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Discipline by Dunking by Abilene’s Child

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My stepfather and my mother were violent disciplinarians. My mother had almost been drowned by her mother. My mother was thirteen years old when she told her mother about her grandfather’s repeated sexual abuse. My grandmother called my mother a liar and proceeded to slap her and pull her hair. She then dragged her into the bathroom and pushed her head underneath the water in the tub. My mother’s father intervened and stopped my grandmother. I have no doubt, my grandmother, a survivor of continuous rape by her dad, would have drowned my mother.

My mother, mentally impaired, as a result of a deep rejection and childhood abuse, used the same technique on me. Like my mother, I am blessed to have survived being a little girl. I had rules, like “Baby Grace.” I had to sit in my rocking chair and color a picture, without getting out of line. I was three years old. I remember being so tired and so frustrated, that I rebelled. I would be subjected to hot water treatments on my legs, whippings with a belt, fists in my back, my hair pulled, and extreme yelling, and cursing by my mother. I never stopped loving her though. I began to understand at an early age, not to need anything from my mother. This understanding included needing food, water, warmth, and certainly love.

We must reach these adult victims of abuse. We have to help them to reach out and receive healing. Diagnosing them with labels, only threaten their ability to volunteer for help. The results of child abuse and trauma produces many symptoms that can be mistaken for other mental illnesses. No one wants to be labeled for the rest of his or her life. There are many people who are diagnosed with bi-polar and borderline personalities, when in reality, they are trauma victims.

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