depression and chronic anxiety

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beaten throughout childhood and adolescence with canes, straps, sticks, curtain wire etc for being male. also beaten at home by both parents. aged 67, was at school in Durban, Natal, South Africa from 1953 to 1966. Natal schools regulations forbade the beating of girls. counselling profession seems to regard it as abuse but cannot condemn corporal punishment outright, like sexual abuse, for example. am unable to relate to women because of their violence to me when young and vulnerable.  many women who beat boys were active in the feminist movement in the 70s and 80s and some still are. anxiety, fury, sleeplessness, negative relationships. mental health professionals seem to regard my difficulties as a result of my own unwillingness to "move on", or they have a range of other pathological exhortations, like the "need to accept what happened", they can't say it was wrong because that would be a value judgement, nor can they condemn it. If you think you would like to reply to this, try one or two simple direct questions, rather than making suggestions, thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi there

    Sorry to hear you struggling with depression and anxiety.

    I was a victim of abuse when I was a child and have issues relating to males... very fearful etc... I am in late 30's and it still affects me and I have made several attempts on my own life because of it. So I understand how difficult it is living with the effects of childhood abuse.

    Are you receiving any counselling or psychotherapy? Have you spoken to your gp about you're depression..

    Take care

    Lisa

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    • Posted

      Thanks for bravely attempting a reply. Firstly I have to give you some information about corporal punishment before answering your 2 questions. Corporal Punishment is not recognised as abuse by our government or by the Children's commissioner. It is not recognised historically as abuse by the law and is still allowed by law. A little smack surely does not harm children, I was told by a clergyman some while ago. Its been made illegal in schools but parents still have the right to hit children. The law insists that it was not wrong when I was beaten, simply because judges said it was not. It is wrong now because judges say it is. So you can understand that this is not just my pathology, but it is the pathology of the legal professions, the teaching profession and of the government also. The position of the counselling profession is that they cannot make a value judgement as to whether hitting a child is wrong or not. They can state it is abuse, although some of them also refuse to admit it as abuse. So we are not talking about anything like sexual abuse. The emotional effects of CP are different, the long term consequences are different and there is a particular difficulty that as a sexual abuse survivor you do not have - that is that there is no information about it. Library and bookshop shelves groan under the weight of hundreds of titles about sexual abuse, but you will not find one practical book aimed at helping the survivor of corporal punishment to cope. You cannot and must not (if you want to help the survivor) bring the same beliefs and understandings to corporal punishment as you do to other issues. You do not have, as a sexual abuse survivor, to cope with people in positions of power and responsibility who refuse to condemn what happened to you.

      To take your second question first, why don't you try talking to your own GP about the beatings you had as a child? See what her response is. You will soon find out why I never mention it to the emotionally stunted wilfully ignorant ninnys masquerading as GPs in my own local surgery. Most of the older ones were also beaten as children and if I raise the issue, it awakens the terror and shame they experienced when they were children and they become frozen and unresponsive and sometimes, angry. My doctor is a Muslim and is unable, just like many devout Christians, to respond in any way at all. He simply does not reply when I raise the issue. He remains Silent with a capital S. He is emotionally disconnected as a serial killer.

      In answer to your first question, I have had hundreds of hours of 1 2 1 counselling as well as group work over the last 30 years. I feel seriously let down by the profession which, like my Muslim doctor is willfully ignorant, blind and stupid when it comes to corporal punishment in a way you do not have to suffer with as a  sexual abuse survivor.

      My question to you is: what is the nature of the abuse you suffered?

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for giving me more of a background. I guess i cant relate to the corporal punishment as I have never had to deal with being punished in that way.

      I do understand how it feels to feel like the professionals and services have let you down..

      Regarding my Go, I guess i am lucky as mines seemed to be fairly understanding.

      To answer you're questions I was physically and emotionally/mentally abused throughout childhood and teens. Was severely bullied at school. And my sister's and I suffered neglect.

      Lisa x

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, Lisa. You appear to be quite a level person. It would have been better for me, more helpful for me if you had said "I have never been abused in this way" rather than speak of punishment. Because Corporal Punishment is not recognised as abuse. I'm sure your GP is fine with what happened to you, it doesn't trigger her. If you start talking about corporal punishment, you would find her NOT LISTENING. In what way is physical abuse not corporal punishment? How is it different? I mean its the application of pain to force a particular behaviour. Was not that the case with the physical abuse you suffered?

