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Jun 13, 2009
Part 1: Neglect can leave profound effects...
by: Darlene Barriere - Wembaster

Anna, it doesn't surprise me that you see yourself as an "extreme people-pleaser". This can happen when we come from homes that attempt to control all aspects of behaviour, right down to the food and quantity of it that is supplied. Whatever the issue was regarding food, it doesn't seem to have been due to a lack of money, not if your brother had an MP3 player. But perhaps it was. Either way, such controls over what your food intake was can certainly set you up for problems with boundaries, as well as eating disorders.

Try not to compare your story with that of others, Anna. It isn't about whether or not your situation was worse than someone else's, it's about the effects you've been left with and what you need to do in order to address those effects. The fact is, neglect can have profoundly devastating effects on a child; and those effects can last well into adulthood. Unless you seek out help.

See below for Part 2: Hunger and emptiness...

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 13, 2009
Part 2: Hunger and emptiness...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Anna, when I was a young girl, we were very poor. My father had difficulty finding work, and when he did it was sporadic and didn't pay nearly enough. With 5 children to feed and little or no income, we were on welfare during much of my first 9 years. Welfare meant our cupboards were frequently empty...and so were our stomachs. Whenever the 5 of us went somewhere where there was food, we stuffed ourselves, much like you and your brothers did that day at the church. My parents were not only embarrassed by what we did, we were severely punished for it, severely beaten for trying to survive, all because they were more interested in keeping up appearances than they were in addressing the problem. Yet we were only doing what comes naturally: feeding our hungry, almost starving bodies. And when there was food in the house, we ate everything in front of us. We would have licked the plates and pots and pans if we'd been allowed to. When my parents weren't looking, we DID. We even ate the apple cores when we were fortunate enough to have such a delicacy as fresh fruit. When there was plenty of food, we ate till we nearly made ourselves sick, because we never knew when the next proper meal was coming, IF it was coming. There was one spell that lasted 3 months where we ate only soggy puffed wheat with watered-down prepared powdered milk. There wasn't any sugar to make it even remotely palatable, but we ate every morsel. When our financial situation got better, it took the older ones of us kids a long time not to horde food or not to stuff ourselves to the point of nausea.

I share this with you because regardless of the reasons, when children (or adults) experience hunger, they go into survival mode. Your situation was made worse by the fact that your father seemed not to care that his children were always hungry. He seemed to WANT you to be hungry. He left an emptiness in you; and that left deep emotional wounds. And now you try to please others in an unconscious attempt to get them to fill that emptiness and give you what you didn't get from your father.

Anna, I learned that I had to fill that emptiness myself and on a spiritual level, and that others couldn't do it for me. I strongly recommend some form of counselling to help you with this. Trust in others WILL come back, when you learn to trust in who you really are.

Thank you for sharing your story 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 13, 2009
Hungry for LOVE hungry for food as a child
by: maurice

Oh yes Anna 2 felling hungry for both especially not understanding the reasons as to the why your Father did not seem to bother understanding you. Anna 2. you are a very articulate and intelligent person right now having written your story On Darlene's site, great you found it and great you had the courage to write and tell her and her visitors who do care for each other in a special way admittingly from a distance. You'll be fine, do begin to find the ways Darlene suggest to you and get help. Begin with loving yourself as you've never thought about. Like saying nice things about yourself, I am special, I am beautiful, I love the wonderful person I see in the mirror. Oh Yes Anna 2 once you begin saying positive things about yourself then you'll be feeding your mind with loving, caring true thoughts and beliefs about yourself. That in turn will help you to put all your thoughts about your Father in perspective. Hi think about what kind of flower you would like to be, I choose to be a Sun Flower many years ago when I was asked to think about the question. For a good part of my life I too only blossomed with a third of my life and the dark side of me were the petals I had not made sense of while as a child. I began making sense of my abuse years with a little help from my friends and my odd visits to professional people. So after a few years I pushed back all the petals to live my every day life to the full. Now i love myself and I blossom in the corner of the world I live. OK some of the petal close in on me from time to time when the memories return of my abuse. but I immediately think positive thoughts and push them back out again. Just think about that Anna 2. Darlene loves you equally as she does all her many visitors what she has said to you will help you to think positive, act positive and be positive about doing what she suggests. Hi Anna 2 say I can, I will, I must just for beautiful ME. Say to that gorgeous pretty princess in the Mirror I can accomplish anything I want in my life. No doubting yourself Anna 2.

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