A never-ending cycle of abuse

When dealing with the aftermath of my own child abuse and domestic violence I realised that abusing and being abused was part of a cycle of abuse that had gone on for generations. That living this cycle had become the norm. I didn’t even see it as wrong, I thought all families lived this way.Once I realized what had happened to me I was determined to break this cycle of violence for my own young family.

I used the following analogy to explain it to myself and other:

I had been handed by generations of my family a huge debt of abuse. and the way I saw it I had three choices on what I did with that debt:

  1. I could ignore it raise my children the way I had been raised and pass on an even bigger debt to them.
  2. I could heal enough that I didn’t abuse, but stay broken and ineffectual, meaning the debt would not grow, maybe some extra interest and pass that on to my children to deal with.
  3. I could do everything in my power to work through and understand the abuse I had been subjected to and pay of as much of the debt as I could.

I said to myself ‘Not my children not on my watch’. And I took the tough road of number three, which meant I had to know, understand and own what had happened to me. Was it fair that I had to shoulder this burden created by the generations that had come before me, alone? No, but for me passing this debt onto the next generation was not an option.

There were plenty of people to blame

I knew that those who had perpetrated against me would never recognize and apologize for what they had done. I had to let go of the blame game and perpetually looking for someone to blame. If I stayed in the role of a victim I could not climb this mountain that was my history. I decided that for the purposes of healing and changing the future for my children that it did not matter who did what to who. What mattered was healing and creating a new reality. I focused my attention on finding a solution not on finding someone to blame. Although there were plenty of people I could legitimately point the finger of blame too. I knew beyond a doubt that this would not help me stop this cycle of abuse.

Time to stop the blame game

As a society, we recognize that there are generations of abuse to deal with and at the moment we are choosing option two. There is a genuine determination that we break this cycle. But, we are caught up in finding which segment of society is the most guilty and while this makes us feel better it is not helping to end this cycle. I believe that all segments of society must come together and leave their wounds to one side and say ‘Let’s focus on number 3.’

We all have a role to play

Government, community and corporate all have to play our part in finding a solution. We need to be educating people so they understand abuse and its impact. After all, knowledge is power. We cannot change what we do not understand and acknowledge.

So let’s lead the way and work together to break the chains of generations of abuse.