Comments for Child Abuse Story From Sarah M

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Aug 22, 2008
You were neglected...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Sarah, your parents did not provide you with the basic needs. Neglect IS a form of child abuse. The effect of this neglect was ultimately sexual abuse by adult offenders and sexual assault by adolescent males. Your parents weren't there to protect you; you stated they didn't even know what was going on with your life. It was their job to know, Sarah. It was their responsibility to know.

As an adolescent you did not understand boundaries; nor could you predict the consequences of your actions (such as hitchhiking, and getting in a vehicle with a stranger you thought was going to help you, etc.). There is a very logical reason that adolescents are considered minors and require parental supervision. Adolescents are not adults; they are learning to become adults. But without the benefit of loving, caring, nurturing parents or guardians to help them become that adult, adulthood becomes an emotional nightmare. You needed your parents to teach you appropriate boundaries and you needed them to keep you safe from harm. They didn't do their job because they were self-absorbed; and while I'm all for parents becoming self-aware, it can never be at the expense of their child's safety. Their neglect left you looking for love, and set you up for further abuse.

Having said all this, you are now an adult. And as an adult, you have to take responsibility for the choices you make. You have to take the reins and teach yourself self-respect, because you deserve respect, Sarah. Not only do you deserve respect, you also deserve to be loved. You ARE lovable. You ARE beautiful. You ARE worthy. When you teach yourself these important lessons, the rest comes easier.

You must understand that the reason you are overeating is to protect yourself. Because of child neglect, your life has gotten all muddled up. You probably believe, at least on some level, that if you're heavy no one will take advantage of you. You probably use food for comfort. After all, food will never reject you, it will never use you for sex, and it certainly won't ever make you perform heinous acts. I know this, Sarah, because I lived it once myself.

And just for the record, you have NOTHING to feel shame for. To feel shame about the choices you made as a child is to apply adult values to a precious young girl who was neglected in a way that left her helpless to protect herself in the real world.

You said you "overwhelm most therapists"...I don't buy it; I think you believe you aren't worthy of the help a therapist can provide you. But you ARE worthy. You'll NEVER convince me otherwise.

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

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