I can almost hear someone out there say, “That’s what she said!” I know I thought the same thing when I was trying to figure out a title for this post; this post that I am not even sure that I should write.
I make no claims to being a great parent or even a good enough parent. No, I’m not fishing for compliments here. I’m just stating the facts the way I see them. I am a try-my-very-best-with-the-tools that I have kind of parent. What I have as a model is, well, it is pretty messed up. No, actually it is really messed up. Growing up in a reality like this that occurred at least once a week until I was 18 is absolutely messed up…fucked up. No child ever deserves that…not ever.
Much has been discussed and speculated in the news and the web as to what motivated this young lady to make this abuse public years later. Who really cares? Seven years after that particular brutal beating I imagine that she is still processing what was discipline at the hands of her parents. I’m sure she is still working on healing her heart, her mind and her soul. I know that I was when I was her age. Apparently I still need to work on the damage that was done as I could not even watch more than two minutes of that video with out finding my heart start to race, my breathing become ragged, my body break out into a cold sweat. I literally flinched with each whack of that belt on that child’s body because I know how “discipline” like that feels. No, I won’t judge that young woman nor speculate as to why she posted that video because I know as a victim we cope and try to heal anyway that we can.
The day that I found out that I was going to be a mommy, I admit that I was terrified. All I knew as a child was a parenting model that relies on fear, intimidation and brutality. I can’t begin to describe how hard it was to not follow that model. Yes, I had, in the past, offered a smack on the tushie with my hand with some of my kids. One smack was all it would take. I yell. I yell a lot. I lecture too…a lot. I also give consequences for bad behavior…hard consequences for really bad behavior. Like I said, I am a try-my-very-best-with-the-tools that I have kind of parent.
I’m not really sure if there is point to what I am writing here. I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the kind of parent that I am examining and over-analyzing all my failings and short-comings. Hillary Adams posting the video of the kind of “discipline” her father inflicted upon her…the kind that leaves painful welts and black and blue bruises all over your body that makes it difficult to sit, stand, walk or do much of anything else only caused me to examine even harder the kind of parent I am and am not. I know there is the opinion that as a mother I am a major fail. I’m fine with that opinion. I can be at times harsh and I can be hard. But in spite of my failures my kids, compared to me, are so lucky…so damn lucky…and whether they believe me or not, so loved…so very much loved.