There is no excuse for abuse…
Indeed…it is Domestic Violence awareness month.
Usually I am much more…excited…at this time of the year because yeah…I am sort of one of those women who walks on both sides of the Veil – indeed, I am one of those…Heebie Jeebie kind of aunties…the sort who are not that worried about a big scary god.
Halloween is my Christmas, and October is like my December…I give my time and my experience at this time of year, and the things that I have to share with the world in regards to domestic violence and how unaware we really are is not only a lot of information but, is organic.
I lived it.
I went through everything that you read about here no matter what you are reading. I experienced all that you are reading and I found out that there are a lot of you who are reading this who have also gone through the whole….bullying adults, and other family members who thought it was hilarious to laugh about it when someone else…typically one of our cousins…was gonʻ get leekenz.
There are things and ways of being that I have stopped the practice of, because I never started them, and to a few of the older generation in my life, they think that I did this parenting thing all wrong.
I did not have to beat, bully or belittle my kids to help them become the people who they are now. I allowed them to be who they were at every stage in their lives, and this continues now.
I am not them, and I cannot live their lives for them. I cannot make them do the things that come naturally to me. The only thing that I can do is love them, encourage them and give them the parent…the one that they have left in their lives….give them the parent that I, myself, did not have.
I never want them, even now, to feel that feeling that the people in their lives do not think very highly of them. I never want them to believe that they have to earn the love of the “big people” in their lives, and when it was that it felt like this is what they would have to do – earn what they so freely gave – they did like their mother taught them and turned and walked out of the lives of those people.
And like their mother, they did not shut the door to those people coming back BUT, the understanding is that we will not be coming to any of you, and that if you want to be part of our lives, you will have to come to us.
Among the things that I chose to NOT pass down to my kids, and the one thing that I refused to carry on into the future is this thing called rapt, even expected, fear-of-god type respect for the “adults” in our lives.
Far be it from anyone in this time and this day to bring up things that they havenʻt thought about for a long set of years. When the one thing that has been prevalent in oneʻs life for pretty much ALL the years of their life, and when one day comes along a person who would be able to give you an instance of what it is like to be loved, for real….and soon afterwards, comes the judgment.
And in my time on this planet, as both a female human being and also, Hawaiian, the one thing that no one wants to talk about is the rampant abuse that I am hoping is no longer the thing in my culture – the thing that tells us what I heard throughout childhood and the thing that, literally, in nightmares that happen more than they do not, hear now, all these years later…
“…hit first. Ask questions later.”
I am actually going out on a limb here because at this point in time in my life, I am at that place called HAD IT – I have had it with people thinking that somehow, all the shit that I went through, throughout my lifetime, was deserved by me, by any of us, or that by this time, I ought to be over it all (guess the fuck again) …and that thing is the abuse we were told was discipline, with any kind or sized slippahs, wooden spoon, belt, rolled up newspaper. Most of the time, we were beaten, not ONLY because we got out of line (okay, I can see it) but, when we chose to “be disrespectful” which typically was when we were brave enough not only to think thoughts that were original and ours, but also, to challenge the adults in our lives…the aunties and the uncles…with what we knew as the truth.
Lots of times, I got leekenz from an unnamed source because I would challenge what I was told by them, because I was taught by my father the actual and scientific truth. It dawns on me now that the reason that a lot of my momʻs family donʻt or didnʻt like my dad is NOT because he is just opinionated, but, because the man actually knew then what he knows now…and that is that he knew what he was talking about, and was educated enough to say so. It was not his fault, like it was not and is not my fault, that my dad taught me to never be stepped on by people who ought to know better and certainly, if you know that you are right, do NOT put up with being expected to believe the wrong shit. Right is right…that is called SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE which, the man taught me very well how to utilize in my life
The thing that I have been finding out a whole lot of is that mine was not the only childhood that is still causing nightmares, is still making it feel sometimes like I am never going to be accepted as I am by any of them…at which point I remember that I no longer care what these people think of me unless and until one of them has anything to say in deference to what I know was MY specific experience.
Just because someone else wants to call it discipline, it does not mean it is not actually abuse.
I am going to, maybe, get a whole lot of crap over this one, because those who are reading that whole….quote….from our collective childhood…knows EXACTLY who it was in our lives as kids who LOVED to say that shit and while they were not affected by it…they also were not who was made to endure this shit called abuse from people who ought to have known better. That they feigned ignorance, that they called it discipline and that they still believe, maybe, that this is what this shit was….it was not ever that, and I will tell all of you now – RIGHT NOW – it will never BE discipline.
It is not discipline when you need to feel like you have to scare a kid to follow your direction, and for that matter, you are already a big person, and to a little kid who is not yet even in Kindergarten, the hardest thing to deal with, at that time in our lives, is the thought in our heads that we are always in trouble, and that we always deserved to “get leekenz”….no the hell we were not.
