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Abuse effecting kids video
November 14, 2003
9:07 am
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unhappy camper
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Last night at my support group they played a movie about how abuse effects the children of the marriage.

It started out with a women talking who said her husband used to hold a knife to her throat and tell their little son 5 years old to call mommy a bunch of very bad names or he would kill her and it would his fault. So the boy would hang his head down and say the words to save his mother.

The animal also used to wake the boy up in the middle of the night and say "you're going to watch daddy beating up mommy now".

She lived like that for 3 1/2 years she said. I hated her for exposing her son to that shit for that long. Now the boy is in therapy and doing fine.

It showed how boys become aggressive and violent from watching their fathers abuse.

It showed how girls became a variety of different people. The older girls assumed the role of mother as the mother was too out of it with fear and worry and anxiety to be a mom. Some of the girls developed a fantasy family who was their 'real' family in their minds who had lost them, and they were now living with this horrible family that was not really theirs, and they knew their 'real' good family was going to find them someday.

The girls still worried about their monster dads. One phone her dad from the shelter to see if he was ok. He demanded to know where they were, but she did not tell, as she was instructed. She liked it better at the shelter, but still loved him...the monster.

That struck me so strongly. There she was, learning the behaviour that would put her in the same kind of marriage. Loving a monster. Fortunately, at the shelter they taught them all about abuse.

It was a disturbing movie and it upset us all. However, I would not have missed it for the world. It was well done and hit home.

I know my older children were effected by my husband's behaviour (not their dad). They were under stress knowing he was violent, nuts/insane, seeing him not go to work but stay home drinking, not talking to them, etc.

They are over it now, but we still need to talk about it more. They don't want to, but I know they need to hear the things I have learned.

November 14, 2003
10:33 am
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mj
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Living with abuse first hand....I totally can relate from a child's perspective. Abuse sucks.

If you have children witnessing or experiencing it first hand...think of them. Get out.

When I was at the jail yesterday, they had all kinds of pamplets on spousal abuse. I am glad. People need to know that they don't have to be abused. They can get out. They can find support. They don't have to let their kids live in it.

So glad you shared this with us. Thank You.

November 14, 2003
1:59 pm
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arwen
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Recently it has been discovered that it is just as traumatic and damaging cognitively and emotionally for a child to witness abuse as it is for them to be abused.

This speaks volumes for our innate capacity to love and bond when we are children, and just how fragile we are as well. How shameful it is that we don't take better care of our ultimate legacy and resource...

Arwen

November 14, 2003
3:33 pm
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mj
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Arwen, What do you mean by ultimate legacy and resource?

November 14, 2003
5:25 pm
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Wanttobewell
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Unhappy Camper, I almost cried when I read that. There is something in me that cannot stand to hear about abuse of a child, an elderly person, or an animal. When I used to work at the hospital, I would come in. Everyone in the office would be discussing some horrible abuse case, and I literally could not stand to hear it and either leave the office or beg them to stop talking about it. Still yet, if a case of abuse comes on the news, it is almost more than I can bear. I will usually just turn the channel. It sickens me, makes me cry for a long time. I'm not sure if it is because I have experienced the disgust of abuse myself, the self-shame I feel of being spineless and not getting out, the resignation, It was an agonizing jolt the first time it happened, because it was always emotional abuse with the others. This time, though, I was being pulled around by my hair, my hand (that was already very sore and swollen because I was bitten by a stray cat I was feeding) twisted so that I thought my wrist would break, being drug through the house by my hair and arm, being slapped in the face, his hand over my mouth so hard that I couldn't move....Ooohhhh, the tears are coming now just remembering...all because I wanted to stay up and watch TV, and he was drunk and ready for me to go to bed. I remember lying in bed and crying and crying, not believing this could happen to me. All of my life I said that I would never put up with that kind of behavior, and here I was. Unbelieving, yet having to believe, Paralyzing fear. Thing is though, I could never stand to hear those stories even before this happened (this year, and I was 50 in September). It is so very horrible but not as bad as that poor little boy being made to call his mom names. Makes me just want to kill that mean bastard who did that to that child and his mother. Let's see, was I just saying something about forgiveness in another thread. I'm not sure I could forgive a monster like that. Right now, I believe I could gleefully pull the trigger myself, but probably not. Didn't mean to go on so, but it just came.

November 14, 2003
10:27 pm
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arwen
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I mean to say that children are our ultimate legacy and resource in that they will carry with them the spirit of many generations, and they will navigate through their own lives using the tools that not only parents provide, but tools that society (and unfortunately the media) provide. One day, they will be the ones making policies about child abuse, medical care budgets, gun control (or lack thereof)and protecting our environment. Our children are going to be extremely powerful one day.

I just started reading "Self Matters" by Dr. Phil. It was a slap in the face for me to read in the early pages of the book about how we will obsess for hours over our appearance ie showering and grooming to go to work, and not take even 5 minutes to work on who we are emotionally and spiritually. I thought I was doing pretty good in that area until I had to face that reality.

Crazy as this sounds, I think there are multitudes of things that we need to teach children that are more important than algebra or biology. I think that placing more emphasis on how to discover "self" and building on who we want to be and how we want to get there are things that we fail to teach our children.

Also, I have a handful of friends who have made the choice not to have children. The lessons they have to teach my children are wonderfully insightful and helpful.

Everyone has a little something to offer to our children. It just isn't focused on as a real priority most of the time.

Arwen

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