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An Abuse Survivor's Story

An Abuse Survivor's Story

"The one important thing I have learned over the years is the  difference between taking one's work seriously and taking 
one's self seriously. The first is imperative, and the  second is disastrous." -- Margaret Fontey 

December 25, 2000

The strange thing is, when it was happening to me as a child, I had never heard of the term "verbal abuse". I was little kid that had done something to make Mommy mad, and suffered the consequences. I was a "bad", "stupid", "ugly", "fat" child who would have been better off never having been born. 

I did not know, as a child, the effect that these words would have on me, nor did I know why my mother said these things. I just accepted what she said, as any child would, and those sentiments grew up with me.

When I entered high school, and finally got a "cool" boyfriend, I was so happy just to be going out on a Saturday night, that, at first, I really didn't care if he constantly belittled me in front of friends and strangers alike. He thought it was funny. I didn't, but hey, it was better than staying at home and watching Donny and Marie with  my parents!!!

After a while though, months and months to be exact, I began to feel that something was not right about this relationship. It felt like he was validating so many of the terrible things that I already felt about myself, that I grew to dislike him - intensely.

Still not ready to break up with him and feeling that nobody else could possibly want me, I plodded along and followed at his heels like an obedient puppy. It seemed that everyone thought he was a great guy! Funny, popular and a great partier! So it had to be me, right?

One night however, things got bad. He locked me out of the house in the freezing cold, because I had said something "stupid". We were visiting another couple, and I pounded and pounded on the door until one of them let me in. He just stood there and laughed at me. I could have died. I wanted to die.

He laughed.

Then I realized that he was having a great time, but my only purpose was to entertain him and make him feel like a big man in front of his friends. I got mad and told him to take me home. He proceeded to hold a pillow over my face to get me to "shut up", and stop being stupid.

That was it, I called a friend and left.  For good.

But the damage had already been done, I felt like a big piece of garbage that nobody would ever want.

At some point after that, I met my real first love. If it had not been for him, I do not think I would be here today, telling this story. But he made me realize that my entire view of my self was messed up. He saw me so differently, and explained to me what he thought had been verbal abuse by so many people in my life.

The experience stuck with me, although we did not. And I sort of turned it all around. I have since gotten help dealing with my self esteem issues, and feel like a much better person than what I had been told I was. I realized that other people can not define who or
what you are, and that that has to come from within. It takes a long, long time and a lot of hard work and self-examination, some of which is very painful, but in the long run, it is worth it. 

Although I still struggle with my own perception of what and who I am, I realize that I can change that, and become the person I always dreamed I would be.  

 Love, Cindy    Good stuff you effected  to mitigate ill effects unwittingly caused by your parents.  Thanks Cindy for sharing your inspiring abuse survivor's story.  Dr. Irene

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