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Topic : How Childhood Abuse Still Affects Me

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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:00:06 am
Author : dataimport
Are you an abuse survivor? How do you cope? Share your story.

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December 14, 2008, 6:30 pm CST

I NEED HELP

I was sexually abused by me dad as a child.  I told my mom and she did nothing.  She went as far as to tell me that if she kicks him out of the house then it is my fault that the family will be broke up.  I never have received any therapy and now 30 years later I can bearly breathe. What is wrong with me?
 
December 26, 2008, 7:55 pm CST

I cannot forgive

I have a lot of secrets. I have hidden them for years. But some things aren't so secret. It's no secret that i was molested from the time i was 3 until approximately 6 years of age. I remember vividly the three boys who did it, and i remember actually feeling the intercourse. I believe my parents knew, but did nothing. Mom told me one time that she said something to the two older boy's parents about things, but that doesn't address a situation like that. I had a short respite from it when we moved for a year or something, but when we moved back, it started again.

 

My mom left my little brother and i when i was 9 and he was 6. It didn't take long before my Dad began to treat me differently. I was forced to take care of all the household chores, pretty much, and take care of my little brother. I cooked, i cleaned, i vacuumed, i swept, i mopped, and yet, no matter how hard i tried to do everything the way he wanted, he always found some fault in what i did, whether it was missing a spot of dark color on the bottom of our porcelain pans, or a tiny corner of the floor i was forced to scrub on my hands and knees. Everytime there was some fault found, i was "disciplined". This mean the belt came off, he would corner me usually in the kitchen, and hold me by one arm and swing the belt, and whereever it landed, was whereever it landed. My Dad was a tool and die maker, and worked on cars alot, so he was really strong. I don't think there was ever a time that he did this without leaving bruising that would last anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. I would also develop what i call blood welts. It looked almost like i had been beaten with a whip, and the skin had welted up, and they were red with the blood that had filled up in them. Sometimes blood would seep out of them. Sometimes i had a hard time walking afterward, because as a kid, receiving such painful punishment, i would move to avoid as many strikes as i could, and he often hit me in my back and my upper legs.

 

I was often blamed for things i didn't do, or disciplined for reasons i couldn't understand. Until i was about 14, i was the only child in the house that received this type of treatment. When he remarried, it got slightly better, only now i had 2 adults who would lash out at me over everything, and i had to do most all the chores, while my brother and step-siblings had little, if any, responsibility. I didn't get to play as much as the other kids, and none of the kids i knew were dealing with a situation like mine, so i kept it silent, because i thought i was a horrible child that deserved to be beaten. I had, and still do, no self-esteem, no sense of self-worth, no sense of belonging or acceptance or validation. If i cried, he only hit me harder. I can't even remember all the names he called me. My step-mother would stand back and do nothing when i was being punished, and i could be punished because he THOUGHT i did something wrong. I was always told what a disappointment i was to him, and basically felt i was worthless and no good, and horribly ashamed of the fact i was even alive. I can't tell you how many times i wish my mom had gotten an abortion, like the doctors wanted her to when she was pregnant with me. I know that, because she told me.

 

Then at 10, i was raped by my babysitter's neighbor's son. The babysitter's son and my brother both held me down after the guy got me pinned on the bed. I immediately blacked out and remember nothing of what happened, except for screaming help, i'm being raped, and the babysitter yelling at us to keep it down, she was trying to get her beauty sleep. I was dropped off at mom's for visitation, and introduced to a new girl in the neighborhood... and while i couldn't tell my Dad or mom what happened, i told a complete stranger, and begged her to tell my mom for me, because i was terrified she was going to whip my butt for it happening. Instead, mom sent her home and called me in and crying, she asked what happened. She notified my dad, who picked me up a few days later and then called and ripped the babysitter and the neighbor a new one. Then he sent me to a neighbor's house, because she was a nurse, to ask me a few questions, and that was the end of it, because she didn't feel that i would have gotten pregnant from the rape.

