Abuse Has a Trickle Down Effect, But You Are Stronger Than That

Dear Mom,

When no one defended you as a child– when no one stood up to the hands that hit you and the words that broke your psyche– when no one knew what happened to you the day you were found alone…I wish I had been the one to hold your hand to let you know I was there for you, no matter what– that you’d be loved no matter what your mind would tell you for years to come.  

Your father didn’t treat you as you should have been treated. Your father was worse than the monsters living in your closet.  You shouldn’t have had to bear it all in silence.  His brokenness was a result of trauma that would be trauma felt for generations, because your abuse was the kind of thing I felt in the womb. It’s a trauma that goes unexplained and sits uncomfortably for years, as misunderstood feelings– as reactive voices– as pains in the chest and stomach. It’s something you never sorted out, and so now, I’m sorting it out for you. I’m trying to make sense of it– but it makes no sense at all.

I’ve felt the abuse you’ve felt in nuanced ways. It’s the kind of abuse that has affected the way I operate in relationships– the way I love, the way I get angry, the way I deal with conflict, the way I avoid.  It’s the kind of abuse that has a trickle down effect within my synapses.  It’s the kind of abuse I wish I could break completely, but all I can do is analyze it, process it, understand it, and have small victories…small acknowledgments of how I can be better to others, and only act with love, instead of the pain you felt, that you and I’ve dealt to others– partners, friends, family.

I know you are stronger than your abuse because you are a survivor.  Your resiliency gave me mine. But, it’s strength that comes with a lot of built up pain, and I acknowledge that because I feel it every day. When you write me a letter without love– I have to remember that hurt people hurt people, and while that’s not okay, the only thing I can do is tell you I love you, and act back with love.

We are all love. We are all pain. It’s what we decide to do with both that will push us forward to creating more of one or the other.  I hope to let love guide me, and say goodbye to your pain.

Love,


Your Daughter