This child abuse story from Tracey page was created February 17, 2007. Tracey is a male from Tacoma, Washington, USA. Two installments of his story are included on this page:
following child abuse story from Tracey depicts emotional abuse.
The child abuse effects on Tracey: abuse-induced amnesia and Tracey found it very difficult and upsetting to write his story, even though he is now an adult
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My mother psychologically abused me, her son, in many different ways, between my ages of seven through fourteen. This would be from 1971 through 1978, after my parents had divorced, and I was left in my mother's custody. I call this particular type of abuse, 'The Bait & Lie'.
My mother would bait me with some treat she'd think-up, like going to Disneyland, for example. She'd procrastinate throughout the day, claim it was getting too late, and when I'd counter that we could always do it tomorrow, she'd then claim that it was too expensive. I, of course, would become very angry, to which she would then send me to my room.
A few minutes later, my mother would come back to my bedroom, open the door, order me to keep it open in a very angry, snotty tone, and then walk across the hall to her bedroom. She'd sit on her bed, where I could both see and hear her, pick-up the rarely used back telephone on her nightstand, and call one person after the next, to lie about the entire event.
She'd portray herself as this loving, soft-spoken, thoughtful, but distraught mom whose child had suddenly demanded this treat that she couldn't afford. She said that she tried to explain, but that I got angry, and she felt she had no choice but to send me to my room. She'd say how terrible she felt about having to do that, while often smiling at me in the process.
She'd never say anything negative per se. Instead, she'd paint the false picture, and leave the listener to infer the obvious implication that I was a spoiled brat who threw a tantrum when he didn't get what he wanted. The listener would reassure her that she couldn't let me get away with that, and that she should've sent me to my room.
It then became one of her sympathy sessions. My mother spent entire days on the main telephone, bemoaning her many problems, which were almost exclusively lies, imaginary, or self-created. On these occasions in which she used the 'Bait & Lie', the listener would infer that I was the cause of them having to listen to her whine for hours about my 'misbehavior'.
This form of abuse happened about one to three times a month. I'm not sure why I kept being fooled, but I do have a history of Dissociative Fugues (amnesia) from the age of eight, back, one of which was for almost two years. It's possible that when she'd abuse me, I'd Fugue, and wouldn't remember when she did it again. Years later, I'd still only sense some nebulous warning in my head when she'd offer something, rather than actually understanding what she was doing to me.
But one day, when I was fourteen, I fought back. Apparently I'd finally put most of it together. As a result of my willingness to engage her, as well as the fact that she arrogantly tried to pull this off in-person rather than on the telephone, I managed to convince my aunt enough to facilitate my rescue. Within a couple weeks, I was living in a relatively normal family, with my father, stepmother, and two younger stepbrothers. My mother made no attempt to dispute this change of custody.
Decades later, my mother performed a very similar kind of abuse on her own brother and his wife, when she moved near them following her third divorce. One of the most satisfying moments in my life is when that aunt (not the same that rescued me) called me in a state of hysterics. She had learned that my mother was calling everybody up, and claiming that they were abusing her, when in fact it was my mother abusing them.
It took about thirty minutes to calm her down. I described this one aspect of the abuse my mother had inflicted on me as a child, partly as a means to reassure her that there was no way in hell that I'd believe my mother over my aunt. But mostly, I wanted her to understand that she had endured this as a full-grown adult for only a few months, and could actually call people to tell her side. I then asked her to imagine this happening to a child for seven years instead; she was speechless.
Eventually people realized what my mother had done to my aunt and uncle, and in response she suddenly claimed that she couldn't remember the previous two years. That seemed awfully convenient to me, but then again, the reality of being caught doing this to people may have been too much, and she actually did have her own Fugue. The last thing I heard was that they felt the amnesia had to do with her alcoholism, but I'm afraid the period of her amnesia is just to telling.
My mother has never acknowledged, expressed remorse for, or sought forgiveness over any of the abuse she inflicted on me, which is far more than I've described here. The closest she has come is when I cornered her once into admitting to abusive behavior, although she wouldn't accept it as being abuse. Instead, she called it, 'Character Building'. Writing this is extremely difficult. It's taken me days to write one page, and it's upset me very much.
