Comments for Child Abuse Story From Linda B

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Apr 22, 2009
Part 1: Similar lives...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Linda, I can relate on so many levels. As a full grown adult, it took me years to not react with nausea, shaking and despairing apprehension when my husband took his belt off at the end of the day, for exactly the same reason you described: my father used his belt with great regularity, and so did my mother. She used to make me strip down naked for the beatings. My father would strap us all, but with my brothers, he'd strap them till they shit themselves.

I too cleaned like a slave, but not so much because of my father. My mother was the perfectionist. My mother was the one that was never satisfied with anything I did. Chrome had to sparkle. Floors had to shine. Dishes had to line up in military precision: mug handles saluting to the left; cups tallest to the back, smallest to the front; plates stacked even at left and right back and front, largest on bottom smallest on top. Everything had to be shipshape, everything had to be perfect. But perfection wasn't possible. I was beaten every day for sins she made up, for not being "perfect" in my attempt to make her happy.

I too did laundry in a wringer washer and hung clothes in the middle of winter in a city (Winnipeg) known for its continuous minus 30 degree days during the winters. I remember having to bring in the stiffened clothes and fumbling and faltering as I tried to bend them (God forbid, without snapping them into pieces and without getting them dirty on the floor) to fit on the hopelessly small wooden indoor clothes rack so they would dry, all because my mother wanted that "outdoor smell". Bed sheets were impossible. I had scars on my body from her violent use of the belt by the time I was 6 years old. I was the mother to my siblings long before that.

See Part 2: Overcoming abuse... below.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Apr 22, 2009
Part 2: Overcoming abuse...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Everyone's journey is different, Linda. For me, in order to overcome the abuse, I first had to tell myself that I was now safe, that neither my mother nor my father could ever hurt me again. I had to change the way I thought; and when I changed what I thought, I automatically changed how I felt.

When it came to the belt, at first, I had to talk myself down from the physical and emotional reactions I had when my husband removed his belt as a normal part of his daily routine. Then I had to tell myself that the belt wasn't nefarious; it had been my parents who were the culprits in their use of it. The belt would never hurt me again.

I also had to draw a line in the sand and distance myself from my parents. I had to learn to give myself all the things I never got from them.

But mostly, I had to drop the torch that I had taken from my mother...because there came a point where I realized (it was pointed out to me in therapy) I was doing to myself exactly what my mother had done to me. I was "beating" myself up each and every day for my failures and imperfections. Not with a belt, but with my thoughts and expectations. I had the benefit of 10 months of therapy in order to get me well on my way. It's one of the reasons I so often make the suggestion to my visitors that they seek out some form of counselling for themselves.

Perhaps my sharing with you today, Linda, will give you a starting place on your own path toward healing and recovery. You're certainly worth it and you've certainly earned it. Just don't ever forget how strong you really are. After all, you survived brutal abuse in childhood and you found a way out of a violent marriage. Not only that, even though you came from terrible adversity, you had enough intestinal fortitude to find a "good man" to spend your life with. Don't you see, Linda? You've already more than started to overcome abuse. Give yourself the credit you deserve.

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

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Apr 22, 2009
I Can Relate...
by: Francine

Linda B and Darlene, I can relate; both of my parents are perfectionists, and, even to this day, they still expect me to be like them and to be EXTREMELY perfect. They always made me clean up like a work horse everyday, and they drill me to lots of table manners (yes, this includes chewing with my mouth closed, using forks and knives on everything, even finger foods) until I cried. I also had to do things nicely or else I'd actually meet my fate (beatings and screaming, to be exact). They also used to drill me on every homework until I cried. They also often say horrible remarks to my face whenever I'd get bad grades, and when if I'd get a "B" instead of straight "A's", they'd still put me down anyways. I also dread posing for photos whenever they'd get a chance to snap a camera cuz they would be mad at me and sometimes even berate me for "not smiling nicely" and for "not smiling naturally", as I was always expected to. Well, let me tell you one thing: the only thing that I'm really perfect at is making friends, my one and only social life, and I must say that both of my parents and even my brother are often literally jealous of my beauty and popularity, I guess.

Sorry, but I must get this off my chest.

Back to you, Linda B. Have you tried counselling yet? I'm sorry that you didn't have a good dad.

Apr 22, 2009
How did they do it? Why? in the name of what? Not LOVE. Not respect, I was only their child.
by: Maurice

Linda B. Darlene, Francine, My comment begins with what are for me real questions. That every abused child/teenager/adolecent asks over and over again. for month's years a life time. Thankfully all three of you can relate, idetify but all beautifully unique in trying to understand it all today and it's effects on you. Thanks to you Darlene, you give great hope and healing with your telling of your own real life story and how you have arrived at a caring loving chapter of your life's journey. Having gotten help professionally, being brave, being strong to be able to let go and live your life to the full and now emphatise with each one who visits your site. Your always caring and understanding comment each suited in respect of the person relating their story. You sure are a healing power for each one to begin to believe in themselves. Belts and beatings seem to go hand in hand. hand/fists likewise. Oh the shame of on the Father/mother mostly the father who used both to wound an innnocent child for life. Ignorance is not an excuse, drink is not an excuse, being poor/rich does not give any father/mother the right to treat their lovely innocent children like slaves or punch bags. Linda B what you went through not too many animals would have done that to each other. Oh Linda please begin to like yourself, begin to love yourself and now your two lovely children. There flesh of your flesh love them. The man/father/animal who abused you is not fit to be called a human being. I'M ANGRY AT THESE PEOPLE WHO PUT THE THREE OF YOU THROUGH HELL BY THE ABUSE THEY METED OUT ON YOU. battered and bruised for what? evil ego maniacs these people were. brutal to you, in the name of LOVE. Thankfully Linda B, Francine and indeed myself found Darlene Haven for us to be there for each other in a safe invironment emphatising genuinely with love and care in a real and natural way. Thank you Darlene. Linda B. Francine surround yourselves with people you trust and who love you unconditionally. God be with you all.

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this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
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