When you read the title of this Blog post did your mind prepare you to read a post about the horrors of parents who hurt their children? If so, you would not be alone in thinking that.
While doing some unrelated research on the Internet yesterday, I came across website after website about child abuse. I tried a few different search terms. All of them led to the same places; websites about child abuse. I clicked on a random link. I am not even sure how I ended up finding the site that I looked at but there, in among all of these pages that document the truly awful abuses that parents perpetrate on those in their care, I found a site about children who abuse their parents. I changed my search terms slightly. I found a few more sites that discuss children who abuse their parents, but they seemed almost ‘hidden’ in comparison to the serious issue that is ‘child abuse’.
The voices of parents who had been harmed by their children seemed to whisper rather than scream. I did some more research on it. The pages seemed so scarce in comparison. It has inspired me to write today’s blog entry.
The abuse of children is appalling. It really, really is, and this post is not meant to negate that fact in any way. But what I read was also appalling, in its own way. Particularly because the parents, themselves, were often blamed for the abuses they experienced at the hands of their children. They are told that they are not effective parents, that it is their fault in some way, that they should have been insert what they should have been here. No one deserves to be abused. It is called ‘abuse’ for a reason. If it is perpetrated on a child, it is called ‘child abuse’. If it is perpetrated on a spouse or partner, it is referred to as ‘Domestic Violence’. If it is perpetrated by a co-worker, it is called ‘Harassment’. But what is it called when it is perpetrated by a child upon a parent? Sadly, more often than not, it is called ‘poor parenting’. And so, here is today’s blog entry. It goes out to the parents of children who abuse them.
“What Do You Do?”
What do you do when everything you say is criticised, doubted, considered a lie, an example of unjustified victimhood, wrong?
What do you do when everything you say is criticised because it was not said in a particular way, or was said at the wrong time, in the wrong tone, in the wrong way, or when it was said at all?
What do you do when saying nothing at all elicits the same accusations?
What do you do when fault after fault is listed, created, found? When past accidents or wrongs are held up as a mirror to justify why such criticism is warranted?
What do you do when you are accused of thinking and doing things that you would never think or do?
What do you do when the words, opinions, and perceptions of others are used as a set of laws against which you are judged and condemned?
What do you do when you know that the very words you are writing as you try to come to terms with your situation will be subjected to the same criticisms already discussed, above?
What do you do when you are shunned, trivialised, ignored, sworn at, threatened, told to go away, yelled at? Hit? When the only attention you receive now is only given when you are being attacked yet again?
What do you do when “I love you” means nothing, anymore?
What do you do when you become scared? When the violence changes from emotional and verbal, and enters the realm of the physical?
What do you do when you cry out for help, only to receive disbelieving comments from your friends, or those who do not understand? When you are simply criticised for ‘poor parenting’? If this happened to you at the hands of your spouse, or your partner, would you receive the same responses?
What do you do when you start to avoid? When you start to hide? When you try not to draw attention to yourself, for fear that it will lead to another barrage of abuse? What do you do when you find yourself placating, and hoping that you will avoid another instance of abuse?
What do you do when you start to believe the words that are being said to, and about you? When you start to think that you must be as awful as you have been accused of being?
What do you do when you no longer know what will trigger an attack? When it will happen, or if it will come?
What do you do when you cannot fight back verbally to defend yourself, because such actions will be used as nothing more than further evidence of fault?
What do you do when you cannot fight back to defend yourself because you do not want to harm your child in any way?
What do you do when the person who does all of these things, and acts this way towards you, is your child?