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I have never known what I want to do with my life, my life is and feels worthless, I know I'm not stupid and I could do lots of things in my life, but there is always.
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I basically seem to have these what I call "uncontrollable meltdowns" every year where I think a boyfriend is out to get me, hurt me. I seem to have an uncontrollable, over reaction to the slightest thing that I interpret as betrayal. And then I am fine the next day, and don't know why I got so upset.

This behavior has prevented me from having a "happy" relationship with anyone. Most times even if I repress the anger, the boyfriend has no idea that I have these thoughts of anger, betrayal, and as your article says, which I didn't realize until I read your article, that I am vilifying my boyfriends for no reason. They don't do anything, it's my reaction to things that normal people wouldn't get upset about, or it's my perceived ideas of what they might be doing to me.

Im 56 now, and have had too many tumultuous relationships. I am too broken to relate to most people. I have some acquaintances, but no close friends, I am "trying" to have a relationship again, but as usual problems arise from my neurotic and angry episodes, so I withdraw and become aloof again. I'm hoping if I keep referring back to this article it well help me recognize when I'm about to go into another "episode" and how to stop it before I cause more damage to my relationship and friendships. He is 15 years older than me. I started becoming aware that my abuse was surfacing after I was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago.

Underwent bilateral mastectomy and ovary removal. During this time I could not take any hormone replacements. The spiral kept happening until presently the feelings of anger, fear, resentments come out. I am married 33 years and due to this issue being brought out I am being diagnosed as Borderline personality disorder. This state I am in is very difficult.

My husband refuses to believe this ever happened. I am a liar. What I go through is very terrifying and nonsensical to others. This article is truly a message to me to find those professionals out in this world who understand this and can help with diagnosing, and not treating me as a patient who looks treatment resistant because the psych drugs don't work.

I am frustrated, humiliated, ashamed and am loosing my family. I would appreciate any comments.


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I live in California. So what's the solution? I've been on a variety of depression meds since my 40s, which helped when I was in the worst moment of life and constantly crying. But they haven't addressed the issue. I've been through too many relationships, very promiscuous. I've fantasized as long as I can remember. I've always been emotionally numb, I find it hard to feel anything for other people's problems.

I've always been an emotional eater, very easily irritated at myself, others and even something as simple as a bad hair day. I typically feel stressed, and have a lot of anxiety at times, everything seems life or death I cry over little things, sometimes over nothing at all. I cry when other people are crying. I can go to a stranger's funeral and burst into tears and want to run out.

Confrontation leaves me shutting down, throat tightens, I try to keep from crying in front of the person, determined to avoid them from then on. I cried reading this article, and I'm crying writing this. I wasn't like this until maybe 20, and interestingly around the same time, in a heated argument with my mother, I blurted out the sexual abuse from my uncle. Her response wasn't empathetic, like a parent would usually be. Instead she defended herself as if I was accusing her of something rather than trying to finally get a mother's concern. I can't remember my life til after the age of 10, ironically, right after we moved to another state.

I remember bits of the last encounter with my uncle. Years later, I spoke with my brother about it, and he said he'd wondered because, even being younger than me, he recalled some odd behavior between me and my uncle on some occasions that I don't remember anything about. I didn't really get to a point I could talk about any of this until about 40, which, when talking with a couple aunts, is when I found out I was in an elite class of abused cousins dealing with PTSD and other issues.

And blood ran thicker than water. And for the most part, some would blame it the kids or claim we were lying. Those that did know it was happening thought he may have been molested by a neighbor when he was young. In talks with one cousin, I discovered why I behaved in a certain way, because of how he'd molested us, that I still can't remember. Her reaction to it differed from mine but she can remember the details.


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  7. These lost memories have always left a hole, with therapists saying it might be better not to remember. Losing every memory of your dad since every memory under 10 is gone? Every memory of school friends, etc.? After several therapists and talks with family, I've at least began having spurts of happy memories. It's better than years of the same nightmare every night. All this was during my parents divorce, which left it's own scars that I didn't realize til in my 40s, when I again had a blowout with my mother and in anger, I asked why she hated me so much.

