When my sister and I were growing up, we had to do as we were told; if we didn’t, we would often end up being hit by my father. In a lot of cases, this would be something that our mother was behind.
So, while my father was physically stronger than my mother, it didn’t mean that he was in charge. My mother was the one who was in control, and one of the ways that this took place was by controlling my father.
My father’s first wife died of cancer I think, so by the time he met my mother he can’t have been in a good way. I think it was only a few years after his first wife had passed on that they got together.
I got the impression that although my father was physically there, he was not emotionally there. His heart, I believe, was still weighed down by what had happened with this first wife, and perhaps it went back even further.
The Easy Option
My father must have just wanted an easy life, and going along with what my mother wanted probably seemed like the best thing to do. When we were hit, it would often be due to something fairly trivial.
If we didn’t do as we were told or even if we were simply expressing ourselves around the house, the cane would come out. What is strange about all this is that our mother would often tell people how “well behaved” we were.
Emotionally Unstable Woman
From a young age, I had to walk on egg shells around my mother; if I didn’t, I would soon end up paying the price. And it didn’t matter if my father wasn’t there, either, as my mother would tell him about what had happened when he got home from work.
When my father got home from work, part of me would be relived while another part of me would be scared to death. Relived because he wasn’t like my mother, but scared to death because I might end up being harmed.
My mother wouldn’t always tell our father to hit us, though, as she would sometimes do it herself. When she did it, she wouldn’t use anything; what she would often do is bang our heads together.
To this day I can remember the crack, and the pain that my sister and I would experience after. The punishment was to be hit or it was to be neglected, and I think that the neglect was far worse.
A Big Difference
As time went by, I would often do what I could to protect my sister, and I would stand up to my father. I think that I was hit for a longer period of time even though I was the youngest, due to the fact that I was a lot harder for my father to hit a girl.
What I think also played a part here was that as I had experienced a lot of neglect whilst I was a baby, I had a greater need to please my parents. My sister, on the other hand, didn’t go through this, and this made it easier for her to stand her ground.
He Was Different
When my father wasn’t doing this, he wasn’t someone who was an abusive person; he was often kind, gentle, and easy going. When it came to my mother, it was a very different story.
She had told us that our father didn’t want children, and I thought that this was not the sort of thing that you should say to your children. But even though my father had supposedly said this, it seemed as though this was the kind of thing that she would have said.
It Gradually Changed
I came to believe that this was someone who shouldn’t have had children; with her being the kind of mother that someone would give to children if they really wanted to screw them up.
Towards the end of my teenage years, the physical abuse stopped, and when I started to read about self-development, I ended up sharing what I had been reading with my father. Even though he didn’t always agree with what I said, he would still take the time to listen to what I had to say.
I Did What I Could To Help Him
When he had bone cancer, I ended up getting in touch with a healer that I had worked with called Errol Campbell. Through working with him, my father was able to let go of a lot of the pain that he was in.
A number of years before he passed on, I asked him about why he had hit me as a child, and it was clear that he was sorry for what he had done. As I have said above, it was not that he was a nasty person; it was that he was from a time when this was seen as normal.
A Waste of Time
But although my father passed on a number of years ago and my mother is still here, I haven’t been able to resolve anything with her. Our relationship is relatively drama free now, but this is primarily due to the work that I have done on myself and what I am like as a person.
As far as she is concerned, she wasn’t abusive, and this shows the amount of denial that she is in. Ultimately, she was also abused as a child, and this played a big part in why she ended up abusing her own children.
The Time Had Come
I have always been against violence of any kind, and so I wasn’t prepared to allow this pattern to continue. It has taken me years of therapy and healing work to be able to get to a point where I no longer need my mother to admit to what happened.
I have said to her on numerous occasions that I am no longer bothered about what has happened in the past, and that I want to live my life. And as a result of the work that I have done on myself, we can still have a relationship.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Teacher, Author, Transformational Writer & Coach - With Over 1,712,000 Article Views Online.
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A Dialogue With The Heart - Part One
A Dialogue With The Heart - Part Two
A Dialogue With The Spirit
Why Does He Behave That Way? Why Do I Behave This Way?