They say that abuse is a cycle, and I do not disagree. I want to say this loud enough so that the people in the back can hear me. ‘Domestic Violence ‘ is a war that is being handed from generation to generation.
Fathers are teaching sons to dominate, control, and terrorize. That there will be no consequences if it’s done in the name of love. Mothers are teaching daughters to submit, to stay, to keep quiet, to wear their shame like a crown. That the word love means no justice. Each new generation bests the previous. We are raising gruesome masters of domestic war.
We have to teach our daughters to fight. We have to teach them to use the weapons God has given them. We need to teach them that they have authority. Our daughters need to know that they are clever, loud, brave, bold. Instead of secret keepers, teach them to be truth speakers. Most importantly, teach them that they are favoured highly by Our Father in heaven. Let your daughters see you fight.
We have to empower them and tend to their emotional wounds, just like we kiss the scrape on their knee or take them to an orthepedic specialist when they break. Our daughters can win this war by never setting foot in the battle field. An abuser can not abuse if there are no victims.
We have to teach our sons kindness and empathy, that the way of their fathers is unacceptable and unjustifiable. Do not let any excuse for any abuser stand in their minds. Show them your scars, do not hide the truth. And mothers tend your sons’ scars with love. Let them cry, let them be afraid, teach them to be responsible with their anger and strength. Boys love their mama beyond all reason. Watching you suffer and being helpless to stop your pain can harden them. Let your boys love you. They are something new, they are not their fathers. They can grow into righteous men, kind and just, if you show them how.
You have to let your children be a part of your recovery. You have to honest and transparent. Give them the gift of truth, for secrets are poison. Let them see you tremor when you are afraid, let them see you cry when you are sad, let them see your righteous anger. But do not let them see you lie, do not lie to protect your abuser, do not lie to make him seem better, or worse than he is, do not lie about your path, your choices. A discovered lie with grow in your child’s mind like ivy creeper, cracking the very foundation of your relationship.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it
There is a far off memory, crisp in the center but blurry around the edges that prompted this entry. I’m going to do my best now to find right words to share that moment with you.
I was young, a 7 year old girl playing with dolls in my new bedroom, in my mother’s new husband’s house. I would’ve been outside, except for the rain. In my child’s mind I blamed the rain for the events of that day. My mom’s piercing scream broke through whatever daydream I was lost in. Screaming for me to come here and help her, screaming my name. Why she didn’t scream for me to call the police or run to a neighbor is beyond me. She screamed for me to come bear witness and for me to help her. So I tried. I ran in there with a butter knife of all things. And as he kneeled astride her, slamming her head into the floor, I stabbed him. Three times in the back. At least I thought I did, he reached behind him and swatted me away sending me sprawling across the room. I ran to the neighbors, I remember that much. They didn’t help much. A step uncle and aunt picked me up. They spoiled me and explained how a family’s business stays in the family. They explained silence to me. I heard them. I dont remember going home, or how my mother looked, I don’t remember her talking to me about it. I do remember my mother’s monster apologizing and asking me to remind him to count to 10 if he got angry. I remember laughing at some joke and him hugging me good night. I even remember trying to remind him to count to 10 a few days later when he beat her so bad she couldn’t get out of bed for a week. She left him, she did good, she fought back and left. But the next husband was worse, and she spent 10 years in that hell. Most of them with me by her side. I watched her change, lessen, until she went crazy.
Around the age of 13 or 14, I started experiencing chronic body pain, severe dizziness, fainting spells, and extreme fatigue. I was taken to doctors, specialists, they ran test after test. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me. I remember being asked by each new doctor and nurse; is there abuse in the home, is your home safe? I lied everytime, I was a secret keeper. I always was a quick study.