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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
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The Deleterious Effects of Child Abuse

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Apr 6th 2006

For those who mistakenly believe that the damaging effects of child abuse are outgrown by childhood this information may come as a painful surprise. The fact is that the effects of child abuse last into adulthood and throughout one's life. Its effects are often deleterious, meaning that the impact is often delayed and slow to develop but acute when they do occur. The consequence is that many adults who were abused during childhood experience its worst effects long after they have entered adulthood.

Males and females of all ages, ethnic groups and races come to the therapist's office seeking help for depression, anxiety and marital problems. In many of these cases the spouse or significant other has accused the patient of being abusive to their children or to themselves. Even when there is no present issue of child abuse, the patients who come for treatment are wearing the scars of having been abused during their childhoods.

What Are the Symptoms of Child Abuse in Adulthood?

An interesting observation about adult survivors of child abuse is the fact that many see no connection between their present life problems and the abuse they suffered as children. In fact, some people deny that the extreme punishment they suffered was abusive. Finally, many of them are convinced that they deserved what their parents did to them.

In their adulthood, the symptoms experienced by these patients are similar to those of other people:

1. Low self-esteem.

2. Chronic, low level depression.

3. Generalized anxiety caused by no particular event in the present.

4. Panic attacks usually associated with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

5. Social isolation due to a lack of friendships.

6. Conflicted and difficult marriages.

7. Dissociative disorders in which the survivor of child abuse goes into a "fugue" state in which they are unaware of what they are doing or where they have been. It is a defense against stress which, when it happens, brings the person back to the original childhood trauma.

8. Most of the other symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.

Symptoms experienced mostly by those who were abused by children:

1. Lack of trust in other people. Sometimes this distrust can resemble paranoia.

2. Chronic feelings and thoughts of guilt about anything and everything that happens to them and to others.

3. A tendency to choose partners who continue the abusive behaviors they experienced during their childhood. Some of these people do become abusive but, most often they continue to re-experience abuse in their lives.

4. A fear that underneath, they are just like the abusive parent and that, therefore, they are inherently evil or are a "bad seed."

5. These feelings and thoughts are tenacious and are resistant to anyone giving this person any kind of compliment.

6. Even when these patients learn that they were abused at the hands of one or both parents, there is a continued tendency to explain away parental abusive as having been deserved.


There are a number of important approaches to therapy for adults who are survivors of child abuse. Of course, anti depressant medication helps with feelings of depression and anxiety. However, medication alone cannot change learned patterns of thinking and behaving caused by mistreatment during childhood. Consequently, it is important to engage in ongoing psychotherapy in order to learn how to place these early traumatic events into context. In addition, it is important to learn new and healthier patterns of thinking that are more adaptive and helpful to the individual. To these ends there are two types of therapy that can be helpful: 1) Psychodynamic or Psychoanalytic Therapy, or 2) Cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Whatever type of psychotherapy is entered into, the choice of therapist is more important than the type of therapy, in this clinician's opinion. It is important that the therapist be warm, accepting, interactive and empathetic to this type of patient. To this end, many people ask for a free consultation in order to determine whether or not they feel comfortable and can work with the therapist.

One of the authors of books about the harmful effects of child abuse is Alice Miller. Her classic book is entitled, Drama of the Gifted Child, explains how child abuse affects the living and thinking of these people. In addition, she has written many other worthwhile books on the subject.

We are interested in your comments and stories. Please send your comments, questions and experiences, using the link below the end of this article.

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Thank you, I needed this! - Charlotte W - Feb 21st 2015

Sorry this is going to be long.  I am a recovering Alcholic/Addict and now that I am actually clean and sober a lot of things are coming up that I was trying to numb out.  A man shared at one of my meetings and said that he didn't remember his childhood... even though he'd try really hard.  At that moment, I realized that I didn't remember before the age of seven.  My dad died from alcoholism when I was 7.  I always thought that that was why I didn't remember before then.  However, bits and pieces of my childhood are starting to become crystal clear.  I was abused by both parents -- both physically and emotionally (the worser of the two).  My mom would always tell me things like, "shut up you're not important," and, "go to hell," and "you are a piece of sh*t."  Plus she slapped me all the time.  My dad was a very tall and big man.  He would hit me and my parents would always be fighting at the top of their lungs.  My mom had an abusive father and I believe she chose my dad because that is what was familar to her.  She often tells me to this day that she feels guilty but it was a huge relief when my dad passed.  I believe that's because she was terrified of him.  I also think that, since she couldn't speak up to my father, she would take it out on me -- an easy target. 

I love my mother and father terribly.  I brush off any and all abuse from them as that they just pointed out what a horrible person I am (which I think that of myself) so I derserved anything I get.  I currently self harm by cutting and punching myself in the face because I feel that I deserve it.  I learned the coping mechanism of abuse so I abuse myself when I get overwhelmed with emotions.  

I am so grateful for this article.  I have not understood any of my emotions for my entire life.  I am just beginning to understand where all of my disorders come from.  AND this article made me feel like I'm okay for all of my disorders because I'm not alone.  Thank you for that.

For the longest time I saw no connection with my current day problems with my past.  I just thought that I was merely an alcoholic/addict.  However, even before I picked up any substance I was starting to show signs of having been abused in childhood. 

I have chronic low self esteem even though people tell me that I have a great outgoing personality and that I am beautiful (I disregard EVERY compliment I get... to this day I have never truly believed any compliment I've been given).  I have a tape constanting playing im my head saying how worthless I am, how ugly, how stupid... etc  etc.  I believe this is the voice of my mom's emotional abuse to me from childhood.  In one of my psych ward visits my social worker, my personal therapist and my psychiatrist all told me that I had the worst self critic they've ever heard about.  haha.  But I am convinced I deserve to hear all of the mean things I say to myself and I deserve to punish myself by self harming.

I've always had chronic, mild depression.  Also, I always had generalized anxiety caused by no particular event in the present.  I've had daily panic attacks from the age of 14.  There are virtually no trigger, that I can see, when I have a panic attack. 

I also go into dissociative states.  I get outside of my body when I self harm.  When my mom tried killing herself when I was 21 I apparently acted like a gay man for about a week.  I don't remember this but my best friend had apparently hung out with me when I was in this state and said I was fabulous.  haha.

Below ALL apply to me: 

1. Lack of trust in other people. Sometimes this distrust can resemble paranoia.

2. Chronic feelings and thoughts of guilt about anything and everything that happens to them and to others.

3. A tendency to choose partners who continue the abusive behaviors they experienced during their childhood. Some of these people do become abusive but, most often they continue to re-experience abuse in their lives.

4. A fear that underneath, they are just like the abusive parent and that, therefore, they are inherently evil or are a "bad seed."

5. These feelings and thoughts are tenacious and are resistant to anyone giving this person any kind of compliment.

6. Even when these patients learn that they were abused at the hands of one or both parents, there is a continued tendency to explain away parental abusive as having been deserved. 

I love you for writing this and in a none judgemental way.  Now that I'm beginning to learn why I have these symptoms, I have hope that I will learn how to cope with them.  Thank you.


Question - Chelsea - Feb 18th 2015

If a parent hits you a a punishment and leaves a mark is this child abuse? I undergo this and it is painful but I'm too afraid to tell somebody please help. 

NEXT - Gee - Jan 30th 2015

I am reading your stories for the first time on this site and am very sad for the lost time and pain. Isn’t it amazing how many of us share the same path?

I was the middle child of very bright, New York educated alcoholic parents who neglected, envied, and abused me. The worst of all were the mixed messages. They called me a rose in a weed patch and proceeded to treat me like dirt, not even a weed! My dad, a Julliard concert pianist used to say I was lucky I was talented as I was not much to look at and was surprised when boys liked me. My mother was immersed in my young brother who became her emotional husband.  She was such a control freak she insisted my brother and I be asleep within 15 minutes 'or else.' Being my brother and I were very creative, shared a room had difficulty getting to sleep right away and used to pretend to be asleep when she would check to listen to our breathing. We were 5 and 7. One night I decided to find out what the 'or else' meant, I was met with a stick.

My mother was sexually abused by strangers when she was a child; her mother having survived 21 abortions from her philandering husband had to take care of the prostitutes he brought home.

 I was brought up in a Italian household who support the males. I had 2 brothers, my younger one being a enabled sociopath and pathological liar, ended up eventually bankrupting as many people as he could con, including my husband’s parents who were in their late 70's and my husband was ‘like a brother’ to him. My mother funded his life financially buying him a house and 2 businesses as well as trying to give him money to pay the people back he originally swindled! He also kept that money...he got well over 300 thousand. She of course does not see that, even when the checks written to him were produced by her financial planner. Being the mother of a baby Enron or Ted Kennedy with a degree in Psych to bolster her and years of therapy, to this day cannot and will not admit it.

My older 1/2 brother is also a sociopath and forced sex on me as a young teen. I used to spend weekends at my aunts and uncles to get out of the house but my uncle by marriage to my dad’s sister, fondled me starting at 10. I had Sofia’s choice, stay at my house which was unbearable or tolerate the sexual sh*t. Another mixed message, he was the only man who was protective and called me beautiful while trying to be both my dad and lover.  When I did tell my parents, they said I was lying. Something to this day I have never done. I do not speak with them.

I still do not remember getting my period at 11 after years of therapy, hypnosis etc as that signified my being female, a death sentence in my family. It was not until dance class in 11th grade when a friend handed me a tampon ( i used pads that bulged) I did not know where to put it! Had to walk to the store and read the instructions from a tampon box!

My younger brother was a failure at school, never held a real job as he worked in my dad’s piano store. He was always in trouble, hanging around with hostile violent kids and always on the perimeter of darkness. He was getting F's at school and dropped out of high school 3 months before graduation to the amusement of my parents. And while they praised him for his negative behaviors they made fun of my wanting to be on time, that I cared about grades, studied piano 5 hours a day from age 7, wanted to go to college and never asked them for anything....ever to this day. And although I got my period at 11, was human and very active, did sweat, was a 34 B cup, my mother felt I was too young to need deodorant or a bra. So I smelled and had to hold my boobs while doing jumping jacks while the entire class including the teacher roared!

I was the laughingstock at school, mother sending me to 7th grade dressed like a kid in 3th grade, no makeup or current hairstyle, Bobbie socks, patent leather shoes, plaid dress almost below my knees with a white bib while everyone was in miniskirts, GOGO boots and perfume.   And when I striped for gym...  I sported a white undershirt with a rose scalped edge, mom panties to my waist and ankle socks. My first actual bra came from the mean girls who followed me to school and back making fun of me behind my back the entire 5 miles from home to school and back. After 2 years of this hell, I finally confronted them. They were shocked to actually like me, horrified at my story and decided to help me; meeting me at school 1 hour earlier to do my hair, makeup and change into real clothes they brought from home. I changed back after school. One day when I was 14 I decided I had enough and told them. They tried to put me in a girls home. I tried to commit suicide with all the pills I could find and a gallon of wine. Did not succeed but that made my mother even madder and she tried again to put me away. My older brother who she also worshipped stopped her.

Although I was a gifted child in art, music and in general extremely bright as well as nice looking, it was not until I saw the pictures of myself as a teen now at 59 that I can see who I was.  I have dealt to this day with poor body image as I was called fat and ugly, although I was exotic looking, 5'2, and only102 lbs.  It is soo much easier to believe the bad stuff.  So I became anorexic for years, obsessed with my weight being 2 digits on the scale. Better now, after 15 years of therapy, groups and programs. I am amazed that I did anything at all in the arts and that I received any praise that I could accept. The Course in Miracles, reading Simple Abundance every day and having gotten into the healing arts professionally; Reiki, massage etc has brought the most peace for me. That and simply not being available for anything that does not support who I am and does not make me feel good.

In order to truly heal I did have to remove the toxic family energies from my life all together this year and wish them well from afar. NEXT…..a very good word....

Bless all of you who deal with these dark strange life lessons. May we all see them as lessons and not a prison sentence.  A gift, helping us move forward towards what makes us happy, the pursuit of why we are here; to discover your gifts, and in turn share them, which in my opinion is one of the main reasons we incarnated here on earth at this time in the first place!


Never got over abuse - - Jan 25th 2015

i was brought up in the 1970's and things were accepted then that are not accepted now.  My mother punished me by making me sit on my front porch in my underwear.  She also favored my older Brother over me, I have nevwe been able to overcome the serious insecurities from this.  Now she is elderly and needs me to care for her, it is extremely difficult to be there for her when I have these memories about my childhood.

IM too was abuse by my grandmother - Batman - Dec 9th 2014

Im 32 years old all my life i thouhgt i wasn't normal .My mother die at age 45 due to a rare cancer  i wish i had to chance to tell  her but, she was inform in december 2011 and she died on may 2012 very short i saw her dieing in front my eyes slowing and  i was not brave enough to tell her that her mother abuse me all 5,6,7,8,9,10 ages .It hard now that im 32 year old and it hitting me right on my chest . I have  two kids age 12 , 3 girl and boy im very over protected i love them all with all heart i will  due anything for them just like any other parent will due for there kids .I considering getting some help some in the near future .So far god have been with me and kept me strong .....

to all - - Oct 29th 2014

I am deeply saddened that there are so many who have experienced an abusive childhood, which some of you the abuse is very extreme and severe. I really wished that you never had to experience any of it. No child should have to go through that. 

Please believe that whatever happened is not your fault. You are not damaged goods or rubbish. You had people in your lives who should be loving and protecting you but they themselves were too damaged to do it. This is their choice. Nothing to do with you. 

I had an abusive childhood as well. My parents and siblings all picked on me. I was the scapegoat for all their frustrations. 

What helped me was that I decided to detach from them. My family did not see any wrong on how appalling they treated me. To this date there is still no apology from them and I am not looking for one. They made their choice. I will forgive them but I won't forget. 

I moved away from them as far away as possible and have very minimum contact. It is the best for all of us as being around them brings back too many painful memories. 

I surround myself with kind, loving people who make me feel worthy and loved. Believe that you deserve love. I know I sound like a flake. When I went to see someone 10 years ago about my depression I thought that person was crazy when she told me the same thing. Now 10 years later, I finally understood what she meant. Like all abused children I thought I deserved it all and that I was not good enough. I was looking at my pain through a child's eyes. When you start analysing it from an adult's view, the perception is different. I was a child and the people doing the abusing were the adults. As the child I had no control over what was happening to me. The adults were the ones inflicting all the pain. For what? Because they were stressed? Had a bad day at work? Or were abused themselves? There is no excuse. Never make excuses for them that it was your fault or you did something to make them treat you that way. IT WAS NEVER YOUR FAULT! 

Please believe that you can live a good life. Try not to let your abusers to continue to affect you. They only have the power if you let them. The best revenge of all is to live well. Do the things you love. Be around people who uplift you, make you feel loved and value you. You are strong and resilient because you survived your past. Not many people can do that. 

Please do seek help if you need assistance in dealing with your past. I know it is not easy to face and very painful at times. I was depressed from my teens. I am now in my 40s. Took me more than 20 years to finally figure myself out. Instead of exploring the world and getting to know myself I spent my 20s and 30s wondering why I am sad all the time, why I have no confidence in myself, why am i always bullied at work, found it hard to make friends and being bullied by so-called friends and angry at the littlest of things? I also have an eating disorder I am currently trying to get over and I was suicidal for a long period of time. My mind was in a very dark place.

