Comments for Child Abuse Story From Cat

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Aug 17, 2008
You MUST stop treating yourself the way your father treated you...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmster

Cat, the first thing I'll say to you is that you deserve to treat yourself better than the way your father treated you. You are way too precious NOT to!

Secondly, I am very glad to learn you are in counselling. You are DEFINITELY worth that kind of help. Regardless of all the nasty and horrible things your father yelled at you, you ARE worthy. Your father has a problem with alcohol; it has chemically altered his brain. That is not an excuse; it's an explanation. What's important for you to understand is that this is your father's problem, not yours. You did not deserve to be neglected and you did not deserve to be yelled at and purposely terrified. The "game" he played with you and your brother was cruel and unfeeling. I can only imagine the sheer terror and horror you felt when you both thought your father was dead. And then to learn that he thought it WAS just a game, and one that ended in him yelling at you both; how utterly betraying for you and your brother. Just don't ever think this had something to do with you, because it didn't. Whatever demons haunt your father are not about you.

I can understand you being what you call "paranoid." You have every reason to be distrustful. But stay in counselling, Cat. I know you have difficulty trusting, but sometimes we have to risk trusting someone in order to get better. You're worth such a risk.

You said, "I finally found someone who actually cared, I ended up cheating on him and losing the only guy that ever truly cared about what happened to me." You made a mistake, Cat, a choice you regret. You must look at this as a lesson learned and one not to repeat in the future, not as a life sentence of regret and sorrow. There WILL be other caring guys, but you must first learn another lesson: Cat, I know you probably believe you cheated on him because you didn't care enough about him to treat him better; but the reality is that you didn't care enough about yourself to treat yourself with the dignity and respect you deserve. The boy had the self respect to not allow you to treat him with disrespect. Learn from him. Consider him your greatest teacher so far. And as I said above, stay in counselling. Think of counselling as your first step toward self-love; and you DO deserve to love yourself: you ARE lovable, in spite of what you think right now. The next step will be in no longer self-harming...one step at a time, Cat, one step at a time, even if they are baby steps.

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

Aug 17, 2008
From one generation to the next.
by: Peter H. Schmedding

This is so sad. It is, however, just another of those countless stories that leaves one feeling helpless. A father like that reported by cat must have learned such behaviour from HIS equally careless and clueless parents and so the line of guilt continues through previous generations.

In the way steps on the beach, after a while leave no trace behind, we will never know how cat's father was treated as a child. And yet, from the manner how he has been behaving gives us a reasonably clear picture.

In the wishful thinking department of my mind I can see a future world where parenting is taught in the elementary/primary years. The importance of how our treatment and attitudes toward the very young determines the likely outcomes once they reach adulthood would be instilled at school children's most impressionable age. Such a process would help breaking the chain of child abuse from generation to generation such as cat's father so convincingly demonstrated.

Aug 18, 2008
You are amazing, girl!!!
by: Linda Settles

Dear Cat,
It is evident from your letter that you will, and already are, rising above the terrible hurt and indignities of your past. You are so young, and yet you are miles ahead of many women who suffer abuse in terms of seeking the help you need and recognizing the damage that has been done to you. You have the courage to heal, and you will. It will take time, and energy. It will not happen quickly, but recovery offers its own reward along the way--just as the word implies. Just as a rescuer in a recovery mission goes bravely into a dangerous place and retrieves a life--so the survivor must do in order to heal. Most rescues are not attempted alone--and the rescue of our dignity, our self-worth, and our respect is more likely to be successful if we take a person trained for the part along with us. You have chosen to do just that--and I applaud you for it. You are an amazing girl!!!

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