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Old 04-16-2004, 07:09 PM   #1
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Exclamation Advice for teens in abusive houses

Hi guys! An adult dropping in here, but if you're anything like I was as a teen, you'll see where this is going.

My main reason for posting this is to maybe help even just a few of you learn the things it took me years of struggle and pain to learn. First of all, some background on me. I lost my dad at 4 in an accident, had a sister and a couple 1/2 sibs I didn't find until I was grown. I am sure there was some great times in my life, but for me the pain outweighed most of it. I was molested a couple times, beginning at five. I had a mother who was self-centered and traded addictions from pills to food to booze to men. I always felt last and sometimes was even told so.

I was in charge of raising my sis and a couple step-kids down the road. I grew up before my time. I had lost friends to suicides and accidents, family to murders, suicide, accidents and managed to lose a couple just of old age. In one year, I lost four grandparents and three friends. That was the start of the biggest slide downhill that had been coming for a long time.

After my dad died, my mom changed and became someone I didn't know or care to. I was the main target, although my sister did become one at times. I was hit with spatulas, wooden spoons and when I got fast enough to get away, had wooden brushes chucked at me...usually catching me at the base of the skull! OUCH!!! I even developed an imaginary friend when I was about 5 that I would tell my mom that if she was mean, he was going to eat her! Of course, he never did...seeing as how he never existed...but it was a comfort at the time.

There was more emotional abuse than physical, way worse. Horrible things were said and I eventually came to believe them. As a teen, my mom's then husband would make sexual comments and advances towards me. Instead of my mom leaving or blowing a gasket at him, she looked at me as competition!! HUH??? Don' want him, never did. Eventually he tried to be a little more than friendly. When it finally came out and the cops got involved, she threatened me. She told me if I went through with it that she would tell everyone around me what a manipulative little B I was and how I ruined a good man's name. I was so afraid that I told the detective I was a liar. He knew better, but could do nothing since I wasn't willing.

After that, she wouldn't speak to me other than to be mean. She would take things out of my hands to hit me with them or just be spiteful.

I'm going to add a post, since I stink at editing.......
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Old 04-16-2004, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: Advice for teens in abusive houses

Anyway, my reason for posting this is to let you guys know that no matter what situation you come from, it does not define you. You can define how it molds you. You can choose to continue the cycle of hurt or you can change. It took me a long time to change, and I'm still changing. I still carry a lot of the baggage, but it no longer hurts the way it used to.

Once you become a certain age, you may feel like you are doomed to an adult life that is similar to your childhood....not so! You have to take responsibility for who you are and who you want to be. I could have said that I don't have to learn parenting skills because this is how I was raised. You may not think this will be you, but may be surpised at how much this creeps in. You may know in your heart that it's not right and may be able to logically see how it should be...but you will not be able to get there with out without a lot of pain, struggle and effort. But, you will be better for it.

I don't mean you are the cause of the pain you endured...that lies with the adults who should have known better or known enough to get help. But you are responsible for what you choose to do with it. If you can learn and grow from it, you will be able to help those like you now.

It is all worth the effort. None of you are defined by your past and your past need not dictate your future, if you don't want it to. Your future is yours to shape and be proud of. Many people with good childhoods make poor choices that lead to a poor adulthood and poor childhoods for their children. By the same token, you as teenagers can begin even now, defining your future. Do not let your parents place their baggage on your shoulders...it belongs to them and should remain with them. Also, think about the painful things that may have been said to you...you may find that if you know ahead of time to look, what they are saying to you is more about how they feel about themselves than how they see you.

Not all parents cause pain deliberately. Some do. Hurts the same. Know that your parents are people, are fallible and will never be perfect. You are not a doormat and do not need to be. It's okay to leave your parents and their painful legacy to them. You are not a bad child if you choose to move on and if contact is too painful, it is not an obligation.

The way I see it...I as a parent owe it to my child to deal with a certain amount of their baggage because somewhere I may have helped create it. I also feel that as parents we are more "obligated" to tollerate things we dislike about our children's behavior or what-have-you....but feel there is no obligation to the child to stay in contact with a parent who caused pain you haven't yet healed from or continue to cause you pain. I may get a lot of arguments on this from adults. I am not saying that there comes a point that a child, as an adult, shouldn't be "walked away" from. You don't so much abandon them, parent or child, but there comes a time to love them from a distance.