By finally acknowledging my past, I acknowledge the pain. I am beginning to see the positives in my life, like the supportive husband I have now and the beautiful child we have together. An important lesson I learnt from my family was how not to treat others. I am not abusive to my child at all. He will be loved and protected for the rest of his life and I will never leave him alone with my family. Contact with them will be very minimal as I want to shield him from the pain I had to endure.

I have my own life now. My husband, my child and my good friends are now my family. The family who abused me are in my past. And the past stays in the past as the saying goes. 


Abused - - Oct 23rd 2014

I'm only 19 years old going to be 20 soon, I've been abused from the age of 10 up untill 17, I was molested by my cousin while staying at my mums sister house which unraveled me, I never felt such pain and betrayal yet when I told my mother all she ever said to me was 'there are worse people out there' I always felt being the youngest I was last concern and what's more they made me getting molested about my mum and brother who knew at the time. They never did anything which caused me to get worse I would start to hurt myself, starve myself then got into a relationship of 3 years when I was 15 with an older man who took advantage of me, while we were together I was raped by a stranger then harass by my brothers friend who was married anto tried to take me into a bush, the man I was with did nothing while it happened in front of him, I ended up in hospital due to having a mental breakdown after I tried to take my own life, I began to drink mindlessly and smoke getting myself into trouble by sleeping around with every body and anybody it didnt matter till I found myself being emotionally, physically ansexually abused by a guy who was possessive at the age of 17 he would tell me how worthless I was, pull my hair and sleep with me even without my consent he would force me to give him oral sex and choke me till I couldn't breathe, on one occasion he even kidnapped me after due to a friend I ended the relationship, I began to drink more and found myself lost and disheartened by men, I found myself at therapy, only while I was going through this journey, I uncovered both my mum and sister had been sexually abused while growing up, and it made me angry that men can treat women like this, I came to terms and forgave the people but I will never be able to forget, I helped both my mum and sister through their own journey, but now I am afraid, I found the one for me and we are engaged, except he doesn't understand and I often find myself verbally and physically abusive to him like the fact he is a guy makes me automatically despise and distrust everything about him, even today as I stand in front of my own father I seeth when I see him and the way he physically and emotionally hurts me and my mum, specially after he strangled me, it makes me wonder after 2 years of progress of starting a new live and leaving the past behind me to a certain extend if these memories will ever leave me alone and my low self esteem is always gonna stay the same 

sexual abuse on children - Kim - Oct 16th 2014

My children turn on me when I have turned their father and also years later, the 10 yr oldstep grandson who raped my five year old  grand daughter. How do I heal since I'm not able to heal them????

Scared and loved - christina - Oct 14th 2014

i still love a man who raped me a few years ago i was only 8, 9, 10 -years-old; but he made me feel wanted and love what should i do

brother - Mell Norris - Oct 14th 2014

My younger brother is in Psych. ward in VA hospital with Dementia so bad can't be let out I havent seen him for ten or more years but I know from my younger sister he has been in trouble with the police for many reasons, threatening to kill his sister etc. For some reason I feel guilty. He had so much going for him strait A student good in sports everone like him. He was never beaten or sexually abused but mother did a # on him psychologically held on like a drownening person. Other than a few years being maried he lived with her and his sister, he only worked about a year then lived of her unil she died.Thats when he stared down hill. My wife tells me I don't owe him a thing. I have all the problems i need myself with PTSD.

Backhanded Compliments and the Delirious mother - Audrey Pacifica - Oct 14th 2014

I searches this article to not feel so alone.  My loving husband and I just had another fight - and of course I put up my dukes and made it about my pain. 

I'm just now realizing how effed  up my life was.  I've blocked out most of my childhood.  The only things I remember are ugly. 

I'm truly making efforts to change and regain my life. 

My mother was  sexually abused, neglected,  date raped etc.  She is a monsterof the worse kind.  She's completely delirious ans truly believes she was  GOOD, nurturing,  loving mother.  This makes me laugh. 

She is terrible.  She always yelled and screamed at me and my little sister.  She'd call us \\

i too was abused - why me damm*t - Oct 10th 2014

 I feel like i was abused physically and emotionlly leading me to feel a lot of misery and pain.  when i was six my cousin would play with my privates i still have to see those sick fu**ers on family reuions days. when i was 5 i was grinded on by my big sister and kissed her i felt disgusting. in pre school a boy put his hands down my pant during nap time. i got abused by my sibling they would beat the sh*t out of me and peer preasure me to smoke age 7 to 15 . in middle school i start gaining wieght and called me mean names . i wanted tofit in so i starved myself and got slimmer than i was more happy at how people liked me but their was still bullies. i start acting out and being wild because my family effected me and i grew up with out dad. i got tired of being bad i want and needed to change so i kept my mouth shut and bottled every thing in i was tired of givng a f**k ijust want the pain in my heart to go away isometimes think about blasting myselff like how romeo and jukiet killed them selves to free themselves of pain  but i still have hope even though everyone i loved has deeply hurt me all but this one girl at schholl she was like a angel or something but i didnt get to close or eles i might have ended up even more hurt

realizing the effect - karen - Oct 8th 2014

59  and haunted by abuse as a child.  My grandaughter is 7 and watching her grow is triggering dibilitating pain in me lately including flashbacksnd bad dreams.

I abuse my child since I'm also a victim of abuse! - alison - Oct 8th 2014

I was physio and verbally abused by my father and mother they were also racist so I had problems of having African Americans as friends or as boyfriends. When I lost my virginity it was to a black man real nice I was at my sisters house my father happened to come by and caught us beat me so bad I ended up In the hospital I was fine before that day but when I got to the hospital  I would pee blood the doctors were curios and kept asking me tell us who did this to you my mother made up a story so went with that. My father even strangled me 2 times in life and repeatedly beat me. When got olderI had my child I was very happy but when she cried 24/7 I started to hate her and when she turned 5 months  my brother passed away. On top of that I was being abused and neglected by her father my boyfriend at the time. Then I tried loving her but I couldn't get past her screaming and crying so I hit her here and there it wasn't exactly beating continously it was more verbal abuse. Well through ou t the years I had problems with my daughter and husband but I can say I'm getting good at being a great mom and loving my daughter. I pray more and put her first my husband and I are still not good but as long as I am happy with my daughter that's alright with me.we all do right and wrong in our lives and I tell my daughter every day it is not ok what I put her through and no one deserves to be treated that way mommy was wrong and just be strong because you will be a better person than mommy is and ever will be.i will say that I was wrong to put my precious child through what I put her through even though it's not as bad as others abuse  is abuse it's bad regardless if it's happening all the time or not!

the memories always stay - Liz - Sep 27th 2014

I was abused mentally and neglected as a child. My mother had so much hate towards me, I was scared to even eat in case she poisoned it. So a life time of eating disorders. For years I was called some terrible names. I was told I shouldnt have been born..Always referring to my behaviour being like my fathers. (my parents did not get along). I had no idea about keeping clean, she never showed me or provided me with clean underwear etc. It was my girlfriends mother who helped me. My sister and brother were treated as royality. They could never do wrong.. Many nights I would crawl under my bed and fall asleep sucking my thumb. I even found notes she had written about hating me.  As I got older 12 - 14 yrs, she began to buy me clothes, but clothes for a 20 year old. She did this as she wanted me to always be with my sister who was 6 yrs older than me. To go to pubs, clubs and drink. I looked older than my years and unfortunately I was abducted at a bus stop and held against my will.. When I was finally released, I was taken to hospital and then the police interviewed me. They told my mother that  I must get counselling, essential but she wouldnt budge on that. I was treated terribly by my siblings and mother anmd decided FINALLY  that I dont need people like that in my life. My mother died a few years ago and this may sound awful, but I was so relieved. My abuser was finally out of my life. My siblings? I have nothing to do with them. Toxic. I am receiving treatment from a fantastic therapist.

Dated someone who was abused in childhood - A girl who is trying to figure it out - Sep 26th 2014

I recently and briefly dated someone who I had known for one year prior to dating.  He talked to me of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father, mother who endured the situation and was at wit's end, and sister's who suffered from sexual assault/abuse from people external to the nucelar family.  When he shared these stories and his 'boundaries' and 'limits' and 'deal breakers' for dating, I thought I understood them and was prepared to be loyal and trustworthy as a girlfriend.  Once a week, almost like clockwork, something about me would upset him and I would be told how untrustworthy I was, how unfaithful I was, unhealthy, unstable, a maker of poor decisions, selfish, and so on.  Certain instances include when I was text by a guy friend who I'd known for 20 years and asked to a baseball game, invited to a going away party for a guy friend who I had known 20 years to which I invited this then-boyfriend to come with (mind you, it was deemed inappropriate because this guy friend was only moving 4 hours away and because an ex-boyfriend from a decade prior was going to be there with his wife and son), or if I said I was going to be done with work at 1pm and it was now 2pm and he was waiting for me.  No matter the situation, it went from calm to extremely volatile with the harshest of language thrown around about how untrustorthy and unfaithful and selfish I was.  Then after a few days and him breaking up with me, he would ask for me back and be sweet and loving until a week went on.  Everytime he got upset, he would rehash everything he felt I had done wrong regardless of us 'moving forward' and he would speak to his childhood abuse and tell me he just has a hard time trusting people and that my actions to him, even with him telling me his 'deal breakers' hurt and only proved how selfish I was.  I stayed because I thought I could help.  His past abuse has done a number on him, as I cannot even imagine, but steals my heart and compassion right out of my chest.  I thought I could show him love and trust and boundaries and loyalty, but realized that possibly because of his past, he is so afraid of the abandonment, distrust, and cheating occuring, that he finds it in even the most modest or non-existent of situations.  I wanted to share that side of it- my side as someone who dated someone who told me of their abuse and how many girls they dated were jsut as 'bad news' as me at not meeting his needs.  Also, I want to express compassion for those with those pasts because I am trying to separate out behaviors from the person.  No one deserves that treatment and I hope that survivors of childhood abuse get help to not perpetuate the cycle.  I gather that they want love and are as earnest in that desire as anyone else.  I was abused sexually growing up and I have gone to lots of therapy because I figured- 'How could that NOT have affected me as I age?'  I would hate to perpetuate my trauma on others or let fear of it or distrust of others affect my life more than it did when I was a child.  Also, a question, if someone does respond to these things- is there anything I could have done to help him?  Anything I can do?  He is in graduate school for MFT/LPCC and so I hope that his schooling offers him introspection to heal hurt and move forward.  Not everyone is good, but not everyone is bad either.  People mess up, but it doesn't mean to write them off and bail because their 1 degree 'violation' or rather different way to do something, is a sure sign 'deal breaker' that it is going to turn into a full blown betrayal on magnitudes that are unfathomable.  Thank you for reading.

well heres the thing - - Sep 12th 2014

ive experienced all of these symptoms for a very long time and im still getting over it. im twenty years old now and i have realized theres so much life to be lived. its crazy because from this experience ive learned to love so deeply. i decided and have declared good things in my life and i have not went to therapy or psycologist or anything. ive formed a deep relationship with Jesus and have given my life to Him. its very weird cause reading this made me think why am i overcoming? how am i overcoming? in high school i had a deep low self esteem for myself and the search for love was very strong. that seems normal when my mom left for a man in a different state after my dad got full custody of me because she was an unfit mother. then while my dad had custody of me he didnt know how to control his anger and well he didnt know how to be my mom and dad , i discovered this when i was eight years old. crazy thing he cared so much, he would cry after giving me a black eye but i soon realized he had been abused as a child i looked deeper into this in my teen years. well i found out from my experience that listening to psychology is dumb cause thats just giving up. dont give up cause there is hope, there are people who have gone through this and that are giving it their all to make it out victoriously!!! IT DOESNT HAVE TO END THIS WAY. look at me, ive gone through this since i was seven and its like i went through the battle in my grade school and my high school years, i dappled with many drugs and drinking and i cut and i was billemic as well. but today i am new, today i have joy and i have peace and i will not let go of this peace and joy because it is real, God is real, you may not think so but look at what ive come out of i will never go back declare good things on your life because it will make life better, if you need to talk ever you guys have my email and i will be there for you. I BELIEVE IN YOU!!! BECAUSE IT IS POSSIBLE TO OVERCOME AND GET OUT OF THIS!!! 

help - Gabriele - Sep 9th 2014

My son was ineffectively represented and was prejudiced by his attorney’s poor performance in explaining the plea bargain during the indictment process.

We are asking for a private attorney to please provide some guidance on possible next steps and take on my son

At the time of his arrest, January 17, 2012 psychiatrists diagnosed my son with bipolar schizophrenia disorder. At this time I was awarded power of Attorney over my son.

I was forced to turn the case over to the public defender's office due to our resources at the time, I felt uneasy about it, and as it turned out, my son never had a chance at a fair trial.

I reached out to the, public defender for On many occasions I advised her that I was wanting to assist in any way possible, even to testify, and was advised that as my son was an adult she would not return any of my calls regarding my question on his case, even though she was aware that I had power of attorney over my son due to his mental diagnosis and he even gave her additional permission in writing for her to speak with me.

My son never committed a crime in his life, he is a SMU grad with an impeccable school and work history. The court displayed indifference to the mental condition of him as the defendant, on top of that we had a disinterested lawyer who was rushing for the end of this “trial”. During the entire process, since her first day speaking with my son, she wanted him to enter into a plea bargain, he was weary at the start, he decided not to, eventually under the distress he was in whilst being moved from mental diagnosis to jail and back again he agreed to an unfair plea bargain. He agreed to a sentence of 15 years prison for ALL charges in December 2013

My son received a letter one month after his plea bargain from [county information removed by editor] on February 10 ,2014 advising him that he will face the same charges and be sentenced again after his first 15 year sentence is complete, for a total of 30 years. During counseling between him and his lawyer, he and I were both advised that if he did provide a plea bargain, he would only receive 15 years for everything in total, but now they are saying he will be sentenced again. (30 years total). The lawyer was aware of this and withheld this information.

I contacted contacted his attorney post plea bargain, again, her disinterest shined through when all she could tell me was that she is done with her probono case and that I now was in need of a new lawyer.

I am reaching out for additional assistance and guidance on what can be done from here.

I would greatly appreciate some help, we are lost for words and for action at this point

Please some one out there help us

The 800 pages you have writen - Chrissy from UK - Sep 7th 2014

After reading Mel Norris comments on abuse and that he had written 800 pages of his life, I say first my heart goes out to you for the suffering you occured through out your childhood.

I my self was not sexualy abused but mentally and psychically abused by my Mother who passed at a young age of 60 years.

She made me opress my feelings untl the past 8 years when things started to come to the surfuss for me. I am one of 4 siblings and the oldest she choosen me to hurt and abuse, she had a lot of painful, anger etc going on and taken it out on the most vulunerable me.

I am a spiritual person and just written a book, named "Don't shooot the messenger" I written this for the start of healing inside of me and trying to forgive her, yes it is very hard still, but getting there. I put myself in therapy for the past 8 years and now find out I have post traumatic stress disorder, by the way, I have no family support, but a lot of determination and this I feel has helped me. i start again my therapy this week Wedensday-fingers crossed..

My opinon to Mel Norris is get your 800 pages published if you can, it is a great start of the healing process.

Good luck!

