With this blog comes the hopes and dreams that it will serve multiple purposes.
The first and most significant purpose is to serve as an avenue toward healing the pain that many children of families of violence still carry with them in their adult lives.
Secondly, it will provide educational material. As you make your journey, hopefully you will find the support here of others who have made or who are in the process of making this same journey. The tools and the support that you will need can be found here.

Be aware the content of this blog is in no way "Dressed Up". This blog, like family violence itself, is not a walk in the park. Here the reality is faced both past and present!

Content will be added to this blog as it is made available.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Its quiet.
Its early.
My coffee is hot.
The sky is still black.
The world is still asleep.

The day is coming.

In a few moments the day will arrive.
It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun.
The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged
for the noise of the day.
The calm of solitude will be replaced
by the pounding pace of the human race.
The refuge of the early morning will be invaded
by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.

For the next twelve hours
I will be exposed to the days demands.
It is now that I must make a choice.
Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose.
And so I choose.

I choose Love....

No occasion justifies hatred;
No injustice warrants bitterness.
~I choose love~
Today I will love God
and what God loves.

I choose Joy...

I will invite my God
to be the God of circumstance.
I will refuse the temptation to be cynical ...
the tool of the lazy thinker.
I will refuse to see people
as anything less than human beings,
created by God.
I will refuse to see any problem
As anything less than
an opportunity to see God.

I choose Peace...

I will live forgiven.
I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose Patience...

I will overlook the inconveniences of the world.
Instead of cursing the one who takes my place,
I'll invite him to do so.
Rather than complain that the wait is too long,
I will thank God for a moment to pray.
Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments,
I will face them with joy and courage.

I choose Kindness...

I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone.
Kind to the rich for they are afraid.
And kind to the unkind,
for such is how God has treated me.

I choose Goodness...

I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one.
I will be overlooked before I will boast.
I will confess before I will accuse.
~I choose goodness~

I choose Faithfulness...

Today I will keep my promises.
My debtors will not regret their trust.
My associates will not question my word.
My wife or partner will not question my love.
And my children will never fear that
their father will not come home.

I choose Gentleness...
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle.
If I raise my voice may it be only in praise.
If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer.I
f I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I choose Self-control...

I am a spiritual being.
After this body is dead, my spirit will soar.
I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal.
~I choose self-control~
I will be drunk only by joy.
I will be impassioned only by my faith.
I will be influenced only by God.
I will be taught only by Christ.
~I choose self-control~


To these I commit my day.
If I succeed, I will give thanks.
If I fail, I will seek His grace.
And then, when this day is done,
I will place my head on my pillow and rest.



The Think Tank

One of the greatest gifts given to us is



We can choose to believe that we are unlovable
because of a past that is clouded by anothers
unloving words and actions.


We can choose to suffer the depression
which has followed us into adult life.
We can continue to believe
that every bad thing that has
ever happened to us is our own fault,
merely because we were taught at an early
age that this was true.


We can choose to constantly struggle
with the memories of abuse.


We can choose to give up all hope
for a brighter tomorrow because
the journey there takes too long.


We can choose to lash out at others
because of the unkindness we have known.


We can choose to believe that there
is no goodness in the world
and live our lives accordingly.


We can choose to be unfaithful
to those who have put trust in us.
We can choose to justify this by,
believing that trust is always broken.


We can choose to be forceful,
demanding, and violent because
that is how we were raised.


We can choose to loose control
and strike out at anyone that
gets in the way of all our other choices,
be they right or wrong.


We can choose to look at the sunrise
of each new day as a promise.
The promise of new beginnings.
A new beginning that will not
allow the pain and problems of the
past to rule the present.

This Is Your Day

Your Choice

Sunday, June 15, 2008

1,000 Marbles

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work.

Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the backyard patio with a steaming cup of green tea in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap meet. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital." He continued, let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain this theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.""Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.

Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy." "So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band.