How about letʻs call it what the hell it was?
Letʻs call it abuse, and letʻs say that right now, my proof that there were a whole lot of our family members in our childhoods who took great pleasure in making certain that we were controlled by them, even if and when it was that they seemed to always feel that it was a brute show of force that makes us behave.
They were right in that we did behave, because what little kid is going to want to get their asses kicked by someone who is three or four times taller than they are, and who are already afraid as it is (because they are little kids, duh) and more, have been given suggestive thoughts about how it is that we were expected to treat the adults in our lives back then.
“Back then” is called the 70s, the early 80s, and back then it was nothing for lots of parents and caretakers, and specifically in those cultures considered “indigenous” to equate discipline with the “right” to physically punish a child for “getting out of line.” In those days, “getting out of line” meant anything, really, because in those days a big person could get away with abusing little people.
I hate bullies.
I Hate them with a capital H and the most vehement passion that I can muster and why?
Because – I was bullied as a child, as much as a whole lot of us Hawaiian adults were when we were kids – a whole lot of us were prepared to become someone elseʻs abuse victim, and it was by route of wild aunties and the idea that what those who came before them wanted is still what is the norm now, and no – no it is not normal that little tiny kids would run in fear for their safety from being beaten the crap out of (that years later, I find, all on my own, that they werenʻt so tough – they were bullies….all of them) us by them.
And to a whole lot of us kids, namely the boys, this was…funny….
We would make jokes about getting and giving “dirty leekenz witʻ da mud on topʻ and hearing stories from my own parents about a woman who everyone refers to as being our “wild auntie” and here in this day and age, I am, with all of this hurt, and all of this abandonment, and none of that familial love I was brought up with and at least now I am only being told to get over it, when in the past I was expected to kiss their asses so that I would be forgiven for being myself.
Okay I get it from the side that is my paternal side and at this juncture in time, and seeing as how very few people from the other side of my family has been willing to even reach out to see if I am okay in the head, the way that good Hawaiians are expected to, they have chosen to just …say aloha ʻoe and well, from my island to theirs…
The idea that we are not supposed to feel like this after we have been not helped, and even though several of my own blood relations wanted to cure the violence in my life with further violence (and the one cousin who swears that he is a follower of Christ….yeah – these people wanted to get rid of the baby daddy with more violence….as if I needed more of that shit…keep reading…) and while I know that that was their….very sordid way…of telling me that they loved me (by right of that old testament with the eye for the eye…how very …GOP of you all…keep reading…).
And they did not think, at all, that maybe I might not want any violence in my life. Had it been like the one cousin who told me that she would like to (but was not going to) “bussacap in his ass” …and who was one of the ONLY people who came to my aid in the past….it might have been different. On that day I learned just exactly how much these people whoʻd been raised by a brute would deal with a person whose only past memories are rife with familial violence, of all sorts, and all of it to be called and excused as being “discipline.”
To this day I have nightmares about it, and to this day I still can hear their voices in my memories and no matter how much I want those memories to go away, the donʻt, and they donʻt because there is this thing called repetition, that the older generation likes doing, so as to stay in control of their brood.
This is not my imagining things, and the likelihood, again, of my getting all kinds of backlash for writing this is pretty good. And it is all because I hurt so badly, and am tired of hurting. I know that this is not the way to make shitty people own up to the things that they now know, because I have told them privately and still, they have not corrected it – so I will for them.
No. I am not over it, and I probably will not ever be.
It is not like every one of my family members just. themselves, were able (YES – ABLE) to get out of a marriage that was very well emotionally and spiritually over with a long, long time ago, but, because of a LOT of things, was only brought to a screeching halt about 6 months ago. I put the last nail in the coffinʻs proverbial lid in having a restraining order placed on my former spouse…because he looked for loopholes in the laws and found them, and the one that he can, that no one can ever get around is the loophole that tells us that no matter what – you disobeyed, and now you have to make amends for it.
Yet, no one thinks this way – they just believe that someone like me is going to get out of it and that that is going to be enough.
It is so not enough, and the more that I read my own words, the more that the next ones that you read…that it takes a very strong man to love a woman with an abusive past, because that man has to be able to understand when his love begins trippinʻ.
And he does.
In fact, the more that I think about the way that this man handles my emotional outbursts I am left wonder why it is that these same people who were supposed to have my best interest at heart, could not, like David has and does….make me feel okay, and remind me that I am safe in their presence?
Because they couldnʻt, as they, themselves, I now find, were not exactly feeling that safe in their own skin, and why?
It is how they were raised, that is why. And more, it is the way that lots of us Kanakas were also raised.
We were raised to get educated in the white manʻs schools, and then were told that these white men were evil. We were raised to take advantage of things that were meant to be ours, and instead we ended up fighting with each other every chance we got and why?
Because, we were taught this.
