Comments for Child Abuse: How to Heal

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Aug 09, 2008
You became the man your father wasn't...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

A very thoughtful post, Charles. I would add to the list only forgiveness. Not forgiveness that says what your abuser did to you was okay; it WASN'T okay and will never BE okay. I'm talking about forgiveness that says you have let go of the anger, hatred and resentment, and that you no longer allow your abuser to control you, your thoughts and your actions.

You said: "I made excuses for my father: he was under stress, it didn't happen often, etc. Later in life I was so ashamed at making excuses for him and not having the courage to take advantage of the opportunity to change things." Charles, this wasn't about lacking courage—indeed, you exhibited incredible courage—it was about an adolescent young man whose brain was still developing and incapable of certain thought. It was about an adolescent young man who loved his father, because even in the face of such brutality, loving your father as an adolescent young man was natural, and so was trying to protect him. It was about an adolescent young man who would rather have taken more beatings than chance losing the father he loved. There is NO shame in that, Charles, none whatsoever.

Your father was not there for you throughout your life to encourage you and tell you—show you—how proud he was of you, but you should be so proud of yourself. In spite of what you lived through as a child, you turned pain into power. You learned lessons along the way that many abuse survivors—your father likely being one of them—never contemplate, let alone gain knowledge and wisdom from.

I don't know if your father is still alive or not, but if he is, there may come a time, as he nears the end of his life, that he will be full of regrets. At this moment, as my own father lies dying in a hospital bed, he has a great deal of time to reminisce. He now cries every day with the knowledge that his children have in one way or another distanced themselves from him (2 won't have anything to do with him; 2 have remained on occasional visiting terms, only able to tolerate his self-centeredness in small doses; 1—me—drew a line in the sand over his abuse toward women and refused to have a relationship with him until he was ready to accept responsibility for his violent behaviour). A week ago, I saw him for the first time in ten years. "I have SO many regrets," were among the first tearful words he said to me. Whether or not such words will ever pass from your father's lips to your ears, Charles, I don't know. What I will say is that regardless of how twisted your father's thinking and actions were toward you, deep down he knows you had integrity and tremendous strength of character; traits he did not possess.

Thank you for sharing your story and healing advice with my visitors and me.

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

Nov 04, 2009
Thank you
by: Anonymous

I am the mother of a little boy who was abused for nearly three years by my "father". The healing process seems like it will never happen. He is sad, angry, hurt, mad. Sometimes all at the same time. He is in counseling but he often feels like the only good thing will be if he dies. That breaks my heart. I love my son with all my heart and want to help him. Hopefully your story and others can help us both. These stories give me hope that he can heal and be the happy little man I know is inside.

Nov 14, 2009
thanks
by: Anonymous

^

Feb 04, 2010
Moving forward is so hard
by: Anonymous

Thank you for reminding me that others have stories that are just as bad or worse than mine.
My own memories are spotty; I can only recall maybe 5 incidents. I have total amnesia. The neglect I suffered was so severe, my mind has blocked it out completely. I have no memories at all before approximately age 12.

God Bless

Jan 04, 2011
one time, too many
by: Anonymous

i have been physically abused by my father 3x's and called the police om him once,1st time when i was 6 , he beat me 100x's w/ a shoe all over my body for not going to bed one night,2nd time was when i was pregnant w/ my son, i said something in the heat of an arguement he didn't like and he twisted my arm and pushed me on the bed and put his knee in my stomach 3rd time was at our family reunion just recently,i was putting dishes in the dish washer and got angry and slammed the plate in the sink 'cause it wouldn't fit, and he told me to leave the kitchen to calm down and i mouthed off at him and that's when he grabbed me and pushed me out of the kitchen onto the floor and i was trying to get away from him,but i couldn't until my sister ran over and jumped on him in a vise grip, and held him down so i could get up, when i got up i was so angry i had the chance to kick him really hard but didn't, instead i grabbed a lamp and threw it down on the floor, and started cuzing and yelling at him to never touch me again.The sad part about it was my girls saw it and all the women in my family. i don't condone how i acted by slamming the plate or the lamp, but it's going to take me a whole lot longer now to ever trust,forgive, or let go of my anger towards my dad.3x's is many,but one time is too many.

May 13, 2012
me too
by: Anonymous

I was sexually abused and physically abused as a child. My father attacked me with a knife to my throat. I suffered a breakdown because of all the stress I was under. I say that there is no such thing as "mild abuse". All abuse is wrong and parents need to reconize that a child is not a punching bag or a sex toy. A child has rights and needs to be taken seriously. I was also made to feel that happiness is only a sham. It is not. I move out on my own five years ago and my pain attacks vurtualy vanished. It was great to come home to peace.

Nov 29, 2012
I was the abusive parent!!!
by: Anonymous

I'm here looking how to help my kids heal! Sadly they are young adults both in college & failing in life! Why?? Cause I abused them when they were kids... Not like I was abused, but abuse nonetheless!! I swore I would never be that parent but I was!! I want to make up for all I've done and help heal them!! What do I do to undo the pain???

From Darlene - Webmaster: Anonymous, I commend and applaud that you want to help your now-adult children. I'm going to refer you to a series of emails that were an exchange between Jane, an abuser who wrote to me in 2007, and myself. I'll warn you that it will appear very harsh, but please read it in its entirety. I took the approach I did with Jane because I believed she needed a wake up call. My replies within the emails are chock-full of important information that can ultimately help both you and your children. I send you love, light and healing energy.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir


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From Victim to Victory
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