Comments for Child Abuse Story From Joy

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Feb 25, 2008
Conflicting emotions
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Joy, the conflict you are experiencing falls between your logical and emotional self. Emotionally, you believe your parents loved you, and still love you. That's partly because love is a basic need. As children, we need our parents to love us and we need to love them back. It's the nature of being human.

Your parents were terribly misguided and unfair in the way they doled out discipline, which left you with a great deal of anger, hatred, fear, frustration, etc. The emotional abuse left you scarred and questioning your worth. As with ALL types of abuse, physical abuse ALWAYS has emotional abuse attached to it, because the child feels rejected and terrorized when physical abuse is present. Add to that, the translated message of "You're so ugly" which translated yet again to "I AM ugly," you were given at least a double whammy of emotional abuse. Logically, you're asking yourself, how can I possibly feel love for people who hurt me so badly? It is quite common to feel both love and hatred for abusive parents, at the same time.

When parents use physical discipline, especially unfairly and in excess, they send mixed messages that have long-lasting side effects. You are not crazy or in any way flawed or weird for feeling the way you do. Your feelings are perfectly natural and understandable.

You've been trying to confront your parents about the abuse you suffered at their hands. I never recommend such confrontations. My August 2007 issue of Barriere Bits E-zine, (Issue #003) covered two topics I believe you'll find validating, Joy. My feature article identifies in more depth my position on Confrontations, and my Ask Darlene reply deals with What children really learn when they are spanked.

You do have to be a subscriber in order to gain access to the back issues. If you are a subscriber, a link that will give you access can be found toward the bottom of any of the e-zine issues in your Inbox. If you aren't a subscriber, How do I access a back issue of Barriere Bits E-zine will take you through the steps.

Forgiveness...forgiveness isn't about feelings of love and it isn't saying that whatever happened to you was okay. Forgiveness is about moving forward. It is about letting go of the past and the attached anger and hatred and conflicting emotions. But forgiveness must come on your terms. When you are truly ready to forgive your parents, you will no longer need to confront them.

Joy, try not to beat yourself up for the conflicting emotions you are experiencing. They really and truly are natural. I strongly urge you to discuss what I've written here with your therapist in order to help you further. You are worth it.

And Joy, you expressed yourself perfectly.

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

Feb 25, 2008
Same here
by: Francine

I know how you feel, Joy, and I understand what it's like for you to have such a disturbed father and an idiot mother. I have parents that are worse than that! My dad was very aggressive whereas my mother was prone to many violent episodes at times. I hope you got coundelling, Joy, cuz you're worth the help, and you are not ugly at all; you are beautiful; don't ever let anyone think otherwise! I wish you all the best, sweetie!

Mar 01, 2008
Abused
by: Anonymous

Joy, I read your story. I too grew up in a family where there was physical, mental and sexual abuse. I cannot remember any good times from my childhood only bad things. Being hit constantly, threatened and yes just recently confirmed that I was sexually abused. I am currently in a loving relationship and have 2 wonderful children. I am one of the lucky ones. I kept all these things within for the last 20+ years because I believed in some strange way I made them up but only recently when I pressed my sister she remembered someone coming in to do bad things and I crying. My message to you is keep the faith and believe you are a strong person and a SURVIVOR not a victim! God bless you in everything you do in life and keep the faith.

Mar 01, 2008
courage
by: Nancy

Dear Joy,
I admire your courage to tell your story. I am saddened by your parents' lack of support when you have asked them questions. I am hopeful that feedback from those of us who love you as well as those who are strangers can help you heal from your childhood abuse.

Mar 01, 2008
Applauding your courage
by: Louise

Dear Joy, when I read your blog sharing your abuse as a child I felt appreciation for your courage in sharing your story. Reading your story met my needs for connection and shared reality. I accept all of your feelings including confusion, love for and from your parents, frustration and anger, as well as compassion and forgiveness. I am grateful that a protective part of you spared you memories of experiencing the abuse of your mother. I understand that you may carry your siblings pain. I have confidence that you will find ways of releasing their pain. I believe that a person can truly love someone and act abusively to that person as well. I'm glad you felt their love. I experience you as a channel of divine love and am glad you receive it yourself. I have confidence that you are healing and that many others will benefit from this. Blessings.

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