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Dec 07, 2008
Part 1: Try not to make comparisons...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

I always advise against making comparisons between stories of abuse. It isn't so much about the degree of the abuse you are dealing with; rather, it's the effects of the abuse that must be considered. And you are dealing with effects in spades. You've earned the tears you cry at night. The constant negative messages you receive, the belittling, the terror, the helplessness you feel; all of this makes it "that bad".

You said your father has choked and pulled the hair of both you and your sister; when there is injury or there is the potential for injury, that is considered physical abuse. Furthermore, what you are dealing with in your home is emotional abuse, which is one of the most difficult of the abuses to deal with. The effects are life-altering . When your father threatens you or your siblings with harm; he's terrorizing you, which is one of the 6 types of emotional abuse. When he forces you to watch when "disciplining" your sister, when he openly displayed animal cruelty in front of you and your sister, he made you witness abuse, which is also a form of terrorizing. When he calls you names and tells you that you won't amount to anything, that's called rejecting. When a child grows up with these messages, that child believes them, even though those messages are lies. And they ARE lies. You are NOT a "screw up". After reading your story, I find you to be bright and articulate, and a very loving, caring and compassionate person; it oozes out of every paragraph. Be proud of all of your achievements, because you have a right to be proud of them. I would take the word of the people at school before I'd take the word of a man who finds it necessary to terrorize everyone around him. I know you love your father; I don't want to change that. What I do want is for you to understand that you are not the person he's made you out to be. On some level, I believe you know that. You just need to dig down to get to that level.

Regardless of what your parents lived through growing up, that does not give them license to abuse you and your sister. If anything, that is a reason for them know and do better with their own children. Your father is still stuck in his own childhood. When he says those horrible things to you, he's really saying them about himself. Well-adjusted and stable people do not ever feel the need to degrade others, especially their precious children. Your father is a very troubled man. He didn't break the chain and stop the cycle of abuse.

See Part 2: A number to call... below.

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

Dec 07, 2008
Part 2: A number to call...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

You didn't say in what country you live. If you're in the USA, I urge you to contact Child Help at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) in order to talk to someone about the abuse you are still dealing with. They are staffed 24/7 with professionally trained counsellors who will listen to you. They are not a reporting agency, although they can help you through the process of reporting if you decide to disclose the abuse you and your sister are dealing with. You BOTH deserve so much better, dear. You really do. And I for one do not believe your family would be better off without you. You are special, even if they don't know that yet.

Thank you for sharing you story with my visitors and me.

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

Dec 07, 2008
My Story
by: Aliza Hausman

I really feel for you. I ran away at 17 years old. The worst part was that I had to leave my younger sisters. Four years later, I came back and I managed to kidnap one sister and help another escape. You're in a really tough situation. I wish you the best of luck.

Dec 07, 2008
been there
by: touched2mysoul

I have been there ... you describe my past as a teenager with my mother... very similiar..
you deserve better... i pray that you find that which will set you free..
god bless

Dec 19, 2008
Animal abuse.
by: Scott N.S Canada

I grew up in a very old fashioned family.My father was what you might call old school.My comment is in regards to animal abuse.Adults use this form of terror on children,and it works very well.When I was young,maybe 5-7.I ,we, had a dog.I loved my dog.He dug holes in the yard.My father took out the rifle and.....killed the dog,in front of us.I know what you mean when you say it made you sick.Sick with fear.Many years later I learned to hunt.I felt it my duty to honor my ancesters.I wanted to know the true nature of putting real food on the table.Not store bougth.Im glad I learned that skill.I wanted to understand,long after my fathers passing,what he and my forefathers did for food long before supermarkets.I came from a fishing village.Through it all I have developed a connection with nature.I have a respect for nature and a respect that all living things have their role to play in the world.I have a dog of my own.One of many I have rescued and given a better life over the years.I will tell you this,I hate animal abuse.I have witnessed it first hand many times.My dog digs many holes in my yard.I encourage it,it is his yard to do as he pleases.He buries his toys.If anyone comes into my yard and touches my dog......Well lets just say I love him.He's not nasty.He is kind,I made him that way.He will pass on one day like all my other pets.Just what message are we sending to our children.

Jan 09, 2009
broken soul
by: Anonymous

i really feel you

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