourself, how will you ever have a healthy and rewarding relationship?

So...my approach: Time and an open mind. Be willing to find answers to your problems rather than just live in denial. Seek the truth. Don't rely on a lover to help fix you. Take some time to get to know yourself without thinking of yourself as a sexual object, a plaything for boys. It helped me immensely that my last boyfriend loved me unconditionally, but he also introduced me to the Christian concept of abstinence. I don't know if I can wait until marriage, but I know that right now whilst I have no bloke to entertain, I have more time for myself, more time to build healthy friendships with guys and realise I have more to offer than just my body.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Mac

by Mac
(Texas, USA)

I am a recovered adult of childhood incest, & this is my story. Today I am 57. It's taken the last 5 years to step out of denial, & heal. We are not those bad things that have happened to us. We were children whose innocence was taken from us. I am a part of The Lamplighters, sharing my hope with others who have been victims of childhood/adult sexual abuse.

I remember being abused by my father as young as the age of 4. I grew up wanting my daddy to want me, love me, & to make daddy happy. If daddy wasn't happy, my mother & I suffered terribly. I was lead to believe that letting my father abuse me was letting my dad love me. My family was plagued with dysfunctions. I was never taught the difference between appropriate & inappropriate, love & abuse, etc.

Luckily, with a shattered life inside of me for many, many years, I finally began the road to repair, healing, recovery. Facing the truth in the light of God's unconditional love, we can find the strength, and courage to listen to that frightened child inside of us, stand up for, protect, her/him.

You are not alone, your voice can be heard, and you can heal. Reach out for help in safe environments, find a good support group, research child abuse, learn, grow, become free to be a happy child at last.

Don't give up! You're worth it!




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kat

by Kat
(Indiana, USA)

I was sexually abused by my step-father from the age of 7(?). Though scarred for life, I have come to find that at some point you have to stand up and decide you cannot be the person who lives under this dark shadow.

In 2004, I was nearly killed by a girlfriend who had a similar history that I had. It was then that I decided I would no longer live under the shadow she liked to blame everything in her life on. Yes, I had a sordid history, but I WOULD pick up and move on!

Until recently I have worked the same job for 12 years. I do not know where I will go from here, but I will make a go of it. I will not blame my past for my future failings....

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Joy

by Joy
(Location Undisclosed)

My story of child abuse began when I was a child around 6 years old. It started from rape, physical abuse, emotional and mental abuse to torture and constant threats and FEAR of not knowing if there will be a tomorrow, first it started with my father and then later from my from my 2 older brothers. Not only did my father do these horrible things to me but also to my other 4 younger sister siblings. One of my sisters got pregnant by our father and he made me help him deliver the baby, and then killed it. For many years after that, I had recurring nightmares of infant babies with the umbilical cords dragging on the floor coming after me.

This abusive childhood was a very sick one in every way. My sickness was the fears, anxieties, loveless life, isolation, and no sense of self and lived like a shell of a person. My fears were plentiful, mostly if I was going to live another day, or when and what my next meal would be or if today would be a freedom day of no beatings or rape. Surviving was a focus daily rather than being a child and living life. I can honestly say that I lived my life in fear for decades until the last several years.

I was extremely depressed throughout my life; I attempted suicide twice as a child and young adult only to survive and became mad at God. I always felt in the past that I could not make the connection of my mind and body. It was like 2 different entities. I had a lot of out of body experiences throughout my life. I had multiple personalities, I always felt ugly and self conscious of my body, but really I am an attractive person. When I looked in the mirror, I always saw someone else, not me.

I prayed a lot to God and asked why he chose me to suffer so much. But I had an inner knowing that there was something else, but was never sure what it was. I talked to invisible entities; they became my friends and supporters. I had angel and fairy friends that I communicated with. I believe they are the reasons why I am still alive today.

Finally, I wanted to change, I knew deep inside me, I am more than just this depressed person. So the first thing I did, I had to forgive everyone that hurt me, including God. I had to revisit my past and reframe, look at the lessons, gifts, and miracles today. I had to let go of the past to move on. I completely depended on my inner guidance and strength to move on. I had to trust, something I could never do before. This was a huge risk for someone in my situation. I always felt later in my life, that God and the Universe did not put me through what I experience for nothing and there had to be a reason why I survived this and can still walk this planet with grace, dignity and self pride. The Inner Knowing was what kept me living and striving all these years.

Yes, I read many books, went to numerous workshops, seminars, healing school, spent tens of thousands of dollars on psychotherapy, certification trainings, hours of forgiveness rituals, meditations, prayers, journaling,
And so on, but the most significant practice and healing that I found most effective and changed my life was to LOVE myself. Once I learned to do this for myself, this is when I really began to heal. And my life took a turn for the positive, my attitude changed and my passion came to me in a dream.

When I learned to love myself, my health improved, my attitude, my family, and my entire life. I got to learn that what happened in the past is a gift and blessing in my life. I learned that you may not have any control over what happens to you in life, especially as a child, but as an adult, you can change the way you feel about it. And that is exactly what I did. I would never ever give up or change what happened to me in the past. Because I know for sure that this is my Divine plan. I got to experience every negative emotion identifiable in life. Today, as a healer and a peer coach for women who have been abused, I come from a place of deep compassion, understanding and wanting to make a difference in peoples lives.

From being a victim to who I am today, miraculously transformed to my Soul Purpose in life. I love my life, what I do, and me. I see my past as a gift and it was like a “training” to do what I do today. And I completely love it and feel so rewarded and passionate when I am with my clients and making a difference in their lives.

Yes, there are gifts, a reason, a purpose and miracles that will result from any bad to horrific events that happened in your life. Just trust, forgive, let go, and then allow yourself to receive it and most of all, LOVE yourself first.

I am living proof that you can have a meaningful life after abuse. It was a lot of hard work to get to where I am and it’s worth the journey.





Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Hannah

by Hannah
(Tennessee, USA)

I tried not to think about what happened.I just tried to leave it behind,but i did go to therapy and i have counseling.I have great supportive friends.I also made a journal of everything my "mother" did to me and kept it.So anytime i want to blame myself i can look in that journal and know that it was not my fault.After 12 years of complete and utter abuse this is what i did i am still healing.It's only been 7 months since my "mother" kicked me out of the apartment we were living in.The biggest thing i am happy for is the fact that my new mother and sister have helped through this.They have taken me in and decided to adopt me this month.I am so happy and can't wait.I am still going through my healing approach but i hope i have helped you.

Sincerely,
Hannah




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Jessica

by Jessica
(Location Undisclosed)

I was abused for the longest time but it got worse and worse over the years eventually I was sick of it and somewhere inside of me found the courage to finally tell someone who cared about me. It takes a lot to tell someone about what is really going on behind the fake smile you put on everyday. It was probably one of the scariest moments of my life finally telling somebody. My heart was racing and I felt light headed, I was not sure whether I was making the right decision. When I finally spit it out, I felt so much better the anger that was built up in me was finally settling, finally somebody knew. At this time I was a bit scared of the outcome what was gonna happen to me and even my family. I always just assumed that they took you away from your parents by the way people talked, but instead we attended family counselling and got assigned a social worker and that was a temporary fix. Nobody was willing to change. After the summer without a social worker we got assigned another. She made a huge difference in my life, there was talk of me being removed from the home but it didnt happen. Suddenly everything changed and I am currently happy and safe.

If you are being abused please do not hesitate to tell anyone, It makes a great difference in your life.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Heather

by Heather
(Pensacola, Florida, USA)

Look up!

Look up!

My story begins from when I was young- five or six maybe. My parents have had a very strained relationship since for as long as I can remember. They have always fought and have gotten physical with each other. My mom broke her hand punching my dad. A lot of times the anger was taken out on us kids. I've been punched, slapped, slammed against walls, shoved down the stairs, jerked by my hair, beaten, and verbally abused for hours. I lived in fear most of my life. I remember turning to my twin sister once and saying, "This is living hell." I came close to committing suicide twice. It wasn't until I came to college that I was able to realize that this treatment is wrong. At first, I struggled with bitterness; but I realized the importance of forgiveness. Either my past could control me or I could control my past. I am now pursuing a degree in English education and God has given renewed purpose to my life. He truly is the only reason I have made it this far. When I wanted to kill myself, Someone stopped me and I know it was the Lord. He seemed to say, "Heather, don't do it. I got a plan for your life. I am keeping you alive for a purpose. Don't take what I have created into your own hands." And now, here I am, by His grace. I want to be an English teacher in China when I graduate, and I also want to be certified as a counselor. I want to be there for troubled and abused teens and young adults. I remember wishing someone would be there for me. I want to be that person in other kids' lives. I want to encourage others on this site. Don't be a victim; be a survivor. I recently went on a mission trip to Ghana and there they would say, "God is good all the time. All the time God is good." Don't get bitter about what has happened in your lives; learn to forgive. God will work everything together for good.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Iris

by Iris
(Texas, USA)

My story is about healing. At the age of 39 I was having for the first time in my life to deal with the pain and suffering of the molestation and sexual abuse I experienced as a child. The first time it happened I was only three years old. Then after that, several other times.

My life was just out of control and nothing made sense. Growing up with the secrets was not easy. as I remember. I always felt I was lost and there was a sense of seeking in me that I didn't understand. I realize it was me grieving for my own loss of innocence and all the pain I had endured while trying to find the true important being in my life. I always felt I was more mature for my age and I was constantly watching out for myself and others. I felt more like a mother than a child. Somehow I managed to push everything into a corner and became numbed. It wasn't until I got raped at the age of 17 that I died and my life has been out of control since then.

I have done so much that has been so hard for me to even comprehend. I have not only hurt myself, but have hurt many other people who cared for me. I don't think I have ever been normal. There has been issue after issue and problem after problem. My world has been spinning out of control, and I was just at the center standing still, holding on to whatever was left inside of me and praying I wouldn't finally collapse. I constantly made excuses for everything and made my life seem like it was okay, when in reality it was all crumbling right before my eyes. I was at a point where I didn't want to be around family and friends anymore. In a sense, I just wanted to be normal for whatever normal was. I wanted it to all be alright and I wanted it to all go away. So finally, several months ago, I hit rock bottom.

I had a moment of silence for the first time in my life and I realized how messed up my life had been. It was at the moment that I started seeking for what I had been looking for all my life. I started searching around looking for whatever it was I had been looking for even in my dreams. Everywhere I went, I just kept searching until it all made sense to me. There was someone who had been standing by my side through it all. There was that someone who had spent every day of my life with me. Who was also hurting with me as I was hurting daily with my daily struggles. That special someone who would help me get through each day and would just wait in silence. Waiting for that moment when I needed something again and would start speaking to Him. He has been the most important person in my life and truly the only friend I'd had. There has been no friend like Him who will be there with you through the good and the bad. He has been the first one I speak to every morning when I wake up and the one who in silence has spend every hour listening to me as I get by my day. He has sat next to me in bed while I cried myself to sleep at night. He has been my best friend, the one who I left a while back and who later pulled me back to His side again. It wasn't until I realized the truth about my life that I begin to heal here at home with HIM at my side. He has been helping me get through it. He has loved me unconditionally since the beginning, and He still loves me regardless of what has happened in my life. His love and patience has been what has healed me. He has gently carried me and has held my hand through it all.

Through my personal struggle I realized how much He suffered for my salvation and that my pain was so minimal compared to what He suffered to save mine. I learned to give Him all my pain and He took it from me and gave me a new heart. All I had to do was just let go.

My story is not only one of true love but of true friendship, peace and happiness. I write this in hopes that you too find Him in your life. He is Merciful and He is the greatest physician. He is Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. My heart is no longer bleeding love because it has found TRUE love. Seek Him and you too will find Him waiting to hear from you.

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Story of Healing and Recovery From Anonymous4

by Anonymous
(Location Undisclosed)

I thought I'd over-reacted to what happened to me as a child. Sexuality was always confusing. I never knew what to think. I once thought of this as an abuse story. It's a healing story now.

Context changes the thing. For instance, a preschool child can undress in front of a parent for a bath and not feel any discomfort. On the other hand, that same child can have their clothes removed for nap time and feel very exposed / shamed.

From a very young age, I refused to wear shorts. It was thought of as being odd, but not much else was said. Truth was, when I was wearing shorts I felt my body was too exposed. I hated that feeling.

I thought my dad was creepy sometimes. He'd make excuses as to why he should be in the bathroom with me. He'd lay in bed with me before I went to sleep. I don't remember any inappropriate touching. It all just felt a little off. I certainly did not trust him. As a young child, I wanted affection. I was desperate for quality affection. I never really attached to either one of my parents.

