Broken Parents creating Broken Children

 

IMG_6807 Through this writing I hope to touch the heart of just one family, just one broken parent or confused child, to believe in hope. I hope that in some way, through my voice and the hundreds of others, we as a society can provide a resource within every community to help families deal directly with these issues, rather than turning away, passing judgment, placing blame, and ignoring the signs we have learned can lead to something much worse; look deeper than the surface and heal the broken souls within.

This is what happens when broken children become broken parents without anyone willing to notice or help provide the resources and support they need to mend their family unit. This is the part I cannot stress enough, which should be so important in our society today; healing the parents to empower their ability to protect & guide their children with love, patience, understanding and most of all without the threat of sexual contact stealing away their child’s inner being.

There is a very large piece of the puzzle which I cannot speak about publicly in detail, because it is not my story to tell; it is the inner lives of my children and grandchildren. Many of you have heard me share about the dysfunction which continues to invade my bloodline; the 3rd generation touched by the evil which so many witnessed, permitted and some even took part in a long time ago.

 Those many adults in the small community of Freeburg decided I wasn’t a harmed child, I was just a whore!! Sadly I was just a kid forced to endure his evil, her disregard & severe neglect; all those years abandoned within a house of hell!!

They trained me you know. Mona & Malcolm both; they trained me to believe I was not even human. If they would have forced me to eat from the dog’s bowl, which I’m really surprised they didn’t; it could not have been any more evil in that house. You may not have been aware of just how cruel it was on the inside, but that which many of you did witness would be enough to hopefully alarm any neighbor, family friend, educator or police force today. However, it still amazes me how many children still fall through the cracks of our distorted perceptions of what is allowed within the family unit.

Today all my nightmares are history and despite the deep scarring effect, it only matters because of how that which was permitted against a little girl way back then, twisted the child’s thoughts, decision process, and perception of what was to be accepted & tolerated within her life; leaving a broken dysfunctional mess who went from one abuser to the next looking for love and acceptance, then had children in the mix of her own adult confusion.

 Well today the dysfunction left behind still invades the lives of my grandchildren in some form and that makes me angry, hurt, sad.

In all honesty I didn’t think I’d ever be able to get pregnant. After all those years of unprotected sex, internal injury from multiple rapes; worst of all being the shotgun barrel he used when I was twelve. Then there was all the ongoing years without any medical care or cleaning, how could I have expected to ever have children? Really I didn’t think God considered me worthy of being a ‘mom’ but in the end He did and they are still the three most cherished gifts I’ve ever been given.

When I begin to look inside myself during these past years of healing. The hardest part was accepting how what I had allowed and the decisions I made in my broken adult self, had effected the healthy development of my children and their sense of what a stable secure life was really like. There were many years of painful abuse & violence which distorted my views and until I was 35 years old, I seriously didn’t even know there were places of help who would have given us safe shelter and provided me with a beginning start on life skills to better handle things.

My children were stuck going through the physical rule and verbal degradation of their father, then the wrath of their stepfather for another four years before I was strong enough to take a chance and break away from my ‘normal’; the only way of life I had ever known. I wasn’t sure I could handle providing what my young children needed to survive. Housing, food, clothing, school it was all a terrifying thought, but I absolutely had to take that chance if I ever wanted them to know some sense of family love without harm.

Today we often ask; ‘Why does that abused parent stay when they are being harmed, beaten, almost murdered? We blame that parent rather than see their broken distorted views of what life and family is all about.  You wouldn’t even begin to imagine how well I was trained to believe this type of thing was all I deserved. In truth this type of brutal cruelty was the only ‘normal’ I ever knew.

The tolerance, the need for wanting to be loved, the sense that I wasn’t capable of providing my kids the life they deserved, that I couldn’t survive without a partner in my life, the desperate need for someone to ‘love’ me and just accept me lasted through twenty years and six different men. The abuse covered absolutely every form and exploded on many different levels. I just cannot explain the full impact this ended up having on my children’s lives.

