Family Values

Family Values

She met him when she was 16. She didn’t know the red flags of abuse. It started immediately. A push, a thrown glass, a blocked exit, a broken-down door. He called her a bitch, a whore, a cunt. She was frightened but didn’t realize it. She minimized the attacks, protecting herself against an otherwise intolerable level of fear and threat. She became blind to the potentially devastating situation as she meandered her way through years of serial abuse.

She was isolated, seen only by family who couldn’t hear her screams. He abused her sex, her maternal blood, her loyalty. He shamed her body, her mind and her spirit. The cumulative effects weakened her to a level of vulnerability and fear that paralyzed her. She clung to strangers who she met on line for validation, starved for acceptance of her imperfections and he became jealous.

He did the unthinkable and destroyed her world in a fiery blaze of hatred and selfishness. She lost everything and everyone she ever loved. She learned that so-called family values meant it had been her responsibility to keep her family intact, despite the abuse. She learned that the narrative on the ideal family betrayed her by creating the illusion that a perfect family exists. And because she failed to have this perfect family, then she bore the negative consequences of her failure. She learned she was to blame for what was not achieved. She was betrayed by the wholesome, implausible portrayal of perfection because she did not live up to family expectations.


Comments are closed.