Thursday, September 30, 2010

Compassion, Abuse, Love, Anger, and Gratitude - all in a sober day's work...

Life is going...juggling the girls' school work and extracurricular activity schedules keeps us busy most days.  Time alone is greatly enjoyed while they are off growing their brains.  My littlest one is in Kindergarten and today she was kicked by a boy who was angry about something unrelated to her.  She just happened to be sitting next to him during circle time and caught the brunt of his physical outburst.  At least once a week, she tells us about how he gets mad and kick books and desks, and requires disciplinary action quite often.  Thankfully, the school called me after my daughter got home to make sure that I knew what had happened in case she mentioned it, which she already had.

When my oldest was in first grade a few years ago, she was instructed by the teacher to hand out papers to the students who were sitting quietly at their desk first and then to the rest.  The boy who always got into trouble in her class was being rambunctious as usual that day and therefore, got his paper last.  Angrily he looked at my daughter and said, "I am going to kill you."  The really scary part is we live in one of the best school districts in the state; in a middle to upper class community and my girls attend one of the most sought out schools where teachers want to work. 

The school administrators and teachers are extremely responsive and supportive to the needs of children as well as the parents.  I am very grateful.  But, I am also saddened that kids so young are so verbally and physically abusive.  I wonder what happens to them at home.  What are they being allowed to watch on television?  Or worse, what is being done to them for them to act in such violent ways at such a young age?  And what was done to their parents for them to be teaching or modeling such behavior for their children? 

While I have empathy for these young boys and their obvious emotional troubles, the buck stops with the adults who are responsible for them.  I know they are probably doing the best with what they have as my parents did in the midst of their alcoholism but as an adult child of alcoholics I can choose a solution other than the one my parents chose during my childhood.  I can break the cycle of active alcoholism in my family, for the sake of my marriage and my children (and myself.)  However, I cannot do it alone. 

Through the power of God, which I can best access by working the 12 steps with others and continuing to share my experience, strength and hope as well as listen and learn from the experience, strength and hope of others, I can break the chains of alcoholism that bind, not only the alcoholic but the entire family, in prison cells of despair, loneliness, anger, and fear. 

Thanks to the grace of God I didn't drink today and was therefore, able to be a comforting and loving and fully present mother to my beautiful baby girl when she really needed her mommy's protective and unending devotion the most.  How precious and priceless the gifts of sobriety are!  My heart is overflowing with gratitude and humility for God and for his love for me, for my family, for all of us.


  1. I have no answers to your questions about raising kids.
    As a gay man with no kids, it's my duty to be the best example I can be whereever I may be in contact with younger generations. And older ones too. LOL

  2. You are courageous for ‘breaking the cycle’ in your family tree. For whatever reason, it sounds like these boys in your daughters’ classes weren’t so lucky with their parents. I’m sure that you will be having many discussions with your girls about why some people choose to act out in vicarious ways and that it has nothing to do with them. It also sounds like your school is in tuned and responsive to the behavior and actions of their students as you were informed by the school when your daughter was kicked. This is good because if you ever have to discuss any issues involving your daughters it sounds like they will be proactive.

  3. Hi Marie,
    Coming from a troubled childhood, I agree that we always have a choice, to turn out the same way, or to seek God's help to turn out differently. And amen! that with God's help those generational cycles can be broken.

    Sorry to see your kids going through these tough times, but wonderful you were there for them. Having two kids myself I'm seeing them both go thru these experiences. And also having taught in schools and Sunday school, I look at violent/abusive children and wonder what goes on in their homes. I wish their parents can see what effect their behavior is having on their little ones.

    God bless

  4. are so right about we have a choice to break the cycle...and it is such an inspiration and testimony when that is done. God bless you and your lovely family. :-)


Thank you for sharing!