We were taught that in order to have anything, tangible or otherwise, that we have to fight for it, even if it means that sometimes, we have to go to blows with our siblings, have to take away from them whatever it is that we donʻt have because that is how you win – by fighting, rather than by trying to be the best person you can be, everyday.
You see, when talking about abuse, discipline is not the same as abuse. Disciplined children know that this is what they are.
Unfortunately, abused children do not, because they are taught to think that either way, they are being disciplined.
Usually, though, because now I am an adult, a mom, and one who has two adult kids of her own, it is because as adults we forget about what it was like to be that tiny and that vulnerable. We forget how afraid we were when we were that little and we forget that in front of us is this little human being who is absorbing things like a sponge and the one thing that we soak up when we are tiny little human people who have not been on this planet longer than 5 years is that…we are loved.
And more than that….we are loved, but with conditions and even worse than that…
…some of us were and are loved conditionally to this day by these people, and for the very life of THEM – they cannot change it. Not because they are old or set in their ways – the brain can be rehabituated at any age, even though it will take longer for new habits to form…it is still able to be remapped.
They cannot change it because they believe that they cannot, and then begins the repetition of things that cause us to go…pupule… and when we get there, we also know that the one thing that this always tells us is about the thing that we kept quiet about, for a long, long time.
I am not the only one who has. In my research and in my studies, I have found that there are a whole lot of others in our culture who are just like me.
At odds with our families, and always stressed out over what seems like a tiny infraction on their end but on our end, because of everything that was made to be a joke and to be laughed at, we are made to feel like we did, all those years ago, those tiny little people with all that fear, all because big people in our lives at that time couldnʻt deal with their own impatience, their own rage, their own feeling of lacking self worth, because yeah…they were beaten too, and it was also called discipline.
Why do I keep…rehashing…this?
Ummm…because until we are able to put down the slippah, we are always going to be just another statistic of indigenous people who are abusive to one another. The biggest black eye that tells us that this is the truth is that over time, because of all of this need for control still meted out to generations which follow their own…and sadly in my generation, where it ought to no longer exist….is that our women are dying at a phenomenal rate, and at the hands of their loved ones.
Not only or just the stereotypical lover or spouse, but, also by their families….cousins, siblings, aunties, uncles…you name it.
It has become fair game and pretty much all out war on women of indigenous origins.
I am a woman of indigenous origins, as is my only daughter, and I am a woman who was not raised by a “tita” auntie. My mother is and has always been very much the lady. On the other side of that are my grandmother and my aunt on my dadʻs side – I do not give two shits what anyone thinks of my Auntie Bernadet – she is the shit when it comes to being the model for behavior, and as much shit as she and I have said to one another or said to anyone…I love this woman, because she has what seems very much like only the women on my dadʻs side seem to have…
Guavas…and not of the manchick sort which is the kind that gets your wild auntie who ought to have known better all those years ago that you were not liking the treatment at all, that you were not a little boy. In fact, there were a lot of women (not Auntie Bernie) who were either subservient or the opposite – way way over the top masculine in the their treatment of people, no matter what the hell anyone wants to think. The guavas are not acquired, but had through means of going through shit for real. My hat is off to her, really, because of all of my aunties, she is the one, as well as Unko Reggieʻs wife, Candy, who are as bad ass as I tell you that they are.
They are the ….aunties….of the planet, period. I am one of those…Wild Kine…Aunties, because I am also part of this thing called The Wild Women Movement, where it is that women of a certain age are not scared to be called “The Crone” and where it is that we encourage our daughters to dare to be as outrageous as we have dared our very selves to be.
I suppose that what I am trying to tell all of us is that there is no more need for the wild aunties of the planet to be at all violent, and if you were like I was, which was sort of raised by my mom with the help of one, then you know what I am trying to tell you.
We are now those people, the ones who are called Auntie, and in order for us to make certain that people grow up to be the sort of humans that we would want as representing who we are for real, then we also need to stop with the ignorance and all of the violence, and we absolutely have got to knock it off with all of the abuse that we want to call discipline.
And really, I do not give one, two, or three and a half shits about who reads this and who I share DNA with and who is going to have the power in my life to make me take my words back. I will do no such thing.
That is for those of us on this planet who are not trying to exact change.
You see, what I am doing, folks, is called my part in stopping the violence, my part in stopping the legacy of floating leis on the Pacific…whether it is your side, or mine here on #TheRockin9th – there needs to be no more leis floating on the Pacific, and there needs to be no more violence that is called discipline.
Children are people. Little girls grow up to become women who pass on those things that they learned, no matter how they learned, to their own daughters.
The one thing that I know that I have brought to my daughterʻs life is that she is right and good and even well placed in her thought that she is meant to be all that she can be…
…no matter who says what, not even her stupid dad….
Because that is how her mama taught her.
It is time to stop with calling abuse, discipline.
Slippah is meant for wearing, not for ruining tiny little people with…