Child Abuse - Fear and Addiction

by Name Undisclosed
(Location Undisclosed)

My adopted parents told me that they used other objects to hit me with because it started hurting their hands as I got older. I got wooden spoons, metal spoons, dog leashes, belts, shoes, and some other objects. Believe it or not, my adopted mom actually BROKE her hand trying to hit me because I ducked at the last minute. The whole thing became MY fault because I shouldn't have been "mouthing off".

No, I'm not perfect. No child is or ever will be perfect. However, I did LEARN what I was taught through fear. I grew up afraid to speak to other people. I never felt I had the SAME rights as every American to express themselves, and to DISAGREE within the confines of the law. If I got in trouble ANYWHERE else, I could never count on my adopted parents because I KNEW it would be WORSE if I told them.

Something I've grown to accept and believe as an adult, knowing that I have a CHOICE to walk away from a disagreement, is that hitting ONLY serves as a way of a LESSER person trying to gain respect they really don't deserve through fear.

One of the hardest times I had to deal with in my life was when my adopted father got sick, and all of these friends of his seemed to be expecting me to feel "sad" or tell me what a "great guy" he was, and I just felt like I had to live the "polite" lie. Sometimes, when certain people leave your life, you're not sorry. No matter how many people think you should be. You have no real disagreements with those people - they've done me no wrong. It's more of just a "polite" lie that's sometimes hard to live with.

My prayer for parents - find some OTHER way to get through to your children, find the words and feelings to express yourself (including your dissatisfaction with your child's behavior) other than hitting.

No parent is their child's "friend" or "buddy". To be a parent does take mental discipline and self-control. There also has to be a mutual respect for the little person you are raising, and the belief in your own heart that the child will see that what they are doing is destructive to themselves, other people, and other people's property.

The most emotional hurt I've ever felt, beyond the physical pain I endured is believing that deep down - I really couldn't come to them with issues in my life because it would have been twisted into my fault, and ultimately the type of person I believe my adopted parents thought I was and simply wouldn't believe me. I am not perfect, there are things I've said, thought, and done which I wish never happened - but they did. There are also things which I couldn't have POSSIBLY done, as I wasn't in the area when it happened that I've also gotten beat for. It always seemed to me that it was hit first, THEN MAYBE if they weren't busy with anything else, they MIGHT look into what happened. The lie you live with is being "polite" and "respectful", and having a dimensionless relationship with them, because you know the mutual feelings aren't there.

I know in my OWN heart that I will constantly and vigilantly watch MYSELF and PLAN my OWN (and my beautiful daughter's) escape route BEFORE I walk down that slippery slope. I know how it made me feel about myself and the world.

I think abuse is an addiction, and as an adult you must be able to stop yourself before you allow it to control 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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Comments for Child Abuse - Fear and Addiction

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Jul 16, 2011
To Name Undisclosed:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Excellent article! You touched on exactly the problem with physical discipline: learning through fear; not "respect", but rather through domination and intimidation. These leave the worst side effects, as you so poignantly pointed out. "Dimensionless relationship"...that's a perfect way to describe the relationship between abusive parents and the child as a victim/survivor; this is the legacy of physical discipline. Fear teaches fear. Respect teaches respect. Love teaches love. And I agree: abuse IS an addiction, an addiction to power. Abusers have all the power, and they misuse that power in a way that breaks a child's spirit. Some parents get a high from that.

As for the "polite lie", it can be so difficult to live with because we aren't being true to our Self and our feelings when we project something that isn't how we really feel. It's our mind's way of telling us that there is healing to be had. I hope you'll consider some form of counselling in order to deal with the repercussions of what you endured as a child. You didn't deserve to be mistreated. You certainly deserve help for the fact that you were. But I would be remiss if I didn't point out that you are steps ahead in that you realize that the abuse wasn't your fault and that you will not repeat what was done to you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this pervasive issue with my visitors and me, and for using your story as a shining example of the emotional and relational toll abuse has on the child. Your story is an inspiration, knowing that you have broken the cycle of abuse. You have MUCH to be proud of. And so does your beautiful daughter.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Jul 16, 2011
Such uncontrolled sadism
by: Anonymous

What your adoptive parents did to you was inexcusable. That's not discipline; that's just torture and I'm sure that there are always effective ways of discipline without ever the beatings. That's not even about "respect" either; that's just all about power and control. If they didn't want to be there, then they should've had the courage to try counselling instead of sadistically abusing you. the path that they chose was inexcusable. Oh, and most people who treat others the way you were treated often do it out of jealousy because they could never be such a shining star that you are. As for the family friends, they are completely misguided upon hearing that this sad, tragic excuse of a dad was sick. You are not to blame for their sadistic, ignorant behavior; they are to blame because they chose to abuse you. You were the child; they were the adults; they had all the power and only misused it over you. I really hope that you're in a safe place now and that you try counselling.

Jul 17, 2011
Human relationships are a mystery
by: maurice

What a true discription of parents using beating corporal punishment to build in fear instead of LOVE into their beautiful innocent vunerable child adopted or biological: Couples who spend time getting to know each other in love seem not to be able to understand true human realtionships: In my understanding I believe couples on their marriage day should know each other almost totally: To the degree that all aspects of how to love and cherish the children given in the loving act of intercourse and the birthing of a child is done out of that love, value, respect, dignity of that gift from the womb: Sadly many parents don't love each other enough at times to have a mutual understanding on how to explain to a child that was wrong because and relate in simple words at the beginning to more maturer ones as the child grows in years: Sadly many couples go through th motions of marriiage, birthing and rearing their children the way they wre themselves; We all know now that physiaclly beating a child is not loving and cherishing that child (IT IS ABUSING THAT CHILD) Any form of abusing the innocent and the vunerable is inhuman, wrong, and yes I will agree becomes an addiction to those who abuse: They don't want to educate themselves on how to LOVE and Cherish that weak, innocent child when they do wrong: They did bold things themselves as a child and sadly the effects of their abuse by their parents have'nt worn off so they abuse: Thankfully though the greater percent of Parents do Love and cherish and relate right and wrong in words that the child/adolecent understands: Then out of love and respect for their parents they behave and mature nicely as a good human being: So hopefully your discription and your real story will help many: Darlene as always ahs affirmed you and thanked you: Good on you for having the courage to write and tell you true feelings in your healing and recovery from your physical abuse: Live well: laugh Often: Love much and live your life to the full from this day on: Be gentle and kind and hug and cuddle the wonderful and beautiful you: I WILL I CAN I MUST BECAUSE I AM WORTH IT AND SO IS MY CHILD:

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