Trigger: Comforting -
What I feel when a person comes to me for comfort.
creature* had a pathological need
for almost daily comfort, both from me and anybody else that she could
manipulate. Very often, when she did this with other people, she'd drag me
along as her a visual-aid, forcing me to witness her latest contrived drama. In
addition to these, she'd spend hours, if not the entire day, on the telephone,
doing the same thing.
is my psycho-sadistic-alcoholic, mother, who raised me from the age of six,
when my father wisely left, until I was finally rescued by my maternal Aunt at
the age of fourteen.
Effect: Due to the sheer number of times the creature did this over time; I experience an instantaneous and intense feeling of exasperation. As despicable as I feel about this, I must admit that I have rolled my eyes and exhaled deep sighs when someone I do love has approached me for needed comfort. It's as if the creature not only drained me dry of sympathy, she destroyed in me the ability to replenish my supply.
creature always became worse no matter what I, or anybody else, said or did to
help. Most of the time, if not all of the time, she did this on purpose; she'd
intentionally pervert every attempt and every means used to comfort her in
order both to justify her insatiable craving and to gain even more sympathy.
Effect: I always feel instantly hopeless; I'm certain that I'll just make things worse. I also roll my eyes and sigh in this case, not because I'm exasperated, but because I feel like I'm being forced into doing what seems impossible even before I've tried. It took years before I realized that it was a no-win situation with the creature, but the affect is still remains; I don't feel like I have a chance in hell of comforting someone.
creature repeatedly and viciously shot-down everything I ever did to comfort
her. When I'd try to hug her, she'd fight me off and call me stupid for
thinking that a hug could help anybody. If I'd say, “It'll be okay,” she'd
shout violently back at me, “How will it ever be okay!” And she demanded an
answer, so in my own six-year-old way, I'd try, but regardless of what I said,
she'd verbally assault me again.
Anecdote: Once, as I
was patting her affectionately on the back while she had been puking in the
toilet, I pleaded, almost prayed, “Please don't cry mom.” She hollered at me
that she couldn't help it, and having no idea how to respond to that, I told
her, sympathetically, to go ahead and cry as I gave her another pat on the
back. In a ferocious display, she shouted at the top of her lungs, directly
into my face, “Well, what do you want me to do; cry, or not cry?!
Effect: Not only does every comforting option seem either useless or detrimental, they all hold a deep fear that no matter what I do, I'll make it worse and be brutally abused for my efforts. I feel paralyzed both by terror and because I instantly dismiss everything that occurs to me, as they've all met with complete failure. Meanwhile the person I do care about is patiently waiting in pain for me to comfort them.
paralyzed by fear and not knowing what to do was not an option with the
creature. It was as if she pumped me full of curare then put a gun to my head
and demanded that I dance a jig. I was forced to do something, anything to
solve all of her adult problems, which were illusionary, self-created, trivial,
or flat-out lies that she told to get sympathy. Shortly after she started
abusing me in this way, when I was six, I slipped into a Dissociative fugue
that lasted for two years. When I, woke-up,” I was eight years old, in the
forth grade at a different school and unable to understand what happened to all
the time that passed.
Effect: Today, when I'm faced with comforting anybody, at some point, I will often become an emotionless, quasi-intellectual automaton that I've named, “Shaw.” I don't feel for them. I don't care about them. I don't accept their irrational excuses for being upset. With cold, logical deliberation, I dismiss everything they say, and if they refuse to pull themselves together, “Shaw, simply goes away. After he, or it, is leaves, “I'm”, standing there alone and wholly incapable of doing anything other than eventually falling apart. The person I do care about, who came to me for comfort, is now comforting me.
creature was supposed to be taking care of me; instead, she was a complete
wreck that I had to care for rather than the other way around. It was like watching
a would-be hero who turns coward; imagine Superman begging a schoolyard bully
not to hurt him, not in one episode, but every single show.
