dealing with childhood abuse

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dealing with childhood abuse

Postby peppperoni » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:51 pm

This post is about more than just my childhood abuse, its about how its effecting the rest of my life. I was abused by a teacher when i was 11 and at boarding school. I kept the abuse as a secret from everybody and carried on at the school untill i was 18 with the pressure of someone finding out what had happened to me( at the time i thourght it was going to be really bad for me if anyone found out). The sexual abuse went on for a period of a year and happened at least once a month. When i was 12 i told the teacher that i didn't want to be the special friend he wanted me to be. the abuse ended shortly after i told the teacher this. i was so scared anyone would find out, i had to keep it a secret. At 18 i went off to university, the feeling of relief was out of this world, i was finally away from the school and everybody, i could be myself and put the past behind me. This feeling was short lived, i was now of age and could drink and started sexual relations and spend money, do all the things any adult could do responsibly. Except i was not responsible about any of this, i would binge drink, spend money wildly and have as many sexual encounters as possible. I know this is common practice amongst most students, but for me its never ended. i'm now 29. ive always held down a job and i've always worked hard. but i have really pressing problems, like gambling, drinking and problems with commitment in relationships. and then there is the problem with my family.

Last year i reported the abuse to the police, this came about coz i had found some help with the gambling. when i spoke to a counsiler about the gambling and what might be causing it to be a problem, i was asked questions about my childhood, after years of keeping it a secret, it all came out. I was so scared telling the story, but felt so good once i had got it all out. i was told that its common for people to try and escape and act out in ways that could be seen as addictive, drinking, gambling, sex, drugs, ect. we explored the situation and i choose to tell the police and my parents. the police have been great, they are doing there best to convict the teacher and protect others, my parents not so good.

Parents don't seem to understand, they can see what this has done to my life, but the don't seem to grasp the fact they sent me to this school and that i felt that i could not tell them what was happening to me while i was there. They have helped me out with some money as aloan for the money difficulties that i got into with the gambling. now i don't expect them to just pick up the bill but in my fathers words " me and you mum have the money to help you out but i'm sure you don't want us to just give it to you" so we set up a loan. every since we have done this i just seem to hate them. the can see i'm struggle and there are happy to talk about buying themselves new cars, holidays. and if i'm having a tight month and ask to skip a payment then i get a lecture about trying to save some money and look after myself. Granted they don't have to give me anything, but i'm about to recieve compansation for what had happened and all i can think of is giving there money back to them and then cutting them out of my life. i want to tell them to take some responsiblilty and realise that they weren't there for me and that i don't even feel like they are my parents and are more like an older couple that i happen to know.

i don't know how i should be feeling or what i should do. there is lots more but it would just be to much to type in one go.
thank you for reading and i'm sorry about the gramma and spelling. any replies very welcome.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby Bel Bel » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:55 am

I agree it is wrong that your parents are not emotionally supporting you in this but as for the loan I feel very differently

We cannot just expect parents to buy us out of our problems. If they did that you may end up doing the same thing again. I think with regard to the money they are being sensible parents and they have worked hard and shouldn't have to pay for the mistakes you have made with money.

A bank would not let you miss a payment so why should your parents.

I think you have to separate the two issues.

It does seem they are being cold about the emotions of it. However in their defense at the time they did not know so they couldn't help, be a support or even understand what lead to your behavior with drink, gambling and promiscuity. Now they know differently but it seems they want to bury their heads in the sand. They don't understand your pain and what a hell you have been through.

I would pay them off when you receive your compensation but don't cut them out of your life. That could be something you bitterly regret later.

I think the best thing you can do is get some more counselling for you newly emerging feelings. I think it’s easy to be angry at your parents but that isn’t really what is causing your anger. It’s all part of the process of healing.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby peppperoni » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:58 pm

Thanks for the reply.

Just to touch on a couple of issues, coz i have not written everything then i can see that you may feel differently about the money aspect. To give more light to the situation i'll explain a little more.

The reason my parents have made enough money and to live comfortably is down to the job my dad took when i was 10, this job required him to travel overseas and he was offered to have his child with him or the job would pay for schooling in the uk. it was decided for me that i was sent to boarding school, no ifs no buts. i'll never send any of my children away like that if i every have any, and i certainly would not do it at the age of 10. Plus they are my parents they should know if something is wrong with there son at that age. its through their decisions that ment i was placed in that position and they've got nothing to say about it, its not just the abuse bit, its not having a mum and dad when growing up, having a bedroom or toys.

If you have had a loan with a bank, then you'll know that they do in fact allow you to take repayment holidays. i have enough stress and pressure, that my parents could ask how i am doing instead of worrying about a money they have lent me, money that i have had to pay for, make sacrifices for in the past for them to have.

i hope this makes sense.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby RagDoll » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:18 pm

I sense that deep down, you blame your parents for what happened to you. As Bel Bel suggested, perhaps this is something you need to explore/discuss with your counsellor? I can understand why you're angry that they 'sent you away' to boarding school because awful things obviously went on there, but please remember that they didn't know that would happen to you.

