One of the most challenging things about blogging is to be able to tell my truth without hurting anyone. Unfortunately, some truths can only be told in a painful manner. I never hide that I grew up in a very abusive family. Despite it all, most of us have turned out pretty well. But never let the product fool you. Looks can be very deceiving. The places people have to travel to and from to escape their family history and their own personal past, can be very dark and ugly. This blog will give you some idea of what an abusive parent is. I hope and pray none of you are experiencing these things in your lives. If you are, I hope that this blog brings about a positive change whether you are the abusive parent or the child of an abusive parent. The list below contains things either myself or someone in my family (immediate or extended) has experienced.
- Being Jealous Of Your Children. This sounds absolutely crazy but there are some parents who do not want their children to prosper and will do anything in their power to stop them. My aunt, on my father’s side, once told my grandmother that she wanted to become a dentist. My grandmother told her that she better just keep working at McDonalds. Heartbroken and discouraged, my aunt still works at McDonalds to this day.
- Calling Your Children Out Their Name. From birth, we give our children names with our hopes and dreams attached to it. Never was that name “bitch” or “whore.” Yet some parents feel it’s ok when having a dispute with their children to use such language. Picture this….calling a 5 year old child a whore?! This has happened. Do not be surprised that if you constantly verbally abuse your children that when they get older they will speak to you in a disrespectful manner. Respect should be taught in the homes. If you cannot control your degrading language, you should have never had children.
- Trying To Control Your Child’s Every Move. Much like domestic violence in a romantic relationship, abusive parents feel the need to control every aspect of their children’s lives no matter their age. Now I am not talking about protecting them from harm. I am referring to parents who will try to harm their children (even when their child is an adult) when they do not do exactly as they say. For example, Mama Michaels’ father helped her buy her first car. When he saw her driving in it with Papa Michaels, who was already her husband, my grandfather took the car back and left my mom walking. Fathom that!
- Making Your Children Emotionally Responsible For All Of Your Losses. I have an aunt who constantly reminds my cousin that had she not given birth to my cousin she would have been a lawyer! My cousin is 24 now and my aunt still repeats this mess. Last I checked, plenty of single moms found a way to attend professional school against all odds. My cousin has spent 24 years being my aunt’s greatest regret. Through God’s grace, my cousin is a wonderful woman. She has just attained her Master’s Degree! God is good!
- Having Your Older Children Raise Your Younger Ones. I never really had a childhood. My mother had to raise her 5 brothers and sisters in Jamaica and when we came to the U.S. she passed the legacy down to me. For 6 years I took care of Brenda (from birth) and Junior 24 hours a day. I was not allowed to play sports or do much after school activities because I had to be there to get them off the bus and take care of them. And no, this was NOT babysitting. Even when my mother was home, the children were still my full time responsibility. I had a lot of anger about this and vowed never to do this to my children (if I ever have any). Very few people ever gave me a break from the kids. I am forever grateful to my dad and a family friend for helping me out during these years. I am even more grateful that through this stressful process, I learned that I LOVE CHILDREN. However, I am cool with being Auntie Kingston.
- Controlling The Finances Of Your Children (Even When Adults). Mama Michaels’ parents are the absolute worst! My grandmother brought us to this country to work and give her all our paychecks. My mother actually did this until she was in her 40s! Parents that never fed nor clothed her made her feel financially indebted to them. She grew up in intense poverty in Jamaica. I do not know how they managed to have such control over her but it damn near ruined the Michaels family!
- Allowing Other People To Abuse Your Children. I have an aunt, on my father’s side of family, who has 4 children. Three out of the four (that I know of) have been raped, beaten, and verbally abused on her watch and approval. Even at church, people would hit them because they knew she did not give a damn about their well being! I hated visiting their apartment and visiting their “church.” Some of my cousins are drugged out now because of a lifetime of abuse. Jesus be a fence! So much more I could say but the tears would just get in the way.
- Wishing Your Children Harm/Not Protecting Them From Harm. There are parents out there who feel their children should suffer the way they did in their childhood/adulthood. They are desensitized to the level of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse they dish out. To them, abuse is normal and everyone should experience it. I want to throw up just writing that.
- Beating Your Children For No Reason. Now let me be clear, I am not anti-spanking. I believe in disciplining children when they are bad and time out, in my opinion, just does not work. However, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN BEATING CHILDREN TO A PULP SENSELESSLY OR AT ALL. The aunt in number 4 would use telephones, telephone cords, belts, and just about anything she could find to beat my cousins when she had a bad day. I wish I could say she was on drugs or something but I just think some people are inherently evil. My aunt clearly should have never had one child. I am disgusted just writing this.
- Sexual Abuse. There are several people in my family who were raped by family members and/or close family friends. Sad to say, even when their mothers became aware, the abuse continued. This is simply heartbreaking. Some parents just do not care about their children.
~KJM hoping that this blog wakes some parents up and encourages them to change. Abuse comes in so many different shapes and sizes. Hence why this list has some subtle ones that some parents may not think is a form of abuse. Also, I am hoping that the children of abuse have the courage to escape it and NOT REPEAT THE CYCLE. Be blessed on this very cloudy Sunday!