cycle-of-abuseAbuse & Addiction

We all know that there is a huge connection between abuse & addiction. Then there is the cycle that spins through each subsequent generation, if that cycle is not broken.

Loving Mom

I was raised in an abusive home by an alcoholic father. His first child (me) was a complete let down. He wanted a son & told my mother that as she was wheeled out of delivery. Eighteen mos later, my Mom gave him his son. Did this make him happy finally? No, my brother J had asthma, really bad & was in & out of the hospital his whole childhood.

My father beat us, he beat us w his fists, he beat us w the buckle on his belt, a huge buckle common in the 70’s w the state he was born in on it. I am so surprised that NEBRASKA is not branded into my back or backside. It is surely not for lack of trying & as I got too old for him to beat me w the belt he would just punch me in the face.

We all know that there is a huge connection between abuse & addiction. Click to Tweet

When I was 4 ½ my father’s dream child arrived, my younger brother Mat. We all loved him, he was a sweet little boy & I can remember him crawling into my bed & making up stories to cheer me up. He received every ounce of love my parents had.

My Mom had come from an alcoholic father too & the 3rd child had been the favored one. My Mom says her father married her mother only out of a promise he had made to his brother. So she was raised in a loveless home. except by her mother whose love knew no bounds.

I don’t know why my father turned into the monster he did. He says my grandfather beat him w “switches”, but I have only heard my grandfather raise his voice once in my life & that was at my son Anthony.
When I got pregnant at 17, it was by a young heavy drinker, heavy smoker, heavy pot user. The relationship was bad right from the beginning, 3 weeks in & he made me sleep on his floor….no pillow or blanket. So, my daughter was brought into an abusive addictive home. He married me when I got pregnant with our son, & was adamant he was only marrying me for the insurance we needed for the babies.


I was so messed up from my childhood & then from the abuse my husband heaped on me daily, that I was too defensive to be 100% the mother I could have been. I was there physically but every day with him was a struggle, from him stealing the milk from our daughters bottles, to the constant name calling, terror tactics, threats & terrifying experiences. I tried to raise my kids the best I could. Being told over & over that my daughter would grow up to be just like me & my son would be just like his father.
I thought that by teaching my daughter that she was dependent upon no man & if I just loved my son. That would be enough.

My ex husband was raised in an abusive addictive home also & that was how I excused his behavior. The excuses I made for the way HE treated me. We were forced into therapy, when my aunts intervened by calling Child Services on us for years. Yet they did nothing to stop the abuse when it was done to us as children.

This ended up in me pulling myself & my children away from that side of my family, so I never got to know my niece or nephews from my brothers. Unfortunately, whatever was told to them they fully believed. Mat came around after very many years had passed, but J told me I was dead to him & not to ever contact him.
I learned finally to break the cycle when my son was expecting our first grandchild & my ex was fist fighting w him in front of my grandsons mother.


But, I had learned years before in therapy that when we reach adulthood we have the power to change our lives, that we don’t have to continue to blame our parents for all of the wrongs in our life. that they too, did the best with what they were taught. That it is up to us, on how we choose to live our lives. There is therapy, parenting classes & now w the internet, the resources to change are always at your fingertips.
Here is the reason for today’s piece: when my niece Brittany (J’s daughter) was old enough to question things, because during her entire childhood, my kids & I were a taboo subject at family gatherings. I guess it was as if they all just chose to write us off as dead.

Brittany found me on FB. We connected & I told her the truth. I learned that my brother was abusive to her, & that nothing was ever said or complained about it by the family members who persecuted me, yet allowed my brother to beat on, verbally & psychologically abuse & not one of them stood up for her. He hasn’t been in a stable relationship in over 20 yrs, Britt’s Mom was the only actual one I know of. He did a LOT of internet dating & moving around. He would take Britt when she was little & leave her sitting in the car for hours while he was bouncer at a bar. apparently not a bit concerned for her safety. My situation was my ex abusing me in front of my children. Not the children being abused. Yet, the members who were telling on me allowed what was happening to my niece.


My brother is now 45 yrs old. This morning my niece screenshot a conversation between she & her “father”. It started w “Do you know where I can get some good bud” Her reply was a simple “Nooo”. He then began his abuse, she was called useless, told that he wished her stepfather had adopted her. At 23 yrs old my courageous, beautiful intelligent, niece told him off & admitted to him, that she to wishes her stepfather had adopted her. She has broken that cycle so young, I wish I could’ve been more self confidant enough to eject my father from my life when he threw me out pregnant at 17 in the middle of the night w nowhere to go. Brittany Rae I am so proud of you. You are no door mat. You did not follow down that long dark hallway your father put you in.


The point to all of this is breaking the cycle, if you are in an abusive relationship, LEAVE. If there is addiction, please get help. My children didn’t turn out like my niece, but then she did have a good Mom & stepfather to teach her what real love is supposed to be. I broke the cycle to late for my children. My daughter is now in a relationship w a very bad alcoholic, who treats my grandson terribly……….& my son who hid his pain in addiction is dead. Meanwhile his father & uncle who helped him to his grave are still living in full blown ignorant addiction.

There is HOPE & there is HELP. No judgement.



My name is Erin Berndt WAS SFYB Sr Business Dev Exc/admin but author of some outrageous story about how GOD made her pregnant. (Her position with SFYB was terminated by senior management) I'm 46 yrs old I am married to my soul mate, Fedor. I have 2 children Dacia & Anthony from my ex husband who I spent 22 yrs of misery. He was an evil drunk who developed a love for pills-any pills. Our son left home at 15 because his uncle & father got him into drugs & drinking

Fedor has 2 grown daughters from his 1st wife & 19yr old Devin & 17yr old Kaylee from his 2nd wife who had decided while the kids were 9 & 11, that she was a lesbian. She partied too much & parented too little. Both kids have addiction issues & Kaylee has several mental health diagnoses. I got them at 10 & 12, LOVE at first sight. We had them most of the time but terrible things happened when they were in their mothers care

I was disabled in 2007 after 4 car accidents & 2 neck surgeries that made me worse. I've been on opiates for 9 yrs I moved to Fl at the end of March, running for many reasons. Five months later on Aug 28th at 12:13 am the call came & he was gone. He leaves behind my 6 yr old grandson Aiden. Aiden is having mental health issues since his dads death

Fedor still lives in MA because Devin is in recovery & on probation & can not leave the state yet. So it has been only Kaylee with me through this. Luckily God came & got me through it & on the right road. I'm off the opiates ( even though I never abused them), I have lost weight & had so many positive & inspiring changes.

My energy has gone into helping save addicts, help families, stop the stigma, raise awareness, make sure ALl 1st responders have Narcan, educate kids st a younger age, change the laws on dealers, hospital to treatment for addicts. More facilities & recovery AVAILABLE for all!
erinkberndt on Facebook

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