How to Recover From an Abusive Past!

Here’s my story of a 6-year abusive friendship, and how I moved on.

Over the course of six years, I was in an abusive friendship. It was a physical and mental abuse that affected me well after the end of it. I have since forgiven the “friend,” and want to share how I did it. It might help you overcome your past, might not.

When I was 8 years old, I met the new kid in my building. Let’s call him Max. He was a few months younger than me. The two of us became close friends. Even when he moved to a city about an hour away during the following year, we still spent weekends together. Our friendship lasted for about 8 years. We had a few months worth of breaks in between, as I did have enough sense to walk away at least temporarily.

The bullying started around 10 years old. It was a systematic thing that worsened over time. It began with small things like getting a little too angry when I accidentally caused us both to lose in a game. From there, he moved onto peer pressuring me into things like stealing candy from stores. In our final years, he was beating me up just for the hell of it.

Literally, just for the hell of it. We could be watching TV, and he’d suddenly punch me in the face. We could be playing cards, and he’d cheat right in front of me, then beat me up for confronting him. The beatings were so bad that I would feel the bruises and aches for weeks.

When we were about 15, he came up with the idea to have me walk around a nearby city with a tin can and ask people for donations. If you’re new to this blog, I have a pretty noticeable birth defect, which is how he got the idea. He’d follow me from afar to make sure I was safe. We’d be out there for hours, and we did this whenever I was at his place for the weekend. Yes, our parents knew what we were doing.

To be honest, I was okay with this at first because it was easy money. After the first few weeks, I wanted to stop. I was afraid of getting caught, I was upset because this became a major part of our “friendship,” and Max was cheating me out of some of the money. But he wanted to keep going, so we did for several months.

One of many times I told Max I wanted to stop the donations scam, he lit a metal lighter for a few seconds. Then he grabbed my arm and held the hot, metal part against my arm, leaving a mark. His mother later found the mark, and asked me what happened. With a casual tone that people use when telling someone the time, Max told her what he did. His mother yelled at him and hit him. Then she told me that if he ever hits me again, tell her.

Which leads to the question that everyone is wondering: why did I rarely tell anyone what Max was doing? Well, for starters, making friends was very difficult for me, and he was the closest thing I had to a friend. If he were to end our friendship or our parents were to make me stop hanging out with him, I wouldn’t have any friends at all. That was so scary to me that the beatings were worth the 40% of the time when he was actually nice to me. Another reason is that I was holding onto the past. We were close when we were kids, and I thought that we could get back to level of friendship at some point.

The last time I spoke to Max was in either 2004 or 2005. He had called me to ask if I’d go to his place for the weekend. I told him that I wasn’t going to be there, and that we were no longer friends. Of course, this led to an argument. His final words to me were “Next time I see you, I’m fucking you up.”

Just like that, it was over. I still haven’t seen Max since the week before this conversation. As time went by, I got over our drama.

In 2011, I was talking to a success coach about negative beliefs. He explained that events from our past can create beliefs that cause us to subconsciously sabotage the things we do today. In this case, he wanted to know about past negative events regarding money. The only thing that came to mind was Max’s donations idea, and I didn’t see how that could block my attempts to earn money. I told the coach, which led to me also telling him about the abuse.

Our conversation led to an amazing revelation: I hadn’t gotten over Max. I was holding onto some lessons that I learned the hard way from him. I had trust issues and, ironically, a fear of getting close to people. I was also afraid of rejection. Hardly the best qualities for an entrepreneur. Believe it or not, I had forgotten where those issues came from, and it was my first time in years having a major thought about Max.

For the next few months, I wished that I hadn’t had that revelation. Now that it was no longer buried, the abuse was constantly on my mind.

One day, I learned that some people cope with negative events by writing about them in a journal. That sounded easy, so I picked out a notebook and got to work. Over the next few days, I wrote down every single thing I could remember about the abuse. Everything he said, everything he did, the first signs of his behavior, the last time I saw him, my thoughts on some of his actions, everything. When nothing else came to mind, this composition book had 12 new pages written.

Writing all that was a very emotionally draining experience. I don’t remember how long it took to get it all on paper; maybe 2 to 3 weeks. I went through a depression that lasted until a week after I finished. The thoughts got even worse, playing in my head almost nonstop, even when I had them all written down. Visions of the taunting and beatings would keep me awake at night, and show up in my dreams.

Then I woke up one morning and the depression was gone. The thoughts were no longer flooding my mind. Of course, the memories were still there, but they didn’t scare me anymore. When I did recall those memories, I felt like an outsider with little attachment to them. I was barely angry at Max.

