Sometimes the act of sharing is the starting point to trauma recovery. In “Release” The Lovepost invites citizens from across the globe to submit their trauma experiences. These submissions are being published anonymously across our website and social platforms as they come in. We hope that the act of sharing these experiences can subside shame, dismantle unhelpful beliefs, lessen triggering and help survivors of trauma make sense of a completely senseless event or series of events.
My father says, “The most beautiful child was you,” as if that’s a compliment or makes up for the years and years of abuse.
My father says, “Stop frowning,” as he places two fingers on my forehead and tries to iron out the lines. If I get wrinkled, I might not be as beautiful or valued as a wife or woman.
We are watching Miss World and my father says, “Yes, she’s beautiful but your mother is the most beautiful,” as if that makes it okay to beat her if she doesn’t behave the way he wants her to. When a man marries a woman, she sells herself to him. Without him she is nothing. Take her power away and she has no power; rob her of her soul and she knows not what it means to be alive.
You see, my father is a sick man: society made him this way. Our addiction to the patriarchal narrative made him this way. The narcissistic disease made him this way. His father and his father’s father made him this way. His ancestors made him this way. The colonisers made him this way. He became this way through no fault of his own. He is merely a product of his environment. If a crime committed is never acknowledged, it never happened.
My father says he has no choice in the matter as he beats us and makes us hide the beatings. My mother enables him and says that family issues must stay in the family. The cycle can’t be broken if nobody knows. The shame that is carried generation after generation can repeat itself.
The trauma is well and alive. It hides not in the shadows but in plain sight: my father writes a message full of hate to my mother on a napkin while at a restaurant, and slides it across to her so nobody can see how he abuses her right under their noses. As he looks around in a shopping mall to make sure nobody is watching, and pinches me hard with a smile on his face. As he tells me I’m useless because I haven’t filled the ice bucket the way he wanted me to. My father says he has to release the anger inside as he fills his glass, gulps it down and charges at us.