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Jun 17, 2009
Part 1: Regardless of what others might say, It WAS a that bad...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Alex, when others say to you that what you endured wasn't all that bad, they simply don't understand the degree OR the effect that the punishments this woman inflicted on you were torturous for you as a child. People who pass such judgments are doing so as adults, forgetting that what might not be "so bad" through the eyes of an adult is horrible when inflicted on a child. But very often, such people are experiencing their own pain for their own stuff; and consequently, can't fathom the pain anyone else might be experiencing. The trick is to not allow such judgments to rile you or to stop you from getting the help you need to deal with what you were forced to endure as a child.

It is not at all surprising that you are only beginning to realize the impact your stepmother's pathologies had on you. Of course you wouldn't know that what she was doing was mistreatment when you were a child; you only knew what she allowed you to know. As a child, you couldn't know anything was wrong about the way she treated you, and of course you wouldn't feel anything but love for her because she convinced you that a loving mother does these things to her child...until you learned and knew better. Don't put adult values on what you believed as a child. That would be so unfair. You were a child; a powerless child. You believed as EVERY child would believe. Be kind to yourself, Alex. Be kinder than anyone else ever has been. You deserve that kindness. You did not deserve to be mistreated. You DO deserve to be told, even if you have to be the one to tell yourself, that you are worthy and lovable, and that you were—you ARE—worthy of dignity and respect. Your stepmother is in an institution, where she belongs, in part for what she did to you. But YOU don't have to be in an institution, Alex. You don't have to be a prisoner to what happened to you. You can choose to act in a way that will move you toward the path of healing and recovery.

See Part 2: The effects that have surfaced... below.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jun 17, 2009
Part 2: The effects that have surfaced...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Alex it is not at all uncommon for abuse survivors to suddenly realize just how deeply they were affected by their childhood adversity. What happens is that as we find ourselves entering into ages and stages throughout our lives, a particular event or series of events can trigger memories and lead to a re-living of those memories. All the emotions that are tied to those memories come flooding to the surface, threatening our ability to do everything, including our ability to even just breathe. And if that's not bad enough, once those floodgates are open, a tsunami of effects and emotions and memories further threaten to drown us in a sea of feelings we never knew we had, and then leave us desperately struggling to find a life line. This can be a very troubling time. But, Alex, it can also be a very opportunistic time.

You are exactly the same age I was when I came to the realization of just how seriously I was affected by my own past. I found the help I needed in the office of a psychiatrist, a doctor who was able to work with me and teach me the tools I needed in order to come to terms with what both my mother and father had put me through. It was grueling, and there were days I thought I would never stop crying (after I finally allowed myself to cry, that is), but the ten months I spent in sessions with this psychiatrist were SO worth it—I wrote about it in my memoir. I wholeheartedly recommend that you find a counsellor you can work with, someone who can help you deal with the effects. You are certainly deserving of that kind of help.

And yes, Alex, rest assured, your story can and will help others. Thank you for sharing it with my visitors and me.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir


Jun 17, 2009
Thank you
by: Alex B

Darlene,
Your words and understanding is so refreshing, as my own father chooses to not believe the past. It has been hard to cope as the only one that truly knows what I went through denies that it happened. Although ultimately he was the one to take the evidence, and show the courts exactly to what extent these punishments went to. I am realiZing now that although I grew up fast, and have bottled my emotions, I am falling behind the overall growth experience. I feel 18 but mentally it feels as I am in my 30s. I am going to seek professional help, and I applaud your wisdom and website as I hope it continues to help other victims.

From Darlene: Alex, you are so welcome. And just so you know, I don't see you as falling behind at all. I see you ahead of your years because you understand how important it is to deal with all of this. Your willingness to seek out professional help is a clear sign of that. I applaud YOU. And I wish you all the best.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jun 19, 2009
Only adults who weren't abused could make comments like that
by: maurice

Oh Alex B, your story is so real for so many who heard thae same words what you endured was not all that bad. over and over again one hears that being repeated in todays adult world. I believe anyone who was abused and who acknowledged they were abused would never say such a thing to any one of us. We sure know what happened to you and what you did endure was out and out abuse. By a woman too which makes it more painful to accept. She was a cruel and sadistic on your tenderness of skin and body. Alex B I always get a sense of hope for each one who finds and writes their very real abuse story to Darlene and her visitors. You too are very lucky and I believe and know you will benefit from all Darlene has written to you in her comments. She is a woman totally opposite to that horrid woman who abused you. Darlene can feel your feeling, the pain of the bruises on your sensitive skin. She is just a very special loving woman. Get all the help and support she suggests is very important to you. Begin simply by trusting your nearest and dearest friend who loves you to bits and wants you to be happy in your beatiful self. Let her/him or the the few hugg you, caress you, make human touch real and meaningful to you again. your body took so much pain and punishment that it will take you time to sooth and heal each bruise. Please look in that mirror and cream gently all those bruises over and away. The scars may stay with you but you can feel good being ever so gentle on yourself with plenty of tender loving care of yourself. Alex B hug yourself and that pretty person in the mirror. I love me, say it often, let it sink in and bring it out again over and over again. Think positive, act positive and be positive loving yurself. Live well, laugh alot, Love much.

Jun 22, 2009
The worst is over
by: Judy

Hello Alex - Thank God the worst for you is over. You have overcome what most of us can't even imagine. I hope you remain strong and determined because you have your whole life ahead of you. You had no choice in the life you lived as a child but you surely have a choice when it comes to the life you can live as an adult. Please take the kind words of Darlene and Maurice and apply them to good use. I believe your fathers denial is his way of not wanting to admit or deal with the fact the he allowed and opened the door for you to be abused--he turned a blind eye and let evil have its way with you. To deny wrongdoing is a way of people not wanting to deal with the issue or accept fault. God bless and keep you strong, determined, happy, and focused. Judy

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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.



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