Also know, that parents do love their kids, but it doesn't mean that what they do doesn't hurt. You are loved but not obligated to tollerate things dished out.

I know this is long winded and probably drifting off subject...but I felt it important to share for those who are in the shoes I was wearing. It meant a lot to me to have someone tell me this, because although I knew I had some value somewhere...I didn't feel I was allowed to really know it. When someone loved me enough to tell me this, it made me feel I had the power to change my life.

If I can help anyone in my old shoes...please let me know. Maybe something that took me a long time to learn can be a learning experience with a guide....less time...less trial and error...you know.

Gotta go...my own children are acting like they're on meltdown...gotta go take care of them. Good luck to all of you in my old shoes and those just wanting to change. You can do it, you deserve it, you can make your choices to be a better person.

P.S....if I ever don't make sense...please understand, that I do have brain damage..seriously...and another neurological condition that scatter my thinking.
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Old 04-17-2004, 06:46 AM   #3
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Re: Advice for teens in abusive houses

great advice... Maybe we can get a Mod. to put a sticky so teens can see this for a while.

 
Old 04-17-2004, 09:52 PM   #4
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Re: Advice for teens in abusive houses

great post! I've been through simliar things in my life....well you had a much worse situation than I did. I was never sexually abused or phsycially abused to the extreme. But I will say that emotional abuse can really really hurt someone. My mom and I do not get along. It was only until ast week when i was talking to my counselor that our personalities clash. We're like day and night. As a child, i was wild, getting into thing all the time....i was ur typical ADHD poster child. When i was in 5th grade my mom was in a accident and it severaly screwed her back up. I've lots count of all the surgeries, but the meds they put her on has changed her whole life. I dont remember how she use to be before the accident but I do remember after wards. Im a triplet, I have an older brother and my parents do foster care; looking in, everyone thought my parents were saints and the greatest parents alive. Boy they were wrong. I was always told that i was lazy, and I never cared. That i'd always behind. There were time my mom went over the line and i remember thinking that i was gonna die because she just went crazy and would throw, kick, and scream in our faces or little things. Everything was always my fault according to them. i was always gonna be the trouble maker, i'd never do anything right. Those things stuck to me, and it hurt hearing it from a person whose suppose to love you and care for you; and because it was my mother that said those things I believe it. It caused me to have an extremely low self esteem about myself. I can remember my mom telling me she loved me because I was her daughter but hated the person i was becoming. That sentence stuck with me. I never felt wanted, or loved, or accepted. When i go home from school I feel like a burden, and stress. My reasons for this is they tell me that im the main cause of their stress and what not. I've been going ot a counselor who has helped me out soooo much. But just like angel77 I wanted to share my story. Im an average college student, make great grades and doing well for myself. i've over comed so much, and because of the things that has happened has made me a better person. Its molded me, im going to becoming a counselor for kids who have ADD/ADHD. I strongly believe without those situations i'd be lost in life, i wouold have spun out of controled and i would be the wonderful person thta i am now. I hope ya'll remember things are never the end of the world. People will say mean things, and it wil get you down......but you make the decision to either let it motivate you or bother you until you beat it with a dead stick.

Sorry if this seems random...like I said IM adhd poster child......im random at times but its something I embrace rather than reject!
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Old 04-18-2004, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: Advice for teens in abusive houses

Don't worry about the rambling. Since my brain injury and subsequent narcolepsy, I've become accustomed to what the ADHD mind goes through. Irritating as all get out! My view on it, for those of you who have it....It's God's way of slowing your brain down enough to keep you from taking over the world! After all, I've never known an unintelligent person with ADD or ADHD....it's just a different way of thinking. Some of the most brilliant people I know have neurological problems.

Now, the one sentence that has always stuck with me is, "You used to be my pride and joy, what happened to you?" The first thought was, well 17 years of living with you would screw anyone up!

Please don't feel like a burden to your parents when you go home. You just become the target of their stress and own insecurities and problems. You are not the problem, just the target. Insecure and maladjusted people use these type of "coping" skills to deal with their dysfunctions. It does not mean you have anything to do with it. You are making something of yourself and that probably bothers them to some degree. The funny thing about dysfunction is that even though they may be proud of you, they tend to harbor resentment in large doses as well....because they themselves could not bring themselves to strive and overcome.....so, you need to be held down so that you don't excell past what they were able to. Just keep doing it for yourself and if they come around, great! If not, you've created yourself a better life and you deserve it.

