Comments for Am I scarring my daughter with emotional abuse?

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Apr 30, 2008
You CAN change, and thus change the outcome...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

The goods news is, you are aware of and acknowledge what you are doing, which means you can act to both deal with the situation and counteract the damage that has been done to your daughter's self-esteem.

But you need to act NOW.

You both need counselling. You, in order to deal with the underlying causes of your mistreatment of your daughter; you already have a great deal of insight as to's time to get some professional help in order to deal with those causes. But it isn't enough to get counselling, J; you MUST exact change for the sake of your daughter. If you can't do that, you need to find a healthier, loving place for her. If you DO decide to place her in more loving hands, she must understand that the action is not the ultimate form of rejection. I don't recommend this latter alternative; but if it comes down to a choice between continued emotional abuse at the hands of her mother and re-building her self-worth, then over the long term, she is better off with people who will love and nurture and support her.

Your daughter also needs counselling. But more than anything else, she needs her mother's unconditional love. She needs to know she is special. She needs to know she is loveable. Right now, she feels she is unworthy of love. She is too precious to be mistreated. She doesn't deserve to be mistreated. Your daughter doesn't deserve to have a mother who blames her for all the mistakes that she herself made. Those are your mistakes, J; not hers. To blame her is to not accept responsibility for the choices you've made in your life.

I cannot stress enough that your worst fears ARE coming to pass. If you love your daughter—and I honestly believe you do—you'll run, not walk, to the nearest counsellor's office to get the help you both need. Find any and all resources that can help you along that path. You and your daughter are worth getting professional help.

Again, I do commend you, J, for the courage you've shown by writing me with this problem. I sincerely wish you both all the best.

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

Apr 30, 2008
Grow up
by: Anonymous

You are very much abusing your daughter. Stop treating her like she is your ex-husband and stop blaming her for your own mistakes. You must realize you have a problem by posting your story on this website. Get help now with your anger toward your ex. Don't do anymore damage to that precious child.

Dec 19, 2008
I know
by: Hannah

Your situation is almost identical to mine and my mother. She had me at 18, graduated highschool early before I was born. Left my father when I was 9 months old. I never saw him after that however and am still unsure of the circumstances for her leaving him. When I was 7 she had my sister, and 10, my brother. My emotional abuse started at 10. Shortly after my mom had my brother, my step-dad left her. I don't blame him. In fact I really envied him. I was subject to every instance there is of emotional abuse; outrageous expectations, aggressing, denying, dominating, invalidation, emotional blackmail, minimizing, verbal assault and unpredictable responses. I was constantly told that I was the demon seed. She wanted to have me drug tested at 11 and constantly accused me of being bad. I was a great kid, teachers loved me, her friends thought I was great and I never got in trouble with school or the law. In fact, my teacher in 7th grade recommended she switch me to a private school, because there was nothing more he could teach me and didn't think public school would help me grow. None of that mattered. Every day was an emotional hell for me. I sat and watched her praise my brother and sister and hug them, while I was constantly punished. I started dreaming or ways to commit suicide at 12. My journal was so painful to read and emotionally disturbing I threw it away a few years later. It has been 5 years now that I haven't spoken to my mother. I can honestly say I am a better person not having her in my life. I miss her sometimes, I don't even know why. I resent the fact that I wasn't allowed a healthy childhood but most of all I resent the fact that I didn't have a mother.

I don't care if you change for yourself. In fact it has nothing to do with you. Feeling sorry for yourself is pathetic. You're the one causing the pain, not the one on the other end. Change for her. Please.

Nov 04, 2009
by: Anonymousmariz

Ok.. The best thing and I know that would work for you is go to a therapist or family counsel and ask for help...

While your daughter is still very young, you still have the time to change until she is still at the age. Don't wait for the time that she will mature and grow up with emotional damage that can destroy her life- eg. alcohol, drugs, etc

Nov 12, 2009

I have recognised a similar problem but as a third party, by my sister in law.

She has recently stopped communicating with her sister (my wife) and myself when we didn't agree with her unfair demands for us not to see her ex husband and now her children without her. Which was confusing as she was happy for us to see him to help her get a fair divorce settlement, or to look after her kids for the last 12 years (we were almost like second parents to them).

