Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)

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Nostromo

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2015, 04:05:06 PM »
 :bighug:
Big hug to you, lefou.

It can be hard when society throws up barriers that can prevent you from healing.
"Terrible people awaken all of the terrible parts inside of you."

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daughter

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2015, 04:58:04 PM »
As an adult, I was often confronted with my npd-enmeshed parents snarling at me "after ALL we've done for you, you won't do...".  I grew up terrorized by my parents.  Oh, everything probably looked superficially ok, with my high-functioning parents capable of "putting on the show" to the outside world.  But as a young child, and as a teen, I was terrorized.  I was hit.  I was slapped.  I was screamed at.  I was punished for trivial matters, such as perceived "what's that look on your face" insubordination.  I was parentified.  I had household duties unsuited for a child, then rebuked for not executing them perfectly.  I was held responsible for my parents' emotions, and subjected to their rages.  I never knew when my parents would ignite, and because I was such a quiet and well-behaved child, I was rarely ever responsible for their rage directed at me.  They were stingy, financially and emotionally.  I feel I had a deprived childhood.  I feel my parents did the bare minimum for me, just enough not to raise serious concern amongst family and friends (and I'm aware of several "interventions" nonetheless).  But somehow, my parents felt I "owed them", for "all they've done for me".

What they've "done for me" is to create enough anxiety and angst in me to send me to therapy at least four times in my life.  When they thought I was seeing a therapist a decade+ ago, when I went NC for first time for several months, both my parents were outraged, offended that I sought help, angered that I was "telling stories" that revealed their true nature.  When I went NC for the second time, 2 1/2 years ago, my mother never reached out to me at all during the ensuing time, while my hovering father was outraged, livid, that I was "getting bad advice from someone".  The magnitude of emotional abuse that I endured was something I rarely acknowledged, probably as a self-defense tactic.  My current therapist thinks my parents are "high-functioning sociopaths", and she terms my case as one of the worst she's ever encountered in her many decades of therapeutic practice.  And there I was, enduring that cruelty for so many years, so many decades, passively accepting it as my fate and "my duty".  "Toxic Parents" was a good book for me too.

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Nostromo

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2015, 05:35:17 PM »
As an adult, I was often confronted with my npd-enmeshed parents snarling at me "after ALL we've done for you, you won't do...".  I grew up terrorized by my parents.  Oh, everything probably looked superficially ok, with my high-functioning parents capable of "putting on the show" to the outside world.  But as a young child, and as a teen, I was terrorized.  I was hit.  I was slapped.  I was screamed at.  I was punished for trivial matters, such as perceived "what's that look on your face" insubordination.  I was parentified.  I had household duties unsuited for a child, then rebuked for not executing them perfectly.  I was held responsible for my parents' emotions, and subjected to their rages.  I never knew when my parents would ignite, and because I was such a quiet and well-behaved child, I was rarely ever responsible for their rage directed at me.  They were stingy, financially and emotionally.  I feel I had a deprived childhood.  I feel my parents did the bare minimum for me, just enough not to raise serious concern amongst family and friends (and I'm aware of several "interventions" nonetheless).  But somehow, my parents felt I "owed them", for "all they've done for me".

What they've "done for me" is to create enough anxiety and angst in me to send me to therapy at least four times in my life.  When they thought I was seeing a therapist a decade+ ago, when I went NC for first time for several months, both my parents were outraged, offended that I sought help, angered that I was "telling stories" that revealed their true nature.  When I went NC for the second time, 2 1/2 years ago, my mother never reached out to me at all during the ensuing time, while my hovering father was outraged, livid, that I was "getting bad advice from someone".  The magnitude of emotional abuse that I endured was something I rarely acknowledged, probably as a self-defense tactic.  My current therapist thinks my parents are "high-functioning sociopaths", and she terms my case as one of the worst she's ever encountered in her many decades of therapeutic practice.  And there I was, enduring that cruelty for so many years, so many decades, passively accepting it as my fate and "my duty".  "Toxic Parents" was a good book for me too.

Daughter,

I am deeply sorry for what your parents did to you. My first post here on OOTF, Bloomie quoted you, and it touched me because I related so much to your experience.

