“You are right now not the mommy I love. The mommy I love is brave. She doesn’t drink until tipsy or curse anyone even if she hates someone. I feel you have become a coward. You became afraid of letting go.”
This was an excerpt from a letter of a teen daughter to her mother, who broke down nang malaman niyang may ibang babae ang asawa nya.
Effects of Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse and infidelity are known to destroy women’s morale and self-esteem. In response, many women tend to isolate themselves so much they become less aware of the people around them, even their loved ones.
People have many reasons to respond like this: to protect themselves from further harm, to cope from the damage itself, or to punish themselves for not being good enough. Maraming kasong ganito.
Unfortunately, this action can easily trap you in a well of fear, doubt, and hate, preventing you from recovering at all.
Some abused mothers end up losing their jobs and leaving their homes unattended and children neglected.
A friend of mine told me na nagkulong siya sa kwarto for months after her philandering husband left her and their children.
Her mother was there to take care of the kids as she spent every single day in her room, bawling her eyes out and starving herself near death, umaasang kaaawaan at babalikan siya ng asawa niya.
After several months in this sorrowful state, she woke up to a wet feeling on her lips. It was her five-year-old daughter feeding her soup. She heard her kid say, “Mommy, gising ka. Kain ka.” She cried, but this time, not because of self-pity but of what her children have to go through.
How Does Children React to Abusive Situations
Many children are aware of the status of their parents’ relationship and most of the time, they would rather accept their parents separate instead of witnessing physical abuse or experience financial deprivation.
Things take a turn for the worse when abused mothers end up becoming abusers themselves. Out of lingering frustration and the need to vent out, nawawala ang kontrol nila sa sarili nila at pati mga mahal nila sa buhay, napapagsalitaan at nasasaktan na rin nila.
Domestic abuse is such a taboo concept in Filipino families that family members would not believe it exists in their household until they blatantly witness it firsthand. Dahil dito, lalo lang nalalagay sa panganib ang inang inaabuso na lalo pang maabuso at walang matakbuhan.
Tulad ng kung ang pag abuso ay sa kuwarto ng mag asawa lamang nangyayari. Children understand the situation by what they see, feel, and hear.
When the father beats up the mother inside their room, their children would find it hard to believe and accept that the abuse exists at all. This makes it hard for abused mothers to cry out for help to the point na sila mismo ay kuwestyunin na kung totoo ba ang abusong nararanasan niya o baka walang mabuting basehan ang pananakit sa kanya.
Let me share the story of a certain Mrs. X.
Her husband drinks beer everyday as pampagana, but that pampagana ends up being an intense drinking session with unruly behaviors. Kapag lasing na. magbibitaw na ng lurid sex jokes.
Come every evening, Mrs. X’s husband sexually assaults her and punches her in the gut when she refuses. Her children never knew about this because she refused to open it up. Nakakahiya daw kasi. Worse, she eventually accepted the abuse she gets from her husband because pag-inom lang naman daw ang bisyo nung asawa at good provider naman daw.
Years later, she started bleeding internally and having spleen problems. She had no choice but to confess the abuse that caused her illness to the doctor. Unfortunately, ayaw maniwala ng mga anak niya na ganoon ang ama nila. This added much to her suffering.
What Happens to an Abused Mother
Overwhelming physical and emotional abuse can render any parent incapable of doing her duty to her children and herself. As a result, children would learn to fend for themselves or beg for basic needs from other people, and even seek and receive comfort from others. In the end, abused parents lose more than themselves.
Recovering from abuse may take quite a long time, at wala naman talagang solid, final date. However, if communication and transparency are lacking at home, children may misinterpret this healing process as mere negligence. Inevitably, everyone in the family goes his own way.
Without a parent’s good guidance, the children are free to commit risky activities that are unacceptable with respect to societal norms, katulad ng pag-yoyosi, pag-inom, pagtigil sa pag-aral, pagkalulong sa droga, unsafe premarital sex or early marriage, at pagkakasangkot iba’t ibang krimen, without much thought.
