No Belting for Beltane’s Children
The Rites of Beltane may lead to the conception of children who later bless our days with their laughter. Native American tribes say we must do ‘nothing to harm the children’. Children’s innocence must be protected. Yet often parents feel bad at the way they have treated them. Most parents experience anxiety as to whether they are ‘getting it right’ but if you are a parent that has been traumatized through abuse or neglect, then parenting becomes extremely difficult. Not only is it likely that you do not have a good role model, chances are that you are suffering so much yourself that your children are often on the brunt end of violence. There is a joke about violence being inflicted by the man of the family, onto the woman who then hits the children and they take it out on the dog. Not far from the truth. When parents are treated abusively, then it is likely to be inflicted onto the most vulnerable member of the family. Trauma and abuse is passed in this way down the generations. How can we stop it? How can we say, this is where it ends. I will not inflict it on my children.
Margaret Miller, psychotherapist discovered that children who are abused, become abusers. However, if that child has even one person who can witness their pain, or listen to their distress, then it is likely that they can heal the trauma and grow up without passing it on. If you have been abused in the past, it might be time to speak about your suffering. Seek someone that you feel safe with. It could be a therapist specializing in trauma, or a help line, or a friend who will not judge you. When you do this, you create a safety valve to protect your children. If you are still in an abusive relationship, you might find it really difficult not to take it out on your children at times. It is so important to get help for yourself and take the steps to get out of the damaging situation that you are in. It is also important to give your children a voice. Is there somewhere that they can share what is happening to them. Do they have a person to talk with? Can you say sorry for any unkindness that you have inflicted upon them. You may feel shame at what you have done to your children, especially if you have sexually abused them. It is so important to begin to seek help and at the same time treat yourself with compassion. If you have been using physical or emotional violence or cruelty towards your children, it is really important to stop. It used to be believed that good child rearing meant breaking the child’s ‘will’. This is simply not so. The more love and kindness that you can show, the better adapted and happier your child will be.
Children suffer enormously if not ‘seen’ by their parents. It leaves them without a sense of identity and is one of the worst abuses that they can suffer. Your children are their own unique selves and NEED YOU to love and appreciate them, just as they are. Take time to tell them that they are special, whether they are the way you imagined your child should be or not. Kahil Gilbran wrote a beautiful poem:
‘Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s Longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
By healing your own ‘inner’ child you begin to heal the relationship with your children. Treat yourself with kindness and you will begin to treat them kindly. Ensure daily that you are taking time for self care. If you are stressed give yourself an escape. Plan a strategy of how to get out of a bad situation if you find yourself at breaking point. Create clear strong boundaries for your children AND yourself. Go online for parenting forums, try social services or talk to your doctor.
For help with Trauma, healing-waters.co.uk