 

The other 3 i kept a secret. When i was 12, shortly after my Dad married my first step-mother, i was cornered in a room of my house and raped by a neighborhood boy. A couple of weeks later, my step-mother came into the garage to investigate the screaming and other noise in there, and found the one who raped me and another boy who was known for raping girls holding me down and trying to pull my clothes off. If she hadn't have stepped out that day, i would have been raped by them both. I think that was one of the few good things she ever did for me. 2 years later, after having to be picked up by my best friend's mom at my mom's house, because mom was drunk and had been trying to stab my step-dad with a knife that he managed to get from her and had me hide, i was up in his room, my best friend's, and he raped me on his bed. I was actually tore during that one, but i never said anything to anyone. I was confused as to what had happened because he was my best friend, and i didn't get how he could do anything to hurt me.

 

I still kept silent about things that were going on, but someone had brought something to the attention of the school councilor, because in Jr High, my 8th grade year, she started to take me into her office fairly regularly. Especially if i missed a day of school. She would talk to me, and i liked her, so eventually i confided in her about the "fights" with my Dad. I don't remember everything we talked about, i've lost so many memories from those years of my life, but i knew she was concerned about me, and for the first time, i felt that there was an adult that might actually care. Then, one day, my step-sister got into my hair things and took one of my hair clips without asking. I took it away from her and she went crying to my Dad, who exploded and came after me. I only had told her that she could not use anything of mine unless she asked first. But that didn't matter to him. I was screamed at for being selfish and a bunch of other things, and thrown up against the wall while he pinned me by my arms and then took me a little ways down the hall and THREW me into the bathroom. I landed with my back against the edge of the tub, and my head hitting the back wall. My memory is pretty blank as far as the rest of the beating now, but then afterwards, he called into the school saying i wouldn't be coming in and then took me outside and lectured me for what felt like days. It wasn't unusual for him to lecture me that way, and i was to stand there and say nothing. I would completely zone out eventually, legs feeling like they were rooted to the ground, my whole body screaming in pain, and i would lose myself. All i could hear was his voice droning on and on, but i was somewhere else.

 

He would sometimes cry afterward, talking about how much he loved me and all that, but i couldn't believe him. I still don't know if i believe he ever loved me. I would get a hug that usually hurt like hell, and that day he took me out to McDonalds. I don't know why. We would talk and i would say whatever would keep him happy. I had given up trying to tell him the truth, because no matter what i said, it was a lie. The next day i got called into the councilor's office, and eventually, i broke down. I showed her my back, i showed her the back of my legs, and i showed her my arms. I remember seeing tears, but i didn't totally grasp it. She gave me some options as to what we could do, and i was terrified at that idea, because most of them involved reporting him, and i was mortified what he would do if he found out i told anybody. It took her a while before i agreed to let her call CPS, because i didn't want him to go to jail, but i was scared to death that he would beat me so bad i'd end up in the hospital if he knew i had said anything.

 

I should mention here that before my dad and first step-mom got a divorce when i was 13, i would often wake up in the house alone. Everyone would be gone and not come back for hours, then brag about what a great time they had at the mall or whatever else they did, and they never even bothered to ask me if i wanted to go. I remember my step-brother, who was the same age as me, telling me one time how he wished he could make my Dad stop. Also, during the years of my abuse, i vented it out on my little brother. I still feel horrible to this day about beating him up and hurting him the way i did, because he was having a tough time too. He was always so soft-spoken and gentle, and sometimes he would get hurt emotionally very easily. I remember having to talk him out from under his bed a few times, or out from under a table or something, because that's where he would hide to cry, since we didn't feel we were allowed to express our emotions where anyone could see.

 

I am not stupid to think that i didn't deserve every beating i got. I know i did a lot of things wrong as a child, like stealing money from my dad's coin bucket to pay for a donation to the March of Dimes, and cigarettes, since i had started smoking when i was 9. So, i know there were times when i deserved what i got, but there were a lot of times when i didn't. I have even taken the blame for many things my brother did so that he wouldn't get punished the way i was, because he was younger, and i didn't want him knowing what it was like to be punished like i was.

