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Child Abuse and Nightmares

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I unfortunately grew up in a household with a lot of abuse. I have an older brother,who as a teen took much of my dad's anger (in the form of hitting, punching, verbal abuse, etc). I have a younger brother who has ALWAYS been a target for my dad for some odd reason. My younger brother is a really good person and I love him to death, but my dad has always beat him and mentally/verbally abused him since I can remember. I remember my little brother being 4 or 5 and running away from my drunken dad so he wouldn't get hit/beaten.
I can't write this without crying. I, being the only girl, was spared a little. I wasn't really hit as a child. It started off with being slapped really hard in the mouth when I was about 10, and then as a teen being held down and hit until I couldn't breath. Other times my dad would grab me by my hair and pull me and hit me in the sides of my head with a closed fist. He threw car keys at me once, and I still have scars from being hit with them. The abuse continued, wether he was drunk or sober, didn't matter. It continued until I finally was able to leave. He also kept me and my brothers from ever being able to financially leave. We would work, he'd get the money. We were trapped. The abuse continues now in different forms, such as guilt, (attempted) control, etc. I have distanced myself from my parents and I am a lot happier because of it.


Anyway, what bothers me most is the situation with my younger brother. As a child I felt that I needed to protect him, and I couldn't. I have horrible memories of my dad beating him and not stopping, and it was ALWAYS over NOTHING. He was a good kid!! My dad would just take out his anger on him. Unfortunatley, my brother is still living near my parents. He feels the need to impress my dad, so he constantly is trying to help them out financially. He gives my parents everything and does everything for them and all they do is put him down and fight with him. I know that he is hurting, but he hides it.


I sometimes have nightmares, really bad ones, about my dad beating my little brother. Very vivid and terrible. I sometimes wake up crying, or so angry that I punch my bookcase by my bed. I have these horrible freakin memories, and I can't get rid of them. They are only made worse by the fact that my brother is still around my parents and putting up with this and I am not there to stop it. I can't stop the mental abuse, but I somehow think I could stop my dad from hitting him.

The last time I visited my parents while my younger brother was still having to stay with them was in 2005. He was 19 and I remember that we had bought burgers for all of us to eat. The order was messed up and my mom blamed my brother. Anyway, the whole thing turned into my dad hitting my brother as he tried to get away and block himself. My dad just kept comming at him and hitting him! I got in the middle and stopped him.
It scared me because I knew this had never stopped. The same abuse was going on. He is 23 now, and more mentally/verbally abused then anything else. He is going through hard times now and I fear that he will move back in with my parents, the BIGGEST mistake he could ever make.


How can I save him? How can I stop all of this and how can I get rid these horrible memories and stop having horrible dreams? I can't keep going on like this.
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First Helper kimmill
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replied May 4th, 2009
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your nightmares they will eventually go away!
my mom knew my dad was abusive, but she married him anyway and stayed with him for 20 years. he has physically, mentally, and verbally abusive to her and my 3 other siblings including myself.

this is the effects of abuse:
i never hit my son and he's 13y.o
my brother took it hard and he's mentally abusing with his teen daugther.
my other sisters are heartless in ways, as if they wasn't showed love, or act tough b/c of how we were raised.
the majority of us aren't speaking to each other. no one is speaking to my dad. it effected my brother more than anyone for some reason.
keep your brother from going back to that household.
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Users who thank starship33 for this post: lil_scorpio 

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replied May 7th, 2009
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ServiceU
Thank you for the response. It is hard living like this and I can only hope that it gets better.

Just like your family, in many ways, we are similiar. I no longer talk to my dad, same with my mom. She just supports him and copys what he does. Also, I feel that I have to be tough, or act differently...I don't want people I know to know how I grew up. It's embarrassing. My younger brother does seem to take it the hardest. I will do everything I can to not let him go back to that situation.

