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“A Letter I’ll Never Send”

Discussion in 'Parent Forum' started by MILgymFAM, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. mls529

    mls529 Member Proud Parent

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    This breaks my heart. Good suggestion to send to USAG. Please keep us posted if you receive a reply.

    It is sad how an abuser's opinion of us can haunt a person for many years. Like a poster above, a teacher used to say over-the-top, hurtful things to me (Catholic school, go figure). It has literally been nearly 30 years and I still remember it. I hope your DD is able to find healing and strength.
     
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  2. Gymmommy71

    Gymmommy71 Active Member Proud Parent

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    How old was the child who wrote this? I’d be very concerned and seek therapy and sone professional advice as to whether or not continuing in the sport is healthy (even at a new gym)...that is just awful that a child would be made to feel that way over a sport. And if the guy was that mentally abusive, I may persue legal action (like why does a person need to be an elite level coach in order to get sued).

    This is why parents need to watch what is going on in these gyms - good lord.
     
    sce likes this.
  3. MILgymFAM

    MILgymFAM Well-Known Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    She is 16. She was at this gym for 10 long (short) months from 13.5-14.5. She has a psychiatrist to talk through this with, as well as to deal with her anxiety in general. She also talks to me (as she did at the time). Forcing her to quit took longer than it should have, but it did happen in less than a year. She stopped altogether for over a year (and did some healthy activities with great supports) and then she went back on her own terms and is very happy in her new gym. I’m glad she was able to go back and keep her sport for herself, and even happier that she’s excited about the idea of doing club gym in college- she had dropped the idea for awhile and her picking it back up warmed my heart... she really does love gymnastics.

    ETA: I’m not a litigious sort and I see nothing at all to be gained from even the idea of a lawsuit. I’m not sure if he broke any laws, but I am sure that even if he did there would be nothing gained by my daughter by even looking down that road. On that note- is emotional abuse even against the law? I wouldn’t think it is. He definitely didn’t hold up his end of our contract, but then (1) I broke the contract and left early and (2) he’s gone out of business entirely anyway and he was an LLC.

    One more ETA: I was there, I was watching, and I butted heads with him more times than I can count over the ten months. I reasoned and I complained, and I was even brought to tears myself toward the end. I will say that he never, ever yelled. He was so soft spoken that you barely knew he spoke if he wasn’t speaking right to you. Even though I couldn’t hear his words from the balcony, I knew everything was wrong. I saw the wrong on most of the girls faces. My daughter was 13.5 and making the jump from Xcel to JO after only two seasons in total of doing any sort of gymnastics.. and there was a lot of us trying to figure out where he was off the rails and where was normal. And let me tell you, in our experience? He wasn’t very far off of normal.. normal is broken in gymnastics- it just took us some time to realize that part.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  4. cadybearsmommy

    cadybearsmommy Active Member Proud Parent

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    This is heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for what your dd went through. Such a strong young lady and I’m glad she’s finding a way to use her voice. ((((Hugs)))))
     
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  5. Seeker

    Seeker Well-Known Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    Reading that broke my heart. I hope it helped to heal hers, even a little bit.
     
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  6. amiandjim

    amiandjim Active Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    I’m so so sorry you all had to go through is! I haven’t met you or your daughter’s, but from reading, you are all amazing people. I too suggest you send the letter to Kerry Perry! I think this type of situation is all too common in gymnastics.
     
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  7. raenndrops

    raenndrops Well-Known Member Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast

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    I still remember word for word what my kindergarten teacher told me on October 11, 1977. And my response... her conversation with the principal, my conversation with him, and his and my conversation with my mom.
     
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  8. gymboymom

    gymboymom Active Member Proud Parent

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    I am so glad you are sending this letter to USAG. The whole sport needs an overhaul from the bottom up. So many things that make this sport crazy. And it is not fair to the kids.
     
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  9. ldw4mlo

    ldw4mlo Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    You both listened to the alarms you were getting and you tried to fix it. Nothing to beat yourself up about (I know easier said then done).