Your parents are only human and I am sure they thought they were doing what was best for you when they sent you to boarding school. I know that parents are meant to protect you from the world etc. but that's impossible for them to do all of the time, especially if they are unaware of what is happening.

The way you describe being 'sent away' and not having 'a bedroom or toys' sounds quite resentful, but I think you need to remember why you feel that way - many people wouldn't see boarding school in that light. It's your negative experiences of boarding school that have led you to feel that way (fair enough) and those experiences are not your parent's fault. At the end of the day, as horrible as it is, this happens to children who live with their parents too. It's really no ones fault other than the perpetrators.

I hope you see what I am trying to say.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby rufio89 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:36 pm

I can understand why you're having so much difficulty dealing with this, but I dont think it's your parents fault.

My Dad worked away a lot when I was little, he moved to Germany for 2 years and I remember being so hurt that he was abandoning me, but he did what he thought would be best at the time.

You are fortunate to have parents who are willing and able to help you out with your financial problems and I absolutley think they're doing the right thing making you pay back the money and keeping up with payments - you showed a lack of responsibility in getting yourself into that sort of debt in the first place, (and I do understand that it's not as straightforward as that) and they are trying to make sure you learn to appreciate money.

You need to stop blaming your parents for the problems in your childhood, it was an awful thing to go through, but it was not their fault and I'm sure they sent you to boarding school with the best intentions! Both my parents went to boarding schools because their parents moved around a lot and their parents thought it would be the most stable environment for them and I'm sure your parents thought the same.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby peppperoni » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:42 pm

thank you for reading.

do you think that a child spending 8 years away from its parents at a boarding school will have the same balance and loving relationship with its parents as a child that lives at home and grows with a family. just on that basis if you will, i know terrible things happen to kids in all walks of life but on this simple basis alone.

Granted they didn't know that this was happening to me, but i hope that when i am a parent i can sense that something is wrong with my child or at least make them feel that they can tell me anything and that i'm there to protect and take care of everything. this did not happen for me, but now my parents do know what happened. so i ask you this question, what should they do about it now that they do know?
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby peppperoni » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:09 pm

trying to make sure you learn to appreciate money.


Teach me to be responsible with money to appreciate money. i've worked very hard from the day i left school, through university. i've paid what i've owed to banks and have lived with the fact that i had to ask for money from my parents as a loan, which they could accommodate comfortably. your actually telling some one that has gone through compulsive gambling and on the mend that i have been irrisponsible with money and of all people to make learn to appreciate it should be my parents. i'm sorry where were they to teach me all the other lessons in life?

i don't mean to rant and i thank you for you posts.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby Bel Bel » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:23 pm

I think it's very unfortunate that you had that bad experience and others are right not all boarders feel this way.
I too could not send my child away, for fear of exactly what happened to you but that is because I myself had a troubled childhood that made me paranoid about these things
Yes it is wrong if your parents didn't maintain a good relationship throughout those 8 years. On the reverse I can see it would be difficult for them to pick up on aproblem if you wanted to hide it and they weren't very close to you anyway. Did you see them at all, I assume holidays?
I think they probably had the best intentions but that doesn't mean they carried it through correctly. No parents are perfect. Parents can be equally neglectful of children they live with too.
I think that now your parents probably don't know what to do and that's the issue. What do you want them to do? Do they know your expectations?
Back to the money - I don't think it matters what lead them to have it the principle still stands they are trying to teach you the right thing here even if it doesn't feel like it. If you really need a payment holiday do them a budget and show them why you need a break and explain one month off will help you stay on track and not default on anyone else or them in the future.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby Bel Bel » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:30 pm

we crossed post but I would like to come back to your last post about money

You have shown a lack of judgement with money (not yourr lack of hard work) and even if you are putting it right now it takes a long time for people to forget peoples weaknesses and mistakes. It always seems you have to prove yourself 10 times over for every mistake. That is human nature not just your parents.

I do agree they haven't been there to teach you these life skills but you and the counsellor pin pointed before that this behavoiur came about because of what happened not through a lack of teaching by your parents, escapism.

I really think you need to try and accept this anger towards your parents is partly about the fact they are an easy target for it. Please get some more counselling as it would be horrible for you to have to live with yourself feeling this bitterness. Free yourself to enjoy your life more and hopefully be able to build a better relationship with your parents.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby peppperoni » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:42 pm

thanks for your replies, much appreciated.

well to start with what the they could do is get some help themselves to understand how to deal with the situation that we are in. As you've said they probably don't know how to handle it, so getting a little guidence could work.