Thanks again.
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replied October 23rd, 2009
Child Abuse and Nightmares
My family was much like the first person. I wasn't phyically abused as much as my older and younger sisters. My older sister still feels that it was unfair that I didn't get it too. She is also still very mad at our mother b/c of her staying with him. I do understand how & why she stayed, mostly fear. She finally did leave him when the police showed up at the house & told her that they were taking the kids (2 of us by then) and that if she wanted to come they would not charge her with abuse charges but it was her chioce b/c they were taking us no-matter what. I'm not so mad at her for being weak and not protecting us. My nightmares started when I was about 14, just before the police took us. These are terrible nightmares, and not about the abuse, but of things that I usually don't tell anyone about them b/c I wonder why someone would dream of such bad horrible things. But I do, last week I had 5 nightmares, sometimes I have them that often but most times not. I've often wondered if I have PTSD but my nightmares are not of things that have happen & I can't find anything to remotely support any theories of what these my be. Any suggestions?
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replied October 23rd, 2009
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kimmill

Thanks for sharing, and I'm sorry for what you have been through. Nightmares are hard to understand. I dream about situations have have happened, not actual events. I HATE it because it reminds me of the real events.

I am not an expert by any means. But maybe you are dreaming the things you are because your subconscience mind finds it easier to rationalize the events you have been through by these strange dreams. Don't be ashamed. We, unfortunately, have been abused individuals. It is hard to understand why and even harder to deal with trying to understand the aftermath. I hope you are able to get through it.
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replied October 26th, 2009
Helping Breaking the Cycle & understanding it.
It's hard to save someone who doesn't want saving. That's how my mother was & it's hard for them to save themselves, that's how the circle of abues keeps going. I'm not sure if it's true or not but I was told in my teens that abused children grow up and either becomes a abuser or the victim. I like to look at it this way, first I decided not to be the victim, so I did up marrying someone much weaker that me, then I became controling & headed toward the abusive side (verably), but you see the controling person is actully the one that is least in control. I reacted to things he did poorly. Then these actions controled me really, so you're out of control (& crazy). If you see what I mean, it's hard to explain & hard to understand. I tried so hard to make sure that I was never a victim to the point that I become just exactly what I didn't want. It sounds like you have became a strong person out of this or maybe you personality but your brother has choosen to be the victim he proably dated mean people too. Always seeking the approval that he will never get from your father unless he changes (my current husband feels people can change & I agree but they have to really try hard to do so. So, I look at the odds being 1 and a million or something.) Anyways, that's how I feel the circle works and runs in families. I'm from a long line of family abuse that goes for generations before me. I had to first deciede that I did not want to be the victim then I had to deciede that I wasn't going to be the abuser either. The best way I think to help him is to get him to quit being the victim, he doesn't have to stand up to your father to do that either, he may always be a victim there, I was as were my sisters, that never changed. He should first look at the relationships that he has with other people & if he is a victim there too, then he should deciede my father may treat me this way but no one else is going to. Of course if you could get him to move away just as you did then it's better for him. Which that's hard for him to do I'm sure. Sometimes starting small works good. Take the abused wife that decides to get a job, then she meets friends then she gets her self-condients back and is finally able to say no more. Sorry this is so long and like you I only have my own expeierance to go by.

By the way, I do believe there is something to my mind rationalize the events thing, in my dreams I'm always helpless, and trying to hopelessly protect something that is so very dear to me and I'm unable to protect whatever. I guess you could say that in those dreams I am again that victim, the child who couldn't get herself to call the police because I was too afraid. Good luck the damages runs very deep, so it's tough.
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Users who thank kimmill for this post: lil_scorpio 