I don't know what to do - Mel Norris - Sep 5th 2014

I was physicaly,sexualy and psychology abused as a child by parents I didn't find out about the sexual abuse until i was 74 years old when a horrific nitemare i had as a child i suppresd came out,i was stunned. One day when 11 years old i was walking down a road and the thought came to me i will have to kill my old man before he kills me which ididn't,yet at times i wish i had !.i started therapy when i was 25 and for the nex 50+ years on and of,and resolved many issues but i think about it every day. I told my wif and daughter and there attitude is get over it which hurts so much. I never beat them but i abused myself all my life thru work,alcohol etc. I will say one day 15 years ago i stoped drinking didn't need it any more and never had a desire for it any more. It sems there isn't much left for a olld man. I have ritten about 800 pages of my life but don't know what to do with them. Thanks

23 and feeling like my life has fallen to pieces - Kay - Sep 5th 2014

Where to start ..

Abuse has effected my life ever since i was a young girl. My mother was sexually abussed by family members and met my dad at the young age of 17..

Soon after they had me ( which i was told was an accident and mum never wanted me ) except my dad used to beat her severly so she had no choice ..

My mum was an alcoholic and my step dad ( who become apart of my life when i was 2 ) was a chronic dope smoker. Growing up with my parents was far from easy. My mother was a very angry woman and used to take most of it out on me ( still does ) She took drugs, ice, weed, pills all sorts and on top of that had a rage of a temper.

She hit me, degraded me infront of her friends, yelled at me and told me i was wothless almost everyday. Told me i was a mistake and has told me numerous times she doesnt love me,  Because she was so hostile i could never express emotions and if i did i would get yelled at and hit more. Crying was a sign of weakness and in her eyes weakness ment more beatings. I still remember the words she used to say to me whenever i used to cry ...


Abuse cycle - - Sep 3rd 2014

Where to start? The abuse starts with my great uncle as far as I can tell. My great uncle sexually abused/ sodomized/ raped my uncle and his friends sexually. My uncle and his friends molested, raped, and sexually abused my mother from 8-11 which she never told anyone about until last year. Me and her therapist know. After that she had lived with the shame and didn't tell anyone about it Ever. No one knows to this day. And what's really fu**ed up is we lived with my uncle who did this to her for several years, when I was 6-8. He never did anything to me as far as I can tell but I always felt odd around him. But I don't take any sh*t from no one. 

My fayher and mother married too early, had me and split by the time I was 3 because my dad wanted to party too much and became an alchohlic. He had partial custody of me but was very flakey about visiting.which really hurt me and taught me to trust no one. He would pick me up waisted (unknown to me) and would drop me at my grandmas. 

While there I was molested by a boy only slightly older than me. (I was 9 he was 10) but I don't see it as a bad expierience. I thought he was really cute and nice, we touched each other's Sexual organs but no pen iteration. I was curious I guess? Still messed up that my grandma would let me hangout with boys I didn't know. So much for a chaperone?

When we lived with my cousin and uncle, I shared a room with my make cousin and we were curious to see each other's places. There was no supervision. But I found him to be gross and just a stinky boy. 

I remember being curious about my sexual organs very early on, about 7 and trying to masterbate using my hands or objects to rub. Idk if something else happened to me earlier than 7 but if it did I dont remember. I had a decent childhood until about 8, I guess. My mom liked to yell at me a lot.

8-13, 5 years of utter terror.

So, my mom was like 300 lbs, basically stress ate to literally fill herself, fill the deep rooted pain she Had about her own childhood. She felt worthless so she went to church a lot and became a bible cam fix everything person... She started going to singles groups and met a def guy who was 6 years younger. The physical abuse started almost immediately After he moved in To my uncles house with us and my cousin. He abused her off and on and "diciplined" me, wgich was actually abuse. He not only physically abused me and my mother, but t also metaly. I loved to sing, talk, you know listen to music... Well because he was def, he did not allow me to do any of those things and I woukd get a beat to my wrists, knees, back, shoulder, or face that left bruises, welts, and gangleon cysys from repeated fractures. I have problems to this day because of this. I frequently Say that they were sport injuries.

he controlled us in everyway imaginable. i literally was locked inside of our own home unable to get free. The sh*ttiest thing was that -no one- believed me, when I told them time and time again that he beat me. The real breaking point was when I was 13 and my sister was only a month old. He had several grand mal seizures and increasingly got worse and worse. He decided that I had done something wrong At one point he went off on me and decided That I deserved to die. Chasede around the house suplexing me, strangling me, pushing me, shoved a gun in my mouth and pulled the trigger repeatedly, good thing I flushed the bullets the day before... Or id be dead. he took the phone apart so I could not call for help. Broke off the alarm system, and smashed me into walls, down stairs, and into the fridge. Just try to think of a 250 lb 6 ft 2 inch male beating up a 13 year old female ufc style. I fought back, tried to jump out of a third story window to get free, but he stopped me. But he eventually hit me so hard in my face that he dazzed me and I laid in a pool of my own blood with my face split open and nose broken. Blood gushung everywhere. I ran through our new house overly concerned about getting blood on the white carpet while my face was hanging open. I put the phone back together and called the police. My stepdad bolted after he saw what he did.

After that my family believed me after all the court dates and trals, he only got 3 years in jail for attempted murder. We filed a restraining order, but he stalked me and my mom until I was 22 and moved put of state. I know have issues with doors being open and unlocked, as well as blinds  not being closed at night. He used to try to open doors and bang on windows, pear through blinds and scare me.  Seriously fucked up shit. 

Onto to my sister...

the man who was supposed to fix it all.  

My mother re-married when I was about 18, I moved out/ got kicked out for comming home late because I had to work, and they refused to pick me up. 

Mother completely stopped caring or having anything to do with me. She told me she was done raising me and to get out at 16. he adopted my half sister when she was 8.

My second step father was obnoxious, cockey, and a hoarder. What we didn't know was he was also a voyer who sexually abused my sister by drugging her and taking pornographic pedifilic pictures of her And forcing her through social media sites to do it herself under the guise of a dominateix/ subordinate black male relationship. this happened from the time my sister was 9-14. My mom was too self absorbed in her weightloss and high paying job to notice The problem And I was married and out of the house, didnt know. 

I found out something had happened to her when we moved in briefly to find a house to by. The DSS was involved because my sister called the police when he said after he drugged her and let her get drunk that they had sex. She did not remember that, but freaked out and called the police... My stepdad said it was only a "scaretest" to keep her from doing those things... Come to findout bs!!!! My mom told me this shortly before us moving in. I was floored and mad at her and him. But they seemed to be working it out? My mother got drunk one night, unavle to deal with the fact that she is a horrible mother, and said she was going to drive Somewhere... Go away. 

I called my stepdad to come get her and take her there so she didn't get hurt. He was forced to live put of the home due to the issue with my sister. hoping for some sort of reconciliation, my sister was ado art against him being around at all, she told us the truth About him drugging her and taking pornographic pictures abs manipulating her, he showed up and said, guess our little sectets out.

The next morning he sent a manifesto and commutted suicide by shooting himself In the head/mouth. The most  terrible thing was that he did it out by the garage, and my mom and I found him still breathing. He lived for 8 hours after still breathing, his eyes were blown out and looked like fried eggs and there was bright red foamy hot blood pooling everywhete with brains falling out. He still breathed and I just felt so sorry that he couldn't face his judgement for his crimes. I made the emts give him morphone and treat him like a person, he held my hand until they took him away, several hours later, still breathing. I was covered in blood and tried to stop the bleeding which was useless. I had sever PTSD from this. My mom now has become an alcoholic and is in serious denial. My 15 year old sister is  doing druga, sleeping around, smoking, and my wonderful mother has another bf. My sister has been institutionalized several times for trying to kill herself, but I seriously think she's a sociopath. 

I have to say, that's a lot of sh*t I've been through. I get angry a lot, I am always stressed out and suffer from ptsd, mild depression, fits of rage, and am prone to a flight or fight instint often resulting in marital issues. I do t trust anyone with my children, not even my husband. I watch them like a helicopter mom. 

My my oldest daughter has some emotional issues and I am tasking her to cbt and OT, to help her cope with an anxiety disorder, as well as impulsiveness, and OCD. It's a constant battle with her, and I tend to yell and spank her. I am ashamed to say I have smacked her and her sister across the face before for disrespectful back talk. I have been better with getting upset and angry, I have been using angermanagement techniques to help myself be the parent I want to be, instead of the parentS I had. 

I am. 28 year old female, mother of 3 and wife to an attorney. My marriage is rocky at best and my husband and I are trying to work through our issues. 

I hope in the future I can go back to therapy again, money permitting, I have been iinstitutionalized before of my own free will when I was 20. It helped me learn to cope with life, stressors, the past, anxiety, failed relationships, low self esteem, depression, basically to help me deal with me And try to break the cycle of abuse and hurt.

I am not the perfect parent, i am judge mental, and my expectations are too high Most of the time. I hate most other people on any given day. I am scared of social interaction. It's either perfect or a pig sty. I get panic attacks. I am not good with money.  I get overly upset when the stuff I own gets ruined (probably because I was raised by a single mom and we were very poor. No child support till I was 6) I yell because I have anger issues. I am making an effort to stop yelling, use calming techniques and be a better paRent and human being. 

My husband says I am too cautious and fearful of everything. 

This is true. 

I have put this put there because it's my life, it's what I know and deal with. I have good and bad days. Today was a particularly rough one. Nothing seemed to go right. I just want you out there to know that you can try to lead a normal life. It just takes a little patience. 


I still feel like that lost little girl. - Michele - Sep 3rd 2014

I was sexually abused when I was 10 years old, by my moms boyfriend. He molested me for 3 years. My abuser he stalked our family. He saw if we had a family, or friends, or if I had a dad. When he found out my mother and I had none. He made his move. He treated me like a dad. I wanted a dad. He gained my trust and friendship. He even knew that I saw him as a dad.  It affected me emotionally,  mentally, and socially. It effected my relationships with other people. I lost trust in alot of people. I felt lost, betrayed, angry, I felt like a disease.At the same time I was being bullied by my peers and classmates. They bullied me socially, emotionally, physically and mentally. At this point in my life I had no one to turn to for support.  No teachers, no other adults, classmates, or friends. I remember crying and screaming to be heard by my mother or neighbors My mother knew he was molesting me, but she turned her head the other way. Years later I learned he was threatening to kill her and my brother. He was emotionally and physically abusive towards her. My mother is also a victim of sexual abuse. Her father was her abuser. It hurt when my mother turnrd her back on me, I felt empty, lost, betrayed, angry, sad , all the emotions. How could she turn her back on someone she gave life to. They ignored my cries and screams. Did I do something to cause this pain. For the longest time I blamed myself. To this day I'm still having trouble making friends and trusting in others. After my moms boyfriend sexually abused me it led to more sex. Sometimes it was with my consent and sometimes it was rape. I thought it was okay for someone to hurt me. I got pregnant when I was 19 years old. I was a victim. It also ruined my working career. I relived my past while I was working at a home improvement store. In 2009  I stalked another employee because I was still a victim . I didn't know I was doing it at the time. I thought it was love. I just wanted to be loved, seen, heard, affection and cared for. The trigger point was another coworker pressured me into having sex with him. I didn't tell my store manager what happened to make act out of character. They fired me because I didn't defend myself. I still thought it was okay for someone to hurt me.. I missed out on alot of stuff in my childood. Even the the basic needs of love, protection, guidance emotionally,  mentally, spiritually, and physically. i'm still a victim. I never got justice. 

i was abused too - well loved - Sep 2nd 2014

I was abused by 2 men in the same house. nobody knew it happend when i was a child. During my younger years i always prayed to God to let me marry a man who will give me the love i was yearning for. I got what i prayed for. However, sometimes, I realize that i am emotionally unstable. I easily get irritated and i want to overpower people. I think this is one of the effects of being abused as a child. Sometimes i am so sensitivemthen my heart is full of hatred, then try i try to be nice and kind to everyone,etc. my emotions keep changing. But i never give up to be a betterperson for my husband. Now i am carrying our first child, all the more i should think positive and trust God and my husband that their love with help me forget about the past and just focus on the love they have for me. I hope everyone would also find someone who will help them forget the dreadful past and never give up on yourself. have mor elove and faith in yourselves. love u all :)

learning to play - Jenny - Aug 27th 2014

I'm now in my 63rd year - and am only now able to fully take on board the profound effects of my upbringing. Brought up in a climate of sexual and psychological abuse, I learned very early on to be 'good' - to ask for nothing and do what I was told.  To cry in private. I am only just learning, after years of therapy,  to make friends and trust people.  It's as if I'm in the process of re-assessing the outside world, and my position in it.

The Flaw - CAROLE - Aug 25th 2014

I was sexually abused by my father for 7 years. My father according to my mother who left when I was seven hated me. She told me I even had black eyes when I was in the pram....

I spent my teens continually self harming unable to cope with life. In my twenties I went to university and succesfully had a family of my own.

Now in my fifties I clearly carry a flaw as a result of the sexual, physical, emotional abuse and total lack of care as a child.I continue to fight the darkness, the despair and the need to be aware of my coldness sometimes.

To family, friends and colleagues I appear to be a  strong, caring and intelligent ladybut inside I still fight the fight.

My intelligence and awarness has enabled me to see that I was an innocent party in all that happened but that lack of care, love or any happiness in my childhood or teens has left an emptyness and deep sence of sadness.


reliving abuse in unhealthy way - anna - Aug 20th 2014

my name Is Anna I am 42 with three beautiful children who are 12 9 and 4 . I was spanked on the bottom by my mum and dad mostly my dad till 15 . I also had sexual abuse incidence with my cousin when I was 11 and he was 40 and my sisters boyfriend when I was 15 . I had been doing really well but lately I have tried to relive it by googling " anyone spanked as a child then reading the responses . I know this is u

nhealthy but I am afraid to tell my counsellor . I know she won't judge me but I said I hadn't gone back to old habits when I had .


Physical and psychological from my siblings and mom - CR - Aug 17th 2014

I am 48 and stilll in a lot of emotional pain. I am angry and take it out on strangers and then I hate myself for it. I've tried therapy of all kinds and many different types of antidepressants. It's just a part of me and I have to learn how to cope.

Yes, I think I am better today than I was at age 20 and 30, but I would be a fool to believe that I can get rid of that hurt.

As a child, my brother and sister at the very least would verbally abuse me or threaten me. I say at the least because many other days I was beaten — not enough to send me to the hospital, but enough that I would have bruises and swelling.

I used to blame just them, but I have come to realize that my mother played a huge role in my abuse. She should not have put them in charge when she was at work. She enabled them by not believing me or thinking that we were just \\

Scared of everything too! - - Aug 16th 2014

I was abused by my neighbour when I was like 6. I didn't understand it so I didn't know until I was much older, nobody every found out. I am too scared of everything; being alone with men (even if I know them), darkness, being home alone. I don't know if theraphy helps. I've only just started and I don't find it useful at all. I don't like talking about it, I don't know how to talk about it either, I don't even like saying it outloud. Even though I know it's not their fault, I do blame my parents a little. If they would had just paid more attention to me, sit down and ask me 'what did you do today, honey?' at the end of the day, or if they hadn't made fun of my fear of dark and they would have worried about it instead, maybe they would have known. Pay attention to your kids. When you come tired after work, deal with it. You chose to have children so you would BE with them, talk to them, not just sit them in front of a computer or tv. Child abuse can be avoided if parents pay attention to their kids, I think.

