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May 21, 2009
Part 1: More of a servant than a daughter...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

More servant than daughter: I can certainly relate to that, Tiffany. My mother had unreasonable expectations of me, just like your mother had of you. Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry. Taking care of the younger ones, including potty training them. Yours was made more severe knowing that there was nothing you could possibly do to protect your baby sister from your molester of a brother. And just for the record, it wasn't your job to protect your baby sister, or any other member of your family. That was your mother's (and father's) job. Any guilt you feel about this needs to be addressed, because you were not to blame.

Tiffany, your baby sister wasn't just sexually harassed by your seriously troubled brother; she was sexually assaulted by him! You said your brother was found out and was removed from the home. I can only hope that way more than that happened; sex offenders do not change their offending ways. They must be stopped; HE must be stopped. If he hasn't been stopped, he is likely still offending. What's scary is that he might have children himself that he is sexually molesting. What you've disclosed in your story is highly disturbing.

Tiffany, you both experienced and witnessed sexual assault by your brother. He terrorized you. And even worse, the fact that your mother terrorized you with her constant verbal abuse made you incapable of telling her. But even though you were not able to tell her, there would have been signs; signs that your mother should have seen, both with you and your sisters. It was her job to protect you all and keep you all safe from harm. It was her responsibility; a responsibility she failed miserably at. The fact that she either didn't see or chose not to see the signs enabled the sexual abuse to go on.

It comes as no surprise that you feel confusion, even numbness. Numbness is a coping mechanism, Tiffany. What can happen when a person is put through one abusive incident after another is that over the long term the feelings no longer have the same impact they once had. Sometimes this is as a result of deeply buried emotions, emotions that the person will not allow to ever rise up again. Sometimes it's a complete stripping of emotions. Based on what you've written, I suspect the former is the case with you. You strike me as a very compassionate person.

See Part 2: Comparisons and some lessons I've learned... below.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

May 21, 2009
Part 2: Comparisons and some lessons I've learned...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Tiffany, try not to make comparisons to other stories on this site. There will always be stories that are worse than ours; there will always be stories that aren't as bad. But what's important is the impact your childhood has had on you, the degree to which you are affected by what happened to you. And equally as important: This is about YOU; not anyone one else. It's about you and your ability to function.

The fact that you are still fearful of your mother says a great deal. The fact that you were shaking as you wrote your story for this site also says a great deal. I understand your fears oh so well. Even though I had successfully stood up to my mother as a teenager, I was still terrified of her in my early twenties. I had to learn that my mother could no longer hurt me. I had to learn that her controlling and manipulative ways could no longer affect me, unless I let them. I had to learn that I was no longer that helpless child. I had to learn that I was strong and powerful in my own right, and that I could stand up for myself without resorting to violence, verbal or physical. Just so you know, Tiffany, sometimes learning those lessons are easier when there is distance between you and your abuser.

I hope you are still in therapy. If so, be honest with your thoughts and feelings. Share with your therapist what you shared here. And also share the comments provided here. If you are no longer in therapy, consider going back in order to help you with the fears you have yet to deal with. You're worth that kind of help, dear. You really are.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir


May 21, 2009
A Cruel Family
by: Anonymous

Tiffany, your mother and brother should be ashamed of themselves. I can relate; my mother, like yours, still actually takes pleasure in yelling at me. Believe it or not, she also likes to scream at me (no, really!) in public and I hate it! As for your brother, he is literally a pervert! I'm so sorry. I am delighted that you are in therapy now cuz you don't deserve to be mistreated in any way (neither does your sister). As for your beloved darling little sister, I hope she is in a safer place cuz both of you guys are very beautiful in your own rights and neither of you did anything wrong.