Effect: As despicable as I feel about this, I must admit that I instantly feel disdain, even disgust for people who seek comfort for any reason, from any one. I can't stop or control these spontaneous emotions that rise up inside of me, at least, not until my therapy can take affect, of which this, “story, is my homework.
creature drew sympathy to herself like a black hole. I can't think of a single
occasion in which she comforted me for anything. In fact, not only did she
always disregard or trivialize my pain, she took active steps to ensure that
nobody would ever comfort me for anything, ever. That would take away from, “her,
sympathy, her food, her booze. It also ensured that I'd never receive any help
for what was and would become a plethora of sever mental and emotional problems
that I endure to this day.
Anecdote: I slipped
on our porch once and sliced open my knee; the creature didn't even hug me,
instead, she complained bitterly to me about the trouble I've put her through
over having to take me in for stitches. Furthermore, although the cost had no
financial affect on her at all, since she wouldn't be paying for any of it, she
made a specific point of berating me about how much money I just wasted. She
didn't do this as some lesson on being careful; she did it to inflict as much
painful guilt on me as she possibly could.
Incidentally, our porch was smooth,
painted cement that was we both knew to be slick as ice when it was wet. The
creature watered it down under the premise of washing it of dirt while in the
process of watering the plants and our lawn. At some point after that, she
walked away, to the driveway, and continued to water before screeching my name.
I walked right out the front door, she didn't say a word while I didn't notice
the water as it was all but invisible against the powder blue color, and that's
how I slipped.
Effect: As despicable as I feel about this, I must admit that I instantly feel resentment for the people who seek comfort from me. Again, these are not thoughts that I'm talking about, but emotions that hit me before I can do anything to stop them, which, due to this sort of reaction, is going to take long, painful therapy to reverse, or reduce, since I have to relive this stuff and, to my initial horror, learned that to do this, I must, “forgive.” Fortunately that doesn't mean forgiving the creature, but forgiving the events. I do, however, think about how I never received any comfort and was abused instead, and deeply resent, not the person who comes to me for comfort, but resent the whole of humanity for, “allowing,” this abuse.
my fugue, when I was eight and beyond, until I was fourteen and I was finally
rescued by my maternal Aunt, anger started to set-in. I can't really tell if I
was angry before I, “woke-up,” in fact, from what I am able to remember, I was
in a continuous state of shell-shock, which is clearly reflected in the few
pictures she took of me during those two years. But at eight an older, anger
soon became rage.
Effect: I instantly feel angry, often to the point of rage when a person comes to me for comfort. This isn't due only to the atrocious things that the creature with regard to comforting; it’s because at the precise moment that I'm faced with the need, even the desire to comfort somebody whom I care for, acts like a catalyst, or a trigger, which draws me back into the totality of an intolerable existence with a psycho-sadistic-alcoholic, mother.” In affect, all of the intense emotions I experience as a direct result of her ceaseless abuse in different scenarios from comforting, come along for the ride. I'm not just exasperated because of the sheer number of times the creature demanded comfort, I'm also livid because this makes me remember how she'd force me to listen while she lied to everybody about my being a spoiled brat, when, in fact, that was a abhorrent lie that she created to get sympathy for having to, “cope with me.
Summation: Me and my fiancée, whom I love more than anything, to definitely include myself, postponed our marriage this year due to this, as well as other things that, “normal,” people do naturally, but that I obviously can't do until God-knows how much therapy. There are other emotions associated with comforting, but I feel I must stop now. I will add this however; I mentioned, Shaw, as a sort of persona; there are three others. They are all very compartmentalized and, appear, on a regular, sometimes, moment to moment basis. Despite this, neither my therapist nor myself feel this is Dissociative Identity Disorder due to the fact that, except for the aforementioned two-year fugue, all four know everything; in other words, I don't, wake-up, without knowing what, I, did.
NOTE: Information pages on this site were based on material from the
Canadian Red Cross RespectED Training Program. Written permission was obtained to use their copyrighted material on this site.
Child abuse story from Tracey was re-formatted June 13, 2015
From Victim to Victory
How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life
From Victim to Victory
How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life
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