I wasn't hit on a daily basis in terms of being slapped and punched (although corporal punishment was pretty frequent until I was too old), but everything you described...I feel you. My mother was the enabler, though, while my Ndad stormed through the house. She was damaged by her own childhood (sexually abused), depressed, and it contributed to her Schizo Affective Disorder which was present my whole life, but we didn't know what to attribute the behavior to (she hadn't had her psychotic break yet, was just anxious, depressed, and paranoid). I was responsible for her emotions, especially when she was upset with dad, because he would get upset with ME. All my life, they have complained about each other to me. "Don't tell your dad, but I hate it when he does X & Y..." or "Your mom thinks she understands A & B, but she really doesn't. Don't tell her I said that or she'll get pissed, OK?" I never told because I was afraid of the consequences. I could talk to my mom about my feelings, and I do feel like she listened and cared, but in hindsight considering her condition, she couldn't give me the emotional support I needed because she was in need of support herself.

It kills me when I talk to my mom because she will go on and on about what a good and well-behaved child I was, that I never, ever gave them any trouble, and that I was just such a "pleasure" to raise...yet, like you mentioned, at the drop of a hat I was being screamed at or punished. It could be something so insignificant that it is psychotic, like a towel on the floor. My dad acted as if I was screwing up all the time, and he'd tell me to "GROW UP!", but I'd be in elementary school! I had to "earn" everything I got for many years, until my brother was born and a little older and I became the GC, then I would get gifts, but they always had strings attached, and would be taken away. When we did go on vacations, I wasn't allowed to jump joyously and laugh loudly and just be EXCITED (like at Disneyland), because in my dad's words, I was acting "like an idiot." As a result, I don't know how to let loose and have fun. Risks are not part of my vocabulary.

Yet, like you said, I "owe" my parents the universe, all because they could go to work, send me to school, feed me, and keep up appearances. No one would EVER guess what went on behind the scenes; they all loved my parents. I have been going to therapy off and on since I became a legal adult and could get the help they wouldn't support me in getting, so 7 years trying to fix what they did. And when they did find out I was going to therapy, there was a backlash. Not so much from my mom, but definitely from dad, even when I first got my diagnoses of the myriad of emotional problems I had. I'm A LOT better, but in no way 100% better, but it's not their fault. It's MY fault (in their mind).

I'm still pretty enmeshed, but working hard to get out of that dynamic since it recently dawned on me how unhealthy my family truly is and how it's hurting me and ultimately my marriage. I have barely talked to my parents this month, and my mom is the only one who actually reaches out to see how I'm doing. My dad? I thought he would be outraged, but so far has ignored me, which has shocked me. But I'm glad. Good riddance.

Thank you for commenting, Daughter. I appreciate your advice and perspective a great deal. I wish you luck on your journey. :hug:
"Terrible people awaken all of the terrible parts inside of you."

"You should not have to rip yourself into pieces to keep others whole."

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OlderWiser

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2015, 06:23:26 PM »
 I have spent many years trying to come to terms with physical abuse in childhood.  I don't think I will ever get over it.   My father enjoyed the whole twisted experience and it was just violence.   FOO all were part if it also and never a kind word.   Still makes me angry.   

And my father was well respected with no one knowing he was a violent drunk.  And my mother is well respected even though she is NPD.

And they say I am too sensitive.   I hope you come to terms with it.

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Nostromo

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2015, 06:40:33 PM »
OlderWiser,

Sometimes things happen to us that shake us to the core and it's unfair for others to expect us to just "get over" it. The betrayal is intense. We were small and were to be protected, not emotionally and physically discarded. It was cruel and unfair. You have a right to be angry, especially when you knew the monsters that lurked beneath the surface, and I will keep you in my thoughts. It is maddening when you just want to shout, "THEY'RE NOT WHO YOU THINK THEY ARE!" but it seems like nothing comes out.

You're not too sensitive. You are a caring and loving individual who had needs that they refused to acknowledge. They were just cruel. I hope I can deal with it instead of pushing it back into the cobwebs, which at this point is a lot easier than dealing with it.

"Terrible people awaken all of the terrible parts inside of you."

"You should not have to rip yourself into pieces to keep others whole."

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openskyblue

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2015, 08:08:01 PM »
Quote
Thank you for saying something that I think a lot of people (not here on the board, but out in society) overlook: people often associate abuse with either brutal beatings or specific types of sexual abuse only, and it minimizes the other forms of abuse, even the covert forms of physical and sexual abuse. It can make victims feel like it if their abuse didn't fit into a specific box, then it didn't count. My abuse might not have been the same as someone else's, but that doesn't mean it's any less important, or vice versa. There's no use comparing: abuse is abuse, and it has terrible emotional consequences!

