Shownotes for episode 23
If you've followed me for a while, you may remember that I am a domestic violence survivor. While my bruises weren't physical, I endured 6 years of emotional and financial abuse throughout my early 20's by my first boyfriend. The abuse left an indelible impact on my soul. For years I thought I deserved it, that I wasn't good enough, skinny enough, pretty enough. I was depressed and my self-esteem was so low that I believed him when he said I wouldn't meet anyone else. Thankfully during this dark period in my life, I didn't have any children, but as a child, I did witness domestic violence in my home. This is why it was so important to me to cover this topic...it's so personal to me and so many others and ripples through generations if we don't notice and stop the cycle.
Now that I'm a parent, I can't imagine my daughter seeing some of the things I saw when I was younger. Parenting after domestic violence requires us to heal our trauma, but theirs too. On this latest episode of Parenting Decolonized podcast, I chop it up with Melody Gross, a domestic violence survivor and single mom, turned Domestic Violence Life Coach and Consultant. We discuss warning signs of domestic violence, tips for how to help your children heal their trauma as you work on healing yours, and why conscious parenting helps open the doors of communication between you and your children so you can openly discuss their feelings. Listen to the episode here:
That open communication is super important, especially for Black families, as Black women are 3x as likely as white women and 2xs as likely as other women of color to experience intimate partner violence. These are just the incidents reported because as it’s well known many don’t come forward. It’s past time that we sit and talk about our stories and even further be believed when we tell our story.
“At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end” -Christine Mason Miller
So, how do we begin the work of parenting after domestic violence? Here are a few tips Melody gave during her interview:
Talk. Open those doors of communication. Domestic violence thrives in the dark and with silence. Talk to your children about what they heard or saw and help them process that trauma so they aren't left to do it alone.
Model and communicate what a healthy relationship looks like. Whether it's friendships or romantic relationships, DV wreaks havoc on our ideas of what "normal and healthy" relationships look and feel like. Millions of teens a year find themselves in abusive relationships. The more we communicate these things, the more informed they'll be, and the less likely they'll end up perpetuating or being a victim of abuse.
Show them what it feels like for someone you love to treat you with respect. This includes body-autonomy, privacy, conflict resolution, and communication. We are their first glimpse into how relationships should function. Model and teach what a respectful relationship sounds and feels like at home.
Work on healing your own trauma. Seek therapy or counseling to help you rebuild your identity outside of the abusive relationship. You'll also learn to find your voice again and learn how to have healthy boundaries.
The world is screaming Black Lives Matter but violence against Black women continue. It’s important to hear their stories and recognize the signs for ourselves and others. After recognizing abuse and escaping life after can be hard to pick up all the pieces especially as a parent. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please know you're not alone and you can get help to get out of that situation. Please go to https://www.thehotline.org/
Keep it Conscious,