What is abuse?

What is Abuse?

havoca What Is AbuseIf you are like most people you may think abuse is physical violence – having force used against you, having bones broken, being attacked, punched or kicked.  This is true of course, but other types of abuse exist which are as bad as, and can be worse than, physical violence.  There are four types of child abuse; physical, sexual, psychological, physical and emotional neglect.  Although listed as five distinct categories they all over lap.  For example a child may experience physical violence and also be forced to watch his parent being physically abused, resulting in psychological damage. All four types of abuse have things in common; they are detrimental to the well being of the child involved and can have serious consequences in the child’s development with far reaching problems right into adulthood.  All types can be stopped, either the perpetrator or the victim has the ability to stop the abuse and get help (we will discuss this later).  Thirdly, all forms of abuse are illegal – some groups still maintain that sex with children should be encouraged.

IMPORTANT
Children do not have the intellectual, emotional or physical maturity to be able to protect themselves from adults and therefore are protected by the law.  Adults will always have more power over children and therefore should be prevented from exploiting their power.

Physical Abuse: Slapping a child’s bottom is probably not abuse, stubbing a cigarette out on a child’s bottom is.  The woolly area between these types of punishment are distinguished by guidelines set out by the law.  Physical child abuse is defined as any corporal punishment that either leaves marks or is potentially dangerous to the child.  Unfortunately, the law does not define emotional abuse as a result of this physical violence.  One of our readers, Mark, was continually slapped across his face by his Father.  The slapping which was continuous and for no good reason would sometimes last all evening.  Although he suffered no permanent physical damage as a result of the abuse his emotional scars go deep. Mark now married with two children becomes aggressive and angry, and although not violent does use his power to intimidate and frighten his own children.

Sexual Abuse: Is in fact a sexual act.  That act cannot be ignored.  Yet it is much more than a sexual act, if adults who were sexual with children merely wanted to quench their thirst for sex there are many lower risk methods of acquiring satisfaction. In most cases it is not the touch itself that is harmful it is the meaning behind the touch that hurts.  Sexual abuse can be an expression of power, compulsiveness, an act of vengeance, or a desire for control, which often dangerously comes masked as an act of love.

Psychological Abuse:  Is hard to define it includes, name calling, humiliation, rejection, putdowns, being degraded, being belittled, being made to feel ashamed of oneself, isolation, being corrupt, threatening behaviour, witnessing marital violence, forced to perform acts beyond the child’s control.

Physical and Emotional Neglect: This is what didn’t happen to you as a child as opposed to what did happen to you.  Physical neglect is not receiving the proper level of care for a child, for example no shoes, lack of proper clothing, lack of food, lack of shelter and lack of medical care.  Emotional neglect involves not getting loved, not receiving sympathy, affection or empathy.  All of which are essential for the child’s upbringing.

Perpetrator: The next issue we need to address is the person who committed the abuse.  Most people relate child abuse with adult abusers; teachers, parents, school teachers, community leaders etc.  However this isn’t always the case.   A high percentage of children are abused by their own siblings.  This type of abuse has the same affects and issues on the victim as abuse that is perpetrated by an adult.  Therefore, throughout this site, mentions of childhood abuse are not perpetrator specific, unless stated in the text.

Tip
As you read through the information in this website, you may find yourself experiencing all sorts of emotions; you may disagree entirely with whats been written.  The advice would be to write everything down, so that you can analyse it later – self reflection is an important part of any recovery.

47 Responses to What is abuse?

  1. AvatarAndrew Munn says:

    Just a note to say that I wwould like to talk to someone anonymously about the abuse that I encountered as a 12-15 year old boy.

    I have been/felt gay for most of my life, I do not believe that I would have been so without the pervert.

    I think that my life would have been normal without our relationship.

    I hate being/feeling gay, even though I have no hate for people that are so. I think that I will always be attracted to men, for the rest of my life.

    Best regards,

    Andrew

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Thanks for your comment. The origins of a person’s sexuality is a very difficult thing to establish. It is natural for children who have been abused by a same sex perpetrator to question their sexuality. We would strongly recommend professional counselling to allow you to explore your sexuality issue. It may be that you are homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual – but the main aim should be to feel comfortable in your own skin and not defined by an abusive past.

      Feel free to contact us using our form.

      Jamie

    • AvatarAllie says:

      Andrew have you tried reading the gender games by Juno Dawson Its a amazing book very appealing. its a book about identity you will love it .

  2. Avatarrebecca anne says:

    was I abused? my Dad would give me chinese burns in order to hurt me, kick or thump me, twist my arms, push my face into the floor, he would get on top of me and hold me down until I couldn’t move or breath if I made him angry or was just doing something he did not like. Not every day though, not even every week. But sometimes he would provoke or pretend it was a game before getting nasty. He also told me I was no good and would never get anywhere etc etc. I was terrified of him and consistently tense around him. I have trouble working out what kind of abuse it was. I believe I do have trust issues as a result, I am certainly not getting anywhere, I am on red alert and sexually I am very messed up- I can’t let anyone near me. I battle self esteem every day and feel disgusting.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Any type of physical abuse leaves many scars. Combine this with the psychological mind games that seem to be a part of this situation it certainly sounds like you were subjected to abuse. More importantly some of the symptoms you mention are indicative of an abusive past.

      The main thing to focus on is the control you now have to change things. You are no longer under your father’s spell and can break free and start to heal. By posting here you have proved you have the courage and motivation to take the next step.

      Depending on your lifetime goals I would thoroughly recommend seeking professional help to guide you through the process. You might also like to hook up with other survivors even through our forums or by finding a local survivors group.

      Good luck and be kind to yourself.

    • Avataraniket says:

      I’ve lost faith in humanity, I mean how could a father can beat this bad to his child! Jesus!

      Ohh you’re such a brave kid. Be a good example young boy.

      My blessings are always with you.

  3. Avatarrebecca anne says:

    thank you.