As an adult, I went through a period where I'd enter a relationship to "prove" my sexual orientation. I'd try to show myself that I was not homosexual by having a relationship with a female. When I didn't want to be in any kind of relationship I'd try to convince myself I was asexual.

Counseling helped me. It was then that I first confronted the idea that sexually inappropriate things may have happened to me as a child. During that time, I woke up to a nightmare. I'm not sure if it's a memory or a terrible dream.

I no longer have to hurt myself to deal with these feelings. I allow myself to cry when I need to. Boys aren't suppose to cry. Boys get whipped when they cry. That was the attitude that I grew up with. I don't believe it.

Nor do I view my body as being a dirty or filthy object. I know that I can have the expectation that someone will stop touching me when I say it feels wrong. I know that I can expect my privacy to be respected.

I no longer try to label my sexual orientation. I'm not really sure that a label matters as long as I'm comfortable with myself. I get to choose if I enter an intimate relationship, with whom I have it, and if I want to.

I don't remember most of my childhood so I can't point at an event and say, "This is why I feel this way". What is most important is that I'm healing from the effects everyday.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Brad P

by Brad P
(USA)

First off, Darlene, THANK YOU for posting my story of child abuse. My healing process has only begun recently now that I'm 25, but I hope that the previous 23-24 years of my life would only be the tragic prologue to a greater story of triumph.

One thing which has helped me tremendously is learning to love tea. I actually mix green and regular (black) teas together normally. Drinking this particular blend of teas, with the combined stress reducing agents, has big-time helped me fully relive old memories and feel the full emotional pain without becoming physically overwhelmed by the flashbacks.

Growing up, I was a painfully poor writer and horribly poor at reading comprehension. Yet, I began reading fiction extensively this past year, and strangely, it seems like all I ever needed was reading glasses, as now reading's become much easier for me. Whereas four or five pages used to be total torture, 50 pages in a mass print paperback on average a day is a very doable thing for me.

Somewhere along the line, I realized that around three years old was the one time in my life where I really wondered at heart all the possibilities which were out there for me. Yes, a couple years previous, I was nearly killed after a mauling attack from my brother, but the previous and then current damage hadn't set in yet. Now at 25, as I reawaken, I realize that though my cognitive development was always far beyond that of my peers, I'm sitting here with the emotional development of a damaged three-year-old. Within the past year, I actually started reading drastically dark novels involving quite a few horrific aspects, rape, killing, etc., not because I draw pleasure reading about others in pain, but because there's always a character or two who carry themselves with their own self-efficacy and persevere in the end, and there's always someone who suffers only to persevere. My life has been a horror novel, and I find myself embodying the qualities these characters tend to hold in common, and through it, I feel like I'm fast forwarding from the broken 3-year-old I've been for the past 22 years into an emotionally developed adult. Of note, I've also began work on a new series of novels myself, partially drawing on my own experiences, allowing me a positive outlet for all the harbored pain I've lived with.

I've recently made a career change into a new field, which I won't disclose at this time, but it's a growing field. I think due to my experiences being abused growing up, I had elements of paranoia which since evolved into hypervigilance. I'm taking at least one particular class, and during it, the professor said, "If you're the type who double checks locked doors, always looks behind you on a sidewalk, etc. etc. etc.," ...and here is where I thought he was going to describe my type as a paranoid delusional freak, but instead he said, "you're actually just the person we're looking for in this field." I think maybe I could learn to soften my hypervigilance, but imagine the elated feeling I had when someone told me that the persona I developed into isn't seen as inherently flawed, but instead is seen as inherently beneficial! I'm still finding my feet in this new career path, but something tells me I'll be exhilarated by this career once I'm going.

One thing I'm not sure what to make of is this. Within the past couple of weeks, I have moments where I feel like the vibrancy and vigor I once had for a fleeting moment growing up (I think this is the "torch" I spoke of, the fire of life) has been given back to me, and I feel comfortable in my own skin even after all I experienced. During one of these times where I could drop my defenses and be a human being for a moment, I looked in the mirror at myself, hoping to see that vibrant youth I've seen in pictures from around three years old, but instead, I saw a refugee torn from his homeland. I know I wrapped myself in layer upon layer of iron-reinforced concrete emotional defense over the years, which has given me a particularly cold stare and critical face, but that was a new level of said qualities, and I honestly don't know what to make of it. Regardless, I can still hold my once lost but now found youth inside myself, look at the world, and wonder at the possibilities found within it. Regardless of what "myself" has evolved into, by my own doing or not, I'm finally becoming comfortable being myself for whatever it is, and I have a simple goal to be happy with myself and show love to others in need of my love.

Most importantly, I built up quite a bit of rage over the years. I directed it at myself, the world, but never where it should have been directed, at the abuse I was put through. Only by allocating the rage where it should be appropriately allocated have I learned what righteous anger is, and through it, I'm learning what true forgiveness is. How can I forgive someone if I don't even know how or how much I've been wronged, or what wronged me? I very foolishly bailed my abusers out of trouble on quite a few occasions, but I'm slowly learning to hold people accountable for their actions, yet love them despite their actions, because in the end, I could never fully understand their motives, their past, and for all I know, they could be just another victim like I've been, silently crying out for help.

Whereas before, I was sure I was a lost cause, yet never knew why, hopefully this is the start of a much brighter future.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From April

by April
(Location Undisclosed)

I too am a survivor of abuse. I had gone to many different therapists, group therapies and spoken to groups about shedding your blankets of darkness. My biggest help in my self-improvement was a series of life-changing events as I got older. I picked bad marriages and in those I got courage, self determination and a will to survive with each blow I received from them. I am blessed with my beautiful children, whom I love so much. By far the most healing came from writing and opening up to other people. Now this has also bit me in my butt sharing feelings with the wrong people to have them use it against me. But with each hurt, betrayal a new powerful lesson was learned. That I have already survived what I thought was the worst. The words they speak about me is nothing I haven't heard before by others or myself. You can not hit me any harder than I have been hit before. And no one can bring me any lower than the lows I have made myself before either. For in the end all my happiness, love, joy and peace come from me, down deep inside of myself. I have taken back my own power through realization that I had all the power in the first place. I am now in a place that I am truly happy and in love with life. I speak out for not only myself but everyone else. No one can take that from me.
Much love to you all
You too can have the life you want. If I can overcome all in my life and still wake up everyday happy and in love and face my challenges you can too.
April




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kate

by Kate
(USA)

A brief history about my abuse. I was abused from the age of five, we believe. One of my brothers began the abuse and added in other ones over the years. There isn't a lot of memories for me and I have not tried to bring anything forward.

My healing began the day I had enough and told my sisters what had been happening to me. I thank God they believed me and confronted my last abuser and it ended. I then started to go to counseling once I realized my life was on a downward spiral. I slept with any guy who wanted me and then I would walk away. Later I came to realize in counseling that I was looking for love and acceptance.

My brother hated me so much, why never mattered. The only time he treated me nice was when he was abusing me. Through therapy I came to understand how messed up my thinking had become. I associated sex with love. It always left me feeling empty inside. Part of my heeling process was to confront my abusers. I was able to confront all of them and some responses were good and some not so good.

I worked on healing for a couple of years. My husband knew of the abuse and god bless him, had to help me through a lot of shaky times. I would freeze on him and I had begun to have blackouts. Through his love and patience and the counselor's help I made it through. I couldn't be happier than I am now in life.

I have four beautiful sons and just became a grandmother. I also have begun college again. I found this web site as part of my homework. I have decided to give back and I am going for a degree in Human Services to help other children of abuse. Thank you to all who have the courage to share their stories here. There is hope for all of us, we need to believe in ourselves and learn to take the power back. Good luck to all of you. Remember we are strong and can overcome this to live a wonderful life. Just be patient with yourself. You are worth it.

Kate from Home

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kate" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Sylvia

by Sylvia
(Location Undisclosed)

For me rape was the first memory I had as a kid. I was 4 or 5. The rapes and sexual abuse happened until I was 10 or 12. It is fuzzy on the ages the abuse stopped. I was raped by 2 cousins. The oldest cousin started first and I was passed on to the youngest cousin a few years later. I felt less than human. It has taken 3 years of therapy to even talk about the abuse. To this day, my mother blames me and it is not something that is talked about. I am 38 years old and the memories haunt me. I did not talk about them to anyone until I was an adult.

I wish things had been different when I was a child, but in my culture you don't talk about these things. And my mother made it quite clear that it was my fault.

I thank God for a good therapist and her patience. Sometimes I don't feel like living, but I am not going to let them win.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Emz

by Emz
(Devon, England, UK)

My Beloved Daughter and I

My Beloved Daughter and I

My Healing:  
I am a survivor of abuse. I escaped 3 years ago, after my stepfather abused me for years. He would beat me, make me strip for him, force me to give him blow jobs. He even raped me. I told my mother when she finally asked me, "Why do you keep running away?"

I told her outright. "I ran away because this morning, Bob said he gives me till after school for an answer. But if my answer is 'no,' I will get a beating with his belt and he will find an excuse to give you for the beating. He told me that if I said 'yes' he will give me 50 cigarettes so that I won't tell."

Well, 3 years ago I told. I told everything to the police. He ended up getting away with it, because my sister would not give evidence to say it was happening to her too. The day he got off, I ran. I ran hundreds of miles.

Today, 3 years later, I'm surviving. Yes, it still hurts. Yes, I still get bad dreams. Yes, I still have flashbacks. BUT I SURVIVED, and I can see a future beyond that. I now have a daughter of my own who I will protect from creatures like him for the rest of my life.

Thanks for reading.
Emz

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Leslie

by Leslie
(Los Angeles, USA)

I was actually doing quite well when I decided that, in fact, I was doing so well that I thought a therapist could help me get over the last hurdles.

Of course, I had not named what happened as child abuse, I was just doing quite well healing from the effects.

The therapist I got was not really competent, and I think he developed ill will and became abusive when he saw his ideas were not working.

I, on a walk one day, found myself in front of a battered women's shelter, found myself going in, found myself saying "I am suffering emotional abuse by a therapist." I only knew what my problem was when I heard myself say that.

In any case the depression all of this caused created life problems which led to deeper pain and only now, twenty years later, do I seem to be making some progress on that and on the original issue.

I see the magnitude of what happened originally, and it is shocking. I just hope that, now that there are so many more resources so much more easily available, that more people can heal more easily, without the twenty years of really deep pain I have been through.

I honestly wish I had never sought help, I was doing quite well on my own, recovering step by step, happy, setting better and better limits for people; I wish I had gone on that way.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Anonymous

by Anonymous
(Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

My story is solved now, but I'd still like to tell. I was hit on a lot and other such stuff, told I was a bad boy, etc. I don't like talking about that stuff. But then I got adopted! The people who took me in are wonderful and they pretty much spoil me rotten! I love it! I was eight years old when I was adopted and my hair had never been cut, so it was very long, clear down to the middle of my back. It's now to my shoulders because they like it that way and I let them decide but I always get love and attention (I LOVE the attention I receive!) and I'm treated like a king. I'm tucked in bed every night under a warm blanket (just out of the dryer!) and am fed the best of foods, I get hugged and told I'm a good boy and that I'm sweet, etc. I'm really very happy in my new home and they love me (I am their only child) I was real skinny when I first came to my new parents but now I'm fed very well, I'm nice and built pretty nicely, and my trust for people has improved greatly!




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Mary

by Mary
(Lafayette, Georgia, USA)

I posted part of my story on the child abuse page (see Child Abuse Story From Mary3). I would like to add a footnote to my story. My siblings and I turned out to be basically good people.

I have raised five good and wonderful children and have three wonderful granddaughters, and one on the way. I got my education and made lots of money and retired at age 41.

My next to the oldest sister that was sexually abused became heavily involved with drugs. She got addicted to meth and abandoned her one and only child. She eventually, after several years of running wild, ended up in prison. She spent 17 months in prison. It changed her. She got out, went back to her husband and regained custody of her son, and is living drug-free and doing the right thing.

My little sister got pregnant at 14 years old, quit school and went on to have four children. She has been married several times and is still currently living with any man that comes along. She spent 6 months in jail and was abused by a prison guard, who upon her release, followed her to my parents' house to see her. He was later investigated and charged with having sex with the women prisoners he guarded. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. My little sister has always suffered from mental problems. She lies like pouring out water. She believes all the lies she tells. She does not live in the real world. She works and spends her money on men. She needs help but she won't hear of it. I don't know what will happen to her.

My little brother is married and has two children that he has custody of, and is working for himself and making a living.

