Comments for Child Abuse Story From Steve

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Mar 07, 2008
Sympathy for your loss...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

My deepest condolences on the loss of your sister, Steve. She was so young.

As for your abusive mother, don't expect anything from her in the way of acknowledgment or remorse. I've said this many times, confrontations don't help survivors because they are wracked with denials, minimization, or "Get over it" statements that serve only to re-victimize.

While your father expressed remorse, I don't buy that he didn't know. There were signs, there had to be. The truth is, you and your sister were betrayed and abandoned by BOTH your parents. Your father had a duty to protect you from harm, just as your mother did. When the abuser of your children is your spouse, you find a way to keep your children from the harm that spouse inflicts. Period. No excuses.

You spoke of religion and forgiveness...Steve, forgiveness is NOT saying that what your mother did to you and your sister was okay; it WASN'T okay. Forgiveness is NOT opening up loving arms toward your mother; you don't ever have to see or speak to her again. Forgiveness is letting go of the anger and hostility. Forgiveness is saying "You no longer have power over me. What you did will no longer control all that I do and all that I want to do." You don't even have to say this to your mother. These are words and expressions you can say to yourself.

Steve, you had no choices as a child because your mother had all the power. You're 52 years old. She still has power over you because you allow it. Your mother's power over you (in the form of anger, hostility, even rage) isn't worth one more second of one more day of your life. She just isn't worth it, Steve. I speak from personal experience here. We are very close to the same age; we grew up in the same era. We could have had the same mother. The day I forgave my mother was the most liberating day of my life. It allowed me to move forward, really and truly move forward. I started to become more self-aware. My nightmares ceased. My body relaxed. My relationship with my husband deepened even further in trust and intimacy. I began to feel true joy. Steve, you're worth ALL those things.

I strongly urge you to enter into some form of counselling. A counsellor can help you unravel all the emotions that have wound themselves so intricately into you. You certainly deserve some peace in your life. Don't let your sister's death be for naught. You already believe she died in part because of the abuse you both suffered. Wouldn't it be a tragic shame to your children (and grandchildren) if the same thing were to happen to you at such a young age? Wouldn't it be a tragic shame for you to go before getting to know your own grandchildren? You have so much to look forward to, Steve. You deserve to reap those joys.

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

Mar 08, 2008
Thank you for sharing
by: Linda Settles

I experienced many of the same dynamics you did, Steve, and I want you to know that Darlene is right on in what she has written. My father was the abuser, and my mother said she didn't know. 28 years (from before 5 years old) of suffering and my mother didn't know??? I am SO glad that I can forgive without my parents cooperation. They took many things away from me--but they cannot take the peace and freedom that forgiveness brings--because forgiveness is a choice. I love that word: choice. What happens in my inner world is between me and God and no one can take that away from me.
I encourage you to forgive. Forgive: does not mean reconcile. My mother changed and we reconciled--my father didn't and I was not at his funeral. Let go of the blame. It will destroy you. There truly is a God in heaven and his justice will be severe on those who harm others without remorse. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, today, Steve. God bless you. Linda

This commenter has a "room" on OpenSpace on this website. To read her various entries, check out Linda's Room.

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