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Dec 21, 2008
So much betrayal...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

As a child, witnessing child abuse is every bit as emotionally damaging (some would argue even more so) as being physically abused yourself. You were terrorized by the very people who were in charge of protecting and nurturing you and your sister. The fear would have been overwhelming, as you were terrified of what they would eventually do to your sister, and probably what they might do to you; and knowing how helpless and powerless you were to protect her (which you shouldn't have been in a position to think about, let alone act on) left you with even more overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame at not being able to step in and save her, or worse, that you didn't because of fear for yourself, fear that you were entitled to. Let me be clear here: You have NOTHING to feel guilt or shame for. NOTHING! The shame lies squarely on the shoulders of the twisted adults who were supposed to be caring for and loving you AND your sister. You didn't fail your sister; the adults in your life failed her AND you. And so did the system.

The fact that you were both in foster care in the first place likely tells its own abuse story that was filled with abandonment and betrayal; but when foster parent after foster parent went on to physically and emotionally abuse even further, each of them took yet another piece of you and your sister, a piece they had no right to. And each of those stolen pieces chipped away at the person you really were and the person your sister was, and left you both believing you were unlovable and unworthy.

I am here to tell you that BOTH you and your sister were—ARE—precious and lovable and worthy. Both of you deserved to have parents who loved you and hugged you and tucked you into bed every night and told you how special you were and did everything to ensure you were kept safe from harm. Whatever the "reason" your sister was targeted for abuse, it wasn't a good reason.

I do hope you are in some form of counselling, and I hope your sister is too. You both deserve the kind of help a counsellor can provide. Perhaps there are healing options available to you within your culture. If so, take advantage of them. Treat yourself better than anyone ever has.

Thank you for sharing yours and your sister's story with my visitors and me.

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

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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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