My siblings and myself forged a relationship with my parents after we were grown. When I had my first son at age 15 years, my parents changed and started to be the wonderful parents and grandparents that they should have been all along. I will never forget what they have done to us. I just didn't know that growing up we were being abused. Back then no one talked about child abuse. So it is important that every child from the beginning knows what child abuse and neglect are, and it is important that they are take seriously and given a voice in the world. I tried to tell someone of authority what was going on in my childhood life, and was told by the authority figure to shut my mouth go home and quit trying to cause my parents trouble. I shut my mouth and endured the abuse and neglect. I knew no one was on my side.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Mary" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Krystel

by Krystel
(Australia)

Ongoing sexual assault as a teenager: I was raped at the age of 14 it continued untill i was 16 i am now 24 it was ongoing and went on almost every day, i was threatened that if i ever told anyone my abuser would hurt or kill me, i had no controll over what was happening to me, i even fell pregnant to my abuser and had an abortion, it made me depressed and confussed i turned to drugs starting with pot then i got into speed. I went to court and fought my abuser, now he is in jail and i feel safe, i started doing counselling and i worked on different issues involved with the sexual abuse i still see my counsellor now and have found her very helpful to overcome the trauma my abuse had caused me, it effected my relationships and it is only now i am able to feel comfortable during sex with my partner and i couldn't have done it without the help of my counsellor.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Emma

by Emma
(United Kingdom)

I am currently 15-years-old. For many years I grew up with an abusive Mother; physical, emotional and child neglect. My Mum and Dad had a divorce when I was 5-years-old so after that we left Mums with bruises and entered a lovely new home with a wonderful Dad covering up the marks on our body. Suffering was my younger brother, 12 and other Sister, 17. There we many times when my Mum said "would you like me to take you the toilet?" This was our punishment line. At the time, we didn't understand the severity of the abuse until later on when I built up the courage and self-confidence to speak aloud.

For as long as I can remember, Mum has been an alcoholic so life has been pretty tough... Then, and now.

There has been times when my Mum met a number of different men at local pubs, shops etc inviting individuals around the house. We knew exactly what they were doing at 7 years old - it was horrible. I remember one night me and my brother were arguing in the back yard (like every child does) Mum and her boyfriend pulled me into the house, grabbed a belt and smacked me around the back of the legs with a belt, Mum would smack, throw, punch my younger brother telling him to go to school and tell his teachers he fell off his bunk bed, so he did... We were carrying a secret nobody else knew - like most abuse victims do. At the time I would shout and scream at my Mum to tell her to stop, however with the drink flowing around in her body she was more abusive than abusive.

On the emotional side - My Mum would manipulate me into being nasty just like her "you don't need anyone else but me. After all who would want to be your friend?" Or when my sister left home after Mum dragged her down the stairs, punched and smacked her (having had loads of underage drinkers around the house) she decided to leave. Mum would say "you're just like your sister", "your dad doesn't want you". Sometimes she would be lovely to me the next it was like she's converted into something I didn't know - an abuser.

Having looked after my younger brother, I filled the mother figure to him that he needed. I made sure he had lunch for school, clean bed, tea ready, games to play with.... While my Mum was past out on the sofa, later to be beaten again. Smacked, tortured.

Having all this done to me, I have come out the other side. Made myself a real future. I looked on the internet during my breaks at school and managed to share my story of abuse/alcoholic Mother on the net - just like I am now. Having had replies to make me feel less alone I managed to build up the confidence people knew I had in me and speak aloud. First, I shared my shocker with my PE teacher, then my others teacher and further a councillor at school. Before all of these options taking place Social Services dropped in to have one-to-one sessions, gradually things got better until they told me I had to live with my Dad for 6 months. At first, I was crying because I didn't want to leave my Mum as she is an alcoholic and I needed to look after her. Then on the other hand she was abusive and I wanted to get away. After all, I had no choice. Spending my time at Dad's was a real eye opener; I loved having clean uniform, not being abused, building my self-esteem up, going to school and focusing.

After the 6 months went by I noticed I started to get praised at school for the hard work I've been putting in, I was determined in lessons I never used to be. Living with Mum I hated Physical Educated and now living with Dad I've decided to take the path of being a PE Teacher in my career. I can see the transition made by me and I'm so proud of escaping the trauma and having a loving caring family with my Dad.

I've gained so much;
- Student of the Year trophy at school
- Determined in Sport trophy
- I stuck a story of my abuse having an alcoholic Mum in a magazine
- Gained lovely friends
- built up the confidence to be dressed in a PJ onsie in front of my school dancing to "In the Jungle"
- Able to speak about my Mum in my English Speaking Exam - in front of my class.

Whatever you want in life you have to grab with two hands and never let go. You all deserve the best possible future!

Thanks for reading,

Emma




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Lee

by Lee
(Arizona, USA)

My Abusive Dad and my Cowardice Mom...The Unprotected Child: 
I've been struggling on and off for years with the abuses of my childhood. My Dad was a mean, angry, depressed, unhappy b***ard (abusing my Mom, my brother and me, but mostly my Mom and my brother). My Mom was a weak-willed, coward of a woman who didn't protect herself or my brother nor I.

Later in life after they divorced, my Dad started to become a better man and then into his 70's and 80's he was a wonderful person, who didn't even resemble the man I knew as my Dad growing up.

My Mom went through years of alcohol, sleeping around, etc, until finally she settled into a relationship with a much younger man who did not physically abuse her (only emotionally). She is basically in a relationship with a "non person" who just wanted a Mom who would cook and clean and take care of him. Still abusive as far as I'm concerned. She has little to no self-esteem.

I became closer to my Dad later in his life because, he at least seem to possess some self-esteem. He loved golf and became quite good at it and had a circle of friends (and a long time girl friend) who were good people. My Dad died quit suddenly two years ago at 83 from Mesothelioma. I missed him and the relationship that we had finally developed. I had fortunately picked out the best qualities of my Dad to incorporate into my personality and thus, I have really succeeded career wise and in most other areas of my life. My Dad let me know how very proud he was of me, as his daughter and was able to let me know that he was sorry for my childhood.

It's been so incredibly confusing to me, especially my relationship with my Mom who never protected me (and still doesn't and can't). My Mom has never accomplished anything in life. She can be very pushy, she cries easily and I have had to make sure that she doesn't dump guilt on me, (she has always been very good at guilt). She has started to take better care of herself for the past 10 years or so, but I continue to not trust her and I can't seem to accept all of the gushing affection (that doesn't seem real by the way) that she wants to smother me with. My Mom is a very anxious, insecure, nervous individual, but ironically, she is probably going to outlive my Dad ultimately. She is now 81.

When I think about losing my Mom, I feel guilty somehow, that I was supposed to take care of her. I have worked very hard to overcome the negative feelings that I have about her. She allowed my Dad (and others) to emotionally abuse me when I was a child. When I think of her, even now, all I see is a very small, unhappy, anxious, guilt ridden woman who tries very, very hard to be better to the point of at times, being a bundle of nerves and tremendously uncomfortable with herself. Even so, I'm working every day to forgive her...My life is good now, but it takes great effort to forgive my Mom and feel at all comfortable around her. I continue to want her to somehow be better for me, which I know cannot make up for the little girl in me, who was so frightened and unloved...I need to continue to let go of that idea and live the good life that I now have. This is a continued struggle for me.

I have a wonderful son who is now doing well. He too suffered the effects of particularly my Mom, as his Grandmother, who tried very hard to influence him in very unhealthy ways (I tried to counter this). Due to this fact (and others), he was very, very rebellious in his teen years and early twenties. I'm sure that my volatile relationship with my Mom was very confusing to him, but he has come through it and we now have a wonderful bond and understanding.

My life is amazingly good for someone having been through this with their horribly dysfunctional, emotionally abusive, unbalanced, self-centered parents. I find that it does help to recognize what happened to me from time to time...I hope to keep improving every day and find more and more peace in my life as I move into my later years.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Zaria

by Zaria
(Location Undisclosed)

I can't remember not being afraid. The one memory I have of my biological father was him leaning over my baby sister's crib and my mother frantically pulling him away. I was three at the time. Years later I learned he had tried to stab her in a drunken rage. She divorced him shortly after that. Unfortunately she got out of a relationship with a monster only to marry a demon a short time later. I hadn't turned four yet and all the sudden a new "daddy" had replaced the old one.

The physical and emotional abuse was there from the beginning. He "taught" me how to tie my shoes by striking my hands repeatedly with a small tree branch until I got it right. The words b***h, whore, and c**t were part of his regular vocabulary. Though I didn't understand what those words meant until I was older, I did know they were bad words.

He started touching me when I was seven. I had already learned not to sleep until he went to bed. I never knew when he would decide the house wasn't clean enough and drag me out of bed to clean for hours until just before my mother came home from the graveyard shift. I was only seven and already knew how to function on five hours of sleep a night.

That night I was laying there pretending to sleep, listening intently on his footsteps as he headed down the hall. Would he turn to his room or continue straight to mine? He continued straight. I forced myself to relax and slow my breathing. If he knew I was awake and waiting for him, the beatings were worse. I waiting for what seemed like forever for him to turn on the light and drag me out of bed...but the light stayed off. I was so confused I almost forgot to monitor my body and my breathing. By the time I got back to my rhythms, he was touching me. I stayed perfectly still, concentrating on my body and breathing while screaming in my head. I didn't exactly understand what was going on but I knew it was bad. It seemed to go on forever and then he left. I laid there silently crying into my pillow (something I rarely did due to the extreme danger of showing emotions) and wondered what was worse, the beatings or the touching. I never could answer that question.

Within six months I learned to function on 20 hours of sleep or less a week. At first hallucinations were a problem but after a while, they faded. I never did have a psychotic break. I couldn't...I had to survive. In a way I guess I was lucky.

When I was ten, I was in the car with my mother going home from somewhere when she suddenly pulled over. She began crying and told me that he raped her. I didn't know what exactly that was but I knew it was bad and it was sort of what he was doing to me. She then told said: "I want you to promise me that you will protect your sisters no matter what. I'm not strong enough to do it but I know you can." I promised.

As the years went on, the beatings and touchings progressed to rape and torture. I used my body to keep him from hurting my little sisters. If he went after one of them I would throw myself in front of her and take the beating. It didn't matter to me. I no longer felt pain at that point. In fact, I didn't feel much of anything other than the desire to protect my sisters. Sometimes I failed...I didn't get there in time...and I felt horrible about it. I would stop him from using the full brunt of his rage by offering my body up as a sacrifice. "Stop hitting her and I'll go to the bedroom with you." He would follow me to the room he shared with my mother like an excited puppy. Once there I would strip down and do what was required.

It didn't matter anymore. Nothing mattered really. I didn't realize how separated I had become from "the body" until I was washing dishes one day and noticed blood dripping from my hands. I had cut myself washing a knife and didn't notice. I was more fascinated than frightened. I cut myself a few more times...nothing...then I wondered what would happen if I cut deeper...

Suicide was constantly on my mind after that. I am living proof you can die in your dreams and wake up. I have died in my dreams six times...three at my own hand.

It ended the year after my sixteenth birthday. A daughter of his from a previous marriage came to visit. She saw what was happening and demanded my mother do something about it. Next thing I know, the cops were taking him away.

For years I had nightmares and suicidal thoughts. Even marriage and two children did nothing to alleviate them. I was lucky in marriage. My husband only hit me twice and constantly insulted me. It was heaven...though I still didn't sleep more than 20 hours a week. Partly due to the nightmares and partly due to my husband keeping me awake with his insults.

In the fourth year of marriage I was attending a free workshop for women. We were talking about choices and how they affect us. I only said that growing up, I had no choices about anything, including my body. The instructor clued in and after class she told me about a book called Courage to Heal. Before I knew it, I was on the road to healing...though I didn't know it at the time.

I divorced my husband a year later and gave him custody of my sons. He has always been a good father. It's odd to say it, but it's true. My boys are adults now, in college and have a bright future ahead of them.

It was a long painful road to healing but worth every step. Oh I stumbled...I stumbled a lot. I probably would have done better if I had access to a therapist but since that wasn't an option due to lack of insurance I had no choice but to do as I've always done...go it alone.

After Courage to Heal, I found a book called Scream Louder about a woman healing from incest. Then I found the Courage to Heal workbook. After years of climbing out of the pit I was in, I finally saw light and realized I didn't HAVE to be a victim! All the horror I went through didn't HAVE to weigh me down, poison me and eventually kill me. I could feel all that pain and not let it overwhelm me. I could acknowledge the sexual abuse and not be overwhelmed with shame and guilt. I could say this happened to me but it does not, WILL NOT define me. I am not a victim. I am a SURVIVOR.

I am happily married now to a kind, loving man.

My ex has gone through his own therapy and is now in a happy, nurturing relationship. I was his inspiration to get help. Imagine that?

