General Question

iLove's avatar

Were you abused as a child by your parent or caregiver?

Asked by iLove (2339 points ) June 4th, 2011

In this question, I asked about handling the death/dying of an abusive parent. It got my mind racing.

Were you abused as a child? To what extent? Is any abuse ever acceptable? How has it affected you as an adult?

Have you come to terms with your abuse? Does it seem foreign to you? Are you a parent now and being conscious about raising your own children differently?

In my case, I always accepted these behaviors as normal. I grew up in an area where punishment went above and beyond spanking. As kids, we were forced to go and pick branches off trees “switches” to be whipped with. If we didn’t pick an adequately thick enough “switch”, we were hit even harder.

Abuse wasn’t only physical, it was verbal. My father’s limited intelligence resulted in calling his kids and nieces and nephews “ugly” and “fat” all the time. I grew up believing this was ok.

In the South where I am from, when I was sexually abused at age 5 by a mentally handicapped relative, both of my parents were embarrassed and pretended it never happened. Nor did they address the damage that it did to me or explain to me that what happened was not ok.

When my mother fell ill from MS and became dependent on pills, she began to create grand stories of how I was a drug addict and a prostitute (I was 13, a virgin, and never touched drugs) and accused me of sleeping with my father while he stood by and did nothing.

I know people who have experienced far worse circumstances and I always diminished my experiences as not significant enough to be labeled abuse.

Thank you for all your stories. It will help us all heal.

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24 Answers

marinelife's avatar

If you have not yet done so, I urge you to get counseling for dealing with the abuse. It is really the only way to heal.

I can strongly recommend the book The Courage to Heal.

iLove's avatar

@marinelife – thanks for the suggestion. I have gotten counseling for the past few years which has brought this information to light. Prior to my therapy, I did not realize that I was an abused child.

I will check out the book that you have recommended.

I would love to hear your story if you have one

blueiiznh's avatar

A well deserved spanking was it for me.

Cruiser's avatar

I consider it abuse….my Aunt…my mom’s youngest sister was entrusted to baby sit us and would tickle me to tears and then keep at it! I hated her for that…still do. Karma is a bitch!

ShanEnri's avatar

I have no memory of most of my childhood. Our biological father did abuse my sister and brothers as well as our mother, so it stands to reason that I’ve forgotten my childhood for a good reason and have no desire to remember it!

Thammuz's avatar

The worst i remember was an argument with my father that ended up with him slapping me full on in the face. Luckily he is right handed so no rings at least.

That aside no, my family is fairly well balanced and aside for being extremely easy to yelling and arguments we love eachohter very much. I consider myself very lucky for this.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Were you abused as a child? Yes.

To what extent? Taken away from birth mother because she neglected me and her husband (not my father) – and brother-in-law who lived with us – abused me. Her sister was even worse. Verbal, emotional, physical, sexual, the whole gambit. There are lots of emotionally disturbed people in my maternal family. In my day, though, the State wanted kids to stay within the family if possible, so potential guardian relatives weren’t vetted for the child’s safety. I wish they had been, and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Is any abuse ever acceptable? No. Children are defenceless and look to the adults to keep them alive.

How has it affected you as an adult? Lots of trust issues, lots of worrying about if I was making someone angry, and hiding myself, my thoughts and feelings so nothing I did would ever piss anyone off, because for me, other people being angry at me meant that I would be abused or abandoned, and I couldn’t bear any more of that happening to me. I thought if I was a people-pleaser, then I’d be safe.

Have you come to terms with your abuse? Only in the last 6 or so years. Before that, it was as if all that had happened to someone else. For a long time, I tried to justify, minimize and diminish it. Then when I saw the looks of shock from a therapist as I recounted all of it, we both realized I hadn’t connected with any of it emotionally, and that that was a major problem.

Does it seem foreign to you? It did only until the nightmares started. My then-therapist told me that they were a sign that I was ready to process what had happened and heal.

Are you a parent now and being conscious about raising your own children differently? I am not a parent, but I do treat children the way I wish I had been treated. I listen when they talk and treat them as people who have worth.

creative1's avatar

Spanking when I was naughty the typical punishment of the day. Not my form of discipline but it was my parents.

iLove's avatar

@aprilsimnel – thank you for opening up. I wish I could give more than one GA. Your descriptive answer of the question, Have you come to terms with your abuse? resonated with me and felt much like I have felt.

