The respect for yourself
Wednesday April 08, 2009
I am re-sending this letter because I’m giving you permission to post this on your site and I desperately need this question answered because I don’t know what to do in this situation:
Dear Ms. Miller,
I have two important questions to ask you:
1. My three nephews are too young to understand the harmful effects of spanking now, but once they become older, like in their teens or twenties, should I encourage them to seek out the information of this disastrous punishment or should I leave it up to them? It depresses me how they are spanked at their home by their parents (my brother and sister-in-law) and there’s nothing much that I can do for them.
2. Is it possible to love a brother who hits and yells at his children? I don’t call him much because I don’t feel much love for him because he gets in verbal fights with his wife frequently and takes his anger out on his young boys. I can’t believe that there’s so much hypocrisy in my own family. My brother and mom are still angry at Dad for the abuses he did to them, yet they feel it’s okay to bite someone’s head off or hit children when they’re stressed. It’s so sad that I don’t feel love for my own flesh and blood.
AM: Nobody can make you love your “flesh and blood” if you want to stay honest. Nor can I. But if you can take seriously your feelings you may decide to talk to your brother and your sister-in-law, to tell them what you know about the dangers of hitting children and how you feel about their behavior towards their sons. You may lose then their “love” but you would gain the love and respect for yourself this way. You don’t need this mailbox for doing that but you need doubtlessly some courage
Maybe, showing compassion to the nephews could be an option, it would be better than staying silent and neutral. But the victims have not any power, they can’t stop the abuse. In any case, any intervention makes the conflict with the family apparent and the search for truth unavoidable. This step may be scaring, it may jeopardize the so called love but it can bring eventually a lot of freedom because being true to oneself is eventually beneficial..