LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...

CONVERSING ABOUT CHILD ABUSE: IT'S NOT AN EASY CHOICE FOR EVERYONE

 

There’s a great line from my favorite film that says a man who puts himself in a position to be a force for change will "either die the hero or live long enough to become the villain" (The Dark Knight, 2008). Now, I don't fancy myself a hero, and I certainly don't see myself as anything more than what I am- a guy who merely wants to do right by his kid- but I certainly know that the double-edged sword of public opinion cuts both ways. And when you put yourself out there, you never know how your actions will be perceived from one moment until the next.

Now, I will admit, my perception of the world is skewed by my upbringing. I have lived many lives with many different father "figures," none what you would call "superstars." I've known the sting of abuse- mostly verbal; occasionally physical; always detrimental- but I choose to channel my life experiences in to something positive. I could easily repeat the sins of my fathers, but I chose to follow a different path instead. Anyone who follows this blog will attest to the fact that I always try to see the positive when it comes to parenting; I always try to find the humor in even the most trying of situations. But, it's not easy. Nothing about parenting is easy.

Life is about choices. We each choose how to raise our children, much like we each choose how to perceive the world around us. I choose to look at the world logically, methodically, and whimsically whereas someone else may interpret their world emotionally, angrily, and judgmentally. These are merely choices we make for how we choose to live our lives, right and wrong.

Now, some people make REALLY bad choices. These people choose to ignore the laws of morality and decency and society and do things that the rest of us could never imagine ourselves doing to or in front of our children; their children. They try to hide these acts from the rest of us so they will not be judged for their actions, but thankfully, many are found out and brought to justice before it is too late for the child. However, many are not. Many children are lost both physically and emotionally, never to be found again.

If only child abusers were this easy to spot
 I made a choice, to post an image of such bad, horrific parenting the other day on my Facebook page. I made a choice to caption it in a way that tried to lessen the blow of what was being witnessed. I made a choice to risk both my own reputation and the reputation of my page, blog, etc. to start a conversation about abuse. I made a choice to try to be understanding of those who attacked me for it, those who judged me over it, and those who were unable to control the overwhelming emotions that the image I posted evoked in their hearts and minds. And, I made a choice to stand behind my choices and defend myself as those who vehemently opposed my posting of such a “vile, disgusting, and heinous image” came at me with all their might.

THE IMAGE IN QUESTION (Note: This link will take you to an image that suggests an illegal act. Please be advised that the image may be disturbing).

Would I do it again? Yes. Would I do it a little differently next time? Sure. That's the beauty of choice. And if posting an image that made hundreds of parents sit up and get emotional about the idea of child abuse makes me the villain, I can live with that. I can sooner live with it than knowing that I didn't post the image when I knew in my heart that I was making the right choice. The conversation is always necessary.

CHILD ABUSE STATISTICS

I'm not an activist. I'm not an opportunist (as some believe), and I'm not the anti-Christ. I'm just a dad with a blog trying to do some good simply by being a great father to his child. I'm not a hero, but I'm not the villain either. We can't ignore the dark side of life if we are to prepare ourselves and our children for the dangers of the real world. We can't just sweep images of child abuse under the rug. We have to look, long and hard, at the realities of who can harm our children (the real villains) so we may protect them.

That's not a choice. If you’re a parent, that's your job!




Related Links:


http://littlewarriors.ca/
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/child_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm
http://www.child-abuse-effects.com/
http://www.transitionhouse.ca/wrcev/ChildAbuse.htm
http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/fv-vf/facts-info/child-enf.html

2 comments:

  1. Some people choose to think that the world is all rainbows and unicorns that shit sparkles. But those are the people who shelter their kids from horrible things (aka reality), causing them to have a rude awakening when they come to terms with real life as an adult. You are right. Things like this must be brought to light, and not just swept under a rug. The more awareness there is, the more preventable it is.

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  2. What was your caption?

    I haven't done quite what you've done, but I relate to you. In the sense that... I've made "extreme" choices, stood behind them, tried to understand the feelings of others, and been pretty much hated for it even when I gave a little. Even if in our hearts, we all agree on a subject matter, it's about disagreeing with the execution, I guess. So, although I wasn't there and don't know the caption, I feel ya. It's disturbing this stuff is real, and you chose to show it, and people didn't think it was necessary. It deeply disturbed some people. I see it and think it's sad that it happened. I wish people were better mothers and fathers. I don't think you meant anything by it. (Again, what the hell was the caption?)

    It could be a difference in how the sexes usually handle these dilemmas, particularly if one experienced previous sexual abuse. I think a guy is much more likely to try to soften the blow by making a joke, without realizing how personally it will be taken... in effect creating the opposite reaction that was intended.

    I remember recently I got into a nasty argument with a guy friend of a female relative of mine about the humor of dead babies. I find NO humor in baby death. He kept saying anything was funny, and that I was humorless or run by emotion. I said, I'm not humorless... I even have a sick sense of humor. Emotion? How about I'm a mother. How about I'm holding a baby right now. Of course I have emotion... called compassion and empathy toward other living things, particularly our most fragile and precious ones. He and my relative insisted I was overreacting. He even went so far as to say he has held his miscarried child (the "it's okay, I have a black friend" card... to be fair, I did accuse him of probably never holding a dead baby, thus not comprehending the grim reality), which I found quite unbelievable.

    So.... I think you actually were a lot more decent than that guy, to be honest, who was nothing short of insulting with me for my reaction. He never tried to show sympathy, or gentlemanly apology, or anything at all that showed a softness for others. I think he was embarrassed to be called out, and rather than be kind he was defensive. You at least seemed to care and tried to agree with others. You just rubbed people the wrong way, I guess. Maybe your humorous approach is what did it? But at least you were sensitive and trying to be nice. You even took it down.

    This guy? This guy kept making dead baby jokes long after I had "let it go" at their request, to stick it to me. You're not that kind of guy.

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