The Six Brown Chicks are headed to the University of Arkansas to participate in the Dream B.I.G. mentorship camp for teens this week.
One of our workshops will focus on positive teenage relationships. Today, Six Brown Chicks correspondent Toni Spearman reveals a violent situation that her own teen daughter confronted recently, a situation that could have turned deadly.
My 18-year-old daughter, who is away at college, called me at 2:30 a.m. totally hysterical.
She was crying and screaming something about being choked out by her boyfriend, until her eyes rolled back in their sockets. . .
In my groggy, incoherent state, I could barely process what I was hearing. My daughter was trying to describe to me the horrific details of a verbal disagreement gone badly.
She and her boyfriend had gone grocery shopping earlier that evening, when they began to argue over something simple. The confrontation escalated to hits and punches being exchanged between the two.
“Before I knew it, he had grabbed me around my neck and squeezed with both hands so tight until I felt myself slipping away,” she blubbered.
Adjusting my body to a sitting position, I began consoling my child, pleading with her to try and calm down while reassuring her that if we didn’t live more than a thousand miles apart, I would have been by her side, in a heartbeat!
But distance only allowed me comfort my baby via telephone and my heart ached as my mind was suddenly flooded with memories and feelings of a time past.
I too, had been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of a maniac.
I too, had experienced the gripping fear of losing my life and meeting God, much sooner than I’d anticipated. I too, had cried out for help, groping for answers to the never-ending question of, Why me?
However, I do remember feeling blessed to have survived.
I was able to walk away from that relationship with a renewed hope and outlook on life. I vowed to myself, that I would do whatever it took to make sure my children didn’t repeat the cycle of violence that has plagued my family for generations.
When I was a child I recalled my mother chasing my dad around the house with a WWII sword she inherited from her father, swearing to cut my daddy to the white meat.
But her dad (my grandfather) had abused my grandmother, slapping her around until her children engaged in the fights, pulling their parents apart on numerous occasions. This is madness, I concluded, and somebody must break this cycle.
We must empower and educate ourselves as parents so that we can bequeath to the next generation (our children) tools essential for their safety and success.
There ARE red flags that abusers possess and we must train our young girls and boys how to recognize those red flags and not to ignore them.
They are warning signs of a dysfunctional personality and as we’ve often heard, ‘Warning comes before destruction.’
As I educate and support my daughter through this critical moment in her life, I still declare that no matter what, I will break this cycle, so help me God!