There’s an old saying that in order to reach the Promised Land, we must first go through the wilderness. Those weeks of dealing with the memories definitely resembled the wilderness. When I made it out, I felt an odd sense of relief.

So here’s my advice: write your story in a journal. Write everything that comes to your mind about your past; your thoughts, that person’s actions, your actions, things that were said, etc. The more you get on paper, the more you get off your chest and out of your mind. That way, it doesn’t eat at you. When things get overwhelming, keep reminding yourself that you have to go through the storm to get from where you are, to were you want to be.

My storm was intense and scary at the time, but the end justified the means. Even after all Max did to me, I forgave him and buried all my anger in 2011. I fondly look at the brighter sides of our friendship, and I can calmly think and talk about the darker sides. When I first stepped away from that situation, I never thought I’d be able to do any of that.

Please consider journaling if you have a similar issue.

Make a nice day!


Author: realdealjh

Great morning, great afternoon, and great evening! My name is Jibriel Holloway, and this is where I share the things I learn on my journey of personal development and in business. Hopefully, you get something out of it that will skyrocket your life!

3 thoughts on “How to Recover From an Abusive Past!”

  1. Thanks for the sounded alott like mine father beat the living shit out of are whole family..severely..he never got arested..and the mental abuse was sever as well ..and he would not let me get any important schooling …or earn credit..he manipulated me basicly my whole life
    .and used me as a pon to get back at my mother who he devorced after 30 plus years..he black balled me from the operators union in CT …and the last time we spoke on the phone five years ago…he tolled me he rewrit his will to exclude me..and I would be pushing shopping carts and hung up..he then in the following year..remarried at 78:moved to fl bought a big house..and helped buy my youngest brother a 450.00o house…the story goes on and on..he helped push me out of a const business. He spoiled all my brothers and sisters .with houses and education …I went broke working excavation and paving jobs non union as a 2007 in the great resession I switched too long haul tractor trailer driver for 5 years and lived in the trucks homeless..I then spent years living homeless in CT in cars and vans..and was harassed and falsley arested buy the pigs..for minor crimes too get me to leave the city I grew up in Norwak CT..I spent time in state if CT nut hospitals and institutions …and lost any self esteem I ever had..I can’t seem too except the positive 2 people I have left in my life as friends..and miss my first girl friend I meet at 21 ..and it lasted five years ..I was ingaged..and it all fell apart and I was arested for stalking her…because I followed her to the same cops house..who arested I miss a person who hates me…and treated me like dirt..50 percent of the five years ..???I don’t understand it my self..I was never allowed any friends..and was always a loner..and I really just hate most people I meet..I find I like being alone ..and like animals better than people..and I have a nack for grand father was a horse trainer …and seller..and my ex is worked taking care of rich peoples homes and pets part time…so I learned to get along good with I am just lost in life..and have no direction …and most likely will be going to prison soon..and I don’t get along with any one..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too was beaten between the age of eleven and fifteen. My attacker was my older brother. The beatings were daily, usually more than once a day. It was the 8PM beating (after his favorite TV show) that I hated the most, the stress starting an hour or so before the actual event. If I cried or complained, my parents would punish me (years later my brother told me that he always found that funny). The mental abuse was just as bad…..I was nothing…..and I believed it. The physical beatings ended with the help of a baseball bat. The psychological abuse would still be ongoing if I still had anything to do with my brother or my mother. The belief that I was worthless took twenty five years of therapy to come to terms with.
    In your story you said that you told people about the abuse, I didn’t. I actually thought it was normal “that’s how the youngest child is treated” my mother told me. I realize now that my mother was just a bad person who enjoyed watching, and used the beatings to get my brother to get me to do her bidding. My brother I also now see as a victim of this type of parenting, and of his own unaddressed anger issues(he has several restraining order on him and still can’t hold a job). If only someone outside the family could have seen what was going on and intervened, both my brother’s and my life might be very different.
    It seems to me that the code of silence in dysfunctional families and relationships is still very much in play. I see on television and in social media the attempts to get abused individuals to speak up. I also read psychological profiles of abuse that say that victims are not likely to speak up. I wonder if the one of the answers isn’t in testing. I see short (ten or so question) tests for just about everything these days(just open any women’s magazine).
    Could test be devised that would indicate the possible exposure to bullying and abuse. Age specific tests for public use(I.E. media), school use, medical (pediatrician), or in my case the abuse started when my father had a stroke and the family was not monitored for how it dealt with the changes over time.
    Instead of concentrating our efforts on treating the victim years after the event, I believe we need to work towards better identifying the ongoing event and treating both the victim and the perpetrator.


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