Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Is he really a victim?

I just want the share a story, it isn't my story, but it is the story of how i have to live with victim blaming daily. You see this story is about my husband and while i did experience some abuse in my childhood it is nothing compared to what my husband had to endure.

Now most of his abuse wasn't physical, most of the physical abuse stopped when his father left, but his "poor now divorced mother" kept abusing him and his sisters in a very real verbal and mental way.

Now i understand that about 40 years ago help for single moms was almost non existent but when i hear him opening up about some situation he experienced as a child and how he thinks that it was normal behavior, i can only shudder on how much more is there that he isn't telling me about.

One of the first things he remembers as a child is him sitting under his mothers desk for the whole day, as she taught school in a special ed school...you know i understood that she had to bring her kids to school since most likely she didn't have help...but i cant get that picture out of my mind, 4 kids crammed under the desk for 8 hours and they were not allowed to leave once...why couldn't she just let them sit at a table? Why did she put him in such a submissive position?

It didn't make sense till he told me another story, about how he was made to sit on his head and bow his head every time they went into the car, he wasn't allowed to look up or move at all. This time i realized that his parents must of been very controlling.

Until he told me that one night his parent had put him "into the corner" for misbehaving and his mom woke up around 3 am to go to the bathroom and found him and just then realized that the "forgot" him in the corner. How can you forget your child in the living room corner when you sit there and watch TV 4 ft away from him.

He tells me that spankings always happened with a "belt or a switch they had to get themselves". His dad took him to truck stops often, and he spend hours and hours laying in the back of the truck in the cold for his dad to finish his business.

I asked him once if he could tell me a happy Childhood memory that didn't involve him sitting on his hands, standing in the corner or sitting under a desk...and he couldn't.

Now how does this anything with victim blaming? To this day my mother in law cares nothing about my husband, can not tell him she loves him...she favors his sisters and you know the reason? My husband is the only boy, a image of his father...the man that she hates and she chose to take all the hate she had for his father on him.

I don't know if she was a willing participant in the abuse, or if she just kept going after the father was gone.

But fact is that i finally after 10 years convinced my husband to finally break contact with his family, so that he can start moving forward and finally heal.


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