 How many other children and families are dealing with this same cycle of pain passing through their lives today? We can only take the statistical information and multiply it by what Congress has stated; ‘For every one report that is made at least six others are not’. Think about the HUGE number of families and victims who never report a single attack against them, and the children who have no voice at all in their home.

What of those who are like me; abandoned and left to believe it was all they deserve and no one will ever care, so why should they ever reach out for help or bother with making a report? What of those broken parents who believe they will have their children whisked away because of the violence and abuse they continue to tolerate? We need to provide resources so they can heal their own lives, then help them become the parents they need to be, responsible & protective, nurturing & gentle.

My greatest guilt is that I didn’t realize the wounded impact it would have on their lives as they grew up, even though we had broken away and had our own house of safety, filled with a family bond, love, laughter, and no exploding violence. 

Although my children may admit they knew I loved them, or they may even remember the treats, special holidays, birthdays and other such events filled with many moments of laughter, love, and family bonding; our lives were chaos from my emotional stresses, the wounding left from all those decades of violence mixed with the lack of life skills to keep us going. Needless to say most of their good memories are outweighed by the disruption of violence or emotional dysfunction within their home. The relationship I have with my adult children is still very broken; it is all so crisscrossed with the insane aftermath of what happened way back when.

Today my greatest worry is my grandchildren? Are they going to live knowing what it’s like to really be safe and be at peace within their homes? Will their lives be stable or will they grow within the invasion of the ongoing cycle of dysfunction? Sadly, I know this answer as I’ve seen how its already played out in their early lives, but I pray there will be someone who can help me convince my children of how deep this ugly nightmare bleeds into our family and the need for them to find a way to face the truth of their own need to heal. I’m constantly worrying about their decisions and what I know they already accept in their relationships, the sacrifices they lay on their children rather than listening to the pleas of their mother to connect with the resources I give them and heal themselves; become the parents their children deserve before there is serious harm and they have to face the same child/parent crisis I deal with today.

Do you think they will ever understand why I have chosen to be the strong voice against abuse that I’ve worked so hard to become today? Do you think they understand how it all connects together and until they heal their wounds, accept their own faults as much as their abilities; only then can they become the truly capable parents their children need? Will they ever understand how it breaks my heart to know there is nothing more I can do to help them, that today it is all in their adult hands and they lay out the future for how it will effect their children’s normal growth, development and possible success in life?  The truth is that the more I beg them to look at their lives and decisions, their choices and feelings, and how it all impacts their children’s lives, this is usually when they become tempered with me or they cut me out altogether.

Sadly, as I look at this deep set disconnection with my children all I can do is cry. It rips my heart apart and shreds me of any desire to continue moving forward at all. I want to break into pieces, I want to hide in the darkness, I want to scream out ‘I LOVE YOU’, but I know the depth of that love will never be heard. It is a tragedy I hope none of you have to bare, but for those many broken parents like me it is almost a certainty. Today I am so tired of this screwed up insane disconnection to the three persons who had given me a reason to live.  How I long for them to understand the strength it took for me to take that chance and escape the violent life, buy us a house, and then be even stronger to get rid of the different abusers who would follow. Isn’t it time they found some level of compassion for the woman who did her best to create a safe home for them, instill decency and good values, made sure we had dinner together every night, attended school functions with great pride in their accomplishments and some special treat for their efforts; the one who kept them believing in their dreams even when others told them it was a waste of time.

It feels as if nothing will earn me the compassion and forgiveness from my children, not their understanding or simple love for the mother I tried to be then and the woman I am still becoming today. I cannot wish away the mess of yesterday nor can I be the one who heals their wounds today. They are broken, they are enduring the aftermath of those once tolerated acts of their mother.. They are treading water trying to figure out why they can’t get out of the mess or how in the hell they ended up there in the first place? Now I can only suggest ways for them to work through things, provide resource contacts as I would for anyone, or be the one to hear their cries over the phone. They are adults now and it is time for them to take on their own adult responsibilities. It is time to release me from the sole blame for all that went wrong, and let go of the brainwashing forced into their heads so long ago. It is time for them to mend their ways, accept their own wrong behaviors & decisions, and begin giving their children the lives they deserve.

