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Dec 02, 2008
Part 1: I can relate only too well...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

As I read through your story, touched2mysoul, I was able to relate on so many levels. Our mothers were frighteningly similar; they could easily have been sisters. My mother's daily use of the literally "bloody" belt on completely bare skin resulted in nauseous fears that carried well into my adulthood. She left physical scars with the belt, sometimes using the buckle of it; she left deep emotional scars with her hateful words. I heard, "I hate you" what seemed like every day of my life, if not directly, indirectly by her calculated and evil acts. Walking into our house after school every day was a tremulous time. I walked on eggshells, worried about her mood and how she would lash out. Even if her mood started out pleasant, which was oh so rare, she could switch that mood with one blink. I worried about what she had found that I had done wrong while I was at school so that she could punish me. She was always looking for ways to punish me. I too prayed (to both God and Mary) for someone to rescue me by taking me away forever; my prayers weren't answered either. But if they had been answered, I wouldn't have been happy with that, because unless my two brothers and two sisters had also been removed and in a safe place, I would have begged to go back in an instant, for fear of what she would do to them.

You said your mother only yelled and beat you when your father wasn't around. Yet there is no mention whatsoever of him otherwise. I can't help but wonder where your father was in all of this. Even if he wasn't home when she was doing these terrible things to you, there would have been evidence, tell-tale signs. He would have seen that you were in pain. He would have seen that you couldn't sit or walk properly. He must have seen the damage to the furniture and walls. He must have seen the blood on the belt. It's difficult to understand how he could not have noticed that she had cut strips in one of his belts to use on you. In truth, both your parents abandoned you. Your father had a responsibility to protect you and keep you safe from harm, especially when the person who was inflicting the harm was his wife.

See Part 2: Who would you have been? below.

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

Dec 02, 2008
Part 2: Who would you have been?
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

You said, "I often wonder who I would have been if she hadn't done the things she had done." I used to think that way; but no more. Now I look at it from completely different eyes.

If I hadn't lived the life I lived growing up with my mentally ill and abusive mother, and with my equally violent father, I would not have needed to enter into therapy to get passed what happened to me. If I hadn't gone into therapy, I wouldn't have created this website. If I had not created this website, the thousands of people who read through the information and story pages each and every day wouldn't be learning about child abuse and its life-altering effects. If I hadn't been abused myself, I wouldn't have understood how important it was—IS—for child abuse survivors to have a safe, validating, supportive and encouraging place to share their stories and feelings; and I wouldn't be reaching out to you right this minute, sharing of myself in order to help you. And if all this hadn't come to be, you wouldn't be offering tremendous support yourself through your compassionate comments to so many who have already written their stories here. That's how I see things: turning pain into power by making sure that what I did live has purpose and meaning. You are already doing the same here on my site; thank you for that. In truth, you are a compassionate, caring, loving, obviously nurturing woman. How can you NOT love that about yourself! You could not have possibly been BETTER than that, even if you had lived in a loving and nurturing home. That's how I see you, touched2mysoul: compassionate and caring. That's how others here on this site see you too. The only person who doesn't seem to see it is you. Perhaps this...revelation(?) would be a good place to open up your next session with your therapist. I had to do precisely this myself when I was in therapy all those years ago, trying to deal with the abuse and the lingering effects of that abuse.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me. I will try post your 2nd installment either tomorrow or the next day.

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

Dec 02, 2008
I can identify
by: Francine

Touched2mysoul, I am so sorry that you didn't have a good mother. My mom did those same things to me, too. Your mom even took pleasure in disciplining you! She should've been in jail. Where was your father when she hurt you? He should've been there for you! You might want to try counselling. I love you, touched2mysoul. Hang in there!

Dec 02, 2008
sal
by: Anonymous

thank you for sharing. that took a lot of courage to write, but i am glad that you did. i am sorry for what you went through. ♥

Dec 02, 2008
someone heard me....
by: touched2mysoul

I was searching for someone to read my pain and my experience and that was there in your responses... for me writing it down is soooo hard... its like being stripped of the protective layers that i have learned to put up when talking to someone to protect myself from their scrutiny. Its real and it remains on paper black and white.....My therapist has been a God send and she has helped me in replacing the voice of my mother .. the verbal words of her... Darlene, having this site ... reading your words to me and the words from others gives people like me the ability to see words that start the process of replacing the words we wrote about ourselves or that was written about us... Thank you for hearing me... in my therapy i have learned its so important for one to be seen for who they r... writing may help me to one day be heard as well...

Dec 02, 2008
Sorry to hear your story
by: kristen

Hi touched2mysoul,

I am sorry to hear your story. I am writing because I can releate to it to a degree and I know how isolated I feel when I cant talk to anyone and it seems that you have to bear the memory all on your own.

I remember the knots in my stomach knowing what was ahead. I remember wearing tights so that the bruises would not be visible. Even in summer. I remember enjoying school. It was my time. A free time.

You are in my thoughts.

kristen

Dec 12, 2008
Take care
by: JC

I am so sorry. I am. no matter how many times your experience is repeated or worded, the pain will never go away...but sharing is somewhat like salvation..every time the story is told, each experience...it is almost like you gain something back that was lost, like an extra breath of fresh air. Regardless, take care of yourself.

"love your heart..for this is the prize"
- Beloved, Toni Morrison

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stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
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