Scared of Everything! - - Aug 15th 2014

I have experienced most stuff that everyone else here did too, but don't have the slightest courage to speak about it. However, it's good to know that I am not the only one. I am sure God will compensate for that in the end, and will be kind to me in the life hereafter. 

therapy - - Jul 18th 2014

While I believe the mental illness system does little to focus on health and what it looks like, there is merit in talking to trained professionals. Some are judgmental. many don't have a clue. many more however, truly care. They do their best for little pay and no respect. Despite what many might think, they come to the profession out of their own need to cope with the pain and suffering they and those around them have made them aware of. It may be their own, a family member, a friend, etc.. who made them aware just how hard it it to cope, survive and thrive in a world where abuse is hidden behind doors, children have no recourse to move themselves which is acceptable, and the world continues to prove that those in power are not to be trusted.  Therapists are not miracle workers nor can they ever make the reality of past pain and events go away. What they can help with is helping you understand that what others did to you is their sickness. What you do to others and yourself is yours. As you wanted someone to come and save you, those you abuse want the same for themselves. What you need to realize is that the only one who can save you is you. It is not easy and may not even be possible. But, it is the only thing I have ever found worth pursuing. To love people, to believe in goodness, helping my fellow man, and learning how to trust that sometimes when others hurt me it is not because they are sick but rather they are imperpect humans struggling with their own pain. Just like me sometimes they succeed in getting being human right and sometimes they don't. I don't ask for perfection but I do ask that if you hurt me you work on yourself and not do the same thing again.

While therapists may not understand all of what you have experienced, they understand the suffering caused by the betrayal of trust and the devastation such betrayal causes. They can help you only as much as you are willing to let them for the help actually comes from with you not them. It is like they have a map of a mine field and they can assist you in getting across but, they can not take away the risk in crossing or cross it for you. That is your job. They can also teach you mental strengthening techniques to help you counter the abusive messages but they can't make you try them. They also can't give you a pill to make the pain of abuse go away but they can help you understand that you are strong enough to ssurvive it. If you are and adult you already did. Now the question is can you thrive despite it. I hope so. It is the only goal I will find worth pursuing. I just don't know what thriving looks like. I know it is not money, power, prestige, education, religion, looks, physical prowess, intelligence or anything which saves only myself and ignores the ocean of misery around me. 

When treatment becomes abusive - - Jul 18th 2014

I have always felt worthless because I was told repeatedly just how unloveable and worthless I was. I was garbage sent by Satan to make life miserable. Being left handed was the sign. But, I thought they were nuts and I was worth something. I know nothing other then fight. Flight seems worse than death because then I would be breathing and not me. So I grew up and experienced tons of the issues related to growing up abused. It is hard to be normal when nothing in your life has been normal. I went to therapy. I worked hard. I overcame poverty. I overcame bigotry. I overcame opression. I overcame educational disadvantage and dedicated my life to working with others who had been abused. I was proof that no matter what one had done to them, it was not who they were. They got to choose. What I could not overcome was nightmares. The voices of childhood telling me that I would never be good enough or that I had no right to my success were always there. Then the self righteous who have no idea what it takes to survive and thrive judged me for medicating with THC rather than drinking alcohol which I associate with violence, sexual perversion, denial, hypocrisy and death. So, after two decades of extremely successful work with the chronically mentally ill, I was told I was a liar, addict and worthless as a therapist. I have not been able to recover from ignorance and Holier Than Thou hypocrisy. I am not sure recovery is worth it any more when the helpers are the assassins of the recovery I put together for me. So, I am torn between compassion and a desire to see nature, virus'and man's inhumanity to man to come to all those who by virtue of luck, birth, etc.. sit in their educated palaces of denial, religion, education, and philanthropy so that they might truly be enlightened about that which they only paint with a brush and I push back the tears and pain of 43 years after leaving my little home or horror.

At least now I feel normal, considering. - Dan Olson - Jul 17th 2014

I always feel like something is wrong with me and am consistently reproached for having low self esteem by my children. 

I can't have relationships that are healthy.

All my relationships become abusive.

I have always attracted the wrong sort of people so I keep myself away from people to keep myself safe.

I have put on extreme weight to keep myself safe from being harrassed by men, even in my old age, even in church.

I'm just grateful for this article because it helped me to understand that the way that I am is at least the normal response to a childhood of neglect and abuse.


De - - Jul 17th 2014

My family abused and neglected me. I was the child that didn't matter, didn't have a voice, didn't have any rights. The other children did. To this day they are all mad as hell that I left and refuse to let them continue to hurt me. Whenever I let anyone of them near me the abuse begins again. They beleive it is their absolute right to hurt me. As a teenager I was groomed and raped by an outsider, but I am fairly sure that my siblings helped that person. The sadness and feelings that I am considered nothing have never gone away. I do not know even now how to defend myself from abusive people. The pain and knowledge that almost everyone that has ever touched my life just doesn't care about me at all is destroying me. I am a woman in my 40's. 

Rsponse to Steve - Kim - Jul 17th 2014

Hi Steve, It's sad to hear so many of us have the same symptoms of depression and anxiety. At my worst point I turned to charity work so every day I was busy working in an animal shelter or volunteering at my rowing club. Joining a rowing club was great because it consumed my thoughts and gave me relief from thinking about my problems. In this blog someone mentions the book "Mind over mood" so I'm going to see if I can buy it and maybe also see a psychotherapist as some people here have suggested. I'm  41 and have only now decided to completely reject these abusers from my life and put them in the past. Good luck Steve.

Mental Health - John - Jul 16th 2014

I am not sure how to write this but here goes,my name is steve i am 47 years of age .I was physicaly and mentally abused as a child,i saw my mother and step father who was an alcholic do things that no child should have to see,i suffer from anxitey attacks and depression i dont know what to do about it,i am a grown man but slowly over time i can feel myself falling apart.My mother passed away some years ago from cancer and my step father is still alive,my natural father was a diagnosed schizophrenic who was also a wife and child beater.I dont know who to talk to about this .

Abusive parents - Kim - Jul 16th 2014

Dear all. Please do not let these abusers destroy what can be a great life. I've been abused, bashed and verbally tortured daily by my father since I was born. He is mentally ill and untreated. He would bash my brothers head against mine and beat me till I soiled myself. My first thoughts as a child was why do these people hate me. Why do they have children? I didn't know they were supposed to be parents who loved me. I now have my own two new babies and am scared of being a monster like my father but I fight back the feelings every day. Only yesterday I stood up to my father when he grabbed my two year old and I could see the rage building in his face and I dug my nails into his arm as hard as I could and said "don't touch or speak to my child you ... pyscho".  My mum then defended his actions as usual to my husband but this is the final time I'm going to give into pity. I pity them because my brother is anorexic with depression and negatively speaks of all women because they reject him. But they rejuect him because is also a violent a...hole who also bashed me. My mother is the biggest liar and defender of these abusers.

I found relief by spending most weekends at my grandmothers house since age 5 and then moving and living in London on a working holiday VISA and now I live in Japan with my husband who suffers my constant anger towards my parents and doesn;t understand why I'm so angry all the time.

Leave these abusers behind. You don't owe them anything! They don't deserve the joys of grandchildren. They'll never apologise or admit their wrongs. You are a strong survivor and you deserve happiness. Thank you for sharing. Please don't give up.

i was abused - jo - Jul 11th 2014

HI, I know I was abused, at least emotionally and physically, I remember the pain of having my pants pulled down and spanked on my bottom by my adoptive father. its the rest i dont remember but I somehow know it happened. as a child  I was overly sexualised, I mean I really was. I tried to get my little sister to touch me at 7 or 8 years old. then when I was 11 I was in boarding school and this girl was asleep and I climbed into bed with  her and I tried to undress her but she started to wake up. what is wrong with me??


looking for therapist in Pakistan - S F - Jul 11th 2014

hi, I have suffered very little but some abuse in my childhood. n as many here have stated, I was at peace with all of it, until now, as I have started wasting my future, I have three absolutely amazing kids n one gem of a HUsband, whom I am about to drive crazy, n only upon reading this article have i realized what I am doing to him, for quiet sometime now, I had been feeling that the reason for disturbance in our marriage is that he is too linient, too soft. what he really is, is my last hope, pl guide me if i should share with him? because i need help.

I know I am an amazingly capable n educated woman, n i love my kids, at times I want to do amazing things for them, an out-of-the-box vision takes over me, n i want to be amazing, n i know i can make them into wonderfuladults, but the next moment, i feel i can not even think, or do or accomlish anything, my confidence is all shattered and worse thing, I put it on the husband, I start feeling like he is the reason my abilities are not materilizing, he has shown all kinds of support that he can, but i keep asking/ expecting more from him.

What is not letting me live with myself, is what I am doing to my husband, n more importantly, to my kids,I beat them over little things, they are always so scared around me, n the irony is, that due to his job n other commitments, the poor kids are usually at Gods mercy n mine. I beat them too much, n em afraid em turning them into people like me.

Where i was hit excessively by my mother n brother, I also had very very supportive father who did not know about the abuse, n for most part of my childhood I have had too much encouagement n support from him, n yet I kept suffering from digestive n minor health disorders, reason for which I only understood today, I remeber being once diagonosed with anxiety as well when i was a kid.

My problem now is that thearpy is a big tabboo in this part of the world, some have started to now accept once having to go to a psyc doctor, or taking anti depressant, but no way anybody can accept someone going for thearpy. plz somebody, help me. Where can i find a counsellor? is there a directory etc available ? 

Hope for Us - Lady Ordain - Jul 1st 2014

child abuse is a unfortunate sin that leaves victims fighting for a bit of sanity. The reality that is faced wants to be unseen and overcome. I come from a family in which majority of the women have been sexually abused and neglected. All my aunts including my mother, But I look up to each and everyone of these people. They learned to become independent at a younger age ( only because they had to) and become dependent on each other as siblings. The sad case of it, each had endured traumatic events that isolated each of them from eachother. But their mother (my grandmother) has put them in alot of situations carelessly, the good thing is she taught them to always stay together. I dont blame my grandmother, because i sympathize for her. She was clearly unfit to have as many children as she did (nine), and she suffered Undiagnosed mental disorders, and alcoholism. For whatever the past my grandmother suffered, I plead God for closure. I am proud of the fact that each of my aunts and mom are well today healthy, married and overcoming. enough to take care of their children well and be of care toward family whom needs it.

My mom and I grew distant from the rest of the family, being the youngest and having a different father, my mother always feels isolated. She has suffered incestual rape at a young age, and suffers alot of anxiety about stuff today. As well as I, suffered sexually abuse from several people wen I was young, But my mom had me at a young age as well. Typically being a young single parent, she had to work alot, often I was left in trusting hands that were far from that. I was involved in incest with my stepbrother, but i never knew the rights and wrong of it only enough to deny it when asked about it. But as I grew older, i would often contiplate how a young child picks up habits like such. To find out that my mothers ex boyfriend, whom also was a neighbor most likely has molasted me. My mother believes, and I feel that she could possible be right to.  The good thing is me and my mother are in a healing stage, reading things and looking toward eachother for support. And as much as i hate god sometimes for not doing anything, I also thank him for allowing me to have the people i do in my life.

But I also want to believe like it is not my mothers fault, rationalizing the giving situation of young single motherhood. I should also not blame god, for he did not do it, and did not want it to happen. Not understanding yet this free will thing that we have on earth, is troubling, esp. wen i see people abuse it. I put faith in god to end the suffrage not use it to build strength. But Love and faith to all Male and female, you shall overcome, if you want to. From our oppressors you must break that bond and move on. There will be a higher calling for you.


indifference - Andy - Jun 30th 2014


: Lack of interest in or concern about something: little or no Concern: An indifferent attitude or feeling.

Effects of childhood rape - Albie - Oct 30th 2013

I just came across your blog. Even though I have had counselors before I feel like they won't understand. I was first molested when I was just 3 years old, I had no recollection of this and only know it to be fact when my Mother confessed to me when I was just 17. The first time that I remember was only a year later and I spent the next 15 years well up until I was 19 and approaching 20 being raped and abused by multiple people throughout. As a child it would be babysitters or babysitters sons that took my innocence and when I reached my teen years it was "boyfriends" I use the term loosely seeing as though we would never be dating but rather I would come across them when out. A lot of people around me would never think that I of all people spent my life being abused (I am only 21 now) seeing as though I portray a strong young woman who's the life and soul of the party and adventurous but my best friends and my sister (who also endured the exact same as me) know how I really am behind close doors. I like to pretend that I am fine but I'm not, years of abuse led me down the path of eating disorders, I've been battling them since I was 6, sometimes I get to a healthy weight but within months I hate myself again. I have self harmed in multiple ways, from the typical cutting to pouring hot kettle water on my hand as well as scratching my own skin or headbutting the floor in childish fits of rage. The only relationship that I count started when I was 15 and ended when I was 19, once again due to everything that happened when I was a child my judgement is damaged as the nice boy I had met quickly turned into an abuser, he beat me, he raped me, he did everything he could to make me try to take my own life multiple times because I felt trapped, further knocking my confidence when he beat me so badly that I just at the age of 17 and heavily pregnant lost our unborn child something that I still to this day cannot get over. And I've always had that problem, from the age of 11 I would go off with older boys, drink, smoke drugs and participate in sex whether I wanted to or not, I didn't care anymore as I got older around the age of 14 I started becoming more promiscuous and would use my body to get what I wanted, luring older and rich men in, I felt sick and ashamed doing it but what people can't understand is that was all I knew. My ex told me multiple times that I was nothing but a sex toy and less than a year after losing his daughter he forced me into prostitution, something I could never tell my sister. And here I am 21 nearly 22, if you just met me you would think "Oh she's pretty cool, intelligent, funny, quirky though but she works hard, studies hard, very confident and bubbly" but if you knew me you would see that's my shield, I have no body self confidence, the sight of my body makes me feel sick, my breasts never grew back after being severely anorexic and bulimic and I look in the mirror and don't see a young woman but rather that small little girl, being raped and tortured all the while her parents being oblivious or too self absorbed to take note. I can't get with anyone or go on dates because men scare me, they petrify me (ironic considering that my two best friends are male) but I know what they can do, plus I'm so scared of my past being used against me like my ex did as well as thinking I am inferior to others, why would anyone want to be burdened with me? I suffer deep anxiety, I can't go out alone, my hands get clammy in crowds, I suffer from deep depression before I reached 18 I was an alcoholic (I've conquered that now) and drug abuse, I just wanted to feel numb. I have had insomnia on and off for years, because of the nightmares, I also need a night light because I'm scared off the dark. I suffered from psychosis and was institutionalised by the time I was 14, I then got diagnosed with bipolar not long after, is that down to being abused my whole life? I don't know but I blame all those men on why I am not normal. Some days I want to prove to them that I am somebody and they did try to break me but they didn't and I survived but then other days the pain and the memories hurt too much that I just want to either hurt myself or fall asleep and never wake up. I hate to say I'm a rape victim because I still think it's my fault, all I can say is I spent the most of my life being raped and I don't know why.

Realized this past year I lived the majority of my life of abuse - Dawn - Oct 15th 2013

I started having memories of my mom leaving me with my sister when I was five years old and she was 11. Big mistake! She started beating me right off the bat. She threw me on glass and I needed stitches but instead she and her friend threw me in a bath tub full of water and ice. I was screaming and they were screaming for me to shut up. The bleeding finally stopped. She then told me she would do it again the next day if I told on her.