    What Is Child Abuse?

    She quickly came back telling me how I'd rebelled at the bus station while she was leaving my dad. For years, she'd held a grudge over an 8 yo throwing a fit over losing her father. She'd spent a lifetime ignoring any of my straight A accomplishments while praising everything my brother touched, regardless of him failing school, even going against my privacy in order to to sneak him something of mine he wanted while I was asleep.

    After the divorce was over, we moved in with my grandparents and mom was quickly with another man, who made passes at me. He never acted on these, but would try to coax me. Three years of this before he got saved and it stopped. When I turned 18, I came to a point of nowhere to go and ended up moving in with my uncle, who was married now. I was no longer a child so figured I'd be ok Thankfully my aunt got home early.

    I pleaded with my parents to pick me up. Mom didn't want to. Thankfully my stepdad talked her into it. I never told them why I begged them to get me until I blurted it all out to mom a couple years later. In the midst of it all, I was born with heart defects and spent my first 5 years in and out of the hospital until they decided it was stable. That stability lasted til I was 11 and had to have open heart surgery. The end result has been a basket case.

    And no one has any solution other than to throw a bandaid of pills at it. Very little hope I'll get any help from these studies. I've been trying to research and help myself for many years. I even have a Master's in Counseling - but sadly realized I can't be my own counselor. Of course, I have no money for therapy and even if I did there is no one qualified to work with my problems locally I tried it with a sliding scale place locally and found that by my third session we spent half of each session reviewing her notes from sessions prior to re-familiarize with who I was and why I was there BUT I thank those who care enough about the abused to study this material and help us.

    Although it may be too late for me to have a normal life I'm 45 now, so yeah , maybe it can help others. I've had a quick scan through and I can personally see connections to my own childhood. Things like verbal memory and dissociative symptoms are spot on. I am undergoing assessment for BPD. I was born 8 weeks prematurely weighed 2lbs. In I wan't expected to live. I spent 6 weeks in an oxygen tent with little physical contact. I believe that this, and other issues that arose, like undiagnosed ADHD and attachment disorder, was key. I also suffer Misophonia to the sound of plastic being flexed.

    He has been treating epileptics and ADHD cases etcetera with many successes. Although each of us has developed coping mechanisms, each of us has also demonstrated a myriad of disorders both physical and psychological. This is literally the first time I have seen a neurobiological explanation for the brain alterations that can result in a lifetime of internal struggle! However, I do believe in the phoenix effect, in the brain's compensatory abilities, and in the hope that new techniques such as EMDR provide.

    Yes, absolutely, prevention and early intervention in child abuse should continue to be a primary focus. But I can also say that it seems as if there is a mighty gulf between the stakeholders in this game I am so grateful to finally understand the basis for my hyperalert and panic disorders but do not understand why there isn't better communication of both the science and best-practice therapies. My plea is that this body of evidence would run up the flag pole to fly as the banner for all to see! This feels less like a "wound that time won't heal" when the neurobiology alterations and deficiencies are mapped out so clearly I found myself almost yelling, "Well, no wonder!

    However the last line of the first paragraph that is entitled Dealing With The Damage is as disheartening as the title of the piece. This is the line that would imply the improbability of the ability to reverse childhood inflicted damage in adulthood. Albeit I'm a mere layman I have great faith in the powers of neuroplasticity to repair flaws, if not directly in say modifying the size of regions of the corpus callosum but in building triggers to new pathways to address the effects of the damage.

    It all makes sense. Why is there so much child abuse in our soceity? Why are we so afraid to look at the truth? We need to invest heavily into prevention and treatment solutions for the victims. The offenders need to be punished. Forgiving will not heal the wounds. Self love and meditation will.