May 22, 2009
open the eyes of parents especially mothers
by: maurice

It is a prayer for me to say this morning Tiffany. Why,?? Oh Why?? are parents so blind at times when stuff that happened you at the hands of your brother. It amazes me even in my own case how fearful one becomes not to be strong enough at the time to tell when things like what happened you Tiffany can't tell someone even a mother. I still wonder, but I make sure I support those who were or are abused to sit down and talk/tell someone. I know a small number of boys in my school would talk and tell each other what was going on but all too fearful to tell someone who could have stopped it. Tiffany each one's abuse is personal to them. The great thing now is that you found Darlene's Site. Her words to you I am certain will do you a power of good. Your 21, you be yourself in your own right now. Know you are Special, Unique, Beautiful, Oh yes you are. All you need now is a little push to accept and believe it about yourself. I am a mirror person so you try to begin to have a good mirror image of yourself from this day on. don't delay it Tiffany.

May 22, 2009
A crual mother.
by: K.C.

Tiffany,

I can't even say I know how you feel, because I don't. Your story is horrifying. Mine is nothing compared to yours. I am so sorry about the thing you call your brother. I think there may have been something terribly wrong with that boy. Doing that to you was wrong and I don?t think that someone like that should deserve to live. That is just my opinion. For someone to abuse a baby like that is so wrong I can?t even began to say the things that are wrong with that. I am very sorry that something like that ever happened to you. I am truly truly sorry. I am glad that you are doing better, or at least I hope. Is your sister ok? Your mother had no right to do that to you. I hope that you and your sister are ok.

Sincerly, K.C.

May 24, 2009
Thank you, everyone!
by: Tiffany

Thank you Darlene, and everyone! I am so glad I found this site. Writing my story here and reading your comments is helping me realize what I went through. I am so scared of what healing will mean for me but I am being so brave in therapy. Brave to let myself admit and experience the pain. Making the decision not to shove all this in a closet anymore was so courageous for me. I now got myself "The Courage to Heal" and am committing to do whatever it takes. Now I sometimes can't get the images of screams, the room, and his face out of my head. Darlene, your words were so helpful; I know it is true that it was not my fault but I will work hard to feel the truth in your words. I tremble but I am hopeful too! It makes me so happy to know that I was brave enough to share my story here and that I am on the road to healing. One day I hope to return to this site and share my "story of healing." Thank you to everyone for affirming my pain and for understanding.

From Darlene: You are so welcome, Tiffany. Based on what you just wrote, I can tell that you are well on your way. I too look forward to the day when I read your story of healing and recovery. Just don't rush it. Go at the pace that works best for you. The Courage to Heal is an excellent book. I'm sure you'll find it helpful for yourself.

And be very proud of the progress you have already made, and of the progress you make as you move forward. Everyone who visits here is proud of you; of that I have no doubt.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir


May 25, 2009
It is a scary thinking but you will overcome it
by: Maurice

Tiffany, great you as you said yourself found Darlene's site, She's one very special woman for her vision in setting it up. Hi journey onwards and upwards now in positive thinking about yourself. Tiffany, say I can do it, I will do it, I must do it because I love me and I am one beautiful person. Yes, it was scary at the beginning for each of us Tiffany. but once you accept I am being helped to love the real me the scaryness bit drifts away and you become more sure of yourself and with positive thinking you'll find this is good for me. know the one thing Tiffany your doing it for yourself. because you are special. You deserve the best and the love of special people in your life who love you. Other than the ones who hurt and pained you.

May 25, 2009
Why was it not my fault?
by: Tiffany

Darlene, I am sorry for writing you again. Your time is precious and I don't want to use that or misuse your wonderful website in any way. Please don't feel a need to respond or post - perhaps all I need is to write. I am thinking about what you wrote - that it wasn't my fault and I just don't understand. I can't erase from my mind watching my sister in so much pain - i'm talking about after not just during. not saying a word in school for almost 2 yrs, waking me up with nightmares, not sleeping because she thinks she will die,... and I witnessed the abuse for years...and didn't do anything. so my mother was a monster of a person but couldn't i have told a teacher or something? it's just so hard to live with that. again, you have already done more than enough. thank you!

