I remember having deep conversations with my sister before my nephew was born. She had Karlos when she was 19. As adults, it took the two of us a lot of inner work to unlearn trauma, and it took years to heal ourselves from ghosts of our past.
It was important to my sister that the two of us work as a family unit to ensure we were stopping the cycle of trauma, and we would go to any measure to ensure Karlos never had to endure the trama we had to endure as children.
I was so proud of her. At such a young age she was recognizing how the cycle of trauma had affected our family. The family mistake, made over and over again, was holding on to the belief that just because someone was blood, or was family, that they could be trusted alone with their own kin.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports that 34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members of the child. Add to this statistic step relatives or family friends that harm children. In addition, there are the occurrences of inappropriate sexual encounters between an adult and child. And finally, add the myriads of people that experienced these sorts of encounters or abuse and never disclosed it.
My sister had to make hard choices. Being extra careful about who is allowed to be around her child alone. Having to make hard decisions related to which family members were able to be involved in her son’s life. The reality of those choices included having to call out of work when the babysitter couldn’t come, instead of going to work and allowing just anyone to watch him.
To all the moms that take the extra steps to end the cycle of trauma, on this Mothers Day, I say THANK YOU. You’ve recognized that you don’t want your offspring to have to heal themselves as adults from the emotional, physical or sexual abuse of their childhoods. You are a beacon of light, and someone to look up to.
Ericka Faircloth (Nicki) originates from Scotland/Robeson Counties, and received her undergrad degree in International and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has taught the English language abroad in Amman, Jordan, and in recent years has worked alongside her people to protect their ancestral lands, as well as pushing unification amongst all people. In her spare time she enjoys videography, studying spiritual teachings, and connecting with the spiritual realm. Ericka lives in Raleigh with her husband, Fares, and their dog Charro.