(and about you — at the quantum level we are inseparable)
I was an unplanned and unwanted child born in 19xx to an 18-year old mother and her 29-year old husband. My sister born 13 months later was also unplanned and unwanted. Both parents had personality disorders. Father’s personality disorder was marked by Sadism. Sadistic Personality Disorder was the most appropriate diagnosis for him. Mother was diagnosable as a Borderline Personality Disorder (aka Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder).
Father was the second of three children born to loving parents and his siblings were also loving parents. Mother was the eighth of ten children born to psychologically normal parents, although due to poverty she and many of her siblings were reared in an orphanage. There is evidence of mental instability among some of her siblings but mother was the only child to actively and persistently harm her own children.
Violence from our parents was the norm for my sister and I during childhood. Emotional abuse in various forms (e.g. constant criticism and verbal insults, mother often telling us nastily that we were unplanned and unwanted children, threats of violence, malicious deprivation of pleasurable activity, and habitual humiliation of me in front of other people by father) was also routine.
The violence was not corporal punishment (e.g. a moderate smack on the body as a means of behaviour control). I refer to severe and often uncontrolled violence by father and mother against their children that was completely unwarranted. For example, father often struck me about the head when I politely disagreed with his opinion. Sometimes this was with sufficient force to knock me off my feet, after which he would continue to assault me on the floor.
Mother often beat my sister savagely on one pretext or another. As examples, she struck my sister on the head with a large wooden spoon until blood poured out of her head; she beat my sister to the floor and then pulled her about by the hair; she sat on top of my sister after striking her to the floor and then beat her face.
Almost all of father’s violence against me was committed in the privacy of the home when no non-family members were present. Father was more likely to assault me when mother was present. Sometimes she explicitly encouraged him to hit me. Father instructed me to not discuss our family problems with anyone outside our family (e.g. schoolteachers). He told me that family troubles must remain within the family (attempts by the abuser to keep the abuse secret is typical of abusive relationships).
All of mother’s serious violence against my sister and I (e.g. throwing a heavy ceramic ashtray with full force at my head – with major brain damage or death a certainty if I had not moved in time) was committed in the privacy of the home and when father was out.
In the presence of people outside our immediate family, father and mother usually conducted themselves as strict but not obviously abusive parents. However there were abundant signs of emotional problems in both my sister and I that should have aroused suspicions of child abuse. It should have been obvious to our family doctor, our schoolteachers, and more insightful adult relatives and friends, that my sister and I were clinically depressed and anxious children. We both displayed symptoms (e.g. chronic sleep disturbance, nightmares, anxiety, depressed mood, academic underachievement) that should have sounded alarm bells for concerned adults. I do not know how our doctor (who had frequent contact with our family) missed the signs of emotional distress associated with the abuse.
At about age nine years I had what I now know to be a psychotic episode (frightening visual hallucinations that I still clearly remember) during the day after returning home from school. It occurred quite suddenly as I was standing in the dining room and I screamed continuously for what felt like about an hour. When the hallucinations finally stopped I became aware of worried-looking neighbours staring at me (the alarmed maid had called the neighbours). I found it embarrassing to face the neighbours after they witnessed my mental breakdown and the episode puzzled me for many years until I studied clinical psychology.
In reaction to my psychosis, mother was called home from work, father came home directly after work, and our family doctor visited me later in the day. The doctor did a routine medical assessment but he did not ask me any questions about my mental state or family experiences. This was yet another instance of this doctor failing to recognize the obvious signs of extreme emotional trauma in me and he did not make an effective intervention.
About a year later I was assessed briefly by a clinical psychologist and thereafter by a school psychologist. Both of them missed the child abuse and the focus remained on me as a “problem child,” i.e. they believed mother’s lies about me. However I am grateful that I was subsequently sent to boarding school for most of two years (at ages 11 and 12). I dreaded school holidays (we had to go home) but I cherished the respite from father and mother’s abuse.
On the basis of my professional experience of child abuse as a clinical psychologist (including many psychological assessments of children and their parents), I have no doubt that if father and mother’s child abuse had come to the attention of relevant authorities, my sister and I would have been removed from their home and father and mother would have been prosecuted.
Father and mother presented serious and potentially fatal dangers to the physical welfare of their children. They also failed to meet the emotional needs of these children to an extreme that severely endangered their psychological development. The least detrimental course of action for children in such a destructive family environment would have been to remove them from it as soon as possible, and to place them together permanently with suitable parents.
