Saturday, April 7, 2012

We Live What We See

The shattered glass surrounded her body as my sister and I screamed. At first, I thought she wasn’t going to get up. My stepfather looked shocked as he reached down to grab her…to pull her up from the glass. He looked sorry, like he didn’t mean for things to get out of hand. My mother sobbed, and he apologized over and over again as he tended to her wounds.

Scenes like this were normal around my house. My mother was a fighter. Unfortunately, my stepfather was, too. Their relationship was volatile. Every time my mother thought he was talking to another woman, she would fly off the handle and hit him. Eventually, he always hit back. I remember feeling horror as I screamed for them to stop so no one would get hurt.

Believe it or not, in the midst of the horrible incidents, there were what we used to consider semi-humorous times…times when my mother would tie my stepfather up so he couldn’t get away and told us to find something so she could do it with. None of that seemed abnormal to me. I thought everyone lived like this.

Sadly, too many children are experiencing things like this on a daily basis. Although my mother and stepfather fought like cats and dogs, I never thought of it as domestic violence. Until today. To me, domestic violence was what I went through when I got older…where it’s not a fight between two equals…where you get whaled on without having a chance to fight back. Until today, I didn’t realize that maybe I found myself in the situation that I was trying to avoid because of what I saw my mother and my stepfather go through.

Children live what they see. My mother never told me not to find a man who didn’t hit me. As I grew up, I was able to realize that something was wrong with the scenarios that played out around our house. But over the years, I never thought about it. I put it to the side—until I found myself at the end of a fist. Even when I was trying to decide whether or not I was going to stay with my then-boyfriend, I didn’t think about what I saw as a kid. But it must have been there. It had to be in my subconscious, playing with me, toying with my memories, but lying dormant. Until today.

Today, I was finally able to put the pieces together. Today, I was able to realize that I am a product of what I saw. Today, I am thankful that I did not repeat the cycle. Today, I’m thankful that someone told me to get out after that first hit.

If you have children, please think about what they are seeing. The things that they’re witnessing will stick with them long after you’re gone, so please make it good.

6 comments:

  1. WOW....I'm not even sure where to begin this comment. First, I'm so thankful to God that you did find your way out of that situation and even more thankful for the realization that you have come to today. So many women, and in some cases men, come to this realization all too late.

    You are correct though that oftentimes people live what they see without even realizing its happening. I've been blessed in that from a child I seemed to always have a mindset about things that were wrong that I would never subject myself too, whether at home or outside of home. I know that was GOD working in my life. As a result I'm so thankful to be able to tell people that I've been happily married for 22 years. It hasn't been a bed of roses, but the good certainly outweigh the bad, but more importantly I have a man of God that walks in the Spirit.

    May God continue to bless you and complete the healing process that is occurring in your life!

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    1. Shelly, you look too young to have been married for 22 years! God has been kind to you in the looks department. ;-)

      Glad that you found a good husband who walks in the path of the Divine. That's always a good thing. Thank you for the well-wishes and I wish you the best.

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    2. Re your first sentence, Hahahahaha....If only I had a dime for every time I've heard that, I would certainly be a millionaire. Yes, He truly has kept my youthful look in spite of the additional pounds, LOL.

      I didn't find him, he found me. :-) The Bible says "He who finds a wife...." It could be a long story, but the short is we met in high school and I certainly wasn't initially interested since I was already "dating" someone else at the time that I was hopelessly in love with. BUT GOD....even at the young age of 18 (I was 16) God used him to minister to me (literally) and as a result I recommitted my life to God and here were are today, 26 years later. :-)

      SN: I'm hoping to start reading your book today. I purchased for my Kindle about a week ago.

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    3. He sounds like a doll; you're a lucky lady.

      Thanks so much for the support with Zaire's Place! I hope you like it.

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  2. Wow Tynette. This is a lot to deal with. I'm glad you were able to overcome your circumstances. I wasn't sure what you were saying in the third paragraph..."so she could do it with," but I totally agree that children absorb what they see. My latest blog that I'm working on is also about children and how they are affected by their environment. Stay strong, my sister. Happy Easter.

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    1. Hello, JC. Sorry for any confusion. When I said "so she could do it with", I was referring to my mother having us search for socks or towels so she could tie my stepfather up. Wow. That seems strange writing that.

      Thanks for the kind words and Happy Easter to you as well.

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