“Brains scans have revealed children who experience “mild to moderate” family problems up to the age of 11 suffer impaired brain development and could be at risk of psychiatric illness.” (source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)
“Your kids are listening to you, even when they are asleep.” (source : http://www.npr.org/)
“During a moment of stress, however, the calming parasympathetic nervous system becomes less dominant, and the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, triggering the fight-or-flight response. Pupils dilate, the sweat glands kick into action, the blood vessels constrict and the heart speeds up. These responses can be useful in the short term — active blood flow and primed sweat glands are beneficial for, say, running from a lion — but over time, repeated activation of this system and suppression of the parasympathetic system can be rough on the body.” (source : http://www.livescience.com/)
Well, that’s the theories and These are the true stories (names are disguised) :
Paz was 11 when her parents got divorced. All she could remember that days were fear, hate and protective. Paz lived her childhood pretty well, she is a smart girl, always got her rank every year, Paz was popular and had many friends. She has always been a cheerful girl.
Paz is a grown up lady in her twenties now, she is awesome but one thing never change : the fear of loud voices around her.
“Every time they were fighting, i was in my dark room – hiding inside my blanket while hearing my parents loud voices outside. Never really heard what they are fighting for, but the fear was real. Those hours when they were screaming and throwing things felt like forever for me. Fear of what he would do to my mom and how this gonna end.
I was crying, frightened, praying, and hoping that this would end soon. It felt like hearing loud voices inside of an empty room, their voices were so loud in my ear and i could not think of anything else beside of their voices.
Other than their voices, there is one voice that i could hear, my heart beat. Yes, i could hear my own heart beating.”
The damage of parents’s conflict to children doesn’t end when they got divorced, it started when they got divorced.
When Paz’s parents got divorced, she was finally relieved. But it didn’t end there. For 7 years Paz lived in hatred and somehow the days seems darker to Paz.
“Living in hatred is awful, it’s like you are watching a bad telenovela, and you are hating that 1 antagonist actress. Your mind will be shown with a lot of things that makes you hate that person even more. I pictured my father living happily ever after with his woman (and i will hate him more), i pictured him died in a scary way (and i will laugh when it happens), i pictured him begging for my forgiveness (and i will throw something to his face), i even pictured my self killing him or better – burn him and his mistress with their house. This happens every single day in 7 years. And killing him was once a real purpose.
I became depressed with my life, faking my cheerful outside but really dying inside. I was not confident about my self, always think that i was ugly – my hair was miserable – there’s something wrong with my nose – how am i this ugly. My hair always being tied back (i don’t have a self confidence). Every time i looked at the mirror i couldn’t help but sighed and cursed my self for me.
I find my self so hard to believe others, especially man. This affected my past relationship. I became an overprotective girl, never trust a guy for him self, i was a crazy bitch that forbid my ex in everything. It was awful.”
Well, that was years ago. Now Paz has forgiven his father and finally makes peace with her self. Telling her self that she is beautiful every time she looks at the mirror and finally feels beautiful and free :). But even though everything is in a good place now, loud voices always brings a bad feeling inside of Paz.
This is what happens to children when parents fight. The damage doesn’t last for a day but for a lifetime and takes a really hard process to heal.
Fred is now 6 years old. I can only share a little from his story. Fred is a cheerful boy and always smile whenever he goes. Sometimes i even envy Fred, because seems like he never been in a burden.
Fred’s suffering from autism.
I could hardly says that Fred is suffering because maybe he is not suffering, he is the happiest boy i know even though he barely speaks.
Fred was born normal though and just like Paz, when his parents had their fight, Fred was there hiding inside his blanket, i never could imagine his fear because he never really could tell me how he felt. But when the fight is over and the blanket is taken from him,
Fred is never normal anymore. He couldn’t speak and until now he’s suffering from autism.
Everything starts from inside the blanket.
Could you imagine what happened in his mind when he was in the blanket? What could damage his brain so hard that now he is suffering autism?
I met Mir and is amazed with her story. She is probably one of the strongest woman i have ever known.
A broken home has become all of their stories including Mir. From Mir was a girl, she has rarely spoken to her father. His father’s bad temper has brought dark times to Mir’s childhood. She was beaten and she also lived in hatred to her father. So one day when Mir was little, she got so excited when his father asked her to come with him for a quality time.
She never thought that there will come a day when his father would ask her to come together. So there they go having fun – well at least that was what she thought it would be.
“I was so excited to be able to spend time with him. And then we went to a house, i was wondering whose house is this, but then i saw a woman – and a wedding picture hanging. It was my father and this woman who stands in the picture wearing wedding suit and dress. I was little, i was confused. How come?
then it hit me, this is his mistress house. He has brought me to his woman’s house. I left you to imagine how i felt at that time.”
Mir lived in a huge hatred to his father. It has broken her life and changed her. The purpose of killing his father has become a purpose of her life. She becomes a person who can’t express love freely, because she has never felt such love. She’s afraid every time she looks at coffins.
But now Mir has her freedom. She is no longer lives in hatred. Everything that happened makes her even stronger.
Mir’s suffering from liver disease (imagine how much hatred and burden that she has suffered for years to have broken her liver) and now Mir is valuing every moments of her life. She’s forgiven her father and now She lives in such favor and joy 🙂
Paz, Fred and Mir are the survivors, they have overcome the things you have never imagine before. And they are here telling their stories to remind every children and other survivor that you are not alone.
For you who still live in hatred, be free – don’t kill your self slowly with hatred.
For you who are survivor, keep living your happy life. You are worth a happy life.
For every parents and parents to be, note this :
You are destroying your children’s future by fighting in front of your children. Don’t destroy us just because of your conflict with your spouse, that is your problem not ours. We know nothing about it and you don’t have the right to destroy our future, we still have years to go and dreams to pursue. And when we reach our dreams and be a great person, aren’t parents the luckiest ones?
It is not a hard thing to find another place for you both to fight, you are selfish if you think that your fight is worth to watch and listen. Stop thinking that your fight is just one thing that we will forget tomorrow, hey bad news is the wounds last for years and change our life to the worse.
Stop thinking that we are a child that doesn’t understand. Flash news : research has proven that even a sleeping baby reacts to loud voices and anger tones, it harms baby’s brain. So, remember this : we know, we’re scared and we’re damaged.
Love us by protecting our future 🙂