    Imagine how much longer it would of went on if you accepted it as "just the way it is".

    And bravo to your brave daughter for being able to put pen to paper about it. She is healing, scar-ed but healing. He has no power over her.....

    Let's hope he never crawls out from the rock he crawled under.
     
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  10. vagymmomma

    vagymmomma Active Member Proud Parent

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    Amazing letter - you should be so proud. I love that despite everything she can still find joy in the sport.
     
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  11. Gymmomintraining

    Gymmomintraining New Member Proud Parent

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    What an amazing daughter you have! She sounds amazingly strong and has faced such adversity in her young life and come out the other side. I pray she now is thriving in a gym where she is celebrated and feels safe. ❤️
     
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  12. mariposa

    mariposa Moderator/Proud Parent Staff Member CBBC Board Member Proud Parent

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    I definitely hope you send it to USAG, this is the most common abuse in gymnastics I've decided after years in the sport as a mom and in talking to parents st gyms across the country . I hear it all the time in various degrees and forms.

    Your daughter's is one of the worst I've heard though of outright mental and emotional abuse. Bravo to her for putting her feelings into words. I'd be tempted to find his address and mail it to him anonymously.

    And I think it would be great for her to share it anonymously as a blog post or with one of the the bigger gym social media pages. Her words probably would resonate with many and help them not feel so alone.
     
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  13. MILgymFAM

    MILgymFAM Well-Known Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    We have it in an envelope, with an accompanying letter by me, addressed to Kerry Perry and stamped, ready to go. It is up to her if we mail it.

    She ended up deciding, after reading the responses here (I had her permission to post), to post it to her social media publicly. For the most part, the responses were amazing. People were really supportive and quite a few contacted her privately to tell her about similar experiences. A number thanked her for speaking up and making it ok for them to do the same. She shared tears with a number of old teammates, and not just from this gym.

    One former teammate from the gym this letter was written about decided to respond on instagram, and call my DD an immature liar and say that she’s ashamed to have been her teammate. My DD messaged her privately and explained that her response felt like bullying, that she was sorry that they couldn’t see eye-to-eye, but that her experiences were her own and she couldn’t be shamed out of them. Then she deleted the comments (the girl made 5) and blocked her. You gotta take the bad with the good I guess.
     
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  14. tucktwisttumble

    tucktwisttumble Member Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast

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    So easy for people to hide behind their screen.
    Good for your DD. Sending love.
     
  15. John

    John Active Member Proud Parent

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    What she experienced from her old teammate is exactly what the Nassar survivors are experiencing. Even from high profile gymnastics representatives. Your daughter is correct her experiences are her own and instead of lashing out that teammate should have offered to understand. Her old coach was/is wrong and being that way to one child is one too many.
     
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  16. MILgymFAM

    MILgymFAM Well-Known Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    As angry as that girl made me (and it was plenty angry), I mostly feel sad for her. She slept over our house.. she traveled to meets in our car and stayed in our hotel rooms.. and all the while would say things like “he makes us feel bad about our gymnastics because he wants to help us”... I was sad for her then and I’m sadder for her now. She doesn’t even compete anymore because she was so solidly bound to him that once his gym disappeared she quit. It’s a shame.
     
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  17. John

    John Active Member Proud Parent

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    @MILgymFAM That is very sad. Sounds like some type of Stockholm Syndrome.
     
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  18. kimute

    kimute Member Proud Parent

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    MILgymFAM, your daughter is a champion. No one is ever going to mess with her head again.

    amiandjim, I thought you were recommending to send the letter to Katy Perry to make a song out of it!
     
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  19. duyetanh

    duyetanh Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    Yes, you do....it's part of life...and it sounds like your DD is going to be a shining star in terms of succeeding in it.
     
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  20. duyetanh

    duyetanh Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    And this is a prime example of how some people just don't get it. It all depends on which side of the fence you are on....I have seen situations like this also and think omg....how could these girls stay at that gym when it is so obvious the environment is toxic....well to them the toxic is their normal. It's all what you know.
     
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