I saw over and over how family members hurt one another. It was common. It was a standard practice. It was as common as you, the reader, taking a breath every minute. In fact, it was so normal to hear "we often hurt the ones you love" that I just thought hurting people was a daily practice that everyone did.
It gave you the license to beat your wife and your kids. It gave you the license to molest and rape your children. It gave you the license to treat those in the family any way you wanted because then you could just ask God to forgive you and claim, "we hurt the ones you love the most".
The empty explanation...
That was the explanation I would often get as my little body hurt from the pain of being beat or molested or raped. That was the explanation I would see after the rage-filled screaming fits and beatings I would see inflicted on others in the family. I learned to accept, "we hurt the ones you love the most" as something that took place in every family.
At the same time, I constantly heard that no matter what, family would always stick together. Unlike strangers and outsiders, no one stood behind you like family did. We needed to be proud of our family name and by god we would love one another no matter what. Yes, but that included all the other stuff.
They ask God to forgive them...
It was probably more recently that I started to understand just how toxic and wrong this line of thinking is. Having a friend monitor a family member, I could see this "we hurt the ones you love the most" statement play over and over again. Then, they will go and ask God to forgive them. Then, they will go and ask forgiveness of those they hurt, promising to never do it again.
Yep, its okay to beat your wife, your kids. It's okay to molest and rape your kids. It's okay because you can just wipe it away by asking forgiveness over and over and over again. It resets everything according to those that inflict this pain, anger, and horror on others.
When I think of these moments that I've been through, I'm numb. My mind and body want to disconnect. I feel a sense of rage at those that did this stuff. I struggle to make sense of it.
It's not right to inflict pain...
If you practice this "we hurt the ones you love the most" statement, then please stop everything today and go get the help you need. This is not right. It is not right to beat your wife or your kids. It is not right to molest and rape them. It is not right to watch them cower in the corner of the room hoping to escape the blows that were fast and furious. It is not right to inflict the emotional pain upon them through the words you lash out against them.
You don't get to use the ask God to forgive you routine. You may think it works. Your friends may think it works. Your church may think it works. However, you don't get to use it. After all, it means nothing because you'll go right back and do it all over again. Maybe not the same day and maybe not the next day, but I'll put money on it that it will be in the same week.
It makes me sick to watch this unfold now and to know what we went through in the family. I'm not proud of my family name. In fact, I hate it.
Just know that if you love someone, you don't hurt them. If you hurt them, it means you don't love them. You can justify it all you want. You can invoke God into it if you want, but it doesn't mean that you know the first thing about what true love is. In fact, it means just the opposite. So, quit trying to convince your friends, your church and those you harm that you're anything but hurt and evil and pain.
This post is written in memory of my mom for all she went through and for me attempting to take back my life from those who only saw me as someone they could harm through control, torture, and pain.
Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
- Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form.
- You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.