Friday, November 4, 2011

How can you look me in the eye?

How can you look me in the eye
And tell me you love me, with a sigh,
Then bend me over before I can reply,
And hit me so hard it makes me cry?

You may not think you are abusing me,
but how can you not see you are confusing me?

When I hit someone you say "NO! That's wrong!"
But then your next message is equally strong.
When you hit me you say "I'm doing what's right!"
You say it's the only way I'll ever see the light.

So, Mom and Dad, which is it? Please share.
Is hitting wrong or right? Try to be fair.

If hitting is wrong, it should feel wrong for you
Which is why I am hoping my message gets through:
Remember I am a human too
And hitting hurts me, just like it would you.

Do not tell yourself if you spank me:
"Someday, I'm sure my child will thank me."
I'll thank you if you stop hitting me, now.
Get help if you can't figure out how.

Yes, I know if I've made a mistake.
And when that happens, I deserve a break.
I do not deserve to live this way, in fear
Of my parents, the ones who invited me here.

You're supposed to protect me, that's what parents do...
So why do I wish someone would protect me from YOU?

*******************

As a child, I was one of the lucky ones, who did not live in fear of her parents. This poem is for all the children who suffer at the hands of their parents, and for all those parents who suffered at the hands of their own parents. I was moved to write it after reading this story.

Let us break this cycle now.

Let us stop trying to draw imaginary lines between (acceptable) "spanking" and (not acceptable) "abuse". The only line that makes sense to draw is the one between hitting and not hitting. Children should not be hit, spanked, beaten, swatted, flicked, pinched or otherwise intentionally harmed by a hand, a belt, or any other implement. Not with any level of intensity. Not with anger, not with calm resolve. Not by a stranger, not by a friend, not by a teacher, and NOT by a parent. Just no.