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  • Posted

    I think that you have to accept that the women concerned were man haters under the umbrella of feminists but using that as excuse to gain the upper hand.  I am sorry that you have suffered so much.  I should find someone prepared to listen rather than make you feel upset. you may never forgive them but it may prove one solution in a healing process. Re the truth trials in South Africa after the end of aparteid.

    I definitely would recommend you doing some group therapy with men who have endured similar problems so maybe you could start up a self help group within your community.

    I hope you have some success with this and wish you all the best 

     

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    • Posted

      yes my Dad would hit me as punishment sometimes because my sister used to wind me up and because I reacted to this my Dad would turn on me as a reaction. In later life he is loving and caring but often in denial when I ask him questions about something which I find really annoying and questions my sanity.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your honest and heartfelt reply, Richard. I can see that you have suffered very badly as a child and continue to have negative feelings about your father. Your father is a typical child abuser in that when challenged he Denies it and attempts to blame the victim. I'm not certain of the last phrase of your sentence where you say "and questions my sanity". Do you mean that when you challenge your dad on his past abuse of you, he pretends you are mad? Because if so, I can tell you that you are not. It takes great presence of mind and great courage to talk about one's corporal punishment experience and to be truthful about it. It seems to me that your father is an emotionally very sick individual. Have you ever thought that?

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    • Posted

      I don't fully agree with you as the punishments were justified. He only hit me when I upset my sister who went to him and I got hit as a result. I don't think of my dad as sick or brutal. It was acceptable then because the law was different. He denies my thinking because I have schizophrenia and he does not believe what I am thinking as true a because I may have distorted thinking (a symptom) or he does not want to accept that I heard a conversation and let me know what I heard was true.

      That is the basic resentment I have that he never lets me in to his world even when I hear snippets of it. However he counters this by saying everything that he has done in his day which can be boring and mundane. And while he is reeling off his list I often get left out.

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    • Posted

      Are you insisting in any way that what my father did was "not wrong", Richard?

      So can I just sum up what you are saying: because the law was different then, when your father beat your buttocks with an implement so you screamed and screamed in pain, for "upsetting" your sister, it was "not wrong."

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    • Posted

      no abuse is never OK  I just forgave my  father  over a long period of time and  now we are good friends.

      In your case I think the hurt may not disappear after a long time.  I am not accusing you for not forgiving

      but I hope you find some inner peace in time and maybe you will become stronger and feel less of a victim but one of life's winners.

      My father beat me because I hurt my sister so although it was perhaps not good it taught me not to be violent despite the continual wind ups that my sister used because she knew how to make me angry 

       

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    • Posted

      What you are doing Richard, is sneering at me. Its OK, I understand that is your defense against your emotional pain that I have reawakened. I have had counselors tell me I am immature, exhorting me to "move on" and also many other survivors have said to me exactly what you are saying "You need to get some counseling/ don't be a victim, be a winner (that's a real old chestnut!). What you are actually doing is giving me what your father has given you - invalidation, denial and a barely repressed anger. Actually, I am honourable, extremely courageous and knowledgeable individual - despite all the lies and insults from so many people including your good self, I have persisted in talking or at least trying to talk about the issue, despite your insults and even threats. I've had men screaming at me in fury in men's groups, where the whole room was ready to tear me to pieces. So don't insult me as being a victim. I am a victim and I am vulnerable, but I insist on speaking out because it is part of what I am and I am tired of doing what you do - denying that I am still hurt by what was done to me. You might fool yourself, but you don't fool me with your unasked for condescending advice. It is the hurt little boy inside you that sneers and denies, Richard, not the mature man. Be very certain that I will never insult you and I will never sneer at your pain. I am not here to take advantage of you or make money out of you or even dump all my troubles on you. You are attempting to portray yourself as a wise knowledgeable person who has completely overcome your own corporal punishment issues and who is completely invulnerable. Actually, you are in deep emotional distress. If you want to you can use me to go deeper into this issue or you can run away. I've been talking to groups and individuals about this issue for thirty years, I've wasted money on well over 100 hours of 1 2 1 counselling and have attended workshops. I am well aware of your desperate efforts to evade the truth about what happened to you and of the tricks you might try and play to avoid the truth which is so painful for you. You are as hurt vulnerable as anyone else in a society which consists of vulnerable people. Peace!

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