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Overcoming Abuse

The last two people I had talk to you guys about abuse were women, both struggled with a father's emotional and physical abuse. Today I am bringing to your attention the power of a father's abuse has on his sons. It is significantly different than the resulting life of a girl. Fathers are the example for a boy on how he is supposed to be. Imagine, if you will, a complete lack thereof. How would you cope if you lost your life's guide? How would you handle having to figure out correct behavior by yourself?

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
- Benjamin Franklin
I have thought of that quote often as I have ventured through my life.  

When I was very young I realized that my world was different than other kids.  When I got a bad grade or when I said something wrong, I was spanked, and many times hit. While at home I had to deal with, physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological abuse.  
The thing was that I was born with a learning disability.  I was, however, very perceptive and intelligent.  Where other children were just memorizing things, I was thinking in my mind of how to complete the assignment using a shortcut.  I would figure out what a book was suppose to be doing and mutter my way through a test.  I would find the pattern on the answers to a math quiz and guess the rest of the answers.  And most of the time I was right.
It wasn’t until I was in the 5th grade before I even knew what a A, B, C, D, or F meant. 

This was about the time I was beaten for not having good grades.  I remember one night when my report card came out and my teacher had written about how I was struggling compared to the rest of the class.  I went home and cried knowing what was coming. So I ran away from home and hid out in the woods by my house.  I could hear my father calling me in the night. 

Finally the night sounds got the best of me and I dared to sneak into my room.  When my father realized I was asleep in my room he blasted through the door screaming. That was not a pleasant way to wake up.
I remember another time when I was older, my father and I got into a fight, and my mother blocked my father from hitting me. 

On a different occasion my father acted like he had calmed down and said he wanted to go on a drive with me.  Then all the way to my grandmother’s house, an hour away, he hit me in the arm or side.  He screamed at me the whole way.

While in college, I worked really hard and tried to study to become an Engineer.  My father told me I should quit.  He said “You not smart enough for that. You are not as smart as your brothers and sisters; you are like your mother; she struggles with school also.”
Because of that, I changed my life and graduated with a general education degree.

Despite all of these things, I remained a good friend to my father.  We would go backpacking together, climbing together, hunting together.
However, because of this abuse and the way I grew up with, I have been very confused all my life.  I often wonder if God truly loves me, and although I say that I am sure He does deep down inside myself I wonder.
Our fathers should be the closest examples we have to how our Heavenly Father and His nature.  I think that is why people who grow up with abuse have a difficult time with self esteem and self worth.  How can we be worth anything if we don’t know if God loves us?
This cycle of abuse has really messed up my life.  Even now I try to be good dad, but I sometimes lose my temper and am abusive myself.
Even now I question my intelligence--or possible lack thereof.
My father, to this day has not changed much.  He has tried, but he hasn't done all that he could.   If you truly want to change, you have to fight to change and it doesn’t matter the cost.  He has never apologized; he has never even acknowledged that he was abusive.  
I don’t think abusers realize that the things they say to their children get buried deep inside those little minds and later come up to nag and harass and abuse them all over again.
I am lucky now, that I married a very beautiful and intelligent woman.  My children are all the smartest kids in each of their perspective classes, and that is because I have a wife that is smart.
And I am fighting with myself everyday to become a better person, and to change my behavior so that my children don’t have to struggle with the same things I do.


Did you know:

You can help! If you are abused of know someone who is help is only a phone call away.


Ivy said…
I totally agree that it's hard to know if God loves you when you don't think your parents do.

I have always struggled to believe in God and much of my life I have thought that if he does exist he's helping other people because I'm not important enough.

It's also difficult to have friends because of the same reasons. If your parents feel that way then why would anyone want to be your friend.

It is good to know the characteristics that you don't want to have but so so so hard to be the person that you do want to be when you've never had someone pattern that for you.

I am always amazed by people that have a normal relationship with an abusive parent. If nothing else I think that in itself is a witness to that person's power to look beyond the bad and see the good... and sometimes even a amazing power to forgive.

I do love my parents, they have done many great things for me but I so struggle to even have the desire to have a relationship with them. I do not trust.
Anonymous said…
I watched my brother shut down over the years as my parents abused us. Even still, no one can understand why he is so walled off from his family. Amazingly enough he is not abusive of his children. In fact my parents are critical of him for not being harsh enough on his little kids.

Several years ago, I was married, had a toddler, and pregnant with my second child. I went on a trip with my parents, where I became frustrated with my dad. When I voiced my displeasure, he threatened to hit me. I was so shocked and reminded of all those years of abuse AGAIN. I love my parents, but I hate them so much sometimes. I still have nightmares about the years of abuse. Sadly, I have become abusive myself. This make sme hate them even more.

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