This share is for all of the parents who carry the heartbreak of how their own wounding that has cycled into their children’s lives despite all their efforts to change and protect, love & guide. This is what we as a society must begin to accept today if we hope to help end this ongoing insanity and life altering impact of family violence & dysfunction in our children’s lives. Can we continue allowing it to go on without addressing the deep rooted truth? We continue to learn through the many hundreds sharing their history of wicked torture and dysfunction, that what happens within our own family can often be the most evil danger our children will ever experience. I hope we can learn from these many incredible survivors of hell.

Thanks so much to those who help me make it through with your positive hope and the friendships I’ve built. Blessings to the wounded souls of yesterday. May our families heal and this be the end of the ever present ongoing destruction that cycles through our generations. Believe that you can be the beginning of change within your family unit. I wish you peace and inner balance to mend the wounds of our past and provide the healing hope many families are in need of today. 

Dream big, expect miracles, and never accept anything less than love & safety

Thank you  bdarBANNER

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Fndr/CEO: Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight

Crisis Support/Mentor/Key Note Speaker/Radio Host/Author

‘My Justice’ Finally sharing the voice stolen away so long ago.

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~~Always believe anything is possible with you in the active equation~~

The distorted views, perceptions, value I passed forward……

Coming from my history where sexual activity, alcohol, drugs, and value was only felt through being desired by a man; I’ve done some pretty horrible things in my life.

“If someone wanted to have sex with me, then I was worthy of existence”

My only perceived value was in my sexuality as an object, not as a person. Needless to say, seeing my value only through my being wanted by a man flowed into my adult relationships and my example as a mother. The broken spirit of ugliness, overweight teen with scarred disfigured skin from not bathing; black broken fangs for teeth from never having a toothbrush or given the human kindness and decency for proper hygiene; the teen I was with all my distorted perceptions felt grateful for any man wanting to be with me or choosing me as their wife.

“I was well trained to be submissive; accepting their degradation, control, beatings and almost murderous actions because I was nothing without them.”

Carrie Underwood– ‘Blown Away’

This pattern of life was all I knew, it was who I was as a person. The training of all those childhood nightmares was such a huge part of me and controlled how I viewed my self worth; how I behaved and presented myself to others.

“The value of me was only in what others allowed me to feel.”

To say the least my behaviors and choices we all made with a broken and distorted thought process. These distorted views drove who I chose to have sex with, who I chose as my husband or boyfriends and how I allowed them to control my world.

Sadly it was those ‘bad’ choices and ‘bad’ behaviors that infected my children’s world. It is the greatest regret and guilt I still carry today. They grew up believing that the men in my life were more important and I’m sure my behaviors are what led them to believe this.

“How could they possibly believe they carried more value in my heart, if all of the men controlled my actions as a mother?”

Throughout my marriages and relationships I did everything to perfection to ensure the men were never disappointed. However, ensuring their satisfaction was done for reasons other than their importance to me. I ensured perfection in all details of my home in hopes to keep the man from exploding, which was my biggest and constant concern. I needed them to love me, but even more so I needed them not to harm me or my children. Thankfully I can say none of these men ever charged and attacked my children. However, hiding in the closet filled with terror because your mom is being slammed and beaten is nothing a child should ever know. My kids saw their mother’s crying battered body trying to console them and assure them it was nothing. “He was just drunk, just upset because of something I did or didn’t do, or listen as their stepfather beat me and raged because of something the kids had or hadn’t done, which I didn’t correct to the standards expected. Of course there were the times when he raged and beat me damning the kids, “How horrible they were and how I didn’t make them do this or that.” My kids absorbed this and perceived the beating and rage as their mother being battered because of their ‘BAD’ behavior.