    4 Compassionate Reminders Every Survivor of Child Abuse Deserves - Everyday Feminism

    Someone who was in these child hood situations like myself never understood why as an adult I have so much anger pent up inside me. I went to a family Dr. I'm now 47, keep to myself as much as possible because you can't explain to people why your so angry, or crying, or silent. So thank you again, it's not all in my mind, and i don't have to feel guilty for not having a good relationship with my mother.

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    As a psychologist, I never understood the reasoning behind creating a technical term, like "childhood sexual abuse," for what is essentially "rape. I am also curious to learn if consideration is taken to determine whether the trauma is caused by the childhood sexual experience or if the trauma is caused by the social reaction to how the situation is handled, addressed and resolved.

    So far I have not read in the article if gender plays a role in how the child receives support because boys are much more vulnerable to social trauma than girls. This is one of my reasons for believing we need to address the issue of "childhood rape" instead of "childhood sexual abuse. A child does not become a victim until it learns it's been victimized by an adult other than the one that initiated the abuse. This is where it becomes extremely critical to determine how "childhood sexual abuse" is defined because if the experience was positive, meaning if the child was not violently raped, then the trauma is not being caused by the abusing adult, but by the social response of the non-abusing adults.

    If we approach the situation from the child's perspective and not from our perception of what the child 's perspective should be, we could prevent damaging that child for the rest of it's life. Moreover, if sex were only harmful to humans, humans would be extinct. Therefore, we cannot put blame on sex alone. Unfortunately, without victims there are no patients without patients there is no funding. I am grateful to have found this article and also my introduction to this site.. And thank you commenters, I am eager to check out the video posted.

    I have one substantial bone to pick and that is the prevalence and continuance of the idea that cognitive disorders somehow could "cause" a child to become a victim of sexual abuse. All I can say is, nothing a child does will causes an adult abuser to molest or rape them, if they weren't already willing, looking, and capable of doing so.

    Not many of us. Are there sick adults who hunt for prey among children? Yes However, I don't know that they go after just any child with any cognitive disorders. The vicious cycle of abuse is probably the major cause of domestic violence in the United States. One of the distressing and utterly frustrating and despairing things that survivors of abuse discover as adults, is that their parents deny that anything ever happened.

    Patients have reported to me that parents, when confronted by their adult child with the abuse they committed, tell their son or daughter that their memory is wrong. It is natural to ask why an adult would now confront their parents about abusive acts that happened during childhood? Apparently, the answer is that these survivors are seeking an apology and an affirmative statement admitting their wrong doing.

    Abused Dog Stares at Wall for Days After Being Rescued

    This is what makes the discussion so filled with despair for so many survivors. The despair results not simply by the refusal of an apology, but the complete denial that anything happened. Later, the outcry vanished when the truth and accuracy of the story emerged for the public to see.

    It is the responsibility of neighbors, family, friends, teachers and school officials to report suspected abuse to the authorities who will then conduct an investigation. Act on what you know or have good reason to suspect. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the MentalHelp.

    I don't know that there is much you can do, since you are not a parent or guardian. You could petition for guardianship, perhaps even ask the father.

    4 Compassionate Reminders Every Survivor of Child Abuse Deserves

    I can relate to several of these posts. My son visits his dad and step mom even though there have been several reports of abuse. I don't understand why he has to suffer. He has told but then he gets shamed for talking and they call him a liar. They have cinvinced him he has a problem telling the truth. Also they take him to a counselor who believes the adult over the child. The best, and only, thing you can do is what you are doing. Talking it out with someone who understands, and can help you find ways to deal with what you have been through. It is terrible how much of an impact childhood abuse plays on our adult lives.

    I wish you all the best. It depends on how well you know the child and her family. You could talk to another member of the family about it, you could make a follow up call to DCFS, but I caution you on this, because unless you have "protected status" health care personnel, teacher, day care provider, etc , you could be sued by the family for making accusations.

