Comments for My Reactions to Abuse

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Apr 07, 2008
A very honest post...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

All children want to fit in, even if that means fitting in with a bad crowd. Many studies show that children who make up those "bad crowds" are abused and/or neglected in some way. And even when these children supposedly know better, they are in such pain, they often make unhealthy choices. Add to that the "mob" mentality, and you have a recipe for even more damaging choices, which lead to heavier, deep-seeded consequences. Your reactions to child abuse were indeed child abuse effects.

We don't have much power as children. When children grow up being abused, they often take power wherever they can. In your case—as in so many abused children's cases— you learned subservience, and a host of other negative lessons. As difficult as it is to admit at this point in your life, Hayley, you did the best you could then; and when you truly knew better, you did better. You cannot apply adult values to choices you made as a child. Even when you supposedly knew better, as a child you were not in a position to understand the consequences of your actions. That understanding came along much later in your growing years. I'm not offering this as an excuse; I'm offering it as information, information that I believe you need in order to let yourself off the hook.

I suspect that every one of us has at least one misdeed in our childhoods that we feel some kind of compunction for. It's what we do with that regret that is foremost. The fact that you feel a deep sense of remorse shows that you are a good person, Hayley. And furthermore, you've chosen to comfort the sick and elderly in their time of need; you should be proud of that.

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

May 06, 2008
Rings some bells!
by: Anonymous

Hi, Hayley!

Don't know if you've read anything in my "room" (Elaine's room), but I've found your posts interesting. I guess I've a little in common with you...

Good on you for being brave enough to admit that you messed up by becoming a bully at school. I went the other way in reaction to the abuse I experienced. Like you, I wanted friends, support and affection. I think that when you are abused at home, you probably crave love and attention more than other kids, and you'll do what actually turn out to be some very foolish things to get it.

Like you, I got in with a bad crowd. I guess they were the only kids I felt I could identify with. But I ended up drinking and smoking underage, and many of my so-called friends experimented with drugs (never really interested me, as I tried Pot at University, and it made me sick!). I ran away from home several times, and lost touch with some of my good friends, friends from before the abuse started.

In reaction to my abuse, I became very withdrawn and moody. I eventually ended up with an Eating Disorder, as I started binging and purging, because the binges made me "feel good" but I was scared of getting fat. This later became Anorexia Nervosa, complete with excessive exercising and calorie restriction. It's taken me years to feel human!

I'm so glad that you've been able to get over your experiences, find friends and a job that makes you happy. It's also great that you want to use your experiences to help people. I feel very much the same way, which is partly why I ended up qualifying as a Social Worker. I thought that, even if my life experiences had not been positive for me, they might have a beneficial effect for someone else. At least they help me empathise with patients!

By the way, I'm so sorry that you were bullied at work. Again, I know what that feels like, as I've recently been bullied myself, in my current job. I have had SOME support - my fiance and friends have been telling me that it is probably because I am a sensitive person, and good at the job, but the bullying really knocks your confidence. It brought back a lot of feelings and memories that I didn't want. I'm delighted you got over it, which means I can too. Your post really rang some bells for me! I guess if yo ever feel like reading my pages, please do. I'd love some advice on the bullying!

May 08, 2008
A quick look
by: Hayley

hi elaine, i am at work and have had a quick look at your room. I will have a proper look on monday or tuesday when I am at my local library. Better buzz off now as I think one of the night staff is approaching the nurses station. sorry for the briefness of this entry and thank you for the invitation.

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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
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.



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