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Joined: Jun 2008
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amys' law do not applie to men. women abuse there husbands and boyfriends to go watch snapped its all there

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Elle,
I so relate to the part about the word forgive. I think it is "overused." Some therapists as Trish has stated hammer forgiveness into your head. I had a similar experience with a therapist who told me I had to forgive my mother for abusing me.

I dropped that therapist and found a holistic healer who told me I had a perfect right to be angry and that if I forgave my abuser it meant that I was saying that what was done to me was perfectly acceptable. I was then told how to heal my damaged spirit and to love the child in me who had been abused.

The focus was on me learning how to help myself overcome the abuse.

Last edited by kristen houghton; 06/26/08 01:09 PM.

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Forgiveness is a difficult concept. I was finally able to forgive my mother for a lifetime of abuse when I was able to understand where she was coming from and what made her the way she was. I didn't fully come to this until after she died, though, mainly because I didn't get a vital piece of information until her funeral. And it still took years. But I finally realized that holding onto the anger only hurt me, and letting go of it healed me. She was beyond my help, even when she was alive, and I began to feel sorry for her and the miserable life she condemned herself to live.

None of this means that I condone what she did, or that I think she had any right to behave the way she did. But she had lost the power to make me suffer.

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I think the word "forgiveness" is hard for any of us to use because it has the word "give" in it...and didn't we all "give" enough already? Not that I have anything against those who find peace that way..."To thyme own self be true" but I have never found any comfort or peace in that "exact" word.

Elle, "release" and "let go" are definitely two words I use a lot to find some healing. "Letting go" of painful thoughts and �releasing� the tears and the pain, and just having a moment where I feel the pain deeply and "release" it, as I was unable to do as a child, I find all of those things are very helpful to my healing process. In yoga (I have a steady practice now for five years ) I do things like meditation and �release� and �let go� and I find that my physical being is very strongly connected to my emotional being�for example, when I�ve had a good session of letting go and releasing past pain emotionally, later that night while practicing yoga, I will find that once where I felt built up pain and tightness in my hips (for example) now they are more �open� and more flexible�the pain I was �holding� there in my physical body has released a little�it really is all connected in an amazing way! I feel as an adult now, I can be the healthy adult in my "inner child�s" life and when she cries over her abuse, I am there to hold her and reassure her and tell her good things about herself to make her stronger and become more whole inside...I give that to myself now and I find it very healing. I "talk to myself" internally a lot about what happened as I was my only real witness to my childhood abuse; I was my own best friend. I think many of us, who went through such things as children as a survival mechanism become our own friends inside, and console ourselves and do what we need to do for ourselves to find peace and comfort, how ever we can. After all, our parents weren't providing this for us, so who else could/would?

I was seeing a psychologist for a while who didn't want to "dwell" on my past too much or talk too much about it because she said it kept me from "living" in the present moment. In a small way she was right, when I am really reliving past events, I'm not totally in the "present" moment but I feel that it's good for me to come to terms with it, I feel as though it's a natural process for us to think back on things, now with our adult minds and logic and try to "re-evaluate", or "make sense of" what happened and form even stronger opinions of things and "back up" our memories so to speak. I find it helps me to recall bad events because sometimes I let myself forget for a while and just let things be, as if nothing happened, it's a nice mental break sometimes, but eventually, inevitably my mind remembers how it was and what happened and how you can't pretend it didn't happen, if you do, I feel as though your really setting yourself up to possibly repeat the abuse, and carry on the cycle...Awareness and Honesty are two key factors in stopping the cycle, if you are always aware of your behavior then you can change it if it's not ok, and if your totally honest about it, if you did begin to become abusive, you'd be able to correct it right away and not go down that road.
Also as adult survivors of child abuse, we can now make good healthy decisions of what we want to do for our families and how we want to raise our own kids...I feel like now before I have children I can look back over my abuse and assess what was wrong and how it could be handled differently, etc.

Has anyone heard of or watch the TV shows, Nanny 911 or Supernanny or Trading Spouses Meet Your New Mommy? What I really love about these shows is what you can take from them. It's a great resource into parenting 101...it's an opportunity, a unique opportunity to "see" into other families lives and see how even those mom's and dad's who THINK they're doing "such a great job" and the reason the NEED Nanny 911 to SAVE them is because they believe their kids are the REAL PROBLEM, not them! Soon enough you discover how their "bad parenting skills" for whatever reason was "bringing out" all the children�s' bad behaviors and how the way they disciplined their kids was sometimes, abusive or borderline neglect, etc. What is interesting to see is that when the Nanny sits down with the parents after her initial "observation period" she begins to address the issues, that to the viewers at home seem SO obvious, yet these parents are, 9 times out of 10, shocked, offended, they are HURT to think they are HURTING their kids, or not handling things the right way, they thought they were doing a pretty good job! It's Very interesting to me also because we get to see how when you begin a family, usually we are all caught up in our own little lives, we exist in a �vacuum like world� where we come and go, seeing the same people and doing the same things day in and day out. It's so easy to fall into abusive ways or NOT REALLY SEE how things REALLY are, its very hard to take a step back and see it from an outside perspective . When does a parent ever decide ok, things have been pretty bad lately, lets' sit down and "take stock" in what we're doing, what's working and what�s not. ??? They usually NEVER do this and so, there the parents are, going along thinking they are these great parents and their kids are just "out of control" and they have nothing to do with it...
Now don't get me wrong, it's not always like this, sometimes one parent is very aware and other isn�t etc, but I find this show to be such a great resource into other alternative ways to discipline a kid in a HEALTHY way, and how to provide an environment that is conducive to good happy healthy balanced behavior. We are all scarred from abuse and carry different things with us. Sometimes we will lack the basic skills needed to raise healthy kids and provide a healthy environment, sometimes we focus so strongly on just not "hitting" or "sexually abusing" that all the other basic fundamentals of a healthy childhood get lost...and that is still "abusive" in some ways, and if not abusive at the very least...unhealthy. Will, and sheer determination will not make us healthy parents alone.
Just though I'd bring up those shows as they make me feel like I can take "real life" courses in how not to parent and ways to parent and what kids really need to grow up healthy and secure. They give so many techniques etc and you can take from it or leave what you like/don't like.