You could have heard a pin drop on the radio when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the grand kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.

"Oh, nothing special, it's just been a while since we spent a Saturday together with the grand kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."



The Think Tank

How many Saturdays will I remain in an abusive relationship?

How many Saturdays will I miss, being treated well by a partner?

How many Saturdays will be spent feeling powerless,
instead of taking action to improve my situation?

How many Saturdays will I spend feeling badly about myself?
(shame, guilt, low self esteem, self-loathing, etc.)

How many Saturdays will I spend with my insides
tied up in knots, wondering what little incident will
send my partner into a rage again?

How many Saturdays will I try to block from my memory
because they are too painful to think about?

How many Saturdays will I continue to allow my partner
to control and manipulate me?

What do I need to do today to begin making the changes
I need to make in my life.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Lessons Learned

The Lessons Learned

Picture if you will, A child of three.
She's frightened and confused,
Not understanding,Why her mother,
Is mistreated and abused.

As time goes by, This same child,
With broken spirit and heart,
Watches as brother is beaten,
Unable to take his part.

She doesn't grow as other girls,
Young years full of laughter
And no cares.
Her days are filled with caution,
While sleep brings nightmares.

He taught her well,
With his violence,
And the words,
"Children are to be
Seen and not heard."

She learned at an early age,
What caused his fuse to ignite,
So she spends her youthful years,
Withdrawn and out of sight.

The violent acts continue,
Followed by the words,
"See what you caused me to do?"
How many times She heard those words,
And believes them to be true.

If guilt is laying about somewhere,
She claims it as her own.
As her young years slip slowly past.
She feels hopelessly alone.


the story continues

© 2000 Jo Riley Dupree

Lessons Learned II

Lessons Learned II

It began as just a game,
One that all children play.
She searches for a place to hide.
"Come with me!" She heard him say.

Not sensing the danger,
Of what he had planned.
As her frightened eyes fill with tears,
Her cries are muffled by his hand.

This scared, this frightened child,
Clearly does not understand,
Why such pain is thrust upon her.
Will this nightmare ever end?

Molested by her cousin,
Barely into her grade school years.
~She can't tell what has happened~
Fearing her father's rage,
After too much whiskey and beer.

She's like a frightened rabbit,
Not knowing where to turn.
Once more she retreats within,
It is the safest place, she has learned.
The Lessons Continue

© 2000 Jo Riley Dupree

Friday, February 22, 2008

To The Person Who Raped Me

You took my innocence away;
You stole my childhood that day.
One violent moment, in a flash it was gone.
And you left me there to carry on.
The memories will never leave me,
But maybe the pain will cease.
I know that in order to start living,
It's time to do some forgiving.
It's taken a while, but I can forgive you.
But I know thats not all I have to do.
I need to wrap the child inside me in my arms
And tell her she is safe, and protected from all harm.
I can honestly say that the fault wasn't mine
I was only a child; I was only nine.

What were you thinking when you did this to me??
Did you think for a moment of how hard life would be?
Of the nightmares that invaded my sleep every night??
Of the wrong you did that can never be made right?

I was too little to protect myself then,
But I sure as hell won't let you do it again.
I won't let you have control of me anymore
I won't let you keep me behind a locked door.

You stole my innocence, that's true,
But there's something that you didn't do.
You didn't take my strength,
you didn't take my heart,
You didn't take my faith in God,
Although in that you played a part.

For while you were hurting me,
I remembered to pray,
I asked God to help me, on that awful summer day.
At first I thought He just didnt care,
Or maybe He was too busy to answer my prayer.

Although he didn't answer it that exact day,
He answered it in a most extraordinary way.
He sent me people to help me through,
They helped to heal the hurts caused by you.

And now I know that God does indeed care,
And I know that He heard my prayer.

See, there's one thing you didn't take away from me,
You didn't take the gift I was meant to be.
My life was created for a purpose.
And just because you violated me,
Doesn't mean I'm worthless.

