Comments for Child Abuse Story From Aidan

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Nov 18, 2007
Understanding, yes; excuses, no
by: Darlene Barriere - webmaster

I admire the fact that you show understanding for your father's brutal method of disciplining you, Aidan. But what he did WAS abuse. The test of abuse is not "intent" on the part of your father; it's the fact that he used a belt to the point of leaving purple marks from the middle of your back almost down to your knees; and that he used this abusive form of discipline for actions you had no control over.

There are elements to your story that you did not go into. For example, the emotional trauma you had to endure during those vicious beatings, and afterwards, when you would be blaming yourself for what your father did to you. You see, Aidan, he didn't just leave you with physical marks; he left you with emotional scars. When he apologized for "having to do it" before he started, he in essence blamed you for HIS actions. I'm sure that's not what he intended, but that IS how you as a child would have interpreted the message.

Do I think that understanding why your father did what he did to you is healthy for you? That depends. What concerns me here is that rather than dealing with the emotional trauma of your past, you are coping by making excuses for what he did. For the sake of your mental health, you have to understand that there can be no justification for the beatings he gave you. He really should have known that the beatings were way over the top. The marks on your back should have been enough to make him understand that, and those marks should have made him stop, period. If you are justifying what he did to you, Aidan, you are doing yourself a disservice. If you don't deal with the residual of your abusive childhood, then it will manifest itself in other areas of your life, such as relationships, ability to trust, not to mention your disciplinary skills and ability to relate with your own children, plus a host of other areas.

Do I think you should hate your father? Absolutely NOT! Based on what you've written, I sincerely believe your father does love you and that he was terribly misguided. That doesn't change the fact that you have emotional trauma to deal with.

The interesting thing about "dealing" with your past, rather than just "coping" with it, is that with the latter, you stand a far greater chance of having BOTH resolution of the emotional stuff AND understanding for your father. I think you both deserve that kind of healing.

Nov 18, 2007
reply to Darlene
by: Aidan

Hi, Darlene, thank you for your comments. I have to let it sink in a little. I never thought about it this way before, but it's true that I always felt that I not only was responsible for causing the beatings, but also the sadness that my Dad felt. I've always thought I was fortunate because even though my Dad beat me, we did also have a lot of good times, a lot of laughs. I think of abusers as being mean and abusive all the time and not loving their kids. But as my own children are getting to the age that I was when my Dad was hitting me, I'm starting to realize that it must have hurt me in some way. My older boy is eight years old, and he's never had to feel that dread of what's going to happen. He's never had trouble paying attention in school because he's in pain. I can imagine how heartbroken he would be if I ever raised a hand to him. Looking at this healthy, happy boy that I'm raising, it's hard for me to understand how my Dad, who is a good guy in other ways, hurt me when I was my son's age. I'm trying to make sense of it, but some of my thoughts about it are still too painful to admit.

Nov 18, 2007
Sympathy
by: Francine

I'm so sorry that this happened to you. I think you and your Dad might want to try a lot of counselling.

Nov 18, 2007
Truly heartbreaking
by: MARY ANN

first of all i am sorry you had to endure that pain.[tears] but some people who were abused abuse others because they simply don't know any other way and believe me when i say there is truly NO excuse for harming a child in any way but im glad you have forgiven him. God bless you in all you do.

Dec 10, 2007
HELPFUL
by: Anonymous

I think this is usegull information to those fathers and xhildren who either used to go through that or still do i also don't think it is the fathers fault and shouldn't get punished just helped. He might have been raised like that or maybe that is what he was taught to do i understand that and wish i could help fathers like that but don't even know where to begin....that was a great story....thanks for sharing it....

Jul 02, 2009
wrong
by: Anonymous

Hitting a child with a belt is very very very very
wrong. I'm glad your dad got a girlfriend who does not believe in that. I believe it's abuse.

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