Breaking the Cycle of Abuse…

(Continuation of Heartbroken and Delirious)

During family functions like this, where there were a lot of people around, I usually stuck to my dad’s side. He was the guy who sat in the corner talking to the one person he really enjoyed having a conversation with. The one I could always go over and sit by and hang out with when I got overwhelmed by all the talking. A comforting place for when I just wanted some quiet, alone time for a bit. My mom was the social one, always talking to everyone before she left, at least to say “Hi,” and help out when she could. On this day, my dad was no where to be found; other than in our conversations. In a matter of hours, he and our relationship was now a memory.

 

My father was a strong man, both emotionally and physically. He was a brawny, Belgian man who was built with square shoulders and a broad face. One of my favorite games to play with him was, “Punch me in the stomach as hard as you can.” Even when his stomach got a little rotund as he aged, he could still flex it so it withstood any of my punches like a brick wall. No matter how hard I or a friend of mine socked it, it never deflated; even the slightest. My dad was our strength, our cement, our rock. I realize this game symbolized the powerful force he was for me.

 

There were certain stories of my father’s childhood that I made him tell me over and over again. I now realize I should have had a paper and pen in hand, because I still question how accurately I remember all the details. Luckily, my mother has helped me fill in some of the blanks. My father was born on October 16, 1944, and he was the eldest of six children. He was a survivor, like many, of alcoholic parents and endured physical and verbal abuse growing up. My father remembered times when their hallway would be smeared in blood from the whipping and punches he and his brother got from their father. My grandfather administered the punishments; while my grandmother, many times, instigated it.

 
It was a regular occurrence for my grandmother to ask my father and his younger brother, David, to tell her “What they did,” promising she would not tell their father. It was a ploy to get them to divulge confessions that she could then use against them; knowing it would absolutely result in my grandfather beating them. Eventually, he caught on to her tactics and would not confide in her any longer. Until then, he endured the abuse and was terrified for what he had to watch his younger brother go through; the guilt and shame of being the eldest.

 

One thing I will never forget is my dad telling me his father had a tactic of putting him or his brother against a wall and punching their head against it, over and over, until their skull stopped hitting his fist. From time to time, when I was little, my dad would grab his leather belt, fold it in half, and for fun; snap it together, joking that he might have to use it on me if I misbehaved. Unfortunately, for him, this was something his father did growing up to alert that a razor strap whipping was in store for him or one of his siblings. He had a variety of torture tactics, and my dad recounted them all, never forgetting these gruesome memories. Luckily, my father could be open and honest about all of these abuses he endured as a child and developed a sense of humor about it. The most important thing was that he grew to despise what he had endured growing up and swore to never physically harm any of his children, as his father and mother had, and he never did. He broke the cycle of abuse!

3 thoughts on “Breaking the Cycle of Abuse…

  1. Your father was a warrior and I can tell that his spirit has been passed onto you and likely to your descendants. You’re the current generation of this warrior tribe, which your father brought up and it will be your task to bring up the next one.

    I have a feeling you’ll do just fine πŸ˜‰

    It’s amazing how stories can help serve not just as a guideline to people but also let us experience part of the experience of what it’d be like to be in the shoes of the “Character” huh?

    Do write up the story of your father’s. I’m sure A LOT of people can benefit from it.

    Talk again bud, hope you’re having a nice day/evening.
    Keep the flame of courage burning!

    Your pal,
    Benjamin

    http://www.projectbiy.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Benjamin! A warrior, I had not thought of him that way, but yes he was! Such an insightful way to describe his strength and persona. I don’t feel like half the warrior he was except when it comes to my children, but I definitely believe they are. His spirit is so alive in both of them and it gives me so much honor and comfort to see him shine through in them! Thank you for your words, I am so delighted that you have taken the time to read and share your thoughts! It has made waking up this morning extra special! ❀Anne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sweet, glad it made you smile hah!

        Imagine what if we can continue to spread smiles like this all over as well as the fighting spirit and combine these 2 together.

        We’d have a beautiful community that’d stand against all adversaries together as we boost each other up. How epic would that be heh.

        Hone the spirit in your children, make them shine just as how your father did before you and just as how you are right now. Perhaps even brighter.

        Don’t say you aren’t “Shining” because hey, you did give birth to these 2 little sunshines didn’t you? Give yourself more credit πŸ˜‰

        Remember, we can’t do it alone. Behind every successful/Greats lays a strong foundation of support.

        If you ever find yourself in need of support, be it issues to talk about or want advice etc? Perhaps even share stories with individually via a closed community?

        Check in with us πŸ˜‰

        PBIY aims to bring positive people together to create a better world for everyone!

        If you are ever interested in contributing to our project as well, in anyway you want, do let me know eh? πŸ˜‰

        Your pal,
        Benjamin
        http://www.projectbiy.com

        Liked by 1 person

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