    If the child is ever at your home again, document the marks and bruises, and take her to a police station to make a report. You have to be vigilant and protect all children. My daughter's friend was over swimming in our pool, and I noticed while she was changing that she had belt buckle shaped bruises on her labia and thighs. When I asked her about them she said she had been "spanked" by both her parents. I called DCFS but to my knowledge nothing has been done.

    What more should I do? It really is hard to break the patterns we were taught as children, even when we know how destructive they are. All you can do is fight your way through it, and hope to be better to your children than your parents were to you. ConcernedMom Not sure if you are the same person as above, but document everything.

    There are groups around that will act as an advocate for you, and they may be able to offer you more help, more information, or ways to remedy the situation. Concerned mother-- Depending on the state you live in, you may have options. You could get a temporary order of protection against his father, and then you would not be in contempt of court, but that is only temporary.

    During that time, I would suggest he see a therapist who specializes in these sorts of things, so you have some verification to your fears. Make sure you document each incident, and your child's behavior. I have reported abuse of my son and nothing has been done so far. Taken him to a counselor and document everything.

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    He has to go back to his fathers until something is done, why do these children not have a voice even though there is proof and still a judge can continue to allow him in an abusive environment? My 3 year old has showed many of these signs of abuse, I have reported to no end yet the judge says he Has to go back to his fathers home court ordered temporary parenting plan Dcs has been involved, even Carl Perkins.

    The father recently married a woman who has to be seen for a sexual addiction. What do I do and where do I turn? I feel helpless because I have to send him or will be in contempt of court. I don't know what to do. Your dad is starving you because he's angry?? Call someone, send a message over the internet to someone who can help you!!! What he is doing to you is not right!!

    Mine isn't as bad. Your article was written with such clarity,calmness, and empathy. You sound like a very kind and compassionate person. Good on you and thank you for your kindness through this site. Peace, and Love to you and to all the commenters, love saba. Ginger-- Your story made me cry. I am so sorry for all that you had to endure. As if the abuse weren't enough, people who should have been there to protect you, turned a blind eye. I am happy to hear that you have overcome what had been done to you. I know it can be hard to overcome such a thing. It is definitely not something to be taken lightly.

    I often feel like its victims are the "forgotten abused" as it commonly takes the form of seemingly harmless statements on their own. More people need to recognize emotional abuse for what it is. Thank you for writing and posting it and kudos to all of the commentors sharing bits and pieces of themselves. I've written a couple of hubs on sexual abuse, speaking out about my own experiences a little bit while providing tips, etc. It is so incredibly important for adults to be educated on the signs of all forms of abuse.

    While I've focused on the sexual abuse in my own hubs, for now, it never stopped there. The fact that adults knew about it and swept it under the rug in hopes it would go away led to more years of abuse for me. The subject was a forbidden subject in my home. It came up the second time when I was 13 because my best friend became worried when she found out I was self-harming myself, so she told her grandmother who told other adults who cared about me My mom acted to them as if she knew nothing about the abuse.

    When my mom talked to me about it she said, "That explains a lot. In addition, my mom was always hitting me with something. She had to be pulled off of me once because she was on top of me, pulling out handfuls of my hair, simply because I became frustrated with my algebra homework. Now, at almost 32 years old and a married mother of two, she will tell me that she loves her 15 cats just as much as she loves my brother and I.

    Truthfully, it doesn't hurt me anymore and my 26 year old brother is started to come around to where I am. He and I have each other, we have in-laws that adore us, and we are both supported. She was more emotionally abusive to my brother, while she was emotionally and physically abusive to me. The fact she more or less allowed me to be sexually abused because she didn't want to upset my dad's family or ruin her already rocky marriage to my dad because of it, she neglected me through not doing something about it. Instead, she brought it up after my grandmother told her and blamed me So the fact that she loves her 15 cats - that she loves so much she keeps them shut up in the master bathroom of her "no pets" rental home - as much as my brother and I I don't care anymore because I have so many others who love me.