This is helping me in addition to the self-help and therapy I have been receiving. Thank you. Thank you.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Only when my parents left my sister in charge, but that had more to do with sibling rivalry I think.

I don’t consider the spankings and switchings I got to be abuse. I deserved every one of them.

Hibernate's avatar

I had some issue with them with some beating .. though it passes.

I like to think that I’m normal and that I left the issue in the past
[ I have a normal relationship with my dad .. since the mom died ]

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I was verbally and physically by my parents. My saving grace is that at no time did I feel it was fault and I did all I could to leave their home as early as possible. Each year away from them helped me grow and I told myself there would be so many more years away from them than those where I was dependent.

All adults now, I never bring those times up and if either of my parents has a twinge now and then of feeling bad then I try to dismiss it as quickly as possible because it annoys me to think those memories will take up much of the good time and good life I work hard on now. I don’t feel forgiveness per se but I feel past it all.

One thing, it’s not fair to deny what feels abusive to you just because it falls short of fist punching, that sort of thing. Give yourself credit.

trickface's avatar

One black eye aged 10, a few ripped clothes. That’s all. The guy was mostly just neglectful or without any compassion rather than abusive. He didn’t really attend to the marriage or finances enough, but he was hardly ever aggressive, just permanently grumpy and sad which takes it’s toll over 9 years.

I’m lucky he was only my step dad.

keobooks's avatar

My father was so verbally abusive when I was growing up that I wished he would beat me, because I was terrified of him and I thought if he finally did what he constantly threatened to do, I’d feel relieved that I didn’t have to wait for it any more. He would breathe really heavily and talk through his teeth and tell me that he was so angry that he was just about to lose control and if he ever did that, he’d probably kill me. He also told me he wouldn’t get in trouble for killing me because my behavior was so bad that nobody would blame him for doing it. Now he moans about what a terrible person he was and how he ended up just like his dad and everyone hates him. He’s mellowed out a bit but mostly because his rages now just look kind of pathetic. He got mad that I scoffed some story he was telling me and tried to pull back his fist as if he was going to punch me in the face and my response was “Oh please. Stop being such an idiot.” and he never did it again.

My mom was always high strung and would throw temper tantrums where ever we went at random times. I don’t know if this was abusive or nor, but you can trust me I never whined in the grocery store after the day she started a full on toddler style temper tantrum with kicking and screaming in the store because I was whiny about wanting Captain Crunch. I basically did whatever I could to make sure that she wouldn’t go off and cause a huge dramatic scene. Even with my precautions, she’d lose it and go berserk now and then. My mom’s behavior drastically improved overnight once Prozac went onto the market. She’s a whole new different person. She doesn’t take that particular drug any more, but I will say that despite what people say about too many people taking the drug when they don’t need it—my mom actually needs it.

I did have a babysitter who physically abused me when I was very young. She beat me—and not just for stuff I did—she’d just do it. The worst one was when I came home from school and she grabbed me by the hair and just started hitting me with an electrical cord. I asked her why she was doing it and she explained that the baby she was watching had broken one of her favorite vases. When I asked her why she was beating ME because of it, she said “I can’t hit a BABY! What a terrible person you are! You KNOW someone HAS to be PUNISHED! I can’t hit a BABY!! You want me to hit a BABY!!”

She was nuts and even though I was 7 and you’d think I could tell my parents. I couldn’t. When abusive people threaten kids and scare them, they are way too scared to tell anyone. When there is a risk that your parents won’t believe you and you imagine what sort of revenge the babysitter will exact for your tattling, you decide it’s just not worth it. This is a big part of why I am staying at home with my daughter until I’m sure she’s old enough to tell me things that happen to her and I can make sure she knows that I will always listen and do my best to protect her.

perspicacious's avatar

No. I was abused by the pediatric dentist.

YARNLADY's avatar

Forgive me if I misunderstood, but the way your question is worded, I assume you will accept both yes and no answers
No, I was not abused, but rather raised in a very loving family and extended family. The only abuse I received was from my so-called peers in school, where I was teased unmercifully.

My parents did believe in corporal punishment, but it was very sparingly applied. The worst thing I can say about my family was that my parents did not understand schizophrenia and my brother did not receive the treatment he needed. We grew up in the 1950’s

wundayatta's avatar

Is it a parent’s duty to make a child feel loved and capable and worthwhile? Or is a parent’s duty only to make sure they are sheltered, fed, clothed and educated? If it’s the former, then is withholding love abuse?

