A Family unit – Poetry on Domestic Violence by Arinzechukwu Patrick featuring Kofi Eghan

It’s hard to exit toxic relationships. For example the family unit, some people just learn to endure a certain kind of pain that they get used to it. Like every form of training, physical and verbal abuse, over time, becomes hard to decolonize.

Achebe once said, “Being Nigerian is abysmally frustrating and unbelievably exciting.” It is not a lie, which is how abuse strongly feels like if you care enough to think about it from that perspective.

Most parents hit their kids and then afterwards apologise, so naturally, after a while, it became normal for children to associate physical or verbal abuse to them doing something wrong and being punished. Such a home training can in many ways mess with the minds of individuals due to the possibilities of a person being physically violent not as a means of correction but their own tendency to fly off the handle and be uncontrollable. Boys learned physical abuse as a means of correction to anyone below them instead of applying the right approach of using words, and women learned to endure physical abuse as penance for something they might have done wrong.

It is important to notice a pattern that follows after physical abuse in most relationships: The abuser commits and proceeds to placate. The man takes the woman out (and children) and apologises about his demeanour, and then he doesn’t forget to include, at the end of the conversation, the reasons for his actions.

Repeat.

Repetition is the father of learning.

 

The Domestic unit: By Arinzechukwu Patrick

Father 

I will ask questions

Like the confused pacifist

That I am:

Why do you accede to a

Test of your patience

When she pushes

And shoves?

Why are have you allowed anger

Make you a stupid man?

Why have you chosen cowardice?

How did it all come to this?

Why have you taken it so far?

Why are you cliché?

Where is the grip you had of yourself?

 

Mother 

Ring around the roses

A pocket full of posies

I wish you not to fall

For a man who puts

A gold ring

Around your finger

And a purple ring around you eyes

 

Child:

Block your ears

Shut your eyes

Tell yourself a lie

“It is the sound of the Television,”

If you must

Stay clear, little grass,

Don’t bother going in

Between warring Elephants

Or get knocked off

Because,

You are not enough.

 

Maid:

If you miss your family

Read a book, you will find plenty new ones there

If they transfer aggression on you,

For nothing,

Sing a song, get lost in the sound of your own voice.

When they call you names,

Dance,

Just find a way to

Happy yourself, laugh at your condition.

Sometimes, pent up sadness can make

A person work harder

As the body grow numb.

 

A child Scorned: By Kofi Eghan

Of emotions and men

Of a parent in anger’s moment

I lost my eye.

I am a child and subject to mistakes.

Why don’t you understand that?

You correct my wrongs

So I become better

But is physical pain and emotional torture the only way?

In the name of discipline,

My flesh was torn,

I felt my heart shatter and my soul scatter.

Being domestically violated

I mewled in pain for help.

Even when my voice was heard,

No one came to my rescue

Because violence is a norm in my society

Disguised as a discipline.

How I wish people will understand

That a child needs a helping hand

Not a beating hand.

Else they grow up to become angry

As a child, I knew home as a place of comfort,

Until parenting made a prison of it

I am now a wanderer,

Seeking a new home.