“Let It End with Me,”
, Sep 2001, 61
After an abusive upbringing, I was determined to stop the cycle of humiliation and
When I was a child, our home was a battleground, rarely safe, rarely peaceful.
Our family’s daily interpersonal communication consisted mostly of ridicule,
sarcasm, and criticism. Approval and warm feelings for each other were
nonexistent, as were words of courtesy and apology. We did not listen or have
discussions. Instead, we became proficient in arguing, fighting, name-calling,
accusing, and faultfinding.
Looking back, I see that our family appeared healthy on the outside. Our parents
served in Church callings, and we children were well-behaved and
knowledgeable. The rest of the world saw accomplished scholars, talented
musicians, and capable artists. They did not know that each of us felt isolated
and worthless. They could not see the shame and embarrassment our parents
felt because we were not perfect. I never even considered telling anyone about
our treatment at home, even when my mother dislocated my jaw by hitting me.
In our home, family prayers, family home evenings, and Church activity coexisted
with physical violence and emotional battering. Upon arriving home from church,
it was common for everyone from oldest to youngest to receive a sound
thrashing. How could a family live such a paradox?
Despite my difficult upbringing, I had a testimony and made it my goal to rear a
righteous family in the gospel. As a young wife and mother, I diligently did
everything I knew to reach my goal, but it was difficult. Something was missing. I
often found myself feeling impatient and critical toward my husband and children.
It seemed I could never remember in time to stop my harsh words or refrain from