I never felt safe as a child. I felt I was one wrong move from being abandoned. Which was probably because I was abandoned, emotionally speaking once my brother was born. He and I don’t really get along.

I think it’s hard to make the case I was abused, but that’s not the only thing that can affect your life in a negative way.

Plucky's avatar

I have been following this question since it started. I thought a lot about whether or not I would post (and what or how much I would post). I figure that it’s important to get this type of thing out there. I apologize for the length. It is actually a very brief description ..my story, so far, is so much more detailed and longer. I commend anyone who reads the whole thing. I would like to answer it in the way @aprilsimnel did. So, here it is.

Were you abused as a child?
Yes.

To what extent?
I was physically, sexually and psychologically abused throughout most of my childhood. The worst of the parental abuse was from my stepmother between the ages of about 8–14 years old.

A brief timeline (all abuses were repeatedly):

Age 4–5
– physically and emotionally abused by my mom’s boyfriend (he abused her too). He would spank us, and my mother, with a wooden paddle. I remember watching in horror when he would force my mom to have sex with her in front of us kids. He would also beat our dachshund dog. I also remember him ripping two of my brother’s fingernails off.
– sexually abused by a boarder (room renter), who also frequently babysat us, in my mom’s bed (both my sister and I).

Age 5–7
– I was in foster care with my siblings. Our foster parents disciplined, and punished, us with metre/yard sticks in the name of thier christian god. A 15 year old foster child there, who babysat on occasion, also sexually abused me (always in the bathtub).

Age 7–14
– Dad won custody of us kids (my older brother, me and my younger sister). The first year, we spent living at my grandparents house because they lived about 4.5 km down the road ..and my dad was away working on the oil rigs. My grandfather was extremely abusive to my grandmother, in all forms. He sexually abused me. He also got me to help him commit suicide (overdosing on pills). I am told he was schizophrenic. He belonged to a KKK group and was very fond of Adolf Hitler – often calling him Fuhrer Hitler. He often recited the phrase Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer (“One People, One Nation, One Leader”). Oddly, he wasn’t even German. I remember seeing him in a few of his uniforms for his group meetings.
– My dad was verbally and physically abusive. My brother got the worst of his physical abuse though (such as bashing him repeatedly with the legs of a kitchen chair). My dad liked to throw things at my brother ..like tools or cutlery. For my sister and I, he usually only gave us a really hard whack on the back of the head. He swore alot and called us names. My dad would also kick and hit our dogs (throughout the whole time I lived there).
– We had a couple nanny’s before my stepmother moved in, for about a year after living with my grandparents. One of them was physically abusive to us ..and she became nuts over my dad. After he fired her, she stalked him until the police were involved.
– My stepmother saved most of her anger for me. For all of us though, she physically and psychologically abused us daily. She would slap, kick, pinch, punch, choke, subdue, bite, shove/push/drag/throw, pull hair, and use items to hit us with (like wooden spoons, hair brushes, etc.). She also liked to throw things at us (especially the tv remote, shoes, cutlery and dishes). She called us every name you can think of and swore with almost every sentence. She was full of rage and vile words. She screamed a lot.
– My stepmother’s father used to come to our house and point his shotgun at each of us, in the kitchen, when he was angry. He was usually angry at my dad (my dad was 14 years older than my stepmother ..which her father did not like much). Her mother used to come over completely drunk out of her mind. She would pull this little white-handled steak knife out of her purse and stick it in our faces ..while slurring “I’m gonna getcha ..I’m gonna getcha…”
– I was punished also by hot/cold showers/baths. I had soaps and other inedible household cleaners forced into my mouth and down my throat; this included edibles such as hot sauces and molasses.
– There were other punishments too ..such as standing on one leg, while holding a bucket of water, for two hours. Or forced to stand out in the snow, for certain periods, without anything covering our feet.
– As for myself, on top of the above physical and psychological abuse, I was sexually and ritually abused by my stepmother. The sexual abuse needs no explaining/detail. My stepmother would also lock me up in the cellar under the house (we had a very old house; the cellar had dirt walls and floor). I was usually bound by my wrists, gagged with a cotton rag, and often sat in my own urine. I was left in complete darkness, damp and cold. The place smelt like urine, blood, dirt and rotten potatoes (we kept much of our garden vegetables down there for part of the year).
The cellar is also where the ritual abuse took place. I don’t think it was satanic. I’m not really sure what it was and never cared to find out later on. Coincidentally, the group had some ties with my grandfather’s KKK group (which is odd because my stepmother is half native/aboriginal). I witnessed a lot of horrible things down there. I can’t think of anything in my adulthood that compares to the physical pain I often endured in that cellar. I am not going to discribe the abuse. The longest she would keep me down there was about 4 or 5 days. It was easy for her because my dad was away a lot. I don’t know if my dad knew. I remember thinking that he did at the time. My brother and sister were unaware. The cellar treatment happened from around age 8 to 11.
– My stepmother abused our pets regularily. She killed a few of our dogs by blade. I remember her strangling two of our cats until they died.
– The first time I tried to kill myself, I was about 9 years old (I swallowed 8 Tylenol thinking it would kill me – I fell asleep and woke up with a huge headache). I huffed (breathing in chemical fumes) farm machine chemicals from age 10–13 because it gave me a pleasant buzz. I have no idea how I learnt that or where I got the idea from.
– My stepmother often threatened me with death before I went to sleep. She would tell me how worthless and stupid I was. Even my friends did not like coming to our house because they were scared of her. We lived on a farm and went to a small town school ..everyone knew everyone ..and everything about everyone. My teachers knew that my siblings and I were physically abused. But people didn’t get into other people’s family business. Plus, there were some shady teachers there any ways. It’s just how it was.