She also pulled all my hair into the vacuum cleaner. She got me to start smoking. She and her friends pushed me around and hit me. She locked me in my room. I kicked my way out through the bathroom. Things like this went on everyday until I went back to school. Then after school. I found a place to hide from her. It was't just her. My dad always acted like he didn't want me. I had an older brother but he passed away. He just stayed away from me or yelled at me if something went wrong, so I hid from him just like I did my sister, but the older I got the harder it got to slip by them both.

My younger sister and brother were all neglected, but my older sister and younger brother were the favorites. We were told that if our older brother had not died that my younger sister and I would not of been born or our younger brother which is not something you tell a child. But our parents did. They never taught any of us except our older sister about menstrual cycles or pregnancy or men relationships, college, basically nothing. By the time I was a teenager and my brother got my sisters old room (because boys don't sleep with girls) no problem while she was there. I started standing up to my dad and my mom. I started going to friends houses and noticed that our house was not right at all. I went to enough of their homes and I finally approached my mom and told her to take me to my real parents home that I knew I was adopted. She said are you crazy I said it again. She started laughing and I just kept repeating take me home. She threatened to take me to mental health. I wish now that I knew what that was because I would of went. My parents would of lost all 3 of us. They never ever said I love you. They never hugged us. I have no memories of them holding any of us. I have no memories of them telling each other those things. So, when my dad wanted to fight he came to me. I would not back down from him. I had so much anger in me toward him I just couldn't hold it in. So he would jump on me and beat me in the back never in the face.

I moved out a few times. I actually ended up getting pregnant @ age 19 almost 20 pretty good for someone who knew nothing about ovulation. Well, I married an abusive man. A man that abused me while I was pregnant up until our daughter was 3 almost 4 when I filed for divorce.Which he tortured me everyday. He still tortures me and tries to control me. Was never a good dad or a decent one.

Then I ended up remarrying when my daughter was 5 well, this time this guy is very nice to me. Come to find out. I am pregnant again. Nice to me and 3 years later I find out he is molesting my daughter. This one did not penetrate my daughter but he took her innocence and went to prison for 30 years.

I am married again. Dated for 2 years first married for 3 years then got pregnant and have been married to him for 4 1/2 years. I keep waiting for this man to do something to me or my children. He hasn't but I have been through so much with my family, and my ex husbands that I find it so hard to just trust anybody. This is no way to live. I believe I have PTSD and I really need to go and seek a psychitriast and therapist to help me move past all of these things. I don't even know what normal is anymore.

I seclude myself in my home and just don't know what it feels like to really trust anyone anymore. I would really like to though, just the right people. Thanks and good luck to you all. For all of you that are thinking of taking your lifes if't not worth it. It's selfish and the easy way out. Get the help you deserve and do something with your life and then show all those that put you down and talk about you that you are somebody and make them look like they are the crazy ones. Thank you I needed to read this!

My abuse happened Many years ago in West Germany - angelika - Oct 2nd 2013

My Abuse Happened A Long Time Ago In West Germany

I am a 49 year old that now resides in the USA. Since last year I have started emotional therapy. It's something that I did not wanted to deal with. I had therapy when me and my deceased husband was divorcing and then reconsealing because he was dying of cancer . He had no one to take care of him. However, now I am finally coming to terms why I have been diagnosed with PTSD, severe Anxiety and also seasonal disorder. It is hard for me doing the therapy. I am also working on my memoir. It is part of my healing process. If I had not found this exceptional, compassionate and gifted counselor, I would have never told. My partner of 14 years would have never known either. I was so determined to take this to my grave side My stepdad sexual abused me since the age of 3. He also abused me emotional as well as physical.It is been tough last year around Christmas having to deal with severe flashbacks. I came close of killing my self again. I remember how he abused me, whether anal sex, oral sex, ************ him before my mother, or him pushing my face into my mother's vagina and demanding me to lick her *****. He also forced me to pee like him, and I was tiny and I tried to please him. I tried hard to stand on our toilet like him, and stretch forward and try to pee like him. He was evil and a demon. He drunk a lot. When he was drunk he was the devil himself. I still until this day I remember his devlish laugh and his wired looks in his eyes. I m writing my story, cause most of my family members are dead. I was not only abused by him but various other men too . I was molested by my best friends grandfather. I was molested by my guitar teacher, every time I went there for my lesson. He would do it in the kitchen, take me on his lap, he usually was wearing sports pants. I could feel his penis growing under me. In the same token everytime he did this he would massage and crap my breasts!I hated it. I was trying to tell my grandmother. But all she would say is :Ïts all in your head, it's all in your head. "Yes, I thought but then why do I have all these flashbacks all these years? Why did I know of what happened to me all these years?"I became angry. I remember my German house Dr who in his office on his table fondled me and tried to kiss me , all why my mother was there too watching and not doing a thing. But what can you expect from a mother, who was f**ng God and the world ! I have a lot of anger , frustration. A stepdad who abused me emotionaly by letting me have to write a 100 time that I am dumb, over and over and over. When I knew that I was a very bright kid. When a stepdad clothed me in boy's clothing rather in girls clothing? What the **** was he thinking? I am 49 years old and it will take me a while to go through therapy. However,Iam determined to write my autobiography. I am giving my self the time. Now,, I deserve to tell my story. Because I want other's to know Ÿou are not alone." I m getting slowly better. But my recovery is a little long. But I still have the time. In the meanwhile writing my story will help me to heal, will hopefully help me to put this aweful past behind me. God bless all of you. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, emotional and physical. I own these words! I have survived!


What can i do ? - Star - Sep 4th 2013

I had a sexually and mental abuse sense i think 11 or maybe more little to 18 it was horrible because it was family members, i think i move on from it but i think is hunting me because every single relationship i have i push away i make it bad when i actually dont see it like that and i dont know why, its like i cant see that im doing something wrong when actually i really dont want to hurt people or make them mad, and sometimes i think is my childhood abuse that make me like this and actually my mom and brother they still dont know about that abuse i ahvent told nobody because i know would be a huge thing in my family and probably my mom wont believe me .. im now 23 years old trying my best for my relationship but we keep fighting and i think im pushing him away .. and i dont want to loose him 

Psychological games - StAcy - Aug 28th 2013

To the girl who put help. My heart goes out to you. That letter made me sad, wish we could talk.. My abuse was from my stepmom lasting 8 years, my mum left when I was 5 and my dad soon got together with the  neighbour. From day one even at such a young age, I felt she hated me, loved my sister and her 2 daughters but completely blanked me fron morning to night my dad put his trust into her to soon and I was soon left alone with her every day while my dad did long shifts. She would never speak a word to me, only order all the kids to clean up. my older sister never spoke to me either. I could never make sence of it in my young mind. I just knew I was scared and alone. I must of angered her even further because when my dad would return from work, I couldn't contain my childish innocent excitement. A few years in the game playing began, she would say I had stolen, broke, hurt people even. She even insinuates I touched a boy indecently(I was around 9) I didn't even realise how sick that was till I grew up. She would sit me in a room on occasions. Till I admitted to things I hadn't done. My dad was to pathetic to notice or care. I'm in councelling I actually went tonight. And just splurted everything out. I'm a 30 year old women and haven't been out for years, I have low self esteem I feel no one ever remember s me I feel worthless and that I have no identity. I've been an escort all my  adult life which has messed me up further, I don't have any relashionship s, I've self harmed, binge drink to excess for 15 years. I'm a mess I feel I invisable which I think has to be connected to my childhood. I hate what she did to me. And children need protecting emotional is just as bad as pysical there all very twisted and sick. I haven't had children but I would never hurt a child, I would be interested to know what makes people abuse like this

Please keep fighting - Daisy - Aug 26th 2013

The courage and strength of everyone who has posted on this site is incredible. I wish I could wrap my arms around all of you and tell you how special and beautiful you all are.

We are all survivors of abuse and we share the same emotional pain: old or young, male or female.  And I take comfort knowing that there are others who feel what I feel.  We are not alone.

If you can get into therapy, or join a support group (online or in person), I urge you to do it.  And if you have already tried and didn't get what you needed, please keep trying.  Don't give up.

I go to therapy, take my medication and get up everyday determined not to let my past ruin my future.  There are many days when I feel that I'm beyond repair, but I try hard to fight the feelings and push through them. 

Please keep reaching for some kind of happiness.  It is your right and it's worth fighting for.


Help. - - Aug 22nd 2013

The abuse I suffered was not as severe as many of the people posting here, nor was it physical. However it was so subversive and ongoing that it scarred me horribly inside. I suffer every single symptom listed, and everything in this blog is so true to my life. It's crazy. I remember the moment when I finally realized that I was abused, and it was like a revelation. Suddenly everything made sense, why I have consistently been so messed up and constantly messing my life up and incapable of getting better. I always just thought something was wrong with me, and I still sort of do despite realizing it wasn't my fault. I was 24 years old, less than two years ago. My mom had always denied it and to this day after I confronted her about it she still denies it, but I know it's real. I just don't know to what extent it is or not. I don't feel like I can even trust myself, I have such severe trust issues. I don't know how to deal with it or what to do. The first step is to acknowledge it but if my mother won't even let me talk about it and insults me and says horrible things and says I am making it up and she was a wonderful parent and I was spoiled and had the best childhood which I didn't deserve, how am I supposed to move on? I need closure and I can't get it. My mom emotionally crippled me and I feel like I will never get out of this hell, never succeed, I truly believe that I am going to die because I can't foresee a future for myself. I can never be happy. I am almost done my University degree and this has brought up all sorts of issues for me because I suddenly have to face the future and apparently, despite how much I have been dreaming of this moment, I'm not ready for it. My mom emotionally and verbally abused me and threatened me and demeaned and insulted me and my father my entire life. She has been physically abusive to my father in front of me and my brother. She hated me but loved my little brother and to this day he is perfect in her eyes, while I am a monster. None of my accomplishments get acknowledged and none of my views get respected, while everything my brother says or does goes completely unquestioned by her. She unconditionally loves him, but I can only get approval from her when both she is in the mood for it (which is rare) and I am willing to concede or submit to her will and behave in exactly the way she wants. Any mistake in my tone, demeanor, wording, anything, and she will be set off into an abusive spiral of hatred, screaming and criticizing every little thing saying everything bad about me you could imagine, calling me a drug addict or an alcoholic, a monster, a criminal, a bitch, a hateful person, saying "you're just like your father" (as if that's a bad thing) and "I thought daughters were supposed to grow up to be your best friend but look at you, you're a horrible daughter, you don't care about me", over and over and over again. It's worse what she says to my dad. And this happens on a regular basis and has ben happening since I was born. My mom and dad fought in front of me when I was a baby. My first memories are of them fighting. One time, when I was about 7, we were on our way home from a camping trip, literally 12 hour drive away from home, when they fought in the car. My mom made my dad stop the car and made him get out on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere and walk while my little brother and i sobbed hysterically in the backseat and she drove away. I screamed at her begging and pleading until she finally turned around about an hour later and went back for him. She repeated this behaviour on another road trip when I was about 20, in the states, we were somewhere in Montana and it was about 4 am, and she finally turned around for him after I pleaded with her for the entire time until she did. She seriously admits and is aware of all of this behaviour, yet she feels justifyed and does not see it as abusive or wrong in any way on her part. She feels like it is us, not her, that has a problem. She hates us and keeps us in her life for the sole purpose of someone to abuse. I wish my dad would leave her but he is paralyzed by years of abuse, he is just used to it. I am the same way. I have moved out so many times only to fail and come back home because I have nowhere else to go and feel dependent on a way of life I don't even enjoy or want. It's like I was taught this is how life is and that's that. I don't know what to do. I want to break free so bad and look forward to graduation and moving out again yet I feel like it's hopeless and I will just be in a new abusive relationship with someone else (which I have habitually seemed to do).

Physical and mental abuse 70 years ago - john gavin - Aug 18th 2013

I was beaten by my father by punching straping and kicking me when I was on the floor screaming from the beatings, my mother in the next room has never ever acknowledged it happened. She never ever checked to see if I was still alive after a beating. At times I was unable to get up off the floor for 20 minutes. These beatings at times caused me to want him to kill me to stop the pain and trauma I suffered from these beatings. My parents never in my lifetime ever said they even liked me forget about saying they loved me, that never happened. I was used to do all the household jobs that needed to be done and none of my 4 younger brothers ever had to do anything. I never ever did anything father/son or mother/son ever in all the time I lived with them. When I finished high school I left to go into the military and never went back. I said goodby and never saw my mother after my father died and she lived for another 22 years. I lived a super angry life and I am now 80. I have nothing to do with my brothers and never have. I had no parents ever and lived in hell forever, went through many suicidal periods and should have ended it long ago, I existed for 73/75 years and fought my super anger every day all day. They destroyed me from my first knowledge of their existance. Thank you for listening to me. 

Thanks. - Jessie - Jun 3rd 2013

I understand the correlations all too well.  I understand that I am a clever and intelligent person as well.  I scored very high on IQ and I'm used to analyzing everything.  When my flashbacks started all I could do was experience them to relive it.  I had to.  Now I'm reliving through the emotions associated with those memories and thoughts I have as an adult. 

I don't find the fact that my Uncle raped me at 7 hard to deal with.  I can accept what happened and learn to cope with it.  It's the fact I told my Mother and she did nothing about it, but believed me.  I'm working through the grieving process of severing the relationship with my Mother.  I'm a natuarally honest and loving person.  Lately I have been the complete opposite and even paranoid.  I know it's a journey I will learn to cope with, but figuring it out while mixed with emotions is so difficult :(

thank you - - May 27th 2013

I am early in the process of treating my PTSD.  I was abused as a child by an older sibling (all physical, none sexual).  It was the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to me.  My family refuses to acknowledge the abuse.  I struggled to remember any of it until this sibling suddenly passed away at a young age.  It was in that moment that I was taken back to that place and the events became clear as day.  Now, years later, I am forgetting them again, but the anxiety has come to the forefront.  I tried therapy, to no avail.  I told my therapist to read The Drama of the Gifted Child (because a professor had given it to me in college to read).  He didn't seem to catch the connection.  I quit going to that therapist as he was not helpful.  I've now started taking Paxil.  it's making me exhausted and sleepy all the time.  Overcoming all of this is not the easiest thing, but I'm grateful for all the information along the journey.  It's not fair.  It's just not fair.  