My boys were never abused. I was the first to break the cycle. Abuse ran all the down the family line until I decided to end it. They are healthy and happy. They do know I'm a survivor but that's all. They can't imagine what I went through and that warms my heart to no end.

My mother and baby sister also got help and are in happy healthy relationships. Sadly, my middle sister is still a victim and has refused all offers for help but we all hope that she too will see the light.

As a friend of my once said: As long as you can draw breath, there is always hope.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Kym

by Kym
(Location Undisclosed)

I don't know where to begin with my story. I guess from the beginning. I grew up with my mother. She was sexually abused as a child. I was around 6 or 7 when my mother forced me to give her oral sex. Afterward she took me in the bathroom and brushed my teeth really hard and she told me if I ever told anyone I would get the worst killing of my life. Which in her terms that meant severe beating. I was use to getting beat. Surprisingly I got to a point where they didn't bother me. But that night...that night of performing oral sex on my mother stayed in my mind for years. I was afraid to tell anyone. I hated her. I finally had the heart to tell someone when I was 15 years old. I told my sister (she wasn't raised with me) and we cried together. I had cried many times before but this cry was different. It was a let go...it was a water balloon that had been waiting to spring a leak. And a heavy leak it did.

I left my mother's house when I was 17. I had to. You want to know why? I became a mother myself. I had a daughter. Yeah a DAUGHTER! Even though my mother said I was going to stay there and sign my baby over to her I knew that I would never allow the same thing to happen to my baby girl.

I'm 33 years old now. My daughter is 16. To this day she has never slept over her grandmother's house. I'm not a perfect parent. But I found peace in my children (I have a 7 yr old son too). I am still healing. I still hurt. I talk to my mother but it's not a mother daughter relationship as it should. My daughter on the other hand posted a message on her personal page of the internet and guess what it said..."My mother is my best friend." Now that's the best healing I believe I could ever get. :)




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

Click here to read or post comments

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Story of Healing and Recovery From Angela

by Angela
(Portland, Oregon, USA)

If it doesn't fit, hit it with a hammer: 
I haven't written my abuse history yet. For the most part I have grown beyond it. I am 40 now, single, childless. It took me a decade after moving from my mothers home to realize that I deserved more than I had chosen. Naively I had married a man who I knew would never hit me with his fists. I learned that much growing up. Then I learned abuse could be verbal too. So at the age of 31 I removed myself from that marriage and started my journey towards myself.

I had personality assessments done to determine what I might enjoy becoming.... Without variance they all said craftsman/artisan with a heavy scientific bent. So I then started college. I didn't get to finish due to the economy but I did learn most of the skills I need to progress. Now I sculpt. I love sculpting particularly in metal. Hearing protection on, the world blocked out, it is just me, an anvil or pitch, usually copper and a hammer. If your metal is annealed correctly when you hit it with that hammer, it moves. It moves like really slow water. A heavy rhythmic pounding or a light incessant taping. I coax, I insist, I sometimes plead. The metal listens and it insists as well. And it teaches me. It teaches me strength, tensity, pliability. But most of all it teaches me to be myself. You see, you can only push metal so far, then if you really want to make something of it, you have to let it be only what it can be. Itself.

I know this kind of makes it sound like I am abusing the metal. But that isn't the case. The dialogue between artist and creation is just as much on the creations side as it is mine. This is true of any artist. And trust me.metal doesn't wish to be a flat sheet only. It likes to feel as if it has a use or purpose just like we humans do. I had a teacher once who said "If it doesn't fit, then hit it with a hammer." While this may sound like brute force, smashing it into shape, it isn't. With the right hammer, placing your blows in the right place, you work with the metal to bring out its inner qualities.

I like to think of all of the work as a metaphor in my own life. If I don't like the way my life currently is, I work with my strengths to create a new ideal. Overall, this hammer that I use creates the rhythm to my life that soothes my soul.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.


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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Cindy

by Cindy W
(Colorado, USA)

Physical, spiritual and emotional abuse: 
I am 42. Recently my parents moved less than a mile from me. This has brought my memories, a great deal of anger and grief to the surface. I had a somewhat normal younger childhood, punctuated with signs of things to come. My father shot my cat when I was preschool age for "neglect", and blamed my mother for not feeding it. I learned from his brother that he had a history of sadism against animals as a kid. My four siblings and I were moved often, every year or sooner. I lived in over 20 houses before I was eighteen and the longest I ever attended one school was two years. I cannot remember one teacher prior to junior high. They are a blur of places and faces. I lived in 4 different states by the time I was 13. The physical abuse began, for me, closer to junior high. For my little brother and sister, 6 and 7 years younger, it began at preschool age. Belts, punching, slapping, verbal threats that were very specific as to the nature of what would be done. The physical abuse was by my father. However for the youngest two, particularly the youngest girl, my mother began to beat her as well at a young age; breaking brushes on her. Also, the poor old dog got it! I remember watching my father kick the dog as hard as he could; violently. My mother raged, she still does. Rage is yelling at the top of her lungs, red face, fists in the air. This happened sometimes in the middle of the night. We would wake up to my mother raging, crying, My parents had an unhappy marriage and there was financial stress. They were dogmatic, rule oriented religion that was constantly forced on us. There was a weird sexual vibe as well. We could not expose ourselves in tshirts without bras, or short skirts "for our father's sake". My second sister had 2 incidents of sexual innuendo; very specific talk and one of attempted assault from my father. He did not physically molest her, she got away the second time. He also has attempted to molest her again when she was living at home after her divorce in her 30's. My mother was very controlling, she dominated my father. He abused us when she wasn't around. She came across as our protector. We would tell her what happened and she would talk (rage) at him about it. She would come into our beds at night and talk about how awful he was, how awful her job, her brothers, her stepmother were as well. We listened. We empathized. We were her emotional spouse. She never attempted to leave him. Even when my sister told her about the attempted sexual assault. My little sister was hospitalized as a young adult with a ruptured eardrum from a punch to the head. He went to jail overnight. She became depressed and suicidal. Religion was constant, we had bible times, we were in many different churches. My father served as a pastor for a year in Utah. Our sexuality was viewed negatively. We were forbidden to dance, dress in short skirts, wear bikinis, etc.. Even now, last week, my mother told me (raged) how I slept with boys in her house (untrue). My mother read our diaries, dominated our lives, forbade me to have a job as a teen. As a child, I dealt with the abuse by introversion. I had a few close friends, but found great pleasure in reading. I lost myself in books; going to another place. I never felt safe at home. But I loved my siblings, and the three girls; we are very close. As a teen, I fled my home to partying, heavy alcohol use and some drugs. I found companionship with a group of teens. I was out of control from 14-18 and had periods of time lost to drugs and alcohol. Many boyfriends. I left at 18. I found a wonderful man; kind, sweet, with a loving family. We dated for a couple of years, but ultimateley did not marry. I credit him for showing me that there is safety and caring in intimate relationships. I traveled, went to school. I lost the desire to party heavily. It had honestly scared me, losing time, a serious car crash involving alcohol, all the boyfriends. I had a wonderful twenties. I was independent, had good jobs, great friends. Also, I found Faith. This had nothing to do with the horrible, bible as a weapon faith I was exposed to. My maternal grandmother was a Christian and she was loving and kind. My mother sent my second sister and me to live with her for 6-9 months in junior high (why???). She was praying for me when she died during my wild years. In my early twenties I found peace and faith and hope in Christ. I still struggle with excessively rule oriented Christians... the no drinking, dancing, dogma and legalism etc... But I found a place to be centered in Christ's love and forgiveness. In His acceptance of me. In His loving Parenthood that I had never had. Psalm 27 says " For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up". BUT, I stuffed my past. I ignored it. I wasn't until I began having children that it shook me to think of what was done to me. I looked at my hands; literally, I held them up and said to myself "These hands will love, these hands will not hurt". I also believe that with my voice, my talk, my guidance. My voice and my speech will not be used to attack and harm them, my words will love and care for them. My guidance will not smother and control them, I will let them break away from me and be their own people. I am not perfect. Once when I worked nights I took my little 2 year old (she was my first child) next door to a friend to have her watch her as I slept. She didn't want to go. I raged. My friend told me that my daughter sat in a corner and cried for hours after I left. That is when I made the other vows about my voice and my guidance. I have not broken them. I married in my mid twenties. I went to nursing school. I have 3 children; they are 8, 11 and 13. I am a loving and kind mother. I do not rage. I do not hit them. I am actively involved in their lives, but they have all kinds of privacy and independence. I will not repeat the pattern. My husband is a loving and kind man to me and my children. I know he struggles to understand this as he was not abused. But he is kind and recently has been listening to me process through my parents current relationship with me and my memories that I am grieving and angry about. My parents recently moved less than a mile from me. My mother, in particular, seems to think I am responsible to fill her life with companionship, a constant listening ear, and my company. I have been bombarded with attacks at my young self (the boys, partying), and with my lack of "welcoming", my putting my friends before her in my twenties. I recognize now that as a child she used us to be her emotional spouse; role reversal. I have always been a people pleaser, have struggled with confrontation, but to a great extent have overcome that for some time. I believe this was due to my mother always having center stage. I had a few bouts of social anxiety in my later twenties (I never understood why it cropped up then, either) that I put to death by forcing myself to go into uncomfortable situations. I am very social, have friends, fulfilling activities. I continue to be centered in my Faith. I do not blame God. I put the responsibility of my horrific childhood right where it should be; on both my parents shoulders. I recently have struggled with anger towards, even though I haven't in the past. Anger that now I am supposed to be responsible for them and their happiness after the hurt and abuse. I'm afraid I haven't worked that one out yet. But I welcome it. I welcome having to process my past now. I welcome the journey to love my parents as best I can, with lots of boundaries. I welcome the anger, which will pass, the grief that I feel now as I look at that little girl, abused, dominated, spiritually and emotionally controlled. The grief is good. It is right, and it too will pass. Psalm 27; 14 sums up how I feel about my past and my future "Wait for the Lord: Be strong and let your heart take courage: Yes, wait for the Lord".




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

Click here to read or post comments

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed1

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

A friend of mine showed me this site and encouraged me to submit my story as well. I may be apprehensive but hopefully it, like hers, will help others as well....I wonder why my mind is as twisted as it is, and this is why.

When I was a baby I was molested by a man that should have been the one to lead me through life and teach me how to live within society's standard, but instead of being the "model father" or the "good father" he decided to be the father that wanted a new world to rise, that wanted a new generation to take over. A generation that didn't mind rape and incest, a generation that didn't mind running from the law and being kept from the world. A generation of nothing but shadows that would steal, rape, kill, and have sex with family members and those around them.

He started to brainwash us from day one. From the moment we got home from the hospital he started to shape our minds and twist our morals. My half sister was first. She was born sometime around 1981, then came my half brother in 1983, my full brother in 1985, my second half brother in 1985, then was my half sister in 1987, full sister in 1988, half sister in 1990, me in 1991, and last but not least my final half sister in 1993. All of us were subjected to his abuse.

This "father" of mine had a wife and two mistresses, and all of us were kept from the world in what he called a "Christian Household", forced to study the bible before he took our innocence little by little. He was twisted, and dark-hearted; abusive to "his" women and sexually desiring all of his children. He molested us every night, and when my eldest sister was 12, he took her innocence completely; he raped her. He was trying to get another mistress by using his own daughter! After that my sister didn't think it was right; he hadn't succeeded in brainwashing her completely.

The women took their cues from her...she, her two brothers and our "father's" wife stayed at the house, while his two mistresses and their kids split. They pressed charges and we hid. My mom brought me back here where her parents lived and she grew up. We were free of him.

Soon after we left he went to court, and got convicted for assault on a minor. I thought we were free, I thought I was free, but I wasn't free. I was still living with an almost exact replica of my "father", but not near as bad...he was my older brother.

When I was six my brother repeated what my father had done...I was in the bath and he had asked my permission to "see" my crotch, and then he asked if he could "touch" it. He also asked if I wanted to see his. I said yes all three times because ever since I was in kindergarten I had always been curious about sex. I wondered what it would feel like. I wondered how my body would react. He took advantage of those thoughts and asked if he could touch me. He had dropped his pants, revealing himself. At first I was scared that he was going to do it with that and I said you can touch me but "don't do it with that". I was lucky. He agreed and he used his finger on me...it hurt, so I told him to stop he said it would feel better in a minute and he told me to wait, so I did. It didn't change, so I told him it hurt again and to stop, he said hang on and I almost yelled for him stop again. He finally did, pulled his pants back up, and left telling me, "Shhhh, this is our little secret. Don't tell Mom." I said alright, but then I got sick. I felt like the most disgusting thing on the face of the earth. I thought it was my fault for him doing it...I gave him permission, I said it was okay, were the thoughts going through my head.

