Have you ever had a member of your family that you just don’t like? You have tried and tried to find a reason to like them. You have been polite and helpful even when you didn’t feel like it. You have done this not for them but for the reason they are connected to your family in the first place…….. your child. This person has systematically lied and manipulated my eldest child over the years to separate her from her family, her support system. He has convinced her she is worthless and lazy, worse he has convinced her that her whole family feels this way too and that we talk to him about it behind her back. He has undermined the faith she once had in us but he cannot sever the bonds completely because they are too strong, which I’m sure is an unending source of frustration, too freaking bad for him.
As parents it is an awful thing to be helpless as you watch the emotional abuse that takes place. To be unable to help or protect your child. To see the effect it has on her. To watch a strong self-assured woman start to doubt herself and to question every belief she ever had. To see her change from a fighter who stands up for herself to someone who is afraid she isn’t worth standing up for. I don’t know what to do except remain supportive and hope she knows that I love her and will be there for her always. Emotional abuse is hidden and it leaves scars where nobody sees. That way he can pretend to be a nice guy but behind closed doors tell her it’s all her fault, that it’s all in her head, and when she believes him he knows he’s won.
I pray that she finds the inner strength I know she has. The strength that will help her find her way along a rocky road without giving up who she is, or lead her back home. She doesn’t believe that right now but at some point I have confidence she will. She comes from strong women and she has inherited that strength from her Mother, Grandmothers and Great Grandmother. The road may be long. We might be scared. We may falter. But we always get up and “We Stand”. She just needs to remember that.