I’m sorry I’m just me…
“I’m sorry I’m not pretty
Sorry I’m not thin
Sorry that I’m not what I could’ve been.
Sorry, I’m your child. Sorry that I’m here
Sorry that I haven’t had the time to disappear
Sorry that I’m not what you wanted me to be.
I’m sorry – sorry I’m just me.”
These are the words of a 15-year-old whose father, whenever he was drunk, would degrade her and make her feel she was good for nothing! His words cut her into little pieces.
We heard many voices of teenagers about their fathers’ abuse:
“My father is a loving family man, but when he is drunk, he becomes rude and disrespectful; sometimes he beats up my mom and calls her names. What hurts me most is when he is sober, he does not remember anything and says we are exaggerating when we show him the bruises that he leaves on my mother’s body.”
“He has hands like thorns, words that pierce and eyes of fire. He is an angel by day; snake by night.”
“He was empty, so achingly empty, that he fed off the terror in my young defenseless eyes and the brokenness in my mother’s body. Then he preyed on me when I was weak and beat me down when I was strong. That was the day I started smelling like acid and my childhood closed with a sharp snap. The death of a child who was still alive.”
“He destroyed the relationship we had with our elder brother and now we lost our mother because of him. I feel depressed. Fathers, stop being abusive to your families; you might lose them.”
I feel the pain of the young ones who know abuse. The sad thing is that these youngsters don’t know any other way of parenting. Their children might say the same things about them one day. You can stop that!
Parenting is not easy. But it is never ever right to hurt a child, whether with words or with your hands. Children deserve love, positive encouragement, a safe place in their own homes. They cannot protect themselves. They need us as parents to protect them. Not to cut them into pieces with words and hands.
Alcohol is the first pain. The big destroyer. Because people find it so hard to control their drinking.
The second ache is not thinking how you say things. Shouting at your child and belittling him, blaming him for everything, threatening him, telling him he is useless, ugly, fat, thin, stupid… it leaves a mark on your child’s heart. The world doesn’t care. But we as parents should never stop caring about our children’s feelings and their future. We must build them up, let them relax and comfort them, guide them and give them a strong foundation for a meaningful life.
A young woman who experienced abuse from her father ánd her step-father as a child shared her pain with me. What helped her get through the pain? I asked. She told me she went to church where a motherly woman listened to her story and asked if her mother ever hugged her. “No.” When mothers have to deal with so much trouble, they often feel too empty to hold their children. This woman was the first to hug her. She lined up the young people at church to do so as well. That was the beginning of her healing process.
Children need our hugs, our love, our care, and protection. If you as a parent cannot give it, get help, because you are the only parent to give it.