We would lie, cheat, steal, call each other names and then brawl.
All while playing Monopoly.
In fact, things would get so heated that sometimes one of us would throw the money and flip the board sending homes and hotels everywhere.
I would taunt her and laugh and she'd get even angrier, face red and spitting venom. A chase would ensue and we'd come to blows.
I was eight years old and my sister six.
Of course, if our mom was around, she'd fly into the room to intervene and keep the peace, passionately sharing moral reminders of self-control and honesty and decency and respecting each other as brother and sister and human beings.
No hitting. Talk it out and love one another.
Moral reminders that included faith in God during her years of experiencing physical abuse at the hands of my birth father.
I'm sharing this because of course siblings will be siblings and occasionally beat the crud out of each other.
We did, but we loved each other too, and defended the other to the end.
I'm in no way making light of domestic violence, but the spectrum of "normal" behavior growing up is also a foreshadowing of how fragile and irrational we are as adults.
And sadly how some of us succumb to emotional instability, even hate, unhappy with our realities and/or battling addictions and/or other illness, lashing out at the ones we love and hurting them badly.
Sometimes killing them.
Domestic violence does not discriminate. We should give our children and each other moral reminders that no one deserves abuse.
My sister passed on the moral reminders to her children and we'll do the same with B².
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and my friend Kim Wells' latest post gives us 10 things we can do about DV.
Kim is the Executive Director of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV), the only national nonprofit organization in the US founded by the business community to address domestic violence as a workplace issue. CAEPV currently has employer members reaching over a million employees across the US with the message that domestic violence is "Everybody's Business."
As we begin October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, people have been asking me "What can I do about domestic violence? Is there something I can do to help?" Here is a short list of ideas. Certainly you can add your ideas or additions at the end:
- Sign the MADE petition to get dating violence curriculum in schools. Go to http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/made
- Find out more about domestic violence. Go to http://www.clicktoempower.org/ and see the stories of survivors and what made the difference for them.
- Go to http://www.avon.com/ and buy the Women's Empowerment Necklace or Bracelet. Or go to http://www.etsy.com/listing/57724099/hotline-necklace orhttp://www.etsy.com/listing/57722070/hotline-earrings?ref=v1_other_2 and support the National Domestic Violence Hotline by purchasing these pieces by Sueanne Shirzay.
- Learn about how domestic violence impacts your workplace by visiting http://www.caepv.org/.
- Remember the National Domestic Violence Hotline Number: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or http://www.thehotline.org/. You can call to help others or yourself.
- Donate your old cell phone (any brand) at any Verizon Wireless store or use free mailing label www.verizonwireless.com/hopelinemailinglabel.
- Learn to talk to your kids about healthy relationships by downloading tip booklets from http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/.
- Try to understand what happens in DV and how it impacts people. Check out http://www.domesticviolenceworkplace.blogspot.com/. And comment!
- Don't ask "Why would that victim go back?" ask "Why would a person hit or abuse someone they love?"
- Be safe, healthy and happy in your own relationships. Because you matter. And you deserve it. And you are very, very precious.
Also, get involved and help other organizations like:
Get on those moral reminders. Remember, whatever happens out there is not God's will.
It's ours. Make it your business.