Along with my mother and brother, I visited my father today. He is in a Rehabilitation Center undergoing therapy for triple bypass surgery. He is being well-cared for and has lots of family and friends who visit him. I was standing over his bed and my mother was seated off toward the head of the bed. I mention this only because it gave me an advantageous position to look down at him as he lie in the bed. I noticed his big, wrinkled hands with the fingers laced together. These same hands once demonstrated to me how to grip and throw a baseball. They also taught me to be quick and alert at the dinner table when I was a boy—for at any second one of those hands might fly off the dining room table and strike me in the back of the head. These "love" taps were often accompanied by verbally abusive language designed to belittle and shame me. The words would often find their target when they lashed out against my gawky, tallish, awkward size. When this happened, it was my habit to to slide low in my seat and perhaps deflect one of the blows aimed at my head. Sometimes this actually worked. Mostly, however, they found their target and snapped my head forward, while his verbal jabs struck deep into my self-confidence, self-worth, self-esteem and the heart of my young humanity. Now I have read many blogs describing verbal and physical abuse here. And what I am describing is just not as horrible as some of what I have read. But dammit this happened to me and I've had to live my entire life with just about no one knowing that it ever happened. Why did I not speak up? Easy. As a boy, I was the victim of a physical and verbal assault. Fear motivated me  to remain silent. As a man, shame and humiliation were dual oppressors. Today, before I wrote this, only one other person outside of my immediate family knew about this. And this is after years and years of talking to psychiatrists and psychologists about my depression. I want to thank this member of DT for listening to my story. The only reason I even considered mentioning it to anyone is because she had the same thing happen to her. Now I realize that this is not the same as some of  the awful instances of abuse I've read about on these pages. Or is it? Who determines just how serious it is for a stronger  abusive person to inflict his brand of torment  on someone weaker than himself. Who knows? As I looked down at my father who had had open heart surgery just a short few weeks ago, I began to wonder whose heart had been damaged the most?  We have long ago since reconciled. Now I am stronger than my father. Now he needs my help. What will I do? Help him and visit him tomorrow , of course. Now maybe I will seek the help of that young woman or anyone who has been a victim like me….Jack 

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