I have never wanted my blog posts to anger my loves ones or reveal something they didn’t want. I am not looking to start trouble just looking to break the cycle. Most of my posts are about breaking the cycle of mental illness, by not portraying your own mental illness on to your kids. Today I talk about breaking the cycle of abuse. This can represent any form of abuse but most specifically I would like to address physical. My intention is not to place judgment on my parnents. You can make mistakes but, you have to also own up to not being perfect.
Stop Normalizing Hitting Children
Something that happened in the last few days brought up a lot of anger in me. We were sitting around after a family dinner. The family had joined together to meet my neice’s new college boyfriend. After dinner conversation started with my brother making a bad joke about being hit with a belt. As if beatings are a normal part of childhood we went through different situations. “There was another time we got hit with the lamp shade and oh yea Nana had the yard stick.”
My mom was now trying to justify these situations. The situation she is trying to explain away, she describes how she beat my brother so badly with a hanger it broke. The anger was rising in my chest but, I knew not to make a scene in front of my niece’s new boyfriend. My mind was racing, “Are they seriously joking about this?”. I could no longer keep my mouth shut, I interrupted, “Mom we remember each time you beat us and why.” Next my dad was chiming in, “It’s not like you were beat every day.” My oldest brother spoke next, “We always deserved it.” My middle brother, “Well I hope they didn’t just beat us for fun.” I stood there dumbfounded that they felt this was a normal conversation to have around someone we had just met.
Thanks For Bringing Up Awful Memories!
Those thoughts haven’t stopped for days. I could not control the embarrassment and disgust that now sat in my stomach. The way they normalize it breaks my heart. They are portraying this behavior as normal. Each time I protest it as anything else I met with objections. My brother argues that our childhood made us good people. My parent’s had me believing that only kids who were beat turned into responsible adults. “Everyone got hit every once in a while.” I was shocked when I met a lot of really amazing people who were never hit as a child. My parents act like my reaction to being beat is an over exaggeration. The stories I mention above I only mention because they chose to, but there are many more.
Break the Cycle
I grew up believing that being hit was normal. I remember being hit by my mother, father and sometimes my older brother. Many times I would witness the child abuse against my brothers also. It is a miracle I didn’t fall into an abusive relationship. At first I did but, luckily I met someone who wanted to rescue me and not hurt me.
I decided a long time ago I would no longer be a victim in my life.
Verbal and physical abuse is not something I will tolerate in my adult life, not from my husband and not to my kids. There was only one person in my immediate family that has never put his hands on me. Sorry if this pisses some people of. How are we going to break the cycle if no one shares their story? It is not okay to hit your children!