This scenario is more common than you know, and its effects are more detrimental than you want to hear.
It's true. And it happens. To people like me and you. This is not just the uneducated, the "lower classes" (god I hate that concept) the poor. It's in the high conflict homes, everywhere.
Hurt people hurt people. Period.
So why am I posting this picture?
Because my son's childhood was taken from him.Not by war or death or rape. It was taken even though we had that ideal nuclear family. (And I accept fault as well even as I may seem to accuse.) Because his playfulness disappeared.
But the miracle of children is that they can still heal.
Step by hesitant step, his playfulness is returning. It still must be tempered, the fine edge between playful and the disrespect that he has learned, from modeling, and as survival and perhaps cowardice.
But when he plays, when I see him as a 7 year old, I am happy. His childhood isn't lost. It exists in drawings of superheroes. In silly jokes. And in fantastical comments that he'd like to marry Annie, his nana's dog. In these childlike fantasies, I know my child is still there. I just need to keep loving him in the best way I know how, and helping him to heal.