My marriage is on the rocks, so I just decided to end up the relationship. I decided to keep my child and raise her by myself.
It’s not easy to be a single mom. I have to work shifts just to make both ends meet. I feel tired all the time, and I hate being disturbed.
I Terrorize My Kid
My child was just seven years old at that time, and I hated seeing her doing unnecessary things. I always wanted her to do her best in class. I required her to be on her best behavior. Whenever she did things that she was not supposed to do I cursed her and shouted at her words a child should not hear. According to Eris Huemer, PsyD, “The easiest way to describe verbal abuse is verbal bullying that creates emotional pain and mental anguish in the person it’s being done to.” I made her feel unwanted, though that was not my intention. I shamed her and humiliated her in front of her friends and relatives.
When she got low grades, I belittled her and insulted her. I even threatened to abandon her if she did not do what I wanted her to do.
I Don’t Want Her To Be Like Me
I never noticed that she started to isolate herself from her friends. She may be following my instructions to do her best in school and to behave, but she was slowly drowning in loneliness and pain. I never even realized that we stopped talking when we were both at home. She was always in her bedroom, so I thought she was just studying. I was so clueless that she was now suffering from depression and, worse, she became a kleptomaniac.
In my mind, I had an excuse. My intentions are good. It’s just that the method I used was not appropriate.
Kleptomania In My Child
I was shocked when I found out from the school principal and the teacher that they caught my daughter stealing stuff from her classmates. And it shocked me, even more, when we got home and entered her room and found more items in her drawer. I was speechless. I wanted to shout at her and curse her again, but I was stoned.
I called the psychologist the principal told me to contact, and I told him of my child’s situation. He said that she might be suffering from kleptomania and that we needed to set an appointment with him.
Kleptomania is a mental disorder characterized as compelled stealing which is caused by trauma. According to Michelle Overman, LMFT, “With kleptomania, it involves a euphoric and almost obsessive-compulsive need to steal (klepto meaning theft). People who deal with kleptomania are going to be focused on the high or intense urge they are feeling.” The verbal abuse I did to my daughter made her mentally unstable. She felt deprived and developed an inferiority complex. According to psychotherapist Alana Barlia, LMHC, “The term inferiority complex comes from founder and father of Individual Psychology, Alfred Adler. It’s basically a term used to denote an intense feeling of not belonging, or a feeling of being less than.” I caused her to grow a desire to flick something, not to show off or not because she can’t afford it, but she says just because she feels like it. The psychiatrist says it’s an urge that is hard to explain but can be due to her depression and inferiority complex.
Together We Dealt With Her Illness
Counseling was the first step we did so we would both know what to do. I asked for my daughter’s forgiveness for I know it was partly my fault. I should have treated her well and not pour out my anger and frustrations on her.
It took time, but she has forgiven me. I tried to make up for the lost time and did my best to give her the attention and care she needed, and I got involved in her activities.
The shame and pain I caused my daughter was too much for her young mind to bear, so I asked her if she wanted to relocate. We both agreed to leave everything behind and start anew.
She is still undergoing therapy but has stopped her medications. Things are working for the better for both of us. We’ve become closer, and when there’s a problem, we discuss it the proper way and resolve it the best way we could.
Sometimes parents become too demanding of their children, or like me, pour out their frustrations on their kids without knowing that they are hurting, too. We, who are supposed to take care of them, are the ones who bully and abuse them right in our homes. And they have no one to rescue them from the emotional abuse we cause them.
I caused my daughter to be a kleptomaniac. I unconsciously abused her because I feared that she might end up like me. Now I know and I realized that we are different. It doesn’t mean that just because she’s my daughter, our fate will be the same. She will make her own path, and she will build her own future. With the proper guidance, her tomorrow will be better than what I had.