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?