  4. AvatarLena says:

    Was I abused?
    I know there was some emotional abuse in my family, but learning about abuse has brought up two very strong memories that I had forgoten. I cant remember how old I was I just know it happened somewhere between the ages of 7 and 11 (this part of my childhood is really blurry in my memory). One was my mother forcing me to strip down and have a bath with both my parents in the bathroom, at the time I had been bathing alone for years, and I wanted to do it alone but my mother told me I couldnt because there was a power outage, still I couldnt understand why I couldnt do it alone or why my father had to be there, I remember him just sitting on a chair in the bathroom looking at me, not doing anything except holding a flashlight (it could be placed anywhere in the bathroom). The second memory was us being at a public beach, my whole family was there along with some family friends ad their children, when my mother decided I had to change my bathing suite because it was wet and stripped me naked in front of everyone and gave me another one to put on, I remember asking her not to, or to at least hold up a towel so the other wouldnt see me, but she refused and stripped me down. I feel really confused and dont know what to think or do.

    • HAVOCAHAVOCA says:

      Thank you for sharing your story but I’m sorry you have the need to search us out in the first place. Any case of abuse is horrific and the first few steps are often the worst. Reaching out is just the beginning of what can become a soul searching journey. Your next step is really dependent on how you feel best able to proceed. We generally point people in three directions:

      Professional Help
      Self help
      Community help

      Have a look through each of the areas which are linked to pages on the site. You might find one that immediately grabs your attention. Feel free to email us privately or here, publicly, if you need any further help/support.

  5. AvatarAshley Barnes says:

    Was I abused? This is a bit long. Sorry.
    I haven’t seen my father in years, but the thought of him still frightens me. I don’t know if I was abused by him or not, even if it was just a little.
    When I was younger, he would yell at me and my brother all the time. He would yell at us over little things. He had big anger issues and bipolar disorder, so his mood could change from happy to extremely angry in a matter of seconds. When he would yell at me, he would say hurtful things. He would call me fat and stupid, and after a while, I started to believe it.
    My mom and dad are split up. They absolutely hate each other. I live with my mom and would see my dad every other weekend. My dad would always tell me that my mom is a horrible person and that she was the reason I was so stupid.
    My dad could be scary sometimes. When he was really mad at me, he would grab the back of my neck and pull me so close to his face that our noses were practically touching. He had so much fury in his eyes that I was scared for my safety. Sometimes when he grabbed my neck, he would squeeze so hard that couldn’t breathe. One day, my father embarrassed me in front of one of his friends that was over at our house. I started to get tears in my eyes and tried to hide them so my father couldn’t see them. He saw them anyway and he got very angry. He asked me why I was crying and I tried to deny it. He suddenly grabbed me and told me he would give me something to cry about. He dragged me to my room and bent me over the bed. He grabbed my neck squeezed till I couldn’t breathe. I wheezed out that I couldn’t breathe, but he said that he didn’t care. He then started spanking me very hard (my dad is a very strong man and has huge hands). He went on for so long that I was screaming in pain by the end. He then left the room while I laid on my bed crying. That was one of the times that I remember the most.
    My dad would hit us sometimes. I remember one time that my dad got mad at my brother and smacked him across the face. My brother got a huge gash. My father told us that is people asked about my brother’s face, to tel them that he fell. My dad would also spank us with a belt, and that hurt like hell.
    My father also has a drinking problem. He one time went to jail because he got drunk in public. Ar least, that’s what I what I think happened. I also heard it could have been marijuana. When he would drink, he got more moodier than usual.
    Today, the thought of him makes he have anxiety attacks. One time my teacher got mad at me and my friends because we were talking to much. He said that if we kept on talking, he would be inches from our faces. That comment set me off. I remembered my dad and got tears in my eyes. I got scared of my teacher then. He reminded me of my father. My heart race picked up and I had a small panic attack. It was too small for anyone to notice. But my mood was down for the rest of the day.
    I hate when people touch me, also. When I do see my dad, I especially hate when he touches or hugs me. I just tense up.
    I have huge anger and social issues. I can get mad over little things and I’m not a very social person. My little friends I do have, I wait to see what they are like. I have only told my best friend- who I have known the longest- about my problems, and that’s because I trust her. I have big trust issues, also. I wait to see what someone is like before I can really trust them. My father has done things that ruined my trust in him. He would act like he was nice, but that was just a facade.
    I used to cut myself. I was pained by my fathers actions and I couldn’t help myself.
    I don’t have much else to say, so this is it. In my mind, I can’t see my father’s actions as abuse, but I can’t help it. Please give me your opinion on whether my father abused me or not. Also, do you think I should get help? What I have told you in this topic is only half of what my father did. There are many other things that I didn’t explain. That’s all for now.

    • Avatargt says:

      Reading your comment brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me so much of what my childhood experience was too. It’s hard for me to define for myself if what I experienced was abuse, because never did my father leave a physical mark. But I am a grown woman now, and the wounds are still fresh and painful inside. I want so badly to forgive and move on, but seeing him is so painful. I did see a counselor for a few months which helped a lot, but now I’m not sure if I should write him a letter or not. I am a caring and nurturing person who prides myself on being compassionate and having empathy for all people. I want so badly to understand why my father was such a cruel person at times. But the fact is, I was a child. Small, vulnerable, and looking to him for love and protection. He failed me, he hurt me. Whether or not he abused me with his hands, or words, or by neglecting me, the pain is there. I hope you seek out the healing you need. Know that you are not alone and that you can get through these difficult times.

      • AvatarElaine Sipos says:

        I had a violent alcoholic father. After not seeing him for 20 yrs I decided to forgive him as I didn’t want any regrets and wanted to let go. I had imagined his life and what it would’ve taken for him to get to that place. I do not agree with his choices but I had compassion for him as a hurting human being. It’s easiest to picture them as a little child first. As I knew he wasn’t safe to be around I decided to phone him and tell him I forgave him. I didn’t have any expectations except to express that sentiment. I didn’t want contact or to remain in touch. He died a few years later and wasn’t told for about 6 months after his death. I’m glad I did that as I can let it go. My brother and sister are still very bitter and angry.

