Comments for Child Abuse Story From Jessica G

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May 14, 2008
We could have had the same father...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Jessica, of course you love him. He's your FATHER, he was your "knight in shining armor." You remember some of the good times: perhaps his face lit up when you went running to greet him as he came home from work, excitedly calling out to him, "Daddy, Daddy"; perhaps he taught you how to ride the two-wheeler that had been sitting in the garage waiting for you to learn since Christmas; perhaps he played rough-and-tumble, giving you piggy-back rides throughout the house as you shrieked with gleeful delight and begged him to "Do it again, Daddy."

The duality of your father is crazy-making. It leaves you in turmoil and second-guessing the reality of your hell. But it IS reality. You are not exaggerating. Don't minimize what you've lived. You've paid—and continue to pay—an untold emotional price for living in that hell.

Your father has serious anger management problems, problems that likely stem from his own unresolved childhood; that was—and still is the case with my father. And restraining order or not, you have every reason to live in fear of his simmering anger. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour; and your father HAS shown his volatile side on too many occasions for you to not be guarded.

As for the restraining order, I'm a bit shocked by the laws of New York State. A restraining order, such as the one issued against your father, issued in an attempt to control his violent behaviour when he is still living in the same house as those the restraining order is intended to protect? I keep asking myself, by what logic was such an order issued? Do the powers that be really and truly believe that a simple piece of paper with an authority's signature on it will miraculously put an end to unchecked rage? I sincerely hope that along with that restraining order came an order for him to attend some form of counselling.

Regardless of the situation with your father, I strongly urge YOU to seek out some form of counselling, Jessica. Counselling can help you deal with the emotional residue of what you've lived through. If you must, consider it a practicum toward your goal of becoming a psychologist; which is a very admirable goal, by the way. Sounds to me as though you are planning to turn pain into power; I applaud you for that!

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

May 14, 2008
Your father's demons WILL haunt him...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Jessica, you said, "I hope that one day he will be able to see what he has let himself become and what his actions have done to our family."

That "one day" is right now coming to pass with my own father. He's approaching 79, and in very poor health. As his body weakens and he faces his own mortality, he is forced to face the demons and the lonely consequences of his violent ways toward his children and the women in his life. His regrets are numerous.

I hope that YOUR father doesn't wait until his pending death to face what must be faced. He will miss out the best of years to come with his precious daughter if he does wait.

But you, Jessica, you live your life. Don't wait for your father to do the right thing. If he does, all the better for everyone concerned. But no matter what he does or doesn't do, live your own life to the fullest and enjoy every moment it has to offer. You are worth that, dear, you really are.

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

May 21, 2008
Oh my God!
by: Elaine

Oh my God, Jessica...

It's practically uncanny, I cannot believe how similar your experiences and mine are! It's disgusting, and really sad, to think that there are SO MANY parents like ours out there...

Your dad and mine might have been twins (Twins of Evil)! The things you describe in your story remind me of many things that went on in my own family. The teasing, the torment, the goading, the nit-picking and fault-finding, the constant arguments. I can empathise with you, as I remember all too clearly just what it felt like, growing up in a household of constant shouting and bickering, of petty rules and regulations, of massively high expectations and constantly moving "goalposts". I remember the hurt and the misery I felt, when I was made to believe that the arguments were "my fault", when I was told I wasn't good enough, or my grades at School weren't "up to standard"... I know, too, what it feels like never to be hugged or comforted, to be told I'm ugly, to feel worthless, unwanted and a failure... AND ALL OF THIS because of the actions of my parents.

I am so very sorry that you found yourself in this situation, too. It's pathetic that parents, people who are adults, can behave in this petty, insensitive manner. It's ridiculous the number of excuses that are trotted out for their doing so. But excuses like these are NEVER acceptable. ALL parents should know better than to inflict pain and suffering on their poor, defenceless children. ALL parents should know that as adults, they are responsible for their own actions, and have a responsibility to love, protect and support their children. ALL parents should know that their problems should not be permitted to affect their children. Children ARE NOT scapegoats!

And you know, like I do, that the saddest thing of all is that we are just ordinary people. People who wanted and deserved a "normal", happy life . People who wanted to be cared for, and wanted to care for others. We cannot choose our families like we do our friends, but we still want to have loving families. Despite what we have been put through, we cling onto the hope of change. We still love our parents.

This is NOT a crime. I love my parents, despite what I have been through. After all, they are the only parents I'll have. But DO NOT blame yourself for anything that's happened. Seek help... Counseling if you can. Talk things through, learn to love yourself. It may help you to read about some of my experiences in the Open House (Elaine's Room). Whatever you choose, I wish you all the very best. Good luck..

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