Are You An Adult Child Of Domestic Violence?
It’s early October and if you’re into this sort of thing then you’re fully aware that the Full Moon in Aries just graced us with it’s power and beauty. Even though we’re at the start of October it already feels like so much has weighed on us emotionally manifesting physically. The world is going through awful times and the U.S. has been going through a serious transformation, we’re going through the ugly parts. If you’re an empath then you probably feel a heaviness all around you, we tend to absorb others’ energies and it takes time for us to ground ourselves. If we don’t know how to even start grounding ourselves that can be difficult.
I’m not here to give you a guide because I believe that’s all a personal journey but I can only share with you my experience. You see not only is the Full Moon doing it’s transformative work but it is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I do have to give a disclaimer that this is about to be some heavy content but I felt that this is part of my healing journey to document and write down all the pent up feelings that have not served me. I know that I’m not the only one that grew up in a dysfunctional household.
I am an adult child that grew up in a household where domestic violence was the “norm”. This is so prevalent in the Latino community yet we find ourselves not speaking about it. Many of us come from immigrant parents that came to this country with old traditions, some are beautiful but some are ugly. Domestic violence is one of them. It’s that dark secret that brings on shame, shame for not speaking and shame because the abuser places that responsibility on others. Religion also played a significant role in all of this and was used to manipulate, live in denial, pray this bad to go away without action, feeding the cycle and not healing.
1 IN 15 CHILDREN ARE EXPOSED TO INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE EACH YEAR, AND 90% OF THESE CHILDREN ARE EYEWITNESSES TO THIS VIOLENCE.5
After many years of therapy and every time I feel that I’ve cleared myself of all the trauma, new triggers come up. Instead of running and hiding from them, I’ve slowly learned to use them as lessons, if something is presenting itself then I need to address it so I can move on. Therapy and working on myself by way of ancestry has been a part of my journey not only to connect but to release generational traumas. It has allowed me to better understand that domestic violence has been passed down from generation to generation.
From the outside, my family looked normal, that love surrounded us but behind closed doors it was the exact opposite. Sure there were moments that we’d laugh, watch movies, take trips but those were short lived and usually met with anger. In my family lineage, Latino men tend to be the abuser and the women are the abused. This creates a vicious cycle of guilty, shame, codependency, anger, violence, abandon, fear, emotional paralysis, trauma bond, denial, and you can imagine the list goes on. All my life I’ve heard from victims of domestic violence say “I stayed for the children”, sadly and painfully something happens in the brain when a victim has endured decades of this violence. The abuser is there to control, that’s is how they feel relevant, valid and powerful. Violence is still a choice. This is not what love is supposed to be. The victim becomes codependent and lives in a trauma bond. It’s a very delicate and dangerous relationship for anyone to live in.
So I am here to say, as much as we would like to help our mothers escape that dangerous situation, we can’t. It has to come from them to be ready to take that step, and to ultimately leave. It’s not just physical abuse, it’s a cycle of emotional and psychological abuse. I’ve learned that I was not meant to be there to save anyone, that is also part of my own learned codependency that I work on every day. It is my responsibility to myself, spouse and ancestry to break the chains that bind us to this trauma. I’m fortunate and privileged to live in a time where I can do self work and self healing through different avenues. Our ancestry before us didn’t have those options, they didn’t have the time to invest because most were meerly surviving, earning their daily bread.
I believe my generation and ones after are becoming “woke” to these common generational traumas that have been placed upon us. We’re breaking chains and establishing healthier patterns, choices, placing mental health as a priority and unashamed to speak up about the UGLY we all inherited. It is our responsibility to future generations to teach them our wisdom so it’s not repeated so that they don’t have to carry such a huge emotional burden, so they can truly blossom when we reach our purpose. Using our ancestors as a guide to healing and understand and ultimately love ourselves, who we are and share that love with community. Taking time to separate ourselves in order to begin our healing journey is not wrong despite what outsiders may think, it’s necessary for self preservation, protection, healthy boundaries, it’s self love.
Here I send a RITUAL ANCESTRAL PRAYER from Latham Thomas’ book “Own Your Glow” and hope it resonates with you as it does for me.
“I HONOR MY UNIQUE GIFTS, TALENTS, AND POWERS. I COME FROM A STRONG AND POWERFUL PEOPLE. I RELEASE THE BAGGAGE AND ANCESTRAL WOUNDS THAT HAVE BEEN PASSED ON TO ME. I WILL TURN THE PAIN AND STRUGGLE OF MY PAST INTO PURPOSE. I CELEBRATE THE FREEDOM THAT I HAVE BECAUSE OF SACRIFICES MADE BEFORE ME. I PROMISE TO HONOR MY LINEAGE AND LIVE OUT MY TRUTH. I BOW TO THE LEGACY THAT GAVE RISE TO ME. THROUGH MY THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS, I PAVE THE PATH FOR A LEGACY I WILL LEAVE BEHIND.”
Love and light