Age 14–16
– The first year of living with my mom and stepfather went very well. For the first time I could remember, my life was absent of any form of abuse.
– By 15 years old, my mom was divorcing my stepfather. And found a new boyfriend. All went downhill from there. He was not a healthy influence. She became an alcoholic and completely dependent on him. He was a criminal biker, alcoholic and drug addict. At that point, I was emotionally neglected. This is also when the effects of my previous abuse started rearing its ugly head. I was to the point where I could not function ..everything was coming back to me. I ended up in a few different youth programs (basically psych wards for teens). I became a severe drug addict and ended up in a drug rehabilitation facility for a year and half at age 17.

In all those years, there were several other non-parent/guardian related abuses (even into my adulthood); but the question was about parents and/or guardians. I think it has a lot to do with my nature. I have always been docile, shy and quiet. I was the perfect target for abusive people. I was not a badly behaved child/teen. I was not a promiscuous teen. I did not talk back, lie or steal. I did not cling to the first people that said something nice to me ..that was not it. I merely followed orders. I did what was asked/demanded because I was afraid of getting in trouble. I had no self esteem or self worth. I was nobody and felt that I would remain that way.
The first time I even mentioned a hint of abuse to anyone was when I was 12. I told my mom about the beatings we all would get. She called Child Services; they talked to a few of our teachers and my brother. The teachers said everything seemed fine. My brother lied and said nothing like that ever happened at home (he was protecting our dad). Child Services didn’t even talk to my sister or myself. I was about 24 years of age by the time I fully disclosed my past.

Is any abuse ever acceptable?
Absolutely not.

How has it affected you as an adult?
It has affected me in pretty much every way possible (other than being in an institutional padded cell). I have had extensive psychological therapy since I was 16 years old. Some of that therapy was from the curiosity of social psychologists. I have trust issues. I have nightmares almost every night. I do not have regular sleep patterns like the average person.
I have Avoidant personality disorder, PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), social anxiety, social phobia, HSP (highly sensitive person) ..with a touch of obsessive-compulsive behaviour and autistic characteristics on the side. I currently take a perscription medication for social anxiety.
I have a hard time communicating verbally and being around people that I do not know. Jobs/work, that involve people, are very difficult for me.
I can not function without routine in my day.
I have difficulty letting myself get angry. I am afraid of anger.
Physical contact is uncomfortable for me with everyone but my partner.
I have a very very difficult time with eye contact. There are only four people to whom I have normal eye contact with ..my partner, my mom, brother and sister.

Have you come to terms with your abuse?
The last 5 years has been the first time, since I was a teen, that I do not see a therapist regularily. I believe I have my sanity because of my “pluckiness”, my mind, my partner and two very good psychologists. As I said, I am on one medication now and do not go to therapy. I still get flashbacks daily, and abreactions weekly, but they are mostly manageable.
Like @aprilsimnel, my therapists always responded with shock. I knew these things happened to me but I did not own them. I did not want to call it abuse. Calling it abuse would mean that it was wrong of my parents/guardians…which would mean they were wrong about me; that I was not worthless. It meant I would have to deal with it…that I would have to own my pain.
I know this is something I will always deal with. I do not expect it to go away. I am not sure if I have forgiven my abusers – whether for some instances or all. But I continue to move forward positively.

