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Healing the Scars of My Mother’s Abuse

21 February, 2017
Q Ever since I was around 6 to 12 years old, my mother used to hit me with a white plastic/metal rod or with her hand. She would do this every time I couldn’t do a math question or if I didn’t live up to her standard of a ‘perfect daughter’. She would talk about how perfect she was which made me feel worthless or inadequate in front of her. Whenever I cried, she and my older brother would lock me outside of the house until I stopped crying. When I was 12 or so, she and my dad had a fight about something I said, and it lead to her storming out of the house threatening to kill herself. My dad held her to try and stop her, and as she was struggling to get out she looked back at me and told me that if she died it was all my fault. This lead to me believing that everything is always my fault. I cannot remember anything leading to or after that incident, nor can I remember much of anything before I was 13. To this day, every time I hear yelling or shouting I feel really scared and my heart beats faster, even if the yelling is just from the television. So I was just wondering if this would qualify as child abuse?

Answer

Answer:

Salam ‘Aleikom,

What you describe here does sound like you went through child abuse, both in the physical and the emotional level. Hitting you and locking you outside of the house are what we might call physical abuse, whereas making you feel like imperfect and making you feel like responsible for your mother’s potential death might be emotional abuse. Today, these left you feeling anxious when you hear yelling or shouting, even if it’s on the TV. You feel like everything is your fault. These are the negative consequences of what you faced as a child. It’s almost like you are experiencing the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. So this can be something to explore as well…

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Salam,

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