While I know that disciplining your child can walk a fine line with child abuse at times and can be responsible for mental issues…here’s the part where I tell you to stay in your lane.
Im not sure why the descendants of some of the most brutal oppressors in history suddenly have a conscience about hitting children/other people. But yall still brutally killing our sons and daughters.
When I was twenty, my mother told me she had been raped. Five years passed before I mustered the courage to write about it. It is highly distressing to learn the sacred, holy place where you lived during your first nine months on this planet was ruthlessly pillaged long before you were conceived. It makes you wonder if there exists a safe place. She was nice. She was nice. My mother was nine. Over a Christmas holiday, Mom and I were talking in the kitchen. I don’t remember that we were discussing anything in particular. Liz popped her head in to say goodbye. She was going to a party, dressed to the nines in a satin slip-dress. Our mother stopped in mid-innocuous-sentence and stared. Liz and I stared back. Mom looked down at her hands. (Momspeak interpretation: Something Is Up.) Big sigh. “I really wish you wouldn’t go out dressed like that.” In the past, my sister and I would have rolled our eyes at each other and made light of it. Mom said things like this pretty much whenever she saw us dressed scantily for a party. This exchange had taken place hundreds of times. But we could tell from her voice that tears were welling up in her eyes. This wasn’t something we could shrug off as Mom’s “over-protectiveness.” There was suddenly a Big Problem in the kitchen. Liz put her purse on the table and felt for a chair. Neither of us could tear our eyes from our mother. “Mom…” my sister spluttered. I whispered, “Mom, what’s wrong?” Both of us were crying, but we had no idea why. Nobody went to any party that night. Two men saw her walking home from school in her Catholic girls’ school uniform. The temptation was too much for them. The men pulled her into some bushes in Hyde Park and raped her. Our mother, our, our, our beautiful mother. Two men did that to her. She was nice, she was nice. She had no words to correspond with the defilement. She didn’t come across sufficient vocabulary for an entire decade. She walked home, changed her clothes and never breathed a word to anyone until she was in college. In the meantime - that is, throughout her adolescence - my mother relied solely on rape’s best pale, silence, to help her survive this experience. She buried her silence deep because what else could she do. When the Goddess eventually blessed her with two daughters, oh, how she watched us. She says, “You two always thought I was paranoid, but how could I tell you why I was like that, how could I hurt you when you were so little and free? Then as you got older, I didn’t know when to tell you. I knew it would make you cry like this.” We sobbed from the pits of our guts. The whole time we were growing up, she attended seminars and clinics focused on rape to help her deal with the pain she sequestered in a dark region of her heart when she was a child. She had to learn how to control her fear that “something would happen” to my sister or me. Hawk, mother hawk. A new panorama slammed into my heart. I remembered years and years of relentless warnings: “Don’t take short-cuts,” “Come straight home from school,” “Never walk past vans,” “If a car is following you, cross the street and run to a neighbor’s house. If you aren’t near a neighbor’s house, run into the middle of the street and scream ‘FIRE!’ at the top of your lungs.” A childhood memory assailed me. I was eight. One morning, my friend Kit and I went to the mall to buy our moms’ gifts for Mother’s Day. We ended up dawdling awfully long, and I didn’t get home until dinnertime. My mother was standing in front of our house. There was no color in her face. Her eyes were blind terror. She swept me into her arms and hugged all of the breath out of me. Then she slapped me across the face. It stung. My father was cruising the neighborhood in a cop car. He came home and immediately grounded me to my room for a week. My mother didn’t utter a word. That week I brooded in my room. I thought they were overreacting. In other words: Because of the action of two completely unknown males in the year 1948, I was slapped across the face and grounded to my room for a week in 1974. A different way of looking at this is: I was raised by a woman who was held down in a park and raped when she was a little girl. While the consequences of this event became, for Liz and me, a Grand Duchess Overtone in our upbringing, the two men who raped our mother have no idea either of us exist on the planet to have been raised under the shadow of their action. A further perspective might be: A man could, feasibly, sacrifice his coffee break raping a woman. That woman would then spend her entire life dealing with it. So would her daughters. So would theirs. This distribution of power is not acceptable."