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Post-Abuse Vulnerabilities

Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 16th 2016

Abuse as "Normal"

sad man outsidePeople abused as children often grow up thinking that abuse is normal behavior that everyone experiences. This warped perspective makes abuse victims vulnerable to continuing the cycle of abuse as they grow older. Those previously abused people who get involved in romantic relationships as adults may find themselves attracted to people who will abuse them. They may even believe that the abusive behaviors their partner periodically acts out are proof of passion and love. Alternatively, abuse victims may have internalized the ethic of abuse and may think that it is a normal and appropriate way to deal with others. Parents who were abused as children may find it easy to rationalize abusing their own children. In effect, being abused as a child tends to set people up to either continue to be abused as adults or to become abusive people themselves and carry on the cycle of violence with new partners and children.

Sub-Clinical Post-Abuse Issues

While some abuse victims develop diagnosable mental health or medical disorders, the majority of abuse survivors will end up with less severe outcomes that don't meet full criteria for a mental health disorder.  These still serious and difficult issues may include:

  • Difficulty developing or sustaining healthy, long-term intimate relationships
  • Sexual dysfunction or discomfort with sexual intimacy
  • Low self-esteem
  • A tendency towards self-blame.
  • Difficulty expressing anger appropriately; a tendency to have a bad temper
  • A tendency to put everyone else's needs before your own
  • Anxious, panicked, or depressed feelings
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Disordered eating habits
  • Problems with alcohol and/or illicit drugs
  • Promiscuity
  • Troubling memories about past abuse
  • Moments of dissociation (where you mentally "space out" for a while)
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Chronic pain in specific parts of your body
  • Self-inflicted harm, such as cutting or burning yourself
  • Involvement in a relationship as an adult with someone who abuses you
  • Abusing your own children

Though such issues may not qualify for a formal diagnosis, they are still troubling and can make life quite miserable. It is very much worth working with a trained mental health therapist or other counselor to help resolve such issues.

Repressed Memories

A word or two about abuse memories is in order. Many people who remember past abuse are remembering actual events. It is possible to have amnesia for such memories for long periods of time and then to later recall them when you are an adult. However, (and this is a big however), it is also possible to completely manufacture 'false' memories of past abuse that never really happened. False memories of abuse can feel just as real as real memories of abuse. If you accuse someone of abusing you, however, on the basis of a false memory, you might end up doing very real damage to that someone. Innocent lives have been ruined in this manner. False memories can be created through strong suggestion while under hypnosis, so as a general rule, memories of abuse which have been 'recovered' after hypnosis should be somewhat suspect. A good rule to follow here is to not go searching for memories of experiences that you are not sure about. It is better and wiser to simply seek treatment for whatever problems are troubling you than to strain to remember specific details of abuse you may have experienced.


Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

i understand you heather: - donna - Feb 27th 2012

i would love to talk to you and maybe become friends i have been there and done it it can about ruin youre life you just have to be as strong as you can be

Self Help - - Apr 13th 2011

It all started when i was 14 months old the abuse from a foster mother and I lived there until I was 19.  As a child I've witnessed alot of beatings,verbal and humiliation by her. 

She was real good at making herself like she was the victim and we were monster children. For instance if the clothes that were on the chair and wasn't folded right she would scream and hit me because of that I thought that was normal. And having a bath was  a lurxry but that was only done sunday night as well hair wash nothing for the rest of the week and wear the same clothes for the entire week. As the result of that at school my sister and I were severely bullied.

I remember one instance when i was about 10 yrs old I put on some nail polish and one of my sister told the foster mom she called me upstair and asked me if I'm wearing nail polish and I said yes so she took these rubber slippers that she had on and hit every one of my fingers with it and told me to go downstairs to this day i do not wear nail polish.

At school was no better the boys would push,punch or spit on me and the name calling every single day and having no friends made me not want to be around people because of all that I have a dissocation with people and rather be alone.

I found that being in a relationship with a guy I would push him to the boundries to see how long he is willing to stay with me. So I've gone with quite a few men because of that so relationship doesn't last with me.

