|My dad on the left. I didn’t make the notations on the picture.|
Recently, I posted a status update on social media. It generated a lot of personal commentary, which is one of the best things that is possible from social media. I’ve written and talked about some of the abuse. It’s not a secret, especially in my regard.
For Adrian Peterson’s case, please keep in mind that I am in no way a sports fan. What triggered such a reaction from me were the words coming out of his mouth in regards to how he behaved. It’s bad enough when a blue-collar works echoes those sentiments, but when a famous multimillionaire does it while cloaking himself in both the Bible and old-fashioned “that’s what they done to me,” it galls me relentlessly. I could use the same idiotic logic and beat my spouse and children, too, almost to the point of death – because that is how some in my family deal with their problems.
“Not to cast aspersions on Adrian Peterson, but commentary: my father thought it would be appropriate to hit me across the back with a wooden rake. I wasn’t looking when he did it – the rake broke across my lower back. I urinated blood for days and didn’t get medical attention. He hit me with his fists, inner tubes, belts, sticks on many other occasions, yet I was somehow made to feel guilty about it – and then face the revisionists who would still insist that it wasn’t that bad. It’s a constant battle to not scream at other adults for failing to distinguish between discipline and abuse. If you are disciplining your child and draw blood or create bruises, you deserve to lose your job, go to jail, and be judged. Get help. If you are hurting your children to that degree, you are raising future adults who are heading into life as damaged victims ready to repeat the cycle.I would give anything to go back to several moments in my life and dole out in equal measure what was given to me. That desire is one of the single biggest impediments to living a joyous life.”
Several people contacted me privately, as they had a lot to say about it. Abuse, whether it is psychological or physical, is more common that people would like to acknowledge. It’s also commonly hidden and actively concealed from others. There are so many reasons that such things aren’t talked about.
Here are a few of the excerpts from social media (public comment, not private content):
“The system will work great IF people will talk. When they see it or hear, they should call or better yet go talk to someone to report it. Face-to-face makes the story much more credible. It’s not the police’s fault or social services when really all that needs to be done to vastly improve this is for people to come forward and tell someone.”
“A lot of people ask why people wait until the are adults before speaking out. As a child you are afraid and ashamed. You believe it is your fault. The guilt combined with the fear is overwhelming. You also believe the threats to harm you or your loved ones are real. If you do tell someone, they don’t believe it, or choose to ignore it because it is too ugly. It takes years to recover to the point of being able to talk about it. When you do, people don’t understand unless they experienced it too.”
“ALSO, other members of your family can be very disapproving of your coming forward. They will try to shame you into silence.”
“…everything you say about abuse is true. People need to speak it instead of hide it, for many reasons. There is so much abuse in the world it’s sickening.”
“I so agree. And you know it’s hard when defenders say…. It’s private. I’m a firm believer in sunshine makes situations better.”
“Did you know that Adrian Peterson also stuffed LEAVES into his boy’s mouth to keep him from screaming? He also whipped him in the testicles. I think everyone I respect is going to say that stuffing a kid’s mouth with leaves is evidence of pure crazy.” (Allegedly?)
Others wrote privately about their own struggles and specifics. Much of it was a total surprise to me. I’m glad I wrote the post, even though it shared “too much” for some people. I noticed several key people in my life didn’t touch the post, even though it was sponsored and all over their news feeds.
It is always odd to me when someone engages in an open and honest way and other people have so much baggage that they are afraid to interact. We can talk and snipe endlessly about politics and other superficial things but when the focus turns intense and personal, for some people, they simply can’t do it.