  6. AvatarNicola says:

    Why is ‘watching domestic violence’ always defined as – usually – a man beating his female partner? What about children who had to watch their siblings being beaten to a pulp? No site I’ve been on ever acknowledges that witnessing domestic abuse isn’t always seeing the man hitting another adult. They don’t seem to recognize how terrifying it is to see your little sister being smashed about, while the mother refuses to help, denies it’s happening, or even sets the father off in the first place.

    • AvatarRobo says:

      Yes that’s so right,the pain and memorys of abuse never go away.myself and my mum sisters and brother all were abused mentally physically emotionally,and sexually.Both our parents abused us and both our parents did not care for us ,and both our parents argued and fought till blood spilled,and no one helped us kids,I even rang the police as a young child several times ,the police came,nothing happened,no help from the police either,because I was a child and not a adult ,so no proof,then I got abused more for phoning the police,I eventually ran away from home,I had to leave my sister and brothers behind,I havnt seen them in 33 years,I love them so much,and they have no idea.breaks my heart,I feel worthless,I feel I should have stayed for there sake,at the time the abuse was unbearable.Today when people are nice I get overly overwhelmed and emotional because I just never had niceness as a kid not even a cuddle.I will never stop hurting.

  7. AvatarMe says:

    Hi, I battle with certain things, I don’t trust what I think or say is true, sorry if that sounds nuts, I remember certain things but then I doubt myself I’m a grown woman with children but this thing has haunted me for years, I don’t think I remember a specific act, although I remember the feeling when I woke up that he had come and gone and touched me where he shouldn’t have, I’m tearing up as I type that and I still doubt my self. I “remember” if I can say it like that, covering myself up over the lower part of my body with a piece of board, another time locking the door, another time thinking I should put drawing pins on the floor, remember lying looking towards the door before going to sleep, another time going to his room and telling him to stop or I’d tell, also thinking in about 3 years he’d be going to the army, another time thinking wearing a sanitary towel would help, so on that I would presume grade 7 or grade 8 time period, I can’t remember seeing him I can’t remember being awake when he did it just knowing he had come and gone, I don’t remember how many times, I don’t remember, I don’t remember I don’t remember!.
    But it’s been about 30 years and it still haunts me, it’s like memories that I have, but I don’t trust they are real, if he had to say I was talking rubbish I would not fight it, I have almost an obsession to find him and see what he’s doing and if he’s around children, and feel guilty what if he did do that to me and I didn’t make it up and now he’s doing that and worse to others and I didn’t say anything, that would be my fault. Someone told me that he had exposed himself to someone around the similar time period, I even battle to accept that I remember that that was what they actually said, I doubt myself in everything, the first time I spoke about it was in 1990 , 4 years after.
    But he lays low under the radar and doesn’t contact family much. I sort of know where he is now but not what he looks like, I want to know what he looks like! Even with all my doubts and lack of trust in myself he would never be allowed near my children!!
    Yet I have this obsession to find out about him, it’s like a story without an ending, I’ve never told my parents.
    It makes me feel crazy, I have started in therapy for depression and stress and this topic has come up bit but bit and the other day I saw a friendship request from him on face book and our therapy session was quite intense.
    My therapist said what does my gut instinct say, I said yes, but them in the same breath I say but I can’t trust that what I’m saying is the truth and not some lie I’m making up, but why would I do that, this is what goes on in my head. Apart of me wants to be in the same room as him to see how I feel and his reaction if any, but I’m also nervous in some way. He feels bigger than me, he is older than me by 4 years, but it doesn’t feel like it’s just about age. My therapist said he thinks I was, I don’t know what I really remember, if it was real or maybe that cannot have been my life it happening to me. I’m tired

  8. AvatarKathleen Riggins says:

    I suggest you join up on the FORUM section and do some reading. You will find (sadly) that you are not alone (which can be a relief in itself). Also, continue reading through the Main Site page. I hope you can all find some measure of peace.

  9. AvatarTeri Fale says:

    Can victims of troublesome childhoods have normal adult lives?

  10. AvatarLeanne says:

    When I was 15 I was in what I thought was a relationship with a 29 year old man. He picked me up in his car and took me back to his house. I always felt grown up and special and in a way liked it. But now and for the last few years, I’ve started thinking about how wrong it was. I was 15 and still a child. Should he have realised that? I don’t know if it’s abuse or not but I’ve just had a melt down about it after reliving something. I’m now 32 and I couldn’t imagine having a relationship with someone under 16 so in my head I feel like he abused me and made me think some of the things he was getting me to do were ‘normal’ and I felt so grown up doing them. He would pick me up from school sometimes.

  11. AvatarMariam says:

    can someone tell me if this is abuse? im 15 and as a child (around 5 or 6) when my parents were going through divorce i feel as though my mother would take her anger out on me, by hitting me or locking me in a dark room while i cried and slapping me , pulling my hair etc. when i was 8 i decided to go live with my father for a while and he never hit me. one time an uncle came to visit who i think ive surpressed memories of, but thats not significant. when i went back to my mother when i was 11 or 12 i feel as though she never forgave me for leaving her, and would constantly compare me to my father as useless and aloof and a lot of other things. She would still hit me at times and I was usually afraid to be home and would tell me that I was ungrateful and a burden upon her. i started self harming as a way of punishing myself or grounding myself when i was 13. im still afraid of her at times but i feel that as a single mother shes done a lot for us considering how our father doesnt send much money for child support. shes tried her best with us even though she may hurt us at times i feel as though im over reacting ? could someone please help

    • AvatarVera says:

      You are not overreacting and I am sorry this is happening to you. It sounds like abuse from what you are describing. I found this page because I was abused as well, I am 30 now and still dealing with it and still trying to heal. At your age, I was beat by my father regularly and very violent towards others because of it. I know what it’s like to try and make sense of things, “why are they doing this if they love you?”, “is this what all parents do?”, “am I overreacting?”, but the fact is: what she is doing to you is wrong, and will have a negative impact on your life/ future relationships. I would suggest to confide in a close friend or relative you can trust. It feels good to talk about it, even if it may be upsetting, in the long term it will help you heal. It makes it real. It releases pain. It allows you to move on. I hope you are able to get yourself out of that living situation and somewhere safe. I got a job as soon as I could, left at 18, and will never live back in that hell of a home. There is no reason to make excuses for your Mother’s actions, you need to acknowledge that this isn’t right or normal and most importantly it isn’t your fault. There is no reason for her to verbally or physically abuse you, or for it to happen to anyone. I wish you the best of luck.

