H20 TO GO!
Growing Emotional Resiliency
& Navigating Through Childhood
with Heart, Humor & OptimismBy Margo Judge
H20: Book Installment
#2 & 3
A Cautionary Tale:
I open the paper and I read of a mother, who endured
nine years of her live-in boyfriend's beatings--her daughter, as of this writing, not yet graduated from high school, saw
most of them occur with her own eyes.
mother did, at one point, get a court order against him, and leave but, went back because finances were better, so she thought
he'd be calmer, and she loved him and because he vowed not to hurt her-and, she believed him. Soon, he was drunk again,
violent again, and even with another court order to stay away from her, he still managed to break a endow, gain entrance to
her home, shoot her in the face, and kill her.
Her daughter, who had lived for a while with her natural father, had gone back to live with her mom because she was
so worried about her. Her mother said, don't worry, I'm going to be fine and I will be here for you. Her
daughter made her mother to promise that she would be there at her graduation.
But, her mother did not love her daughter enough to be there for her. She
was not, in the end, more concerned for her daughter's welfare. She will not attend her daughter's upcoming
graduation. She is dead. Dead, after 9 years of abuse.
First Parent Moment of Truth:
Abusive Relationships &
The Parent Code of Ethics
Before we can get on to Heart, Humor and Optimism, we need to have a very private, personal and honest
conversation about this--tough love, so to speak, but necessary. So future, about to be, new or current moms- make sure you
have time and privacy and let's talk honestly about the most crucial aspect of taking stock-choice of relationships, behavior
We might be
dating, live with, or be married to an abusive person. There may be all sorts of reasons. We were young and foolish and in
love. He was different at the beginning. We need the financial security.
We were abused, ourselves. We are afraid and/or have low self-esteem. But, dear friends, if we are
already, or about to become mothers, we no longer decide for ourselves, alone. We become two,
a pair, bonded by a heart. Where we go and how we conduct our lives will automatically involve and impact
our baby. And our personal choices will become our child’s given choices as well. Think
about that for a moment. Think about your life right now-your choice of relationship, right now.
And then ask yourself—do you want your child in that life? If you were your child, would you
want to be in your life?
we become mothers, the true title of victim passes to our child. It no longer belongs to us.
Our chills will automatically be involved and become the unwilling recipient of any and all destructive behavior we
choose to continue. Therefore, if we continue to make excuses for such choices, and refuse to seek professional
help, then we, in effect, commit a moral crime. Ultimately, we will be the ones responsible for bringing
abuse and violence into our baby’s life and home. And no matter how much we love our child, no matter
how good a mother we may be in al other respects, we still remain guilty for failing to protect and ensure our child’s
physical and emotional well being.
bottom line, dear friends...There is a Parent Code Of Ethics-
THE WELFARE OF A CHILD COMES BEFORE ALL ELSE...
It makes no difference how loudly our emotions call, how intensely our passions
flair, how much fun everyone has on a good day, how generous he is when he’s sober, how kind he is when he’s not
in a rage, how engaged he is when he is not high, WE, AS MOTHERS, HAVE NO RIGHT TO SUBJECT OUR CHILDREN
TO ANYONE WHO CANNOT CONTROL THEIR DRINKING, THEIR ANGER, OR THEIR SEXUAL
Such a person should
never be near our children because their behavior can never be trusted. Period!
Our number one responsibility, as a parent, is to safeguard our children- AT ALL
COSTS! It is no longer about US, or how WE feel, OR, what WE can put up with and forgive. It is about our CHILDREN-what THEY
see and what THEY experience...
we brought them into the world, whether willingly, or unwillingly, and we chose to keep and raise them, then our moral responsibility
is to raise them in the safest possible environment.
They should NEVER see violence at home.
They should NEVER experience abuse from anyone in the home.
They should NEVER live in fear in their own home.
If that means we have to choose between their welfare and a lover, a
relationship, a marriage, our relatives, anyone–there is only one choice-always!!!
he only hit me once, and besides, he would never harm the kids. Or, he flies off the handle sometimes, but only when the kids
push him? Or, Uncle Joe? Never! I just don't believe he would ever do that!
Yes, yes, yes!! Open your eyes! He will hit you again! And one day,
he will hit the kids! Yes, he will fly into a rage again, and be tired again and snap and lose control.
Yes, Uncle Joe will, if given the chance, do something like that because he cannot control his sexual urges. Open
your eyes! Yes, being sober and straight are so nice, but they are intermissions, breaks, moments in time
that will, in time, become less and less frequent because that is what addiction is all about>
Besides, even if our children stay out of the line of direct fire, they
are still WITNESSES to the flames of violence, They are seeing their mothers, or siblings whom THEY LOVE attacked
and abused. They have to live in great fear, of a parent—the one person they should be able to love and trust.