By some miracle i'm with a guy for almost three yrs pushed him to the limits but he is still with me no matter what. So now I'm realizing that he does actually love me and is willing to have a future with me i'm calming down and try to be happy.  I'm a proud mother of two boys and never abused them because I want my kids to love me and respect me so now I'm their sun the moon and the stars.  now I know what it's like to be truly loved and cherished that i never had when i was a child.

At times depression comes in but i try to think positive or keep my mind busy like baking,school work or clean the house till it's spotless gives me a sense of accomplishment and feeling good about my self.

a way out - - Oct 15th 2010

ive been personally in abusive relation ship, it started with my father who has been bipolar alcoholic and abuser to me and very controlling strick mother that wouldnt allowe me have any kind of relation ship with my father bc of her jealousy of me and fear of her husband loving me more than her took me as a competition that she hates put me down in front of my father so he dislikes me. no love.

I left home when i was 18 to escape from all the abuse and start my life desperately looking for love and understanding. Went through couple bad relation ships with abusive and addicted men that always ended badly and me in tears untill...

i realized the roots are in my childhood and my abusive father and mother. i became extremely spiritual person and healed myself with a help of a man who did love me and as the only one gave me and showed me love for the 1st time in my life, i felt loved... he left me bc i had tooo many issues not solved but he did set me and put on the healthy way where i continue now.

before i had mental abuser who provoked me to go and take abortion. i stragled with the pain of the decision to abort and with his psychological damage on me. I loved him. he remined me of my father so it seemed to me im loved and normal untill i realized all...i went back to him with hoope and healed but they dont change and it starts all over again.. u must let go, forget, forgive and


forgive yrself too, most importantly LOVE YRSELF and believe u deserve being loved..

Cubans - - Mar 21st 2009

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am pleading with you to please post this article on your website to highlight the problems some of the women in the Grove Diamond community is facing with the cuban medical staff at the Diamond Diagnostic Center which is located on the East Bank Of Demerara in Guyana.Many patients seeking medical services at night have to wait long hours or are turned away because the cubans are out sporting with their Guyanese friends and men who takes them to clubs,restaurants and bars even when they are on call and the administrator indulges because he himself is a part of this clique. An investigation should be launched, unexpected visits should be made in the nights and on weekends.
The cuban women are luring men of the community to leave their families and have affairs with them. I am aware of this because it happened to my best friend and i am fed up of seeing injustice and lawlessness done to Guyanese women and they have to stay quiet.
I would rather is the names remain anoyamous, My friend is the common law wife of a very influiential businessman  for 6 years ,having 2 kids in december of 2008 he physically and verbally abused her and put her out keeping one of the kids with him 4 days after miss cuban pharmacist moves in. She spends weekends, holidays and even weeknights there at his family home, and the administrator and other senior staff allows it because the businessman shower them with gifts and other valuables.
This is not the only story to happen  there are other cases whereby men are having affairs with these women and they plan to get married so that they can obtain Guyanese citizenship, Guyanese men fall for these women because they are beautiful.
Several reports were made to the cuban embassy, but to date no investigation was done, Why do guyanese women have to face this ssituation? If you do not believe me send a reporter undercover to talk to the guyanese staff of the hospital, and you will hear for yourselves.
I am saddened seeing my friend's condition, she is taking pills for depression, and this girl is enjoying the life she made with her man. I am pleading with you to please run this story and you will see how many more women will come forward to give you their story.
The wife do not want to come forward because her husband has a lot of friends in authority and he treatened her. Is it just for cubans to come to Guyana and behave in that manner are all the other CUBANS like that? then we do not need them in Guyana.

Cubans seem to be punishing in Cuba so they take advantage of situations like these to break up families so that they can get married and get away from Cuba.
Feel free to contact me anytime on this e-mail address
Yours Sincerely,
Nandita Persaud.

abused by my brother - - Feb 3rd 2009

I was abused by my brother when I was about 7 or 6 years old, my mother was never around she was always gone or going some where. And my mother used my brother as a threat to get us to do what she wanted done so she would not have to be bother.   I had 3 brothers, and 3 sisters and I was not close to any of them. I always was alone and felt alone. My brother tired to pentrate me anally when I was 6 or 7 years old, when he tried to put it in it hurt, so I pretended that it was in. His penis was between my legs he did what he had to do and then threaten me if I told. Shock me and then left and that's how it was until I was 15.  It continued until I was 15 years old where I got brave enough to tell him no more, after that he would give me money then only always feeling my breast and I hated it.  It only stopped when he found out that I was my children fathers’ girl-friend, and since he was a close to the family he to knock on my door once and punch me in the eye I black out, I didn't even know what was going on. It was because a Cousin of mine told him lies about my children's father and me. I always knew that was not the reason, but that he could no longer touch me.

