How Being Abusive Helped Me Forgive My Abusers

I used to carry enough anger for every victim of child abuse and then some until I discovered my anger kept me clinging to violence.

When abuse happens inside the home, it’s difficult to escape your abuser even after you are grown. My sisters and I ran opposite directions. We each had different traumas and different symptoms in reaction to those traumas. We were so young.

My oldest sister left town and changed her name twice; severing all ties with the family, including me. My other sister dove into college. When the trauma of sexual assault found her inside the dorm, she ran into the Air Force. Next, she ran to love. While she’s happily married, she draws so much distance from the family, she might as well be gone. Me? I stayed. I am still holding on.

It took a long time to understand and forgive my sisters. It came with a unique kind of pain. While there are great sacrifices in running from your past and great triumphs to be gained, choosing to stay can be the same.

Choosing to stay can be healing if the abuse has stopped and you’re willing to put that anger away. I hear people say,

Abuse is a choice!

I agree. I hear them say,

You abuse because you were abused?! Bullsh*t!
You abuse because you’re an abuser.

Deep down, there’s a piece of me that feels the same way. I know that anger. I know that pain. Those statements and feelings are valid, but they don’t create healing or change. People are not born abusive. Something makes them that way.

I was barely a teenager the first time I hit my sister. I had been watching a movie on Lifetime. At the beginning, a man abandoned his three kids at a gas station. It showed them standing with their toys and belongings. The youngest was screaming as he drove away when I grabbed the remote to turn it off. I headed to my bedroom, fuming with anger, as my sister headed the other way, and I hit her. I hit her and I didn’t feel a thing! I don’t even know why I did it.

I have no memory of the rest of that day, but I do remember the day I hit my mother after she was done belittling me and calling me names. I blamed myself for the abuse after that. I felt like I must’ve deserved it because I did the exact same thing.

If I believe what the majority say, I am an abuser. But I believe I was a victim. I believe my actions and my anger were controlled by other things. It took years to identify and understand those things. It took years to forgive myself for violence beyond my control and convince myself it’s okay to let go of those mistakes. It took years to release the guilt. I still carry the pain.

Because of those experiences, I can look at my abusers and identify the same kind of causes and distinguish their pain. Does that validate the abuse? Does it negate the consequences of child abuse? Does it mean my abusers didn’t have the choice to change? No.

Am I making excuses for them by recognizing how domestic violence and degenerative illness caused my life to be this way? In my younger days, I did. I don’t allow myself to do that anymore. Still, the elements of abuse haven’t changed.

Being able to identify why the abuse happened helped bring understanding. It helped me offer my parents insight into their abuse and the sickness that caused it. It opened the doors to forgiveness that many victims lock before throwing the keys away. It helped bring healing in the middle of pain.

Some people do abuse because they were abused. If they can’t talk about it, if we’re too busy labeling them as abusers instead of acknowledging they were victims; if we can’t show them the why behind the violence, how can they change?

I escaped the abuse. I stayed to break the cycle.

And I’m stronger for it.


18004ACHILD

A Pledge to Love

We believe that love changes people.

We will empower each other to be the boss of our own voice and take charge of our future.

We will speak out and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

We will cultivate endurance, strength and perseverance.

We will provide an interactive platform that allows children to share their stories and pursue their dreams.

We will enable each other to overcome pain and adversity, mediocrity, complacency and trauma.

We will rise together in advocacy, partnership and business.

We will echo to the voices of children so that our message is heard across the nation.

We rally behind each other in pursuit of leadership and prosperity.

We will respect diversity and individuality and we will show the same love and respect to all people.

We will comfort those who are hurting, bruised, broken and wounded.

We will be a fruitful foundation of empowerment, prosperity, compassion and empathy.

We will speak for the kids of the world who will echo our message for generations to come.

We will stand united in passion and strong in confidence and determination.

We will strive to supplement each other’s strengths and talents and enhance their vision.

We will face adversity together as soldiers, leaving no child behind and no voice unheard.

This is our mission:

To spread love, compassion and empowerment.

We are poets, artists, and writers; advocates, students, sisters and brothers.

We’re strong, opinionated and driven. We own it and flaunt it.

May we be a powerful force in this world and may our voices be the echo that moves millions.


BOSSYKIDS.COM

Image Credit

Dear Christian Blogger

Today I met a Christian blogger. “Culture of Violence?”  He wrote. Then, he proceeded with verbal assault.

Previously, I referenced his work, but I was respectful. I know how to hold my tongue when it comes to judging others. That’s not my place. I was called to love.

This is my personal response to the writer. 


Dear Christian Blogger,

Actually, the initial thoughts behind our culture of violence go much deeper than that.

Of course, you approached my blog with your glasses of judgement meticulously formulated and focused on your own way of thinking. After all, you’re a Christian. So, anything you do and say MUST be with good intentions, right?

You made sure to let me know it was “nothing personal.” It’s just your religion to point out people’s tragedies, shortcomings and faults, right? I understand.

You’re a Christian.

You have an important message to share with the world. Do you know what story I think of when I think of Christians much like yourself?

Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ greatest servants. Others fed Him, worshiped Him, followed Him and shouted His praises…

She washed His dirty feet with her hair and she was humbled!

I imagine she felt so honored because she was a whore. (As you’ve attempted and failed to make me to be in your introduction.)

Or maybe she wasn’t holy enough or clean enough, much like the diseased woman who strained and reached out to simply touch the hem of His garment.

I imagine I’m a lot like them.

After all, that was your intention, right? You’ve got to appeal to your readers who are similar to you; their Bibles turned to the page that gives permission for judgement.

It’s okay. I understand.

You’re Christians.

My previous relationship was with a female. The next time you want to attack me, read further! You would have had great ammunition to keep you focused.

I began that relationship the same month that I was violently sexually assaulted in someone’s front yard, while 5 other people watched.

But hey, make light of my pain and use it for your sermon. Amen? Thank God, Jesus never did that!

In all of my articles, at no point do I ever blame police. However, when you’re a writer and you cover stories that are in the media, the facts that you report have to be exact. Your kind of judgement wouldn’t make it to Elite Daily. But hey, you’re welcome to try.

If you had scanned less and read more, your information about my concept would be thorough and well-debated.

But it’s not.

See, this was my first article on our culture of violence. It was published in May 2014. You’d know, if you read it.

My second article covers who is to blame for the culture we’ve created. It very clearly points no fingers to anyone but us.

We the people!

My third article to address our culture of violence was this article. It’s about child abuse and domestic violence. But I’m sure in your eyes, the victim is to blame.

It’s okay. I understand.

You’re Christian, right?

That makes your prejudices acceptable and justifies judgement. At least, that’s the message you’re sending.

Then, I wrote about violence going viral. No, I didn’t blame police, at all! I called the people to action to stop the violence by exclaiming,

These are our children!

If you ask me, the fact that you’ve “read” so much of my work and given it so much thought (clearly), tells me a lot about your love, your thoughts and your heart.

Actions speak louder than words.

After reading a ridiculously loud message of love, you found the hate and judgement. The same way in your article about the death Leelah Alcorn.

You see, with every single article I have written, I’ve used “we, people, us” etc.

I’ve reminded people that we are all human and I’ve plead to the people,

Tell them that you love them and they matter!

God called us to do just that.

Sounds like He has called you to judge. And the message that you’re sending speaks loads.

Doors closed.

If God has called you to be a light in this world, why is it that none of your posts reflect it?

We do have a culture of violence.

Some of the most horrendous acts of violence we see today
flow from the very mouths of people.

Much like yourself.

Keep your religion. I’ll keep my faith and choose love.

Love changes people.