These things Happen way too Often - Angie - May 27th 2013

I read a number of other people post on  suffering from abuse  my  story is simillar but different I now have a six year old a boyfriend my life is some what normal but I refuse to let people who have abused me have that type of power in my life I surround myself with  things I enjoy like videogames and people who are awsome abuse is a negative spirit so why hang on to it 

M abused by older cousin - - May 23rd 2013

I relate a lot to what i have read in these posts and it really helps me to understand that im not alone, so i thought i would post to return the favour you have all given me. I was abused from age 5 to about 13 i think, by a male cousin who was 5 years older than me. At first I never thought it affected me because i simply did not talk about it. However looking back at around 17 and earlier I started to have severe problems which I can only really recognise now. I became very self destructive and very very numb. I didnt feel growing up and as ive gotten older (im now 23) my self destructive behaviour has become worse. I have pushed everyone who ever loved me away from me, even to a point my parents. I have a gf but she is on the way out and i can not blame her as i no longer wish to burden her with my problems. Over the last year I have really hit rock bottom and i can now see that my problems are related to my past. I have begun counselling but i have kind of hit a dead end with it as theres not mucch more i feel that can do for me, maybe im not ready. I really dont know what to do anymore im hated by everyone but no one knows why i do the things i do. My cousin is still around and acts like my best friend now which i was fine with but i dont think i am anymore as the repercussions of his actions are becoming far greater. I never ever envisaged telling my parents what happened but now i do but im scared that it wont be kept between my mom and dad and that revenge is taken. I dont want that i just want them to understand why i act in certain ways. Even though the last year has been the hardest it has been the turning point. I have finally faced up to my problems and i am now dealing with them before they destroy my adult life. Its hard though as its almost like your brain has been altered by the experience and i dont k now whetehr i can ever reverse that to get some form of reality. My biggest problem by far is the demons the past has seem to give me ie gambling, drinking, random aggression etc... and im scared I wont be able to get rid of these demons and they will ruin my life. 99% is good and this is why i have such a conflict. I read that some people are scared of the cycle that abuse can bring and this scares me also. My abuse has left me a bit messed up sexually and this is what i hate the most... however i dont think people should be scared of any cycle as i think if your here then you have that good fight in you that is trying to fight off any demons from the past and therefore you dont have it in you to be abusive. That is what i think anyway. Thanks for anyone who took the time to read this and i would love any feedback. Cheers

a stolen life, abuse should be criminal - m-spirit - May 18th 2013

if someone abuses their child there should be manadatory therapy for as long as it takes, or jail time (if you refuse to go), otherwise nothing will ever change enough for the next generations.

i am 47, and i can relate to all the stories i have read so far. i was also abuse and had several childhood events that traumatized me. as a result, i have never really been able to keep a job or support myself fully. i didn't know why - i just thought it was my bout of depression. it wasn't until my last relationship and suicide attempt that i saw how much trauma i was dealing with. all of my relationships were emotionally abusive and i could never be myself.

i started experiencing signs of PTSD in 2000, but i didn't know what it was. i tried to continue on with my life, but it just got worse. finally, with the trauma of my last marriage i realize that i have been suffering from catatonia, i sometimes stutter, have my body tense up so badly i cannot walk, i have dissociative and conversiion disorder, (i am very somatic when stressed), sexual difficulties due sexual abuse (that i've tried to deal with all my life).

i regret that my suicide was unsuccessful. i feel that my life has been ruined and my parents are clueless. they think it's something wrong with me. i no longer talk with them. i now have to move back to NYC from my beautiful home in Los Angeles, because i can't afford it on disability, since my new partner walked out 6 months after we were married. i have lost everything worth living for - except for my 6 y.o. son that i share custody with my X.

once again i am jobless, homeless, and needing to live with my best friend, the only support i have. my life itself is depressing. i have always been suicidal (attempted 2x), i have major depression, anxiety, fear of people hurting me or leaving me, get overly stimulated very easily... and more.

i keep wondering when this nightmare is going to end. my therapist believes my life can get better. i hope she's right!

It is not getting better. - Mariette - May 8th 2013

I was severly beaten by my mother and so was my older sister. She did everything but sexually molest us. My sister does not talk to anyone, nor me and I hurt for along time but I finally had to let it go and understand it is her pain. I recently asked my mother why and she said we deserved it!! I said a child deserves to be kicked, slapped, thrown, bitten, punched, hit with the belt buckle, wooden spoons, pulled hair, hit in the head with mops, shoes, vases???? No it is not fair and I am 53 years old and I still cry every day. My husband is normal and has a sweet and loving mom, so he can not understand why I am so sad all the time. I want my child hood back. I have seen many therapists for over 30 years, been on anti depressants and finally am now doing organice treatment only.. I would love to chat with anyone that wants to chat with me  Thank you  :)

trying to live and not exist - ema - May 5th 2013

i was meantally and physically abused throught my childhood and teens. my dad was the one who did it and no body helped. I am so frightened of becomming like him, carrying on the cycle that i have made a concious decsicin to never have children, despite craving a happy cosy family life. ive never actually told anyone about my past i cant think about it without crying and make a point of not crying infront of others so will most likely never talk it through.  Will these people ever realise the pain they cause? will they ever realise that this pain never leaves us, its allways there, even at partys, nights out, lunch with your friends, it remains like a big ugly stain on your soul, that person stamped it there and its never lifted. Thanks you tw@t.

Is anyone out there dealing with this? - Missy - May 3rd 2013

Even as a forty year old woman I fear that I will never get over the fact that I was severely abused in every sense of the word by my father. My mother stayed with him when I told her at 15 that I was being sexually abused and suggested I leave. So I did, and it is not a joke for a fifteen year old white girl to live on the streets of Detroit at this age. I was lucky enough to have some friends that would let me stay on their couch or sneak me in when it got to cold to stay outside. That was sometimes. It took me years to even speak to my parents. I worked very hard to complete high school and work to try to keep my little place. At thirty I married a man that really enjoys spreading this around to everyone in hopes to make me look bad. And for the past 7 years he has thrown this in my face on a daily basis. I have to hear nearly daily how my father raped me, how my family did nothing, how this and how that! He carries on about it as if it is a conversation as simple as how the weather is. He even has used this to justify his two felonies and much much more. He has mentally abused me so much and had me so scattered that I lost my job of twenty years and have suffered from a stroke due to his constant emotional abuse. I have severe insomnia and ptsd and have suffered from this for over 20 years. This morning was about all I could take as I got up and walked over to the coffee pot and he felt the need to tell me at 530 am that he has discussed this with many women and they said if they had insomnia over it they would let their husband sleep. I have asked him repeatedly to stop throwing this in my face and even explained that after 15 years of counseling I will keep going back to square one if he doesn't let me get past it. He always brings it up when it benefits him. He is a self admitted drug addict, jobless and homeless until we let him sleep on our couch. I let him come here because I was worried about him freezing to death but now I wish I would have let that happen. After he told me he has shared the worst thing that ever happen to me to get attention from other females (and yes he is a cheater, I have doctors reports to prove it) I think I finally snapped. I picked up the kitchen chair and hit him with it then pushed him out of his chair as I was yelling \\

Child abuse - - Apr 17th 2013

I just did research on child abuse a few months ago and it seemed like the effects were describing me.  

Yea, it seems like the suffering back then and the helpless feeling was bad enough.  

That surprized me seeing that long of a list of people who faced the same things.  Some of the effects were, helplessness, hopelessness, depression, fear, adrenaline rushing, chronic fatigue syndrome etc.  It was like torture when I was going through college trying to focus.

I think the most confusing part is that the people who did the things act like they don't have any sense and that it was ok and lie and even gave me fake apologies before and then said they didn't do anything wrong.  Then they keep trying the emotional etc.  Whatever those cowards can get away with.

That is really confusing when they are supposed to be your parents or family.  From reading the articles, it seems like most of the abused are kind hearted and it doesn't even seem possible that people can act like animals like their abusers.

I had to go into bodybuilding and learn to defend myself, but the same jerks try the same things and I just had to physically stop them.   

These people bring you into the world and then try to treat you like dirt to make themselves feel better about themselves a lot of times or use you as a punching bag.  Everyone in the world suffers enough with the regular things without idiots doing things like that.  

I struggled with jobs etc. because of the effects and am in my 40's now.   I have to fight depression mood changes and other emotions daily ....that is really fun :(

I may just have to try less stressful and easier jobs that I can deal with as well.... if you know what I am talking about, it is really something trying to work effectively when you are fighting emotions, fatigue, depression etc. 

I even went to a psychologist that my parents sent me to once when I was younger and I think they lied ahead about never abusing me.  When I confronted my mom about that in front of him, she just lied and said she never saw anyone hitting me. (once my brother gave me a reverse dislocation of my shoulder)....that probably made the therapist think I was making it up and is probably why he didn't seem to address that issue.  

I wonder if there is anything so that I can just be a normal functioning person again?  I don't want to keep living like this and have tried everything.  


Lies - MM - Apr 5th 2013

I think that people who survive child-abuse were cases were the situation was obvious.

How about us, were the abuse is legized by lies. And in fact everybody believes in the autonomy of the abuser.

There are such a things as socipaths!

The Ability To Be Free To Act Wisely - Karen A. Placek - Nov 16th 2012

I found your article this evening and as it is rare to find helpful information on this very difficult subject, I have found that your information was consise and without excuses, I liked the candor of your words.

I began a Google Blog in 2008, The Secret of the Universe is Choice! A malignant narcissist can make one.  I became frightened very quickly, as I was told that if I ever spoke about my experiences that they, being my family, would kill me.  I believed them and in truth, I still do.  However in spite of my fears I began to write again on my blog in March of 2011 and I have not stopped.

Sadly I have grown to understand that what you said about the abuse being suffered harder as grow older is true.  Thank you for saying what I understood was happening but could not grasp onto "The why?"

I have found though, that my writing is becoming more than it was, graphically honest.

Child abuse - - Oct 14th 2012


Trying to be happy - - Sep 29th 2012

I am a male in my early 40s.  I was severely physically abused from the age of 5 to 16.  Verbal abuse continued after but by that age I was able to kick my fathers ass.  Unfortunately the only thing that stopped the hitting was when I decked him, knocked him flat on his ass with one punch.  It's sad that I had to do that but I had to defend myself and stop the abuse once and for all.  To this day, my father is still emotionally abusive.  My mother is very kind by nature but I never understood why she didn't protect me and call the Police.  I was so confused all the time.  I wanted to call the Police but I wasn't sure if I wanted to get sent away to foster parents as they definitely would have done in this case.  I still have vivid memories of getting whipped with a belt, punched, strangled and hit with all kinds of blunt objects.  One time my father tried to suffocate me with a pillow over my face.  I was seconds from death and somehow managed to get free and run away.  I was 7 years old.  We were on vacation and I was running down the street in a strange city, scared and not sure what to do.  I don't want to dwell on past or continue to feel like a victim but I think the little problems I have in life may stem from the abuse.  Luckily I am pretty well adjusted, never been on medication.  My brother who endured similar abuse wasn't so lucky.   He has severe mental problems.  My parents don't even make the connection to the abuse.  They take no responsibility.  I am a holistic Doctor, maybe because I am trying to heal myself.  Who knows.  I do know that I am very compassionate to people and animals.  I think it's because I can feel others pain because I have had so much.  I just want to move through it all and heal so that I can be happy.  I want to get married and figure my past amy be the reason that I am not.  My parents had a horrible marriage and I never wanted to live like that.  I feel like there are a lot of great things about me but I feel like joy and faith are lacking in my life.  I would give anything to feel joyful and hopeful.  I feel these things sometimes but not consistently. 

Lost innocence - - Sep 24th 2012

I am 24 years old and a socially damaged girl. I have always did what my parents expected me to do. Yet, i am still the most rebellious child in the family. Always cared about them, never had true friends nor a bf, yet treated as a third class citizen by my family, relatives and my family friends. All had fun at my cost and never made an effort to understand me. I am a topper in studies but loser in relationships. When i needed my mom the most, she labelled me as a mentally ill child, a tag that still remains. I had to grow fast and could not enjoy my childhood. I desperately want to tell her that she was a bad mother, but it's too late to do it as she's no more. Her abusive nature had effected me so much that i started to hurt myself, feeling very hopeless. Yet i decided to be strong to protect a child in me, who still seeks to go back to childhood to enjoy what she could't do then. Mom is no more but her abuses still haunt me. I want to love and marry but have fear of being abused again.Seeking for help yet i can't share it with anyone personally for fear of rejection.


21 and still having trouble - - Jul 14th 2012

I'm 21 and I moved back in with my parents a few months ago with my bf. Since we moved in my bf has made comments about how my patents treat me. I never saw what they did as abuse. I always thought there was something wrong with me. I have been trying to deal with what my bf said but looking up symptoms of abuse and no matter what website I look at I have every single one. I don't know what to do. I live with my parents so shouldn't that mean they get to treat me how ever they want. It is there house and I'm only here because I lost my bf and my apartment.

Jason - - Jul 1st 2012

Jason, please don't do this.  I too was abused as a child and I can feel your pain.  I know that this may seem easier and a relief, but to do this means that they win.  Please go see someone, talk to them, it will help. It hurts my heart that you would consider this.  Remember people care about what happens to you, even if it is just someone on the web.  Hopefully I am not too late .

I can relate - Merrill Jason Brown - Jun 26th 2012

Thank you for this website it really opened up my mind. I was abused at a youngs age and have all the simptoms and problems listed on this website. I guess its something you have to go through yourself to really understand the effects of it. I feel ruined. Everything about myself is broken and doesnt work. I know its because of the physical abuse beaing beaten daily for years for being good, or a good boy really messed me up hard now my mind doesnt know what to do and I repeat my mistakes by relations with abuse and more of the same kinds of abuse but not physical now. I was abused real hard, beat up real bad and humiliated for punishment in front of people I knew with underwear on my head I would have to wear when family night came with church visitors things like that. I have finaly found a method of suicide but I am 34 years old now and I am so ruined there really is no reason to live anymore. I know that the first instinct is to tell someone their is hope so I dont care to hear about that. I am just so happy I feel blessed that I get to die and found a way to do it with out any pain. Dont worry you dont have to call anyone I am not a danger to myself or others right now. But isnt it pathetic that the suicide plans are the only thing that get me out of bed in the morning and put a smile on my face. 

Jason Brown

Beaten down and done, just done - Jennifer - May 30th 2012

I came across this website in a desperate attempt to reach out to anyone. To distract myself from ending my exisitance, as I am alive, yet emotionally dead.  At 54, its too late, it's over. It never happened and it never will.  I am undeserving, as I am not human.  I am alone. No meaningful friends. A family full of psychopaths. No job, no house, no self esteem, PSTD, depression, triggers all around, no where to turn, no hope.   I live in complete isolaton with my 80 year old mother, taking care of her house upkeep and basic needs. Every day is the same.  A face full of scars due to revenge of a sister in law.  I am ugly and cannot look in a mirror.  I suffer from PTSD & due to my currently untreated depression (due to the need to find better health insurance and fear of being denied) I live in a fog with the inability to put a sensible sentence together without looking like a complete idiot, I am scattered, so please bear with me.

I was abused by my father from the ages of 5-9? Everynight he would come into my room for no reason, take off his belt and beat me and my sister with such horrifing rage while angrily repeating ''NOW CRY YOURSELF TO SLEEP!!!"  Belt and buckle. I will never forget the intense rage in his face. The stinging power of how hard he pulled back to get in a good hit. Over and over.  A fear no child should ever endure.  We did nothing to deserve his abuse, but lay in our bed at bedtime.  Daily my body was covered in bruises that I tried to hide for fear of more..  I had no other association with my dad as he never even acknowledged my exisitance other than his nightly, drunken, abusive ritual.  I would go to school, exausted, with my hands crunched and stiff from holding my blankets up tight all night in fear he would come back.  This went on EVERYNIGHT for YEARS.  In my small house there was no way my mother didnt know as i always cried out to her, she never came.  She HAD to know since many times i heard her tell my father to "GO TAKE CARE OF THEM!" and to this day, she comes up with many off the wall excuses for why he "spanked us"..thats all she sees it as, a spanking.

I had breathing problems as a kid and now i know that was hyperventilation due to stress. i was always covered in bruises, but one summer I had a dinner plate size bruise  wrapped completely around my 5 year old leg.  I wore long pants all during the hot summer days and told no one for fear my dad would make it worse. My mother never noticed. In hindsite, I am surprised it didnt kill me.

