What it’s like growing up in a violent home and why I call bullshit on staying “for the kids”
I’ve avoided talking about this topic for the longest time but the niggling feeling that I need to won’t go away. I guess it’s a tough one to address when it’s so personal but I’m hoping that sharing my story can help others.
During my perfect childhood, I was surrounded by not so perfect abuse. There was so much of it in my family. You see, when you come from a country dominated by patriarchy, men seem to believe that they own the rights to everything, including the women in their lives. If you don’t fall in line with their expectations, then you pay the price.
While I myself was never even really given hidings as a child, I watched fights go violent in my family day in and day out. I watched ugly things happen. There was abuse, both physical and emotional all around me. I watched it and I knew, this was never going to be the way I live my life. I was never going to let this cycle continue.
I love the male figures in my family with all my heart but I am disgusted that this is who they could be. That rage would show itself and things would turn so ugly.
My earliest childhood memory, age 3, is of abuse and violence.
Also read: A child of divorce
I don’t talk about it very often but I’m scarred and damaged by the things I was exposed to. I suffer from severe anxiety and depression. I spent my life being told I have a short temper and so now I do everything in my power to not be that person. I don’t want to be like them so I make sure that I’m not. It’s a choice!
I see a lot of women saying they don’t want to leave their abusive husbands “for the sake of the kids” and I call bullshit. I say, you don’t leave because you’re afraid to leave. I say – don’t stay for the sake of the kids and don’t claim that’s the reason because that’s a fucking terrible reason. Do you think your children want to watch you be abused? Do you think your children want to pick sides? Do you think your children WANT to see the violence? Or have nightmares? Or grow up wondering what the fuck a normal childhood would be like? No! They don’t. I can attest to that! I know it’s hard but you can walk away!
No woman or man should have to live in an abusive situation. There are no excuses.
You do not own another person or their body.
You do not have the right to abuse and hurt another person.
You don’t have to stay and be abused.
You definitely don’t need to stay for your children. I can promise you, they’d be better off without it.
I know it can be hard but if you’re in a situation where you are being abused, LEAVE! It doesn’t change. It doesn’t get better. It just gets ugly. Yes, some people change but do you really want to stick around to find out that most don’t? Do you really think it’s worth it?
The thing about abusers, is that they make you feel like it’s your fault. Like as if you deserve it. You don’t! No one does. Don’t let them tell you that you caused it, or that you are the reason it is happening. This kind of thing is no one’s fault but the abuser. Don’t let them make you believe it’s your fault.
I swore I would never tolerate it in my own relationships and I haven’t. I had one relationship which had symptoms of going that direction and because I could recognise the behaviour, I got the hell out of there. I am worth so much more than being a punching bag. I will never ever stand for it. I will raise my child to understand why it is so wrong and I will share my experiences with anyone who needs to hear the truth. It’s not you. It’s them! Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
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