When I finished my bath the only thing I could think to do in order to keep myself from throwing up was tell Mom, so I did. We were both sent to group counseling and taught what was right and what wasn't. It helped me a bit, but his mind was still twisted.

During Christmas of this year it almost happened again, but I stopped it by telling him not to and he obeyed. To everyone who thinks their mind has been twisted so much and you know it's wrong but you can't stop it, you're not alone. My mind has been twisted very badly because of those two men, but I do still know what's right and what's wrong. Don't feel like you're a disgrace or you're a monster, keep hope and never EVER think that what happened to you was your fault. It never is, unless you're doing it to someone else. Keep faith and keep hope. Never think that you brought it on yourself. As for the twisted mind with the twisted urges...as long as you don't act on them, and don't traumatize another person for your own pleasure you'll be fine...getting some professional help could help too. That's helping me, so maybe it could help you too. I think like my "father" but my heart is safe, and my heart will never allow me to hurt another the way he did me. Keep faith, and keep hope, you'll be fine in the end.

As for me, I'm 17, a lesbian, and most of my best friends are men. Even though I may not be physically attracted to their gender, I'm attracted to them emotionally. I'm doing much better now and my brother's getting better too, so eventually I'll be over all the trauma. I have three people to thank for that: my 8th grade language arts teacher (RIP), my creative writing teacher, and my school counselor. Thanks to these people, I'm finally able to cope with what happened and lend an ear to others like me and help them as well.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Name Undisclosed1" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Sarah

by Sarah
(Canada)

In the Eye of Deception: 
Having grown up with physical and mental abuse, I turned to cope with a drug addiction, eating disorder and self-injury. Things went from bad to worse as I lived on the notion, I had no right to exist. I ended up being pulled into a cult and repeatedly raped until I somehow made it out of there after 6 months. At that point, I no longer wanted to live. However, I met a woman who invited me to a church meeting. I can't tell you how or what, or even why, but something touched me. The drug addiction was broken. I have never touched drugs since. I continued to struggle for years though with cutting, and an eating disorder.

What worked? My faith, counseling, learning to replace the lies I was told with truth about my worth and my right to live. It's a process, a long process.

I returned to school and in spite of all the drugs I did, and the countless times my head was bashed against a wall, I ended up on the Dean's Honor List and now have a platform, as a social worker, to help others on the journey to healing and recovery.

More information about this author can be found at Sarah

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Tom

by Tom
(Wisconsin, USA)

In between my childhood and my career as a social worker, I had a first career as a U. S. Marine. I was forced to retire after 8 years of service due to disabilities from Vietnam. I went to McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and after graduation was when I began working with girls who had been sexually abused. After several years of doing this, the Montreal Gazette did a story on me, and that is when I first recognized the links between being an abused child, an aggressively delinquent teenager, all that one expects a Marine to be, an angry adult after losing my "legitimate" outlet for my aggression, therapy, and finally a social worker with abused teens and teen abusers. I learned a long time ago that the healthiest thing for me to do was to own all of these chapters, as I truly believe we are all products of our past. I have, from time to time, shared this with my clients. All too often they see us as who we are today and are not aware that we may have faced our own struggles along the way.

When I was 2 1/2 years old (my brother was 9 months, one sister was younger and the other older than me) our mother attempted to kill us. We grew up with this knowledge and were taught to hate her by my father's side of the family. At age 19 I was heading to Vietnam and passed through St. Paul. I used this as an opportunity to meet this woman. What I saw verified all the negative messages we had been given.

Several years later, after she passed away, I learned she had been married to another man and they had six children. I have met most of these brothers and sisters and from them, and her first husband, learned that at one time she was a wonderful mother and wife. Circumstances related to WWII led to her working in a factory where she met my father, who was on the rebound from his divorce from an equally wonderful mother and wife (I also met her and the three children they had together). My mother's relationship with my father cost her her children and first marriage, and this lead to severe alcoholism which eventually killed her.

It is hard to describe how, learning what her first marriage was like, erased all the anger and hurt I felt toward her. This was, and remains a powerful message that no matter what they have done, most people have some redeeming quality which prohibits judging them.

I tell my clients that while I have a wonderful wife, two terrific daughters, a nice home, drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee and have a job I love, none of this would have happened had I not looked in the mirror and realized I was my own worst enemy.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Tom" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Dallas

by Dallas
(Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

I used to wonder why I was unusually withdrawn, why I was afraid of sex, and why I had little to no desire to meet new people. I think this went on throughout my teen years. Well, I found my answer at age 20, and although it brought back feelings of torment and fear, I am glad I did.

There is a two-year period of my early childhood (age 4-6) that is mostly a blank, except for a few vivid and terrible memories that had been buried deep in my subconscious. These memories relate to my experiences with a couple who lived across the street in my old neighborhood. I was sexually, mentally, and physically abused by this couple, leaving me with both internal and external scars that never went away.

At times I battle depression and suicidal thoughts, and sometimes I feel like it is a never-ending battle, but the difference is now I feel a lot more safe and secure than I did a few years ago. It was very difficult to confront these memories and accept them, but when I did I reported the incident to the police and started seeing a mental health professional. This gave me peace of mind and the hope that the couple would not hurt any other children. My family has been able to help me with the healing process, and I am very thankful for their support.

I used to seek solace in different addictions, and they were good escapes for awhile, but now I've turned to school and I feel confident that I will do well. I see a counselor regularly, and I find this to be a tremendous help.

My biggest problem now is that I have never had a lasting relationship. I have always wanted a good relationship with a nice girl, but it seems like the biggest challenge in the world for me. I have taken many steps to try and overcome this problem, but even just thinking about sex causes me great anxiety, and it makes me very frustrated that I still feel like a victim.

However, I do feel glad to have found a reason for some of my problems, and the fact that I can share my story with others who've dealt with similar problems is reassuring. Now I want to focus on helping others as best I can.

Thank you.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: I regret that I can no longer continue the practice of commenting on visitor submissions to the degree I have in the past, as I am currently writing a book on healing from child abuse. I ask that you please read my post of June 24, 2009 titled Announcement Regarding my Comments for a complete explanation. I welcome you to follow my progress on my Facebook page at Healing from Child Abuse. When you get there, don't forget to click onto the Become a Fan link. I do hope to hear from you there.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Cindy

by Cindy
(Trinidad)

Revelation 12:11: And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

She was emotionally abused, sexually abused, and raped. She was only 7 years her dad had died. all she ever wanted was to be loved by family members. one by one her step brothers had their way with her. They would have oral sex with her and one would make her have oral sex with him. they finger her little by little untill they took her innocence from her, they touch her all over her body, they made her pose for them and one would watch margzine and news papper with naked woman and he made her try to pose like these woman in order for he to see the real thing in front of him. she didn't know what that salty stuff was that would go into her mouth she did not know why her stepbrothers were doing that to her. she just could not understand why? Don't let anyone know they say they made it look like a game. her mom had found out about one of them from her brother they left the house and went to rent somewhere not too far from where she was living. even though he left and the other was not living with her they both would still be around. she wanted to tell someone, but her mom had said, "what goes on in my house, stays in my house." and that her dad before he died hold a cutlass to cut off is head for trying to do the same thing with her big sis he had pull down her zip. her mom had said thouse things not knowing that this girl had aready become sexually active and she was now playing with herself when no one was around.

Sometimes this little girl she would go to her room alone and sit by herself an cry she would even ask god to send her dad back and if he can't send him back as an angel to look over her. her face was always sad knowing that her dad had died and her mom found pleasure in someone eles and did not had time to spend with her, she felt so alone an needed someone to call dad. if only there were some where she could just be in peace away from the cussing and things that was going on home.

She started secoundary school. she thought things would be good but what she did not know was she was still a child and needed someone to guide her true untill she was wise enough to do things on her own. her mom was not really around for her her sisters had left but still her mom kept telling her that she got a 1st cousien he is a principal of a school and she should go an look 4 him. the girl did not untill 1 day she did. this was alot for a 14 year old to take. she had already developed a split personality name cinderella she wanted to get rid of all the guys that were hurting this little girl, but cinderella told the little girl she couldn't operate in love. she was raped force into having sex with her mother 1st cousien he told her she was beautiful and sweet and he wanted a relishionship with her so the little girl thought she had nothing more to lose so she play it like a game just like when she was a little kid at that same time another man who the little girl mom had coming home by her he had his eyes on her untill he too got to play with her too he rape her. when she finish school she found out that she had gotten 2 cxc she was so ashame did not nowhere to go or who to talk with even though she had sisters however she trusted that her mother cousien wud make things right instead he did not it lead to step sister man he rape her. she became more stress and was now smoking, drinking, liming, playing around with other guys. day by day this girl prentended to be someone she was not she did say no to these man instead they took advantage of her they stole from her.

All she needed was to hear the little girl say ,"i hate u" to all the man that was hurting her. the little girl refuse. just say it cinderella would often tell the little girl not to worry ,god is good, one day things wud be great and everything in the dark will come to light.

Day by day this girl prentended to be someone she was not they made her feel worhless, without any value they humiliated her, crushing her diguity self worth, they ignor what matters to her, the treatning her they ask her to do unpleasant things told her to stay away from friends and family members untill she felt she had no freadom they was useing her for their personal advantage she was their sex slave.

After a few years, god had answerd her prays she had said no! And this time she did stand firm ,god have forgiving her she is now born again and god had send her the husband she had prayed for, someone who would love her for who she is an respect her, she can tell anything to him and he would do his best to put a smile on her face. ever since she had gotten her prays answered she thought it was over. like i said "she thought" only to find out that she had an s.t.d. Because of her past.

This girl cry an cry because she have been true alot so much that no one realy knows or could feel her pain but god and her husband. now because of pray, the grace of god and salvation this girl is now living s.t.d free she is now blossoming.

O lord my god, I cried unto thee and thou hast healed thee. Psalm 30:2.

P.S this little girl is me...




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Lilly

by Lilly
(Location Undisclosed)

My mum had Post Natal Depression when I was born and was just barely able to look after me. Things got a lot grimmer 15 months later when she began physically abusing me believing I wanted to kill the baby. When my mum was 5 her baby brother died of SIDS, she was left to rock him in his cradle while the family went out. Unable to sleep or deal with us we went into a home and mum went somewhere to rest. I never had a good relationship with my mum. My deepest fear was that she hated me. I think now in hindsight she probably hated herself but was too damaged to face that and punished me for the unacknowledged flaws she couldn't 'see' in herself. At 14 we were at loggerheads I wanted respect and support from her but the answer to everything was 'no'. I had up to that point been walking on eggshells all my life trying to stay out of the line of fire and I blamed myself for not being good enough. Now I was just plain angry and got kicked out for being too much trouble. My dad supported mum and never lifted a finger to help. He has always been like that.

I have tried everything to get some peace, spirituality, religeon, self-help books, phsychology, drugs, addictive substances and nutritional support for stress. Over the years I have physically declined and have very poor health,lots of anxiety, little money and I live alone. I have been able to find a way through some of it and am sticking with what is working for me. Holosync helps a lot, it realigns the left and right brain and reduces the stress. It helps you get more centered so you can face your fears. You have to face whatever it is that hurts you to get back the peace you need. Holosync is brainwave entrainment it rewires the brain. When we are young our brains are still forming and abused and neglected kids end up being wired for fear, stress and anxiety. It helps a lot, I can stop the compulsive thinking and let go of the past. Its still a work in progress. I have noticed my health is improving. Holosync is not overnight cure and works best with subliminal tapes. Subclassical on ebay are very good. After that its really about staying in the moment the way Eckhardt Tolle describes. Something that never worked before until the brainwave entrainment course kicked in. Hope I can help someone with this. My heart goes out to all of you who have suffered from abuse.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Vicki2

by Vicki
(Orlando, Florida, USA)

My Story: 
I am an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, as well as mental, emotional, verbal, and physical abuse. I am 45 years old and in the past few years came to realize that the effects of the abuse must be dealt with. I prided myself for years on being an active, functional member of society; a self-reliant and self-sufficient professional, undamaged by the past. But I was lying to myself.

The abuse affected everything - my self-esteem, my views of the world, of relationships, of men in particular. The abuse started when I was 3, when I would have been, should have been, learning about life from the eyes of a loving family. My formative years were totally entrenched in the harmful affects of the abuse.