  12. AvatarAlison says:

    Was i abused? I have anxiety disorder, insomnia and have nightmare frequently since I was young( like 5 years old or sth) and I was diagnosed depression and anxiety disorder not until I was 22.

    My mother used to beat me with fire woods, bamboo sticks when I was a young child . The next day, there were marks on my skin. She said the marks would let others know how bad I was. And sometimes she locked me outside the house alone in the dark. Once, she hit me with a little Plastic stick. It broke into two pieces and my lips were bleeding at that time. But she didn’t feel sorry for that.And she never hug me or kisses me when I was a child. She threw away the card I draw her in front of me. And she scold at me and called me names when she had bad moods. She would ignore me for days and made me feel like I was the worse kid in the world if I didnt do things she expected. ( such as not wearing dress to a family meeting, not asking my father money for family expenses, telling my father was giving me a pet for birthday gift)

    But as I can rmb, she had never beaten me up in front of my father. Since I could only see my father once a month when I was young, my mother was the only person I could rely on. When I was 7, my mother moved to another country. i was took care of by grandma. I felt really sad and missed my mother a lot.

    I disccuss the above punishments with her when I grew up. She said that was just fair punishments for being naughty. And she gets really angry everytime I mentioned how bad she had treat me when I was young so I stopped talking about that. And she ascribes My depression to the broke up with my gf and describe me as wired and pathetic.

    I was really confused. She always said she loved me very much and tried her best to raise me up. But I can’t feel it. I always feel I am not loved and they will redundan me if I don’t give them enough money or not doing things they expect

    I am not sure whether my mother was one of the factors to my emotional problems or just I was such a bad daughter to blame her for my own faults. I still cry at midnights sometime when I think about this.

  13. AvatarAth says:

    Was I abused?
    Being thrown on the toilet floor and being slapped in the head by objects, having objects thrown at me, being told that I should leave the house because I didn’t want to follow my parents to a party then being tied with my father’s shirt and being forcively shoved outdoors. Being called stupid and ignorant for taking breaks in-between study and homework sessions. Being kicked in the head multiple times, being slapped, having punches thrown at me. But all for mistakes and not switching off the lights, etc. I find punishment for things like this alright, but is it considered abuse? I don’t think physical abuse was necessary but they had my well-being in mind.

  14. AvatarMarg says:

    My father was a drunk sorry lets use the modern word alchoholic. My parents divorced and my father left when I was 8. He had visitation rights he would take me out for the day and he would get drunk. I was left for hours on beaches or outside pubs he just disappeared leaving me alone to my own devices. I had a nightmare holiday with him. We stayed at a boarding house went out in the morning when the pubs opened I was outside with nothing to do. This happened every day apart from a walk round a harbour that was it. He made me humiliated when he was on a train and he would be lurching all over the place I shrank into my seat it had terrible effects on my self esteem.My mother would often hit me and my cousin was present one time and mother hit me so hard my cousin winced mother would say I didn’t want you and anyway I wanted a boy not a girl. In the long summer nights in the UK I was sent to my room with nothing much to do at 6pm it was about 5 hours before night came. I never told her about how dad was when he took me out.Sometimes I would just lose it and get really angry one time a neighbor rushed in as mother was strangling me I couldn’t breathe. I dont know how the neighbour knew I think I may have screamed before she started to throttle me. When my mother remarried My stepfather criticised me constantly he couldnt wait for me to just go so I waited until I was 17 when I left and joined the army the abuse I suffered there I can’t even go into here. I was lucky I wasn’t raped but somehow I escaped 4 times. I eventually married a wonderful man but I watched him carefully to make sure he wasn’t a drunk. He offered me love shelter and made sure I had all I ever needed. I have a good marriage but the memories of those bad times haunt me and I am over 70 now. I loather drunks and people who abuse children they are the scum of the earth. If anyone reading this is in a similar position I was I encourage them to leave asap when they are old enough to just get out.

  15. AvatarMeg says:

    “Emotional neglect involves not getting loved, not receiving sympathy, affection or empathy. All of which are essential for the child’s upbringing.”

    I really am not sure if what I went through really counts as abuse. It’s just so subtle that I have no idea if it’s “oh my Dad is just a human who has issues” or if it’s “no my dad should not have acted that way”. I don’t know. It’s really less about what my Dad did versus what he DID NOT do. When we were little, I remember he would play games with my sister and I, hug us, and tell us he loved us. Once we were pre-teens and teenagers, he withdrew. There’s many reasons why he might have done this (my sister and I suspect he developed depression because of financial issues, failure to keep our parents business afloat, ect.). Just recently my Dad has started trying to get closer again. It still feels weird to hug him and tell him I love him. Because frankly, I don’t even really like him as a person.