 

When i was almost 15, just a few months into my freshman year, my best friend committed suicide. It was then that i got the idea to get out of the situation i was in, and started cutting my wrists with the kitchen knives while i was washing dishes, following the vein. One time, i took a pair of scissors and rubbed the blade back and forth over my wrist, thinking i could completely shred the veins there, until i was past raw skin. But hearing my brother's voice made me stop, because i didn't know what would happen to him if i was gone. I had to wear a wide leather bracelet over my wrist for a month while it healed back up. After he quit beating me, which is when CPS was called, the verbal and mental abuse got worse. I got to the point that when i was home, i was in my room with the music on, writing or something, anything... just to stay out away from my father. I didn't want to talk to him, look at him, be near him, nothing. I still felt i couldn't trust him and i was constantly afraid that he was going to go back to the old way of doing things. All i wanted was to run away or die. I can't tell you how many times i planned my own death or killing him and myself during those years and earlier. While my ideas were dramatic, i was also afraid for my brother having to go live with mom, who was pretty self-absorbed at the time and her and my step-dad were both bad alcoholics, and what would happen to my step-siblings if i killed their mom, who i hated beyond words.

 

I left home at 16, 3 months before i was to turn 17, and ended up in a relationship with an abuser and a pedophile. He would always tell me he wished he'd have met me when i was 12... he was 37, and had recently been released from prison for beating his girlfriend so bad, she was kept in a hospital for 6 months with her jaws wired shut. He beat me and beat me and beat me until finally i had enough. But, he wasn't the last. I still have hard times choosing men that aren't abusive in one way or another.

 

 

As far as my life now? I resumed cutting on myself after a 5 year break about 6 years ago. I cut my forearms 29 times and i still have a host of scars from it. I have a hard time with relationships, most of them have been very short term, and unhealthy. I still cut occassionally, but it's no where near as bad as it was before i left home, or that time when i made all those cuts on my arms. I am 34, i am not able to work because of back problems and mental health issues. I have been diagnosed with arthritis in 3 places in my spine, which we mostly attribute to an automobile accident, and i have a host of mental health issues.

 

I remember being so terrified at night of someone coming into my room and hurting me that i would like with my head covered up and lay completely motionless, barely breathing as i waited for the sound of footsteps. I don't know why i have that fear, but i still have nights where i'm terrified that someone is going to come in and hurt me. I'm agoraphobic, i only leave the house a few times a month, usually for groceries and paying bills. I am currently on general assistance while i am reapplying for disability, making it my third time through the system. I have problems with eating, i sometimes go days without being hungry. I find it very hard to show any positive emotions, though i do like to laugh... i think in part because i know i really need that. But it didn't really start happening until recently. I've battled alcohol issues, which i can now handle my drinking (usually i just don't drink), but i used to get so drunk i'd have blackouts that could last as long as a week, and this included while i was working. I did for a few years use crank, i have done meth a couple of times, hash once, and have been smoking pot since i was 19, even though i quit for a few years in there. I like smoking pot, it helps ease up the tension and it relaxes me. I have less nightmares if i smoke pot before sleeping, and i can handle being out in public a lot easier when i'm high than with just my medication. I don't smoke all the time, but when i do, my life seems to go a hell of a lot easier. I am hoping to move eventually to a medicinal marijuana state, so that i can continue to use it to ease both the physical pain and the emotional issues i have to deal with.

 

I've been diagnosed with Bi-Polar, Borderline Personality Disorder, and my therapist also has said that i have some Post-Traumatic Stress issues ( i have a lot of flashbacks at times), Social Anxiety disorders and Agoraphobia.

 

My father and i have not spoken for a few years or so, because i finally decided that i won't keep being abused by him. To me, it feels like that as long as he denies that anything untoward happened, he is still abusing me, because he is not willing to own up to anything he's done. I can't forgive him until he does face up to the fact that he did abuse me, and stops the cycle by dealing with things head-on. He always comes back with i'm blaming him for everything that has happened wrong in my life, or that i'm exaggerating how things really were. With my therapist, we decided that it was best to cut off all contact, until he is willing to sit down and really look at what happened and admit that he was abusive, and apologizes for it.

