Angry Mom

Why were our Parents especially mothers so abusive?

Why were our parents especially our mothers so abusive when we were growing up? I just touched a nerve by that statement. Probably you are thinking, how dare she call mothers abusive? Who does she think she is? Indulge me because I am a mother and I was raised by a Queen who really punished us when we strayed.

As a mother to an almost seven-year old boy, I am trying to unlearn, relearn, and learn things. I am starting to question things that were normalized as I grew up. More so, I am questioning why our parents especially our mothers were really abusive. Why were they the bad cops always condemning us to corporal punishment? What did I ever do to make my mother so angry that she would just spank me relentlessly to an extent of breaking my leg with a mwiko? I am trying to see the woman through her actions and emotions.

Most mothers are so strict with the first born. The first born always suffered the wrath of our mothers, and in turn, the first born assumed the deputy parent seat. But why were our mothers so serious with our generation while growing up? Why did the first born suffer the most for the wrath of our mothers? Why were mothers so abusive?

Sometime back, I looked at my son and gave him my word that I will not indulge in his beatings. Why did I do that? I saw myself through my mother’s eyes. I saw my son as that little girl who always questioned why her mother was almost bipolar- one time we are laughing and the next she is my punisher.

Now let’s think critically. Our mothers never punished us because they loved us. They used that statement as a justification for their actions. They believed in what they were doing because they were raised by bitter parents. Why am I calling our grandparents bitter? Our grandparents grew in an era of oppression. They were humiliated, despised, and beaten by colonizers. Therefore, where did they release their frustration besides their children?

My mother was always bitter and furious when my father always came around. My father was rejected by my grandfather and thus, he was raised as a reject and he exchanged hands with several guardians. Growing up, all he knew was rejection. He was a child of old age, and his father never had time for him. My grandfather was an oppressor and an abuser who used to beat my grandmother to a pulp. Then he would slaughter a whole cow and nurse my grandmother back to health. When my father was conceived, my grandmother was chased from her home and she lived on the road. My father was born during independence. Therefore, he was born during oppression and all he knew was rejection. Children of abusers become their own abusers.

Why did I give my father’s background? I wanted you to understand the cycle of abuse. Therefore, when my father married my mother, he never knew any better except oppression, rejection, and abuse. My mother knew nothing else besides submission and building a home. She had a different experience because she was raised seeing love among her parents regardless of them living separately because of the different residing places. Therefore, she knew a wife was to be submissive and build her home.

The Cycle of Abuse
Set of angry people having conflict with wife, husband and child. Men and women arguing and shouting at spouses in presence of unhappy crying kid. Family relationship problem flat vector illustration

So when my father used to beat her and reject her, all her frustrations would be drained on us. Then my big brothers when punished, they would exert their power by punishing us being the young ones. Then I would punish my small brothers. It was a cycle. Hurt people hurt people.

Most of our fathers were raised in a patriarchal world where they suffered the wrath of their fathers and they knew a woman was to be punished since she was reduced to the level of a child. Our mothers never knew therapy or writing their emotions down and thus, they drowned their frustrations through spanking and whipping us. Our parents suffered a generational trauma where people used violence to exert dominance and power over their subordinates.

If you check bullies and violent people, they grew up in homes where they were oppressed and were never listened to, thus, they assume the bully and abusive personas to reclaim their power. When you constantly beat and spank a child, they are likely to become excessively submissive or violent because of the trauma built. Children of abusers become their own abusers.

Our generation is trying to unlearn, relearn, and learn. We are questioning why we had to be spanked and whether it disciplined us or made us have endless insecurities that we have to compensate for by being bullies on social media or suffer from mental health disorders. When I see people championing for spanking as a reasonable method for discipline, I wonder if they never realize how we feared our parents. We were never disciplined, we were just fearful of our parents.

If you think my theory is far-fetched, check the mothers who relentlessly spank and thrash their children and answer me, aren’t they oppressed? Probably, they are constantly physically abused, emotionally abused, financially abused, or sexually abused through deprivation or infidelity. Answer me this, why were our parents especially our mothers so abusive? Do you honestly believe is because they loved us as they justified their actions, or you don’t think it is that deep?

Let’s discuss. Any thoughts?

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22 thoughts on “Why were our Parents especially mothers so abusive?”

  1. Story of my life. 2 kids down the line,and I’m still nowhere near being the mother I should be to them. I see a lot of my mother in me and it is frustrating. It is a struggle,to say the least

      1. The abuse inflicted on our grand parents and great grand parents by the colonizers has trickled down generations among black people. Maybe we are the generation that breaks this yoke of slavery & violence. This article is a safe space for us.

