I have hesitated to post about this because, well, it’s one of those “sensitive subjects” that people whisper about. After it happened I thought it was something I should write about but fear of being judged held me back. Now, however, I realize that I can’t let that hold me back. A couple of days ago, I hit Amanda – entirely accidentally, but I hit her nonetheless. And it was horrible.
Simply put, the zipper on her jacket was stuck and, when she clambered into her car seat before setting off on our long voyage home after work, I tried to get the jacket off. But the zipper wouldn’t budge – it had part of the jacket material bound up in it’s mechanism and only grudgingly moved under great force. So pull and pull, I did – one hand down and one hand up, until finally it broke free . . . sending my left hand flying into Amanda’s chin. I gasped in shock and immediately hugged her and told her I was sorry, and she simply sat there staring in shock for a good 20 seconds. And then the tears and crying came. And it was horrible. I caused this. I hurt her. It was an accident, yes, but it was my fault. The anguish on her face and in her voice was all because of me.
It made me think over the past couple of days about those disgusting assholes who seemingly happily abuse kids, even ones her age (2) or younger. How? How could someone do that and not feel the horrible, sinking, awful, louse-like feelings I did from a simple accident that left no mark and probably shocked more than hurt? There are people willingly cutting and bruising these helpless little people and laughing in the faces I saw her make. That’s heartlessness, that’s all I can make of it.
I will never be good at child abuse. I just found this out, and I’m pretty thrilled about it. It’s good to find these things out early – why waste precious time later on failing at being abusive when you could have attempted to simply be a decent, and hopefully great dad?