Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

It’s amazing how something that happened almost 30 years ago still affects you today.  And strange how I didn’t realize it until yesterday even though I had dealt with it before, or I had thought I did.  

Yesterday, C was mistreated by a little boy and I wasn’t there to protect her.  When I told hubby about what had happened, he fell silent.  He really does not like it when our kids, or anyone for that matter, get taken advantage of by other people.  And he really didn’t like it that I wasn’t there to watch the kids and therefore couldn’t protect C (which I will totally change next time).  In my head I knew it was not a good situation, but there is a part of me that feels like I can’t stand up for myself so maybe I tried to make light of it.  But now that I am a mom, my tiger instincts should really kick in and I should be protecting my kids the way a tiger would protect her cubs!  Now I understand why I felt so helpless…

When I was seven or eight years old, I was a witness to domestic violence.  I don’t know if it was the first occurrence (it certainly wasn’t the last), but that one incident has stuck in my mind and colored my world ever since.  I felt helpless, afraid to move, just wanting to stay still in the background and hope the storm would pass.  It makes sense now why I put on a front of “I’m okay” to everyone and want to do things myself and not have to rely on other people.  But underneath it all, I feel neither tough nor invincible.  Instead I play the victim in my mind and have let myself be put in humiliating situations where I felt too helpless to fight back, where I just let things happen to me even though in my mind I wanted to say no.  

But I can’t let this go on…especially when I have kids to protect and be a role model for.  I want E and C to know they have a right to stand up for themselves and for other people.  I want them to be able to fight back when they need to instead of fading away into the background out of fear.   

And as for myself, this needs to be a new start.  I need to remind myself that I am not that little girl anymore and I am not helpless.  May God help me know that I can be a fighter. 

Here’s Christina Aguilera’s song “Fighter“.

What is an area in which you would like to be a role model for your kids?

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