Is this foreign to you?
If you mean the term abuse ..yes and no. The abuse was always normal to me. It felt acceptable that it happened to me ..but if someone were to tell me it happened to them, I would have thought it was not ok. I didn’t realize it was not acceptable until my later teen years. I didn’t even believe that women could be somebody until I was about 21 years old (with my grandfather and dad, women were second class).
Even though I know it was wrong, I still see it as normal for myself. I can’t imagine growing up differently than I did. The more therapy that I got, over the first couple years, the more astounded I became to hear just how much of my childhood was considered abuse.

Are you a parent now and being conscious about raising your own children differently?
I am not a parent. For a very long time, I was terrified to become a parent because I was worried I might abuse my child without realizing it. If I do become a parent, I know my child will be raised with the utmost love and respect. There will be no abuse in our family. I will be very conscious about how we raise our child/children.
I have always had pets. In my adult life, I see them as my kids. I have never laid a hand on them ..nor shouted at them.

Thank you for reading. Whether or not anyone reads all of what I typed, it still feels good whenever I put some of it out there. Many therapists have told me that I’ve done well to come out as emotionally stable as I am now…where most would have been institutionalized a long time ago. I am extremely self aware. So, I guess that’s a good thing.

@marinelife The book you linked is very good ..I used it for many years and still have it.

@iLove Your abuse is just as significant and serious as anyone else’s. Abuse is abuse ..no matter the length, severity, circumstances, type, or persons involved. Just as pain is pain, whether physical or emotional. Thank you for sharing some of your story.

ShanEnri's avatar

@PluckyDog I wish I could give you my eraser so you could forget all that! I’m thankful that I forgot my childhood and especially now that I read your account! Thank you for sharing that and I can only imagine how much it took for you to tell us that. You’re very strong and you have my admiration for not only surviving that, but not letting it control your life as an adult!!!

iLove's avatar

@PluckyDog – what an intense recount of your history. I went through several emotions upon reading this. Not only do I wish I could give you like 1,000 GAs, I wish I could give you a hug.

Your story brought me to tears.

That is incredible that you are still standing, after all that. Amazing person you are. If you ever want to write your story, I would gladly help! :)

Plucky's avatar

@ShanEnri and @iLove You’re welcome and thank you as well. No matter how many times I look at the even the brief version of my story, I am always taken a back by how much there actually is. When I tell people I had a really messed up childhood ..they usually have no idea just how messed up. I think it’s important to share abuse stories ..to let people know that they are not alone. It’s also important to let others know that physical, sexual and psychological abuse does indeed exist ..no matter where one comes from (or even what age the person is).
I have quite the memory of my childhood. Some of it was always witih me ..other events came to ligh over many therapy sessions. For a long time, I wanted to forget it all (which is partially why I ended up using drugs). Now, I think it’s important for me to remember because of the type of person I am. For me to function, I need to be able to document and categorize my abuse ..so I can look right at it and understand what happened and when. Then I can connect the dots to have a better picture of my life and even make some sense as to why some of these people did the things they did (if that makes sense).
Hugs to both of you. May you (and anyone else reading this) always find a positive outlet for your expressions.

@iLove I have sat down countless times, throughout my life, to write my story. Many times, I actually burned whatever I’d written. It’s a work in progress but I couldn’t imagine actually writing it for publishing ..I’m not sure anyone would want to read all of that (if that is what you meant). Others have suggested I write a book before as well.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m not sure if this will work or be of value to anyone else but it has been what’s gotten me through my hard years.

Every year you live past the abuse years goes to your credit to the point when you reach and then surpass the number of bad years with those you have been in control of and been focused on making a better life/surroundings for yourself.

In my case, I spent 11yrs under my parents roof and many but 28yrs away, all of those 28yrs mine to reinvent myself, create a life, find a purpose, define what’s good enough for me, etc. It feels good.

wundayatta's avatar

@PluckyDog It was very intense to read your story. It’s amazing how much people can survive. It’s amazing your aren’t permanently in a catatonic state. I’m sorry you had to live through that.

You know, you write very well. It sounds like with all that was going on, how could you have had time for an education. I mean, being locked in the basement for five days at a time. Still, you seemed to have learned a lot and you write very expressively and clearly.

