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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Life History with Abusive Relationships

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Author Topic: Life History with Abusive Relationships
Executive Director & Founder
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Whether you have since seen or experienced abuse or not, from early childhood into adolescence, did you witness any abusive and/or controlling relationships?

What were they? Did you recognize them as abusive/controlling right at the gate, or did you only see them that way later? If your perception of them changed, what do you feel played the biggest role in how you saw them?

Do you feel like, growing up, most of the relationships around you were abusive or were healthy? If more of them were abusive, where have you looked for and found models and examples of healthy relationships?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Growing up I never really saw 'romantic 'relationships that were abusive. I grew up in a family of mainly single women and there were no men/romantic partners around. I saw some issues with my aunts fighting at times, but that was pretty much it.

I think I got my views on what relationships "should" be like based on things I saw on TV or things I read in the Bible. I thought that if I was a good person and a hard worker, things would just fall into place, including romantic relationships. Obviously that's not completely true and those aren't necessarily the healthiest or 'perfect' relationships. I see that now, but as a child, I thought that good families and couples were 'perfect'. This has been a very jarring wake-up call because now that I am dating, my relationships have been abusive and it has been very hard to realize it and also to come forward about it.

Think of me, when you're out, when you're out there...

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Unfortunately, I did not grew up around healthy relationship.
My grandparents did not get along well, grandfather is many ways neglected grandmother and never saw them talk or communicate it. They always had resentment and they only time they talked was through arguments and anger. As a child, I would try to patch things up between them but it clearly did not work.

The second relationship was how my mother never stood up to her brother, who was angry, verbally abusive and everyone in the house was scared of him. He had a lot of money and had anger issues, but it did not give him any reason to dominate or put fears in our hearts. I did not see it abusive until into my early teens.

The relationship between my mom and dad was also terrible. My mom could never stand up to him, he was emotionally finanically and sexually abusive..I'm quiet certain that my mom was in depression when me and my bro were born. We are both probably children of sexual abuse. Our biological father never talked to us. We saw of him the first time at age 10. Even during our brief meeting, it was never about us and how we were doing. I knew that something was wrong as a kid/ and hate him and my mom tremedously. But i didn't really understand abuse so much then. I carried it as a big heavy weight on my chest.
I always thought that it was my mom's fault for not standing up to him, in addition to him being so horrific.

*Deep breaths* I think I am getting better now at seeing all those patterns. When I look at my peer who have a perfect home with mom, dad and a dog and sometimes wonder we are different, I can understand it without trying to blame myself for it.

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I have yet to experience healthy relationships up close. Generally I have lightly connected with females professors in college, or work place role models or distant relatives that give off a much happier vibe as a family and a couple than what I saw from my own.
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