I am now in counseling and working my way through work books that are incredible. "The Courage To Heal Workbook, For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse", by Laura Davis. Also, "The Courage To Heal, A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse", by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. If you were the victim of abuse, or know anyone who was, these books are an incredible blessing.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Vicki2" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Rita M

by Rita M
(Canada)

I have disclosed my child abuse story and am basically saying thank you for the support I have recieved.I have a typed up story of my childhood story along with my Therapists' letter with her confirming that I have been attending therapy.She has faxed the report and now all I have to do is wait for Child Services to contact me.
Therapy is worth it.I know some people have told me that therapy doesn't help I beg to differ.I encourage abused people who have not had councelling to reach out.You are worth it.It feels good to not believe your abusers lies.Be free.

Rita M




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Rita M Part 2

by Rita M
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

I have shared my horrific story online and have hoped it would be very helpful to others that are in dire need of being heard.I had been raised as a foster child and had a life threatening situalion with them because of their heartlessness.I just want to say that if anyone is in need to share with me their story I would be happy to listen to you and let you know that I believe you.I need to express the importance of therapy.I have heard many people that have said that therapy doesn't help.If you don't feel helped in one place please don't give up.There is help everywhere of people who are trained well to really hear your inner most being.
I understand anger and it can be helped through councelling.The idea of councelling is to have the issues talk about rather than to keep it inside.
Through the time of my councelling I have learned that I am no longer in the presence of my abuser.I just want to pass it on how worth while everyone it is that has gone through child abuse.I used to sit in my home with the curtains closed and windows shut and no phone.I remember having enough of that and opened up the curtains and window all the way and felt the breeze coming in my home.The sun was shining and I just slowly crept outside and realized how much I had let life pass me by.I needed to get out and hear my voice saying hi to someone feeling the wind around me and people talking to me.The next thing I got a phone.I started to call people that I hid from and inviting them to my place and visiting. That is where I started helping myself.I did this for a long time helping myself as much as I could and then I found therapy.They said they could tell I helped myself as much as I could and they were willing to help me on other issues.There was no charge for this.I took advantage of this and now it has been sometime of therapy and I have just lately been told that I am very stable. We need to hear this.There was such a freedom in this.Nothing is holding me down anymore.I have PTSD.I am free and have learned what it is to be happy and also know that I can move on without triggers happening and bothering me.Triggers speak from the past can still happen but it doesn't hurt any more.You learn to put boundries down.We have been taught as victims not to speak.I speak to others because they need to know that there is freedom and that we can be healed from the past and look forward.We need to know that therapy is a healthy thing and that you can break the cycle of anger and live in peace and deal with the issues that have been put on you.There is a way out. Be free.It's worth it.Please repsond if you need to.I would be happy to hear from you.

Rita M




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Betty J

by Betty J
(Hawaii, USA)


Through the window of a child's eye: 
My childhood was anything but stable, I had a mother who didn't love me, a father who molested me, degraded me, allowed others to hurt me while he watched as though they found pleasure in handcuffing me to a bed. at the age of 11 years old 1969 I picked up a razor began to hurt myself the way others had hurt me. In my mind I saw nothing wrong with it, before long the cutting got out of control, instead of getting me help i was punished for feeling anything but happy.My father was a police officer, someone who everyone looked up to. I lied about the broken bones, made excuses for my parents, trying to protect them. My family treated me and my twin sister as though we were outcast, not wanted or cared for. As we got older the abuse got worse. We were beat if we cried or felt sad, my father would always say there was no room for weakness in his house. By the time I was 13 I had given birth to a baby, soon as I had the baby it was taken away, I was told I was never to talk about it or ask about the baby, i never did for years. I was told how could I do this to my parents having a baby, I could not tell no one or talk to no one about what really happened I had to lock it inside and seal the wound no matter how it hurt. I finally broke free of the abuse and ran away, when me and my twin sister left it was then we began to live. I found a therapist who I saw for 10 years who stood by me as we worked through one thing at a time, I was determined to be everything that my parents was not.

I had 4 boys and I made sure they did not have to go through what I did, i broke through the chain that followed my father for 3 generations abusing anyone he could get his hands on. Dbt (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) changed my life but emdr (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) set me free of the memories that haunted me for years. I found healing helping others and writing about the damage it did to my life. I have a network of supportive people in my life who are right there encouraging me, letting me know ,my life was worth all the had work i have done to heal the wounds of my childhood.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Betty Jean

by Betty Jean
(Kailua-Kona, Hawaii)

The long road I walked: 
My childhood was everything but normal,each person in my family had one form or another of abuse they afflicted on each other. I watched over the years the abuse was passed on from one generation to another. In there eyes it was okay to climb in their daughters bed and take away their innocence, than tell them, this is what happens to bad little girls. I was not allowed to object, cry or express any form of emotions, I grew up emotionally numb not able to feel or express any emotions. I use to look in the mirror at myself, I was ashamed of who I was, what I had seen and felt as a child. As I grew up the self image of myself grew with me, I couldn't say how I felt, I didn't know myself, I locked everything inside, build a steel wall around myself. I struggled to fit into to a world that I didn't know. I moved from city to city every 6 months, and every time someone would try to get close to me I would pack a suitcase and move in the middle of the night. I lived so isolated and alone I was afraid of the world outside. I met a lady on line who would later become my therapist, we worked through every thing one step at a time. All my life I believed that no one cared about me, nor did I care about myself. I lived for 30 years surrounded by my walls of protection. The only time I felt safe was when I was alone.I broke free of those chains that my family tied me to. I feared being angry, in my mind I believed if I got angry I would react just as they did, hurt each other. Today I am free to live a happy, content life, I go to schools and teach children how to break the cycle of violence. How to keep yourself safe, report abuse. I want to share with the world that sexual abuse and child abuse is not suppose to be a tradition that is passed on from one generation to another. Each person has the ability to break the cycle of violence. For me myself I broke free of the abuse, I wanted a life free of all that pain. I walked down a long lonely road to get what what I dreamed of as a child, to wake up in peace, free of all abuse. It took me 15 years of therapy to chip away through that damaged child and create a life filled with peace, love and acceptance of the world I live in today. I had a choice in life to follow the path that generations before me passed on or change the direction into a life free of abuse. It's not easy to do, took a lot of hard work and determination to set it free. I look at my daughter and see through her eyes the joy of being a child, being able to dream, live and explore life in a safe environment.I can't change the horror I went through as a child but I made sure my daughter would never have to fear the place she called home.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story From Cassie1

by Cassie
(USA)

I'm not really realizing how hard this actually is to write my story until I started typing. I was abused since I don't know when. I don't remember when I wasn't abused. I was abused all the ways except for sexual. I'm 14 now, and I'm still in the same family. My gram lives with our family. My brother is 23 now, and he's been in the navy for over 4 years. I don't know if this same thing happened to him because my dad is his stepdad. So he wasn't home all the time.

Life has been tough since I was 5 or 6. Because then my younger sister, who was almost 3 at the time, was diagnosed with cancer. So I guess that started all the stress. My mom would be at the hospital, which is an hour away from our home. I would be home, mostly with my gram, until my dad came home from work.

A normal day would be #1 getting up in the morning and getting yelled at constantly by my gram. For every little thing. #2 my gram driving me to school. With more yelling. #3 getting picked up by gram 20 minutes early so she could get to work on time. Then I would be at my gram's work for a lil over an hour (or more than one hour if my dad worked overtime). My dad would pick me up.

That was kind of when he would be physical. Hitting me across the head. Or threatening me with this HUGE wooden paddle. My gram hit sometimes. And she almost broke my arm once. She was the person who did the emotional abuse. Telling me that she never wanted to see me again. That sorry's won't help anything. And all of that sort. But mostly emotional abuse has just come with it. (She's not that old yet.)

The physical abuse stopped about 2 years ago. But you still always have that fear that you're going to push a button and make them mad again. My mom wasn't much of the problem. When she was home she would yell at my dad for hitting me across the head or being too violent when playing. Now I'm starting to realize that some of that playing that still goes on now is inappropiate...for example...uhmm hard part) him pinching my behind...which really hurts by the way. There is other stuff but nothing sexual I promise.

Last year on May 4th at 10:55am, my sister finally passed away from the cancer. She was 10 years old. Her birthday was April 14th, so it was really close to her birthday. That was very difficult for my parents and myself. What is worse, my mom still can't deal with it. And she looks up to me. 'Cause I'm able to talk about her (my sister). I'm able to talk about her 'cause she is my hero and I look up to her. Which I wish I could say that for my parents.

After my sister passed away, my parents started going out more than they used to, to this club downtown. They would leave at 8pm and be back AFTER (maybe wayyy after) 1am...that's when the neglect started...I would be home alone a lot then...because this is going with my parents work schedule. This is still going on now. And child services have come before. But I wasn't completely truthful with him. I was really glad when he was gone for good. My mom made me tell my dad everything I told the child services about what my dad did to me. Of course, he denied it...but I realize now they used me. My mom told me to tell him so they could go against them so they wouldn't lose me.

Some of my friends will get mad at me when I say that I will not say I hate them. When I say they still love me. But I am sure they do. That they care. They just don't know how to share that they do. I do wish they would show me how much they care. Before I started talking to a friend about this, I thought I had a normal life. That I was actually doing wrong. That I deserved all of it. Right now I'm working on getting the courage to call that child services number.

I'm really sorry for writing so much. (I talk a lot haha.) But this really did help...but it brings back a lot...and it reminds me of everything that you try to hide. I guess there is more that I probably should have put in this but I really didn't feel comfortable...or right for doing it. I'm going to stop before my dad comes in and sees this...he'd be really mad. Don't worry I got it all handled!
Goodbye everyone!
Cassie
P.S. Thank you very much for the site! It's an awesome help.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Cassie1

by Cassie
(Pennsylvania, USA)

I'd like to say that many things happened to me. I never thought I would make it. Suicidal thoughts would pop in my mind, and that scared me to death. I did not have the heart to actually hurt myself, but I understand the want to.

I was home alone many nights, and I did use some things to calm down. Including stepping outside. I would lay down and look at the stars. I would talk to my sister because I knew she understood, and I knew she saw what was happening. My sister passed away two years ago from cancer when she was 10 and I was 13. I'm 15 now, 16 in November.

I found that shivering in the cold often calmed me down. It wasn't really hurting me, and it wasn't at a point of hypothermia or anything, but it was a harmless way to calm down. Just sit there and hug your knees, listen to the quiet of the night, and shiver it out. That's a method I used, about a year or so after my sister passed away and everything. I knew before this that my parents had become alcoholics.

I started going to church again, and a couple months into that I got saved. I found that God took a lot of the weight off my shoulders, and I knew that I wasn't facing anything alone. Now, as the problems are still here. My dad still being an alcoholic, and my mom sorta being one. I don't break down every night. I pray when I'm upset. I still step outside and talk to God, and my sister, but it's different now. I know I'll be ok. I know that everything that happens, happens for a reason. I know that the problems will leave on their own, and I have to stay strong and fight through them with my head held high. I can't shy away from the things that face me. I know that these things will change me, and I have to make them change me for the better and not the worst.

I won't let anything that happens hold me back. I will live life as it is: life. I'll do activities no matter the problems that are at home. I'll go to church even if my parents don't believe in it. I'll talk to my parents.

I've found that God has given me more strength and courage to talk to my parents about their addictions. He's not really given it to me, but He has helped me to find it.

I hope this is help to anyone that has been abused. I know this is probably a different way of looking at it because it is religious, but I don't know where I would be without God standing beside me. I know many people will disagree, and that is fine. We all have our beliefs, but this is what has helped me, and I hope it can help others.

