what I want you to know: parenting after childhood abuse

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions.  It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s post is by an anonymous reader.


I was abused and neglected as a child. My mother and father were both alcoholics and drug addicts. My father was also very abusive to my mother. We grew up being scared every night from either hearing our mother get beat or because our parents were not home or maybe passed out. We went to bed hungry on many nights. Went to school dirty and hungry. I spent more than one Christmas visiting a parent in jail. I was made fun of, I was bullied. I later turned into the bully.

I am now a mother of 3. Those 3 kids mean the world to me. I would like to say that parenting them is not easy. I have to make sure that my past never affects them. Some people will say I spoil them, but they don't understand that I feel like I have to work harder to make sure they know they are loved and safe. I am very defensive when it comes to them. When someone questions my parenting, it hurts. 

Those years of being abused , come back to me everyday. I wish people understood that just because i am an adult now it doesn't mean I am over it. I have yelled at my kids then went in my room and cried because I feel like a horrible person for yelling. I am very over protective and keep my kids close to me at all times. I get told that I am smothering them. I am anti social. I struggle everyday with trying to raise "normal" kids and not push my issues on them. 

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