|"Child Abuse" By Shadrach Muyila|
This isn't going to be a tirade against my father. This is just what I've seen and been through.
Child abuse begins the cycle of violence, I notice. The child has no idea what is happening or worse, why it's happening.
Soon, that child becomes hopelessly angry. At that age, chances are they have no idea what to call it. There's no word for it. It's just a feeling. It's a need to destroy. It's a need that can never be satisfied, and one that will be punished. Thus the cycle begins.
This is anger in the soul, and it stays with the victim for life. As they get older, they may find coping mechanisms, they learn to deal with it, but it never, ever goes away. One just learns to live with it.
When you're faced with violence you don't understand as a child, you have two choices; capitulate or FIGHT BACK. It's always baffled me how people are so amazed that the quiet kid that never talks suddenly goes on a killing spree. I don't condone the action, but I understand the motivation. Eventually, your ability to feel just dies off. That pain one lives with has to be inflicted upon the world, and then, once that's finally done, and the victim can sink no lower, the only thing left is to take their own life.
Let me say it again. It's never okay to shoot up something. But this type of action can be prevented.
But I digress.
Choosing to fight back is like throwing a lit match on gasoline. The anger has an outlet, and suddenly, one has a big problem. Violence is addictive, like any drug (why do you think action movies make so much money?). It has to be fed, and in ever increasing doses. Eventually, you stop asking why you do the things you do and just go with it.
I wanted to do something good with it. So I turned my anger against other people who perpetuated this cycle against others. I went too far on many occasions. I often couldn't stop myself. I used to tell myself that I could become a worse monster than the ones I was battling without sacrificing being a good person. I was wrong. By the time I realized that, it was nearly too late.
Only recently, and I mean within the last year or so, when I finally stopped using a smile to hide the anger, did I realize how one breaks the cycle, and it's the hardest thing in the world.
You have to put your hands down. You have to walk away. No matter what you hear, what happens, you have to quit fighting. Quit feeding the anger.
The anger never goes away, but it can be dealt with.
It can also be prevented altogether.
Treat your kids and significant others with the respect they deserve, please.
Thank you for reading.