Breaking The Cycle

Today I came across this spoken word piece it sparked this post


My grandfather abused my father and my father abused me a cycle I am sure that has been handed down from one generation to another until I choose to end it. My children will never know what it feels like to be beaten both physically and emotionally. Why is this on an unschooling blog because everything is connected being around parents who were kind, non-punishing and treated their children with respect was a radical idea to me at the time. Our unschooling journey support and encouraged on my new peaceful parenting path.

My father the first man in my life was supposed to love & protect me. He was suppose to be the best example for the way men should treat me. He chose to do the opposite. He was an abusive drunk I spent my entire childhood on egg shells terrified to of asking questions, making messes , being loud basically just being a kid I never knew how he was going to come home the emotional drunk? the angry drunk? the sober dad that would eventually turn into the first two? As a child I was repeatedly told how stupid & useless I was , as teen what a slut I was. I use to wonder why my mom just stood there and took his verbal and emotional abuse? Why she didn’t stand up for herself or us? I remember telling myself I will never be that!

When I was 13yr my mom finally left and instead of going with her I stayed with him. I didn’t want to leave my friends and part of me felt responsible for him. One day he beat me I tried to run but he beat me in the middle of the street and no one stopped him. My grandma watched as he beat me & yelled all the horrible things I was for over 2-hrs. My grandma had been beaten for decades as much as she wanted to stop him she was frozen. He had hit me before but never like this. That day I learned that fear is a CHOICE my fear gave him power over me -that was the last day I was scared of him. He unenrolled me from school and sent me to my mom saying he had only slapped me. When she picked me up I couldn’t look at her I had tons of makeup on, sunglasses and my hair in my face. I stayed in my room for weeks until all the marks were gone. I didn’t tell anyone the extent of what he did for years because i was ashamed that I didn’t fight back.

What he set in motion for me was devastating. I became so self-destructive even though I said that would never happen again it did just not by him . I subconsciously sought out my dad in every boyfriend my NORMAL was so screwed up emotional & physical abuse continued. Even though I knew it was wrong and I didn’t want to continue that life I didn’t know how to stop it? . One boyfriend told me if your dad & other boyfriends did this to you then it’s you, you make us do this to you. He made me feel like he was right it was my fault.

The only reason I broke this cycle was for my daughter I valued her above all else and could not imagine her growing up the way I did. When she was 3yrs I promised her and myself that I would seek help the best advice I was given was when something feels comfortable question why? I had to construct a new NORMAL. I made a list of all the things I would not tolerate in a relationship and a list of what I wanted and would use both list every time I met someone.

How do you construct a positive life when you have been preparing yourself for the worst possible outcome? I thought about the life I wanted for my daughter which kind of looked like what I saw on T.V. I looked at other people that looked like they had their shit together and tried to copy that. I researched and read things that were geared toward adults because it was so different than what was out there for teens about parenting choices, educational choices, and birth choices.

The way I was raised limited my opportunities for success because it’s hard to achieve things when you feel you have no value. I often think about if there were a time machine at would age would I go back to and its 12yr. Which is crazy because I have a 12 yr.old son. I would tell 12yr old Tiffany that she is valuable , capable of having a different life , to focus giving herself the love she needed instead of seeking it out and not to mask her pain as strength..

I made many bad choices out of the hate and anger I carried. My dad put this in motion but I was responsible for the choices I made. Some of the worst choices I made were the best lessons. Breaking the cycle was a series of little choices that added up to changing the way I saw myself and the world.

  • I started with the way I spoke to my daughter walking on egg shells was not going to be her normal

  • Then with my self-talk – I was her first example in how she should treat herself so I focused on finding things I liked about myself.

  • I choose not to spank and never give her the normal that is was okay for someone to put their hands on her.

  • I valued her ideas, stories, art to show her everything she did had value.

  • I encouraged her to try things even if they ended up the way she didn’t want to show her that mistakes are very valuable and she is capable of overcoming them.

Breaking the cycle is a process when I am tired and stretched thin it is hard not to resort to "my normal" and I apologize a lot to my kids. I look at it like a 12-step program I will always be a child of abuse and I will always to need to work on re-defining my normal. Breaking this cycle is the best & most difficult thing I have ever done. If you need help out of an abusive cycle I am here to listen without judgement.


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