About Me

Hello! My name is Victoria Strong and I am a child abuse survivor. Welcome to my blog. The child abuse I suffered was religiously motivated. My parents were strict, fundamentalist evangelical Christians who were heavily influenced by the writings and teachings of Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family. They barely made any decisions about anything without first consulting his wide berth of publications, and his books were more important than the Bible itself in our home. If I had a dollar for every time I heard my mom begin a sentence with, “Dr. Dobson says…” I would be retired by now. I have grown up to conclude that his ideas are utterly toxic and incredibly damaging to children and families. His teachings and books played a prominent and entirely negative role in my upbringing. Today, my relationship with my father is mostly nonexistent and my relationship with my mother hangs by a thread.

I’m beginning this blog journey by reviewing “The Strong-Willed Child” by Dr. James Dobson, the original print version. My parents read this book when I was quite young, I believe barely into toddlerhood. When I was in my mid-twenties, my mom blamed me for the book not working. She did not in any way, shape or form question the book. The book was gospel truth to her. It was my toddler self’s fault that his ideas didn’t work when the rubber hit the pavement.

So that is why I’m reviewing this book. I need to know what it says. I need some answers as to why my parents seemed to hate me so much. Why they were constantly angry with me. Why I was beaten with belts, punched in the stomach, slammed into walls, slapped across the face, and berated constantly, all in the name of tough love, the Bible, and most often, “Dr. Dobson says…”. Why I was never permitted to tell my side of the story or explain myself. Why they always, always, always assumed the worst about me. I need to know. I need to heal. So without further adieu, let’s dig in, shall we?

Advertisements

9 comments

  1. Hi 🙂 I will definitely be following along with you as you write your blog. I’m sorry for everything you had to endure. You are a brave, strong person!

  2. I have a friend with a strong-willed child. I suggested the book to her because the title seemed to address her child. I thought it would be about how to negotiate raising a strong-willed child. Fortunately, she knew who Dobson was and told me I was crazy if I thought she would ever use that book to help raise her child. I had to research why she was so adamant and agreed with her. If you actually have a strong-willed child, it’s a recipe for child abuse.

  3. Thank you so much for this series – I stumbled onto it through patheos and am enjoying it immensely. I took a psychology class in public high school when I was 15 and weirdly enough, we did a whole unit on Dobson (the teacher was obviously a big fan). I sat through that class every day and thought “wow, this man is EFFED up” but at the time, never had the courage to speak up and say so. And although my parents weren’t religious and didn’t own Dobson’s books, I guarantee you he would have cheered on their fear-based, authoritarian parenting methods just the same. Like you, I wondered for years why they hated me so much, why they always assumed the worst possible intention on my part, why they were so willing and eager to hurt, humiliate, and dominate their children. My sister and I are now in our 30s and haven’t had any contact with either of our parents for about 2 years. Painful as it is to have become “orphans” in a sense, it is AMAZING to finally be free of those people. It’s wonderful to wake up every day and know I absolutely was NOT born to follow their orders. I am NOT grateful for the way they treated me as a child. I am NOT okay with the way they chose to treat fellow human beings just because those humans happened to be their kids. I was NEVER okay with it and I NEVER will be. Thanks for giving children unfortunate enough to be raised around Dobson-y parental attitudes a voice.

    1. You studied Dobson in a public school??? My jaw is on the floor, that’s crazy! I’m so sorry for what you and your sister went through, but so glad you’re free now. Although it is so sad and difficult to do, cutting off a toxic parent is one of the more freeing things I’ve ever experienced, too. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s