I will never understand what compels a man to raise his fists to his wife and child(ren).
My abuse began at the age of seven and lasted until I was seventeen. My dad was a volatile, angry, and violent man. He had a temper that often went off the chain. I grew up thinking I was the only one on the receiving end of his brutality. The numerous trips to the hospital were always explained away by my clumsiness – walking into doors, falling down stairs, opening kitchen cabinets too fast, etc. I lied every time because I didn’t want to “be taken away from my parents.” I spent countless years angry at my mother for allowing this to happen. The only time she intervened was when my father picked up a hot iron and swung it at my head. In his rage, he dropped the iron and swung his fist hitting me in the eye with a large army ring, partially blinding me in my left eye. Aside from that, every beating was carried on without interruption.
As is the case with children of an abusive parent or parents, I married an abusive man that beat me for seven years of our marriage. My daughter witnessed this, which led her to believe this was the norm. She in turn has been in abusive relationships, as has my son. I have a new Granddaughter now and there was no way I was going to stand by and see the cycle continue into her adult life. I recently found out from a half-sister (same mother) I didn’t know I had until the age of 17, that she was also a victim of my father’s rage as was my mother. This cyclical violence has reached epidemic proportions in America and across the globe.
I can’t say I have any idea how to fix this, but on a personal level, I have accepted this life cycle as my past and have the strength and determination to never be a victim of domestic violence again. I have also helped my daughter and son reach this level of strength to live happy, healthy lives going forward.
I would like to have the opportunity to tell my mother I understand and I forgive her.
I have also made a commitment to do whatever I can with my creative work, my poetry, my words, to help other women reach this level of healing and freedom.