Comments for Child Abuse Story From Nancy

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Oct 11, 2007
Witnessing abuse IS a form of abuse
by: Darlene Barriere

Oh Nancy, your pain is so exceedingly evident. I understand it all too well.

What you described in your story is called "witnessing" and is considered a form of "terrorizing" under Emotional Abuse. The guilt you felt, and still feel, is shared by virtually everyone who has in some way witnessed abuse by seeing it, hearing it, or simply knowing that abuse was happening to another family member. The person does not have to be present to be witnessing: You could have been at school, knowing your father was beating your mother; it would still be considered witnessing. My page at Types of Emotional Abuse is a good place to visit for more information, Nancy. I hope you'll read the whole page; I think you'll find it beneficial. Just know you are not alone.

Experts have come to realize that witnessing abuse, in many ways, is more devastating emotionally than being on the direct receiving end of abuse. But make no mistake, when a child witnesses abuse, it is a form of abuse against the child who bears witness to it. Feelings of helplessness and powerlessness are what make witnessing abuse so unbearable. Many victims, such as yourself, Nancy, would much rather deal with the pain of the beatings than with the feelings of being powerless to help a sibling or parent. Those feelings of powerlessness stay with you forever, unless you find a way to put them in perspective, unless you find a way to deal with the emotional trauma.

Your father targeted your sister in particular; that is not unusual for abusers. I won't go into detail about targeting here, Nancy, because I'm in the middle of writing an article about it for my next e-zine issue. I just wanted you to know that your gut feelings about the whole issue are likely quite correct.

Your father was a dangerously jealous man who took his perverse rage out on his family with unmistakable violence. You have no ownership in that. NONE. You cannot blame yourself for telling him that the man had brown hair. You are caught between two segments of yourself: the rational adult who can see it for what it really is (that you were a child), and the still-emotionally distraught little girl who blamed herself for everything that went wrong. Nancy, he would have found another reason to beat your mother, no matter what you said. It was all part of his game. Only his "game" left you with agonizing guilt and unbearable feelings of responsibility. And the fact that your mother asked you why you said what you said only added to that guilt and self-blame.
You keep reliving this over and over and over, but in doing so, you keep giving your father the power he's always had over you. He doesn't deserve to have such a presence in your life. Take back your power, Nancy. Please, try to find a counsellor who can help you with all of this. You are worth it. And so is your son.

Oct 11, 2007
abuse
by: Anonymous

im so sorry this happened

Oct 11, 2007
He Must Stop Now
by: Francine

Nancy, I believe you and I'm so sorry about your dad. My dad would hit me at times, too, but not his wife at least. I will always pray for you, your mother, your brothers and your sisters all night long (and whoever will be next). You, your mom, your brothers and your sisters deserve for your dad to say, "I am wrong. I'm very, very, very wrong. I'm so sorry". You might want to try some couselling.

Oct 12, 2007
About my father.
by: Nancy

I just wanted to say my father died of bone cancer,I never would have told anyone about what he'd done if he was still alive,my mom died a couple of months ago also.At the funeral I saw my beloved sister who I haven't seen in nearly 10 years,all 90 some pounds of her.I think all of this is why I was interested in this web site when I stumbled across it a few weeks ago.So,I just wanted to let you know like the Bible says in the book of Romans "the wages of sin are death" and my fathers been paid in full.

Oct 19, 2007
You are brave
by: andrea

Dear Nancy,
You are so brave. I'm sorry you ever had to go through something so horrible. I hope you and your family are doing much better now. God bless you and your family.

Oct 21, 2007
5 stars for pushing through
by: Anonymous

Dear Nancy,
You are one of the bravest people I will ever know. Child abuse is horrible and sickening and you have had to endure more than any person should have to. I admire your strength and courage to be able to come out and tell your story.

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