Long History of Mental Abuse

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m an 18yr old high school drop out. I’ve suffered from mental abuse since I was around three..but now that I can actually get out on my own, I can’t because my stepdad has trapped me.
I guess I’ll start from the beginning. I’ve never met my biological father. My mom had left him when I wasn’t even a year old yet. When I was two, almost three, my mom starting dating my stepdad. They got a place together and eventually got married when I was around six. My stepdad has mentally & phisically abused me. When I was little, I was a skinny, entergetic, little girl. Then my stepdad decided I wasn’t eating enough so he started making me eat more food at dinner then he could. Half the time my mom would wait til he left the kitchen then throw it away, then they’d fight about it all the time. They fought alot over how he treated us kids. one time he hit me in the head with a plastic baseball bat my dog chewed up and cut y head open. My mom left him for like three days then we were back. Stuff like this continued until I was 13, then they got a divorce.

Finally, I thought to myself I can get away from him. Well my mom met a guy, who shes now married to. She kicked me out because I confronted her new man about wasting all of the rent money on pills. The only other place for me to go was back to my stepdads. It was different for the first few months when I moved back out, but his act wore off. Instead of forcing me to eat 2 heaping plates at each meal, he started the mental abuse. Putting me down about my weight & other things. Then he got me a car. When that happened I was never home. I was always gone to escape him. He didn’t care. thats what he really wanted, for me to be out of his hair so he could bring a different girl home every night from the bar. I was basically just the housemaid, he’d call when the house needed work, or he needed groceries. But his plans backfired. He thought he was sterile, well aparently not, because now he has a ten month old little girl. He really started being mean when she came home. He had to fight with the CPS for months before she came home. Then he started acting like I was supposed to take care of her ALL of the time. He stared cussing me out at least twice a day. Well finally on monday feb 21st, he starts yelling at me, telling me I’m worthless & that i never do anything for anyone but myself & things like that. I told him how i felt about how he’d been treating me lately and he said fine, get the f*** out. It’s been a week now and havent talked to him. I’m stuck and I dont know what to do. My car broke down yesterday, my cellphone broke so all the job applications I put in cant call now. And no one can help me. It just seems like I’m going to have to go back out to him like he wants, and have to continue putting up with his abuse. But for me thats not an option. I dont know if you’ll be able to tell me any advice, but I jus needed to tell somebody my story. Thanks for your time.

A: You are right. What you are describing is abuse and neglect. None of the so-called adults in your life seem very adult at all. I’m worried for you. I’m worried for your little half-sister. It must feel to you like there is nowhere to turn. Going back to your stepdad doesn’t feel like an option but you don’t see others.

At 18, you no longer qualify for help from CPS, it’s true. But you can probably get help from the local domestic violence program. The phone number for the Family Crisis Intervention Center is 304-428-2333 or 1-800-794-2335. There also appears to be a food pantry and a homeless shelter within 20 miles of your town. Often such places have counselors on site who can help you figure out where to get the supports you need. Meanwhile, if you need someone to talk to, call the Boys and Girls Town Hotline at 800-448-3000. Counselors are available 24/7 to help young people like yourself.

I’m so very sorry you didn’t get the kind of family every child deserves to have. But you don’t have to accept your stepdad’s judgment of you. Therre is so much more to you than being a “high school dropout.” Your letter shows that you have a core of strength in you that you can build on once you are more on your own.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Long History of Mental Abuse. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/03/15/long-history-of-mental-abuse/