“I accepted and tolerated this and then went to be sure this or that was never done again. What view did this give to the children? How could they possibly see themselves as being my most important concern?”

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Artwork Created and Provided by the magnificent talent of Michal Madison

Advocate/Watercolor Artist/Talk Radio Host Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery Radio   http://www.michalmadisonart.com

There were extremes of these nights of rage that resulted in a family round table meeting with me, my 11 year old son, my 9 year old daughter, and my 6 year old daughter. Sometimes these round table meeting even included their father, whom I would call to come join us and then in my distorted thinking that I was trying to get them safe; I would ask my children who they wanted to live with and ask them to make a decision to leave me and go back to a man that ruled with an iron fist, a slap, a dancing leather strap.

“My poor babies, how could they think their mother wasn’t choosing to send them away for being bad or not worthy or not important enough for me to take us all and run?”

Thankfully, this is exactly what I started working on after a doctor insisted on my getting help at the local psychiatric counseling center when he was treating me for some broken bones and stressed out nerves. During my first round of therapy I began to understand how the demons of my childhood trained me to be so controlled by the men in my life and believe that getting beaten was completely normal. My eyes started to open and my soul started falling apart. A new me was found and the strength started to grow inside. The belief in my personal value was born and I started trying to escap0e the insane relationship. Twenty years of my adult life was spent in this destructive, volatile environment of distorted through processes and choices; even worse my children had to live and grow in this mess, be influenced and forced to accept it as well.

Thankfully I finally found the courage, the belief, the determination to leave and get my children and I into our own SAFE environment. Yes there was still the need to be loved, to find love, to have someone want me for me and there would be more boyfriends to come and go, but we would have our home and I wasn’t tolerating anymore raging, abusive, controlling behaviors. No one would control what my child did or didn’t do, except of course for me.

“It wasn’t perfect but we were a family. We were safe in our own home, although it took a couple years to finally get there. We were close to each other, had dinner together quietly, happily with laughter and tears as we discussed their day each evening. It was our SAFE HAVEN!!”

Unfortunately there was already much damage done by the time this happened. My behavior to go out drinking once a week, dress up sexy and go seek out the ‘value’ I still had issues with in myself, influenced my children’s view of personal value and what was acceptable behavior. My daughter’s were the most impacted by these behaviors and how they grew to see their own value through their sexuality and needing to be wanted and loved, accepted by a man to be a complete and worthy person.

Everything that encompassed how I viewed my own value by needing to have someone want me or want to be with me, all of these distorted thought processes is exactly what has left the deepest impression on my children, especially my baby girls.

This is now the root of all I commit myself to working on each day. It is my drive to end the insanity of generational abuse and/or the acceptance of family/relationship violence. It is an even greater hope that I can give my children a new perception of their mother and, even more so, themselves. To leave this world knowing that I gave it my all to change what I had so deeply wounded in them and distorted in their perception of their own personal value is what keeps my heart pounding each day. Every soul of broken mess that I can touch through the website, the radio shows, my writings; those who carry the same distorted perceptions because of what happened and how we are trained as children to see our value and worth, to be submissive and accept the brutal actions of others – this is the belief and the generational cycle of soul destruction we can no longer allow.

For my children; Brett, Jessica, Miranda…….

I give you this ————

‘The Reason’ by Hoobastank © 2003 Island Def Jam Music Group–Official Video

Change what you can for your children before there is no second chance. I am grateful to have this chance and pray that I change what I have influenced in their lives today!!!

~~Love you always my babies~~

~~See your value in all that you hold within~~

Patricia A. McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’

Advocate/Speaker/Writer/Talk Radio Prod & Host/Survivor

Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Talk Radio Programming

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

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© All rights officially copyrighted and protected Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery 2012

Calling on Your Angels…..A Great Coping Skill!!!