 

I still have constant nightmares about being beat or raped. I still can hear the words that he would lash out at me with... i just feel trapped in this body, and i don't feel like i'm ever going to be a human being again. I'm dead inside, and all the medication in the world, and all the therapy i've received thus far hasn't changed that a bit. I feel worthless, useless, a burden, a waste of time and effort, i feel ugly no matter what i look like, i have a hard time expressing my feelings, especially good ones. I keep most of the things locked inside.  I was diagnosed with ulcers when i was 17, i have been on meds for that for 17 years. I have migraines, i still suffer the same insomnia i had when i was a child, and i can't remember a lot of my childhood. I don't hurt as much... but i don't feel anything else, really, either.

 

I don't know if i will ever get over everything that's happened. It just doesn't seem to be working to continue therapy, and i get frustrated because i am not qualified for a job where i can sit and stand as needed because of my back, not to mention the fact that being around others is exhausting for me. Within an hour or two of being in public or just having friends over, i have to lay down and sleep, because i cannot keep my eyes open. It's like all the life has been sucked out of me.

 

I'm giving up on any hope of ever becoming a person again, much less ever being happy.

 
December 30, 2008, 1:50 pm CST

Using my abuse to my advantage

I was sexually abused by my father when I was a little girl. I spent many years in therapy for this and continue to see a therapist for other issues that became a part of me due to being abused. Today I am a survivor because I found a new way to cope. I got myself involved in the restorative justice process and instead of holding resentment I am able to communicate the impact the abuse had on me through the criminal justice system to offenders who participate in victim impact classes. I think that the speaking I have done has helped me grow in ways I never knew possible. I went back to high school and graduated. I am now in college and have been an honor student in the criminal justice program for the last two years. I think that you have to choose the personal wars you fight. You can choose to let it control you or you can share the impact it had on you with others and grow from it. I believe I have made a difference and that is how my childhood abuse still affects me.
 
January 3, 2009, 9:11 pm CST

Well this is me

Well as this topic still rings quite a clear image in my head I still find myself crying over things done and things said. The abuse I received was that of all forms and as a 25 Year old mother of two young boys I find myself just hoping that I won't be like my ex step dad.  I fear regection still but have done much and still plan to do much in my life. I have been in the military have moved back to my home country from living in the USA on my own, have tried to mend things with my biological father who was also abusive in the form of neglect and he would rather show love to booze and drugs then family. All this said as a survivor still mending I do so with the help of my husband and with the love I get from my kids. I know I am a somebody now wereas I use to think I was a nobody unwanted and undesired.

My plans consist of fighting for justice for those who cant fight themselves Animals and nature I plan to become a Park Ranger. I want to help those who have never judged me sounds weird maybe but growing up it was lonely being locked in a room with nothing but a bed and a desk no toys no nothing from about 12-15. My friends where my pets and now I am fortuante to have a cat that I rescued from a lady going through a rough divorce that is special he is a Polydactyl meaning he has extra toes and I love him as I know I am different and hope and know now people love me.

We all have the strength to win and if people have ears to listen and not judge or give pity but honestly give guidance those are the people who I see as angels. As I still suffer nightmares and flashbacks I hope one day I can break free fully from my chains.

Amanda- Saskatoon Canada
 
January 8, 2009, 7:40 pm CST

Hey Sarah - Happy New Year!!

Quote From: rlnash

Hope you felt well enough to enjoy Thanksgiving!  Wow!  You are going to be surrounded by

babies!!  Maybe they will all be good playmates!!

 

Regarding your three year old's questions, just keep your answers simple & to the point, and

just go into detail as needed and I bet she'll be fine.  My daughter loved music at that age and

I would play songs to help her understand & she was quite the entertainer!!

 

My son came in from college for the Thanksgiving break - we ate, watched movies, and did

some sightseeing.  He brought snow, so he was thrilled and we played out in it.  It was

actually wet enough to make snowballs and snowmen.  The last time he was here the snow

was too dry to pack, so he was bummed.

 

My daughter didn't get to come, so she stayed in Atlanta, but of course had to be the drama

queen anyway.  Her boyfriend (ex?) decided to make her holiday miserable and break-up

with her a few days before, then decided she didn't need to spend Thanksgiving alone, so

invited her along to his family Thanksgiving without telling anyone he had broken up with her,

etc. etc. etc.  Ugggggghhhhhhhh    She called me crying umpteen times for advice, so I

literally spent hours with her on the phone, but then what does she do?    GOES TO A

PALM READER for advice  !!!!!!  Sigh      Who, by the way, told her exactly what I did.  Not

that that mattered any.  Then, they went to a concert together on Saturday (because she had

already bought the tickets), but he said it didn't change anything.