I have found that I like to watch porn and masturbate for long periods of time I keep doing it until it hurts and that is only when I stop sometimes I cry. Then I have guilt for what I have done. I am with a good man, very loving, patience, caring, and I could never do any better then him and I fear losing him, but at times I get mad at him when he does not do as I want him to in bed.  When we make love I want to be in control, I want him not to cum until I am ready, but he does and inside I am upset and disappointed, but I don't let him know I don't want to hurt him. He is very special to me. I have told him what I went through. Other times I want him to take charge and he does not. It's really hard for me I don't know what is normal and what is not when it comes to a sexual relationship. 

a long trail of abuse - - May 29th 2008

i was trained by my mother ,at six years old the sweetiest name i was often being called was w----re. trained to learn i was good for nothing,ugly,a rotten piece of crap as she used to tell me. at the time nothing was being done,silence was the rule. i entered adult life with no self esteem,with a mother still abuse,she stopped hit me when i turned 16.the result,3 abusive relationships. sites like your's help me to understan better what happened,what i should have done to help myself.

i wanted to say - cathi - May 20th 2008

leaving is not that simple...that's what everyone says..get out,then they talk to him and he manipulates the situation..they don't believe me,they believe him,including the police and my mother.lost all my friends,have no money,no car,no where to go.Help is not as easy as you think.I would leave alone and penniless if I didn't have three children.Then again sometimes he can be so nice and you get caught up in it all over again......Don't know what to do

forgive...but do not forget - - Sep 23rd 2007
forgive forgive is over now.the memories are confusing,and painful.we all want to forget.forget, forget,forget...that is all we want to do,don't!each memory is a needed so we may heal...forgive instead.forgive him...and most of all forgive yourself first,

adult child crying!!!!! - sandra - Sep 20th 2007
i am in need of desparate help....i am going through body pain i was sexually abused from my father ,foster homes, male counceler, my  pain is in between the shoulder blades. it has been there for a couple of days now. i had confided this with my therapist (female)  all she said was this eye work . any suggestions???? i am also going through ptsd right now help????? any one!!!!

Abused by family members? - Liz - May 16th 2007
I just want to mention to anyone that browses these articles to find somekind of peace within themselves. There is none. First of all if you are being abused by family members. Dont try to make them love you by staying in the environment because in most cases if they did this to you they actually don't love you, it's a hard fact.  They may or usually butter up by asking forgiveness without really saying it. Don't. But then being really really nice can be some form of abuse afterward, it's the abusers way of saying I'm the better one and acting sweet and making you look miserable is a way of spitful revenge. It's a fact. And a cycle. Yes, people actually think this low, your flesh and blood, its revenge on the "world". If your abused by family it's the worst because you want love and nuturing from them. Forget it try to see or picture yourself alone, and happy. It will be a greater life for you. Remember in the 70s or before there were no form of contraceptives and no condoms, that speaks for a whore mother or whore father, who had kids not because they wanted to, but because it just happened. If a man can murder a family member what are others capible or doing while your alive? If you abuse them back they may retaliate and place you in jail, by ganging up, or not believing your stories. So if your abused by a family member, think about it. Your not loved and not wanted, and it won't end. Your out of a family, you don't have one, you should leave and love yourself.

