The People I Find: Child Abuse

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I met this young woman during my first year at college. We had so many opportunities to interact with one another. She has changed me for the better. She has the ability to change a crappy situation into a good one, and the ability to persevere. Her story is sad and inspiring. It is devastating that there are children out there being abused, but what is inspiring is there are those who are overcoming it. I have always admired this person and her ability to deal with adversity. I worked with her in many different settings, and was able to see her interact with kids. Her challenges have allowed her to be beacon of light to kids who are facing the same things. If you are experiencing abuse, I urge you to seek help!

Here is her Unknown Story:

I stared up into his face wondering if it would ever end. His hate filled eyes stared at me as I cowered on the floor. He yelled at me, calling me names. Over and over I felt the word bitch slap me across the face. I listened to his words pierce my soul as he told me how selfish I was. I cringed as he stated my husband would leave me because he would get sick of my selfishness. That he would come to him for safety. The tears started to flow as he accused me of never loving him. I could feel my eyes glaze over as I tried to pull myself away.

child abuse  My mind started to shut off piece by piece, and I felt the sweet relief of being numb. My thoughts became nothing as I waited for it to end. However, I felt something in me pull me off the ground. I heard my voice yell stop it. I felt my feet run down the flight of stairs to the basement. I heard him tearing after me. I felt my baby stroller hit me in the head, and I collapsed. Again I felt my feet stand, and my heart fill with hate as I stared at him. I yelled at him to stop, and that he didn’t want to do this. I watched the fire in his eyes extinguish, and the regret fill them. He stood up and walked away. I quietly hid in my room, finally feeling.

This was the first time I stood up to my father. I was twelve. I was the oldest of three kids, and I was abused by my father from a time that I can’t even place till I was eighteen years old.

I remember living in fear constantly. I can’t even remember how often the incidents occurred because I have blocked it out. After I stood up to my dad, I quit being numb. Instead I was constantly filled with hate. I watched him beat my sister as she remained helpless in a trapped seat belt on our way home from Disneyland. I heard my baby brother thrown into the bed at four months old because he was crying too much. All this time, my mom sat and watched on the sidelines. I wished and waited for my escape every day.

When I escaped to college, it was invigorating. I was able to make mistakes without feeling regret right after. However, this new sense of freedom led me to find acceptance. I looked for a man who would love me, and in turn was treated exactly the same as I had been treated at home. I wasn’t physically abused, but the manipulation and emotional abuse were very real during this relationship.

It took me a long time to find something that would make me feel whole. I grew up as a Latter Day Saint, but had a period of time during this toxic relationship where I became inactive. I decided to fix myself on my own. It took two years for me to be humbled to a point where I was willing to listen. The second I decided to listen, my life completely changed.

I was able to fill my life with service, and made healthy relationships with friends. I felt burden after burden be lifted as I turned to my Savior. I became a good person filled with hope. However, I never really addressed my problem. I had been brainwashed all my life that I was being a drama queen. That I didn’t understand what was really going on in my house. That we were never to tell anyone because then where would we be. I buried my issues deep in my heart. I let them rot in a place that nobody would ever find, and I unconsciously decided that I was okay with that. I considered myself healed because I never thought about it. It was forgotten.

When I met my husband, I realized how wrong I had been. I didn’t want to tell him what happened, but I realized that he would need to know. I don’t know how he knew, but he pulled it out of me. He asked me just the right questions to open up long locked doors. He released the pus as we like to say in our house. Clare also helped me substantially. She doesn’t realize or know, but I signed up for therapy because of her. She told me how great it was, and how much it helped her.

With the encouragement of my fiancé, I decided to go through with my decision for therapy. As we released the pus, there were many anxieties, habits, and worries that surfaced and clouded my mind that hadn’t done so for many years. I felt broken, and aware of how much I had let my hate rot. Going to therapy was the best decision I ever made. I was able to tell someone what had happened, and feel validated in my feelings. I also learned how to deal with my anxiety in a healthy way. Usually I shut down emotionally just like I did with my abuse, but these practices helped me to self-soothe.

Throughout all of this heartache remained my husband and God. My husband asked me to tell him everything that happened in therapy. He learned how to use each of my practices I was taught, and he used them on me constantly. He always led me in the right direction, and I can’t even count how many priesthood blessings he gave me. He latched onto the idea my therapist gave me of being honest with my family about my anxiety. He helped me in so many ways.

I also had God. I could feel Him supporting me every step of the way. Because of my abuse I have this unexplainable fear of pain. I even had a panic attack on my wedding night. Sex was very hard for me to get used too, and it really surprised me that my abuse was able to attack one of the most special and intimate things you can ever share with your spouse. Even when I had these panic attacks, I still felt God. I felt him lift my heart and soul. I knew He stood by me and sent angels to watch over me when I couldn’t handle the anxiety anymore.

I recommend therapy to anyone dealing with anxiety, abuse, or any other mental related issues. It helps you deal with your pain head on, and teaches you how to continue through your pain. My therapy gave me hope. It also gave me peace.

However, I know that my issues aren’t fully erased just because I have acknowledged them. I still deal with anxiety constantly, and it constantly worries me that my anxiety will be too much for my husband. However, he has never wavered. He still holds me when I’m hyperventilating, and he also helps me to turn to my Savior in my darkest moments. I can’t say that the hate is completely erased from my heart yet. I’m still healing, but as I said I have hope and believe that the hate will be replaced. This hope comes from God and His Son, it also comes from the most understanding partner a woman can have. With these three men on my side, I know I will make it.

 

(C)LVB-2014

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