Thank you so much for listening :) Take care and God Bless everyone :)

~~Love~~ Cassie

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery from Maria

by Maria
(Ireland)

My story of healing: 
I want to tell you all about my journey of healing. it all started from the age of 4 when i was only starting to write my own name. i was being sexually abused by my uncle which at the time i didnt know about until a later stage in my life.

from my jounery i have learned to always open up to people you can trust something i wished i had done a long time ago.

i suffered the abuse for 10years of my life all those nights and sometimes days being raped was not my opion but i have learnt to deal with it in my own way.

it all started when i left my trust on to a man i thought loved me and was there for me he didnt care who he was hurting at the time niether did i until the age 12 i learned about it in school and i new something was wrong when the teacher started to talk about sexual abuse and how you can be affect by it. so i let it play on my head for the next 2 years when i found out that i was pergant i didnt no what i was going to do and i new my mum would kill me if she ever found out what was going on my mum was not the easiest to live with we all suffered phycally and emotionally abuse by her so telling her things like that i would run a mile first before i did. so when my uncle new that i had not took a period he new when all my periods came and when it would be away for him to keep on doing what he was doing. but anyways when he noticed i had missed one he said to me right we are going somewhere for the weekend you can tell your mum that you are going on a motorbike weekend with me and you wont be back till sunday i looked at him so scared that some thing else was going to happen i didnt no wat was going on i didnt even no i was pergant until i took a test that my uncle give me. i never will forget it 2 lines appeared on it right away and all i heared from him was i thought that. i started crying i didnt plan to fall pergant at 13 but i had no other way out of it accept to tell someone what was going on.

so over the next few weeks i sat and thought over everthing and how i was to explain things when i did say.

i have learned to trust my mums really good friend i confided in her alot.

so when the day came to tell her what was going on i new in my heart that i couldnt i was really scared and felt alone.

i said to her can i tell you something but you promise not to tell my mum and she promised and next the words came out plain as day ihave been raped by my uncle i seen her face drop a few shades off colour and i started to cry she held me so tight and told me things were going to be ok and true to her word it was. she told my mum braking our promise she made to me but it was worth it my mum suddly then started to care for once in her life.and thats when my journey had started i went to get help such as concilling and stuff and it really did help me i have got thought the last 7 years i have had my ups and downs but i still got there and the baby well she didnt live i lost her at 6 and a half months with all the stress i was going though i wish she was here now.

so for all you people out there who has went through what i did i hope this makes you understand that always go to someone you trust to talk about things they will always make sure that everything will be ok and to advise u to do the right thing




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Maria

by Maria
(Northen Ireland)

I would like to share with you my journey to becoming healed. it all started from the age off 4 when i was being sexually abused by my uncle. it had all started when i was left with him by my mum when she went out to work he only lived a few doors down so i happened often.
my sexually abuse went on till i was 6 when all the touching and feeling about changed into a different feeling at the time i didn't know what was happening i know now the sexual abuse had turned into sexual intercourse which i know that by rape. it hurt so bad i screamed all the time but know one was there to help! the pain was not real and every time it happened i just closed my eyes and thought off something happy like playing with my dolls or going to school. my uncle always told me i was his little princess and that i was special and if i was to ever tell anyone i will be taking away from my mum forever so i believed him and i also trusted him i just couldn't believe that someone who told me they loved me would what to hurt me in this way.
when i got a bit older i started to realise it was wrong i also started wetting the bed and having a lot off nightmares but yet know one suspected a thing.
by the age off 9 i started then getting into drugs and also i had took my first drink i found when i taking drugs and drinking it was taking away my pain i was feeling and i was feeling happy with myself. my mum then started to wonder a lot about me and ask a lot off questions but not the right ones i was still being abused at this age the abuse went on till i was 14 when i realised one day in school the teacher was talking about it and i was said t myself thats happening to me. i went home and thought about it for days wondering should i tell someone it was eating away at me for so many years the abuse also closed a lot off doors on me i could never trust men and also when it came to boys i would run away i didn't know what to do i tried to end my life so many times i also would self harm a lot to take away the pain but it never did i was always left feeling 20 times worse in the end. till one day i decided to speak out and tell my mum what was going on. she was there for me at the start then she couldn't handle the pain anymore she turned to drink for so long and she just give up on me i ran away from home at 15 ended up in a hostel and now at the age off 22 i have my own house i have a full time job and i also have my beautiful baby girls who i so much love and i will always be here for them and will always protect them from any harm that comes their way i am know longer a victim i am a surviver so for anyone out there who has been though the same thing speak out now there is so much help out there but only if you want it i want to thank suicide awareness and also rape crisis they got me though it if it was not for them i don't think i would be here to tell my story so thank you




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Michelle1

by Michelle
(England)

I am 17. I grew up in a very abusive home, physical and mental. It takes a long time to come to terms with something like this and you can never really forget it. You just have to learn to deal with it as best you can. It is so easy to turn to alcohol and drugs to help you forget your past, but it doesn't work. There is so much help out there available. It's just having the courage to get it.
xx

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Michelle1" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Michelle1 Part 2

by Michelle
(England)

I am only 17 and although I suffered mental and physical abuse growing up, I think myself lucky that I never endured any form of sexual abuse. However, anyone who has ever suffered abuse in their life knows that it is the hardest thing to try to deal with and it is so easy to turn to drugs and alcohol...I myself have done this in the past and although I still drink, I'm getting help. The hardest time is at night when I re-live my past, but I know now that there is help out there.

Child abuse of any form is unacceptable and leaves lasting effects...how many more children have to suffer and die at the hands of their abusers before people take action...we need to stop child abuse.
x

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Michelle1 Part 2" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Will

by Will
(Location Undisclosed)

I've always known that a part of me was missing. During the years I have asked family members about my childhood life but no one really had the answers that I needed, or wanted to take the real time for me. It was in my early forties I began to have the flashes of being raped by my mom, dad, and grandmothers. One of my brothers also molested me. These flashes are vivid and strong. I feel them in my body as if it's happening. The little girl, who is me, is always separate from me. This helped explain why as an adult there have been times I didn't recognize myself in photos.Over the years I have almost shaved my head, had hot water burns and dissociate losing gaps of time and events. The flashes are very frightening but through prayer and strong belief in The Creator God I'm learning that I can live with the death of this little girl, with what they did to her. Everyday is a new beginning for me. Everyday I choose not to self harm. I try to stay in every moment even when painful memories come, even when the flashes come in my sleep so strong it awakes me with horrifying feelings. Suicide thoughts are almost always with me but I love my life and always have. I know that suicide is not the escape for me. I write, I exercise, I pluck on my guitar (smile) and I love on myself even when no one else is around. I even color in my coloring books. I still do have major trust issues but I do read others' experiences and I'm always so blessed by them. My parents will never own what they did to me, nor my sibling. My grandmothers are dead. I have chosen to forgive them and this is a choice I have to make often. I don't pull my hair out anymore. I used to pull my hair out in a effort to get my mother off of me. She had long hair and when she got on top of me, kissing me like a man, her hair used to hang in my face. But she's not on top of me anymore and I have power over what she did. It's still a journey for me but I've come from such a ways. I'm learning to connect with the outside of me now. I did video journals. So now I'm connected to my voice and facial expressions. It's a wonderful feeling. Sometimes when I'm feeling really sad I can't watch them though. It's then that I don't want to see it, don't want to feel it. I allow myself those times but God always let me know that I have to face it all and experience full recovery. I don't push myself beyond the pace He takes me. Sometimes I get really tough on myself because I want the healing to be further. This comes from being abandoned as a child and having to find my own way. I still hate the feeling of being lost at anything. My dad laughed when he raped me, my mom called me a whore when I went to ask her what is it that happened to me. They both left me to figure out what was this that blew me to pieces inside. I was three or four when my mother started raping me. I don't know how long my dad had sex with me. By then I had left my body.And I still find it difficult to even see my grandmothers manipulating my little body into sexual acts. But I thank God everyday for giving me the truth in these flashes. Although they are like reliving it all, I now know what caused this illness I have (dissociative amnesia). I thank my God for being with me in my process of healing. I don't know if anyone can be encouraged by my words but whatever route you have to take for your healing I hope that you stay strong with it. It gets harder than hard sometimes but if you believe and I'm believing with you, I know it's going to get brighter and lighter for you. I'm in my healing process alone. Everyone I reached out to left me but I'm still going. I'm still moving forward with my God's help. So, even if no one stands with you, you stand for you. You are so valuable and needed. God bless you reader in whatever journey you maybe on. May heaven shine upon you and grant you all the healing and restoration you so deserve.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

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Story of Healing and Recovery From Will - The Lighter Side I See

by Will
(Location Undisclosed)

I recently begin experiencing flashes of being raped by my parents,grandmothers and molested by a brother. I do experience these events in my body as if it's happening in the now. It's very sad and at times the emotions from it seems overwhelming. I reached out for family support and I thought I had a friends in which I did allow to see my pain but they all left me. This added to the sadness but I am determined to live a good life in spite of it. I do several things for myself when it's hurting so bad and it's very dark.
First of all it's my faith in God that motivates me to keep living. I do my morning devotional time with God. In this time I pray and meditate upon His word. There's not a day He doesn't encourage me through our time together. I'm not a church goer but I have been giving such a personal and loving relationship with The Creator God. Many times I cry to Him. I tell Him all my sorrows and my desires. I listen for His guidance and He speaks through His word and circumstances, comforting me all along the way. It's such an intimate relationship we have. I've come to trust Him on a day to day basis with all of me. He's the lighter side I see.
I enjoy nature also. Because I've been abandoned by the very ones I thought would stand with me I'm by myself most of the time, in thought for the most part. I absolutely get total joy from just looking at the sky. The vastness of it, the beautiful colors it portrays and the way it changes, all of it let's me know I am not alone. It makes me smile inside when I'm crying outside. When I'm hurting and the hurt runs so deep I look out my window up at the sky and it speaks love to me. It lightens up the heaviness, calms my soul. I absolutely love the view. It's amazing beyond words. I could go on and on but I continue.
Laughter is also another avenue of the light I see. I have two daughters,22 and 14. They give me so much laughter. They know about their grandparents raping me when I was a little girl and they know of the dissociative amnesia I have. I don't allow them to see all of my pain because they're not strong enough emotionally to withstand it, but they know I hurt. We laugh together. We dance together and we make fun when things are hard for us. I thank God for them everyday. They are the lighter side I see.
I write about my experiences. I have been writing since the nineties. In the last few years when the flashes started I begin to hear poetry, so I started writing it as it comes to me. Writing helps me see the light. I write exactly what I feel, no pretense, no apologies. When I write I don't have to be mindful of anyone's feelings, it's just me. I'm always watching out for others, making sure they are okay but when I'm writing it's like the burden of that is lifted and I see the light. I have about eight or nine journals now and I think I've written over hundred or so pieces of songs and poetry. It's so much fun. Writing is the lighter side I see.
I exercise and exercising lifts the heaviness from me. When I'm exercising I think much. I think about where I am at and where I'm going. The more intense the program is the more I come away with relief. The challenge of it lets me know I can get pass all the pain from the sexual assaults and all the emotional and physical abuse of my childhood. The exercising helps me develop discipline and with discipline I can keep living with or without the love ones who walked away from me. Exercising helps me see the light. I thoroughly enjoy it and thank God everyday that I'm able to have exercising as a part of my life.
I just bought a guitar. Music, I love music of all kind. Music with good messages to it. Music with just sound. Music points me to the light. When I'm sitting with my guitar and I'm totally new with it, I pluck and just make my own tunes. It's just me and my guitar. I wrote a silly song one night and laughed so hard at myself. Sometimes I imagine myself dancing on the moon with all the sounds of different instruments.It's amazing what music can do. Music is the lighter side I see.
Today I feel the heaviness and I'm very sad inside. Even as I type this to you I feel it so deep inside I just want to weep. I think about the loves ones who I trusted but why did they leave me hurting. Then as I continue I'm thinking about all that I have just shared with you and it's helping me see the lighter side.
Thank you for this opportunity. I hope that it has blessed you as a reader for it has truly blessed me to share 'The Lighter Side I See'.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

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Story of Healing - His Strength Made Perfect in My Weakness

by Will
(Location Undisclosed)

God has given me several spiritual awakenings during this journey of life I'm experiencing. I would like to share of one He gave to me just this week. There's an experience the apostle Paul had where he prayed that God would remove the thorn from his life and after pleading with The Maker he came to the conclusion that God's grace is sufficient, for in his weakness God's strength is made perfect. As I read this in the Word of God I stumbled at the meaning until this week. I was raped as a little girl. Raped and physically, emotionally abused by my parents, grandparents. Molested by a brother and sexually abused and bullied on my elementary school bus. I was traumatized to degrees beyond my strength. It caused me to disconnect from my body and I lost big spans of memory of my younger years.I now have flashes of these terrible events that occurs mostly as I sleep. I don't know the little girl of me when I look at her photos, no matter how hard I try to connect it wont' happen for me. Dissociative amnesia is awful and I get frustrated with having it. I prayed so hard to have the connection to her,her is me. But that hasn't happen for me. The thing God encouraged me with was the story of Paul. My illness has brought me even closer to my Lord and I have experienced His love and mercy on a deeper level since I've come to understand what all the abuse did to me. It also has given me more sensitivity to the needs of other people. I've been misunderstood, abandoned and all other negative things has happened to me because of who I am. This has helped me, anchored my decision of being a more loving and forgiving person. God strength is being made perfect in my weakness. I grieve hard the loss of me. I still have to consciously accept my body and Jesus helps me to stay in the moment whenever I'm triggered. He gives me His strength as I pass through the pain and sufferings of these events. He revealed to me that in my weakness His strength is made perfect. I become victorious in the pain and with that I know that nothing that comes against me can stop me from being whole again. My wholeness is accepting that I may not ever have her with me again but I do have her spirit and with God that's my peace. Oh what an enlightening awakening that is for me.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

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Story of Healing - Snapshot of Myself

by Will
(Location Undisclosed)

