This is part 1 of a 4 part reflection of a grown adult who lived through parents in a DV relationship.
Have you wondered what happens to children whose parents had a unhealthy relationship or domestic violence situation? As someone who has been through it, I am here to give a little insight over the next several weeks of blogs.
It hurts. It has a long-term effect on those children. We see what is going on, and while we’re younger, we may not quite understand what is going on, but we can sense something is off. Even as a young child, I knew there was something different about my parents’ relationship. As I got older, I realized that my father did not treat my mom with kindness and respect. He was verbally and emotionally abusive, and that’s what I grew up seeing as “normal”.
I didn’t know there were marriages that had mutual respect and spouses that supported and encouraged each other. I knew all about the wife being submissive to her husband, but I didn’t know the husband was supposed to love his wife like Christ loves the Church. That’s the father figure I grew up with, and while not every single day was terrible, I didn’t know what a “good” marriage looked like. While my father was not abusive directly to me, I saw the toll it took on my mom. At some point in time (I forget how old I was) I guess he thought I was old enough for him to vent to me about all the “shortcomings” of my mom. (More on this in a later blog). I was fortunate to not be a direct target, but not all children are that fortunate.
Beth is an adult now and through life lessons and counseling has been able to understand what a healthy relationship looks like. But her story and what she went through as a child is a very good lesson for each of us to look at as we are in various relationships.