problems coping - heather - May 3rd 2007

Just finding other people who have had similar experiences is comforting. I am 22 and unable to be happy because of all the psychological and emotional trauma from childhood. From the age of 4 to 18 I lived in the same environment, same town. When I got out by going to college I found I could no longer relate to people at all. It all started when my dad's younger brother no longer felt inclined to share their farm and began hording keys to equipment and not signing bills so they couldn't get paid. We lost our house to fire and they sued us for "hiding evidence". It was this time me and my twin sister began school in town. I lived in one of those small close knit towns were everybody knows everybody. Everybody seemed to have made a pact to exclude us. Teachers punished me things other children did, for speaking (I was very shy and scared), for asking for help on a math problem. I remember my 2nd grade teacher playing a trick on me once, she gave me back a blank sheet of paper that was supposed to have been my hand writting assignment and said "is this some kind of joke" and made me stay in for recess for over a week, every recess, and there were thee. Then one day she pops in and hands me my assignment and says, "I made a mistake". No apology or anything. She didn't allow any other chidlren to talk to me even if they wanted to. By the next grade level, no one wanted to. When we had to work in groups they would make a game of not letting me know what was going on. "Your participation in this group is to answer this question" and form a tight circle with backs to me and frequent rebukes. "My question" was always the one at the end,a summary question. After several of these "group" assignments, the teacher wanted us to grade each other and ourselves. I knew nothing less than an A would fly for them, when I came to myself, I knew I couldn't give myself anything too good. I wanted at least a B or C, damn, I knew what was going on, I was on Honor Roll somehow. Luckily I never needed help in any subject but math. The next day the teacher came over to me and got in my face. "Do you really think you deserve this". I had given myself a C. "No, I deserve an F!" I screamed at her, in what I hope was sarcasm. "That's Right!" she chortled back and turned on her heal and left. This was a Christian Lutheren school. I remember standing against the wall a lot at recess never knowing why. I remember telling myself to shutup, no one cares what you think, to get myself to quit trying to be friendly and responsive. In 7th grade I quite making eye contact because the teacher always made a point of making buggy eyes at me because I was paying attention. He threw things at me in class when I finally lost interest and submitted to being like a piece of furniture, always there but not a part. I remember having to go to speech thereapy. I now believe it was because they wanted to prove that I was autistic or something. I always enjoyed those times, it was an escape from the classroom and time to spend with someone who seemed to care and always had fun games like Guess Who and silly sentences. However after two years they found nothing wrong with me other then I say 'r's a little funny. But I see how the memory games where requested to prove that I was an idiot and they were in no way responsible for causing my silence and disassociation. I don't think this schoolastic experience would have been so crippling if it had not been for the fact that the only family I knew also emotionally abandoned me as well. My parents were understandably detracted by the constant barage of court dates from the delieqent co worker/brother. My dad's family, I have recently learned, always favored his brother and made him out to be a butt in ever situation. Through gossip and conversation, the entire town forsook us. "How can you sue your own brother?" when we split the farm and fought for the lesser half. We recently were included in an inheritance and that set off a new wave of angry exchange. But at that time, I was about 7 or 8. We used to go to MN to visit granparents and cousins. It used to be a break, but I noticed a change in them too. They stopped greating me at the door. We drive hundreds of miles and my cousin can't even look up from giant baby stomping the little city on tv to say hello. This happened so consecutivly I thought maybe I was immature for showing emotion and joy when someone I cared about finally made it. Grandma and Grandpa never really listened or had anything to say to me, except when she wanted me to go fetch something, then as soon as I did, "why aren't you doing dishes instead." I talked less and less to my cousin over the years as it became apparent that nothing I said was ever interesting enough to nod to and when I, in wonderment of weather anyone heard me or not repeated myself, the whole group of adults and "friends" whipped around and screamed "Yesss, we heard you Already!" This christmas, I was 21, was the king pen. I didn't want to go, haven't for the last few years but always did, but I had no where else to go. I was in school and going insane. I began cutting myself two years ago out of self disgust. I couldn't concentrate on my school work and nearly failed a few classes. I had to get up a 3 am to work because my mind was most clear at that hour, before thoughts flood it and numbness takes over. But at Grandma's, I try to avoid everyone as much as possible, stay in the basement. At one point, opening presents, a mandatory activity, Grandma starts yapping about some "selfish relatives" I've never heard of who don't come to the reunion because Herbert (not real name) might be there. Herbert apparently sexually molested their daughters at a young age. I get enraged at her ignorance and self absorbtion and try to explain to her what abuse is. She immeddiatly screaming at me that her dad hit her for mouthing off as a child and she KNOWS what abuse is. Then she starts yapping at my mom and dad because they have such mouthy children and here is another example of how they don't know how to raise their kids right. The screaming goes on for hours, one sided that is. It upset me that mom just nodded and agreed with her mom. Mom at one point tried to explain me and my sisters problems with them, that they have never done anything for us since the fishing trip at the cabin when we where 5. They go to Disney Land at least once a year and when I called them from BASIC training in South Carolina all she could say was that my cousin went to Cancun and is going to Greece. I'm going to Iraq to die and Sara is going to Figi. Nice. If my sister wants to talk about her fun job with the Turner Endangered Species Fund, a low pay volunteer work position, they but in with how much pharmacutical degree Sara is making. Mom tries to explain this to her and she justifies herself with circular reasoning. Dad explaines the dificulties of their life and her final gloating glee is "you need counseling!." The next day she screamed at me and my sister that we broke the pull out couch because we slept on the floor. She began screaming at mom and dad again. Mom disappeared to the car to cry while dad was more mediating and understanding than I think Grandma deserved, but it was all seemingly worthless in the end. They still will visit again. I know she affects the rest of the family because she has gotten all my aunts to agree. I moved to the coast from the midwest and have a cousin out there. I had called her and asked her if I could stay with her one night while I visited collages and she had sounded excited. After the grandma episode, she wouldn't return any of my calls.

