I recently finished David Goggin's book Can't hurt me, an excellent book which I recommend everyone read.
He like so many many others has come from a violent home and presumably did not go on to beat up his various wives or kids.
Which made me think about that poor guy who decided to talk to me on twitter one night where he told me his story of his violent father and how he would get between his father and mother to protect her from his father's violence, and that night he was struggling with the same issue.
You can blame the woman for staying - but she and her kids need a home - but why doesn't the father leave if he hates his wife and kids so much?
Clearly the issue is complicated.
Lonnie Athens, a criminologist who also came from a violent home, wrote about the stages of violentization. His work became the basis for a documentary called why they kill based on a book by Richard Rhodes.
Basically individuals develop as a small child five personalities which they call upon, so it is vitally important to have positive role models available to all small children especially if they live in a home where violence is common. Not much of these personalities was discussed in the documentary I saw and whether they evolve in the individual's psyche, whether new ones can replace old ones, whether the personalities can evolve or mature. Perhaps Athens hasn't studied it enough to know, nevertheless, I assume we all probably have these personalities.
I have been wondering, given that I have written a number of times about how sex is used as a substitute for affection, I was wondering whether violence is also a substitute for affection, except for men it is okay to have sex and be violent, it is not okay for manly men to need affection. We are mammals, we need to touch and be touched; kind of like love and hate aren't opposites, the opposite of love is indifference.
Regardless of your childhood and the cruel hand the universe gave you, read Goggin's book, rather than hurt others as you have been hurt. Find a good role model, talk to that person in your head and ask them what they would do in this situation when you feel driven to purposely hurt another person. What gives you the right to hurt someone else?
Violence is a choice you don't have to make.
Goggin's at the end of his book says that life about suffering. While that may be true, the Dalai Lama says:
Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.
I believe with all my heart that we find everything in other beings, happiness, a reason to exist, and helping them is our only real reason for everything that we do.