A word of support

I’d like to offer some words of support to bloggers, authors or others who receive hostile criticism, or even threats, from strangers or especially from family, because of their efforts to express themselves about traumatic childhoods:

Denying children, whether biological or adopted, the right to speak out about the conditions under which they grew up, on the grounds that it would tarnish the reputation or memory of their parents or adoptive parents, would be like denying WWII concentration camp survivors the right to speak out about the conditions they lived through, on the grounds that it would tarnish the reputation or memory of the Nazis.

Anyone who has ever been a child should be able to speak the truth about their childhood. It is the parents’ responsibility to give their child the best upbringing possible, and it should be the goal of every parent to give their children reason to speak well of them. If the truth in any way tarnishes a child’s parent’s reputation or memory, it is because that parent tarnished the childhood, and if so then that is the fault of the parent, not the child. Any parents, living or dead, who did their best for the child, with the best intentions, should have nothing to fear from the truth. An attack on the truth means there is something to hide, and that means there is all the more reason for the truth to be spoken.

And by “parents”, I mean both biological parents, adoptive parents and other guardians, in short anyone who has the responsibility for bringing up a child.

Anyone who struggles emotionally, even several decades later, from the aftermath of a traumatic childhood, be it due to abuse or neglect, or both, must be allowed to make efforts to heal themselves without running into hostility. Do not judge anyone unless you’ve spent enough time in their shoes and walking their path to know what they’re talking about. Until then, assume that you know nothing, and if you can’t say anything supportive, say nothing at all.

I am the father of two girls, and I hope that through my efforts as a parent, I am giving them reason to speak well of me, of their mother and of their childhood when they’re grown up.

5 Responses to A word of support

  1. I’m about to write a letter to my parents, not to give to them, but to take to my counsellor this week. Thanks for this.

  2. Pingback: You own your life | inshadowz: out of context

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