I don't mean to go on about the money, but you do realise i'm a man of 29, not a child or teenager that needs to be tought lessons on dealing with money responsibly. I have a flat, wage, bills, loan from the bank, run a car. i don't know how else to explain it to you, i aksed for a loan they gave it to me with conditions, and all the time are more worried about that than me.
what are my expectations?


to be told "son, what every it is me and your mum will stand by you and help with what ever we can".
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby snail » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:08 pm

For what it's worth, I agree with you - I don't think children should ever be sent away to school at such a young age. Yes, some are fine and even enjoy it, but the potential for psychological damage is very, very high, and I've heard some awful things about people's experiences. If boarding school is necessary because of the parent's career - then the parent should change their career. In my opinion, boarding school is never best for the child, only the parent.

This is not about money, it's about your feeling that your parents don't care about you, or more precisely, that they care about other things more than they care about you. When they gave you the money you needed but only as a loan, it triggered this intense anger again. What you want is for them to say how sorry they are about what happened to you, but you have to appreciate that this may never happen. For a parent to admit that they have contributed in any way to the serious harm of their child is incredibly difficult and painful for them, and I would say that most choose to remain in denial. At the end of the day you can't change these people - they'll think and feel whatever they want to think and feel. Your job is to understand your own feelings, to take care of yourself, and to build a fulfilling life.

If you want to cut them out of your life, then by all means do so, provided that you're sure you're doing it to benefit yourself and not to punish them. Punishing them is not likely to help you move on, and it may not even work - they may not care enough to satisfy you - and this will only make you more frustrated.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby peppperoni » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:58 pm

Thank you for your msg.

About cutting them out of my life, i don't know what to do with that. yes i'm feeling like that at the moment and a lot of it seems to be based around the money side. i'm just thinking to myself that once i've paid them back then there wont be any more support from them. do i then need them? do they need me? going along as we are at the moment is not working and i feel that if they know i'm their son but thats all, then i wont to expect anything from them.

Maybe just a distant relationship with them, but i get such conflicting feelings about how i feel towards them. for instance more of the anger is towards my dad, where as i see it my mum has just followed him through life and gone along with things, but i know shes my mum and there's a bond that can't be broken. i do actually feel that she's been hard done by in this deal as well.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby Tarantula » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:42 am

Hi Pepperoni

I think you should do whatever benefits YOU most, materially or otherwise. I totally understand why you feel hard done by, by your parents. They didn't know what was happening to you, but they do now, and by the sounds of things they are not being nearly as understanding and supportive as they should be. All too easy to sweep semi-taboo issues like child sexual abuse under the carpet isn't it.

The thing is, you don't have to make a finite decision either way. I would say, keep them in your life but only for as long as it is a convenience to you. Don't feel guilty about anything that happened to you - that's most important. It wasn't your fault, and well done you for seeking justice.

I'm a child abuse survivor, and in my case it was my father. I've since campaigned against child abuse and set up a project to help other survivors (am trying to get a support group going at my uni at present). I think it's important for all survivors to know that they're not alone, as it's so common for us to feel isolated and like no one else can relate. You can view my campaigning website here: www.the-phoenix-project.co.uk

it's not 100% complete but it'll do. Also, I've written all about my post-abuse issues (and everything else) on this site in fact, under the previous usernames of Phoenix and The_Jammy_Witch.

The thing is, where you used to have no control over what happened to you, now you can take responsibility. You have that power, where you didn't before. Therefore, if you think cutting your parents out of the equation is conducive to your wellbeing, then do it. If not, then don't do it. Put your own needs first and, frankly, to heck with everything else.

But, hard as it is, take control. We've been dealt a cruel hand in life but those who can overcome adversity - and even extract benefit from it - end up being the strongest and most successful - or so I've found. So please, let nothing (parents) distract you from focusing on your own recovery.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby ObiWan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:08 pm

I am sorry for what happened to you, and i hope time will heal some things if not all of them. Personally, I could not send a child away like that, but thats just me, I have made many mistakes myself about other things. Find as much support as you can ok. There are many helplines about, which I hope you will use if you need them, or here, or anywhere that you can find support yeh.
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Re: dealing with childhood abuse

Postby Jess1234 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:35 pm

I personally couldn't send a child away to bording school, but then again I was made to move countries by my parents at the age of 15 and whilst we all got to stay together I would have rather have been put in bording school in England than move that far away from everything that I knew and loved.

It's up to you what you do about cutting your parents out of your life, but I'm worried that you would regret that decision especially in terms of your relationship with your Mum as you've already stated that there is a bond between you and her that can't be broken. It's very difficult for parents to hear that their child has been abused and part of their reaction may be from their unwillingness to acknowledge that you went through something so awful.
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