From Darlene: Tiffany, there's so much psychology behind all this. It's not your fault because you were a child and you were afraid. There was fear and there was also the fact that your brain wasn't done growing. The human brain doesn't finish developing until around age 24 - 25. Only then is a person fully capable of determining the consequences of their actions. Right now you are putting more mature, adult values on things you did and did not do as a child. It's not about whether or not you told, it's about the fact that you and your sister were being assaulted by someone bigger and stronger and more fearful. Tiffany, your personal truth is that it was your fault because you didn't tell. What you think is that if you had told the abuse would have stopped sooner. But you still would have been abused and so would your sister. Think it through...and stop beating yourself up. There is nothing you can do to change what WAS; you can only work on the NOW, in the present. There is no changing the past. By focusing so much on the past, you are not living in the present and you never will until you give yourself a break and begin to realize that YOU WERE A CHILD LIVING IN FEAR. There isn't enough space for me to delve into this with more, Tiffany. Just stop beating yourself up about this, for the sake of your own healing. Your sister will need to heal in her own way, and that may require something more, but not right now for you.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

May 28, 2009
To Anonymous:
by: Anonymous

From Darlene Barriere - Webmaster: I have moved your comment from this thread and will post it on its own page in the next day or two, Anonymous, as this comment section is for validating and supportive comments to Tiffany. I thank you for your understanding.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir


Jun 04, 2009
To Anonymous re: Your moved post
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Anonymous, I have now posted your comments on a separate page. You can find it at the following URL on this site: Child Abuse Nightmare That Continues

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir



Jun 29, 2009
Thank you for your support
by: Tiffany

I know it took me awhile to respond but I just wanted to thank you, Darlene, for the support that you have given me and others through this website. The understanding and support I have received here have been so helpful. The time and energy you put into this website - and into your comments - is so special. Thank you!!

From Darlene: You are so welcome, Tiffany. I'm so glad that this site has helped you. And I thank YOU for taking the time to write your words of appreciation. I wish you all the best, Tiffany. You are one special young woman.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir


Jun 30, 2009
great news/good news Thank you
by: maurice

Tiffany, you are only confirming and affirming each visitor to Darlene's site that her vision in setting it up was in hind sight now and I am sure she acknowledges the fact herself she gave a voice to the voiceless to begin their process of healing and believeing in themselves again. We all know how difficult it is to find a true genuine friend at times who will listen and believe in what we are telling them. I got courage after my first visit to Darlene's site to speak more freely and tell more people that I was abused. My fear was eased within me as to my thinking will they or won't they believe me after all the years walking with them and they not knowing I was abused. Tiffany, great to read how the site helped you. I am certain more and more will be brave enough to say, Yes, I got help from coming onto the site. Thank you Darlene and it is great you watch over your site still even though we are worse off from [not] reading your profound comments to each of your visitors.

Jul 06, 2010
Update
by: Tiffany

Just wanted to write to update where I am now. I have been living with a family for the past year. That has kinda worked out. The mom turned out to be really critical of me. She doesn?t like me. When I cry and tell her her words hurt me she says she?s only trying to help me? She expected me to do shopping for her, help her cook and clean. She told me it was my responsibility to ?please her.? Whatever. At first I thought now I know the truth ? that I am unlovable, damaged person. Now I just think I need to get away from her for my sanity. I finally opened up to a really good friend of mine abt my mom (though I couldn?t tell her abt the sexual abuse) and she has been so supportive. She told me I should leave this place right away ? but I couldn?t. I was too afraid the same thing would happen again or that it would be worse? now I found myself an apartment where I will live with 2 other girls. I will move there in August. I am happy I will be getting out but it also makes me sad. I wanted to have a family but I guess no one can be like another mom to you.
As crazy as it?s been here, It has been so great for me to be away from my family! I am happier being away from there. I have very limited contact with my mother now and I see things very differently now that I am away. I feel bad for my little sister and wish I could just take her out to be with me but I think she wouldn?t want to come. Thank you, Darlene, for all the support your site has given to me and to others!

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