    He would always claim that our mom was overemotional and I never felt like I could open up to him. I mean.. how could I open up to someone who wouldn’t even initiate a hug. Anyhow, my Dad also had/has a short temper, especially when frustrated or stressed. I unfortunately have that same inclination and I hate it. But I’ve gotten better about it. I think distancing myself from both my parents has helped me a lot with being a more balanced and healthy person. I don’t know. I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

    Now I’m going to share an e-mail I sent my parents (the names are changed but I’m still honestly a bit worried they might see it on here but oh well, I just want to gauge everything and see if you all think I’m nuts to call this abuse):

    “Dear Mom and Dad,
    I just spent the past hour or maybe longer crying on Scott’s lap. I tell you this not to make you feel guilty. I am frustrated that no matter what I do or how hard I try to make things better or be a good daughter it is never enough. How can I possibly make people happy who refuse to be and refuse to change anything for the better?
    Mom,
    I love you and nothing will change that. But… I AM NOT YOUR THERAPIST. GO GET ONE. You have made me terrified I will become like you and Dad. So much so it sometimes affects my relationship with Scott. You need to start talking to Dad about things whether or not I am there. I’d rather see you two communicating than pretending everything is fine.
    Dad,
    I love you and nothing will change that. When mom and I try to make things better, we don’t need criticism. Samantha and I want our father around but if you don’t go to the Doctor, who knows how young you may die. Not going to the Doctor is downright selfish. Don’t you care enough about yourself anyway to take care of your body? We also crave your presence at home. It hurts to not have my father connect with me.
    You two need to resolve things either by moving forward together or separating. But either way, I can’t live in a broken household with people unwillingly to talk to each other. I think if things continue to be this way I will go insane. I’d rather not leave thinking the only reason to go back home is to see Rooty. Do something or see me less. There are your options.”

  16. Hey can someone tell me if this is abuse?
    When I was a kid I remember my mom and dad fighting a lot, and my dad was huge compared to me and scared the tar out of me. He would yelll and scream and throw things. He would yell and scream in my face and he terrified me. He would cuss at me and I think I have been called every name in the book.
    I could normally feel the tension building before it hit and bailed out but my little brother would never go with me. He got spanked a lot so much that my mom threatened to call the police.

    I remember distinctly at age 5 getting the I disown you as my child speech from him ( and so does my mother) and also I distinctly remember at age 6 I think, looking at the butcher block on the counter and deciding 100% that if he ever hurt my mom I was going to sneak into his room at night and put a knife through his neck. I would not go to jail I knew and my mom and me and my brother could have a happy life and be safe. ( er, don’t ask me how I came to that conclusion) but I had a freaky high reading level and newspapers were water to an intellectually thirsty mind if you get me. Hit the college level in like 3rd or 4rth grade.

    My dad has taken an open hand and hit me in the ear like a side swipe, he has threatened to kill me and my brother like a million times. I always thought the white parents please beat your kdis thing was funny from pablo francisco because of the go ahead and phone child aid line, that was basically my dad except it was go ahead and call someone I dont care if I go to jail etc. I remember getting spanked and things by my mom like normal – you did (x )bend over get spanked like twice and then your free to go.
    But its really hard for me to remember anything about my dad I remember being absolutely terrified and crying and he would yell at me for crying and say i’ll give you something to cry about etc. I remember always living in fear and being afraid of him and watching constantly to make sure I could bail out if things looked bad- to rake the lawn or some other thing I could make up or to just disappear out a side door.

    I remember being grabbed and shaken repeatedly with him screaming right in my face quite a few times. I can only partly remember him spanking me as a kid and I think he has basically hit me a couple times in the side of the head. Not hard enough to knock my block off or anything but hard enough to hurt and panic me. And not like a nice little cute tap- funny/joke you did something stupid silly – hit.

    I can’t remember a lot of physical confrontation with my dad, like it’s just either blank spots or not there. Like I watched that video of the Texas judge beating his daughter for comparison.
    Her fear of her dad in that video is what I recognize a lot and I feel so bad for her. But the physical beating for me wasn’t anywhere near how he kept hitting her. So I guess I can’t tell. When I think of abuse I think of someone beating the tar out of you and leaving bruises and breaking bones.
    I have been choked but that was from someone else also as a small child at the time and the other individual was once again way bigger than me.
    And I guess I remember a couple of spanking where my dad went what I would call to far but normally instead of submitting to it I stood up to him and refused to do what he wanted ( my mom had signed me up for martial arts classes and I was pretty darn good at it) and if I stood up to him a lot of times he would just fizzle out and go back to screaming and yelling.

    But my dad is also a nice person- er… He shows affection by buying stuff. Literally random stuff. Like he never apologizes but he will come sit next to you and bring you something like a hammer or a mango and kind of talk about how nice the hammer or mango is and then say that you can have it. It’s kind of funny to watch actually. He always provided for us as a family and was absent a lot because of work. He was a jerk. But well I guess he’s my dad ( he gets the position for years of effort and improvement) and I love the jerk. And I don’t remember a lot of encouragement but I remember some encouragement. And I remember him standing up for me several times. And he actively got a whole lot better than he was when I was younger.

    Please someone help if you can I am trying to figure out how to keep this out of my relationship. But I just can’t tell it this i abuse

    • AvatarNick says:

      I’ve had a lot of the same experiences with my mother. She didn’t hit me quite as much but she sure did control me through guilt and fear. I’m still living with her. I’ve thought about sucidie. I’m not sure what to do.I have no friends. She’s the only person I really know.

  17. AvatarTommy says:

    Was I abused?

    Sorry if it’s a bit long..

    When I was 8 (maybe a bit younger or older) my mother took my sisters and I to Australia for what was supposed to be a 3 week (or month, I’m not sure) holiday. We stayed at my half-sister’s place, who was with my brother-in-law (back then, he was only my future brother-in-law). We ended staying there a year, maybe more, maybe less.
    I used to be a child who- though I’m so so ashamed to say it- wouldn’t wear undergarments.. I just couldn’t (Obviously, I do now, I’d never stay like that again) well my brother-in-law used to tip me upside down so the blood rushed to my head to ‘check if I was wearing underwear’ or pull my pants or shorts down, he’d do it in-front of all the family present and I’d always feel so horrible and disgusted with myself. The only times he didn’t do this was when I was wearing dresses or skirts which had shorts attached to them. Once he did this in-front of my half-sisters visitors, including a baby, a kid around 6 and the mother, I went to my room and locked myself in the closet after that happened- after all, people I barely knew had just seen my genitals and my ass thanks to him.