My family experience was pretty similar too. And it took me a long time to realize this very thing. I still struggle to go against society's expectations and fully accept that my mom's version of "discipline" was wrong.

Sending you a big hug.


Nostromo, your story breaks my heart -- and I so appreciate the courage you are using to take on these memories and make your way out of the trauma. I will echo what so many others have already said:  You were not to blame for anything your father did to you or your brother.  The beatings and spankings you describe (and I'm not even sure there should be any real distinction between the two) WERE abuse, blatant and vicious abuse.  When children beg a parent not to beat them, that shows the absolute failure on the part of the parent.  There is no reason on the earth to treat children so horribly. 

I wish you all the strength, wisdom, and kindness there is as you move forward through this.  I hope you feel love and pride in yourself, because you are truly an amazing person.

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InspirationHealing

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2015, 12:02:15 AM »
I can really relate to daughter! Wow, can I!

One thing I would like to add to the discussion is how the times our parents lived in, may have shaped their attitudes ... in terms of what was deemed as "acceptable abuse" then.

For instance:

So many people born in the early 1950s told me of how, as children, they were whipped with switches until the blood came out, how kids in those days were locked out of their houses by their parents and told to play even on sub-zero cold days -- where tears and pleading to come indoors did no good. They were hit with high heels, belts, chains and given the silent treatment for days. They were verbally abused and put down constantly (the trend was approved as a way to keep children from feeling proud -- because pride was looked at as a bad thing; you couldn't say anything that could be misconstrued as boastful; basically children were to be insulted at every turn!). You could get punished for coming home with slacks that had a little dirt on them. Corporal punishment was standard in schools (your hands or back could be repeatedly whacked with a stick -- and then you'd get it when you got home too, as "professional advice" from the school administrators to the parents). Teachers disciplined by ear pulling, insulting, putting you in front of the classroom to humiliate you in front of others; they'd draw a circle on the blackboard and tell a child to put his nose into the center of it for an hour. There were no bullying policies at school or in school buses. You could get beaten to a pulp in a school bus and the drivers weren't responsible for any of it. This was all "too normal!"

My era was a bit better. Beatings were no longer acceptable, but frequent prolonged spankings were (always with "This is for your own good"). Slapping your face was also pretty standard (used particularly for "Don't sass me" or "don't give me that look!"). If you cried, a parent would sometimes destroy your property and say "Now you REALLY have something to cry about!" Being sent out or locked out in all kinds of weather was still going on then. Corporal punishment in schools was just starting to be revised. Teachers disciplined, instead, by sending students out in the hall and told to stand at the doorway, sometimes for an entire period. They did away with expecting a student to stand with his nose in a circle on the blackboard and went to telling students to write 50 times "I will not talk back to my teacher." They couldn't slap or hit you (too many lawsuits from parents of children with epilepsy), but they could still pull you by your ear or hair. They still humiliated you in front of others. And you could still get beaten to a pulp by bullies in the school bus unless you were a girl. My driver often treated it like a boxing match ("hit him in the right jaw! You, kid, whack him on the side!" -- no kidding!). Parents didn't interfere with bullying because it was thought to build character. Kids were always walking around unsupervised in those days and anything could happen to you (and did). If you by happenstance discovered a gang's fort, you could get beaten up by a gang. Parents almost never got in the way of fights between kids. It was rough.

So things are moving in the right direction, but there is still further to go. Education, a lot of research about abuse, more parental protection, loving discipline versus abusive discipline is all contributing to the right direction. The stricter standards of social services and testing of children in schools by the state Child Protection Services, teachers watching for drastic falling of grades (which is almost always a sign of some major stress in a child's life), is ALL contributing to less abusive parents and a less abusive society.

Even all of the posts here enlighten others.

So thank you all for telling your stories!     
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 12:14:10 AM by InspirationHealing »

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Bloomie

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2015, 01:19:31 AM »
Nostromo - Several years ago was the year of an emotional tsunami. Everything I had stuffed and minimized, denied, believed, told myself, stood on, excused, ignored, ... was wiped out as a series of waves hit the shores of my life and I found myself standing alone, surrounded by truth. Painful, lonely, devastating realization after realization. I had spent years building worthless castles in the sand with people who said they loved me, but who treated me with cruelty and utter disregard and it finally came to the point where I had to face it or I truly would not survive.

