Children Survivors of Domestic Abuse
We sat almost in a circle, six women from different backgrounds, regions, and families. We felt like we belonged. Together, in each other, we found a purpose. We had a vision. We had a shared trauma. Every one of us had experienced parental trauma. Each one of us interpreted it differently.
In that circle, we would talk about our stories and determine what we would abandon and the things we would embrace. You would think our ages were the same or we knew each other for eons. Hmmm! Our ages ranged between 40-28 years. Some of us were meeting for the first time. Most of us were engaging for the second time. In this circle, we intended to unpack the baggage we inherited from our parents.
We started with introductions. A burst of laughter here and there as we all revisited the nicknames that we had been identified with over the years. Trust me, my monikers were the hilarious ones and most definitely, bizarre because each represented something ugly or it was an insult. You might be wondering my nicknames, right? Here goes nothing.
Once, I had a friend call me, “mukonoi.” Now that I say it out loud, it sounds inauspicious. I had a best friend whom we shared an alias, “Kamoo,” translation- female genitalia in Kimeru. I had a teacher call me, “Mashwere,” translation- hair in Kikuyu. When these nicknames were being thrown around, I laughed with delight. But, why am I not laughing now?
My story commences with recalling how I was a prayer warrior as a three-year-old. Most of my prayers began and desisted with me supplicating God for food. Now I understand why I have a strained relationship with children who are celebrated for being prayer warriors at a young age. Most of those children have known worries and problems such that they intercede for their lives and those of their families. However, I never saw a problem with what was happening. What did I know as a child?
As I watched us share our stories in the quest for healing, but more so, unpacking what we had never shared before. I realized how we all craved for love, being seen, and heard. We all needed parents who never unburdened their troubles on us. We craved for a love that made us feel we belonged. We desired parents who were present both physically and emotionally. We needed to be children.
In that circle, we were crying for our childhood that was lost in the quest of parenting either our parents or our younger siblings. Some of us acted as emotional sponges for our parents where they would unload their issues on us, and we never had people to talk to or unpack on.
We never blamed our parents. We sat down and traced where they too learned the styles they were raising us on. In sharing my story, I realized that my father never had a parent and so he never knew what parenting looked or felt like. He was just raising us blindly without having experienced a parent’s love or a mentor’s guidance. When we realize that our parents are humans too and they were failed by those before us, it becomes easier to forgive them.
This week, I shall write on different stories of children survivors of domestic abuse. If you are comfortable sharing your story with me, inbox me. We share the stories in the quest of healing our inner wounds and forgiving our parents where they failed us.