Child Abuse Story About Rose From Sophie

by Sophie
(Illinois, USA)

This is not a story about me, but mostly about my long-time best friend Rose. We've been best friends since second grade and we are now about to go into eighth. When we were in third grade, her parents split up. Her mom was schizophrenic, and went insane. Rose lived with her for awhile, and her dad remarried to a Russian woman. Rose's mom would constantly tell her that her dad got her as a mail-order bride. They went broke, and Rose was put into the custody of her dad and new stepmom. Before they married, her stepmom had her half sister Elana. Rose's mom was meanwhile put into a mental hospital in Chicago. Rose's stepmom was just pretty much ignoring her and busy with her half sister. Her dad had gotten spacey and also ignored her. She depended more on me, but I couldn't always be there; I have other friends and had a boyfriend. She also was and still is very protective over me. I think it's probably because she has no older female figures in her life that she can depend on. She didn't have anyone to talk to when she hit puberty or anyone to talk to when she started thinking about dating, other than me and a couple of our other best friends.

Around sixth grade, Rose's mom came to our town. Her dad had gotten tipped off about this by his ex brother-in-law, and took Rose out of town. We usually hang out at the library across from our school after we get out from school, and I saw her mom there for the first time in about 3 years. She stood there and stared at me for about 10 minutes. I was so scared, because our family has a restraining order on her ever since she started getting crazy. She had said that she wanted to "take Rose somewhere far away, where no one could hurt her". All I can say is I was very glad to get out of there. I had to talk to the police and Rose's dad and tell them exactly what I remember her wearing and what she did and what she had. They eventually found her, and forced her to go back to the mental ward that she had escaped from in Chicago.

Her mom was so convinced that Rose's dad, brother, grandpa, and every other male figure on her dad's side had raped her. She called frequently, leaving disturbing voice mails. Rose had to go to a counselor and a therapist against her own wishes and often came back to class crying.

Around 7th grade, her home life was also getting tougher. Her stepmom constantly slapped her and hit her. But I think it was the words that hurt more. She called her stupid and a slut and a bitch almost every day. She would tell her to get her s**t off the floor and call her a "stupid bitch". Rose's half sister, Elana, however was the little princess of the family. She was spoiled silly, and never got in trouble. Everything she did was perfect and special. If anything went wrong in Rose's family, it was automatically Rose's fault. She had to pay for everything: food, clothes, everything. And being twelve, it isn't the easiest thing in the world.

I know that even though her mom is insane and wants to kidnap her, Rose really misses her. She just wants it to be the way it was before her abusing stepmom came into the picture. Her grandpa just died, and the only family member that really likes and respects her, her 20-year-old brother, is moving to the other side of the country in a month or so. Even though her stepmom slaps her, hits her and swears at her, and she has told her dad, he doesn't do anything about it. He used to be the most laid back person I know, but since her stepmom and Elana came along, he's been on edge and also swearing at Rose and yelling, which I have never in my life seen him do before that, in all 7 years we've been best friends.

Since Rose is still so young and after all she's been though with her mom and her stepmom and sister, I just feel like she is going to snap. She's very strong, but I can't help getting annoyed at her every once in awhile. I always regret it. She never likes to be at home and has said she'd do anything to replace her stepmom. I have told my mom about this and she didn't offer any advice, so I'm not sure what to do.

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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Comments for Child Abuse Story About Rose From Sophie

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May 27, 2009
You're a VERY caring friend...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Sophie, you can't help your friend all by yourself. This is way beyond what you can provide; what any friend could provide. And you ARE a great friend.

There needs to be some kind of intervention. I point you toward my child abuse intervention page for some ideas on how to handle things when Rose discloses abuse to you. Don't discount the "S" of the H.E.A.R.S method. You too need someone to talk to about this, Sophie. It's too much to handle alone. So make sure you treat yourself well and ensure you have a support system of your own in place. While your mother doesn't have any suggestions to offer you that will help Rose, she is there to help YOU.

Continue to be a supportive friend to Rose. Offer her the number of Child Help 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) in order for her to talk to someone about what her home life. They are staffed 24/7 with professionally trained counsellors who will listen to her. They are not a reporting agency, but they can help her through the process of reporting if she decides to disclose any abuse. You too can call them.

Sophie, the other thing I feel compelled to point out is that Rose's stepsister Elana is not the enemy. Try not to blame her for all that is going wrong in Rose's life. Elana is the product of a mother who seems to be doting on her every move. If Elana really and truly can do no wrong and never gets correction EVER, then she is being neglected. And I'm not just talking about yours or Rose's perception here, I'm talking about reality. You aren't there all the time and neither is Rose, so neither of you can know for absolute certainty. But to blame Elana for what's happening to Rose is misguided and inappropriate. If Rose's stepmom is mistreating her, then it's her stepmom at fault, NOT Elana, no matter how much you find Elana distasteful. So please, I respectfully ask you to refrain from calling Elana names (you'll note I removed your derogatory reference to her).

If Rose's dad won't step in and protect her, then Rose will have to reach out to someone who can. But you can only lead her to that kind of help. The rest is up to her.

Take care of yourself, Sophie, and keep being a great friend. Thank you for sharing Rose's and your story with my visitors and me.

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

May 30, 2009
A true friend is all I have my life is made worthwhile by their loving of me
by: maurice

Oh Sophie, you true friend, great you are there for Rose. She is one very lucky child of the universe and God. Stand by her, you give her hope, share with her honestly at all times, tell her your fears for her, Tell her you care and love to bits, she's your friend too you know Sophie. Sophie just be friend, tell her what you think might be best for her. Sophie read Darlene's words of love for you and Rose. Her caring concerned words are true. Darlene knows best and emphtises with all her visitors. she is a caring woman professional person in all she advises. I believe in her, will you for your friend Rose. Don't you feel anyway responsible for what rose is going through. just be a true friend to her and you live your own life to the full with your friends and say I'm Special. I'm Beautiful in my own right and I must make a good life for myself. Sophie your the best. Rose will be all the better for knowing you as her friend.

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