I had no idea how to withstand the waves as the sand shifted under my feet, but I could no longer live with relationships that were less than healthy, loving, reciprocal. I honestly did not know if at the end of my journey I would have one person left in my life as I would rather be alone than to be treated as I had been. I found a T, I read, I prayed, I cried - I hadn't cried in years and all of a sudden I couldn't talk without crying - I mean ugly crying  :), I journalled, I grieved. I began to put the pieces of the puzzle together and see the truth of how my life began - unloved and unwanted. Over and over again I was told I was unloved and unwanted in every way possible and I had to face what that had done to my soul.

I slowly began to heal and grow and change and I cherished the relationships that came from the wreckage of that time. They are few and beautiful to me as most did not care enough to try and rebuild on a solid foundation with me. You know what else I did Nostromo? I got a puppy! Yep, that's right. A precious, beautiful, silly, fun puppy that I have wanted my entire life and was never allowed to have. She is one of the greatest gifts and comforts of my life and I don't know where I would be without her. My point? Whatever it is that your heart longs for that would bring you comfort, joy, uncomplicated pleasure - DO IT!! It will make all the difference right now!!

I know it is hard right now!! You are not alone!! ❤️
Bloomie 🌸
The 3 C's Rule: "I didn't Cause it, I can't Cure it, and...I can't Control it." http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/the-3-cs-rule

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Nostromo

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2015, 10:13:46 AM »
InspirationHealing,

You bring up a very, very good point about socio-cultural norms regarding discipline and what is and what was considered child abuse. Many of the things you mentioned were normal for my parents, although my mother had strong feelings about why she felt these methods were wrong, despite her not being as vocal when it came to my brother and I. My dad, as you mentioned, felt that these methods "built character," and even when I was bullied as a child, he did very little to stop it. He felt that bullies were a "fact of life," even though I was deeply troubled and crying everyday. In fact, my mother was the only one who gave me permission to punch one of my bullies in an effort to defend myself.

I published some research in 2013 about spoken and unspoken moral codes within criminal organizations (I focused mostly on white collar crime, but in some cases these crimes evolve to include assault and murder, etc.), and one of the dominate themes I found was how crimes were justified...and no one was standing up to the "boss." I asked,  "Why?" Most of the criminals lead amazingly normal lives, most people would describe them as "loving, good-natured, and down-to-earth," yet behind the curtain they were committing crimes that had a huge impact radius.
When these criminals were apprehended (in some cases they committed suicide first), the reasons they gave for the crimes were dull (in some cases completely made up), yet in their mind, it COMPLETELY justified everything. "My sister had cancer, so I had to steal millions from others to pay for it," or "I wanted a new yacht so I could keep up appearances, so I created this investment scheme."
In cases where there was a single "mastermind" and several lackeys, and they were asked why no one stood up to the mastermind, no one could really answer why; it was just a way of life. Many times, no one could even pinpoint WHEN they decided to start stealing...they just did it. It was an unspoken agreement and way of life, all the way up to the end.

My point is tied to what you were saying: at some point, beating your children crept into our society, and at another point, no one said anything, but silently accepted it, and it became a social norm. Eventually, just like the criminals mentioned above, slapping or hitting your kid wasn't enough. You had to up the ante. Then it became ear pulling from your teachers, bullying at school, punching, etc. Just like criminals start small (stealing or hurting small animals) then evolve into bigger crimes until it's just a way of life and they don't remember much of anything else.

Where does that leave our parents? Or the lackeys of the criminal masterminds? When our parents were small, they didn't have a choice...but when they were adults, they did. They had the choice to go against their conditioning, same as us, and fight against the norms. Some, as you said, have. Socio-cultural norms are hard to change, and take time, but like racism or sexism, the fight is worth taking up. Our parents didn't make that choice, just like the lackeys of the pyramid schemes didn't make the choice to speak up. Some did, but only after they got caught.

But we have made that choice, and it's changing the world for the better, even if we don't see the change right away. :)

Great, great points to bring up!!
"Terrible people awaken all of the terrible parts inside of you."

"You should not have to rip yourself into pieces to keep others whole."