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replied October 27th, 2009
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I, too, was abused as a child. For me, the nightmares continue. Even though I have gotten through all issues surrounding my abuse, I really don't think "all can be forgotten" or "time will heal your pain". There are some things that happen to people in their lives that are so tragic, it is hard to escape the nightmares. What has helped me is knowing that these are just bad dreams, that it is my brain's way of trying to rationalize what has happened, because, in all honesty, there is never an excuse nor answer for child abuse.
Breaking the cycle of abuse can be really simple or really difficult. I broke it by telling myself that I would never allow my children to feel the pain I did. That worked for me.
But I don't think you ever get rid of the pain, sure it lessens in time, however, it is still there.
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Users who thank motherofhighspiritedones for this post: lil_scorpio 

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replied October 27th, 2009
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Hi lil_scorpio,

I am just now seeing this post, although, it was posted May 4th...hopefully, you will still see this.

Call the domestic abuse hotline in your area. You can find this in your local yellow pages in the phone book or do search on your computer. Your brother is in grave danger, he could lose his life at the hands of your father. He isn't strong enough to help himself, so you will have to step in and be his protector. He is to socialogically, mentally, physically and verbally, abused to make any rational decisions. There are people who can and will help you...PLEASE LET THEM. Pick up the phone and call today. Although your brother is an adult, you can call child protective services and tell them your story they too will guide you as to what you need to do.

As for you, you need to join a support group and talk, talk, talk, talk. Social Services can help you find one...give then a call NOW please.

Keep us posted.

God Bless You,

Faded Rose
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Users who thank FadedRose for this post: lil_scorpio 

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replied October 31st, 2009
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Thank you, everybody, for the thoughtful help and info. I was about to give up hope, having posted this awhile back. I'm glad people are helping.

It is true, you can try to forgive and forget, but the pain is ALWAYS there somehow, however small.

I have tried to get my brother to move out and stay with me (we live in different states). He seems hesatint. I know he's scared, and worried about money, finding a job, etc. I've tried to find him a job but the keeps avoiding the subject.

My parents are treating him horribly right now and it breaks my heart. I keep saying and feeling that I want to save him, but can't. Like one member said, you can't save someone that doesn't want saving. But I KNOW he wants out. He calls and sounds so depressed, and it just hurts me. I'm not sure how to get it through his head that what's going on ISN'T right!!! How to convince him that he doesn't deserve this.

I will try the domestic abuse hotline. What have I got to loose?

Thanks again.
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replied November 1st, 2009
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I hope things work out for you lil-scorpio...Jenny
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Users who thank J3nnyuk for this post: lil_scorpio 

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replied November 7th, 2009
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lil-scorpio,

If your brother stay in that abusive relationship with his parents he will surely die, then how will you feel? He cannot make a rational decision for himself, he has been beaten down in every way possible, you have to take the lead here and call for outside help. Moving him in with you isn't a good idea, he is sick and his illness will only create a problem in your home that you don't need. He needs to be treated for years of physical, mental and socological abuse. I just pray you don't put this off another second and wake up to the news that he has taken his life or have died at the hands of his parents. Can you live with that? Go ahead make that domestic abuse hotline call...he would do it for you if he was in your situation and had your wits.

God Bless hon, keep us posted, we are here for you always.

God Bless,

Faded Rose
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Users who thank FadedRose for this post: lil_scorpio 