There are a lot of people on fluther who have had experiences like this, or who have mental illnesses. I think fluther provides, unintentionally, a safe place for “nuts like us” as my friend from my bipolar group likes to say, to share our stories. It’s like a support group. I know that so many of us don’t go out much. We don’t get to see others much. But being able to write is very helpful.

I don’t know what has happened to me about this one thing. I hate phones now. I don’t like picking up a handset. I don’t like the idea of people—even friends—choosing to talk to me. Not even my wife. There is probably one person I want to hear from on the phone.

But I do very well writing. I can ask people things. I can organize things. So long as I don’t have to face them or talk to them. I hate asking people to do things for me. I guess I’m not worthy. I never ask my wife to do the things I want the most. Mostly because I know she doesn’t want to do them. I’m just not used anybody wanting to do anything for me. It’s too weird. It feels much more comfortable to realize that everything wrong is my fault and I can’t do anything that is good and if I do it’s a fluke.

I don’t know where this shit is coming from. I know that people like stuff I write, but why do I feel like it’s worthless? I guess that feeling is always so close to the surface and maybe when I am emotionally affected, I open the door for that. One more chance to learn to live with myself without hating myself.

I’m told that I am high maintenance. It’s hard for me to believe for very long that I’m useful or cared for or lovable. Maybe because of that, it is pretty easy for me to support people who feel similarly. I can see the talent in them, and maybe I can even help them see that talent, too. I know, also, the tendency that people with these problems have: being really good at denying talent. Maybe it’s not everyone’s problem, but I’m pretty good at it. Hah! Not to say I have any to deny. I guess it’s more like correcting false impressions that others have.

I’m sorry. I’m ranting and I’ve forgotten where I was going. I just wanted to let my mind sail in response to your post. I’ll stop now.

Plucky's avatar

@wundayatta Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words.

I’m glad you have found writing so helpful. I know it helps me incredibly. I understand about not feeling worthy ..it is so very difficult to break out of that way of thinking. I still have trouble with it. All we can do really is keep working on it ..and listen to the ones we know truly love us (even though it can be difficult to really feel and own that worth).

I have trouble feeling pride for anything I do. It’s hard for me to say “I’m good at….” and, especially, to not feel embarassed or shameful in doing so. But, I am working on it. And I’m an extremely determined individual. I may never be completely positive about myself and/or my talents. However, I do know that I will improve at my own pace as I usually have. I’m sure you have gotten better at it ..and will continue to do so at your own pace.

Why people like you and I feel our stuff is worthless? Because that is what was continuously forced into our minds by others who had the power and control to do so. Usually those people are the ones we looked up to at one time ..or the ones that had the ultimate say in our lives. The ones that should have shown us love, encouragement and acceptance. The ones we should have been able to trust. Whether it was a guardian, family member, teacher, coach, spouse, partner ..etc, who physically, psychologically or sexually abused us. That was a lot of commas. Whomever was the biggest influence in our lives, at any point, and failed to use that influence positively. They are the reason.

Here is something to remember though: We are the reason that those forced ideas will not prevail. We are the only ones that can overcome, or at least quiet down, those negative deep rooted lessons. We are now responsible for our own wellbeing. I know I need to keep trying because I love my partner ..and I want to continue to be there for her as much as she is for me. I want to do my part in keeping our relationship healthy and positive. I owe her, and myself, that much.

Speaking of my partner ..I feel so lucky and honoured. I have come so far since having her in my life. She is constantly helping me to feel, and believe, that I am somebody. No matter what happens, or has happened, she has my back. She is the one person in my life that I can truly count on ..at any time. And I am the one person she can always count on. We help one another become better, and healthier, people. We just fit.

I hope your relationship with your wife is full of respect and love. You really do deserve it. Try not to listen to the old idea that tells you otherwise. I find your posts, on Fluther, a pleasure to read. You display a great amount of insight, intelligence and compassion. I think you really add to the Fluther community. I may be quite new ..but even I can tell that much. It’s easy to give advice. I totally understand that. We just need to work on taking our own advice. We are no good to anyone if we aren’t very good to ourselves. That is something I must constantly remind myself.

We are only on this earth for a short time. We need to learn to love ourselves or we’ll never be free enough to experience life how it should be experienced. :)

I hope I wasn’t too preachy ..or off topic on the original question.

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