Random streaming (screaming?) thoughts for today -
As he curled into a tight little ball, his mother towering over him and screaming about how stupid he is and how he needs to be nice to his brother, he murmured, “Mommy, please don’t hit me.”
The plea in the tiny four-year-old voice was heartbreaking. But what could I do? I didn’t see anything. I didn’t hear anything besides the quiet plea to not be hit. There had been no sound of a hand hitting a small body, or an object being swung against tiny legs.
But I knew. I knew that I knew that I knew this sad, broken, frightened child was a victim of abuse. My repeated calls to Child Protective Services were ignored. No authority or expert ever came to investigate. But every day the screaming and name-calling and threats and swearing went on and on.
During the winter, it’s so much more peaceful. Closed doors and windows make for a quiet neighborhood. But summer brings open windows, open doors, and the loud angry, belittling sounds of verbal abuse reverberating from across the lawn. My family is traumatized by hearing the angry shouting and swearing coming through our windows as clearly as if the abusers were standing in the middle of our living room rampaging verbally at us. I close the windows, but the heat is sweltering. No air conditioning to allow us peace from living in the midst of never-ending anger.
Cycles of abuse.
Lack of impulse control seems to be epidemic in my neighborhood. Is it untreated ADD? Undealt with generational abuse? Poor parenting skills? Lack of education? Well, whatever it is, it breaks my heart and shatters the lives of this new generation of tiny people. They are growing up amid raging adults who have either never learned to control themselves, or never been taught proper behaviors, or victims of abuses, themselves.
Pray for these children. The ones who will someday become the parents who will then repeat these cycles with their own tiny ones. “I’ll never be like my mother (or father)!” they say. Many of us say. But wait. Whose voice is that screaming at your child? Is it yours? Yes. Is it the haunting voice of the Ghost of Parenting Past? Yes, probably some of that, too.
Stop the cycle.
If you recognize yourself in any of this, take responsibility for yourself and for your actions. Own your mistakes. Seek help.
Do it now.
For your children’s sake. And for their children, too.