Well, I’m turning fifty soon and I try to recall if I encouraged my children to chase their dreams and their full potential?
In my children’s youth I do recall appreciating all the sweet little playtime creations they came up with and shared with me. My son became an excellent artist at a young age and his talent grew as he did. By the time he was in eighth grade I was as excited as he was when his work was chosen for display. Instantly, I began encouraging his artwork, which I call his ‘God Given’ talent.
My girls, one middle child and my youngest, they too loved to color and draw. They definitely enjoyed giving me their gifts, which I still treasure. In fact, my refrigerator still displays a teddy bear magnet my youngest daughter made in third grade. There is also a gift my middle daughter made me about five years ago. It is a fabulous hand-made, paper mache` box covered with special photos from their childhood. This was the last of those special creative gifts I received, but I treasure each one they’ve ever made.
Anyway, as the kids got older it seemed my son always displayed who and what he wanted to do in his life. Not that he didn’t get distracted through the teen years and into mid twenties, as all children seem to do, but his creative talents and where it would lead into his career were always a part of who he was. Then I think of my girls. I know that I encouraged them, and still do, especially the need for their education; to be independent and live their life, but was this a dream they had that I supported and encouraged?
There were those wonderful moments I’ll never forget; like when they shared a dream to dance, sing, and being proud of just who they were. I enjoyed every breathtaking moment of watching my girls become beautiful young women, but I don’t recall encouraging any special type of career for them or that they had some dream of this type they shared with me.
My youngest had a big struggle in her early teens, much of which was doing what she had watched her brother and sister do and how that influenced her own developement and growth. All of my children had that difficult time in life beginning in their early teens, but my girls were much different from my son; they being dreamers of men giving them a life as a wife and mother. I’m not sure if they ever saw anything else for them or if I influenced any other type of existence for them.
They were all shown love, and encouraged to live their own life, but guiding them to become the responsible adults in life they needed to be; this was an impossible task for me. In truth guiding them was a challenge once they got into highschool. Is this because there was absolutely no guidance in my life?
There were no hopes, dreams, encouragement, nothing at all as I grew through those years. In fact, I don’t recall a single soul that gave a crap whether I lived or died. There was only Walter’s whore and the family’s slave; it seemed everything depended on what I did or didn’t do for someone else, but it wasn’t like I had any choice in the matter.
This was good in that I became an excellent caregiver of my family and I knew how I DID NOT want to raise them. They were loved, wanted, enjoyed, supported, and they still are, but guidance into a functioning adult life is something I didn’t have the capability of doing. Hell, I couldn’t bring myself to teach them how to drive or give them that indepence and responsibility that came with it!!!
I had no clue how to teach them the value of a dollar. It’s not that the four of us together ever had much, but I thought it a bad thing to teach them responsibility as this required discipline and that was a hard thing for me to inflict on my children. It was strange that I did well in my professional career, worked hard daily and then went home to cook and care for my kids. I led by example in matters of; be good to others; appreciate the small things, love with your heart, all of those things are good, but to function in everyday life is something many of our kids lack today. ‘I’m not demeaning anyone or any efforts here!!!’
As I come to present day, and life half over, a part of me still wonders about what would have been, IF?
What if I had been rescued in some way or influenced by a positive person? What if none of this would have happened? What if the five year old Trecia Ann had not been molested? What if the nine year old didn’t lay naked in the bed feeling his erection? What if the 12 year old wouldn’t have been raped by his shotgun barrel? What if the 13 year old wouldn’t have been taken on their dates? What if I knew anything other than drinking, drugs, sex, pain, fear, sadness? What if I would have had time to build on hopes and dreams instead of worrying about how my night would go and if I would still be alive tomorrow?
Who would I have become and how would I have influenced my children then? Would their lost path of teen years have been better balanced?
They were 14, 12 and 9 when we finally got away from all the screaming, fighting, crying and then they had to endure the maddening years of turbulence and custody arguments between their father and me. It was a mass of dysfunction for all of us, but children are impacted even harder and what happens in their everyday world has a huge influence on their own adult path.
Unfortunately for our children today, there are a lot of adults; mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents, who’ve gone years in dysfunction, rape, trafficking, constant beatings, and trying to self-medicate with drugs, alcohol; carrying pain so deep they attempt suicide because of the huge loss and emptiness inside. Many of us have partners and friends who were going through the same nightmares, but can’t say anything because the shame feels too overwhelming. Now we look at our children and wonder why they are lost? ‘Why do they seem so angry and disrespectful’, we ask? Our children are struggling to function in today’s world, but their lives are surrounded by the emotional dysfunction of their childhood because of the brokeness their parents carry?
