I’ve mentioned in previous articles I grew up in an abusive home. Our home was so abusive I was perfectly groomed for an abusive marriage. I distinctly remember my mother telling me to go cut a switch for my very young brother who she abused excessively.
I thought I could outsmart her and I deliberately cut my finger, deep and long. Bad enough I knew I would need a visit to the doctor's office for sutures.
I was right, it was a bad cut, I wondered how my mom would explain the cut to medical personnel. She told them I was cutting my brother a stick because he asked for it, the double meaning was intentional on her part. She got a cruel satisfaction telling herself that she wasn’t actually lying to the doctor. She explained to me on the way to the emergency room that he did actually ask for it when he made her angry with his supposed disobedience. She told the receptionist, the intake nurse, the triage nurse, the doctor, the attending nurse the same story, she relished her little story filled with innuendos and half-truth.
The truth is there is no way my brother could ever have been good enough to avoid her wrath. My brother was 4 or 5 when this incident took place. How severe was the cut to my finger? I have a scar approximately ½ inch long to this day. I thought everything was OK, my mom had, had several hours to calm down. I figured we would get home and we would have peace for a little while. I was wrong.
We walked in the door and my mom started in on my little brother. He got two beatings. One for whatever imagined wrong he had committed that angered her in the first place and then she took a break (due to her exhaustion) and began again, this time because he was so horrible that he caused me to cut my finger and we had to go to the doctor and waste my mothers precious time and money.
It’s a day I will never forget. I have more of those days than I care to ever talk about. Our home was a nightmare for my brother, he was a little boy and he never stood a chance.
When Adrian Peterson’s abuse was highlighted in the media I blocked it out. I refused to read anything about it, I heard bits and pieces yet I couldn’t stand the memories that came with the headlines.
When Adrian spoke up and said he treats his kids this way because this is how he was raised, I’m sorry but my heart stopped. He’s wrong. I was raised in a horribly abusive home, I experienced things and I witnessed things no child should ever go through. The result of all those years of abuse is that I protect my children. I do NOT hit my children. I would NEVER hit my four year old child; I would never ever use a switch on a child. Adrian Peterson abuses his innocent children because he is an abuser. It is a choice he made at some point in his life.
The NFL and the Minnesota Vikings are finally taking a stand. They are suspending Adrian Peterson without pay. Read the article I linked to, do you think Adrian Peterson has any idea that he is wrong? I read his response to the allegations and see a classic abuser that rationalizes his actions. My mom continues to rationalize every evil choice she made. There is no rationalizing abuse, it is wrong.
My ex and I have different views on corporal punishment. However the few times he has spanked our children he has not lost control. Even though I believe corporal punishment is always wrong I admit my ex has never spanked our children in anger, left any marks, or anything even remotely close to abuse. Due to my personal experience spanking is abuse; I believe child rearing methods are personal beliefs as long as they do not harm your child. My ex stays well within those safe guidelines.
If he ever crosses a line, he knows I would file a report and take our children and go into a protection program. Thankfully, in spite of all our differences, in spite of his mental illness he does respect my beliefs on spanking and hitting our children.
Our responsibility as parents is to raise our children to be successful adults – abuse is not a part of that process. I want my children to be loving, kind, assertive, confident individuals. They witnessed the abuse in our marriage; they recognize what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. We can all take the very public example Adrian Peterson is setting and use it as a tool to teach our children how to properly correct and teach their children. Love and respect is all it takes to change the world.