Comments for Child Abuse Story From Jessica5 Part 1

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Jun 09, 2008
Denials are not unusual...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Jessica, what you described above was emotional abuse and neglect. Most children are petrified of dark basements, indeed, any place that's dark. It must have been terrifying to have been locked down there for punishment. Seeing your mother through the slats in the door was your only connection to the "safe" world. Even if your mother's reasons for putting you down there were not malicious, what she did was cruel. Such actions can be life-altering. Children can easily develop phobias and experience night terrors that last well into adulthood.

When you witnessed your parents fight, they changed who you were. Children blame themselves when their parents argue, because that is the nature of children; they find ways to blame themselves for everything that is going wrong around them. Just in case you don't realize, Jessica: What happened in your home when you were growing up was not your fault. Your parents owed it to you and your siblings to create a loving, caring and nurturing environment. Instead, they got caught up in childish and petty games with each other, all at the expense of their precious children.

You confronted your mother about some of what she did to you. Her denials did not come as any great surprise. I'm not an advocate of confrontations with abusers for this very reason. Confrontations are often rife with denials, minimizations, or even worse, pointing the finger of blame toward the victim. They only serve to re-victimize. Trying to make the abuser confess to what they did is pointless and often crazy-making, because the abuser refuses to accept their wrongdoings, they refuse to take responsibility and be accountable for their actions. These conflicts usually end in either emotional or physical violence. I had to face this reality many years ago when I confronted my own mother. Not only did she outright deny that she had beaten me with a belt to the point of near-unconsciousness for saying something that I never did say, she told me she gave me a few "good swats on the ass...what I deserved," then further went on to place herself in the role of victim by sobbing and asking me, "Why do you always do this to me?" It was a lesson I learned the hard way, a lesson that I was only able to unravel while on the couch of my psychiatrist's office. You too might find a therapist helpful in unraveling your emotional turmoil, Jessica. You're certainly worth the effort.

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

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