I won't let you have power over me;
I'm through being the victim, you see.
It will take a while for the pain to go away,
But I'll make it.
I'll take it day by day.

Copyright protected...
Used with permission
Thank you N for your contribution.

I'm Not Crazy

The doctors say I'm not crazy,
My parents say I'm just lazy.
The therapist says I'm mentally ill
And now I need to take this pill.

Everybody has their theory,
They think they know what's wrong with me.
My dad says I just need to pray
And God will take my problems away.

My mother says, "Just deal with it.
Go out with friends and exercise a bit.
"My friends say,"Party more while you still can.
"Why can't they just understand?

How is God going to fix my head?
How can I exercise when I can't get out of bed?
I won't be cured with kisses and hugs,
And I will only feel worse if I start doing drugs.

The hospital stays, the sleepless nights,
How long will I have to fight?
Will I battle this the rest of my life?
What man will want a "mentally ill" wife?

I wish I didn't need medication,
And I wish I could tell the entire nation,
I am not a "loony toon",
And I don't want to die any time soon.

I have a genuine disease
Not unlike cancer or diabetes
And just because you can't see it
Doesn't mean I can't feel it.

I don't want to be locked up again
And I don't want to live in pain.
I don't know how long I'll have to fight this,
But I know it's something God trusts me with.

I will not let this destroy my faith.
I won't give up until I win the race.
I may be depressed and I may not belong,
But I am brave and I am strong.

I will fight and I will win,
I will not get knocked down again.
Maybe someday I'll be able
to help someone else.
But first,I think I'll help myself.

Copyright protected...
Used with permission
Thank you N for your contribution.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Child Of Violence

~Unborn Child~
wondrous new life in mother's womb;
jolted and awakened by her fear,
head and ears bombarded, again, by the sound
waves of familiar angry voices in the night;

~Newborn Child~
grasping at the sides of your crib,
holding on for dear life;
eyes searching for the danger;
terrified by the "hurricane"
of violent arguments which surround you.

~Precious Toddler~
crying heartily as you watch parents battle;
arms outstretched;
needing comfort, wanting peace;
feeling powerless to stop the war
between "the giants."

~Frightened Child~
seeing lives threatened and loved ones degraded,
fearing your own destruction;
tender nervous system already shot;
left alone to cope with
the repeated shocks of a parent's rage.

~Sleeping Child~
rudely awaken, time and time again;
innocent victim, kept awake for hours,
tortured by the fearful sights and sounds
of grown-up fury.

~Hurting Child~
feeling so alone and so scared;
wanting to cry - all the time;
no one to tell, no one to help;
knowing by age 6
what it feels like to want to die.

~Vigilant Child~
ever watchful;
reading your parent/abuser's every sign;
learning how to keep out of harm's way;
not daring to sleep
until the dust had settled.

~Shamed Child~
embarrassed by the family violence,
head and spirit already lowered in shame; f
eeling like a failure,
unable to save those you love
from the batterer's wrath.

~Uneasy Child~
never knowing when the storm
will hit or when it will end;
growing up in chaos;
unfamiliar with words like
"tranquil," "stable,"
"relaxed," or "carefree."

~Courageous Child~
witness to abuse most people never experience;
routinely overcoming terror,
your strength paid for
by all the pain you have known.

~"Empty" Grown-up Child~
without a sense of self;
told by parents that you didn't count;
feeling like you don't matter;
relying on other people
and "things" for a sense of value.

~Guilty Grown-up Child~
in whom self-hatred has resided;
So guilt-ridden that you did whatever
you could to survive
while others suffered
~ in a holocaust called home.

~Lonely Grown-up Child~
so isolated;
feeling like no one can understand
what it was like and how much it hurt;
Fearing that the war,
deep in your memory,
will never go away.