My inabilities from the training and years of trauma made it impossible for me to give the guidance my children, especially my daughters needed. I now can only hope to influence them as a healed mother and a speaker against the atrocities and dark evil crimes; the erosion of dysfunction and destruction!!!
Today we are looking at the next generation to be invaded by the passed down dysfunction of generations before us. How can we blame the kids for living in what they know? How can we say, ‘it’s just a beating you’ll heal; it’s only sex; get over it’? How can we say that it’s not wrong and that these acts won’t impact their children’s lives? Don’t you see what’s already happened?
The majority of survivors I’m connected with and share these atrocious similarities, are of the baby boomer generation or just after that period between 1948 and 1962. It was after WW II and on, when our first young president came into office and then got shot Many are also from around the end of the Vietnam war; these are the greatest of the numbers now gathering in defence of our greatest asset, our children. Is there a connection here at all? Perhaps the number of survivors is so large because of the quantity of kids born at that time, or is it because the children of these years were being raised by survivors of their parents’ hell?
For centuries the beating and rape of our children and partners was never anything to be recognized by the public as of crucial importance.!!
Remember back when any form of infidelity or deviant behavior was only permitted within a dark underworld existence. About two weeks ago I caught the end of a program, not sure of the title, but it was on the History Channel. In what I saw, the collection of narrators were talking about how back in the days of Thomas Jefferson and our other Founding Fathers, the elite of our society had tunnels dug out around the cities; small rooms were blasted into the tunnel walls. When those with the money and power wanted to act out these dark desires, banned by the others of public standing, they would gather in the tunnels and into the darkest of these rooms; young children and prostitutes would be taken for their sick pleasures.
Look at when our country first passed a government enacted Child Protection Services. This didn’t happen until what the American Bar Association shares in history of these laws as the ‘third era of child protection in 1962’; other non-governmental protection services have been ongoing since back in 1875. Our country didn’t recognize beating and raping your spouse as a crime until our then, Senator Joe Biden, presented Congress with the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. I’d like to ask; ‘What the hell took so long?’
Why hasn’t this become a topic that everyone is making a priority? If this were some dark plague eating away at our society, which it is, our scientist would have been scrambling to find a cure. The problem is that only one thing can change this type of human acceptance to these dark evils, A UNITED FRONT FROM A GREATER MAJORITY OF OUR SOCIETY!!! Mankind is the only one that can change what has been passed down in our generations for centuries. If we do not collectively battle and stand against these actions, you can bet our government will never get involved in the more severe and strategic punishments needed for these crimes.
I say, we first sterilize all pedophiles and monsters of this type. Then gather them up and ship them off to some deserted, but controlled, island like they did with the leopards way back when; just my personal view on a possible solution!!!
Now, what do we plan to pass on to our kids? What do we want to encourage them to become? Surely not what’s been accepted in the past? If I could go back and change anything in my life; it would be the lack of functioning guidance I gave to my children. All that was their childhood, how I influenced them to live, and the massive tidal wave of dysfunction; this is what my family still struggles to recover and heal from. Watching how what I endured, and fought to survive, is creeping in to invade the lives of my grandchildren is a sickening feeling and I can only pray that what I do now can somehow help to make their world a better place.
Can we really turn away and pretend this is all just nothing? Can we sit back and act as if it won’t leave an impact, more like a crater, in their life? How can our generation of parents and grandparents tell our children that all of this doesn’t matter? Isn’t this much the same as saying they don’t matter; they have no value just as we had none? Perhaps we can cross our fingers and pray they will stop mankind from destroying themselves.
What guidance and encouragement can we give them if we can’t give them safety and love? Do any of the other values matter if we cannot give them these two necessities in life? How will they grow and flourish in their world if we don’t provide some better insight for them, rather than turning away and leaving them to be eaten alive by the dark evils that occur within what should be the safety of their homes?
How will you see the future of hopes and dreams for your children after reading this blog?
Come visit on the new website and sign the guest book in ‘Generation No More’ be part of the change in the future rather than part of the pain from the past. Let’s all be a better influence on our children and encourage their greater possibilities.
Give them Hope
Give them Love
Give them Guidance
Give them Dreams
Give them the gift of a happier, safer, thriving world of possibilities!!!
Advocate/Author/Speaker/Talk Radio Host/Founder Survivors World online support group, Ms. Patricia A. McKnight