Trigger Warning: This post contains subjects and issues that may be upsetting to some.
“You can recognize survivors of abuse by their courage. When silence is so very inviting, they step forward and share their truth so others know they aren’t alone.”
― Jeanne McElvaney, Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children
First, one statement about parents and children. Parents, it matters what and how you talk to your child. Those are things that could stay with them the rest of their life.
What I am writing in this post is not to elicit pity or sympathy. I write about this because abuse, child abuse, is still done behind closed doors. There has been great gains legally, laws require doctors, educators, and clergy to report any thing that may be child abuse.
I grew up with a volatile father. When he was home my siblings and myself walked around like walking on egg shells. We never knew when something would set him off. It usually ended with him treating me like his personal punching bag. That was the physical.
He was also emotionally abusive towards me. To this very day I cannot, for the life of me, recall a positive affirmation to me. Statements like, “you’ll always be poor”, “you are afraid of work”. I could bring home an “A” on a project or report card only to be met with, “can’t you do better”. That was the emotional abuse.
It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I was able to escape some of his temper tantrums. One escape was music, learning to play the piano. When everyone would leave the house I would sit at the piano trying to learn to play. Doing so was twofold, I was learning to play, but, also finding a release valve for my tormented mind.
Let me honest and frank, I still battle with the affects from those days. However, it is somewhat different, I now have learned tools in dealing with them. One was this blog, the other, once again, music. I have a home organ that I found for free and I can sit at it, put headphones on and just play my blues away. Also, I love iTunes. I can sit at the computer load some of my favorite music and get carried away listening to it. Many times it is while I am writing a post.
Now, back to my home life. There was one more way to escape my father. When I started high school I became involved with theater arts. It was a great way to escape into another world. The first play I was involved in was “The Miracle Worker”, the story of Helen Keller. The part I played was one of the ghost’s of Annie’s brothers. Annie had mental challenges for a night she would be haunted by the ghosts of her brothers in her mind, they tormented her to the point of almost insanity. Theater arts was my escape, I would go to school in the dark and wouldn’t arrive home until after my father would be in bed.
One tool I have used is I do not keep in touch with blood relatives who bring nothing but chaos and trouble. I have an unlisted phone number. There is only one blood relative that I stay in touch with back where I was raised.
I cannot tell someone what will work for them. I can say though, seek help, learn the tools, methods, on how to deal with the abuse. Also, you are not alone. Do not suffer in silence, there are helplines available that handle child abuse. You do not have to give your name, the do not use call display and they do not record the phone calls.
So, dear reader, child abuse is happening, happening behind closed doors. For many children they have learned to cover it up. They may wear clothing that covers the bruises and girls may use make up to hide their bruises. If you think a child is being abused, have signs that would point to abuse, do not hesitate to seek help on their behalf.
There is so much more that I would like to write about concerning this subject, but I have decided to break it into sections.