Once upon a time, in a small town, there lived a family. The father, mother, two sons, and a daughter shared a one bedroom house that they wanted to call home. It was hard to call it a home by anyone who lived there. Each had there own battles that they were dealing with. Their neighbors down the street (grandma and grandpa) helped, watched, and prayed, in hopes that this house will become a home. But the father didn’t want their help, especially grandpa’s. “How can you come here and tell me how to run my house, when you used to drag my mother from the front door to the back door almost every single day!”, exclaimed the father. The children were in shock. Surely this isn’t true. We have a strong praying grandmother that looks like she can shake hell loose if she needed to. And grandpa, he is too cool and laid back to be such a monster as father was describing. For goodness sake, grandpa is one of the head deacons of the church! Grandpa stayed calm. He spoke his peace and went home. The presence of grandpa didn’t seem to help anything. It only made it worse. Father, in his drunkenness, continues to rant and rage. The anger was so great that he had to take it out on someone. The mother was that someone. The kids watched helplessly and in fear of what could be next. The oldest son watched in rage. He wished he was strong and brave enough to put an end to all of this. The daughter talked herself into a happy place, and promised she would never end up like this when she grew up. The baby boy wasn’t understanding all what was happening, but he knew his siblings and mother wasn’t happy, so that made him angry also. For a while, the house was beginning to show promises of a home. But there was something that made father angry again. This time it wasn’t just mother, the oldest son was to blame too. What possibly, could the oldest brother have done to deserve such treatment? Father told the oldest son that he didn’t look like him, didn’t think like him. So, was he his son? O wow! The kids couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Could it be? There is no way that a father would say something like this to his son! They all looked at mother. Mother didn’t say a word. Father then reminds son of how grandpa isn’t the man he thinks he is. How grandpa used to drink and beat on his mother. Daughter then wonders, could it be father is envious of brother and grandpa’s relationship? It appears that father longed for that same bond and love when he was a boy. But, how could a father still treat his son that way when he knows exactly how it feels? Daughter sits and have a talk with mother. There has to be a way to leave this house, says daughter. It isn’t right what father is doing to you and brother the daughter says. Mother listens with a heavy heart, but they all continue to live in the house.
Several years passes by, but the mother gets the courage to finally leave the house for good this time. With fear and uncertainty, she takes the 3 children, and continues to raise them the best way she knows how. The children were happy when they no longer had to endure the rants and rages of the father, but the memories was like second hand smoke. It caused a more lingering harm to them than the mother or the father could ever imagine. The father continued to live in the old house. However, life for him began a downward spiral. In and out of jail, and then prison. The father, despite all his madness, loved his family and wanted to make the house a home. He longed for what could have been, and should have been. When the father was released from prison, he went back to that house that he wanted to make a home; although, in his heart, he knew that the house will never be a home. He missed grandma. She was no longer there to bandage his wounds. He couldn’t take the truth of his reality anymore, so he decided to end his life rather than to go back to that house that he couldn’t make a home.
October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month. This is a very serious issue that occurs in more homes than we realize. Whether it is physical or emotional, abuse – IT SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED AT ANY LEVEL. In many instances, it is a generational cycle of abuse. We must learn to build one another up in order to break those chains of generational curses. Not only do we need to support the victim(s) of the known situation, we need to understand the abuser, as well. Because, oftentimes that abuser was once a victim him/herself. In any conflict, we must isolate the problem. It is only then can we really put an end to domestic violence once and for all.
To the victims: My prayer for you is courage. It is in you already! You have to see it for yourself; however. Strengthen your mindset. Even if you have to trick yourself into believing you are someone better than what you think you are. Tell yourself, “I am great; therefore, I deserve greatness, and my greatness starts with me!”
To the abuser: My prayer for you is forgiveness. Many times we hold on to what hurts us. It is that hurt which creates the monster in us. We must learn to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t for the person who did the hurting, but it’s necessary for you to heal. Anger and fear are two emotions that can really mess us up. Once we are able to acknowledge and accept what causes these emotions, we can then begin to work on controlling and releasing these emotions in a more positive and productive manner.
To the family and friends: My prayer for you is discernment. If you are in a position of influence, I pray that you will be given the power to make the best judgement for the situation. Many times we support with our emotions and based upon our connection to the victim and/or abuser. Your position is powerful. You can be either the support for better, or the enabler for more abuse.