Now, as far as suffering worse abuse....I don't think there is such a thing. Abuse is abuse and breaks the spirit of a child and takes their innocense.....something every child should have and be cherished. People can suffer less degrees of abuse and be more fractured spiritually than some that suffer abuse that all but kills them physically, but their spirit somehow remains in tact. I feel that when people place a degree of severity on this, it hurts others who feel they don't have a right to feel the way they do....."I shouldn't feel this way, it wasn't as bad as Joe's family." Kids hurt when they're not nourished, plain and simple.

You may have suffered the exact same emotional consequenses as someone who you felt suffered worse things in your eyes, but the outcome was the same. So, don't downplay your own hurts and compare it to others. I did this for a long time...partly because I was always told, "Oh, you poor picked on baby. You have it so bad. You have more than most kids." Yeah, maybe in physical possessions, but not what I needed. So, that comparison always stuck with me and made me insecure and made me doubt my own experiences. It's a manipulative and deceptive practice. In my eyes, the worst form of abuse I suffered was the continual doubt in myself and my perceptions. Sometimes to the extent that I had fabricated the whole event and traumas. Made me feel like a nut.

The oddest thing is that one of the worst adult experiences of my life, changed me profoundly for the better. I was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist and it brought everything out that had been stuffed down for so many years. I didn't know how to cope, but luckily I was lead to a great therapist who helped me more than he'll ever know. He wasn't the typical type....he read between the lines and called my bluff on more than one occasion. Sometimes I would be so mad that I wouldn't go back for a few weeks! He'd just grin when I walked in and say, "Must have struck a chord, huh?" "No! I, um, er, just, didn't have a babysitter!" Yeah, right. He knew it, I knew it and we'd start all over again.

He also said something that sticks with me and will forever...."Sometimes you have to fall apart to fall back together again." also..."Some therapists are the sickest people you'll ever meet." That was true also. Some people come out of therapy more screwed up than when they went in! But he was my turning point and gave me the tools I needed to finish building the life I wanted. I'm not there yet, but getting there faster than I ever was.

Yup...more random thoughts. I wish you guys knew me...because it's awfully funny. If you knew what was in my head right now...."Hmmmmmm. Wonder what I typed up there, but if I look, then I'll get confused or jumble the thoughts up even more...oh, well, I'll leave it alone and hope it makes sense to others because it turned my brain into jello." I don't know if it's the brain damage talkin or my blondeness showing through.

Hope this continues to help at least a few. I know that many of you will not grasp the full concept of this now, but you will and it will be then that you know you can control your destiny. Grab it, hold it and mold it into what you want. If it gets messed up, toss it and start new....you're allowed to do that.
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:30 AM   #6
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Re: Advice for teens in abusive houses

Angel77, you know they say God will never give someone something they cannot handle. You are a perfect example. You went through tough times and you are actually, albeit a small way on this board, helping others understand that the situations they were in need not affect them forever. Overcoming is a big word. The only reason I say 'small way' is that your words could mean so much to a lot of people, maybe there is a way you can communicate this message to a broader audience. I agree that you have to let people 'keep' their anger and realize that it is not you, nor your anger to keep. Making sense of a bad situation is hard, but when you realize that you can rise above it, it makes it a little easier.

Volleyball98, it must be so disheartening to know you are going home to a situation that doesn't make you feel good. The hold our parents have over us is big when it comes to shelter and food. Sometimes they hold it 'over' our heads and tell us the famous line 'as long as your living in my house.' Parents should be made to take a course on being parents because there are not enough good ones around to turn this cycle around of producing adults that are not messed up by how they were treated growing up - mentally and physically. Some would say that they would rather be physically abused instead of mentally because at least you can tell when the physical is over. Mental is constant and much more damaging. It's easy for people who haven't experienced it to give advice or to just say 'get over it.' So much harder living with it day after day.

We all need to keep and own our sanity. Don't let anyone take it from us.

Last edited by sawbuck44; 04-20-2004 at 08:31 AM.

 
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