Teenage Violence At Home

Violence started so young

June 26, 2014 Poster Uncategorized

The wind is rattling the windows, it is broad daylight and I found myself jumping, sharply looking out to see if anyone was there. More specifically, our son. I instantly admonish myself for still being jumpy after all this time, more than 5 years…..how did this happen? I’m not a “nervy” person naturally. It has come from learning to always be on the lookout for danger at home. I think we can all agree that home is the one place where everyone has the right to feel safe. I send up a silent prayer, I don’t want to grow old and still relive those feelings.

For the sake of this blog I have scrutinised our past trying to pinpoint the exact time when I realised my husband and I weren’t just dealing with naughty children but a then young child who was intent on causing me to “back down” or submit to his will.

At first, I don’t believe this was his conscious intent, but more about gender-cultural issues from his early life in Africa. This behaviour became evident within weeks of us returning to Australia as a family. At first, we were all home together, but as soon as my husband returned to work, our son’s demeanour changed. It was a power struggle from the get-go, later obviously an intentional bid to dominate us.

Intimidation is probably the word that fits best.   It was in our son’s sneers, refusing to acknowledge my presence in our home, raising his arm in a threatening way toward me but worst of all it always occurred once my husband had left for work and I was alone with the children.  As soon as my husband came home our son’s behaviour became more agreeable. I would try to explain to my husband what it was like and for the first few months he thought I was mistaken, that I had misconstrued actions, or had done something to frighten our son. I can see now it could easily have created a wedge between my husband and myself. My husband thought he was doing all the right things so it must be me.   I took that on board and started to change my behaviour to appease our son….. without realising it then, that was the beginning of our personal experience with domestic violence.   I was beginning to feel isolated.

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