***Warning: May cause triggers, but I’m sure many will find this particular blog uplifting and hopeful in many ways!!!***

This is a lighter side of the blog “He’s Back Again…”, which you will find below. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been here, somethings been flying around that I couldn’t quite get a grip on, but here it goes anyway.

So, as I shared in the previous mentioned blog, I have been sucked back into the darkness a bit and actually went running to my wonderful therapist Marjorie for some help to get through. She’s been a blessing in my life at giving me coping skills to stay in my present and work through the darkest of moments, so I couldn’t go without her expertise; I just wouldn’t be this far without her in my world.

As I sat in her small, but quaint decorated office, with pictures of Oriental Art placed about and hung on her walls. You can look into these works of art and wonder about those who created them. They tend to pull you into a world of opening up your spirit and touching base with what lies within.

Many times, as survivors of child sexual abuse, we carry a feeling of extreme violation in our hearts. This can only be described as evil but your soul still carries the innocence of a child. There is and will be a life long impact from child sexual abuse. It does rewire your perceptions; re-align your normal behaviors; it will be scorched into your memory never to be forgotten. You will have periods in your life when you feel surrounded by the darkness and you may even feel your life invaded over and over with the fear from these particular events.

“This is normal. You are not insane. You are one of the many who’s lives have been impacted by the very personal violation of child sexual abuse.”

These remembered events are the darkness that hovers around us, it challenges us, cages us. When these events are play out in our heads, we become that panicked child all over again. Often, as we grow older, we are distraught with the ups and downs of re-living these horrific acts. None of us ever forget these moments!!!

A victim who has gone through such attacks will often go through a cycle, which I commonly refer to as the Rollercoaster of Memories. You may have those off and on again reactions that seem to haunt. At time we think we cannot conquer over them, we fear not being able to just live and exist in the present; appreciating all of the small moments of joy that have crossed our paths.

Recently this is what’s been going on in my head. I feel a bit overwhelmed; flashed back into the memory of when stepfather used the shotgun barrel to rape the little girl. My head has been swarming with a vivid motion picture of that horrible night. I’ve questioned, cried, stomped and prayed; all trying to extract the remembered emotions of terror. I have been in the huge spiral of a downward racing coaster.

As a survivor who puts forth a continued effort to help empower others and inspire them to chase after the life of happiness they deserve; this leaves me feeling like much the hypocrite since I couldn’t seem to help myself. However, I’ve been blessed with some pretty amazing folks who have showered me with prayers, love, little jokes, and tons of well wishes. Still the Demon would not leave me.

The other evening I did the best I could to help myself break through the dark storm. Going to see Marjorie was the best I could have done for myself, as I said she has played a huge part of where I am today and helping me to gain some sense of peace in my world. She has kept me living in the present and filled my soul with the belief I can indeed help myself, so long as I use the coping skills and truly focus on what I aim to achieve.

“Don’t we all have to do this in some way? Isn’t this a very common place of self-doubt that every human endures at times? Isn’t this the basics of living and achieving? If we do not focus on the end result, on the goal at hand, how will any of us ever battle against what holds us back?”

These past two years, since truly being happy and with finally finding my voice; also relating with so many other amazing advocates and survivors, I have found one common strength between us all.

“We all have a belief in some greater power that has kept us alive and guided us to where we are.”

My particular belief, my hope, my continued strength to battle onward, comes from faith. Faith there is a God and He did not intend for my life to be stripped away by the evil of my parents. I believe the few who have loved me, who now exist as Angels, are still around me and will protect me. This is the power that helps me hang on and move past this dark storm. The aura of stepfather with the gun, the pain of him tearing me apart as I lay there silent on the royal blue quilted bedspread; this is my most darkest haunting and I’m sure you each have your own particular event that seems to never leave.

So what is the amazing coping tool that my dear Marjorie has given me this time? The power, the belief, to CALL ON MY ANGELS!!!