~Angry Grown-up Child~
left to recover;
So hurt by parental neglect;
struggling to work through emotions
distorted long ago; learning to trust;
learning to forgive
~ them and yourself;
learning self-respect;
and, learning how to resolve conflicts
without violence or abuse.

Copyright 1992 by Barbara Corry.
Used by permission.
Thank you Barb

Instead Of Love

Instead of love, father,
you taught me the ugly
contorted face of rage.

Instead of kindness,
you taught me how
to criticize, belittle, and pick-at.

Instead of moderation,
your drinking taught me how
to be irresponsible with a substance.
By your example, I learned
how to use food as a crutch,
and how to numb myself with it.
Food medicated my constant anxiety
and compulsive spending
became a way to purchase self-worth.

Instead of learning to speak
to others with respect,
you taught me and devastate others
with words when I am cold,
hungry, tired, or stressed.

Instead of serenity,
your drinking and violence
created emotional chaos for me.

Instead of stability,
you left me a legacy
of battles and temporary truces
between you and Mom.

Instead of self-respect,
you taught me
self-sabotage and self-hatred.

Instead of peace,
your violence taught me
to fear others and
to worry constantly.

Instead of tranquility,
your wrath toward mother
made me afraid that you
would turn on me next and destroy me.

Instead of equality and partnership
between men and women,
you taught me that men
had all the power and that they
had the right to mistreat women
whenever they chose.
I also learned to fear domination
and control by men
and how to avoid intimacy.

Instead of self confidence,
I learned to feel "bad"
for surviving unbeaten,
and "guilty" for wanting to live...
while others I loved suffered your rages.

Instead of sleeping peacefully,
I sleep lightly, fitfully,
and in a constant state of vigilance.
To this day, I suffer the consequences
of traumatic shock.
I awaken with a start
in fear of mortal danger
and ready to flee in an instant ~
from even the most innocent
of noises in the night.

Instead of closeness, teamwork,
happiness and fulfillment with a spouse,
you showed me how
to exist unhappily for decades
and how not to do anything about it.

Instead of conflict resolution,
you taught me how to
accumulate pain and stuff my anger.

Instead of teaching me
many other good and noble and gentle things,
you created a part of me
that hates and that rages
~ and then turns these things inward on myself.

Instead of love,
I feel an enormous hurt,
a profound emptiness,
and I feel very, very sad.

©1992 by Barbara Corry
Used with permission of the author

Monday, February 18, 2008


Turmoil seems around every corner.
Is there a way to escape it?
I think not.

We live with fear every day.
Do not tell us to think postive.
The word has little meaning to us now.
We are just trying to survive.

Can you grasp the need for
minute to minute survival?
I wonder.

You all sit in your cozy little chairs
in your quiet little minds and wonder
what to eat for the day.

We, on the other hand,
sit in tension all of the time,
wondering if now is the time
we will go over the edge.

Do you sit and look around
every little corner to see if
the one person is lurking there?
Certainly not.

People would think you crazy.

But what if that lurking person
lived inside of you?

What if he or she had the force
to destroy you
and all that you know and love?
Could you sit in your comfy little chair
and not worry?
I wonder, and yet
that is just what you expect all of us to do.

Weariness is a part of every day.
The ones on the inside grow stronger.

You tell us to fight.
What if there is no fight left?
Can you not understand weariness?
Can you not understand
fear for one's self or sanity?
No, these things are far from your imagination.

But let me tell you
these are what we live with every day.

Hope, you say Have "hope."
The words sounds wonderful.
We'll try, but remember please,
our war never stops.
Some of our people never sleep.
They thrive on fear.

Our fear especially.

Please do not judge,
you have not been in our place.
You cannot begin to understand
the daily fight that must be fought.

Don't tell me that we are strong enough to fight,
we are weary.
Don't look at us and say Pull Yourself Together.
Our System doesn't work that way.

Don't look at us and say you understand.
You can't, you have never fought this battle.
Don't tell us to think postive or think of us as one.
Others do not understand.

try to see that we are all working
the best that we can.

