A Realistic Note
Everyone becomes vulnerable at a point or points in
their lives. Being vulnerable can be scary because it means that
we are unprotected or “open” due to being wounded or are hurting
in some way.
Vulnerability also has the possibility of awareness,
which means that we are aware of the limits of our strength and
power during these times. I believe writing a letter will assist
in giving our daughters that awareness and the coping skills in
times of vulnerability.
Times when vulnerability may
manifest in our Daughters:
Adolescence - Our daughters hormone’s
are raging, their body's are changing. Everything may seem to be
falling a part to them, but they can’t explain why because they
don’t really “know” what’s wrong.
Also, girls may become vulnerable when they are trying to figure
out who they are or trying to find “a sense of self”.
- Low self worth and self esteem.
- Issues with Identity
- Divorce/Seperation/ Single Parenting
- Rejection of any kind: From peers, family members,
- Pressures and Stress: Peer, Academics, Athletics, family,
- Any kind of trauma: Illness or death in the family.
- Victimized-Any kind of abuse or attack: Physical, sexual,
*Our daughters will be that much more available
to abusers when they are vulnerable.
OF VERBAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE:
"Emotional abuse is the most common form of abuse
- and yet least talked about. Part of the reason it is so easy for
people to overlook is that so that much of what is considered normal
and acceptable forms of communication is in fact abusive. Many people
don't know that they have been - or are being - emotionally abused.
In addition, a lot of emotional abuse doesn't appear to be severe
or dramatic, although its effects can be.
Unlike physical or sexual abuse, where a single incident
constitutes abuse, emotional abuse is made up of a series of incidents,
or a pattern of behavior that occurs over time. Emotional abuse
is more than just verbal insults, the most common definition of
emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is a series of repeated incidents
- whether intentional or not - that insults, threatens, isolates,
degrades, humiliates, and/or controls another person.
It may include a pattern of one or more of the following abuses:
insults, criticisms, aggressive demands or expectations, threats,
rejection, neglect, blame, emotional manipulation and control, isolation,
punishment, terrorizing, ignoring, or teasing.
Harassment, physical and sexual abuse, and witnessing abuse of
others are also forms of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse can take place anywhere: at home, at school, in
relationships, and in the workplace. Contrary to popular beliefs
that bullies are only found in the school yard, many bullies also
exist in the workplace."
Emotional abuse is not only under-reported, but it's effects are
minimized. The famous childhood verse, "Sticks and stones may
break my bones, but names will never hurt me" is simply not
true. In fact, many physical and sexual abuse survivors have said
that the emotional abuse was often more devastating and had longer-term
Emotional abuse cuts to the core of a person, attacking
their very being. Emotional abuse, if frequent enough, is usually
internalized by the victim, and leaves them feeling fearful, insignificant,
unworthy, untrusting, emotionally needy, undeserving and unlovable,
and as if they were bad, deserving of punishment, and to blame.
Survivors of emotional abuse often have a hard time understanding
why they feel so bad. The abuse may not sound like much, and often
people around them will minimize the experience, telling them it's
not so bad. But a climate of disregard for a person's feelings,
where one is subjected to constant or frequent criticisms, being
yelled at, or being ignored - has a deep and profound effect, attacking
the very self-image and confidence of a person.
Effects of Verbal and Emotional Abuse:
- No self worth
- Low self esteem
- Self doubt and second guessing one self
- No Self Respect
- No sense of Self
- Identity Issues
- Apologizing constantly
- Becoming people pleasers
- Becoming co-dependant
- Enabling people to mistreat you
- Becoming Fearful
WOMEN, ONE DAUGHTER AT A TIME!
must ensure our daughters
spirit stays strong and never broken, long after we are
Meg Ryan in an interview with Oprah
stated "If we can Empower Women, We can change the
-O Magazine April 2006
I believe to Empower Women
is to begin with our Daughters.
FROM A MOTHER TO HER DAUGHTER
The following translation of a text originally written in
Nahuatl is the wisdom of a native mother in sixteenth-century
Mexico. This spirit of wisdom still exists in many Mexican
Now, my daughter, my turtledove, little woman:
you have life, you are born.
You have entered the world, emerged from my womb, nourished
at my breast.
Our Lord forged your life, shaped you, made you within me.
. . . Our Lord
makes each of us earn our reputation, our honor, our warmth,
our passion, our sweetness, our savor. . . .
Sing well, speak well, converse deeply, respond to all, pray
deeply; words are not to be bought and sold. Never allow the
world to make you stupid, or silly.
. . . In this way, you will live among the people, and you
will be worthy of all
you need . . . you will please our Lord and be worthy of our
Lord's kindness and mercy. (Pp. 91-92)
Be not a friend to liars, to thieves, to evil women, to meddlers,
who are lazy. . . .
And if you have belongings or property, do not waste them;
do not display them when you go out to the market. . . . Then
you will leave what is yours to your children and grandchildren
If you live in this way, as I have taught you, then in truth,
you will live well among your own people, favored by all.
(Miguel Leon-Portilla and Librado Silva Galeana,
Huehuehttahtoffi, as translated by Richard Wood)
AND DAUGHTERS FIGHTING BREAST CANCER
A Mother's Legacy: