TED Conversations

Mathew Naismith

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Who’s had a rough or violent upbringing?

I could wright a book titled Guns Knives Brass Buckles & Soap. The soap bit sounds lame but it’s just as deadly as the rest. Please keep your replies as small as posssible.

+1
Share:
progress indicator
  • Feb 24 2013: Physical abuse creates emotional damage too.
    Mental/emotional/psychic abuse, to me is longer lasting, more damaging and harder to deal with.
    I remember being forced to stand still, had to be still so I wouldn't die, and have bullets fired from high-powered rifles,
    as close to my head as possible. I could feel them through my hair, on my skin, all while begging and pleading for the shooter to stop.
    My father held a knife to my throat while he told me he was going to kill me and break into my bedroom where my mother was hiding, and butcher her. At 16 I had to talk him down, talk him through it and keep my mother safe.
    Later, I tried to kill my father and failed, twice, for which I felt a failure most of my life.
    Crazy-making was common, such as coming home, finding my mother all bloody and hiding in the closet and asking what happened? My father told me, "nothing, and don't you ever tell anyone!" Well, if nothing happened, why can't I tell anyone? Crazy-making. He used to hit me and then laugh about how much "I hurt his hand!" because he hit so hard.
    This started at age 6 months and believe it or not, my older brother suffered the worst of it. Mine lasted until I left home in my late teens. The Church and religion back my parents.

    In1988 I was watching a program on TV and there was a quote which went like this: "Parents are a child's worst enemy." I thought it absolutely sickening and ridiculous. Now, 25 years later, I realize and believe it is 100% true.
    I see it everywhere. Here's one way I see it:

    The victims are like all victims of any kind of long-term abuse. They identify with the abuser or abusers, & they support their abusers invasions of other countries, they support and tolerate the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and children, and they enjoy the fruits stolen from other lands and peoples, which produce great amounts of collateral starvation, poverty, inequality, slavery, disease, excruciating misery & death.
    In short, Amerikans.
    • Comment deleted

      • Feb 25 2013: Hi Don.

        Justice won't be delivered. It's as simple as that. My life has not been as bad as others I know of and see wherever I go. That gives a bit of perspective at times, which can help.
        The reality is that over time, there have people, organizations, and other forms involving humans, in which horrible, horrible things have been done to others. The perpetrators lived their lives, many of them never being found out, made accountable or ever stopped, in some cases. The victims lived horrible lives, lives sometimes forever ruined long before they got to live them, eventually died, and that was that. Those who hurt others also died, but without ever having to account for their actions.
        People want to believe there will be some kind of justice in some "next life". I understand that wish, but it just ain't so. There is no way to prove any of it. It is just wishful thinking, another form of
        d..e..n..i..a..l.......Don't...Even...No...I...Am...Lying

        I personally don't believe in such things as karma or hope.They are both false to me. I abhor lies and prefer the truth no matter what it is.
        I have one thing I know and I trust it completely. I have found through my own experience, that it seems most people don't really trust what it is they say they believe in, particularly when it comes to a nightmare.
    • Comment deleted

      • Feb 25 2013: Hi Kate.
        I had no techniques for surviving it. Perhaps, leaving my body is a technique of survival. I have read it is something that younger people do and to varying degrees.
        I know that I didn't know I had a mind until I was almost 20 years of age and was totally surprised when I realized that. But I also knew (had no words, no one to talk to, no understanding of it, hard to explain), by the time I was 5 that I was a completely f _ _ _ ed up human being. I just knew it. Over time it would reveal itself to me but it always was automatic, immediate and all consuming. It's been that way for all my life.
        What I finally realized is that I never had me. That was destroyed between 3 and 5. Still don't have me. Never will have me. I don't know who that is. When people call my name I still wonder who in the hell are they talking to?
        At least I finally know that now. I am filled with rage, hatefulness and unforgiveness and I know that is what I will leave with. That will not change. That is the residue of it all. That's my pile of dust.
        I did many years of therapy, workshops, spiritual practices, belief in God, giving myself to God and over time my life worsened and never got better.
        I finally realized from experience that after visiting the bottom of the abyss, why hope is false, faith is no different than hope and knowing is the only thing to trust.
        I can only sum up this life, this way.
        The mind creates the abyss, and the heart must cross this.
        Apparently, I fell in.
    • thumb
      Feb 24 2013: G’day Random Chance

      This is a good point you bring up about global abuse, it makes what my siblings & I went through menial & it is in a way to the global problem.

      I think certain cultures & certain social levels do have an abusive hereditary problem, if you look at a poorer country or family the abuse is usually local but for example you have a multinational or a multinational country their abuse is going to be more widely spread.

      I personally don’t really believe that parents are a child’s worst enemy as it can go either way, my wife had caring loving parents however some parents are very much a child’s worst enemy.

      Love
      Mathew
      • Feb 25 2013: Hi Mathew.
        a survey in 2009 revealed that more parents in America, are lying more often, about more things, to their children. At early ages, I believe lying is the beginning cause of mental illness, which Americans suffer from in large numbers.
        According to the last Comorbidity Replication Survey that I read, more than half the American population is suffering from mental illness and it is spreading and growing. This next point is amazing. This mental illness now begins at age 11. It can and does, go 20 years before being noticed, diagnosed and treated. This means that most Americans are extremely mentally ill (they are neurotic which is believing in things that are not real) but cannot recognize it because everyone around them is ill.
        It begins with parents who may not physically harm but are doing even greater damage to kid's psyches, and that is child abuse. They look normal and the refrain they use for the BS they teach is, "it's for the good of the child."
        Lying to children in their early years creates a split in their psyche, it is my theory. That split is a small, beginning split from reality. Being split from reality is known as psychosis and it can and is, manipulated later on in life as adults. This manipulation widens the crack, effectively splitting people further from themselves and thus, further from one another, which is very crucial politically.
        Think of it this way. An animal that cannot or does not trust its instincts, will perish almost immediately, at the nature of another animal.
        A human that cannot or does not trust its instincts, will become mentally ill and eventually go insane.
        Insane is to not know the difference between right and wrong, good or bad, true or false.
        A description of insane behavior is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. i.e. voting
        Wm. Casey, Head of CIA 1981 "We will know when our program of disinformation is complete when everything the American public believes, is false."
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Mar 3 2013: G’day Don

      Really sorry to hear of your dilemma, victims are so often treated worse than the perpetrator because if it wasn’t for the perpetrators in the first place most of the legal fraternity would be out on the streets.

      Love
      Mathew
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Feb 23 2013: G'day Kate

      I have a brother & sister who have carried it on but funny enough my eldest brother who copped the worst of it is fine maybe because he became a reborn again Christian which was hard to take when he went into a bible bashing mode but it saved him & his family from further abuse.

      The funny thing is some people think abuse only happens in feral families, we weren’t feral just an everyday so called normal family. It was so funny when people came to visit, my parents changed completely but after the guest left it was back to normal, it’s funny to look back on.
      Love
      Mathew
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Feb 24 2013: G’day Kate

          Now you’re going to find this funny…..No we didn’t help my brother through this however in saying that we did keep in touch & we spoke about the family a lot but I also did this with my second eldest brother as well, I suppose really he didn’t seem as aggressive with his step daughters but that could be for other reasons as well

          Being brought up on the country I think religious people where just as bad as anyone else they just covered it up better.

          Now for the good bit……Yes my parents are still alive & yes I have tried to reconcile with them but you see I was always the one who brought out the ugly side of our family by trying to talk about it & was accused of causing trouble in the family. They will not face what they have done especially my mother. I did have a chat with my father down the street a while ago as my sister & mother weren’t around, my dad was nearly in tears while talking to me.

