How Being Abusive Helped Me Forgive My Abusers

I used to carry enough anger for every victim of child abuse and then some until I discovered my anger kept me clinging to violence.

When abuse happens inside the home, it’s difficult to escape your abuser even after you are grown. My sisters and I ran opposite directions. We each had different traumas and different symptoms in reaction to those traumas. We were so young.

My oldest sister left town and changed her name twice; severing all ties with the family, including me. My other sister dove into college. When the trauma of sexual assault found her inside the dorm, she ran into the Air Force. Next, she ran to love. While she’s happily married, she draws so much distance from the family, she might as well be gone. Me? I stayed. I am still holding on.

It took a long time to understand and forgive my sisters. It came with a unique kind of pain. While there are great sacrifices in running from your past and great triumphs to be gained, choosing to stay can be the same.

Choosing to stay can be healing if the abuse has stopped and you’re willing to put that anger away. I hear people say,

Abuse is a choice!

I agree. I hear them say,

You abuse because you were abused?! Bullsh*t!
You abuse because you’re an abuser.

Deep down, there’s a piece of me that feels the same way. I know that anger. I know that pain. Those statements and feelings are valid, but they don’t create healing or change. People are not born abusive. Something makes them that way.

I was barely a teenager the first time I hit my sister. I had been watching a movie on Lifetime. At the beginning, a man abandoned his three kids at a gas station. It showed them standing with their toys and belongings. The youngest was screaming as he drove away when I grabbed the remote to turn it off. I headed to my bedroom, fuming with anger, as my sister headed the other way, and I hit her. I hit her and I didn’t feel a thing! I don’t even know why I did it.

I have no memory of the rest of that day, but I do remember the day I hit my mother after she was done belittling me and calling me names. I blamed myself for the abuse after that. I felt like I must’ve deserved it because I did the exact same thing.

If I believe what the majority say, I am an abuser. But I believe I was a victim. I believe my actions and my anger were controlled by other things. It took years to identify and understand those things. It took years to forgive myself for violence beyond my control and convince myself it’s okay to let go of those mistakes. It took years to release the guilt. I still carry the pain.

Because of those experiences, I can look at my abusers and identify the same kind of causes and distinguish their pain. Does that validate the abuse? Does it negate the consequences of child abuse? Does it mean my abusers didn’t have the choice to change? No.

Am I making excuses for them by recognizing how domestic violence and degenerative illness caused my life to be this way? In my younger days, I did. I don’t allow myself to do that anymore. Still, the elements of abuse haven’t changed.

Being able to identify why the abuse happened helped bring understanding. It helped me offer my parents insight into their abuse and the sickness that caused it. It opened the doors to forgiveness that many victims lock before throwing the keys away. It helped bring healing in the middle of pain.

Some people do abuse because they were abused. If they can’t talk about it, if we’re too busy labeling them as abusers instead of acknowledging they were victims; if we can’t show them the why behind the violence, how can they change?

I escaped the abuse. I stayed to break the cycle.

And I’m stronger for it.


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I Wish I Had Been Abused By Gender Ideology

The American College of Pediatricians announced, “Gender Ideology Harms Children.”

In fact, they labeled families who endorse it or have children who struggle with disorders that might embrace gender ideology as “abusive.”

I’m not a scholar, and I certainly do not write for the American Psychological Association, but I have some expertise in the area. If you ask me, the notion is lacking and dangerous.

As a child, I could have used some gender ideology in my home.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome started causing hormonal imbalance by the age of eight. A disorder that medical professionals and researchers still do not know much about today; a disorder not so uncommon to those who struggle with gender identity or who fall amongst the transgender community.

So, I want to tell you about being abusive firsthand.

Abusive is when a disorder or illness is ignored because of cosmetic ideations based on social and cultural norms. Abusive is watching your child become a disfigured “woman” because medical treatments go uncovered or unattempted.

Abusive is watching your child live so uncomfortably in his/her own skin that he/she cannot look in the mirror, go to school every day, go on a date, attend prom or hang out at the mall with friends, but doing absolutely nothing to change it.

Abusive is a system so concerned with professional (and financial) acceptance that it labels those who struggle with finding themselves, those who struggle with feeling like a boy or a girl, abnormal. Freaks. Sinners. Impure.

Abusive is a system that leaves those who struggle with gender identity holding up help signs in the middle of busy streets while their screams are being ignored!

We had a lot of that kind of abuse in my family. The cuts and the bruises still have not healed.

I wish I had been abused by gender ideology.

I wish I had been abused by controversial perspectives and unorthodox treatment options, instead of a mother who made me feel like a boy. I wish I had been abused by something that gave me a little hope in this darkened world! But I wasn’t.

I was, however, abused by the system. I was abused by religious culture, broken health care policies, and systematic neglect like the American College of Pediatricians just set the foundation for, and I’m writing this today, in case I never get my doctorate, to say this:

We are not all the same, and many of us out there need medical professionals to remember what and who they are fighting for.

Oklahoma cited this research when writing yet another state bill to fight against coed bathrooms in schools. Oklahoma used this research to justify why it is okay that state discrimination and abuse of the transgender and LGBT community continues to go ignored.

I hold the American College of Pediatricians responsible.


Brecheen, J. (2017). SJR 36. oklegislature.gov. Retrieved 14 February 2017, from http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=sjr36

Gender Ideology Harms Children. (2016). American College of Pediatricians. Retrieved 14 February 2017, from https://www.acpeds.org/…/pos…/gender-ideology-harms-children

This Will Hurt You More Than It Hurts Me

There is no gray blur.