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Nostromo

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2015, 10:26:49 AM »
Nostromo - Several years ago was the year of an emotional tsunami. Everything I had stuffed and minimized, denied, believed, told myself, stood on, excused, ignored, ... was wiped out as a series of waves hit the shores of my life and I found myself standing alone, surrounded by truth. Painful, lonely, devastating realization after realization. I had spent years building worthless castles in the sand with people who said they loved me, but who treated me with cruelty and utter disregard and it finally came to the point where I had to face it or I truly would not survive.

I had no idea how to withstand the waves as the sand shifted under my feet, but I could no longer live with relationships that were less than healthy, loving, reciprocal. I honestly did not know if at the end of my journey I would have one person left in my life as I would rather be alone than to be treated as I had been. I found a T, I read, I prayed, I cried - I hadn't cried in years and all of a sudden I couldn't talk without crying - I mean ugly crying  :), I journalled, I grieved. I began to put the pieces of the puzzle together and see the truth of how my life began - unloved and unwanted. Over and over again I was told I was unloved and unwanted in every way possible and I had to face what that had done to my soul.

I slowly began to heal and grow and change and I cherished the relationships that came from the wreckage of that time. They are few and beautiful to me as most did not care enough to try and rebuild on a solid foundation with me. You know what else I did Nostromo? I got a puppy! Yep, that's right. A precious, beautiful, silly, fun puppy that I have wanted my entire life and was never allowed to have. She is one of the greatest gifts and comforts of my life and I don't know where I would be without her. My point? Whatever it is that your heart longs for that would bring you comfort, joy, uncomplicated pleasure - DO IT!! It will make all the difference right now!!

I know it is hard right now!! You are not alone!! ❤️

Bloomie,

I am so glad that you have come such a long way in your journey and are doing so well! It must have been painful feeling so alone, but you have come out on top, and I appreciate the help you have been so gracious with offering me.

I'm realizing that it takes a lot of strength to deal with these revelations, and sometimes I just feel SO TIRED. But you know what? I'm surviving! The world hasn't ended, I haven't lost my job, I'm still happily married, I still have friends, and the sun still rises and sets everyday. When I have these revelations, I feel hurt and sadness, but I take comfort in knowing that I made it through it. I still have a lot (a LOT) of work I need to do with healing my inner child, but I feel good about how I'm dealing with everything so far. I have allowed myself to cry, and then I sleep, and the next day I pick myself up and go about my day. I still think about it, though, but I try not to let it consume all of my joy, because I DO have a lot to be thankful for in my life TODAY. Maybe it's not the best way to handle things, but right now it's what works for me, and I'll take it.

PS: Puppies are the best in the whole world. I would have 100 puppies if I could. I would adopt them all. <3


OpenBlueSky,

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! I'm taking it a day at a time and handling things as they come, and that's all I can ask of myself. This forum has helped me a great deal, and I'm thankful for such wonderful people!
"Terrible people awaken all of the terrible parts inside of you."

"You should not have to rip yourself into pieces to keep others whole."

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HappyMom

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2015, 10:25:16 AM »
Wow, this is a hard topic. I honestly can't bring myself to describe the physical abuse, but I will say its similar to yours. As a young child a swat was quite often- and those swats I don't hold against them. I never thought it was abuse. It was normal- however there is a different between a swat on the bum and a full fledged rage spanking/beating. I got the rage on a regular basis up through my teen years. One time I even passed out from a beating and had a black eye. Lied to my teachers. No one called CPS or checked on me. (except my girl scout leader) This was mid 80s and there were commercials on TV about child abuse. 

Also, again, the physical punishment was not enough. As a young child (less than 7) after a spanking I begged my father to forgive me- screaming please please forgive me. His answer- no, I will never forgive you.

As a teen, he would beat me and not allow me to go to my room after to sleep. Its tiring after a beating! He would make me sit in the cold area of the house- I couldnt get a sweater, couldnt eat etc.

Now that he is 70+, he is just a broken man. Got fired from his job in a shameful way. All his kids despise him, but all have contact with him except me I'm very low contact. When I call all I say is " hello can I please speak to mom?"

My Mom never stood up to him- she claims it never did any good. I don't know how she let it happen since I understand she had a nice childhood. My grandfather was nice to my grandmother.

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bonnieG

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2015, 10:46:00 AM »
Nostromo,
My experience was similar to yours and many others-spankings with real rage behind them-continuing well after I was of an age not to be hit. The last time I was in college! Nmom excusing fathers behavior through the years by saying "that how your father is..." or shrugging, "you know....your father". I became more and more withdrawn-by choice. When he was wonderful and happy suddenly he was HER husband. Go figure.