    Of course, it saddens me a little when I see women my age having close relationships with their mothers because I know mine will never be that way. I've wanted it, but I know it'll never happen. I don't think there is a cruel enough punishment for the people that rape and abuse children. A few years in jail is a slap on the wrist in comparison to the life-altering damage the abuse has done to the children involved.

    You sound like a strong person, considering the way you are able to talk about what has happened to you. It takes great courage to stand up to all that. I do agree with you, that in an age where we can go to the moon, perform surgery with robots, and carry an advanced computer in the palm of our hands, we should be able to solve more important problems than we have managed to do so far. If all that energy that was put into creating cell phone apps, destructive weapons, and other things was put into solving world hunger, ending disease, or protecting children, this world would be a far better place.

    I find it hard speaking out about the abuse, but I know if I don't then it will always be 'their secret,' and I no longer wish to carry it as such. I kept a diary from the age of six and in my early twenties I finally plucked up the courage to take my father and uncle to court for the sexual abuse. I thought it would be too late so many years later, but I spoke with someone who assured me that my diaries would convict them, and they did. Every beating, every assault from the age of six went in there, it is also when I learnt to draw, sadly most of the drawings then were horrific.

    My father had 18 years and served 12, my uncle had 12 years and served all I was horrified that father had been let out early, I will never be let out of the nightmares that still haunt me every single day and night; so why should he have been let out, ever, our legal system makes me so cross. If a judge deems a person deserves 18 years, then they should serve 18 years, none of this good behaviour rubbish.

    They showed me no mercy. There are so many things in this world I just cannot comprehend. We are capable of sending man to the moon yet we have millions of starving and homeless people on this planet. We have robots who can perform precision laser surgery yet we are unable to spot abuse of children, or when we do we have to jump through hoops to protect the children. We have wonderful caring men and women who dedicate their lives to helping people yet the people we elect into power are often cold and cruel and heartless with only their own agenda to follow.

    If those of us who may not be politically minded but who have love and compassion, patience and understanding, ran the countries worldwide then there would be no war, no famine, no child abuse. Leaders would still be elected to care for their countries economy, but the peace keepers of this world, those who nurture their own children and care for others, they are the ones who should take charge. Sadly those thoughts are only fit to be assigned to the realms of fairy stories; but I can dream.

    JY-- I had considered appealing to the "powers that be" to have the ads put back on, but not sure if it would change things. As I read this, my heart ached and I started to cry. The level of your abuse and torture is truly heartbreaking. No one should ever have to go through what you and your family had to go through. I am glad you were able to break away from that pattern of abuse that often continues into adulthood. You are a strong woman for doing so. I know it will take time to break down all those walls you had to build to protect yourself, but the right man will be willing to work, and willing to wait.

    I wish you nothing but the best, and I do hope your wish does come true some day. A world where children are not beaten, yelled at or abused in any way should be normal, but sadly, it is not. I was a regular 'visitor' to our local hospital as a child. My legs, arms jaw nose and more, were either broken or fractured on a regular basis. My father would line my three siblings and I up and start by hitting my eldest sister, as soon as she cried out he would turn to me, then my youngest sister, then my brother until finally owe had to stand and watch him beat and often rape, our mother.

    I told our local vicar and my punishment for 'lying' I had three broken ribs, a fractured ankle and a broken knee at the time , was to be put in a 'special place for naughty and wilful children. Everyone was afraid of father, no one stood up to him and protected us. The signs of abuse were evident on us all, yet we were left to fend for ourselves. I always tried, from a very very young age to protect us all, including mother, until at the age of nine my ninth birthday she 'gave' me to my father and uncle. She said it was to protect the others.

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    I was sacrificed to their cruelty and depravity in order to stop the violence on her and my siblings because she deemed me 'the strong one. I am now ending my third abusive marriage but have finally met someone who would never raise his voice let alone a fist. I was verbally abused and told I was nothing and no one and was the ugliest person to inhabit this world.

