Today I was asked to write a piece for a blog focussed on the Rights of Families.
Why would I want to do so? Upon my retirement, I decided to write a book for my children and grandchildren because I felt that they were entitled to know more about the past of their mother and grandmother – never to be published but simply as a testament to be read – or not – by generations, past or future, within our family.
I feel very strongly about the importance of transmission: life doesn’t start the day that we are born : our parents, ancestors and descendants continue – whether we like it or not – to play a key role in who we are and why we choose to make decisions that become “defining moments” in our lives and in the lives of those with whom we come into contact in the course of our lives.
– “ Mother, said my eldest daughter upon reading the first volume of the three books written under the title HERITAGE, you never once condemn your husband, my father, for his role in the domestic violence to which we were subjected in our family”.
And she pinpointed quite rightly the terrible complexity of writing about one’s past when violence is omnipresent, whether it be historical violence in a given situational environment (growing up in a country at war) or the violence that one is confronted with in more intimate circumstances.
She could have pinpointed another missing word that is implicit throughout the books : Guilt.
Nobody in their right minds wants to be subjected to violence (being in the wrong place at the wrong time) or to inflict violence upon others (by choosing a wrong partner or staying in a situation that is unbearable for oneself but not necessarily for other people within one’s midst).
And a mother even less so – I believe – when children are involved.
Today my thoughts go out to all those who have suffered or go on suffering from violence. And because so often, one is left feeling helpless when confronted with such suffering, I have decided to start writing on the subject if only to say that one must never give up trying to do something, however minute, to bring violence to a halt.
Violence, a venomous flower, feeds on silence.
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