It's hard for people to understand why I am afraid. I have difficulty working with people. I have trouble believing that I have any right to be angry or make or get anyone to own up to what they do. The thing I regret most is my lack of social skills. I have trouble making my point in the end or leaving someone with the conclusion I wanted them to get. I can't even make someone understand. All I seem to do is make them feel like their momentary exposure to this kind of behavior is some how equivalent to my lifetime and in the end they don't make the connection between my withdrawal behavior and my lifetime experience. The army made me go to counseling when I was in training because I had begun cutting myself again but it was always with someone different so I never got anything out of it. I had a bad unit when I finished training. Bad in the sense that they haven't taken care of me at all. I haven't gotten my mandatory promotion to specialist after over two years and I never felt remotly imprtant or part of the group or knew what was going on and that was always just fine because there are how many other people who are more fun. I got along well with individuals at times, but I always felt that if there was anyone else they'd ditch me in an instant. But this unit made me go to a little more than counseling after a horrible annual training revenge manouver by a seargent who just didn't like me. I am sickened by the doctoral communities indifference to tramatic past events and its reliance on drugs, as if depression is comparable to the common cold, take this drug and it will just go away. That won't solve anything, its my life that is wrong. I need a real friend who I can confide in, not some pain medicine so I don't feel what my body is telling me.

I hate that I have this persitant need to talk about it, I feel like I should explain my irrational actions, like getting overly defensive if there are two rakes and three people and somebody moves my rake. I think they are going to take it so I can be the idiot not doing anything when the boss comes by. When I moved here, it was with the hope that people here make mistakes too. I grew up never being allowed to look hesitant for an instant or your not getting a chance. I always was hesitant or not given a chance in the first place. Now I am accused of being "too eager" to learn new things, all the things everyone denied me. I meet a nice guy the first day I moved here and he for some reason really liked me. Then I start remembering all this and one time he didn't answer and all I can think of is all these other stupid people who just stop answering because their too much of a coward to just tell me they're too scared to know me. He's been fighting to be able to see his 4 year old daughter one time when he was taking me out to eat his car was abandoned by her with all the windows open. I was unable to get out of one of my embarrassing crying spells when I went to see him once. I think no one wants to know anyone who has problems, unless of course they can step on them and abuse them themself.

Psychiatric Abuse - Mark - Jan 29th 2007
I have been abused in psychiatric hospital , and this includes over dosing of antipsychotic medication . Forced drugging against my will, and chemical restraints , isolation left on a solid floor for 5 days in a row with inappropriate meals , threats from nursing staff . The side affects from the drugs were serious,yet ignored the advocate of cardiac heart pains ,head pains , seizures , weight gain , tremors , akathesia in result N.M.S I know suffer from parkinsonism caused by the prescriptions drugs of antipsychotic medication . I can't even breath the wrong way without a nurse approaching me and telling me that my meds should be increased and i'm not all there what a joke the mental heath system is I have to suffer everyday from the side affects of medication .