We do not try to live your life for you,
please do not try to live ours.
You cannot,
because we have enough trouble living our own.

We have others who will try
to make your life run more smoothly,
but even they tire and must pull back.

Please try to realize
we want this to be over as much as you do.
Our life is not our own,
it belongs to many others
and so we must do the best we can
with the things that are given to us.

Most of us realize
that it puts a strain on your life
and we are sorry,
but look at our life,
if you can call it that.

The anger, terror,
fear and weariness abound.
Can we control this
much longer without rest?

We'll see!

© 2001 by Far
Thank you Far for sharing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Am Many

Hi, My name has many, so many am I.
I am a lady, but yet I am a man.
I am an adult, yet I am a child.
I am meek, yet I am bold.
I have many talents and speak
in many different voices, yet I am one.
I have many in my famliy, big and small, yet I have none.

I can be many things at one time.
I can be happy, but then be sad.
Or I can be fun and then afraid.
I like to be at peace with myself,
and I am only a piece of myself.
I can remember almost everything,
but yet I forget all things.
I have pain, but yet feel none.
At all.
My thoughts are many,
yet I hold only a few.
My eyes see many things,
yet my mind holds illusions.

I am old enough to think,
yet too young to know.
I can travel many places,
yet I never leave the room.
I can always see yesterday,
and never remember today.
I am big, but yet I am small.
I am old, but no,
I am young.

I am me, yet I still become you.
I have a lot of love, yet I hate.
I have many friends,
and young ones to play with,
yet I am still alone.
I talk to many people,
and they talk me,
yet I talk not at all.

I hold alot of dreams,
and yet the dream still hold me.
I have a lot of ideas,
and many fantasies too,
yet I know them not at all.
I can see and know what is real,
yet I am in a fairy tale.
I can talk of many things,
yet I keep a "secret."
I have but one life,
yet I live many.

You know me,
yet I know you not.
You see the good,
but I know the bad.
You see the laughter, while I am sad.
I hear many voices,
yet there's no one around.
I know not faith, yet I have hope.
I am all things, yet I am none.
I can see and feel the sun,
but I still walk in darkness.
I can say one thing, but mean many.
I hear the cries, yet you hear the birds.
I know of things, yet not of life.

I know of people,
but not as freinds.
So when you see me
(yet I don't see you),
speak to me as many.
And many will speak to you.

© 2001 by Far and others within
Thank you Far for sharing.

It Matters

This tragedy of life,
A small child torn and hurt,
Her innocence taken away.
So violent was his rage,
So angry the pain.....
What's going on,
What did I do?
Why is he hurting me so, tearing me,
The Pain~
I try to scream and nothing is heard.
Why is he so angry with me?
What did I do to deserve this punishment?
he is gone now, I lie here bleeding and hurt.
I am crying, but don't know why.
Nothing has happened, Not really.
I must have awakened from a bad dream.
I lie shivering, clutching my pillow,
Fianlly crying myself to sleep.
It wasn't real,
Just an evil nightmare.
The first of many, I am soon to know.
It couldn't have really happened,
So it doesn't matter how I feel.
Or Does it?

© 2001 by Far
Thank you Far for sharing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Give Me An Angel

Where are the words ?
Stuffed deep down inside my soul.
I can't get them out.
They just seem to hide inside my soul.
The tongue that I speak with is tangled and tied.
The spirit thats broken won't mend til I die.

My heart speaks the words
that my voice can not say.
It tells of pain
that just won't fade away.
It cries in the night
and it cries in the day.
It wanders alone
in a valley so dark and grey.

Cover me with white roses
from my head to my toes.
Fill me with the fragrance
as sweet as a white rose.
Take all the pain
and gently dispose of it.

Whisper " I love you"
so I can hear you.
Touch me with gentleness,
wipe all my tears away.
Just hold me with arms
that don't go away from me.
Keep me in your heart.

