Readers’ Commentary “I’m a woman who was abused in an upper-middle-class family until I escaped my home as a teen.
“The woman who gave birth to me, had meted out a campaign of hatred towards me.
“In a highly-calculated manner, she pulls me in, then pushes me out.
“She has a classic narcissistic personality disorder. The times when I was happiest was when she wasn’t a part of my life.
“She has no friends and has alienated most of her family. Her husband (my birth father) does nothing to get her help.
“She fights with her neighbours, is nasty to cashiers in the grocery store, and the way she treats people who serve her in a restaurant is disgusting.
“I've finally reconciled at age 61 that these two are no longer worthy of my attention and so walked out of their home last September and haven’t been in touch since.
“I'm working with a lawyer to seek some retribution and have written an essay on my experience which I will, when it’s helpful toward retribution, share the document widely.
“As a youngster, I thought what went on in my home was normal. I now know that was wrong. Thankfully, I was able to break the cycle.
“I have a wonderful son who brings me joy every day and has seen the light about those people who’ve never taken him into their lives.
“He’s the better for that - and he’ll never have contact with them again.
“Over the years, I’ve had many people suggest that I forgive and get back in touch. But I recognize that’s not the solution.
“While I’ve suffered greatly under their oppression and abuse, I’ll no longer have anything to do with them.
“We need to teach people to not put up with the abuse they face - no matter who it is from.
“We need to increase supports for those affected. I feel for those who are trapped with their abusers at home right now during the pandemic.
“ I hope they will reach out when they need help.”
Finished Being Abused
Ellie - Yours is a tragic story of a child’s pain that became an adult’s hard-won struggle as you raised yourself and your son to a better life.
Thank you for sharing it here.
Especially now, just as the pandemic’s necessary isolation (despite moves to reinstate some previous freedoms) has revealed the ugly by-product of abuse that’s occurred when innocent partners, spouses and children were stuck inside with those who tormented them.
Your message bears repeating: We need to teach people to not put up with the abuse they face.
In a May 6 opinion column in the Toronto Star, Deepa Mattoo, executive director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, noted a Statistics Canada report weeks into the pandemic, that “one in 10 women are currently very or extremely worried about violence in the home.”
Canadian police forces note a significant increase in domestic violence calls. At least three Toronto women had been murdered by their partners since the beginning of the coronavirus threat, by that May 6 date.
In Canada, if you’re experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 to be directed to sexual assault centres and support services, domestic violence shelters, crisis and support lines.
If a child or youth is in imminent danger, call 911 for help.
In the United States, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800 422-4453. As their website says, “Child abuse doesn’t stop for a pandemic….it gets worse.
I’m seeing neighbours and strangers starting to ignore the advised restraints in our area.
While waiting as my partner picked up a small grocery order, I saw a dozen shoppers enter, without masks or gloves, though the grocery chain’s entrance sign clearly said every shopper must wear a mask.
Paper towels and sanitizer were visibly tabled beside the carts, but ignored by many.
The rest of us who are trying to stay safe - for them, too, since if the virus returns in greater force, we’re all vulnerable - are being made even more nervous and depressed.
I’ve always hated snitching, on principle. It diminishes us as a community. But maybe that’s a better action to take than ignoring behaviour that endangers far more people as opposed to possibly resulting in someone being fined.
Speak to the store’s manager and also call their head office. No snitching, just seeking safety.
Tip of the day:
Don’t accept abuse. Call 911 from a safe location and ask for help.