Such fear can be paralyzing, implanting memories that will impact their future lives, and perpetuate a continued pattern of
victim and abuser behavior.
please remember this, if nothing else--
IT COMES TO DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR-THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS STATUS QUO-It will either subside (with professional help and commitment)
or get worse, but it will NOT remain as is! That is a fatal misconception so many make.
Alcoholics cannot remain status quo.
If an alcoholic is not on the wagon, or a member of AA, ALCOHOLIC BEHAVIOR WILL CONTINUE AND ESCALATE!
Potentially violent individuals will not
remain status quo. If such a person has not enrolled in anger management, or agreed to take medication, VIOLENT BEHAVIOR WILL
CONTINUE AND ESCALATE!!
abusers can never remain status quo! If a predator is not kept away from kids altogether, SEXUALLY ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR
WILL CONTINUE AND ESCALATE!!
and substance abusers are incapable or remaining status quo. Without serious commitment to help and rehabilitation,
ADDICTION, by its very definition, REQUIRES MORE AND MORE SUBSTANCE TO ABUSE.
Before we make any choice in behavior, any change in relationship, any decision
about lifestyle, we must first ask this question—HOW WILL THIS PERSON OR SITUATION IMPACT MY CHILD? If
the answer is-directly or indirectly-negatively?
WE DON’T GET IT
WE DON’T KEEP IT
DON’T ALLOW IT
We, as mothers should be the very first, and
very last line of defense for our children. Therefore, and I repeat this. If we are
going to keep and raise our children, then we must be prepared to fight, to risk hurt, to risk abandonment, to risk losing,
to risk fear, to risk all, including our lives, to protect them.
Unfortunately, it is often far easier to love than to protect. To protect means
having the moral courage to make some very tough choices. But once we bring a little being into the world, we become morally
obligated to protect its heart and to take an oath-
*NOT TO GET INVOLVED WITH AN ALCOHOLIC OR DRUG ADDICT!
*NOT TO BE WITH ANYONE WHO WOULD BE VERBALLY OR PHYSICALLY ABUSIVE TO OUR CHILD OR US!
*NOT TO BRING ANYONE- WHOSE BEHAVIOR IN ANY
WOULD HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT
ON OUR CHILD-
INTO OUR HOME!
And, if we cannot, or are part of the problem-if
it is we moms who are flying into uncontrollable rages, and exhibiting verbal or physical abuse towards our children, or because
of addiction or depression, simply incapable of taking responsibility then it is up to father, grandparents, or other relatives,
and/or friends, neighbors, to take this same oath and then an action!
So, if we are neighbor, friend or family member truly disturbed by behavior
we think we might, or we know is occurring in the home, we have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to report
and/or try to stop it. Maybe we will be responsible for the break-up of a family; maybe we cause much crying
and hurt, disbelief and anger. But more likely, and more importantly, we will be saving a child’s
life. We cannot say the dog ate our homework! We might be truly scared. And in that case, there
are web sites and hotlines, and law enforcement devoted to guiding and giving us the needed tools and resources.
(See end of article)
often, we who are directly involved, are simply ambivalent. Our emotions tug and pull in the name of Love,
We stay unwilling to take an action-always, with the misguided hope that if only things change, he/she will feel better, and
not need to be angry, or depressed. But, dear friends, that is, in the end, a selfish pipe dream, which
we are put before the here-and-now reality in which our children live. And we share a guilty verdict, for
all the harm that will inevitably befall our children.
So, let those of us, who are, right now, in a destructive relationship, take a deep breath and honestly
ask ourselves this simple question?
our choice of relationship safe for our children? Not good or
fun or financially necessary, but SAFE?
If the answer is- no, not really, then we
know must make a change, now, immediately!!
Because if we do not, we are, in effect, a passive witness to, a willing enabler of, or an equal partner in
the emotional and/or physical abuse of our children.
If we look towards our children, always, as beams of light, and ask ourselves always what is in their
best interest, they will light our paths and give us direction. We will know what to do and we will make the right choices
and decisions, always.
continue to believe that those of you, who need to, can make those right choices, and seek help. I will
applaud your courage and root you on. Take good care, and God Bless your children.
Book: H20 Installment#4/Intro Part 2/Collecting Memories,The Good Kind
Website and hot- lines-
Love Our Children USA (www.loveourchildrenusa.org)
is the leading national nonprofit that honors, respects, and protects
children. As a voice for children, its mission is to break the cycle of violence against children.
1. National Hotline to report child abuse or suspected child abuse: 1-800-422-4453.
2. The National Domestic Violence Hotline:
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Permission granted for reprinting with
Attribution to Margo@MomOpinion Matters
Next: Installment #4