    He used to leave sexual magazines, or as they called them, “stick magazines” scattered on the desk where we all see them.

    He used to yell at me if I did the slightest things wrong, once I accidentally slammed the door and all I can remember is trying to open the door quickly and shouting “SORRY! THAT WAS AN ACCIDENT!” all I could hear was him loud stomping and I knew he was going to yell at me. When he came in, he yelled so much at me, I was in full tears. I apologized and told him it was an accident and he said something along the lines “It better have been” and left the room with the door closed.

    I remember sometimes he’d walk in on my sisters when they were getting dressed on purple to ‘teach them to lock the door’.. which was weird, since I’m pretty sure he DIDN’T want us to lock doors in the house???

    I was always an EXTREMELY picky eater (I blame myself), but when I lived with him it was either do or die (or so it seems) and I would be forced to stay at the table for hours and eat everything, even if it meant I gagged or threw up. If I didn’t, he’d send me to my room at 7PM and keep in my room all night (which I suspect was the reason for my insomnia) I was never able to sleep because I’d be crying, I shared a room with my mum (at-least for some while..) and all I would is cry and sit in the dark in the room with the only light from the cracks under the door until she came back, only then would I be able to fall asleep which I’m pretty sure sent me into a bad schedule where I’d be awake as a 8 year old till about midnight and fall asleep late night or early morning (1AM, 2AM) which to me doesn’t sound like much now, but for an 8 year old that isn’t very nice.. especially spending 2 hours in your room, in the dark without anything to do and forbidden from doing anything either way.
    Once I felt very sick, I woke up early one morning feeling very nauseous, yet I somehow had the thought and reminder in my head saying, “Maybe you just need to eat, then you’ll feel better!” That’s the stupidest thing I could of ever thought, after I had ate, I couldn’t walk because I felt so much sicker from the food, I had to crawl with my hands and legs from one side of the house to the other to vomit, I think that may be because of how much I was forced to eat.

    One time (I’m not sure if it was only one time, I don’t remember well) I wasn’t eating properly and he locked me in the bathroom for around 3 hours, the only time I was allowed out was when he needed to piss, he came needed to and said he forgot about me, and then put me in the other bathroom until he was done, then he locked my back in. (Keep in mind I had no water and no drink because this was in the toilet bathroom, not the showering and bathing bathroom, and it was a very small space) On the door there rules that we had to follow and that’s the only thing I could do, read those and sit on the floor and wait.

    I remember one time he brought the family into my mum and I’s room and we were all talking, I don’t remember what about, and he decided to do the chinese burn on me. Of all people, the weakest, youngest, most directed person in the household. It hurt so much because he was a grown man and he was physically hurting me.

    I’m not sure if this was all that happened because I have bad memory, tbh. I fell into depression a few years ago but luckily I am 8 months and 14 days free from self-harm and I am NO LONGER within his house. I live in a separate country now.. but I can’t help but think how terrible he was.

    Am I exaggerating??? Please reply, thanks.

  18. AvatarRalph says:

    My mom used to spank me with a raw hide dog leash when she wanted to discipline me. During my childhood I was hit with the dog leash, open hands, fly swaters, and switches.

    I was an effeminate child and I identify as gay. My mom would call me derogatory names, although the name calling was not an everyday occurrence. I was also put in the middle of argue,ents she had with her long term boyfriend.

    Was this abuse? I’m asking because the actions were part of my life; I did not know any other reality.

    Please help give me some perspective on this situation.

  19. AvatarChristie Jackson says:

    My sister and i went through a great deal of abuse growing up from our alcoholic step father. I remember him beating my sister because she spilt his coke he had hiding in the silverware drawer. She was 4. I was 7. As we got older my mom worked more, my sister stayed gone more and i was left to babysit.
    He was very physically abusive and verbally abusive. By the time i was 13 he became sexually abusive. Not long after i lost my bedroom door privledges. He would walk in when i was in the shower i would wake up he would be standing over me with a gun.i moved out at 16 lived on the streets a while and felt safer than i did at home. He died 2 years ago. Now i see him, knowing hes dead and think hes trying to kill me. Im 45 now. Not a child anymore just scared 🙁 i have a therapist its not helping. Ive been diagnosed bipolar meds have helped some but i am one messed up woman and i cant wait to feel normal again!

  20. AvatarJustin Yoon says:

    Was I abused?
    When I was in middle school I became depressed and my grades quickly plummeted. My dad wasn’t around the house very often because of his job so my mom mainly took care of me and my sister. As a result of my bad grades my mom would punish me by hitting and yelling at me at least once a week. She would beat me with household objects like wooden spoons and rulers until they would break. Or she would pinch me or scratch me until I bled. One time she got so angry that when I looked in the mirror she left ten black bruises on my back. In eighth grade she was diagnosed with cancer and told me that it was my fault because “the stress of having such a terrible son made her body weak”. When I told her I was depressed and suicidal instead of comforting me she told me that sometimes she has fantasies of me dying. The reason I’m not sure if this is abuse is that my childhood wasn’t always like this. She was a good mother in elementary school when I had good grades. My sister also thinks that I’m being too harsh at my mom and that because my mom seems remorseful for her past actions I should forgive her. Whenever I think back to my past and consider whether or not this was abuse I always feel guilty because she did struggle having to take care of both me and my sister.

  21. AvatarAddison says:

    Hello, my name is Grace Vandwolke and please tell me if this is abuse or not.
    My dad died when I was around 3-5 years old. He fell off a rollercoaster at Darien lake amusement park. My mom became depressed but she still took care of me and my sister. We couldn’t make enough money and later that year we started to live with my grandparents. I love them so much! We lived with them for about two years. When we finally moved out we got a place in Verginia to stay. Then mom got a boyfriend, he was ok but I just wanted it to be me and my mom and my sister. But he ended up cheating on her. So she dumped him and she again became depressed. When she met my step dad at a gym she loved him. After a year of dating he proposed. But that is when he started getting physical. He started to grab us, throw things at us and many more things. But he would only do that stuff when my mom wasn’t around. He is very mean and puts me and my sister down a lot. He is just very mean. I know it might not be abuse but I don’t really want to tell my mom about it because I feel like she won’t believe me because she loves him so much.

