The never ending cycle

Stories Nov 10, 2019

He's in pain and confused, wondering why daddy hates him so much. He doesn't know why he beats him for just having fun. He'd just been playing with the TV remote that had so many buttons to press. It didn't seem like any harm till the cartoons went off. He'd thought daddy would fix it because he was so mad but daddy just started to hit him, calling him bad names with scorn. How dare he ruin the television he'd spent so much money on. His uncle finally fixes it but does that even matter. He just wants to run away, far from all this pain. Mummy comes back from the market later and tells him she'd get him ice cream. Maybe he'd have a taste of his favourite one and it'd would all be better.

He's 11 now, and it's his first day in boarding school. He'd heard about how fun it would be, living alone for the first time in his life. He spends the evening feeling excited as he moves in. He can't wait to explore what the school would offer to him. He spends the night gisting with his new friends and telling them about the cartoons that he likes. They don't notice the senior walking up to them with a bounce in his steps. The senior summons them to him, and he doesn't come fast enough. The senior proceeds to slap him, calling him strange names. The senior proceeds to spend the next hour punishing him, making his life a living hell, and he's stuck wondering what he actually did wrong. He spends the next 5 years always in fear, never happy, wondering when the next bit of punishment would come his way, when it would finally break him.

He gets to SS3 and it's finally his turn to shine. He'd dish out the same pain to others even if they've never wronged him. He thinks of new ways to punish them and make them scream. He thinks of things that would make them beg and bring music to his ears. He feels he could stop this and not really care, but why would he pass up an opportunity to hurt people like he was. Maybe someone else would end the beatings but it'd probably not be him. He only has a year to watch himself get high off the sufferings of the juniors.

Skip forward 12 years, and he's gotten his degree. He's dating the prettiest girl he knows and his life seems to be on track. She's in his house one day and complaining about how dirty his bathroom is. She seems to go on and on about it and it's driving him crazy. He reaches out and hits her, hard enough that his hand stung. It feels good that he shut her up, maybe she'd finally learn her place. He apologises later with flowers and chocolate. She had to know he didn't mean it and that he let his anger consume. His friends seem to support him, they tell him that he had to set her straight. She had to know that he called the shots at home and all she could do was listen.

A couple years and hits more and he has a kid of his own. He has a good job at 'the' oil company and he looked pretty set for life. He comes home one day to find his expensive painting all covered in bright colours. His daughter sits grinning at him, different crayons all around her. He can't contain his rage and he descends upon her. He beats her so much that she can't walk straight. She can't possibly imagine how much he'd spent on that painting, how he had to forfeit a car he so badly wanted just so he could have it in his house. When he's done, she's lying there confused. Asking herself why daddy beat her so bad when she'd only tried to brighten up the room.


People tend to justify abuse at different stages and claim that they're right. Claim that the only way to correct a child is by hitting them and tell you that there's no other way. They're too lazy to explore other options and go with what they think works. The child can't defend themselves. They take the beatings head on. They learn from a young age that once the person is stronger than you, there's nothing you can do. You just endure till its over and hope it doesn't happen again.

Parents keep hitting their kids and hope they'd grow up to be better and then are surprised when their kids no longer want to talk to them and avoid them as much as they can. They threaten to take them to churches, hoping that a prayer would help. Calling them cultists because they'd rather share details about their lives with friends than with them. When they've beat a child into submission that they no longer feel safe around them.

You put the culture of abuse into children's minds all in the name of correcting them and wonder why they grow up to hit their wives or girlfriends, wondering where you'd gone wrong with them. Your religious books say you should hit kids. I say those books are wrong. They didn't understand the effect that it would later have on children. They couldn't see that far.

People justify beating their juniors in school, because they were beaten too. They could end the cycle of suffering but why bother when you endured that much pain too. They look for ways to torture, because that's what it actually is. They take out their anger on people they feel stronger than, people who can't defend themselves.

They end up taking this same attitude into marriages where it's all about power. They hit and beat their others because they're strong and the other person is just powerless. The abuse is transferred to their kids if they end up having any and we end up with a cycle of abuse that seems won't ever be broken.


Why hit people who can't defend themselves just because you don't want to find an alternative means to correct them. Why not spend time learning how to de-escalate situations without first resorting to violence. Physical abusing kids fucks them up. People tend to claim that being hit while growing up did nothing to them but they don't see anything wrong in hitting kids which is pretty messed up. Some end up defending a man beating his wife and still feel the abuse never affected them. But it did. It's affected them to the point where they normalise abuse. I mean, if everyone is doing it, why should they stop.

Abuse is about power. You teach kids from a young age that you can abuse people just because you're above them. They grow up with that mindset and some end up abusing people they have power over. We create a never ending cycle because people don't want to stop it. And in its wake, we leave people broken and families shattered.

Not sure we can end abuse anytime soon but we can at least try. We can reflect on how we've enabled abuse on different fronts as a society and figure out ways to end it. It would take time but hopefully we can end up in a society where everyone feels safe and come to think of it, wouldn't that be the kind of place where you'd want to spend your life in?

Onyekachi Okereke

Kachi is currently a software developer with Andela. He enjoys watching shows on Netflix and writes once in a while. Also a really shy dude