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FAMILY VIOLENCE isn’t one act committed by one person. Communities, Governments, and friends can all be contributors to Family Violence. It wasn’t until 1983 that Canadian law outlawed marital rape [1]. “Family violence is more than just beating a partner or child. It’s the abuse of power to harm or control a person who was or is a family member.”[2] The Alberta Government now recognizes NOVEMBER AS FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION MONTH which replicates a campaign that was started in Hinton in 1986 [3]. So for the month of November we’ll be posting stories that hopefully help identify family violence so that communities are able to recognize there contribution to violence and find ways to end the abuse.

Friday, 18 November 2011

My Soul

Every day, she screamed reminders inside my head.
“You’re so demanding.”
“You always need something.”

But the fact was, all I needed was her love.

A day or two later, she would present me with money, as if somehow the dollar bills would soak up the terrible things that came out of her mouth.

A week or two later, she would yell again, using the money as an excuse to call me ungrateful when I lost patience and fought back.

And then she would call me a bitch, and a slut, and I would tell her to go fuck herself, throw things at her and push her.
And then my dad would start yelling at us, and I would cower in the corner and cry as my mother explained to him that it was my fault – that I started it all, that I was a little troublemaker who wanted to make them fight. 
And I started to believe it.
I started to believe it, when my mom called my dad an alcoholic.
I started to believe it when my mom packed her bags and drove off, telling me that he scared her – that he was abusive.
I started to believe it, when my dad cornered me into the wall and yelled at me – scaring me – making me feel that he was abusive.

But it was my mom who started it.
It was my mom who stole my shoes and told my dad not to let me leave.
It was my mom who hung up on my boyfriend when I called for help.

And it is my mom who has a piece of my soul, screaming reminders inside my head every day that I’m demanding and needy.
It is my mom who holds my university tuition over my head, and will for the rest of my life.
It is my mom who will play the victim for the rest of her life - because her dad abused her as a child.

But I will not repeat the cycle.
I refuse to bring another child into the world that has to bare such emotional trauma.
I will not have my child choose between managing their own pain and their mother’s.
I will not steal a part of another person’s soul.

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