Wise Kids: My Children's Views on Their Experiences of Abuse

My children and I are survivors of Family Violence. We also all have AD/HD and, 12 months ago, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was added to our diagnosis's. Thankfully, the symptoms of PTSD have all but disappeared now, and only return for a couple of weeks or less whenever we are "triggered".

The journey we have made on the road to healing from our abuse has been both painful and inspiring. Although everybody praises me for the strength I have shown in the face of my adversity, and for the positive way I have supported my children as they have worked through their pain, fear and confusion, only a few know that it is my children who have in fact been my rock. It has been my love for them and their Light that keeps me going.

My kids, a boy (7) and a girl (8), have continually amazed me over the last year with their profound insights into their experiences and their observations of other's behavior. Their wisdom has astounded and inspired me no end, but the thing that I cherish most is that despite what they have endured, they have managed to maintain some of their innocence. Unlike many abused children, I have faith that the magic of their childhood is not lost completely. How can kids be so innocent and wise, all at the same time?

My daughter, who is 8 years old, is taking after her old lady. She wrote a song a few weeks ago and sang it to me. I can tell you that it was heart-wrenching. Then yesterday she announced that she had "edited" it (lol, said with a big smile because "edited" was a new word). Needless to say, after hearing it, I gave her a round of applause and a big hug and a kiss, before excusing myself to go to the bathroom, where the tears fell freely for a good couple of minutes. Here are her "edited" words (only spelling corrected by mum):


My life is a mystery
I just can't get control of myself
I can't build that bridge and get over it
I can't reach to the ocean
I can't rise up to the tall blue sky
It's impossible because of what's happened over the years
Instead I just burst into tears
It has all broken my heart
Problems attack me at any stage
And I just burst into a rage
Every day I feel like I'm in a daze
I just can't get control of myself
I can't build that bridge and get over it
I can't reach to the ocean
I can't rise up to the tall blue sky
It's impossible because of what's happened over the years
Instead I just burst into tears
It has all broken my heart
Oh my life, my life is just a mystery
But I do not stand alone
I have my family
And I love them and they love me
So it's just life that is a mystery
I will get control of myself
I will build a bridge and get over it
I will reach the ocean
I will rise up into the tall blue sky above
It is possible despite of what's happened over the years
It's OK if I just burst into tears
Mum's love can heal my heart
And life can stay a mystery ...

Here are some words of wisdom from my own children:

After her abusive father left, my little girl, who was 7 at the time, said to me "Now mum, promise you won't give him any more chances!"

After an assembly at school in which the principal talked about bullying, she came home and said "I finally know what dad really is" "what's that darling?"  I said, not really sure what to expect. Had to try not to laugh and cry at the same time when she said "He's a BULLY, just bigger and he does't go to school"

While she was attending a group program for abused children, she amazed the counselor (who told me afterwards) with this insight: My dad always says sticks and stones can break your bones but words can't hurt you, but his words always hurt me, here, in my heart" (patting herself on the chest).

On another day on the way home from her group session she said:  "I learnt a new figure of speech today mum - brain washing. I am so glad I learnt it!"  "Why's that darling"  "'Cause now I can explain what I mean when I tell people my dad says stuff to make me think I'm crazy or to make me think I remember stuff wrong, or to try and make me and (my son) hate you. He is trying to wash our brains. But they are not dirty, it's his washing them that makes them dirty. Or should I say crazy mum?"  Lol, "crazy making abuse" was part of the title of the next article I wrote!

One night she was upset and talking about some of the good memories she had  of him. I knew it meant that she was missing him, and I asked her if she wanted me to phone him and organise to meet him at the park for an hour again. She said "No mum, I meant it when I said I don't want to go to see him anymore. Everytime I see him, he takes away a good memory from my head and gives me another bad one. If I keep seeing him, I will lose all my good memories of him. I love those memories because I love dad, but I don't like how he behaves, so I don't want to see him anymore. Please promise me you won't phone him?"

The kid's dad always used to say he was a pirate when he was younger. A few days after the night he left, my little boy said to me "I know what's wrong with dad mum"  I said "what darling?"  He said "Dad thinks it's OK to be a pirate, and he thinks that pirates have to be mean, but it's not OK to be a mean pirate is it mum?"

The kids have PTSD from what they went through, as do I. One day, my boy snuck up behind me and said "Mum!" really loudly. I was drinking coffee and I spilled it all over myself.  My son was so sorry and he said "Oh mum, I forgot that you also have scared sickness like me". I looked puzzled and said "what's that darling?" He said "Ever since dad made us all so scared. we all jump at noises. Is that scared sickness?" I thought it was a damned good assesment of his own body's reaction and showed he has great empathy for others!