Domestic abuse can easily trap its victims in a state of isolation and oblivion, and without prior honesty at home, mas mabilis lang lalaki ang gap between parent and child. Nagiging manhid sila sa ibang pangangailangan ng pamilya at nakakaligtaan nilang mag-explain tungkol sa totoong nangyayari sa family nila. This becomes worst kung walang gabay ng relatives at ng mga taong nakapaligid sa kanila.
Some families are lucky enough to have a support network in the form of close relatives, family friends, community or social organizations, and spiritual or religious groups. These networks offer the mother and children the support they need habang tumutulong na mabuo uli ang nasisirang relasyon ng magulang at anak.
But for a parent who truly loves her children and vice versa, things cannot stay that way. You cannot forever depend on other people to fix everything for you. Both parents and children need to remember that without their own initiative, outside help can only get them so far.
This might be easier for the children to understand because sometimes, they’re the ones in the healthy state of mind, but for the abused parent, maaaring mas mahirap pero hindi ito imposible.
Regardless of how the abusive, cheating parent may end up, the abused parent still has a good thing going: a life spent with people who truly care about her well-being.
In the book “Ang Diary ng Legal Wife” by Malu Tiongson-Ortiz, sabi niya, “If your children are old enough to understand, i-explain ng mabuti sa kanila when there are family problems going on. Mas masakit para sa kanila kung sa ibang tao pa nila malalaman, or kung makita nila ang Dad nila with another woman, or ang Mom nila with another man. Reassure your kids of your love.”
She also wrote “Talk to your children about God,” where she emphasized, “get support from your church by encouraging your kids to join a discipleship group or Bible study group.” Hinihikayat din niya tayo “to pray with your children regularly.”
Handling Communications with Children
Sa pagpaliwanag ng problema sa pamilya, mahalagang isabay ang paghingi ng paumanhin dahil hindi isang ideal na pamilya ang natamo nila mula sa magulang nila. Huwag mamaliitin ang pang-unawa ng bata at siguruhing naiintindihan nila na hindi kasalanan ang hindi pagkakaroon ng picture-perfect na pamilya – lalong hindi nila ito kasalanan.
Para sa karamihan ng Pinoy na magulang, uncomfortable experience ang paghingi ng tawad sa mga anak dahil sa konsepto ng seniority at filial piety sa kulturang Pinoy. Pero sa ganitong sitwasyon, mas maiging aminin sa mga anak mo na hindi naging maayos ang relasyon ninyong mag-asawa dahil sa kakulangan ng dalawa – hindi lamang ng isa. Nakataya ang tadhana ng pamilya mo sa pagkakaintindi sa ‘yo ng anak mo.
Tandaan, ang mga magulang, hindi ang mga anak, ang nagdesisyong bumuo ng pamilya. Kung sino ang may kapangyarihan, sa kanya ang responsibilidad. Sa sitwasyong to, responsibilidad mong maging tapat at humingi ng kapatawaran.
Who knows? Baka sa pagiging tapat at paghingi mo ng tawad, you may discover some good insights from your children on how your family can start over and move forward.
Showing how to forgive and apologize also teaches your children to properly communicate despite conflict and misunderstanding.
At kung pagpapatawad lang rin naman ang pag-uusapan, kailangan magsimula ang lahat sa pagpapatawad mo sa sarili mo.
May limitasyon ang kayang gawin ng tao kaya mas maiging mag-focus ka sa mga kaya mong kontrolin at matutong mabuhay sa kabila ng mga bagay na di mo kayang ma-kontrol.
Sa pamamagitan nito, makakausad ka na at ang pamilya mo nang walang emotional baggage.
Pero paalala lang, not all children will be able to help their parents in fixing their family. Some kids freeze and become speechless in the face of problems, so it may take time for them to properly react. Treat them the way you want to be treated when you’re overwhelmed with problems.
Talking about conflict in the family teaches children to speak up and deal with painful situations more confidently. This allows children to feel involved and encourages them to be more active in helping heal the family and move forward.
Ang marinig sa mga anak ang mga salitang ,”Nandito kami para sa ‘yo” ay gamot at pampaginhawa sa sugatang pride at self-esteem.
Lagi mo ding tandaan na mas madali ang paghilom ng mga sugat mo kung matibay ang tiwala mo sa plano ng Panginoon para sa’yo.