The children have now stated to their Dad that they don't want or are 'too embarrassed to see us - until we realise what we have done wrong'. And she is claiming that it is not her stopping them from seeing us but what they want. But she refuses to contact us or reply to our calls texts emails etc.

We have now recognised that the effect of not only an acrimonious divorce (and textbook Parent Alienation Syndrome) but the years of dealing with the mood swings and emotional/psychological abuse of their Mum could be due her Mum having a Narcissistic Personality Disorder or in the worse case because she's a Sociopath.

We have witnessed a gradual behaviour change over a number of years and believed it was because of the break up and never attributed to an active conscious control by either parent also because, to a lesser extent, we fell under her plausible lies and manipulation. We were always there for them and set out to bring fun and happiness to their lives.

Their out of character behaviour and refusal to see us and our 4 year old daughter (who sees them as brother and sister and misses them desperately) lead me to research the effects of divorce. Suddenly all the studied effects of emotional abuse and personality disorders hit me like a lightening bolt of clarity. They are being abused!

Their Dad doesn't seem to want to recognise the effects of the emotional abuse we are witnessing even though he is fully aware of the abuse both his ex wife and my wife both endured at the hands of their parents (another story ? as is his borderline Asberger personality) - but he does truly love his kids and us.

I want to get the children, who I love dearly, away from their Mum before their lives are ruined to the extent of both her and my wife. As I don't believe their Mum will ever recognise her Disorder and seek treatment/help to stop her abuse.

If their Father refuses to do anything, what do I do? Call Social Services? Fight back? it's driving me crazy as I'm feeling I'm abandoning them to lose their childhood to this abuse, as they may be unable to feel able to ask for help from fear of the consequences.

If you see yourself doing these things, get help.

If you are a Sociopath (3-5% of men, 1% of all women estimated), my heart goes out to them with the hope that someone can step in.

Any ideas anyone?

Apr 11, 2010
I Can Relate
by: Anonymous

I Do not usually leave comments on these kind of things, but here it goes. I have a mother who fits that description perfectly. I am 14 and it has affected me horribly. She is not the type to show affection, she always uses a rude or hateful tone, she ignores me when I ask questions and she can seem extremely resentful sometimes. She once even told me she wished she had never had kids. That, even though it happened about seven or eight years ago, still sticks with me. My mom is never home and is a single mother. She is constantly working. When she is gone all day working, and then she comes home and yells at me, it makes me feel terrible about myself. I was literally an accident when I was born. My mom did not mean to get pregnant a third time. It does make me feel as if she wishes I had never been born. It has caused me a lot of depression and I am currently in counseling. (The counseling was originally for sexual abuse from my father when I was three.) But, then this issue came out and it is what we focus on a lot. It caused me to be suicidal and there is a scar that is three inches long on my wrist from where I cut myself once. I did it because I thought it would make me feel better or get my mother's attention. That did not work but I learned a powerful lesson. I learned that I should be extremely careful about the way I will talk to my kids some day. Speaking from experience, I can tell you it will scar her. Especially if she has gone to the extreme measures I have. Everything is okay now, though. I have learned about faith and the bible and I draw much strength from it. I fully intend on growing old and leading a healthy life from now on. :) After all, where I am is only temporary. I am generally a happy-go-lucky person these days and I have only been going to counseling once a week for a month now. I cannot say it has helped my mother much but I have learned how to deal with it when she goes on her tirades.

Nov 26, 2011
Im the Mom
by: Anonymous

I am on the other end...Im a mother who has emotionally and at times physically abused my eldest daughter. She is 22 now and has moved out of the house. Prior to her moving she starting treating me as I treated her. Her father and I have been divorced for three years. I didnt see her for 2 of the 3 as she chose to live with him. I missed her and as odd as this sounds, I love her very much....she is very angry and I think asking her to leave is the healthiest thing I can do for her but I am filled with remorse and guilt and have my doubts if I will ever see her again...I want that one more chance but it wont happen....Her sister lives with me and we have had a healthy, loving relationship....a few words here and there but nothing like the fights the eldest and I had....we treat each other like mother abused me so I know where this comes from but one would think it would stop wit me...I can only hope my eldest doesnt continue this behavior down the line.

