Mental Instability for Moms Affected by Domestic Violence

I am mentally unstable to mother my children..

I am struggling to mother my children ..

I am feeling inadequate ..

I feel like am not a good mother to my children ..

I want to take them back to their dad..

I also want to go back to him….

These are the sentiments I received last week from a survivor of domestic violence.

There’s a name psychologists give to these kind of feelings…am trying to remember..

I have felt the same numerous times

The 3rd  week of August I felt so inadequate and incapable of mothering my children.

So, I share this to let a mother going through these emotions to know that it’s OK not feel OK. It is a process and a journey to wholeness though wilderness may cloud your mind in most cases.

And so, I share my story.

Years before this season of my life, I got overwhelmed alot of times. I was in along distance marriage on which we fought everyday verbally and when we’d meet it would escalate to crazy fights, not to mention emotional. I was a working mum, I was going to school and my children were in preschool. And househelps didn’t last.

There were days I’d dress the kids on wrong uniforms, I don’t even remember if they used to tell me “mummy today is games kits day” or not. I don’t know if I used to even listen to them. I don’t know if when I bathed them I saw any marks on their bodies or if I had conversations in the shower with them.

I’d prepare them for school, take them to the school bus then slide under the blankets when already dressed for work so definitely I’d report late.

And I remember I used to make them sing all my favourite hymns😌. My daughter can sing “It is well with my soul” word for word. It’s her favourite hymn now, she’ll understand it later. I forced her into making me feel better. But did I even know I was serving them toxins!

I was mentally unstable to mother my children but those days I didn’t know I was ill.

Fast forward

Most parts of 2019 to August 2020 my ex husband and I didn’t parent our children. We were so busy fighting that we only provided shelter for them. They’re victims of abuse by proxy.Am not proud of it.

 Because I opened up conversations in my home after all these, each time they express how they felt and what they saw I schedule time to go hide and just cry. Of course after apologising and assuring them that it will never happen again.

Then come this season after separation/divorce!

I think ladies God positioned to pray for and with me from 2020 mothered my children more than I did. I was a mess of a woman. I hurriedly did mother duties, tuck them in bed and spent the night crying. One night after Manz just left after telling it to my face how I broke my marriage with my own hands because of my foolishness and crowned it with “Even so I will still burry you”.. aaah me I cried my eyes off and my son caught me on it. Do they call it emotional incest? I think so.

The moments they caught me emotionally wrecked they wiped my tears and asked me to stop crying. On the night of the last physical abuse, I couldn’t stop crying till midnight because I was ashamed of what I exposed my children to. My daughter couldn’t sleep she said ” mummy stop crying” then I said “am trying to stop but am feeling pain” then she says ” Am also feeling pain in my heart ” She was also crying. I have never forgotten pain in her voice that night.

 Did I do well as a mother? No. I was even making them parent me.

So to the victim of domestic abuse feeling all inadequate and unworthy be gracious with yourself.

During this season as I was still caught up in grief still hoping that our daddy would come scoop us back to his yard, my children were in extreme depression and I wasn’t aware.

One afternoon am summoned to school and am asked to seek psychological help for them. Instead of wearing a strong mama’s apron I took 5 days leave and stayed home lying down as the children mothered themselves. They warmed all the food available in the fridge, then my son said he’ll make rice.  Weeeh! He cooked it all, kept adding water and forgot to add salt. I crawled out of bed, booked an appointment with Joan Kirera and took my children

to her.

With the fights that happen after leaving an abusive relationships it’s so hard to mother the children in  a healthy way till one choses healing for herself and her babies.

You see I have shared my mummy Chronicles when I was still in abusive relationship and even after leaving. This is to make you understand that even then this mother was struggling to mother her children, she was still serving her children toxins.

 We lacked the knowledge, the awareness; we didn’t even see the danger.

Then what now?

Now as we yell, cry, sink and swim in depression, pursuit of intentional healing is key.

And again it will be hard to even start healing when you don’t know what you’re healing from.

 Do you know what you need to heal from? or it’s still a Web?

Joan Kirera told me that a healed mother equals to a healed child. In my journey am saying as I heal my children are healing.

But woe unto you if you’re detoxifying your babies and the other parent is making them sip toxins! And I mean either parents. It’s an uphill task.

To the struggling mother.

I hope you have good friends around you who can lift the burden of mothering off your shoulder.

Are they able to understand your season?

On the days I couldn’t lift my head from the bed and even posted here my wish to disappear and rest in another world. A lady friend of mind who invented the word “laugheous” drove to my place and took my children to her home for two weeks. I repeat two weeks, even as we cry economy this and and that.

God bless her immensely. I know even if am posted I’m Ethiopia today, she’ll love on my babies.

Just recently another lady; mama Wema and her hubby packed my babies and off they went to love on them. They had a great time there as I rested my mind.  When mama Wema called to ask if she can pick my babies, I teared! it was a relief. During that period I was a cranky, hysterical and all that.  May the Lord bless them.

I know my friend Purity can take in my children on days my feet can’t move an inch and my heart is unsteady.

To this struggling mother, I hope you have a supportive family.

Having experienced the pain of aloneness after separation, I always pray that every victim/survivor of domestic violence gets to fall back in the loving arms of a family. It’s tough and lonely out here.

And if you’re a Christian, desist from enforcing your spirituality on your children or do I say religiosity. It’s a season of grace for all of you, give them the gospel that they can warm up to. For example nights on end I’d sing all the hymns with my under 7yrs old children, and I was so sad all the time. I’d sing it is well all through.

In this case as a mum you keep slicing pieces of shit to your children. Your somber energy crowns their soul. Then in their subconscious mind it’s recorded that when one is before Jesus they must be sad and sullen. The joy in His presence is a lie, now you’ve sold a wrong gospel to your generation because you want to tick a job of a good mother.

Ask your babies the things they’d love to do and enjoy together with them. If they feel like crying let them cry. You’re all going through something.

Do you know sometimes they also want to go back to their dad or mama? They’re also torn apart. But serve them grace as you serve yourself too.

In seasons when we’re incapable of being healthy mothers that we should be, just do “our Lord’s Prayer and let the children sleep ” You’ll pick up spiritual disciplines with time.

Read books together

Watch healthy movies together..

Play together if you can. You’ll all get better. It’s a process. And you’re enough even now.

Journey to wholeness.

~Emily Omondi

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