© 2000 by the authorwho wishes to remain annonymous.
Thank you FS_16 for sharing a part
of you, so that others will know
They Are Not Alone.

N's Story

"N, when is Daddy coming home?"
"I don't know Sis, I don't know."
"But I'm hungry."
"I'll make you a grilled cheese."
"But you aren't old enough to use the stove."
Daddy comes home staggering
with fancy desserts from the restaurant.
I tell him she can't eat them on an
empty stomach, she'll get sick.
The next morning he gives her
a glass of orange juice.
I tell him she can't have orange juice,
it burns her stomach.
Daddy starts to cry.
"I wish I had more time with you," he says.
But he always dumps us on his
or girlfriends.
I don't remember doing anything bad.
I know I am an ugly kid.
That's why he is always mad at me.
He drives us home with a beer bottle
in his hand. Sis gets to sit up front.
I tell him that the radio is too loud,
but he doesn't hear.
He says to hold his
bottle for a minute. I won't give it back.
He gets mad.
I knew how to make his drinks before
I knew how to write in script.
Sometimes Grandma stays with us. Usually
it's when we've been real bad and Mommy
runs away.

Daddy works too much and smokes too many
weird cigarettes. Grandma says Daddy is
a bastard. My aunts say that Mommy's
a whore.

So what does that make me??

Saturday, February 9, 2008

L's Story

"Thank God I had a caring aunt and cousins who served as a model family for me. I hated being at home and would spend as much time as possible at my aunt's house. I strongly feel that it was because of them that I was able to keep going…knowing that when I "grew up" I would have a chance to have a nice family of my own, like that of my cousins.

There were many nights that I would pray that both of my parents would be killed in a car crash or something just so I could get away from them. Or, that some miracle might occur that would end my father's drinking -- and the physical abuse my mother dished out. He was always a "man" never hitting her back. I admired him for that. I remember many times telling him to hit her back. It was just so sad watching this drunken father being hit, scratched, screamed at, etc. In one of the fights, my mother threw a beer bottle at him, the bottle hit the wall and came back and split his pupil in half. He remained blind in that eye until the day he died. All I knew was that somehow, I just needed to get out.

My nightmare came to an end when I met a very special young man. He knew all that went on in my house because he worked near by. I always felt that I didn't have to hide from him because he already knew. He's seen my dad drunk at the wheel of a car, passed out with the horn blowing and blowing. Yet this young man, now my husband, could see all this and treat me like a real person, even make me laugh. Even though we were young, it seemed like a much better life than I had previously; my husband was my "knight in shining armor.

"Today, I am still trying to deal with certain things that happened, like being called all kinds of derogatory names because I had met my future husband. I also feel strongly that it is important to somehow deal with the violent situations so many people are in. There must be some way to get people to understand what is happening to their children and themselves. Somehow this country and the people in it need to wake up and face what is going on.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Band Aid

When I was 27 years old, I began getting angry. This anger turned into rage. I couldn't understand where it was coming from. All issues of my past had been dealt with,or so I thought. I decided that I was angry at my father because he was such a mean, bitter person, and that therapy was necessary.
So, in January 1994, my journey began. One of the healing efforts offered me was to do a collage, something to show the hurt and anger and pain and rage that I felt as a result
of years of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of my brothers. Somehow, deep down, I knew this was for me and I started saving magazines and newspapers. I bought special crayons and glue and even special tape for my endeavor.
This took months of preparation. I cut out pictures and letters and words from newsletters to newspapers. Every childhood drawing I'd ever done I tried to think of. Every part of my being, my heart, my mind, my soul, went into this.
My husband gave me such patience and acceptance during all of this time, especially when it came to the day that I was going to make my collage. I had to do this myself, but I couldn't be alone so I asked my husband to just sit in the room with me while I cut and cried, glued and cried, colored and cried, pasted and cried. He sat so quietly, so calmly, with such love. After hours of work, gallons of glue,and oceans of tears, I sat tall and went to my husband to show him
and share with him this healing that was so much mine and earned and deserved.
This sweet man stared for what seemed an eternity. He asked if he could put something on it.
At first I couldn't believe that he would be so intrusive as to want to "mess up" my work. Then I stopped and said to myself, he needs this also; he's listened to me and caught so many of my tears. I thought he would draw a hokey flower, or write something funny for me to smile at, but what he did forever changed my life.
He walked down the hall, to the bathroom medicine cabinet and came back carrying something really small. I asked what it was and he just said to wait. Taking my big piece of posterboard to the table, he bent over for about a minute and came back to me. I looked and stared in total disbelief. The profundity of what he'd done wasn't missed by my heart and the healing tears flowed more than ever as I began another part of a wonderful journey in my life.
What did he do?
He took a small Band-Aid and placed it in a very small corner and with a red crayon wrote LOV, the O being a heart. God speaks to us in so many different ways. I heard Him loud and clear that day.
By Donna P.