Elle, the idea of your in-laws walking you down the isle was great, I loved it! Way to make lemonade out of lemons! I bet you felt good and secure and happy walking down the isle and THAT is how I want to feel when I get "walked" down the isle. I never liked the idea of my father "giving me away" either, what a twisted thought right?!, I feel like that is so "fathers day" again, NOT OK, so against what I feel inside...so I hope I am able to somehow, peacefully or not so peacefully, however my father DECIDES and CHOOSES how to be with it, and have my twin brother walk me down the isle...and it's not just to spite my father as he would say...it's really meaningful to me because my twin brother and I were brought into this world together and grew up together and now we are beginning our own families and so I feel as though it's the right thing to do...he's been the "Man" in my life...he's always amazed me growing up, whenever I'd have a fight with a boyfriend or was upset he'd console me and tell me, I'm not alone and he was there for me...things my father never said, but made all the difference in the world, I feel as though it would be very special for my brother too, as long as my father doesn't �emotionally blackmail� him into not doing it, for both our sakes I hope he just stays out of it and lets my brother do that for me. That�s the tricky part of all of this too, I feel as though my brother and mother are still somewhat �emotional hostages� of my fathers behavior and power and that can still hurt me even if I�ve moved on and started my own new happy life.
Claybird, what you wrote in your last post about that fact that she had �lost her power� to make you suffer�that gives me so much hope. I yurn for the day when my fathers presence doesn�t twist me up inside or make me feel defensive and tense.
One time when I had been practicing very strongly my yoga, I was going three to four times a week and was on a mission if you will to reach a certain level of peace inside with these things�and for a while I found it, it was like this amazing time in my life, a window of time where I felt as though I looked out onto the world from such a place of love and peace and acceptance that I felt no malice or anger or rage, I was at peace�and just as fast as I realized this, and tried to hold on to it�it slipped away and I was �human� once again. Nothing so far has ever done what yoga has done for my healing, except finding this site and talking to all of you wonderful souls. Yoga is my path, and is my way to find peace and love and with my course set for those two things I feel as though I have a good chance at becoming the person I want to be.

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hello. you are not alone..i too grew up with a family like yours,but i was sexually abused by my father.human services were involed in much of my life.my father passed on 4 years ago and ive went to his grave maybe five times. i did not love him anymore and i care for my mother but not sure i love her. she admitts her abusive ways in my upbringing but it doesnt help.i still have anger and mistrust towards both of my parents.and it affected how i raised my children.which was not very well. my children are now grown and im now 41 years old with much remorse for my children.i have grand children whom i love very much and thats finally where the abuse stopped.i would never hurt them.my tough life made me experience bad relationships and now im a better person for it i think.i now value life in ways my parents never could and still dont.life is what we make it dont dweel on the past it will eat you up just be a better person than they were and you'll do fine ,good luck.

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B, I am so sorry to hear of what you endured as a child. I noticed in your first post that you seperated the word, 'survivor.' Survivors of physical abuse heal faster than those of emotional and mental abuse. Sometimes it becomes clear that although we survived, we have not healed. Have we survived physically? Have we survived mentally and emotionally? Please know that it is normal to be triggered by our past abuses. You mentioned that when your dad calls and is angry, it brings up a lot for you from your abusive past. I also understand those triggers very clearly. I experienced the same thing.

You will also go through periods where it seems as though the flashbacks and triggers just won't stop. However, there will be days when you feel you are soaring in your process to heal. This is also normal, in my understanding.

Please know that you are welcomed to come to the forums and post as much as you would like. As you have witnessed, there are so many supportive people here.

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Amazing advice, Elle. I need that advice also. I'm in the same situation with both of my parents.

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I have chosen to stop contact with my parents and my sister who is very close to them. as long as i continue to endure abuse from them i can not get well. they keep me confused and hurt. it hinders my ability to be a happy single mom. i have fibromyalgia which is aggravated by stress. i have agoraphobia and social panic disorders all steming from being battered. I want to grow. I want to live free from this prison theyve created. im walking thru the doors....lol. im scared. but ive made a decision to go for it!!!!

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freemenow,
Good for you!!! You deserve to be free from the abuse! I'm so proud of you for making that decision to walk through those doors towards healing!

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thanks Kelli! thanks for being here!!

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