I differentiate between a "don't ever run out in the street!" swat and one that has violence and no real motive other than a diffuse anger behind it.

In my adult years after choosing and struggling with not one but two abusive Pd husbands-I found the books of Charles Whitfield...they have been a godsend. I'd encourage anyone on any of these forums to look at Whitfield's work.
In his books you CAN go back using the power of your mind and imagination and confront the abuser and protect that child that you were and still are inside. You can rewrite that internal history.  It's a slow process getting there...but I believe it's beneficial.
god bless, bonnieg

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openskyblue

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2015, 12:01:15 PM »

The other dream, I was with a very close friend, and she was trying to tell me the type of man my father is and the accomplishments that he had achieved, but one of the degrees that she mentioned was wrong. I brought this up to her, and she kept telling me that since my dad told me that's what he earned, then it MUST be true, and therefore I am wrong. I said to my friend,

"You don't know him the way that I do. He can lie."
She replied, "I've heard all about your white lies, Nostromo."

Something in my dream mind reached a point of understanding, I think: it is not worth arguing, trying to make others see my point of view, or trying to make them understand my past with my dad. I know what I experienced, I know my feelings, and that is enough proof for me.

I walked away from my friend in the dream, climbing down this huge rocky hill in darkness. When I woke up this morning, I committed myself to climbing down that hill. I don't have anything to prove. I have my own journey for my own healing, and that is enough.

Your dream was so interesting and inspiring. 

I just thought I'd mention that in Jungian dream theory, all the characters in a dream are some aspect of you. (Jung spent a lot of time interpreting dreams, and much of his work still stands today.)  So, if you consider that your "really close friend" is really some aspect of you, your dream might tell you that you are looking at the truth about your father and not letting that old part of you that wanted to believe he was really alright guide you any longer.  Then you walked down the rocky hill, which would seem to say that you know this journey will be hard, but you are ready for the unknown.

All in all, a wonderful message and way to wake up.  Best of luck to you and big hugs!

 :bighug:

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Nostromo

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2015, 07:30:20 PM »
I'm in the process of finishing up some of Whitfield's work, and I'm moving on to "Codependent No More" when I get a chance. Whitfield has given me some good material to move forward with rebuilding my inner child.

I have been reevaluating how I feel about spankings in these recent weeks. I know that my parents did spank me a few times because they were scared, but those memories are very few. I think I remember one time somewhat clearly. My spankings were always products of rage and used as tools of terror to make me behave. My mom rarely spanked me, and it was never hard. She did slap me in the face once when I was little, but she was so upset that she did it that she never did it again. I remember all of the emotions I felt when I was being punished that way, so I'm trying to find better, but still effective alternatives to just spanking. It's funny because my mom told me to never punish my children when I'm angry...yet she didn't really stop my dad from punishing me when he was angry.

Openskyblue,

I definitely am into Jungian dream interpretations! I think the subconscious and dream interpretation is fascinating. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the different theories, but I agree with your interpretation. I think the different facets of myself are coming to terms with who I believed my dad to be, and who he is in reality. I think the hill signifies my journey, and the fact that it's rocky signifies that it's going to be tough. But I felt a lot of hope in my dream, so I feel good about moving forward, and the progress I've made since. :)
"Terrible people awaken all of the terrible parts inside of you."

"You should not have to rip yourself into pieces to keep others whole."

*

JenniferSmith

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Re: Trying to Come to Terms with Physical Abuse in Childhood (Trigger Warning)
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2015, 06:54:05 PM »
So sorry to hear about what you (and others on this thread have gone through). Glad you are working through this stuff.. its not easy.

I experienced physical abuse by my NM up until I was somewhere in the 8, 9, 10 year old range (when I was getting too big to hit, basically- then it shifted to emotional/psych abuse).

I don't actually have memories for most of it as I was under 5yo and probably blocked it out. I had two different relatives tell me about it when I was in my 20's in therapy.

Anyway, for anyone who is dealing with this, I will just share that while I did 5 years of talk therapy and read hundreds of books and chat forums like this, one of the things that truly helped the most with the physical abuse was EMDR. It relieved me of distressing emotions in a way that talk therapy could never do.

The talk therapy was vital... but a good therapist trained in EMDR should know that and be able to integrate EMDR into an on-going process of talk therapy in a way that is appropriate for the patient.