C's Story

When interviewed, C was a 20-year-old college student.
She states that her father was an alcoholic who physically
abused her mother. Although he never hit C, her father
would threaten to kill her mother and would pull out a
gun in her presence. When her mother tried to hide the gun,
he would beat her.

C states that her home was never a happy house. She never
had friends over to the house because her father was drunk
a lot. She notes that her mother largely ignored her during
the battles. Instead C, at age seven, was comforting her mother.
C found a little respite at her grandmother's house because that
is where all her friends were at.

Eventually, her mother divorced her father. C visited her father
every summer and hated it. She doesn't speak to her father now,
because she doesn't like to deal with him.

How was C affected by growing up in a violent home?

C states that she has blackouts. When she hears an old song, She sometimes gets an eerie feeling or feels confused and gets scared. C contends that she has "apparently inherited the family pattern of picking chaotic partners." She has had a lot of emotional abuse from her boyfriend, though he never hit her.Eventually she realized her boyfriend was not capable of treating her the way she wanted and deserved. She decided she was missing out because her boyfriend didn't show her half of what she gave him. Realizing he did not know how to love, she broke up with him.

At the age of twenty, she feels that she has had a little too many sex partners. Believing that if she gave a man sex first, he would not take the time to get to know her and not be able to hurt her.She at one time had a sexual relationship with a woman. C thought that maybe with a woman there would be a strong emotional connection. She confided that she ultimately found her to be as cold as a man. She ended the relationship because it was not what she thought it would be. The relationship was lacking the love and trust and support she wanted.

Today, C is maturing nicely. She reports that she is now going to church more, and feels this has helped her. She is trying to find a connection with God. She also wants to help teens so that they don't have to go through the same thing she did.



Adult children of violence witnessed anger in the extreme.
They are taught how to rage by the raging adult.
Some learn how to rage and bully to avoid being hurt by others.
Others become afraid of expressing their anger
because of the extremes of the rages they witnessed.
Adult children may distort their anger into other feelings
such as depression, self-loathing, or failure
for having failed to save or protect the victim and stop the batterer.
Adult children of violence
may harbor unexpressed anger at the abused parent
for failing to protect them or a loved sibling from a beating;
or for ignoring their pain, be it physical or emotional,
during battering incidents.
May be angry at the abused parent for that parent's passivity
when attacked and/or failure to leave the abuse.
Adult children may learn how to
repress or "stonewall"anger from the abused parent.
The child may also be angry with the abused parent
for not getting angry and standing up for self.
The adult child may "take on"the anger
which the abused parent should have expressed.
The adult child of violence does not witness
possitive ways to disagree or resolve conflicts.
The adult child may become angry with themselves
if they were or are passive
or too fearful to confront the behavior of the batterer.
Anger turned inward can be distorted by:

Not trusting one's judgement
Not trusting one's power to act, to say no,
or to walk away from abusive situations.
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