For an entire year (could have been longer) I couldn't talk, words would just not come out, my parents would tell others that I was shy. 

Fast forward.  I married an abusive loser. Divorced him. I had a daughter WHO I NEVER ABUSED.  I love her dearly and brought her up with all the love I could give with NO abuse.  The unconditional love I felt for my child saddened me for what i never had and made me realize HOW THE HELL CAN A PARENT DO THAT TO THEIR CHILD?".  She was/is the pride and joy of my life and as she grew the very few issues we had, we talked them out.  Never would I abuse her..NEVER!!! She is now a grad student and doing very well.  There is not a fiber of abuse in me, towards my child..or any child.  My only unspoken accomplishment- The circle of abuse in my family, ended with me.

I was 5 and abused horribly.  I lived in such fear no child should live. How could a parent do this to us? How? My mother was never there for us either. A cold woman. We were essentially ignored.  My sister and I were a 'thing' she had to feed, clothe and send to school.  We were a nuisance to her and it showed.  My mother ignored my dads abuse in our small house and as an adult, when questioned, she would have every excuse in the book.  First, Im a liar with a vivid imagination, then.. she tried telling him to stop and it only happened ONE TIME.. and my all time favorite, maybe he was just having a bad day.  

My alchoholic dad was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. While my daugher was in college, I lived with him and took care of him during his drunkest days (and my co-dependant  mother who is incapable of thinking for herself)

6 months before he died, I was having a hard time emotionally.  I tried to ask him why he abused my sister and I.   I needed answers, I needed to heal, and knew I may never have a chance as his life was slipping away.. 

I tearfully asked him why he beat us every night and from my heart told him how it has affected my life, the depression, self esteem issues, PSTD..etc.  I thought we could talk as adults.

I was wrong.

His answer "I DON'T GIVE A SHIT HOW IT AFFECTED YOU THEN AND I DONT GIVE A SHIT HOW IT AFFECTS YOU NOW!!!! YOU DESERVED WHAT YO GOT!!!"   Instead of an 'I'm sorry, I screwed up' 'I was drunk..or ANTHING, he made sure, through his final words, I continue to suffer.

He is dead now. No tears at his funeral.  The day he died i felt somewhat free.  I don't miss him, yet I sometimes feel guilty that I don't.  Until my brother continued his abuse.  I am my brothers skapegoat.  I am set up, lied to, and accused of being the a liar.  I have done nothing but take care of my mother & her house.  I have nothing, not even a reason to live anymore.  It's a long story..  A story I dont want to live over and over again. I just cant anymore. my adult brother pulls stunts for my mothers attention like a 12 year old, my mother makes excuses for his behaviour.

I have a list pages long of the crap he has pulled on me since my dad died.  He was never abused & has a great life, thanks to my dad and his love and respect for his sons.. I say good for him.  Enjoy it! but leave me the hell alone.  I guess it makes him feel manly & powerful to bully me. 

If I kill myself, my unabused and very loved bothers would be thrillied, i picture them partying as they would celebrate their larger portion of inheritance. Mine. Not that they need it. As for myself, I would forgo all of the money in the world for just one sane day of erased memories of abuse and neglect.

Help - - May 8th 2012

I have struggled all my life with self loathing.  I have been told Im pretty and smart but i really hate myself.  Trying to understand why has been a long journey.  I was sexually abused starting young, as I hit my teen years I convinced myself that if I had been a better person, this would not have happened to me.  I actually love my mother but she just did not understand because I just cannot talk about it.  I feel so full of shame and anger that I make up stories to people of how great my family was creating a facade.  I have attempted suicide, the last attempt i was held against my will at a psychiatric hospital. I think it helped me, but the feeling of self-hate always comes back. I don\\\'t want people to know me (really) and how broken I am inside.  I do not blame anymore but I still hate who I am.

I don't know what to do to help my friend deal with her past... - - May 5th 2012

My best frind recently told me that she was sexually molested, but she doesnt want me to feel sorry for her, but i cannot bear this thoughts of her crashing down all the time, she cannot sleep much because she gets horrible nightmares and she said there hasnt been a day she has not tought about this... And i don't know what to do, how to help her, i love her to death and she's only 17! knowing that she doesnt care about her life that she wants to be alone and she doesnt care if she dies tomorrow makes me want to help her because I love her but i don't know what to do!! Please tell me how i can help her, because also she doesnt want professional help...

Better Late Than Never - PJS - Jan 30th 2011

I came  across this web page in searching for ericson's model. I began seeing a psychologist about 2.5 months ago. I am a single, 38 year old man. As this article states, it is important to find a good therapist, I was very lucky, my first shot at it, and I met the person who is going to help and guide me into a new life. I had a rought childhood, my parents both heroin addicts and alchoholics. Father a violent man, mother was a very good mother until the heroin changed her, and I was abandoned. At the age of 11, I was very shy and withdrawn, and easy pickins. My best friends father began to sexual abuse me. All of my chldhood experiences were easily fixed by partying. While always a hard working guy, I partied hard. Until the age of 30, when I realized things weren't where I wanted them. I was emotionally ice, had a 10th grade education, and was going nowhere. I recieved my GED that year, and then completed 5 years of college. I now have a BA. Currently I work as a Case manager for the disabled. With this position came insurance, and I sought help. I must tell you, there is a big difference between an MSW counselor (of which I went to through the county at one point) and a private practive phd. My psychologist recomended the book "Mind Over Mood" and we began the worksheets at the last session. It is amazing to learn so much about why things are wrong in my life. I have totally isolated myself, life in fear and anxiety, and have no self-esteem. Since seeing this doctor, that has changed. I've learned about 'automatic' thoughts and how damaging they are. My doctor also practiced mediation with me. I still struggle with being disciplined enough to follow through with meditation, but doc just gave me a reminder about how important it is in discovering 'me' and knowing my thoughts and feelings. In less than 3 months, I've notices so many changes in myself. I realize my issues, and now know that I can 'correct' them. Anyone, ANYONE who has had a less than fair childhood, please seek help. I likely would have remained alone forever without this help. I am sure that I will be dating again that I've gotten help. I've even joined the ski team (which is huge for someone with anxiety and shyness). I also see a psychiatrist, and am currently taking 30mg remeron, which has led to me finally sleeping at night! And I take 1mg Lorazapam. The medications, for me, are temporary. The therapy is the most important thing in my eyes. Please, don't feel afraid, or humiliated, or dirty, or guilty, or anything like that. Get help! It's worth it! ;-)

Breaking Point - Scribe Diva - Dec 17th 2010

I was abuse starting at a very young age and it lasted into my early teens.  This ended over 25 years ago and for some reason lately I am having this "climax" of anger and rage.  I don't blame myself totally for the abuse but it has altered me psychologically and emotionally so much.  I struggle with a lot of good and bad emotions and moving forward.  I feel as if a huge weight is sitting on my shoulders and chest I don't know how to move it.  I know why it is there but I don't know what it is made of.  I was silent during most of my abuse because I did not want anyone to go through what I was going through and I felt "I can take it" and "this must be what life was meant to be like."  Not only were all of us being abuse but my best friend (my brother) was also.  I feel like damaged goods.  I also realize that I was raped as an infant - recently.  It was so bad that, my ovary was lost and my vagina had to be reconstructed because through the healing my rectum, colon and vagina fused together.  This manifested itself when I started my period.  I hate beign penetrated and need to drink liquor to relax to have sex with my husband.  I'm also having Lesbian thoughts.  I dream about women and being with them.  That could be for a thousand reasons.  I know that I have disassociative disorder because I was diagnosed by my psychologist. He died last year.  I feel like escaping all the time.  Running.  Going somewhere far and away.  I know that this is not the best thing so I stay put but I am suffering.  I can't escape my thoughts and they are so scattered that I feel confused and sometimes drink to sleep.  I don't want that to become a habit.  I would like to see a psychologist again.  I live in the Cleveland, Oh area in one of the eastern suburbs.  Please email a contact for me.  I dont' tell people of my issues or disorder because to them I am fine and I don' want sympathy or criticism.  I don't want to be stereotyped.  I have a measure of success academically and with employment.  I'm polished but I'm only masking the disturbance inside and is now bursting at the seams.  I used to model.  I wished I were an actress because I could ad depth to a character like one woulod not believe.  I am a writer, self proclaimed and eager to do so because it is therapy. Poetry, starting a novel.  I do want help because at the end of the day - something inside of my thoughts is trying to get out.  I may be holding it in for some reason but I want it out so that I can heal.  I don't hurt myself I just escape mentally until I am to tired to do anything else. I was able to control it for a while but now I can't any longer.  My doctor said is was identity and fugue.  I got a book about it but that doesn't help me deal with the actual issue.  I look forward to your reply.  Writing helps me to escape on paper and be productive.  But a lot of time is wasted and... I don't know.

Please help - sonjia carter - Nov 4th 2010

I need to know where I can go to get help. I have no insurance and I am not working so Money is a problem. I was severely abused as a child. Mentally, physically, emotionally. I am a grown woman of 52 and my mother continues to abuse me today. Every time I talk to her she continues the mental and emotional abuse. I want to have a mother in my life but I can not right now. Please help me to find some help. Thank You

hope - neil - Nov 4th 2010

i feel as if iv just read my own life story can relate to them all but i do believe il get over this well im going 2 give it dam good try have my good days and bad but im taking it one day at time chins up everyone if we could survive wat we went through surley we can get the feckers out our heads lol love 2 yous all xxx

When does it end? - - Jul 23rd 2010

How long does it take for this to go away?? heart-pounding--flashbacks--imposter/interloper feeling--how can a mother do that to her own child thoughts--anger at all the neighbors, family members, school officials, schoolmates, my other neglectful turn-a-blind-eye parent, the sister who gleefully joined my mother in the abuse--a stolen childhood--absolutely no one to turn to--how do you forget the starvation (55 pounds at age 12), being beaten on a daily basis with whatever was handy, forced to sexually gratify my own mother when I was young (I still won't buy a container of vaseline, and you never forget the smell), pulled-out hair (bald patches to this day), burned on the knees with a cigarette, welts on my body, being stabbed with a knife twice when I held my arm up to protect my face from it (the scars remain), being forced to stand for hours in the middle of the night, being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night and terrorized, having coffee poured on me, being forced outside to sleep in the middle of the night, memory of mother (and sister dragging me outside without clothing), using her fingernails on my ears so they bled, using her fingernails on the inside of my nose and walking me around the house that way (extremely excruciating), using those fingernails on the inside of my mouth and lips, stabbing head with a writing pen (scars especially noticed by beauticians to this day), stabbing eye with an eating utensil (today there is a cataract there), beaten on the head with the broom, head-banging on the wall to the point of unconsciousness, grasping my neck, face, and hands with fingernails (those scars are quite visible nearly 40 years later), being told I would be killed and my ugly skinny bag of bones could be put in a garbage bag and just dumped in the woods (I was wishing she would after so many years), having a handgun pointed at me, being told how ugly, unwanted, hated, stupid (and I was quite stupid at that point); sleeping through school out of exhaustion and possibly head injuries, wearing the ugliest clothes and ugliest hacked-off hair she could manage, incessantly being picked on by kids, being forced to wear ugly make-up in hot weather to hide the scratches on my face (I still have a hard time with make-up) and wearing hot turtlenecks to hide my neck, being forced to hold tobasco sauce and soap in my mouth (can you imagine how the glands in your mouth swell? I can.), forced to eat a cockroach, forced to eat spoiled meat (thrown up immediately), forced to eat my own vomit after throwing up at the table, and then throwing it up again (this happened on a daily basis for about a year when I was about 6). Broken leg at the age of 2--I remember the cast. Finally the blackened face--all of it--at the age of 12--that got everyone's attention--after spending the night sleeping on her bedroom floor and being forced to sit up many times to get kicked in the face.  Then 3 1/2 years of foster care (gain of 85 pounds) and returning to that hellhole when nearly 16 years old for a year, and finally hitchhiking across the country--and raped along the way by a trucker--just a few days before my 17th birthday.  How long does it take??

Dealing with a victim - Rod - Jul 5th 2010

I've been in a relationship with a woman who was sexually and emotionally abused as a child and, as understanding and patient of a person as I've always believed I am and been told I am, I'm about at my wits end...

I don't even know where to begin..... She's a beautiful person. But it seems that everyday there's cause for a disagreement. The disagreements are always regarding small things and many times the problems that arise from her are so abnormal that I am 100% confused by her thinking pattern. And the problem is that I show my confusion...

We've been talking more in-depth lately because I want to understand her and her past so that I can understand her better and react better. She probably has told me more than she's told anyone else, but it's difficult for her to talk about it because the memories are so painful for her. So I tell her 'it's fine not to tell me the things that happened but please understand that the trauma that you've experienced in her past, the "abnormal" things that you went through causes reactions on your part sometimes that are difficult to deal with. I need help understanding how best to react'. But she takes wild offense to me saying that her past was abnormal or that her reactions are not normal. But I only say that because I want her to understand that I am trying but it can be difficult.

Here are some of her traits: She's wildly sexual and insatiable, but in a very detached way. Normal conversations and ways of dealing with people sometimes confuses her and she will take offense at some things that are no reason for being offended. She has very few if any friends and relies on me to be with her without a break in between. She wants to talk to me on the phone every minute of the day that she can't see me, even to the degree that she wants us to fall asleep together on the phone, for me to be there if she should wake up. She tends to always assume the worst if she calls and can't get hold of me, that I'm avoiding her, and will call repeatedly, 20 - 100 times if necessary. She panics. I can't have other friends. She thinks it's "not normal" to have friends that you talk to every day or hang out with more than say once every two weeks. I think that this is because any time spent with anyone else means time that I'm not spending with her. She's very suspicious and jealous. She has an abnormal affinity and compassion for animals and will cry and panic at the slightest sign of an injustice being committed against one. She always assumes the worst if she doesn't understand why you did or said something, or why something didn't work out as planned or as she wanted it to. Drinking alcohol changes her into an emotional monster, the likes of which I've never seen in my life. Alcohol is not allowed. She's been physically abused by all three men she's been with in her adult life except by me.

Again, I'm at my wits end. As troubled as she is, she's wonderful to an equal extent. No one I've ever met loves harder or is more affectionate, nurturing or caring. She's devoted and 100% faithful. She wants to do everything for me, things that I don't even expect her to do, cook, clean, etc. BUT, it can all turn bad at the drop of a dime.

What do I do here? Help.....

I Struggle - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - May 20th 2010

Hi Amber,

Your comment makes it clear that you really are in a lot of emotional pain. What I want you to know is that help is out there. You need to get yourself into psychotherapy so that you can get rid of your bad feelings. You push people away because you were abused and are now afraid to get close. My guess is that you probably believe that you are not a lovable person. Not true. Get yourself into psychotherapy.