Today I took several photos of myself. I haven't did that in a while. I'm learning to connect with my body. I have dissociative amnesia and with it I'm doing video journals and photos to help in the healing process. The childhood sexual abuse and rape caused this terrible illness. But today I took silly photos of myself. I even took body photos, which is a big step for me. I had so much fun. I kinda took the seriousness out of me being seen and allowed myself to relax and have fun with it. I never like to see myself in photos because I resemble my mother who molested me and it's just difficult. But today I did it!! I viewed the photos and actually had fun laughing at them with my 22yr old daughter. Powerful breakthrough moments for me, truly a lighter side of this healing journey.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Will

by Will
(Location Undisclosed)

For such a long time I have suffered with dissociative amnesia and didn't understand what cause this illness or really understand the illness itself. In my early, mid forties I began to have flashes of being raped by my dad, and in sexual relations with my mother and grandmothers. I also was sexually molested by a brother. I reached out to family for help. I told my story but everyone walked away even those who I thought were friends. I thought on top of the most difficult time in my life abandonment was the least that I needed. As a little girl, when dad raped me I went to mother for help and she bitterly rejected me, called me a wh**e. There was absolutely no one I could count on for help, only myself and the little strength I knew. It traumatized me and caused me to lose the little girl and many years and events of my life. Abandonment at this time was hard and abandonment at a time when all is surfacing is even more difficult. But I have witness from day to day that God has a strength and courage within me that I didn't even know. I wanted someone to hold my hand through the aftermath of these incestrous relationships and the horrible and ugly sight it left in my mind but just as a little girl, no one stood with me. Everyday I seek ways in which to help myself. As a little girl I dissociated and she left me but as a woman, soon to be 48 I can say with God's help I am able to stay in the moments of pain. I can look at this ugly sight and live. Live with hope of a brighter day. I'm able to laugh and even when the tears fall and it's hurting so bad and there's no one with me to hold my hand through it, I still believe that God is with me. He has given me His confidence and allows me to come across the paths of dear ones whom I have been encouraged in so many ways. I know with or without someone being right here with me I can be healed, I am healing. It's a miracle for me to be alive everyday. That's the star for me. Living with the loss of a little girl, who is me, is my scars to a beautiful star experience.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Will - Just Having a Sad Night

by Will
(USA)

Tonight I want to cry but I can't. I think of how my parents and grandparents raped me when I was a little girl. I think of how I try so hard to remember myself and I can't. The trauma of the childhood sexual abuse left me with dissociative amnesia and I'm angry and sad, really sad. I want her back, the little girl that was taken from me. I've lost so many years of my life and I don't know how to find them. Tonight I'm grateful that I have this outlet to express this sadness I'm experiencing. I feel like going for a walk. I want to go outside and walk under the dark sky. Nature helps me feel better, it gives me a closer feel to it's Creator. Tomorrow I hope for it to be better but now I'm just having a very sad night.




Darlene Barriere: author. speaker. survivor. coachNote from Darlene: If I have not left a comment on your story, please understand that it is not personal; it's just that my hectic schedule no longer permits me to do so.

I hope you'll follow me on:


Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in submissions and visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited. Please don't include them, as they will be removed.

Click here to read or post comments

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Canadian Survivor

by Paul
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Was it God? 
Thought I would share an event that happened 17 years ago in case it means something to some of you. The event left me with more questions than answers. So I'm not sure if it's a healing story. It's a long story, so please bear with me.

To lend some credibility, I will state a few facts:

  • I often swore at God, saying I hated Him and His world
  • I felt suicidal a lot at the time the event took place
  • I have never done any hard drugs, only soft drugs and not for very long
  • I am not schizophrenic
  • I have never had any delusions or hallucinations
  • I am not a religious person
  • My last job was as an investigator. My job was to observe, assess, collect and analyze data in an objective and neutral manner
  • I describe myself as an "open-minded skeptic". I have read a lot on many subjects and have questioned a lot about life. I don't believe just anything
  • I don't believe I was on any medication at the time this happened
  • I only drank two beers on the night this happened
  • the retelling of the 'event' was videotaped for a new TV series about unexplained experiences people in my city had
  • I have documented evidence I wrote three weeks before this event took place that relates to the event
I will let the reader decide what to make of it.

I lived my childhood in an abusive home. My parents were alcoholics, depressed, and had a lot of psychological problems. We were very poor and Dad was very violent. There was a lot of meanness, intimidation, belittling, etc.

Mom was beaten in front of us on a regular basis.

In 1970, the police removed my dad, saying that they had to because, if they didn't, he would eventually kill one of us.

I was a small, nervous and hyper child, afraid of everything, living almost constantly in fear.

Although I had friends to play with, I often felt alone inside.

I suffered from depression most of my life.

While I often prayed to God, I was skeptical of His existence. After all, I often prayed to ask him to stop the abuse. He never answered. I think I felt rejected by Jesus. Later, I turned against God and religion. Often, I would scream at Him that I hated Him and his world.

In the 1990s, I was often depressed out of my mind, thinking and feeling suicidal. I mildly tried to end my life six times, but just couldn't bring myself to do it.

At that time, I was maintaining a diary.

Diary entry dated January 24, 1991:
"I am approaching 35. I often swore I wouldn't live past 34. I seem to have met and conquered my worst fears, tried to unscrew myself emotionally, but I've lost much interest in everything. I can't wait for the day that I will die. Eternal rest (hopefully). Relief from a long, hard battle only I can understand the real scope of. Like I said, I never wanted to live beyond 34. I'm going skiing for a week in February – before I turn 35. Perhaps I will have a freak accident and die there. I sort of hope so. If I do, then I firmly believe in everything I've read. We really do know our purpose here, and we leave when and how we choose. All the books seem to indicate this. I'm not afraid. And I'm at the point in my life where I don't believe in God or me anymore. I know it is time for me to leave."

The ski trip turned out to be the best holiday I have ever had.

Back Home:
I came home on Friday. I was feeling very depressed because I had not met any potential girlfriend on the trip. Worse, it meant that I was going to work on Monday to do that job I just hated.

Saturday Night - Feb/91:
Drank two beers and went to bed around 10:00 or 11:00 p.m.

Around two a.m., I started waking up.

My body was vibrating (not shaking) inside fiercely, as if electricity was circulating in every part of my body. I felt like a rocket about to take off.

In my mind, I could see across the street, as if I was standing near the window of my bedroom. I started to wonder if we were experiencing an earthquake. But I couldn't see anything outside that was shaking.

Then, the vibrating of my entire body stopped.

My eyes still closed, I started to analyze what had just happened. But then the vibrations started again. This time, in my mind, I could see down my staircase, as if I was actually standing at the top of the staircase, again wondering if an earthquake was happening. It seemed as though the front door was shaking.

But my logical, rational mind determined that an earthquake couldn't be happening because, although my body was vibrating intensely, neither my bed nor my body was shaking.

Once again, the vibrations stopped. I laid there for a moment, questioning what had just happened to me. Was it an earthquake? No. Was I experiencing what some called an "out of body" experience? Maybe. I don't know if it's true that we can.

All of a sudden, I heard a voice in my mind. It said, "Act as if I was there." The vibrations started again, and after a few seconds they stopped.

I asked myself, What the hell was that? What is going on here?

The vibrations started again, and again I heard in my mind, "Act as if I was there."

So I asked myself, Act as if "who" was there? – the 'Big Guy'????

The moment I said that, a full-blown, live, 3-D scene of the Calvary was playing in my mind. I could see Jesus, alive, nailed to the cross, and people were walking about.

(It is important to state here that throughout this entire event, I was analyzing and questioning everything that was happening. I was as awake, as rational, logical and aware as I am at this moment.)

I kept wondering what was happening to me. I was asking myself: What am I seeing here? Am I seeing myself in a 'previous life?' (I don't discount that maybe there could be such a thing as a previous life, but I don't believe in it.)

Next, I could see three middle-aged women dressed in black, kneeling at the bottom of the cross. They were crying. So I then asked: Why am I seeing this? Was I one of these women in a previous life? Is that supposed to be me?

The moment I asked the question...poof!...I was the one kneeling at the bottom of the cross. And now, I was crying, both at the foot of the cross, and in my bed. I then thought to myself: Why do they always hurt the things that I love?

Then I heard Jesus' voice, not with my ears, but with my mind. "Pain is the measure of your love."

Now, as weird as this story sounds, you must keep in mind that, while I am experiencing this event, the rational/logical side of me is analyzing everything, wondering what the hell was happening to me. But something else must be said here. Although I was rational and logical, I felt that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, I knew that this was really God talking to me. There was a quality to the whole experience that was more vivid than everyday life, and it wasn't like anything close to the thousands of dreams I had. I can't explain the event other than to say: I knew it could be no other than God. I can't explain the event because nothing like this has ever happened to me.

Although I was at the foot of the cross, I could also see 'everything', as if I was an observer at a distance.

And I saw Jesus, with his head turned to the right, screaming loudly in agony.

I thought, Please don't ask me to look up at you. And I heard Jesus say: "Look up." I said: "I can't." Again He said, "Look up". Again I said, "I can't."

I then saw Him turn his head to the center of the cross, then he looked down at me and said, not with his mouth, but with his mind: "You always said you did not want to live past 34. Is this still true?"

By then I was crying. I replied to Him: "No. It's just that I am so tired of being alone." As soon as I said that, the whole experience in my mind stopped.

But here I was, reciting out loud, and in French the prayer I believe in God Almighty... and I couldn't understand how I could possibly remember this prayer. I hadn't said it in over 25 to 30 years, and rarely spoke French.

I knew I had to go to the bathroom really bad. I thought that, if someone or something was in my bedroom when I opened my eyes, I would die of a heart attack due to fear. But I didn't sense that anything was in the room. I opened my eyes. I saw nothing but my empty bedroom.

Exactly 12 hours later...I turned 35. I was born around 2:00 p.m.

It's a weird story – I know. But thought I'd share it. I've analyzed this over and over and will leave my conclusions out due to lack of space.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story From Canadian Survivor" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Canadian Survivor Part 2

by Paul
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

I did 27 years of in-depth reading, self-analysis, contemplating life, and years of therapy. Why? I always thought it was to find THE TRUTH. I now know it was to do everything and everything to AVOID the truth - the real truth.

And you led me directly to it through your work, commitment and passion to the subject and effects of child abuse. Yes - you did.

I have been on earth for almost 53 years. But Mr. Brain has been here a hell of lot longer than me. And he's a lot smarter than I am.

And he went along with me, as I played my game of devoting my life to doing what? To doing everything and anything I could to deal with the effects of abuse? Yes and no.

These were all very sophisticated games to do everything and anything Mr. Brain and I agreed to do to avoid doing the ONE thing that really had to be done.

Last night, I went somewhere I have only been to once before in my life.

It was terrifying! I was falling apart, shaking and all I could do was call out the names of my big sister, or a friend of mine, but I couldn't even dial a number. I tried to run away, but there was no place to run to except inside my apartment.

I thought I was having a nervous breakdown and wondered if I should go to the hospital, but I couldn't stop shaking and sobbing, and, I wouldn't have even made it out the door.

I needed somebody so bad. Someone to hold me. I was so afraid of what was coming up and out.

And the flood gates of 50 years of repression and anxiety burst open.

I was lucky enough to call another friend later who stayed with me on the phone until I was ok.

Today, I made an appointment to see a trauma specialist.

Thanks to you Darlene, as scary as it was and is, I know what I must and will do to finally deal with this.

Throughout my life, I enjoyed watching movies of violence, where the hero gets to beat the bad guy. Yesterday, I couldn't watch anything with any violence in it. And I may never be able to again. I realize that such movies allowed me to act out my feelings of anger buried deeply inside.

I have searched and identified many many heroes in my life, and finally I found the BIGGEST HERO of my life. Is it me? No.

The presentation I will do in January at the Centre for Sexual Abuse and Childhood Trauma will be devoted to this hero.

And my presentation will not be about all I did to overcome the abuse, nor about all of my accomplishments. These are secondary. More importantly, it will be about my greatest failure - an area I am an expert in – avoiding facing my true feelings relating to the trauma and abuse that I went through. To talk about the different things I did to avoid finding what I have been seeking all my life - the REAL TRUTH!

The hero is the little boy who went through all the abuse, who could only watch in terror, without any resources or mental or other powers to deal with the abuse, and watch in silence, as he tried his best to suppress the feelings of terror that were within him.

Thanks for letting me share with you Darlene.

Someday, I hope you and I will meet.

Darlene's comments to this "Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Canadian Survivor Part 2" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited, and could result in being banned from making further comments on this site.

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Write Your Scars To Stars® Story of Healing.