My kids were left feeling very confused by their father's attempts to discredit me and alienate them from me. He also told him that I hated being a mum and wished I was dead, and that they would be better off if I was dead. He told them he wished I was dead and that they were stupid for loving me. Luckily they did not buy into it.  He also left my little boy feeling very confused about the nature of men and women. His dad had told him girls and women are stupid and that he should never listen to any of them, especially me. He told him  "Mum thinks she knows everything but she doesn't. She only knows how to lie. What ever she says is a lie." My son did not buy into into it too much, but he reserved judgement on the issue of female intelligence and my honesty until he could figure it out for himself.

Unfortunately this took a couple of weeks, and in that time I used to get a lot of "But Dad said I did not have to do what you say" everytime I had to tell him off, or "But dad said you don't know anything" each time asked me a question about an  interesting animal or fish on the TV or at the zoo etc... which made me want to say "so why did you ask me then", but I never did. Instead I persisted each time by explaining the logic behind things, or some other reason for what  I said.

 But he is no fool, and he HAD learned that you cannot believe something is true just because somebody says it is so. He came up with his own plan, which I knew nothing of until one day I caught him misbehaving and I said "Darling you mustn't do that" and he said "Why" and I explained, but was a bit despondent that day and expected him to reply with a comment starting with "but dad said",  so I ended my explanation with "But you probably won't believe me anyway..."

 He looked at me and said "Mum, it's OK.  I know that dad is a liar now, and that you are not stupid. And I know you don't lie"

Taken aback, I said "Oh, and how do you know that, darling?" 

His reply was humbling. He said "Dad told me you were stupid but I didn't know, so everytime you told me something, I asked my teacher if it was true and guess what, you're always right. That's how I know you are not stupid and you don't lie. Dad was trying to trick me. But he didn't..."  

A few days later I thanked his teacher for backing me up and she looked confused. I explained what my son had said, as I thought he must have asked her about things we had talked about, and asked if I was right. She laughed and told me that she had been a bit puzzled because for 2 weeks he had been asking her a question every day, sometimes about safety around the house, sometimes about certain kinds of animals and other things too. She said "Now I know why".

How's that for wisdom - he had made sure he would get a non biased answer by never starting his questions with "my mum says..." - LOL

Wisdom from other kids (author unknown)

1) NUDITY

I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

2) OPINIONS

 On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'

3) KETCHUP

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'

4) MORE NUDITY

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'

5) POLICE # 1

While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report. 'My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'

6) POLICE # 2

It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked.'It sure is,' I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'

7) ELDERLY

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'

8) DRESS-UP

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, 'Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit.''And why not, darling?''You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning.'

9) DEATH

While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased.The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.' (I want this line used at my funeral!)

10) SCHOOL

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

11) More Nudity

A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. 'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out.'What have you got there, dear?'With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think it's Adam's underwear!'

What does 'Love' mean? (author unknown)

 Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it. Touching words from the mouths of babes.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does 'love' mean?' The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

  'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.  So my grandfather does it for her all the time,even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' Rebecca- age 8

 'When someone loves you, the way they say your name   is different.  You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'        Billy - age 4

Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl -5

 'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them giveyou any of theirs.' Chrissy - age 6

  'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri - age 4

 'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.' Danny - age 7

  'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. Emily - age 8

 'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' Nikka - age 6   (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

 'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt,and then he wears it everyday.' Noelle - age 7

 'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each  other so well.' Tommy - age 6

 'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy - age 8

 'My mommy loves me more than anybody You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.' Clare - age 6

 'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine-age5

 'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.' Chris - age 7

 'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.' Mary Ann - age4

 'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy newones.' Lauren - age4

 'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and  down and little stars come out of you.' (What an  image) Karen - age 7

 'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.' Mark - age 6

  'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica - age8

 And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked   to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbour was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife  Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.  When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said,  'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

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Comments 3 comments

Austin 5 years ago

This really cheered me up and helped me realize why kids are so happy, carefree, and innocent. They don't know any different and maybe I should try that some time. Thank you so much! :)


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QudsiaP1 6 years ago

Love the hub, great job. thank you for sharing and making my day.

Thumb's up! :)


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dawnangelicgreen 6 years ago from Boise, ID

I love the jokes from the children at the end of the hub. It was a very lighthearted way to end such a serious topic. I am so happy that you and your children got a fresh start and that they have so many resources to help them work through their difficult beginning. I am glad you have your writing too. It is very cathartic. Definitely a piece of work that will strike a chord with quite a few individuals. Best of luck in everything.

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