*TW: Child Abuse
“Children are arguably the most criminally victimized people in society!” – ‘Childhood Victimization: Violence, Crime, and Abuse in the lives of people’ by David Finkelhor.
Abuse (v): treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.
This definition comes up when searched on Google, and has sub-terms or types of abuse: Physical, Sexual, Emotional, Economic, Psychological Abuse
So, when your abuser or their defender tries to justify it by saying they didn’t raise hands on you, please remember all these. An abuser can take any form to humiliate or harm you! Moreover, the stats have increased globally. While some are registered, there lie cases that aren’t even considered abuse by society and abusers themselves.
I write this after a few hours of abuse right in my household. Yes, I’m openly talking about the same as all those old disturbing memories of toxic masculinity that run in my mind. It took a lot of courage for me to not write about this in the third form, but here it is.
I grew up in a nuclear family, where my father was always dominant. My father hails from a background where patriarchy prevails. I remember him being brutal towards my mother in my childhood; I’ve blurred memories of how he treated her. I must’ve been three or four years old. My mother always asked me to keep this within the four walls.
She perfectly fits into what society calls as a ‘perfect wife.’ Whenever my grandparents asked if all’s well, I nodded in fear of my mom getting beaten. I lied then, and I still lie to them sometimes when he verbally abuses her. I have also faced some incidents of being brutally beaten with a belt sometimes. I remember missing school days because of the same and was scared of what to reply about it. There were many incidents I try to recall but end up being miserable.
While I was growing up in my teens, I started questioning my mother about his behaviour. She told me that he had a dark past, lost his father (my paternal grandfather) at a young age, etc. She tried to justify his behaviour sometimes, and I’d be enraged. Still, after this horrific a past, I tried to maintain a love-hate relationship with my father. But in recent years, I have felt it deteriorating. I can’t stand him for the person he is.
In the lockdown, or even before he had stopped raising his hand, he would constantly insult, use absurd words and he still does. Now, he is more of an economic, emotional, and psychological abuser. He tries to halt my daily activities sometimes, snatches away my phone and gadgets so I can’t talk to anyone. He has made me miss important work, be it school, college or work commitments.
For him, he is the sole bread earner of the family and thinks that he has the supreme power, as I like to say. Well, that’s not the case! Both my mother and I, after being denied to work after marriage, try to earn and be financially independent.
He likes to boast about his masculinity, by raising his voice, abusing and throwing or breaking things.
Over the years, he must’ve broken a lot of objects at home, and he did the same recently. Knowing that his daughter has anxiety and mental illness, he continues to be irritating and unsupportive. He has completely ignored my mental illness and still claims to have done a lot for me. I don’t deny he has struggled to make me who I am, but I am not thankful for the dark past he’s given me.
By now, he has proven to be a total failure, but his ego won’t let him accept that. He has turned out to be a bad husband to my mother, a brutal father, and, above all, a horrifying human being.
I wish and hope for this culture of toxic masculinity and patriarchy to end.