May 23, 2012
How Could I
by: Anonymous

I love my kid so much yet I am abusing him emotionally by swearing at him and calling him names. He's 10 and he lies about EVERYTHING and It being the 1000th time, I blew it. I cursed at him and said things my mother would have NEVER ever said to me.

It hurts me to say, I am abusing my kid. When I was doing it I knew it was wrong but my anger wouldn't subside. I called him a F'in Sh""y Scummy Little Liar who was no better than a homeless bum who at least had with nothing else the ability to be better than him with honesty."

I was so in a rage I wanted to beat the crap out of him something I told myself I would never do again (he's only received about 6 spankings in his whole life, I just can't do it as it hurts me to physically hurt him, and I know as an educated woman there is a better way.) There is a better way than verbal abuse as well. I know I am not perfect, I dont want his forgivness, I want to STOP THIS!!!!! I am the adult, I know better, yet I have the tantrum.

So I have never phsyically abused him but I have emotionally four times now. The first was so bad, he hasn't forgotten it - I asked why did I get the stupid child, hands up to God. He cried for an hour. He was 7. Two times cursed at, and now this.

So for his lies, he isn't able to buy the thing he wanted, the thing he lied about. To teach him lying has consequences.

I am going to offer him my punshishment to show it goes both ways. I have to pay for my actions, and my punishment will be his choice. (I have to volunteer an hour at his school, I don't get to watch my favorite TV shows Sunday night, I have to go watch a kid movie with him (pure torture for me).

But who cares if I keep doing it. He is a child, I know better and should act better yet I keep doing it.

I am at work staring at his face and all I can think is if I heard someone talking to him like that, I would beat them to a pulp. How could anyone be mean to this sweet kid who does bad things sometime but is the greatest thing. I am upset with myself.

I am going to forgive myself and change my behavior and activly work on it with him. I need a therapist for my anger but will never go (I'd need years of analysis so why start).

I am going to use a Red Card, and Yellow Card like in soccer as warning signs to him that his behavior is going to incur a wrath (that I hope to contol).

I had to put this into the world and hope I save a kid or a mom from beatting themselves up.
Change the behavior and pattern together. Thanks for reading.

Sep 08, 2013
I want to break the cycle
by: Anonymous

My son isnt even three yet. I also have a one year old. I love my children to no compare. Everything I do I do for them but it is also to them.

I will start by saying, I am a broken person. From the moment I can first remember life, I was taught to hate myself. I was made fun of, ridiculed, picked on, pushed around, cursed at and often hit. I was made to steal, lie, cheat and fight. These were done by both my mother and my step-mother.

I cannot love them or myself the way an adult should.

Now, the cycling is continuing. My boy is two months from three and I scream at the top of my lungs and curse at him, I am sarcastic, rude, I shout, throw his things around. I basically have the temper tantrum you would normally expect a 2 year old to have. Only I have it on a giant level.

When this is happening, its like I am out side of myself watching someone else take over and its heart wrenching, I hurt for him, with him.

I have decided time and time again that this will stop. I cannot give my children the life I lived, I cannot have them hating themselves like I have / do.

It continues, I am out of control.

I love him, he is the perfect child, kind, sweet, loving. So je doesnt like to pick up his toys, what child does? And so he wants to ask me the same question 500 times, its his way of getting attention, he gets greedy with toys and pushes his baby sister down, its just him being a toddler.

I know these things but I need to not errupt like a deamon from Hell on him.

Im hoping that this will help. Admitting that I do this. I cannot get counceling though I know I need it badly. I cannot talk to people because how will someone judging every interaction I have with my children make me feel more confident and at ease with them.

I wish there were ways for people like me to get help, to over come our own issues and help our children. To break this cycle. I want to be the best mom I can be. I know how not to act, I just need to control the deamon.

I would give my life for my children to grow up happy, secure, confident, loving people.

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Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.

E-book: Victim To Victory

From Victim to Victory
a memoir

How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life


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