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replied November 12th, 2009
I grew up with abuse, and it socially and emotionally marred me. I never learned the value of self-importance, and most of my dreams since I was a child involved being chased down to be killed and sometimes, I just flew away, but in the end of all these dreams I'd eventually commit suicide. I did grow up with suicidal thoughts. My life took the turn-around after one longterm relationship where I moved in with his family. It didn't end well but I now see myself with a future, and I've become so much more mature about myself. But I never healed.
I avoid getting drunk with friends because when I do, all I get are flashbacks of being abused. It's the intoxicated state that reminds me of hints of how I felt hours into the abuse. I have scars all over my body, both of mine and mostly my parents. It's difficult when I get involved with relationships, because the man I am with gets too worried when he sees these scars when we are getting into the act of love. It ruins alot of nights.
I do not believe people who are abused will just forget about it one day. Grow more mature, yes, become numb to the fact, sure, but I do not believe it will ever go away. I moved back home a few months ago, the verbal and emotional abuse is still here, but almost like static, instead of a hurricane. Things are better, but at times, I could say they are much worse. Sometimes, it gets so dramatic and intense (I am a realistic person so this literally can drive me insane) that I would rather be abused than go through the poisonous words of hurt layered on hurt, and the lack of human freedom and self-importance I am fighting against.
My close friends keep telling me to move out, they're very worried for me, but I had made a vow to stay home until things get better, but it's too clear it wont ever get better. I try to be there for my parents as they probably have more problems than I do, but it is difficult because we barely know one-another.
Anyways, the dreams you have probably will not subside, and the emotions you have concerning your family wont go away. The only resolution i can ever see happening for the better, is if your brother goes out and works for himself, creating a stable environment for himself. But from the damage I've heard, I'm not sure if stability could ever be naturally intertwined with his future.
Please get back to me, and if you need anyone to talk to, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to spend hours talking to me about it, I'm here to listen.
But like I said, I am realistic, and realistically, from experience, things like this dont simmer, they only smooth over if treated effectively. It's kind of like trying to put lotion on sandpaper so it will be soft and smooth. The damage is already scarred.
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replied November 12th, 2009
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Pocahontas848,
Im sorry to hear that happening to you. It would be hard to get over abuse if your still living in an abusive situation.
Are you going to stay or planning on leaving/
Anyway,
everyone situation is different like i said my nightmares and bad dreams persist until my mid 20's. i kicked everyone out of my life that was negative, abusive or no good for me. over time the dreams went away, but i always had to battle depression.
i thought i would be depressed my whole life, but i am content most of the time and my life is different.
lil_scorpio can your brother live with you until he gets back on his feet.

I want to be positive and offer hope, and let you know i've been through the same thing and came out of it, and so can you.
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replied November 12th, 2009
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I hope things are better lil_scorpio....just remember we are here if you need to talk...Jenny
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Users who thank J3nnyuk for this post: lil_scorpio 

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replied November 14th, 2009
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I guess I'm just hesitant to comment anymore. I know that I should do something, I'm just not sure what. It feels that sometimes that same old feeling of "am I over-reacting?" comes back and I hesitate to take action. But deep down, I know I am not over-reacting. I just feel so confused. And how can I help him without causing a rift between us? I bring up these topics with him at times, and if he has just been in an arguement, then he agress and says he'll leave. If things have been going okay for awhile he tends to act distant and changes the subject. I'm just not sure....
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replied December 11th, 2009
Deep painful memories about childhood and adolescent abuse
I hate having nightmares about my mother. i'm 19 and though the abuse ended in 2005 with her untimely death, i get some really bad nightmares. Most of my nights involve crazy vivid nightmares during which i am running away from murderers and hiding from them only to be found no matter how hard i try to will them not to. I know that the murderers are really my mother's presence in a different form. Sometimes it is her in her normal state, who at one point shows affection only to have it go horribly wrong resulting her hurting me. I wake up crying from these dreams. Sometimes i try to fight her off and get away from her but she always catches me. I can feel her blows and hear her voice as if it were really happening. I try to keep my memories of the abuse in far reaches of my mind. I try to ignore it, focus on school and move on with my life but it's like a beaver dam holding back an ocean of pain. No matter how much distraction and cheer i pack into the dam, the bigger the holes get and the more the water streams through them. I try to scoop it into my cheer bucket and throw it back over the dam, plug up the holes with distraction, and walk toward my future. Only to have a huge leak that i have to run back to bail and plug up. I am afraid to tear down the dam and just feel my pain because it's too much and i dont know how to handle just one leak, never mind the whole ocean. I am afraid to release it because i am afraid of drowning in it. I've had enough with the pain, but i'm afraid to let it show itself and to face it.
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