Comments for Child Abuse Story From Rebbeca P

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Oct 29, 2008
I SEE a woman with self-respect...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Rebbeca, your childhood may well have left you "with very low self image and respect" but you found self-respect somewhere along the way; you were able to release yourself from the ties of a husband who was every bit as heinously abusive as the man who was supposed to be your father. Congratulations on finding that presence of mind. I don't see your situation as taking you 16 years to become abuse free. I see an amazingly strong woman who, despite having endured a lifetime of horrific abuse, had the remarkable courage to stand up for herself and get out of an abusive relationship. I see an amazingly resilient woman who, despite never learning self-respect as a child, evidently learned self-respect as an adult when she had the wherewithal to leave. Give yourself the credit you deserve. From where I sit, you've definitely earned it.

As for getting angry...I believe that if you're meant to get angry, you will; everything in its own time, and not one moment sooner.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me, Rebbeca. Before I sign off, I must add one more thing: I do hope you are going through this discovery and recovery process under the ongoing care of a counsellor. If you're not seeing a counsellor regularly, I strongly recommend enlisting in the services of one who has experience with survivors of child sexual abuse. A professional can help you put the pieces together much quicker than if you are trying to do so on your own. You're certainly worthy of that kind of help.

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

Oct 30, 2008
You are strong.
by: Anonymous8

I don't have much to say, but I do want to tell you that you are very strong for leaving you abusive relationship. You deserve much better.

Nov 01, 2008
To Darlene:
by: Rebecca P

Hi Darlene, Thank you so much for you kind response. I thought first I would reply to you on a few things you mentioned. Yes I am seeing a counsellor and she is amazing, but I have to write mostly for her as the pain the physical responses I get when I try to say the words is too much. It will be a long road and I am trying my hardest not to give her reason to stop seeing me and proving that I am not worthy, but it is really hard to believe I deserve her kindness. Sorry to disappoint but it was not my self-respect or presence of mind that gave me the ability to leave a sixteen year abusive marriage. It was the thing I longed for so much in my childhood - it was the strongest love of all "A mothers love" My 7 year old daughter cried and told me how much she hated herself and that she couldn't stand to look at herself in the mirror, both her and her 5 year old brother who was being a selective mute at school, still wet the bed and never slept through the night. It was the love I felt for my children, the need to protect them that gave me the ability to leave. If it was just for me I would not have been able to do it, it was really hard he believes I was and will always be his property so he will not let me go, he is almost constantly still trying to make me go back. But my children and doing so much better now and I would never go back no matter how hard he makes it for their sake. From the day I become a mother I vowed to do everything opposite to what my mother did. If I had of told my mother that I hated myself I would have been punished for being so self centred. When I started to self hurt and was sent to a counsellor by my school all she was worried about is what people would think of her. She tried to object to the counsellor so the school did it behind her back. I was very lucky I had people willing to take risks for me, I just didn't realise how lucky I was at the time and kept my wall up strong and high.

Nov 01, 2008
A reply to your comments above...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

My position on this has not change one iota, Rebecca. No matter what you say, you will not succeed in swaying me. Regardless of what brought you to your senses, you WERE brought to them. Regardless of the reasons you actually LEFT your abusive husband, you ACTUALLY left him. Regardless of what you THINK of your motives for keeping him away from you and your children, it took and continues to take, a great deal of courage. And yes, self-respect too; because without self-respect, regardless of the driving force (the love for your children), you would not have acted. Rebecca, you've read enough stories on this site to realize that all too often mothers don't ever act in the best interest of their abused children. All too often they stay in the abusive relationship and leave their children exposed and terrorized. You are looking at your situation in a way that is much more cruel than the reality of it. You see, by taking action to protect your children, you in effect took action to protect you as a little girl the way no one ever did. Change what you THINK, you'll change what you FEEL.

I strongly urge you to discuss this further with your counsellor. And trust me when I tell you that she is definitely not going to ever find you unworthy. You said: "I am trying my hardest not to give her reason to stop seeing me and proving that I am not worthy, but it is really hard to believe I deserve her kindness." What you describe here is not about your therapist, it's about your mother; it's called transference. Talk to her about this too. Doing so could be a major breakthrough for your therapy. It certainly was for me when I was in therapy 25 plus years ago.

And you're welcome, Rebecca. I meant—and still mean—every word I wrote.

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

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