    My new partner tells me I am special and beautiful; I am yet to relax enough to trust him or believe his words, but I am getting there. As a mum of the two most beautiful perfect children, I could not comprehend for one second hurting them. They are the happiest most polite, truly loving children I have ever met and friends often tease about swapping them for their surly teenagers.

    If I could have one wish in this lifetime, it would be that no child is ever yelled at, hit, humiliated, raped or abused in any way for all eternity. If I suspect a child of being neglected or abused in any way, I will not hesitate in reporting the abuser. I have on several occasions, from seeing the parent belting a child in the supermarket to reporting a now ex friend who told me how she would wrap her children in a duvet to belt them so that the bruised did not show;-.

    If we are all brave enough to stand up for a child's rights and give them a voice, then together we can stamp out this horrendous needles act of cruelty. I also had two with ads taken off on similar articles. But like you said, it's too important. In some states, you can give someone guardianship without removing rights from parents. Abuse of any kind is a real tragedy.

    I am glad that things are being investigated, and I hope things work out for the child. You can call, make claims and accusations, but without proof, there is little that can be done. I do hope that a solution can be found. Be cautious about reporting it, though. Some states have laws that are meant to protect the parents from fraudulent accusations, and they can turn around and sue you. I wish I could give you better information, and a little more hope.

    Find a way to document it, or talk to the child. Many people treat their pets better than their own kids. I remember seeing abuse in some of my childhood friends. My friends grand daughter has suffered sexual abuse by two different people. It is finally being investigated by the police. The girls mother was not going to do anything about the nine year old daughters situation. My friend, the grandmother, and her son, the girls father, had to intervene.

    The girls other grandmother works for the child welfare advocacy and yet she is not willing to stand up for her own grand daughter. In fact, the girls mother recently gave her mother custody of the girl. I thought both parents had to consent to this before hand. Vanmil-- Thank you very much. It is amazing how some things just go unnoticed, and the effects they really have. Fantastic hub, very well written. No doubt such abuses are very wide spread, and regarding emotional abuse, as a teenager I found that almost all my friends had similar experiences to varying degrees. Very sad and the warning signs were clear, afterall, it is not normal in the community I grew up in, for 14 year olds to be out past 10pm on a school night, clustered in large groups including the company of near adult men.

    Emotional abuse leads to a need to find comfort outside of ones home, and this is often not a safe place for a teenage girl to be seeking such. Beth-- It can take a little while. I had an issue before that I needed the HubPages staff to look at. It took a few days for them to get back to me. I sent the email last night and am still waiting fingers drumming on the keyboard Beth-- Yeah, disabled ads.

    Not sure why HP and Google would flag it. Contact the HP staff and see if they can look at it for you, and see what the issue is.


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    5. Anna Marie, did you disable the google ads? My flag is for both the google and HP violations. Any ideas on how to get around this? I don't want to unpublish it -- it's too important. I don't mind at all!!! I'll go and link your hub into those ones. Beth-- Mine was flagged by google for adult content, and my ads were removed.

      It's important information, so it stays. Well, looks like my hub has been unpublished by the Team. I'm not sure if I will republish it I have not had any complaints regarding this hub since I published it. Let me think things through and I'll find another one of my hubs that is pertinent to abuse. I'll let you know. Beth-- No need to ask permission. Give me a few minutes and I will check yours out, and link it to mine as well, if that's ok?? Anna Marie, I have linked your hub, if you provide me permission, with mine.

      Together, we can make a difference. Beth-- It is something close to my heart, as well. Having seen the devastating affects it has on children breaks my heart. I just hope the information I put up helps at least one child. If it does even that, I know I have made a difference. Very well written and thorough. I applaud you in writing this to help educate those around you. Thank you for writing on child abuse -- it is a subject that is close to my heart. Thank you for writing this, and for being abuse out of the darkness.

      I appreciate it very much. Thank you for sharing this. We have to be an advocate for children. They are the innocent. I know these type of abuses all to well.