My attempts to discuss the abuse with the abusers
Since early childhood I gave both parents feedback about their destructive behaviour toward their children. I did this as best I could with the concepts and terminology available to me at the time. My parents always reacted negatively. Father’s typical response to my feedback was to threaten or perpetrate violence against me. Similarly, mother’s response to my reasonable challenges of her abusive conduct was always combative. These aggressive responses continued into my adulthood, although I ‘cured’ father of violence at age 21 by striking him as he tried to assault me. Mother continued her verbal (shouting insults and “I’ve got nothing to apologize for!”) and physical (throwing heavy items at me, trying to stab me with kitchen knives, etc) aggression toward me until I permanently cut her out of my life in early adulthood.
As is often the case with child abuse, my attempts at constructive discussion of the abuse with my parents failed completely.
I wrote the following poems about father and mother.
Feathers but No Flight (on my father)
He fought his felt inferiority – by attacking it in others,
he beat his kid heroically to soothe his own pain.
He donated his hurt with Red Cross charity,
stamping others’ joy with fireman commitment.
He squawked and sniffed when asked to explain,
sorry only for himself; the guts of a drawn bird.
He showed injured puzzlement when reminded of abuse,
crying “foul” with the backbone of poultry manure.
A man among birds, a brave amid children,
he snivelled the strong and tore at the weak.
A spineless, toothless avian ‘terror’, now scared to admit, frightened to explain,
trying to flee the answers like a farmyard chicken.
Raptor of nightmares, striker of living daylights,
the dreaded force that floored me at will – exposed as a birdman.
A remorseless bully, a pitiful coward, forever behaving according to type.
Challenged by the strong he lets out a squawk, then zig zags away . . .
feathers but no flight.
I’m Damned if You’ll Have What I Never Had! (on my mother)
Eighth of ten children; reared in an orphanage.
Married at seventeen; mother soon after.
An adult-sized child seething pain and anger.
She attacked her children
with cruel words and heavy fists,
crying “I’m damned if you’ll have what I never had!”
She suffered in her young unbearable reminders
of love and opportunity she never was afforded.
Her daughter especially meant all she was denied.
She beat the girl savagely ‘til blood ran from her head,
blaming her of wrongs for which she’d like the child dead,
crying “I’m damned if you’ll have what I never had!”
Her husband was equal in mental disorder.
Unable to bond they joined in common purpose
to persecute their kids for the bad that they stood.
They struck the boy’s head ‘til he went psychotic.
Husband snarled “you’re to blame for the craziness in my life”
as she cried “I’m damned if you’ll have what I never had!”
She could neither give nor receive selfless love.
But she crushed little hearts with the passion of Mary,
destroying other relationships and life opportunities.
Malicious secret phone calls to wreck special friendships
and manufactured crises before important exams,
crying “I’m damned if you’ll have what I never had!”
The chaos she first knew was the turmoil she created.
Of the evil in her heart she freely gave,
singing empty songs in various churches.
Calling attention of doctor and all who would hear
a ‘caring’ mother’s tale of demonic children
who were damned ‘cause they couldn’t have what she never had.
Asked why she abused her children as she did,
what wicked intent she nursed within.
She stood feet apart with fists on hips
and glared at my face with malice and triumph.
“I don’t have to apologize for my deeds” she said,
“I was damned if you’d have what I never had.”
Education and Work
I borrowed money from a bank to study full-time, worked full-time to study part-time, and eventually completed a bachelors degree majoring in Economics and Psychology, an honours degree in Psychology, a masters degree in Clinical Psychology, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I was extremely fortunate to benefit from many favourable falls of the dice / divine intervention when I was accepted onto courses and when senior academics saw potential in me and encouraged me.
The difference between me going as far as I did academically and not even finishing school, was at the discretion of God through people who helped me along the way. This includes a lecturer whom I never met (during study by correspondence) who wrote highly encouraging comments on my assignments, and then a professor who became a major inspiration in my life — he had a massive positive influence on my studies, work and life in general. But for those acts of divine intervention, I have no doubt that my adulthood would have been disastrous.
As it happened, after my first full-time job as a locomotive fireman (I shovelled coal on a steam engine — by far the hardest work I have ever done) I then worked in economics and human resources before going on to work 30 years as a fully-qualified clinical psychologist, in private practice for the last 20 of those years. I understand from the feedback of clients and referrers that I was a good clinical psychologist — insightful, creative and cost-effective.
