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;
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.
crying heartily as you watch parents battle;
needing comfort, wanting peace;
feeling powerless to stop the war
between "the giants."
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.
rudely awaken, time and time again;
innocent victim, kept awake for hours,
tortured by the fearful sights and sounds
of grown-up fury.
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.
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.
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.
never knowing when the storm
will hit or when it will end;
growing up in chaos;
unfamiliar with words like
"relaxed," or "carefree."
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~
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;
and, learning how to resolve conflicts
without violence or abuse.
Copyright 1992 by Barbara Corry.
Used by permission.
Thank you Barb