Self-esteem is a very important aspect of everyone’s life. It is such a vital part of a person existence, yet at the same time too much or too little of it can be detrimental. Self-esteem is often used as a controlling tool. People prey on those who have low self-esteem because it is easy. Having low self-esteem, especially for children, also makes a person an easy target for bullying. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I thought to myself this is a perfect time to talk about self-esteem. People who fall victim to domestic violence, as well as those that inflict domestic violence, offer suffer from low self-esteem. When a person has low self-esteem it is easy to convince them that the treatment they are receiving is their own fault. At the same token, as the old saying goes ‘hurt people hurt people’. With that being said people who do not feel good about themselves sometimes lash out at others in the form of release. It is never ok to hit someone, domestically or not. As humans we all have emotions and sometimes these emotions outweigh the logic of our brains. It is very easy when feeing cornered or hurt to lash out. We, especially in the African-American community support violence. I know when I was growing up I was always taught if someone hits you….hit them back. I was also taught you never let the other person get the first lick in in a fight. This way of thinking, though it did give me a thick skin, did two things to my way of life. One it limited my thinking. There was no need to think about things. When I felt corned just strike first. Two it perpetuated the use of violence. This is why people need the tools and resources such as counselors or anger management, or sometimes even grief support to help them through life. With these tools in place the instances of violence just might become less.
This is not an uncommon question. It is often asked by those who have not experienced and do not understand the complexity of remaining in a abusive relationship. The truth of the matter is that many people who are in relationships where no abuse occurs do not immediately leave even when there is trouble in paradise, or they leave and then return, similar to men and women who are in abusive relationships. The answer as to why they remain in the abusive relationship is as complex and complicated as how they will break free from the relationship. Leaving the relationship is a process. Professionals who work with victims of abuse know that the most dangerous time is when the victim leaves because the abuser becomes more violent.
Victims of abuse may face several hurdles to leaving the relationship. This list is not exhaustive:
- Economic Dependence on their abuser/Lack of Work Experience/Lack of financial resources
- Fear for their safety or the safety of their children and/or other family members.
- Isolation — no support system.
- Beliefs about Family — the victim may believe that family should not share family secrets. Guilt about breaking up the family unit.
- Beliefs about Marriage — the victim may believe that separation or divorce is not permissible.
- Belief that the abuser will find and kill the victim.
- Society’s response against victims — legal system, religious systems, family systems, and community.
- Belief that the abuser will change.
- Attachment and love for the abuser.
- Fear of losing custody of their children.
- Lack of Information about community resources that advocate and support.
Are you struggling with speaking out in anger when it comes to your children? I want to help you stop this because responding in anger has painful consequences for your child. We all get angry at our children, but it is important to learn how to control the expression of anger. When you feel your anger building up please remove yourself from your child. You can go to your bedroom and take a time out for yourself. One great thing you can do is to make a list of acceptable ways to handle ager. This can help guide you when you need to calm down.
Remind yourself that you will not allow your child’s behavior to have that much power over you. I have a code word I will speak if I ever find myself getting upset with my child’s behavior. I will say “Evangelist” under my breath. That reminds me that this is a child that God has blessed me with. He is an anointed young little man, and God has created him with a plan and a purpose. I will take a break and go into my room if I feel that my anger is rising.
Once in my room I start to pray. The power of prayer is extraordinary. Every time I have taken this path I find that God gives me the strength and wisdom to handle that situation correctly. Always wait before disciplining. Never do it while angry. f you feel that your anger is hard to control please give us a call. We are here to help you and your family.