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JB Corban

I am an adult survivor of shaken baby syndrome. This happened when I was about 7 months old. It was kept a family secret for nearly 40 years, with my father still in denial. I was always told that "the babysitter dropped me on my head." Funny, when I began to do research on various ailments I began having in my mid to late 30s, I began to connect the dots. My family admits that I had a skull fracture, a concussion, and stopped breathing, hence needed CPR, and then a shunt to drain the fluid around my brain once admitted in to the hospital. These types of injuries don't just happen as a result of being dropped or falling out of he pumpkin seat, etc. Now, I am dealing with neuro-optical palsy in three of the six nerves that control my eye muscles. It really is no surprise to me that this has happened, as my father was abusive throughout my childhood -- to my mother, my brother, and to me. My family stayed in tact after all these years, buy now I am dealing with the consequences. I am one of the fortunate ones who survived and managed to get by this long with no major physical damage, until now. However, the emotional challenge of dealing with a parent who is vehemently in denial and thus perpetuating the psychological abuse by insisting "it never happened" is heart-breaking. I find that I am asking myself, "Why? What did I do to deserve this?" I forgive my parents, perhaps out of a basic need for acceptance and that unconditional bond that goes along with sharing one's genes. At the same time, I am angry. Abuse is often a cycle that never ends; it is the family curse that, unless deliberately broken with God's help, keeps going on. I understand parents get frustrated, they feel helpless, and they don't know what to do. Please, if you are a parent that feels this way, get help. Set the baby down in a safe place and call someone, anyone, who can help you. If you shake your baby there may be no immediate life-threatening consequences. Sometimes, however, the consequences don't show up until long after the act. Think first, pray, and walk away if you need to.

Jeanne M Hannah

Thank you so much for writing. Your message is such an important one. You are so right. Parents need to recognize that they may be at a flash point for abuse and they need to take a deep breath and walk away.

You of course did not deserve this abuse. No child deserves to be abused. You recognize that your parents do not have the capacity to acknowledge what they did to you (or allowed to happen to you.) Some abused children decide to love that hurt little child -- that innocent beautiful child inside of their adult bodies. I hope that you may be able, in your thoughts, to hold that child, wrap the child in your arms and your love, and let him or her know just how beautiful and loved the child is.

Thank you for speaking on behalf of all of those children out there who suffer abuse . . . every day.

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