          The strangest thing is I would have shot my father without giving it a second thought if he belted my mother even at 9-10 yrs , we did, on occasions, have a good time with them when they were calm.

          Another strange thing is they knew but they didn’t know what they were doing at the same time, they just didn’t want to face what they were doing as this would have put them in the same shoes as there abusive parents. You know the thing is I understand however abuse is abuse & can never be forgotten as it’s hard enough to just give!!!

          Love
          Mathew
  • thumb
    Feb 25 2013: Matthew you might like to read the works of Alice Miller and have a look at books about intergenerational coping mechanisms (dysfunctional ones). Have had several conversations lately with people locally on much the same theme ie how come no matter how hard you try to be 'different' from your parents and resolve to never ever be like they were, it just keeps coming back to bite you. Not sure what Kate Blake meant about 'horrible deaths' but all I can say to you Matthew is try and stay in the 'here and now' . Do very much agree with what you are saying about the global disease of abuse and it's long term effects. Breaking away from dangerous family relationships is great. As Don has pointed out, it takes huge strength to keep going. Know there is research about the neurological effects of childhood abuse and am trying to check this out. I understand the terminology to be to do with the 'comedrone' of nueorological functioning (sorry if spelt wrong). Do also agree that in a product and market lead economy where there is this idea that a product will fix the problem going to get that 'contamination of a community' effect - think it is colloqially known as the 'one bad apple' syndrome. Matthew want you to remember you are a survivor and it might be so helpful to you to work as a mentor with young teenage boys in particular, just as part of the 'fight-back' against the long-term effects of abuse. Yes would definately agree for a child seeing their parents behave in one way around them and in a completely different way when visitors come is possibly the most damaging of all because it totally messes up your trust in yourself, as you said.
    • thumb
      Feb 27 2013: G’day Elizabeth

      Thanks for the info………It’s funny, I was working with disabled people for a while who had massive physical & mental traumas to deal with which also included abuse from a variety of sources including the government in how they shuffle these people around, they would start one project then dump it after a while then start up another & so on. Every time the government dumped a program these people felt betrayed & unwanted.

      I was tutoring them in woodworking, numeracy & literacy but I wasn’t qualified to do so, according to my boss I was better trained in life skills than other highly educated teachers & tutors in the organisation, I was the man for the job & I did so well until the government dumped the disabled scheme once again. There wasn’t a set program to tutor these people by so I made up my own that worked maybe too well as it made other better trained people look silly but that’s life.

      Love
      Mathew
      • thumb
        Feb 27 2013: G'day mate - so very proud of you. You have noted that 'mind-set' that makes already vulnerable people even less of a person and more of an 'object'. In the UK at the moment we have a government that seems hell-bent on ripping away any quality of life for those who are unable to access the job-market. The last several months have been filled with media reports about benefit 'scroungers' and the new Personal Independence Payment that is replacing Disability Allowance is set to potentially remove 500,000 claimants more. The assessment procedure has been designed to reduce the number of claimants, end of story but it actually is going to have the effect of pauperising and isolating people. That's when the really nasty stuff happens 'out of sight'. In the current economic climate many services are being 'contracted out' to business organisations and the chance to live independantly in the community and to experience a safe, tolerant, dare I say 'loving and inclusive' care service is getting scarcer by the day. So if it takes 'evidence-based' practice frameworks to get funding to get a more long term project off the ground would you go for it? Not sure if allowed to mention specific organisations here on TED but you might like to look at the Princess Royal Carer's Trust website. Another organisation is www.stophateuk.org. So someone has something wrong with their body or mind so what they still have potential. BTW still think you are great for having the courage to be aware of your past and how it still impacts you. Do you like the 'Black Dog' psych books ?
        • thumb
          Feb 27 2013: G’day Elizabeth

          It is so sad how we treat our fellow human being; it would be much kinder if we euthanized anyone who is in great distress/trauma than to just kick them around like this.