My particular Angels are the three main people in my past who have loved me, but who God has taken.

The first of these is the one I feel closest too, the boy who came to live with us at fourteen and suffered through many of the outbursts of rage from stepfather. His name was John and he did all he could as a young man to try to protect me, show me kindness, and be more of a brother than my real blood brother could have been. He was and always will be the brightest moments of my life from age twelve to twenty-five. He never let me down. He distracted stepfather many times from getting to me with those raging fists. If it weren’t for John, I would have been killed at a very young age.

The second of these Angels is my Grandma Ellen. I remember still the power of that last beautiful hug she gave me. I can still feel her arms wrapping around the small child and letting her know that she meant the world to her. Grandma Ellen was given my baby crib, for why I’m not sure, but she kept it in that old ragged farm house on the top of one of the many mountains of Southern Missouri. The road to her house was a golden red gravel and it went up and down a series of five or six hills to get to her drive way. The farm house was made of old tattered barn wood and the linoleum floors were worn. The last night I spent in that house with her was on my fifth birthday and she still tried to put me in my crib. I remember telling her that I couldn’t fit, even though I was very small, there was no way I could sleep without fearing falling through the bed. It’s a funny pleasant memory that I hang onto and one I use to fill my head when the dark seems to threaten my day.

The next and last of the Angels I treasure is my father. I don’t have many memories of him, but those I have are all pleasant and I know he would have rescued me if he had known that such evil was murdering the little girl he created. He didn’t CHOOSE to leave my life. In fact some of my memories are of him coming to visit after he and mother split up. He’d swing me in the backyard, he’d pick up mother, brother and I to take us for drives in his beautiful red convertible. I’d get to sit on his lap while he drove and he’d work the pedals I couldn’t reach. I got to go watch him drag race and he was a winner with that car. When he’d win I got to keep the trophy, but my collection disappeared when stepfather moved us into the house he wanted.

This is my spiritual coping tool. You see stepfather has me somewhat terrified of even my afterlife. A part of me, no matter how silly I think it is, still believes that somehow he is going to be waiting for me there. He is going to be there and keep me from having peace. In reality I know this is very doubtful, but unfortunately, the fear of having to face him again; the fear of the evil he spoke coming true, this is part of my dark storm.

So now as I chase out the feeling of this demon once again, I know in my heart that these three Angels are fighting with me, circling me, protecting me and they will indeed carry me through to my afterlife. They will get out their powerful swords and conquer the dragon that swoops down to grab me. My Angels will protect me and I know if you think of your Angels, they will swarm in, circle and protect you, carry you through to the life of peace and happiness you deserve.

I hope as you read this you feel the power of connecting with those you’ve lost but who were most special in your life. Feel their love for you. Remember the happy moments spent with them. Allow them into your thoughts and see how they chase away the bad, the evil, the demon can no longer control, there is no space for him now. In this battle you have protectors and those special protectors will never leave you. They are always with you. They will create a castle of safety for you to spread out your wings and fly with them to the magic of your life.

Feel the magic of your Angels!!!

**In closing; if you do believe in the power of spiritual healing, I want to give you the other half of this coping skill. As you bring in your Angels to circle around, think about what power the demon has in your thoughts. Once you’ve got hold of it, throw your arms outward and say to yourself: “Me and my Angels now chase you away. You (say the name) have no more power here. You are banned from this castle and you will not return.** If you are one who believes in the aura of a bad spirit hovering around you. This coping skill gives you control over that aura and you can banish it away whenever you feel its presence. The power and control belong to you, the living, not those who hover around in our thoughts or who make their person felt in our homes. It is our safe castle and we say who crosses over the moat and who is banished to be eaten by the gators below if they return.

This tool has given me a renewed sense of strength. It allows me the power to push away any bad and call my protectors in to circle. Give it a try for you, hope it gives you that same sense of being in control.

Good luck, peace within, always in strength & in spirit!!!