Child Abuse: If I knew then, what I know now...

by Deb
(Laurel, Maryland, USA)

...what would I do differently? Keep a record. Dates, times, levels of attacks (0-10 on the rage-o-meter). Written somewhere safe. Treat her (my mother's) rage like fire. In the event of a fire you should know the emergency exits. I felt trapped in the smoke. Frozen.


I would advise my younger self to come up with three different escape plans. I would have had to trust outside people and I wasn't even able to accept what was happening at the time. But, if I knew then what I know now, I'd risk it for the sake of my own sanity.

Three outside adult professionals, school counselor, church adviser...it's hard to think of three people who would have believed me...hotline person?

The biggest lie I told myself was that I could take on and handle her pain. Her pain remains unresolved to this day. Her Mother abandoned her, was and is a raging alcoholic. I thought all of that would be fine if I could just absorb it.

What I didn't understand was that my trying to absorb it made it worse because it gave her more places to put her rage and she seemed to have an endless supply of it. It also kept everything in the shadowy darkness.

I know now that the truth is a light, and it will automatically eliminate a lot of "crazy" when spoken.

I guess that's where I'm at now. Simply speaking the truth and instead of thinking my truth = her pain I understand that the truth is the truth. And the more I speak it, the more opportunity there is to find love. Hiding someone else's secret and letting them rage on doesn't work.

I've tried and tried and tried for decades. The only thing that works is the truth.

Serenity to accept the things I cannot change: I cannot change the fact that my Mother loves to see me in pain. I've tried. It's just where she's at. Which leads me to believe that not only is she a really unhappy person, but she's a really sick person. And I have serenity in knowing I cannot fix her AND that was never my job.

I have to have courage to meet with her on neutral ground with a professional mediator if she decides to confront her rageaholism and verbal abuse. And, I have the wisdom to know that she probably won't.

She will probably go on hating me and try to recruit others to do the same. That's what she does. That's her choice.

Mostly, I know now that when I can accept crazy choices other people make and take no ownership over them, then I too am freed to do as I like. I am not owned by anyone.

I'm free.

Note from Darlene: With the permission of the author, I have moved the above to this article page from where it was originally, as a comment following her story. Read Deb's story at the following URL: Child Abuse Story From Deb

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.

Comments for Child Abuse: If I knew then, what I know now...

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Jun 27, 2008
Permission appreciated...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Thank you for permission to treat this post as an article, Deb. I hope you'll consider posting to my Child Abuse page with your reflections rather than simply as comments. They are just too beneficial not to.

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

Jun 29, 2008
Child Abuse
by: jwc

Deb, you have a very deep and profound understanding
of your mother. It is great you recognize that you cannot absorb your mother's pain for her.
I am sure your post will be an inspiration to others.

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