Comments for Child Abuse Story From Benjamin

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Jan 14, 2009
So much abuse, so little help...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Benjamin, witnessing family violence is one of the most difficult types of emotional abuse for a child to recover from. Not only were you frightened for the safety of your mother, your siblings and yourself, you felt helpless and powerless as you watched your "ten-foot-tall" father take out his anger on your less-able-to-protect-herself mother. This was a terrorizing incident that was probably repeated in your home.

As for the verbal abuse (emotional abuse) and physical abuse you endured at the hands of your mother when you were having difficulties in school, I can relate. In my family, the boys were compared to the girls when it came to school marks; and while us girls tended to get better grades and reports from school, that did not preclude us from getting smacked in the head repeatedly for not knowing an answer quickly, never mind knowing it at all. Our parents were warped in their belief that striking us in the head would somehow clear it for the right answers. But in truth, those strikes had nothing at all to do with answers; it was about them venting their frustrations on us. It was about them attempting to control every aspect of our being; and if we didn't measure up to what they set the standard at (a standard that wasn't a standard at all, but rather, a never-ending series of rules that changed without notice) a smack to the head was followed by much more severe punishment: My father strapped us until we'd crap ourselves. I can certainly understand how growing up as we did—as YOU did—left you "a mess". The reality is, our parents were an even worse "mess". I can't speak for your parents, Benjamin, but mine were filled with regrets on their deathbeds. I won't go into analysis of all that.

Based on what happened with the school, I'd say you probably grew up around the same time I did. Teachers of that era were clueless about how their tests and labels truly affected the children in their classroom. The teacher had the audacity to actually state that you were of lower intelligence based on some idiotic test result; that ridiculous statement would have had more to do with a lack of so-called "intelligence" than any test could determine, messing around with your self-esteem like that, not to mention how lacking in intelligence the statement itself was. Shame on them! But as far as I can tell, you proved them oh so wrong.

See Part 2: No longer "a mess"... below.

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

Jan 14, 2009
Part 2: No longer "a mess"...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

You said, "If it wasn't for the grace of God, [I] would still be a mess; but because of what Jesus has done in my life I am totally free. Praise God." I am delighted you found peace in your life. You've earned it. You deserve it.

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

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

Jan 14, 2009
Such cruelty...
by: Francine

Benjamin, what your parents did to you was and still is horrendous. Oddly enough, I went through the same thing, minus the spousal abuse. The homework thing...yes, I can relate; while homework is never anyone's favorite part of the day, I dreaded it as a kid. My mom used to drill me on science facts, math facts, spelling words, grammar, projects, reading huge books that I don't understand (and definitely writing reports on them), my own handwriting and vocabulary until I cried. She also would often beat the crap out of me over every homework; she always proudly claimed that I was "bullheaded" and that she would always beat me up over it until I "knew it by heart". Whenever I was learning cursives, I always had to write lots of paragraphs in pen and I always had to write in eraseable pens only. No regular pens without erasers ever...and definitely NO GEL PENS, EVER. I always had to keep writing several times before my cursive, along with my handwriting, was neat enough, my spelling good enough, my project creative enough, math problems clear enough, science facts meaningful enough and grammar acceptable enough to turn in every next class. Sometimes she would LITERALLY rip up all my freaking homework into pieces, and whenever that happened, I always had to start from scratch. Even as I got older, she still insisted in "helping" me with my homework every stinking day anyway. I also always had to write in cursives only; no handprinting, ever. I always usually ended up crying while being yelled at and also while being beaten. From those days and years on, I was so scared to even sleep. Literally. That is how I can relate with that homework part. Anyways, you might want to try counselling cuz you are worth the help that you need. I wish you all the best. As for your mom, she really needs help, too. Maybe a nice, friendly trip to the therapist might help her. Good luck!

Jan 16, 2009
You sound pretty smart to me!
by: Linda

Benjamin, If you have Jesus in your life, Your are a very smart man. Our Lord knows what you can do. He saved my soul and brought me out of great despair. I was fifty-one years old before I took any steps to getting over my childhood abuse. I happened up on this website by accident, because I was teaching myself how to use a computer. I isolated myself from the world and didn't associate with other people because I was so damaged emotionaly. I started reading these abuse stories and it dawned on me I wasn't alone with my terrible family secret and neither are you. I think the Lord chose Darlene Barriere as a special messenger to get the message out to child abuse victims. Thank you God and thank you , Darlene. Benjamin, keep your faith in God and trust in him, he'll get you to a better place because your worth it.++

Jan 28, 2009
it breaks my heart...
by: Anonymous

what your parents did to you is deestating. I cant even begin to explain how i felt reading your story. It made me tear up. It breaks my heart knowing that a parent could treat there child that way. Dont let anything anybody said to you in your past effect your future. The things they said were crule and disrespectful. You are not stupid. dont ever let anybody tell you differently, ok? the things you wittnessed and the things that happened to you are terrible. You were physically and emotionally abused. I highly reccomend that you seek counceling. There are many people out there who are willing to listen to you and help you in an way they can. Telling your story to everyone on this website is a good start. I wish you luck and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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