Keep trying, you are wonderful - Jill Dunbar - Jan 27th 2007
Am currently working on getting a job but am feeling so worthless that I am put off even applying. When i walk down the street i feel like i don't deserve to be there- like i should just run away incase my face upsets someone and they shout at me. It has only been in the last few months that i have realized that my whole childhood was abusive- with the threat of physical violence at the hands of a pschologicaly ill father (or perhaps just a very sadistic one who enjoys the idea that my life remains completely out of control, that i still have eating disorders, that i'm too unconfident to make friends) Now i'm at university, or rather have just flunked the year- as all the memories have begun to flood back to me. The only advice i can give to other women like me, is to try and live in a safe place and to say to yourself everyday that you have a right to live without being abused. It is better to be strong and independent and lonely than to be in an abusive relationship.

Cycle of Abuse - Deb - Jan 4th 2007
I came from a family with an extremely abusive, alcoholic father. I was in a 25 year controlling marriage that was more controlling than abusive. I left the marriage in pursuit of wanting some peace in my life, tired of a loveless marriage. For the last 4 years, I have been in a relationship with a man who could be my father's twin. Why? I realized, long ago, that I put up with more than others because of the situation that I was raised in but this relationship is classic abuse. A good clue was that he's been married 3 times - OH! All of those women were CRAZY! He has lived with me for nearly 4 years and hasn't paid a dime. Has left many times in the past, only to be remorseful in a few days. It's been 4 days and I'm waiting. It's not going to work this time. I'm getting in touch with the friends and family that I've been isolated from. That's a big step because, of course, he hates them. I'm making my own life. I'm lucky, after my divorce (I didn't work for 20+ years), I got a good job, I have 2 grown successful children, a nice house and 2 great dogs. I'm 48 years old, trim and pretty. My life's not over. One thing I'm not going to do is run right out and look for another relationship. It's very helpful to hear other's stories. I hope this helped someone.

abuse from all sides - - Dec 24th 2006
I couldn't remember a lot ,but I remember my half sister telling me about my father raping her all through elementary school. I know it was not a lie because she showed me things when we were very young that children don't know with out an adult showing us. My mother verbally abused my sister and I. My father physically abused my sister, my brother and I. His favorite thing was making us take all our clothes off and then beating us with switches. We had plenty of welts on our bodies. When we were older we went to school with black eyes and swollen lips. It amazes me now why none of the teachers noticed. I believe it's was because the "white teachers" though "black children looked that way...big lips, etc. I am an adult now and My mother still verbally abuses me. She has turned relatives against me, one of my daughters and (my nephew, whom some including myself suspect is also my brother.) My sister died some time ago. My brother is mentally unbalanced. Not retarded just unbalanced. I struggle to keep my sanity because my parents had me thrown out of a house they gave me...but with out signatures to say it was mine. (I lived there 10 years.) They sold the house I am now Homeless. There is one bright spot in my life belive it or not, my husband. My second husband. After an abusive first husband that my now husband talked me into leaving. We struggle together to put what's left of our lives back together. I have to belive we will make it.

real or imagined - - Dec 6th 2006
I was sexually,verbally, emotionally abused. I cut my parents off 2 years. Then 5 years, all of the family to the most distant cousin. My parents lied and said I was in a cult. After trying again, they began to try to discredit me with my 1st cousins and even told me it is wrong to have relationships with them cause they are bad. But then they were spreading lies about me to all of them on internet. There is no extreme abusive families will go to protect their secrets. Get out! And talk all you want to if it brings healing. You don't have to be vindictive with it but you don't have to "protect" continuing abuse either. I was beaten at 5 yrs old when grandparents would "pick" me for their secrets. No one ever helped **me** though. I am trying to hang on to one 1st cousin that I grew up with. We have begun to console each other. We watched each other being abused verbally and neglected and are about the same age. I didn't realized I was sexually abused until I realized my Dads exhibitionism was aimed at me. I was 49 when I remembered all the words and gestures in their proper context. They were hurtful fragments for years.

