It’s not okay for us to continue acting like the beatings we got as children didn’t affect us. Notice that I didn’t say “spankings”, because a lot Black and Brown don’t get spanked. We get beat and it’s time to call the kettle black by saying, “That was a beating and that was not okay”.
Many of us have been traumatized so much that we have become numb. I can speak for myself by saying in my early 20’s I told some of my friends about my father beating me. I recall the shocked faces of my friends when I described the stick he would beat me with. I would show them with my hands how long and thick that stick was. I shared the story as if it was a casual fact – disconnected and matter of fact.
Now that I have progressed in healing from the harmful impact of childhood domestic violence I recognize being numb was my coping mechanism. I also didn’t have the capacity to feel difficult emotions, because I was taught to stuff them away. I was literally not allowed to continue wailing after being beat. I knew if I continued to scream and cry that I could get hit again. So I held my breath and my chest would get tight. I dared not to make a sound. I learned the sound of my voice didn’t matter.
I know as I write this that I am not the only woman of color who has experienced this type of trauma. Some women were exposed as a child to violence against others in their home. Others were emotionally abused with name calling, insulting, and continuous criticism from a parent. There are hundreds and thousands of women in our neighborhoods and cities that are completely unaware of how this trauma is negatively affecting their mental, emotional, and physical well being.
Some of the symptoms for women that have experienced childhood domestic violence are:
- Substance abuse
- Difficulty concentrating
- Eating disorders
- Chronic pain
- And the list goes on…..
We can completely transform the trajectory of our families by using our voices and putting an end to generational trauma. We can put a stop to future generations inflicting this pain on our innocent and vulnerable children. It starts with us acknowledging the abuse and saying loud and clear in a safe and supportive environment, “That was not okay and I didn’t deserve to be treated like that”. I know we can do it. I know you can do it and I stand with you my sister.
I invite you to consider joining a local women’s support group for domestic violence survivors. You can attend free group meetings and share your story to start your healing journey. For an online group you can reach out to Hope Recovery at www.hope4-recovery.org