I want to preface this post with some information:
1-800-273-8255 is the number for LIFELINE. Please call if you are having thoughts of suicide.
If you suspect a child is a victim of abuse, Childhelp‘s number is 1-800-4-A-CHILD. Please report responsibly.
Alicia Dean and I had a difficult conversation about her childhood on Episode 13 of the podcast. Please go listen if you haven’t and then come back here. While you’re at it, give her some love for bravely sharing in the face of anxiety.
Obviously, the true victim of child abuse is the child. The one who needs rescuing most is the child. I am not discounting that AT ALL. There is help available and we need to make sure every child gets help that needs it.
But there is a root to this evil and we need to address it to stop the cycle of abuse. I’m not an expert on the subject, nor am I any sort of mental health professional, so this is just one mama talking to all the other mamas.
Parenting is hard. Adulting is hard. We all have days where we really struggle or even daydream of a life without the responsibility of parenting. There are so many ways to deal with these feelings. In my life, I make sure I’ve got time to do things like paint or exercise to relieve some stress. I have friends who are also moms who I can lament with when the days are hard.
What I do know is that no substance is going to make it better. I can’t count the number of memes I’ve seen about “Mama needs wine” or “Mama juice” and I’ve even shared them a time or two because I got the humor intended there. But then, is it really funny? Do you really NEED alcohol to get through the day or through parenthood? If it has become a NEED then it has become dependancy. And dependancy is addiction.
If you think you are addicted to alcohol or any other substance, please find help. Call the the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (1-800-662-HELP) to find help.
Substance abuse is one of the leading causes of child abuse. But, the number one cause is being a victim of abuse and repeating the cycle. Break the cycle, mama. Admit there’s a problem and get help. You didn’t deserve the abuse you received and neither do your own children. Ask for help. Speak up. We will hear you!
You know who else hears you? Jesus. Cry out to Him. Get on your face before Him and confess your struggles. He already knows what you are going through – you cannot shock Him. But you can invite Him into it and ask Him to help you. Ask Him to show you where to go to help. Ask Him to protect your children from the addiction or the cycle of abuse. Ask Him to help you accept the consequences of your actions and for full redemption in your family. Ask and then respond faithfully.