  22. AvatarThe Random Gamer says:

    Ive been shammed mocked i have health problemes autism depresion doctor also thinks I have a mood disorder been fat shammed by a teacher got bullied by kids and teachers all this happened from age 3-17 and I even told my abuser how I felt and he said that He didnt even give a shit about how I feel my granddad hit me with a fly Swatter and grandmom pulled my hair extrmly hrd that I cried and im bi I only told one persone in the family and they accepted me also my dad would get mad at the stupidest shit in the world

  23. AvatarPaycee says:

    Am I Being Abused? Im Paycee and im 12. I was adopted when i was 2. I love my family, exept my dad. He is the worst. He scares me 🙁 He always tells me how usless i am and calls me a coward. He takes all his anger out on me.He slaps me in the face for no reason, he hits my back reaaaaalllllllyyyyyy hard with his belt, i have so many bruises and scratches. He also will pick me up by my neck where i have trouble breathing and throw me at a wall. He tells me that im not part of his fmily and i cant eat what my mom cooks, so i eat one piece of bread. Im hungry. Im not allowed to eat brekfast or lunch. Just one piece of bread at dinner. Whenever i have the chance i will go lock myself in the bathroom and sob. im 49 pounds and im in 6th almost 7th grade. I cant do it much longer. i cant stand. Im hungry…

    • AvatarTheresa says:

      Paycee, you need to call 911 for emergency help! Yes, you are being abused and police will help you! Call today and find out how to contact a school teacher in your area! I know schools are closed but maybe look online if you have it and find one of your teachers! Or a neighbor that will find help without telling your parents. Obviously, your mom will not be helpful! You are very smart to look for help! Sending love and courage your way! Be safe, sweetie and let us know you are ok,please!

  24. AvatarYvonne Mikulencak says:

    Greetings! My name is Yvonne. My father was my hero, but my mother (who I believe was autistic like me) abused me by beating me with her fists and objects when she had “meltdowns” She threw things at my father. My siblings copied her behavior. She beat them as well. Both my siblings married horrific women and a man who were as violent as our mother. I married a man who was like my father. I am finding being open about this has freed me from the emotional pain I endured for 67 yrs. I am hoping to get support and help me keep my Free feelings a part of my life instead of the shame and constantly remembering my mother’s abuse. I am diagnosed with PTSD from being abusively raised by my mom and the abuse from my siblings. I am feeling free after reading many psychological articles on shame because of child abuse. I want it to last.

  25. AvatarLUQMAN SHAMSUDDEEN says:

    Am i being abused? so i live in an nice house but my dad isnt very nice. sometimes if he tells me to sweep the floor and i dont do it he would punch me in the chest back and my sides really hard. he would also do this if me and my sister would argue or i do annoy her. And also sometimes i would get really mad and i would try to do anything i can back but he would either punch harder or he would b\pin me down with his fingers in my neck and thought so i cant breathe and he woukd keep them there for a solid 5 seconds and he would he would do it again and this happens almost everyday. he would also pin me down with his elbow in my neck so i cant breathe or he would put his finger in my neck like underneath my jawline and collorbone really hard and if i get loud hell do it harder until hes done talking.please get back to me.

  26. AvatarJane Hill says:

    I was hit and grab by the throat but because he said sorry it is ok. He continues to speak to me like dirt. I’m being accused of going mental because I fight back. Why can I not just get over it?

  27. AvatarThe brat says:

    I’m trying to find a definition..someone like me. Is it me? Surely I could not have accidentally come into these things, it has to be me.
    I was labeled “bad” at a very young age. I was told how BAD and how much of a brat I was, often…and still to this day, they “remind” me. I’m in my 40’s now, and can’t remember a time when life was sweet. I wonder how such a young child could be left alone long enough to destroy heavy-duty items…where were the adults? Never the question, just why are you so naughty?! Which seemed to perpetuate spite. I watched my dad abuse my mom. Eventually it switched to me, around 5-6, and never went back. She didn’t stop it, and I didn’t fight it because she was no longer being hurt. Also, due to the nature of my moms work, she painted a grim picture of poverty and homelessness, if I ever told on him. There was NEVER sexual abuse, just to be clear. It almost seemed like a concerted effort, as time passed. The younger and older sibling feeling I somehow deserved ridiculous demands, physical and psychological abuse along with emotional neglect. It never stopped, until it moved out. I swear I’ve got PTSD.

    I did somehow manage to add in another abuser, BEFORE moving out though:( I started going out with a friend when I was 13. At 15, he started to get abusive…very abusive. He was older than me. My dad actually witnessed him assaulting me once. Did he help me? No, said later that I was tough and could handle it. I’m not big, or strong…really could have used his help to stop it. It was during this time I learned my mom was “certain I would be a teenage suicide”…but she never did ANYTHING to stop it. No talks, no support, you COULD go to a therapists…but you may not be honest about what really hurts you, not even checking in on me after rough days or acknowledging what dad had done that day. If I just kept my mouth shut..maybe he would stop. So two(+) abusers at ince. I left that violent realtionship, 5 years later, and never looked back.

    Not quite the end, sadly. The abuse in my marriage started about 3 years before we actually got married. But the violence escalated as time has gone on. I tell everyone, I INTRODUCED the violence, not going to lie. It was my only problem-solving method with relationships, that I knew:( Until one day, I just stopped. It wasn’t right and not healthy. Plus I was NOT allowing our child to endure what I had…my husband was/is NEVER physical with our child. So I stopped…he did not. Its been some time now, about a year since the last physical incident. But the mind games and demeaning..all that junk is still there.