 

I'm trying to be supportive and upbeat for her, but, honestly, she's sucking the life out of me

right now!!!!!  Don't get me wrong,  I love her to death, but she doesn't have a clue (my fault)

what I'm going through.

 

Well, enough of that - thanks for letting me vent!!  Don't overdo it between now and Christmas!

Enjoy those baby girls !   They grow up too fast!

 

Happy Holidays!

Renee'

I hope you can find this - with all of the new format, it's kind of hard to get at.

How did your holidays go?  How are you feeling?

My son came out to Denver on the 17th of December and just left on the 7th of January.

My daughter came out on the 23rd of December and stayed until the 29th and then went

back to Atlanta.  I hate to say it, but I was ready for her to go!!  She has to be the center

of attention, have things her way and pouts if things don't go as she planned.  (she's 23!)

It went okay with my son here, but on Saturday, I started going downhill into my darkness,

and by Wednesday when he left, I was ready.   I was so worn out trying to be upbeat.

My doctor went up on my meds  - again-  I don't think I'm seeing an end to this.  But, the

good thing is that the new meds I'm on have stopped the nightmares and flashbacks of the

abuse. 

 

I have revealed a few "new" things to him, that at the time, I thought I was telling him

something he needed to know, but now, I wonder.  I mean, I had kept the details of some of

the abuse a secret until now, some 40 years later and I am regretting telling him.  I don't

know if that is where the impending doom is coming from or not.

 

You wouldn't believe the trouble I have had with my house!!  Things are still coming up

every week.  Oh, and my car (the one I've never had trouble with for one second) just up and

died going down a main thoroughfare here right before Christmas.  One day it was fine, the

next, the engine had blown!!!  So, once again I am at the mercy of my brother and sister-in-law.

 

I'm sorry I'm sounding so down, but, actually I'm trying to sound a little more up than I have

been!!  Please, please, please, let me hear from you.  I so desperately need to!

Renee'

 
May 29, 2009, 3:17 pm CDT

PTSD: Hating Every Bit Of It

I live with PTSD due to abuse and a child and as a teen from family members.  I use to use drugs, did eating disorders, did the choking game, cutting and other self-mutilation.  I don't do those anymore.  I just hate the body memories.  I hate them with a passion.  They make me feel like a pervert.  It is a sick dirty feeling that won't feel me.  The intrusive memories is just as bad and make me feel the same.  I just want them to go away and there is other times I just want to remember more.  I can't win either way.
 
July 29, 2009, 5:21 am CDT

How Childhood Abuse Still Affects Me

Quote From: tammy_anne

thank you for sharing yur story with us, and I am sure many of us can relate, sadly similar things happen to many many children and many many adults are struggling to lead happy productive lives despite their horrific childhoods.

this has been going on for centuries, it makes me wonder how long does it take for the hammer of justice to come down and start holding abusers accountable?

Im not an advocate of violence in any way shape or form.. but you know what, there was many times that i thought public horse whipping for abusers was nto a bad idea =(.

Yea i had a lot of rage too, i think we have a lot to be enraged about =(.

I once had to write a paper called  Who am I?

Asking a survivor to answer that question is like trying to get a answer to why am I here.

I know if i was not abused i would probably be a very different person, whether better or worse i do not know, but geez i sure would have liked the opportunity to find out.

Any way, today i am a product of my own making, not my abusers, sounds like you have gone the same route i did, I am so happy for you, for we are not a product of circumstance, we don't have to be, we can take what was freely given to us by God, our lives, and take back what was taken from us, and rewrite the chapters of our lives. A very liberating feeling for sure!

for those still struggling to pick up the spiritual pen and rewrite your lives, I hope you find the strength and courage to do so, and dont worry God is a forgiving editor hehe, he does not mind typos ;p.

I am so glad to be able to just sit here and write knowing that even if the rest of the world thinks im a confusing anomolie, that there are people who know exactly what i am saying lol =).

Hugs

Tammy

 

 

 

i only read this reply now. thanks for replying to me
 
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