Integrity and professionalism. I have never been charged with a criminal offence, never been investigated for professional misconduct, and was still in good standing with my professional bodies (Health and Care Professions Council; British Psychological Society — I was registered as a Chartered Clinical Psychologist) when I voluntarily deregistered.
Marriage and Children
In my younger years I was fortunate to have loving girlfriends, some of whom would have been good wives and mothers. However due to the psychological effects of my childhood trauma I was unable to cope with the demands of anticipated marriage and parenthood. Therefore I tended to sabotage those relationships. I found it easier to cope with relationships when the woman did not expect marriage and parenthood was not an issue, e.g. she already had children or she did not want / could not have children. Therefore I tended to cope better with partner-relationships over later years. To the best of my knowledge, I never fathered a child. As I never received effective parenting, I was ill-equipped for the role of parent and am relieved that I was never in a position where I too might harm a child.
Social and Hobbies
My social network has atrophied over the years. A partial explanation for this situation is that I stopped paid work at the end of 201x and moved to a different part of the British Isles (I could not afford to keep my house). Also, some of my friends have died and others are in poor health.
My pastimes include making sculpture, playing the piano, gardening (vegetables, other edible plants, companion plants), harvesting wild food (e.g. seaweed, hand-line fishing from the rocks), cooking wholesome meals, countryside walking, bird watching, wine making, and ongoing study of local plants and animals.
Religion and Spiritual
I am not religious. I know the truth about God, heaven, karma, etc. I am aware of God’s presence and often experience spiritual communication via dreams and events during waking consciousness.
Mental Health Difficulties
I have ongoing coping difficulties as a direct result of my childhood traumas. One of my most debilitating symptoms is a tendency toward nightmares in response to certain types of social and occupational situations. As with my other symptoms of psychological trauma, I have suffered the nightmares since childhood. Due to the associated hyperventilation (results in high pH and abnormal physiology throughout the next day, causing anxiety, depression, poor concentration and memory), and the persistence of the nightmares across many nights usually, at times my work and social functioning has been impaired, e.g. having to cancel many appointments or perform poorly compared to my usual self.
I am not on any medication and have never used medication for mental health issues. Due to my negative personal experience of doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists during childhood and early adulthood, corroborated by my later observation of their work as a colleague, I have a low regard for the mental health ‘care’ industry and would never again subject myself to it as a patient / client. As with other institutions, health care and mental health care in particular is often inadequate and even harmful.
I and many other people, including my sister and many of my clients, suffered childhoods characterized by the absence of love, persistent rejection, intense hostility (verbal and physical aggression), and lost opportunities for normal bio-psycho-social development. Further, the consequent difficulties in coping with adulthood much compounded the destructive experience of our formative years.
In my personal and professional experience, survivors of child abuse understand the importance of truth, they are sensitive to spiritual beauty, and they are deeply compassionate about the suffering of others. Ways in which such people reveal these qualities include writing, art, music composition, healing others (psychological, spiritual), and activism on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves (e.g. abused children, abused animals, creatures suffering in this human-caused mass extinction) and those who are not sufficiently aware of the truth to defend themselves (e.g. against the attack on our societies by a psychopathic cabal). Truth, spiritual beauty and compassion are discussed further below.
If relevant authorities (e.g. doctors, teachers, social workers, police) knew the truth about the abuse it would have stopped. Similarly, when there is sufficient public awareness of other destructive behaviour (e.g. against nature and society) it is likely to stop. “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:20)
To honest people truth is beautiful (e.g. aesthetic considerations such as symmetry and simplicity are used in theoretical physics and cosmology to define truth, outside of empirical considerations) and most precious. Therefore they will often show exceptional courage and commitment in pursuing truth even at the risk of significant personal suffering, e.g. social disapproval, prosecution, financial loss and physical attack.
Personal suffering is the only way in which we can truly appreciate the suffering of others. This empathy is essential to the development of compassion and it can generate enormous effort to try prevent or alleviate the suffering of others.
I know of many abused people who were not destined to stay long in this world (e.g. they died of substance misuse, reckless behaviour, suicide) or who struggled on bearing crosses of serious mental illness and often physical illness as well. Whatever our personal experience of this world, scientific evidence (e.g. the generation of all events from the quantum vacuum, i.e. God; and brain imaging studies showing that ‘conscious’ impulses actually arise from an unconscious level, i.e. God) indicates that all creations are part of a cosmic evolutionary process. Further, we know that the worldly aspect of this process will be no more than a hazy dream when we continue life in a realm of infinite knowledge, beauty and love, i.e. heaven.
Best wishes, Aspects of Mind