  2. Yes, I was beaten as a kid. I was regularly beaten for years (a couple of times a week) for reasons like the following:

    I brought home that was lower than a B+
    I didn’t do my chores
    I was late to school (which would make me even later for school)
    My younger brother misbehaved
    I didn’t come home from school right away
    I went to my friend’s house (was not allowed to go at all unless homework was involved)
    I didn’t complete my homework
    I didn’t read specific books (was required to read the encyclopedia on holidays) I would get a beating, to the point where not only did the beatings leave large bruises, but my mother broke skin. Even the stick (was a wooden stick 3 feet long, about 1 inch in diameter) broke after a year or two of beatings
    Most often, I was beaten when my mother had a shitty day at work. No other reason. It got to the point where I knew when she had a bad day just by the cadence of her footsteps outside the front door. I knew if I needed to run and hide or if it was safe to stay in the livingroom.
    I’ve been beaten with:

    wooden poles
    aluminum yardsticks
    a cheese grater
    wooden spoons

    She also played some psychological mind games too to terrorize us but that doesn’t fall under “beating” I suppose.

    The beatings continued until I was 14. Around that time, I started getting straight A’s and she suddenly got super pious and didn’t pay nearly as much attention to me.

    So did I get beaten? Yeah.

    Is it right? Well, it depends on your cultural norm and intensity of the punishment. There really aren’t any big rights or wrongs in the sky.
    As you get older, you’ll be exploring your triggers and limits. You’ll need to learn to set those boundaries (even with yourself) as you go.
    Good luck on your journey towards healing.

    1. Oh love😭😭…. I shuddered reading what you had to go through. Our mothers raised us unconsciously and that’s why our generation is considered lenient since most of us are trying to undo our parents’ trauma.
      Each day we are choosing conscious parenting and healing. 😭

  3. It is rooted to personal traumas that projects all the bitterness in an individual. I personally have toxic parents. They would project their frustrations on me especially as the first born. My mother too was unhappy with her life, she once told me that I brought her youth to a fault and I should always know how I inconvenienced her. She even once told me that she is not my mother and she thinks I compete for a spot with her in my father’s life. I’ve had to unlearn a lot while healing all the childhood traumas I got from my parents.

    1. Our parents projected their trauma on us since they had their parents do the same to them. At this moment, we are all trying to unlearn. I am so sorry for what your mother uttered, it was her pain. 😭

    2. Oh my goodness! So unfair! It’s as if you applied to be conceived and born by her! I went through the same experience. And it just crossed my mind that this is common in that generation. Perhaps they experienced it too or were dealing with the pressures of not having a son for a first born… Really sucks anyway!

  4. I don’t know much about my mother’s upbringing, but I do know that my dad was brought up by a ‘disciplinarian’ and judging by how his brothers,(my uncles) would react when a child makes a mistake in their presence, you can tell they were all brought up in a toxic home. Sadly the cycle continues and my cousins are outright bullies who find pleasure in making a child cry. Their excuse? He needs to man-up. I’m a first born so I know what it’s like when your mom dumps it all on you due to oppression by my dad.. She’s sorry. She doesn’t say, but she sure shows it. I see a therapist. I’m unlearning, relearning and learning. I’m also protecting our nine year old brother. I’m glad he’s having a very different experience.

  5. Hmmmh,where do I even start.All I can say is I was thoroughly thumped because besides being Mum she was my English and Science teacher.Double punishment if I messed up at School
    I was also an only child,no one.with whom to share the punishment…It didn’t help me much…there is discipline and then there is abuse

  6. Growing up I was a loner and a very sensitive child. That was as a result of all the physical and emotional abuse I went through. My mum knew how sensitive I was and she always used that against me. Apart from the constant beatings over small things, she was also verbally abusive. She would intentionally say hurtful things to me until I broke down in tears. I grew up with self esteem issues, under confidence, which made it easier for me to get bullied. I was bullied even when I was in highschool. Now as an adult, I still struggle with these things. Recently I started confronting my traumas and I realized the abuse started when I was still too young. I am trying to make peace with my past because it affects my relationships with people in my life. To be honest this has to be the most difficult thing I have ever done but I’m doing my best. I do not want my kids to go through the hands of a bitter mother (and maybe father ) , like I did.

    I am the last born and the only girl. I have three big brothers. All of us are adults how but we have a hard time getting along with each other. My brothers especially (low-key) despise our dad. I don’t know much about their childhood since when I was born they were 18,12 and 7. By the time I joined school they were already big boys. I think the kind of relationship we have (strained) has alot to do with the individual traumas we went through . I don’t know about my brothers but I’m tryna work on myself and see if I can become a better daughter, sister, friend and especially mother. My heart goes out to all of you who went through the same

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