He was 6 years old. His big innocent eyes, grew narrow, his gaze intensely set upon the staff member who approached his mother. “I’ll protect you mommy”, he said. As his mom and the staff member shook hands, the young boy, stomped his foot as hard as he could onto the staff member’s shoe. It was his protest, his best defense, to ward off the threat to his mommy. You see for this little boy he witnessed the early effects of domestic violence that took place in his home. He witnessed the blood that ran down his mother’s face. He heard the screams for the pain to stop. He saw his mother in the corner weeping. He was the one who would bring his blanket over, and try to wipe away her tears after his dad walked away. He was the one who would try to clean up the mess so his mother could smile again. He was the one who thought inside of his little heart at such a young age, I will protect you mommy.
Right away some hearts may say, well why didn’t his mother just leave. Why didn’t she walk away. For some of the women trapped in a life of abuse, they haven’t learned there is any other way. At Acres of Hope we hear the stories behind the scenes. Abuse, neglect, and abandonment when they were children. The same symptoms in friendships, then relationships. They grow up in a world where they didn’t even know there was a different life possible. Their corners of the world showed them this is all they get, all they feel like they deserve. So then becoming a mother, many will do everything they can to prevent their children from being physically harmed. So they learn to take more pain onto themselves. When the child comes, that baby may be a relief because it is a comfort, and love that this mother has not experienced. Yet there also comes more pain, for when the child cries, leaves a mess, or needs more attention than an abuser, more pain is heaped onto the mother trying to protect her child. Yet what isn’t realized is seeing the violence, hearing and watching the pain, is traumatic for the child. In innocence the child will want the abuse to stop, the pain to go away, and to no longer have to see his mother crying. So he learns to say, “I’ll protect you mommy”.
For you or I, seeing a child say such words, knowing how innocent, and small such a precious being is we would rise to say no way. It is you little one who we will protect. Well I want you to know that is what we are saying at Acres of Hope. We will rise to show you and your mother a new way to live. We will help your mother grow strong and healthy, and know there is a life outside of domestic violence and dysfunction. We will remind you both and teach you of your value and worth. So that you will know you can be a child, and that you will be safe in your mother’s care. That she will be the one who protects you.
To join the Acres of Hope Community in rising to show our families a new way to live,
Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call:530-878-8030