When I read your email, I felt your strength, your calm, your worry, and the underlying fear. I cried from frustration in knowing that there’s really not one damn thing you and I can do to help each other because we both know we have to “do” it on our own. I cried because it’s good to hear again that I’m not crazy and alone, AND I cried because it’s horrible to know I’m not crazy or alone. I wish I were alone in this, K, don’t you?
But we have these precious children. Not really children anymore, are they?
When I look at them, I see their innocence superimposed on pain. They’re hurting, aren’t they? They’re hurting because I stayed; they’re hurting because I might leave and make them go with me. I may tear their family, their reality, apart – just because I can. Just because I want to.
And even if they hear me say “I’m trying to protect you,” they don’t really know what I want to protect them from, do they? This is their life. This inexplicable craziness is the only reality they know.
“Mom and Dad love each other, it’s just a fight, they’re never going to abandon us, they’re going to stay constant so we can learn what life “out there” is going to be like. Mom and Dad are teaching us how to live, how to love. And now mom says this is wrong? What the heck is wrong with her?!
“This is the way it’s supposed to be. This is the way I’m supposed to be. Why is mom trying to destroy me?! “
“No one has ‘seen’ my bruises or scars and offered to help me get through this. It’s not ‘real’. Well…to them it’s not.”
and I know you’re talking about the other adults that live around us in some sort of bliss; in some sort of world in which they have the luxury of being able to say “other people have it worse” and dismiss us without giving another thought to the unseen suffering.
But you and I know the suffering, and we know the children are suffering. We know that other people do “have it worse” but that doesn’t make it okay for us to have it “this way.”
So now, what are we going to do about it?
We could go back up to the first paragraph and start reading again, looping, looping, looping our way to the crazy house.
What we’ve been doing doesn’t work. Thinking about it doesn’t work because it’s too easy to “understand” our way into the looping. Understanding is not what I need, and it’s not what I need to give. “Understanding” has super-glued my heart and mind to a mad man, and “understanding” will doom my children to repeating my loop.
In your heart of hearts, you know you’re leaving, don’t you?
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