          The problem with me is I am restricted within my abilities as I also have a disability from child hood neglect from the age of six so taking on a project of significants is really out of the question unless I had adequate support & I don’t think that will happen as I’m not academically qualified.

          There are so many people out there like me it’s not funny. While working with the disabled I had volunteers come in to assist who also had some sort of disability to cope with, some of them after a while working with me & my clients found work within the disability industry as well. I had one volunteer older than me who was very emotional & unsettled; we gave him the confidents to obtain a job within the disability industry after a while.

          My clients weren’t just teaching me but the volunteers that came in to help as well. I had one bloke say to me after a while that he didn’t think much of these disabled people at all before coming here, he too found work within the industry.

          What I was supposed to do & what I did was two different things, I was supposed to treat my clients as subhuman if you know what I mean, instead I treated them, within reason, just like I would anyone else in a workshop or class room situation & they loved it. Most of them were very conscious in the way they were & the way they were being treated.

          I haven’t had time to read anything else at the moment as I’m presently reading three small books on the philosophical view of the consciousness, mind & brain & the psych which is quite heavy for an unlearned person.

          Love
          Mathew
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2013: G'day Kate

    Yes it is a disease & it's a disease I will have to be aware of within myself for the rest of my life but I am one of the lucky ones who are at least aware. Random Chance brought up a good point that it’s just not a disease of families but a worldwide disease, very few people are aware of this disease affecting the world globally as it’s no different to abuse in families except it affects a lot more people.

    Love
    Mathew
  • Comment deleted

    • Comment deleted

  • thumb
    Feb 22 2013: G'day TED Friends

    My eldest brother had a knife held to his throat also he was belted that much he stopped breathing & even then he was still belted. I came close to shooting both my parents at the age of 8-9 years of age, one bullet narrowly missing my mother’s head. We had holes in doors & walls because of parental rage. I was suffocating while I had a cake of soap stuffed down my throat & so on it went.
    But in saying all this I also understand my parent’s plight while they were growing up as well, abuse just leads to more abuse.

    Love
    Mathew
    • thumb
      Feb 23 2013: I'm glad you came through okay.

      That soap thing may have been more common than you might think. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing_out_mouth_with_soap

      20% of students at one Massachusetts College in 2006 reported that that punishment had been used on them.
      • thumb
        Feb 23 2013: G'day Fritzie

        Washing out the mouth with soap was just rubbing the soap on the tongue or in the moth no down the throat, I was choking on it because it was in my lungs, I thought I was going to die but what got me was the look on my parent’s face, utterly no remorse but what seemed like enjoyment.

        My parents went through simular treatment; they really didn’t know any better especially when they lost it but I stopped that rot with me with a fair bit of effort. Maybe that’s why a turned towards the spiritual who knows so something good came out of it!!!

        Love
        Mathew
        • thumb
          Feb 23 2013: I think that punishments offered by a parent in a state of anger may go in the kind of direction you describe more often than you may think.

          While abuse and other parenting habits often repeat across generations, I think it is probably just as often that a child reacts as you have by rejecting these sorts of punishments for their own kids.
    • Comment deleted

      • thumb
        Feb 24 2013: G’day Don

        Utterly agree Don……..So many people want to bury the past without facing it, it’s a hell of a lot easier in the long run to face it first up than let it fester away.

        I didn’t get married until I was forty because I still had issues myself to deal with. I told my wife before we got married all about my family & myself, anyway we were engaged for about eight years so she knew me & my family well enough or so she thought. She spent every day for a week before we got married crying about what my parents & sister where doing to disrupt our lives as much as possible. Just after that I finally turned my back on my parents & sister, if I didn’t do this I most probably would have lost my wife.

        This sort of thing can either tear you down or build you up, I chose the latter as anything else is futile.

        Sorry to hear that you went through what you did, life‘s not fair at times.

        Love
        Mathew