Dr. Schwartz

I struggle - Amber - May 20th 2010

During my childhood I was physically, and emotionally abused by my step mom. My biological mother left my dad and I when I was 2. Shortly after my dad met my step mom. I think out of convience cause she had a child as well and my dad worked while she stayed at home with us. The abuse started ever since I can remember her being in my life. She used to single me out as a child, making me feel abnormal from her daughter and everyone else. I remember being terrified when my dad would leave for work, and leave me alone at home with her. My dad never saw what really went on because most of it happened when he was away. My step mom would make my days a living hell. I ended up moving out when I was 17 one day to my grandmother's place. And completely ignored everything that happened in my past almost making it dissapear. I am now almost 22 years of age, and now seeing the struggles of my life that I deal with day to day, such as depression, anxiety, stress, there's never a moment when I'm not stressed, and even small situations I stress over. I wish I could relax. I have a relationship, and I push her away all the time. As soon as I get close I make up problems because the only way I feel normal is when I'm upset, or something is wrong. It's like I feed off of that kind of lifestyle. It's tearing me apart inside. I've found myself become more suicidal, and drinking more than I have before. I feel like there is something wrong with my brain, tried anti depressants but I with the drinking they didn't help. It's hard to find the help I need, I often feel like it's not out there.

relationships - Peter - May 9th 2010

I dated a women for 2 years that was abused as a child.. She would constantly fold into herself and pull away from me.  She was also very jealous, she would get upset over the smallest things..  She truly believes that she is healed but she is far from it in my opinion..she does'nt want to believe that anything is wrong... She would do the meanest things to pul away... It was really sad and disheartning..  Is there anything I can do to help her?

where now? - Hurting Soul - May 8th 2010

I'm struggling everyday, with non stop crying and thoughts of feeling like my life is over and that I have lost all the best years of it. I am a 28 yr old mother of three. I look at my kids and I'm terrified that someone will harm them the way I was harmed, even though I love them so much and would die if anything happened to them. I stay single after I had to leave their very abusive father. I trusted him with my life like no-one else and he just continued to detroy me like my childhood abuser. I feel so empty, I can't control my emotions or tears. I was abused sexualy from the age of 7, and my mother didn't believe me. I was then neglected and treated like a lying demon child. Whenever I reached out for love, she put an abusive boyfriend/partner in the way. I was homeless from the age of 16, and I can't seem to ever be relaxed. I'm going out of mind I feel like there is something wrong with my brain.  don't know if it is the abuse or my mum not believing me, or the domestic violence, either way I feel like things have to change or there will be no other option but for me to be sectioned for my own sanity. I have no family or friends to talk to, just my mum, who I blame for most of this

Confused - Alanna - Apr 30th 2010

I was abused as a child i remember the really traumatic ones mostly. They were all by my step father but the hardest thing that i feel i face now is i mean to me i guess i feel like other peoples cases were much more then mine so my case isnt a big deal. So its wierd because when i was younger being abused was such an emotional thing and now that i have matured and am starting to become an adult i feel like i shouldnt pity myself and that other people had it way worse and my situations were not to even be a comparison.

Question about adulthood transition - Selene - Apr 20th 2010

Hi, I am in my mid 30's and am still suffering from my violent childhood. I am curious about the transition between adolescent to adulthood. I experienced quite a tramatic teenage years, when my mum finally left my father. There was a confusing stage for me, with a love hate relationship with my father who never was accepting/proud of me. There was sexual abuse and exposure to very violent disruptions. I have been in therapy since 20. I have problems in my life now that have slowly revealed itself as myself still behaving at times as an teenager. I have a lack of house responsibility (messy) and lack of time management and ignoring responsibility. How do I go about shreding my teenage'ness and become a responsible adult? I have acomplished many things but these aspects of my life disrupt my future goals. Any advice?

Thank you. Selene

past hauntings - jennifer - Mar 30th 2010

hi my name is jennifer when i was 5 yrs old i was raped by my 16 yr old cousin. my family was really messed up, my mom used to beat me and my brothers alot. when i was raped i couldnt do nothing i would have faught back but we were in a pool and i was afraid he'd try to drown me. at one point my mom finally came outside and i screamed and tried to go inside but no one listened, and she left me. i let him hurt and i can never forgive my mother i told her later on but she didnt believe me so until i was adopted 5 yrs later i suffered by myself. he has not been caught he has a family now i worry about them, i still have night and i have a problem with guys touching me can you give me any advice?

A helpful free resource - Bo - Feb 22nd 2010

Thank you for your article.

I am our outreach coordinator and newsletter editor for The Morris Center for healing from child abuse.  I came upon this article doing research for our upcoming newsletter.  I just wanted to leave our website here as a resource.

What is ASCA?

ASCA (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse) is a psychologically based self-help program, designed specifically for adult survivors of physical, sexual, and/or emotional child abuse or neglect. This highly effective program consists of both an individual component and a group component.

ASCA is an international support program. We offer individuals the opportunity to participate in both virtual asynchronous meetings via our website partner, I.Survive, as well as in-person meetings.

Purpose of ASCA

THE MORRIS CENTER created ASCA in order to guarantee all survivors, irrespective of their financial situation, with access to a superior program focused on recovery from childhood abuse. ASCA supports and assists individuals to transform their self-identities from victims, to survivors, to thrivers. Our mission is to reach out to as many survivors of child abuse as possible, and to encourage the growth of ASCA support group meetings around the country and internationally.

This is a self-help program and not intended as a replacement for professional help.  We strongly encourage you to seek professional psychotherapy.

damaged girl - alexandria - Feb 10th 2010

im 15 yrs old and i was abused as a baby. i mean my very first memories were being molested and raped by family. i kept thinking im over it when, the truth is im not. i cant be in a relationship with a guy becuz if guy holds me the wrong way or feel threaten,i just want to scream and cry. i just dont trust alot of guys. they're the same to me. im just screwd up bad.

can't trust - shawnt'a - Feb 2nd 2010

i have been abused scene i was seven years old. not only sexual and physical but neglect to... im sixteen and the only two people i trusted, i cannot seem to trust anymore because i let them go to fair with me... i feel like just laying in the bed most of the time when im home... i dont like to be alone but my parents keep me very isolated from others... im also depressed.. and i think that whenever i get close to someone somehow they are gonna hurt me to...

Trapped and looking for a way out - Kendall - Jan 15th 2010

hi, i'm kendall.. i'm 17 and i feel trapped in my home. my older siblings both left home before the age of 16 due to abuse from my father and it has come to me now, being the last one left. whenever i try to leave, they threaten to call the police, make my life a living hell, all that stuff. people try to help, school mates, band mates, my girlfriend, but then it all comes back on me taking the heat and them feeling like its unsafe for them to even come see me at home. i feel alone, isolated, depressed, and often think of suicide. when i try to express this, i'm yelled at or told it's nothing. i'm constantly treated like i'm causing hell or out all the time doing drugs.. i'm a 100% straight shooter and would never do any such things, yet being treated like i do and being blamed for it, i feel like i should if i get screamed in the face about it anyway. i'm afraid that i'll lose it before i turn 18 or even graduate high school. please give me advice.

Ruined Life? - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Dec 30th 2009

Hi Anne,

Please stop thinking that your life is ruined. If you think that way then she wins. Don't let that happen.

Why deny yourself help? Psychotherapy helps a lot and I can tell you that without any doubt. Give yourself the chance with psychotherapy. As for medication, it is not always the right approach. There is plenty of time to think about that later.

As for your mother, stop trying to make her admit what she did. Your experience is extremely common where parents who were very abusive suddenly forget about all the crimes they committed. Well, so what. You know and that is all that matters.

Good Luck, Dr. Schwartz

a ruined life - anne - Dec 30th 2009

My mother emotionally and physically terrorized me as a child.  To this day, she denies she ever caused me any harm.  But the effects are always with me.  I have been unable to attend school, i can only hold down a part time job.  I have a problem of either moving cities or changing jobs every 6 months because i don't like to get too close or attached to anything.  i have only one person i talk to, who was also abused as a child, who is also isolated, and we constantly fight and mistrust each other.  I have constant depression, a constant feeling every day like i want to lie in my room and give up.  I was a self harmer for a couple years, i have many scars.  i can't talk to people because I feel like they are all robots and cannot understand me. I don't believe in depression medication, and i don't believe in psychotheraphy.  I think spiritual help is needed, but its a long and lonely road.  I'm better than i was a couple years ago though, but sometimes i feel like I'm walking a thin line of sanity and its only a matter of time before i fall apart.  i have been known to have 'breakdowns'.

Research - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Nov 19th 2009

Hi Kelly,

There are many articles on our web site about child abuse and about Bipolar. As for the relationship between the two, you would have to do an Internet search and go to the library (public) to gather more information.

Good Luck,

Dr. Schwartz

Research - Kelly - Nov 19th 2009

I am doing a research paper for school on the effects of child abuse; I was curious if you had any more information on the subject.  I have met quite a few people with bipolar disorder and all were abused as children; is there a connection?  What other disorders are related to child abuse.  I would appreciate any information you have.

the effects still haunt me - - Nov 18th 2009

My name is Kara and i was abused as a chid. Im 32 now and the effects still haunt me to this day. I trust no one and im very agressive. It makes things hard for me. I alway fell like people are out to get me, im very depressed i think about killing myself on a daiy baises. I want to get help but i dont even have the money to get it. Latley my behavior is becoming very violent. Just hearing a persons voice is like someone poure gas on me and set me on fire. Someone please help me im afraid im gonna get in trouble

the rug is still always pulled out from under me - - Nov 16th 2009

I just tattood SCORNED from shoulder blade to shoulder blade on my back it sure made me feel better......why was that ? I can't wrap my mind around why,but i sure felt better........

don't give up - tom - Nov 14th 2009

i had a very domineering matriarchal mother and i felt very emasculated by her till this day i still suffer from an innate lack of confidence that at times effects me socially but i have a strong faith in God and it definitely helps me cope with it. hope this helps 

Stolen Life - Tom - Oct 29th 2009

The abuse that was adminitered to me started in the womb. I was brought into the world with abusive manipulative and neglectful parents who I thought hated me. My Dad who was mentally ill also passed this illness down to me. The abuse he dealt to me lasted for over twenty years. The thing that compounded the effect upon me was that they treated my brother and sister very well. I felt like I was a target. Needless to say this affected every aspect of my life in a devistating way And I am just begining to fathom the various implications of its negitive affect upon me and my life. I am 51 and don't wish to give up. I am still waiting for my turn for help.

Wife of Adult Abused as Child - - Oct 23rd 2009

I don't know where to start except to say that I am in so much pain I can hardly stand it. My husband was physically abused as a child and our relationship has been tumultuous from the start. My perspective is that it seems that he cannot be close to me. Though it sometimes appears as if he might want to be, he cannot. He pushes me away on almost a daily basis. He has told me he never wanted to be with me, never wanted to have a child with me, and never wanted to marry me. He has never taken these words back, and if you asked him today, he'd say this is true. I got him to go to therapy for a short time, but he quit saying he wanted a more "holistic" approach and then he found a guru on the internet and takes yoga retreats now. His approach now is that he is learning to not be attached to anything. Whenever I have tried to tell him how he hurts me, it is like pulling teeth to get him to admit it and now he just denies it all together saying "You make your own happiness, you are responsible for your own happiness," etc. I just get nothing from him. Nothing. I got involved with him because I was at a very vulnerable point in my life and I really wanted a child. But I loved him so much and wanted to create a home and life where he could be happy and have a real family. I had no idea that he would not want to do that. 

If anyone can help me, I'd appreciate it. We are close to divorce, and it kills me to break up my family. I am suffering so very greatly. I cannot believe the amount of pain I have endured in this relationship. 

Thank you.

Have faith... there is hope. - - Oct 21st 2009

I am a child abuse survivor; and I am a striver. It took me 47 years to realize that the feelings of guilt, mistrust, aloofness, self-doubt, fear, anxiety (sometimes-panic), loneliness, despair, and IBS were actually PTSD. I spent my childhood, early adulthood-most of my life-battling between my internal feelings and societal norms (the archetypes), such as children are supposed to love their caring, nurturing mothers. My mother was mean, angry, unhappy, evil, probably a sociopath. She released a lot of her rage and anger with the world onto me. Her goal was to drain the good spirit from me-to break me. She began emotionally and physically abusing me as early as age 4. As early as age 6, I remember feeling like I hated her, and that what she was doing to me was wrong. The guilt I felt for feeling this way about her allowed me to believe that I deserved to be abused...  Underneath the love I shared with my husband of 24 years and my 4 children was my struggle with the hatred I felt for my mother. I finally sought therapy last year. After a year or so of therapy, here is how I feel: I believe it is okay and normal not to like a person that harms you-even if that person is a parent. I no longer feel guilty about not liking her and holding her accountable for her actions. I hold her accountable by doing what I would do to any one, who I feel is hurting me; I take myself out of their presence-their space, their life. I exercise my choice to surround myself with people who love me and who I love. I have learned to breathe in, the moments that I feel happy-I make myself aware that happy times occur often in my life. I recognize that although I have some sad moments, they don't define the tone of my life. I am now working on taking a chance with trust-a simple giving into the belief that my decision making and intuition is strong and trustworthy. I have made a vow to myself that I will lead a fulfilling life. I know it is my choice to live whatever life I want to live-the same goes to each and every one of you. I read entries all the way back to 2008. They were very sad. Many of you say that you were pretending, faking life. Why did the good things in your lives have to be fake? Why don't you see it as a part of your life-a good part? Why, does the painful part have to rule? I want everyone to know that there is hope. Remove dark energy from your life-believe that you have a right to feel love and happiness and choose that path. Stop allowing your abusers to continue their rath. Move through your pain...MOVE is a dynamic concept. MOVE through your pain and hurt, into the life you want ot have.

abuse survivor-16yrs - cate - Oct 13th 2009

Hey, to the people who are reading this. i was an abused child when i was first brought into the world. my mom let her boyfriend abuse me all the time, but i was saved from it. i'm currently living with guardians. I was abused more than once if my life by different people. when i was rescued and went to live with guardians i was being sexually abused. i was too scared to tell anyone,so it went on for about 8years. then, i finally talked to a friend and started to fight back. also, there was one other person. but, it didnt last because i fought. to this day i still blame myself some, but i have my friends to keep me going.    

                                         Sincerely, Cate


How bout a happy ending? - Lynze - Sep 22nd 2009

I'm 17 years old, adopted [thank God] into a great family, but there was a lot of abuse and neglect [alternately, i mean... of course not at the same time.] before i was adopted.  i'd have to walk around skid row washington with my baby sister trying to find food and avoid getting shot... always a nice plus :) i saw someone get necklaced [a gang kill - they stack tiresd to the persons neck then set them on fire and run] and saw my two friends killed, one shot in the head and one got his ribs broken by his also abusive parents.  i've broken almost half the bones in my body, and nearly died twice of blood loss after one of my druggie moms boyfriends harassed me. That sounds kinda bad, but i was adopted into a wonderful family, and my sister was adopte into another good family.  i have a little brother adopted from a different situation, and i couldn't possibly love him any more :)  i plan on going into a career in school counseling, to help other kids get help.  God bless all of you, you are so strong. 

Over-the-Rainbow - KATE - Sep 6th 2009

Dear Friends,

I myself, suffer from lingering effects of emotional and physical abuse as an child, my hope is to combat this plague with ACTION.  Getting involved in a support group or even better.. trying to, "make a difference just may be my best RX for the symptoms ofdepression, etc. from a life of abuse, (most at my un-knowing consent!).  Education, Action, and Compassion can be the most empowering defense for the Mental-Illness caused by abusive peoples.  Lets, "get it together"!  :)

My sincere appreciation for all your stories,


PEACE/w God's Blessings.

cat - ROb - Sep 6th 2009

There is empathy for you from many. You just don't know those people. I understand where you are coming from. Hopefully you can find the right help for yourself. Just finding this site means you are doing something. You can get through this. It will not be short or easy.

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