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Jan 30, 2009
Part 1: Support during a difficult time...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Sam, I'm very glad your fifth grade teacher was such a support for you. And I'm delighted you're making friends and that your self-esteem and confidence are on the mend. You deserve that in your life.

Emotional abuse takes on many forms, Sam. You not only experienced rejection from your father, you also experienced terrorizing, and that terrorizing was made even worse when you witnessed your father hit your mother. Witnessing family violence has severe repercussions. You are the poster child for those repercussions. And by witnessing, I don't just mean seeing it with your own two eyes; witnessing can be hearing it, or just knowing that it is taking place, whether or not you are in the home at the time it is taking place. You've been placed in a role of having to care for you mother, a role that is not yours to shoulder. And while you love your mother with all your heart and would do anything for her, the fact is, your mother is the only one who can get herself up from the depths she finds herself in.

Your job, Sam, is to make go to school to get a good education and to make friends and to have fun and to do all the healthy, good-natured stuff that teenagers do. Yes, responsibility for a few things, like homework and chores around the house is important, but I'm talking about keeping your room clean and doing dishes, etc.; not being a caregiver to your mother. I understand that you want to be there for her, but you have to take care of yourself so that you can grow into the woman you were meant to be. I'm telling you this because if there ever comes a time when you are torn between doing what's right for you and doing what you believe is right for your mother, don't EVER feel as though you've abandoned your mother if and when you chose to put yourself first. Always remember that your mother is a grown up; and as such, she has the ability to make her own choices. You, dear, have to make choices that are healthy for you. NEVER feel guilty for that.

See Part 2: Your father... below.

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

Jan 30, 2009
Part 2: Your father...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

As for your father, he has a lot of problems; once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, Sam. Even if he isn't drinking, your father struggles with alcoholism every day of his life. Whatever drove him to the bottle in the first place doesn't seem to have been resolved in his life, at least not when he was such an emotional tyrant to you. Just so you know, his tirades about laundry or anything else he went off the deep end about had—have—nothing to do with you or the laundry or anything like that. His rages are about something in his past. Don't believe the lies he instilled in you. You ARE worthy, Sam. You ARE smart. Besides that, you are a loving, caring, full-of-gratitude, all-around terrific person. I'm so glad you have come to realize that people will love you just for being you. Your father just doesn't realize that you are the perfect daughter.

If you're the artist behind the picture you included above, you are also AMAZINGLY talented! Nurture and develop that talent, Sam, because it's a gift that should not be hidden away. It's not only the drawing itself with the use of colours; it's the way you've captured the emotions that speaks so profoundly. Thank you for sharing the artwork and your story with my visitors and me.

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

Feb 05, 2009
Sam-leave as soon as you can
by: Anonymous

Sam,

Something very similar happened to me when I was growing up except for one day the creep took his anger out on me. I was lucky enough to have a Uncle to live with after this incident. My Mother stayed in the relationship for 5-6 years and was constantly abused but never left until I did. What is sad now is that after 20 years I am still angry with her for not leaving earlier. You can't protect your mother-only she can by leaving!! Your Dad will never change.

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