facing the problem - Teresa - Sep 5th 2006
I was 13 in junior high in a respectable town and also pastors daughter,I also was abused sexually as a child by cousins. And when I tried to stand up for my self around 10 years old the family tried to hush me because they thaught I had made things up because previous abuse when I was 4. It was hard being thaught of as broken or messed up. So by 13 my thinking was alittle distorted I started using drugs,smoking, and drinking just telling my self whats the point I am already worthless. I was afraid to have sex because I felt I wasn't worth being wanted. I was vulnerable and I met my first boyfriend he went to my school , also went to my church. He tried to pull that he was a victim and he needed me to love him because no one else would. I fell for it at 13 and within a year he had abused me in everyway possible. My parents saw it as I was a out of controll teen, spent time in juvi, had a eating dissorder, and a drug problem and also had an adortion at 15 and he told me I wasn't aloud to tell my mother about the pregnancy. At 16 I tried to cut the relationship off and become a responsible teen. he lured me to his friends house and held me prisonerfor 3days without anycontact to my family, he told me if I ever wanted to see them again I had to marry him, which I did.I got pregnat again and made a decission that the baby in my belly was more important, then the person I was married to. I am now a mother of 4 and happily married to a wanderful man that loves me. I write all of this because I felt like there was no escape from the bad men in my life, I found the strength to not care what he said and WALK AWAY, DON'T LISTEN TO THE ABUSER ,THERE IS HELP OUT THERE, PEOPLE DO CARE

Get out now!! - - Aug 25th 2006
All I can say is that it is hard to leave a family - even abusive - but GET OUT NOW - you will only regret staying never leaving - don't kid yourself you need help and as for "over-reacting" - there is no such thing when you are being abused

Remember school?.....shootings - Me - Aug 17th 2006
My up bringing taught me everybody is menacing.....from my parents to the bully in the school yard. I grew up in a Military Town where if you showed emotions then you were weak and warranted tormenting. I think people in general are out of their minds. I know I had some sort of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome by the time I graduated High School. I was stuttering like crazy. I don't stutter now....just mad at how insensitive and absolutely intolerant people are. I haven't met a person yet that doesn't have a personality disorder. There's many disorders to choose from. Pick one. I'm sure you have it, due to childhood abuse. I've come to the conclusion we're all just one chromosome away from being chimpanzees.

call abuse what it is...abuse - changed - Aug 17th 2006
I am in my mid-tewnties and my family is from Central America, where among the lower-class beating children, niglecting them emotionally, taunting and insulting them and often sexual abuse is perfectly normal. I was abused in just about every way except sexually and was almost completely isolated as a child. To make things worse, in South Florida up until the end of the eighties schools where allowed to spank and paddle children for as little as talking out of turn, not "taddling" on another preschooler and often just to set and example to the class even if you had done absolutely nothing wrong. As a result I was expelled from several schools for fighting and hitting the teacher before eventually dropping out, became a juvenile delinquent(shoplifting, home invasions, car theft, drug dealing and almost constant fighting) and almost completely flat emotionally. The only thing that saves children like this(and me) was meeting someone with identical childhood experience so that they realize they are not completely insane or a bad seed, which lets them see they have the power to change and leave generations of distructive parenting behind. I am wholly convinced that the problems of minorities in America are not caused (completely) by racism, laziness, welfare, poverty, lack of "morals" but primarily of single mothers taking out their anger on innocent children, I've seen it so many times, despite what the pro- spanking crowd thinks. Central Americans discipline their children better than anyone and recently ended several civil wars that killed upwards of 300,000 people and hold one of the highest murder rates in the world. Something to think about

You may want to note also... - Betsy - Aug 6th 2006
You may want to note as well that those who have been abused can react in just the oposite way as well. I am 18 years old and my family is abusive every way mentioned but sexually. I realized it enough to want to get away years ago, but have been unable to actually leave yet. Because of the fact that I have been unable to get out of the environment and because of tendencies I noted in myself years ago that I am still working on balancing, I won't say that I have exactly broken out of the cycle myself. I can say, however, that I not only do not consider abuse normal, but am so defensive on it I tend to cause myself problems trying to stop it when it's not even there. Well, maybe it's there and maybe it isn't, it's hard to tell when things are justified and when they aren't once you've seen as much as I have your whole life....

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