February 7, 2009





This post is part of a continuing series about child abuse and parenting. At the end of this article are links to the other posts on this subject. If the links do not work, go to , click on the folder CHILD ABUSE ISSUES, and scroll down the posts to find answers to your questions. Also, check the folder: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

     Since families consider alcoholism and/or abusiveness a “family secret,” homes with these issues present teach children and other family members three key lessons: DON’T TALK, DON’T TRUST, DON’T FEEL.
     TALKING enables individuals to both share ideas and approach problems—stating them, defining them and solving them.
     Alcoholic and abusive homes deny key destructive behaviors and their underlying, scary issues. They believe that if “it” (the behavior) is ignored, “it” will go away, and “it” will not hurt. Talk gives behavior reality: realities must be dealt with.
     The “secrecy” created by not talking makes a child feel different, since others do not share his/her experience. At the same time, they view their life as “normal.”
     TRUST is the confidence and faith in someone, having a feeling of safety. Alcoholic and/or abusive homes give a child mixed messages—verbal assurance that (nothing is wrong) with the experienced behavior, yet the sky is falling in (mother is crying but says nothing is wrong). The security of knowing what to expect is absent. Trust in self, parents and behavior is lost.
     FEELINGS are inborn environmental and interpersonal relationship responses, a means of survival. In alcoholic and/or abusive homes, a child becomes confused and desperate when he/she is told s/he doesn’t hurt, when he does; that he/she is happy when s/he is sad, etc. S/he learns to deny or repress the unacknowledged feelings.
     Ultimately, recognizing feelings confronts him/her with a scary truth: his parents, his “gods,” are unable to protect him. S/he learns low self-value and guilt. Lies become necessary to cover up unpleasant realities; sharing with others stops since they are not seen as resources, and emotional isolation begins.
      A woman is concerned that her husband plays too rough with our baby son. The baby loves it when his father tosses him high into the air and catches him. Although the father says that this does not hurt the baby, the wife is worried. Is she over reacting?
     Not really. In infants and small children, the neck is very weak and the head is heavy. Tossing can cause the brain to violently strike the hard inside of the skull and injure the neck, ending up with possible brain damage, even death.
     In an emergency, will your child accept a ride with just anyone?
     In emergencies, parents ask for help. Both parent and child need assurance that help comes from a parent-approved person.
     Prepare by creating a code word. Use an unusual word, not some popular word or phrase. Make it silly or made-up, but be sure you and your child know it. The child should not go with anyone who does not communicate the code word.
     It’s always an exciting time of the year. In winter, the white covering makes beauty. In spring, life is sprouting all around you. In summer, nature’s tree greens and flower rainbows color the world. In fall, falling leaves of bronzes, yellows and reds cover the walkways.
     Take short, frequent walks with your child and examine nature. Use nature books to identify and explore the nature around you—birds and growth. Measure growths of plants weekly. Your child can draw pictures of plants while watching their life cycle.


















CHILDREN LEFT HOME ALONE (or in cars alone)







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  1. Have you heard of “Do AS I SAY”. I don’t even know all my family members political affiliations. I have just discovered at the age of 48. That my dysfunctional family which is blended with a step-father thinks they can just take over my employer, condominium, and my life to get a babysitter for a 20 year old.

    The problem in defining abuse vs dysfunctional is to me is this just a lack of communication or is this deception. Is this knowingly consciously ganging-up on one member of the family.

    I have had a bad relationship with my step-father since the day I met him about 15 years old. Part of the problem is my Mom saying that I should not be honest to who he is as in he truly is a step and not my Father. I am knowing going bankrupt and have found out that somebody has been using my checking account and social security number for a while. (Identity theft)

    I was physically assaulted by my 19 year old nephew publicly on the BNSF Union Station so since my sister where I cried, yelled, screamed, cussed her out, and then told her “she sold her soul to the devil” decided to never ever attend a holiday gathering.

    The problem is that “if you say anything as in a joke” the gang of my family literally comes after you seriously. Don’t say one word or be present when they say something. They expect you to go bankrupt just to get them a babysiter. This is domestic where I don’t want to throw my family in jail, but yet you get stuck in this somewhat domestic situation where you get humiliated by the abusive back stopping of your sister. My sister invites me to things together. And then I think somebody is entering and searching my house while I am at this family gathering. I am not kidding. I have a abusive step-father who has violated my boundary and been creepy to me my whole life. After 14 years of therapy and not speaking to them 10 years before that, I tried to take days off a couple times a year and just spend a day with them trying not to get too involved but be social. Try to have some relationship with my Mother.

    I seriously would never go to a family gathering again partly because they search my house while I am there. I have discovered the use of my checking and social security number when I am approaching bankruptcy.

    There is “I don’t know” or “I don’t want to get involved” then there is this group consciousness of “Yes, we did that and we have that right” . They came into my employer behind my back. They did not even talked to me while there. They really think they have that right to “gang up” against me as in really seriously be criminal.

    Don’t say one word to these people–I don’t take insults. Not even to assist as in suggest alternatives for their issues. I don’t mean bossy but just supportive. Seriously, I am bankrupt and am trying to bail myself out as much as I can. I don’t want to owe them anything because I want independent.

    When I was almost married. I seriously investigated restraining orders and things to stop the abuse. My one sisters kids moved to other states, but I don’t know how much that helps when they search your house when you are gone. The person searching your house is someone you don’t know.

    There is abuse due to lack of communication, there is dysfunctionality. Then, there is unimaginable abuse where I have no idea as a 48 year old how to seriously get away from these people. I have called private detectives and looked into restraining orders. I would never take a key to their house. I know nothing of electronics. I try to read magazines just to find out what is going on.

    Some people really are out to get others. I don’t know if it is just one-up-man ship or I more important as in the pecking order of the birth order.

    I try so hard to be polite and not loose my temper.

    I seriously do not know how to feel safe to get them away from me no matter where I live. Do I have to put a retina scanner on my private home when I am lower middle class when employed.

    The Flintstones with their hairbrain schemes. My family is so nuts. These people do not spend anytime talking they just jump to conclusions and get into your home while you sit there for Christmas.

    I should not have to suffer because of who my Mother married. I should have privacy in my home especially when to my face my Mother denies everything.

    I was always told by my Mother “Do your own thing”. Our little get togethers twice a year to just spend a day together.

    My sisters could take a day off from their jobs too. Both of them have vacation time to just hang out with their Mother.

    My priorities and my sisters priorities are different.

    I should not be punished just because my sister will not take a vacation day to be with her Mother and do some little social activity.

    The difference is not money or vacation days–it is priorities and I should not have my privacy violated or be put into a vice grip.

    I really believe relationships take time and little visits are worth more than Christmas gatherings were everyone is basically in the same room.

    I do not have children to hide behind.


    I don’t know how to stop abuse. I know physical barriers as in moving away helps.

    The con game of the so-called concerned family searching your house while you are away so they can steal from your bank accounts really does exist.


    I hope to find an answer.


    The Serenity Prayer
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.

    –Reinhold Niebuhr

    I would never go to a psychologist again, after 14 years about at the point of 12 years I found out these people were listening to my psychologist WHAT BETRAYAL!!!

    Privacy is so important.

    Comment by Tulip Greener — June 12, 2011 @ 8:50 am | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on 0O`N`T`H`I`N“G`S` and commented:

    Comment by sshus — January 3, 2014 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

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