The smell of Sulphur always brings a flashback.
Many years ago, a little girl rides in the back seat of the car that has pulled up alongside me while I wait for the light to change. It’s dark but I can see adults in the front seat, and I can hear the screaming of a man and flashes of orange light up the faces inside the car.
The little girl looks sad and as if she has been crying.
Just as the light turns green, I look over to her and I see her small hand against the window, and as I drive off, I wonder what she would tell me if she could.
Later the same evening I woke from a dream, the little girl came to me and told me her story.
This is what she said.
In today’s world, now 2022 and 50 years later, domestic violence still continues.
Poverty and mental illness are still at the forefront of many children’s lives.
She fought to heal the damage done, and it isn’t easy to break free from all the things that held her hostage.
She no longer lives the life of that little girl, but she can still be triggered when seeing the familiar on the news about children who live in the United States and in the world.
This is just one example of what an abused child might go through.
After two years of this global pandemic, we will most certainly see the aftermath play out in the future of the children who lived through this.
I can tell you firsthand that it won’t be easy—all the fixing that is needed to be done.
This pandemic pushed us back in so many ways.
The pandemic exacerbated issues in the homes and lives of our children. The stress and financial hardships a parent feels always flow downhill.
I, for one, was a single parent for a time, and although my relationship with my partner was far different from my own parents’, I know my children were affected by my choices when I was in a fearful, stressed state.
Before seeking therapy, I was aware of this but not yet self-aware.
Parenting in a fearful state most certainly affected my children. I was caught up in it.
I would get stuck in a moment, reacting to life with my “child self,” the emotions were intense, and my children felt it and lived it.
Children are the future; we give them things that they will carry for their lifetime, which they will then spend trying to unload.
When we see a child struggle, it’s easier for our first thought to send them to therapy, to fix their broken parts; it doesn’t work that way.
A child doesn’t get broken by themselves. Their environment and those in it shape them; therefore, the whole unit needs the same care.
We must commit to restructuring behavior together, listening, and learning new kind, clear, and calm ways to move forward without causing harm.
Too much time and resources are spent away from the real problems that humanity suffers from.
Our country rightly supports men and women who suffer post-traumatic stress after fighting wars in other in countries, helping them sort through the trauma of what they experienced.
I pray every day that we wake up and see the things that need to be fixed and that the same care is taken for the children who suffer and survive wars in their own homes.
Wars they didn’t sign up for and wars in a place where their safety should be a given.
I would love to see things change sooner than later, and I hope you do too.