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Jan 11, 2009
You don't have to be PUSHY to stop being a "pushover"...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

You said, "I'm nice to people, sometimes too nice I think, as in being a little bit of a pushover. I think that might be because I'm afraid of making people mad. But I'd rather be too nice than let out anger at others and mistreat them." While I agree that letting out anger at others and mistreating them is inappropriate, there is a lot of middle ground between that and being a pushover. It is possible to stand up for oneself without lashing out and hurting people's feelings. Indeed, standing up for yourself in a positive way is a sign of a healthy self-esteem.

Yes, it is possible that you're "too nice" because you're "afraid of making people mad", but there may well be other reasons as well. When a child grows up being abused and ridiculed and rejected in every way, that child often tries their damnedest to please the very person who can never be pleased: the abusive parent. It's not unusual for that "pleasing" to carry on into adulthood. It can also stem from learned behaviour; behaviour that was necessary for survival in childhood, but has now become more habit than necessity. There are often deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy attached to such pushover-ness, as the person does not feel worthy enough to stand up for themselves; again, this is an effect of long term childhood abuse.

I'm delighted to learn that you have such a supportive husband; you certainly deserve that support. And I'm equally delighted that you are on a path toward healing and recovery. I do hope you are in some form of counselling to help you further along that path. Therapy made a huge difference in my life, but only when I was ready to receive the help my psychiatrist was there to provide. I sense you may be ready for that same kind of help.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me, and for providing such an important message: There is ALWAYS hope for a happy life, but only if we work to that end.

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

Jan 11, 2009
same story
by: touched2mysoul

I could have written your story... i could have written your story verbatim. Down to finding someone ... my boyfriend who gives me the strength and safety i need in my life. Our moms must have been twins... for that matter our fathers must have been twins too... I had a brother who "got off" from the punishments just because he was a boy... I also know about being happy and joking with people... it was a form of cover up that i still use today.
Therapy has helped me... i wish that for you as well... it has helped me to be more myself... being able to actually say what i mean... not feeling like i have to be nice all the time... it has helped me to be able to not give so much of myself that i have nothing left for me to enjoy... I am still working on who i am, minus the abuse.. its a process but im glad i started the process... i am finally finding out who i am, and starting to like that person... i wish you the best!

Jan 11, 2009
I Can Identify...
by: Francine

I can relate to your story...the hair pulling thing...yes, I can relate. Spilling something by accident or forgetting to pick up any toys by accident...yes, I can relate, too. The crying thing...yes, I can also relate. However, I can't relate to the belt thing, but I can also relate you your brother "getting out of" the abuse; my brother successfully "got away from" the abuse because he was a boy, and everyone outside of the house has always loved him. Anyway, I'm so glad that your husband is with you cuz he is so sweet for doing that! Have you taken counselling yet, however?

Feb 15, 2009
I'm the writer of the story...
by: Anonymous

Thank you all for your comments on my story. I haven't been back to this page since I wrote it, but I'm glad I did to receive your input. No, I'm not in any type of therapy although I would like to be, as I still have some bad days. I'm not sure where/who to get the therapy just yet, but I'm thinking about it. I understand the comment about overly trying to please people and be accepted. Recently, I've been really trying to just be me and not worry so much about other people's expectation of me, and set limits and boundaries as to how I will let people talk to me and treat me--I won't be impolite or rude, but I'm learning how to stand up for myself and how to say "no". I'm continuing to pray and to live a calmer/quieter life. Thanks again.

Dec 02, 2009
by: Lisa

just like the other guys said, my story is very similar to yours, having the brother who got off with things, my step-father was either at work or in another room and the back chat with your mother.

It's great to hear you have someone to support you, it really helps to open up to someone and for it to not feel like its all in your head.

I've only ever opened up to my ex boyfriend, who i was with for 12 years. It didnt work out with us and now looking back on it, i did everything to please him and even when things weren't great with us i acted to the world that everything was perfect.

Since splitting up from him i've had my eyes opened and can now see that i was using him as my sheild against the world. I feel like everyone can see me for what i am now, scared and no confidence or self esteem.

I've recently started cognitive behaviour therapy, but im still having problems opening up and my therapist says that im very matter of fact when describing what my mother did and said to me. She says that this was a coping mechanism, dissociation, i feel like im talking about someone else when i tell her as it doesnt feel real to me, its sometimes like i imagined it. Iv yet to cry in front of her as when my mother was beating me or calling me names i learned that crying was a weakness so i only ever cry by myself.

Therapy takes time but im starting to notice small changes in the way i think. Although your happily married i do suggest that you talk to a professional as if your like me, the flashbacks come now and again, probably when somethings going bad in your life.

I dont understand why our mothers could've treated us like that but we are survivors and recognise that it's wrong do that to innocent children.

I wish you luck in your future x

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From Victim to Victory
a memoir

How I got over the devastating effects of child abuse and moved on with my life


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