    So is it me? Am I THE instigator, the problem maker…my own worst enemy?
    Gah, I just really needed to vent. Because my mom “taught” me “well” what happens if you seek help and tell the truth about whats ailing you, to physicians, I told you. Thank you for listening.

  28. AvatarDuncan says:

    I am being abused. My father is hardly a parent- he screams at me that I am not enough for him, that I need to act, behave, and do certain things. He calls me a failure daily for having mental disorders that I have absolutely no control over and disregards them despite him knowing the sheer amount of trauma I’ve been through since I was born. My father wasn’t really my father til I was around thirteen years of age, as that was when he’s finally gotten out of prison (which I later found out was due to raping my cousin who was only a few years older than myself at the time) and at fifteen I finally moved in with him. Up until that point of moving in, he was entirely sweet, seemingly sympathetic, and I felt like I was actually being loved. As soon as I moved in it was live a switch flipping, he became distant, forced my out of therapy and forced me off of my antidepressants which I heavily relied on due to suicidal depression. He’s generally cold, and the only time I’ve ever seen him get emotional is when I tired to commit suicide later on, but even through crocodile tears he was acting as if he were the victim. When my uncle, who I was especially close to, died he offered me no shoulder, and instead called my wailing and screaming throughout the night “over-dramatic”. Throughout these years he’s acted the same way, and due to the support of his fiance (now ex) I could live with him constantly degrading me for my gender and sexuality. Recently it came to a head, when he finally physically assaulted my step-mom. Rightfully, I fled to her side and called the police, Throughout this break-up between them I’ve taken my step-mother’s side through and through, as I saw him assault her, abuse her, and then finally take his anger out physically. I am now eighteen at this point, but he still has be under his boot because the phone he has been paying for since i was seventeen is under his name. I am now on a weekend trip with him in attempt to get some consolation for myself, and not even a few hours in he’s threatened to remove my phone and raised his hand to me but not brought it down. If he turns off my phone and I have no means of contacting anyone while I am in his care, I fear that I will die here. I’ve contacted my step-mother but she has no means of getting me home right now. All i can do is wait the night out and hope that tomorrow I can lie and convince him that I am having womanly issues and for him to take me home. Wish me luck.

  29. AvatarAlicia says:

    I dont really know if it is any type of abuse. I think it’s not but since I have depression, I get these episodes where I’m just really you know depressed. So I was having one of those and I was in the bathroom and I left after like 2 hours. My dad was outside and I accidentally hit the toilet seat and it broke. I tried to fix it but it wouldn’t work and I didn’t know what to do so I left and I was terrified and he came in my room after the toilet seat fell. He stromed in my room and yelled at me, he swore. Threw my suitcase in my direction and almost hit me. He kicked my mirror and it shattered in pieces and he yelled a little more then left slamming the door behind him. I was shaking bad and crying alot, I was surprised he didn’t come over and hit me. I hadnt cleaned my room the night before, he came back forced me to clean my room. When I was he was cleaning the mirror pieces and I was silently crying and still shaking. I was just waiting for him to yell at me more, break something else, throw some thing at me again or hit me. When he was done he left the room. Threw me a garbage bag and it’s been two hours since and he just came in my room. Told me to clean the bathroom in a calm voice then left like he didn’t do anything. When he did come in a tensed and I felt like I was gonna cry. Whenever I do something like this, he makes me feel like it’s all my fault. I always panick try to message my mom or my grandparents. Since I live alone with him, in the country cause my mom doesn’t have enough money to take care of me. There was another one in December when we fought and I went in my room, this was when I used to self harm. He walked in on my cutting my arm. He yelled again, swore, took my computer smashing in to the ground and breaking my dresser. Hit my hand. I kept apologizing, he kept yelling. Made me clean the broken computer and dresser. He sat on the couch watching me, that time I do believe it was my fault. I flinched even when he spoke in a calm tone. He’d see that then yell. I would be scared to go up to him, he always got mad at that. Blame me for things he did and act like the victim. Twist my words in front of my mom so I’m the bad one. If we ever fight he just shuts me out like I don’t exist, until I apologize then he goes back to the loving, caring father he is. I enjoy spending time with him, it’s fun and i love him when he’s the funny guy but when he yells and breaks things. I get terrified, I think that this is just like normal parenting. But you tell me.

  30. AvatarEllie says:

    I am really wondering if I have been abused? someone has asked me before and I didn’t know what to say or really how to describe my experience. If it is abuse im not sure what kind it is. Im in my early twenties now but still have a hard time healing from experiences with my parents. My mom is an alcoholic and in her drunk moments can be very mean out of nowhere. She is very unpredictable and says very mean things to me about how I am the reason she has cockroaches in her house or how I am not the daughter she wanted etc. I honestly can’t remember most of what she’s said to me in her anger but she’s never been very involved in my life or any activities of mine. She has also kicked me out of her house multiple times in anger so that she can drink alone. One time I remember her being so angry that i ran into a bedroom and tried to lock the door to get away from her but she made it inside before I could and grabbed my wrists and pinned me up against a wall screaming, but I’ve always been stronger than her so I made it out fine. As a young child I was frequently locked in my room all night so that my parents could do things they didn’t want me to see (smoking, drinking etc) but i would cry and scream and be terrified when I realized I couldn’t get out and smelled smoke and always thought something was on fire. I would ask my mom not to lock my door the next morning and she would lie and deny ever doing something like that so I just told myself as a young kid that God was locking my door because I must have been bad.
    My dad has always been more gentle but never around. I was never much of a priority and I remember him needing to take me to a heart appointment I had and he told me he had to go to the gym instead so he took me to a Best Buy and dropped me off in the parking lot while i waited for my brother to pick me up for an hour and then only to get to my appointment and not be allowed in because my guardian wasn’t with me. I was so sad to see him drive away that day because I was so scared to be sitting in that parking lot by myself and felt so worthless.

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