MADAGASCAR: Affected by addiction and raising children

Addiction

I’m the mommy of two boys. I’d love to have a girl, but I’m a bit afraid to give it a try because I’m not sure how to raise a girl. Malagasy women and girls face many challenges, and I’m not sure I’m equipped to teach a girl what to do in order to succeed, or just to survive.

I’m a woman now, but have been a girl too and I know that it’s not easy. I learned this at a very young age while I observed what happened at home. My father (may his soul rest in peace now) had a serious addiction to alcohol, and he used to beat my mother – a lot. My younger brother and I witnessed many fights and abuse. These scenes are printed in my mind forever, though I pretend I’ve forgotten them.

My father drank because he was not happy with his life. He was a skilled musician – he played classical guitar and traverse flute like a god – but he never shined as a recognized virtuoso. He didn’t make much money, and Mom had to work very hard to support our household. I think Dad didn’t like this. He felt emasculated. He felt miserable. Instead of trying to overcome his problems, he drank in order to forget them and took out his anger on my mom.

Violence is such a mystery to me. I was 10 when my parents divorced, and I already knew many things children shouldn’t have to know. My dad died two years after that. He most likely died while drunk. Someone got him to hospital where, because he was unconscious, he couldn’t tell the doctors that he was diabetic. They used inadequate medicines and he died. We only found out the day after. I went to see him at the hospital and when I stared into the empty bed where he was supposed to be, the nurse just told me “The guy who was there died this morning,” without any other comment. Well, okay… Something broke inside of me.

I will not share more details, because I want to spare my mom and my brother. But I will say that the three of us are all survivors of addiction – a silent war millions of people suffer around the world, every day. We all found different ways to overcome it. For me it is hard work and activism, with a particular focus on promoting and defending women’s rights. Adversity shapes our personality in ways we don’t expect. All we have to do is to find enough strength in our hardship in order to rise again.

Now, back to my boys. I would like to find a way to teach them how to respect girls and to grow up to be gentlemen, but I’m not sure I am getting it right. My mind is full of doubt. I’m not self-confident. Motherhood is an amazing, yet terrifying, adventure. Am I a good model for them? Should I tell them this horrible story of growing up affected by addiction, so that they can understand what I mean? How do we raise good boys and girls? I don’t have the answers but expect some from you, fellow mothers….

It feels good to share my story, sad though it may be. Writing is like therapy for me. Girls deserve better and everyone must do their part in order to improve the situation. Silence is not a solution. We have to stand against injustice at every opportunity. Whatever your fight is, and whoever you are, I m standing with you to say RESIST, HOLD ON, better days are ahead!

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Ketakandriana Rafitoson, our new contributor from Madagascar.

Photo courtesy of David Goehring / Flickr.

GUEST POST: UNITED KINGDOM: “Raising Girls”

Best FriendsRecently, I attended a book launch in Bristol, England for, the book, “Raising Girls” by Steve Biddulph.  Steve Biddulph is a child psychologist and family therapist who has spent the last 30 years publicly speaking to over 130,000 parents about boys.  His books are in 4 million homes and have been translated into 31 languages.  Steve believed the subject of boys to be his life’s work and that girls were going “great guns,” but several years ago began to notice that girlhood has literally become a nightmare.

Steve believes that young women are in the middle of a mental health crisis with eating disorders, cutting, bullying, anxiety and depression affecting one in five girls. In addition, La Trobe University, which carries out a study of adolescent sexuality every six years, has shown that in 2008 the percentage of 17 year olds that had slept with three or more partners had doubled in six years.  Over 30 years, this group had grown from about four per cent to twenty per cent of all girls and shows no sign of slowing down.

Girls have lost four years of their childhood.   The pressures we dealt with at 18, they are now battling with at 14.  The trouble being that 14 year old girls are not equipped with the emotional tools to deal with these types of problems. Girls are trying to look together, but really they are struggling. (more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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TEXAS, USA: Interview with Diana @Hormonal Imbalances

Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

Currently, I live in the last place on Earth I ever wanted to live: El Paso, Texas. My husband is in the Army and we were stationed here. But – after three months here – I’m starting to think it’s growing on me. I love how very earthy it all is, how family oriented. Still, moving from Denver to here was a shock.

What language(s) do you speak?

I speak English, ASL, and a little Spanish but I’m working on learning more. Here Spanish is essential, we live about 15 miles from the border of Mexico so many people in this area only speak Spanish.

When did you first become a mother?

Bella was born November, 2009. She is our first child after 6 1/2 years of marriage. We weren’t sure we ever wanted kids, now we can’t remember life without her. (more…)

Diana

Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families' adoption in progress on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances, as well as Babble, Oreck, World Moms Blog, and Attachment Parenting International. She's been syndicated on BlogHer and The Huffington Post. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter and Facebook, and on <a href="http://pinterest.com/lifeasasahm"

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Several years ago, when I was in college, my whole vision of my future was about making a career.

I wanted to be independent and free. I wanted to be free from my, at some point, pathological father and cold as a stone mother.

I wanted to achieve something on my own and be proud about it.

I went to London for a summer break and worked as a waitress 15 hours a day, barely knowing English. I went to Germany and worked installing hardwood floor. (I know!!!)

Very close to the last year at University, I already knew I was not going to use my degree, as it is useless. Mass Media Education. Go figure!

Anyway, I became involved in two radio stations. (more…)

Ewa Samples

Ewa was born, and raised in Poland. She graduated University with a master's degree in Mass-Media Education. This daring mom hitchhiked from Berlin, Germany through Switzerland and France to Barcelona, Spain and back again! She left Poland to become an Au Pair in California and looked after twins of gay parents for almost 2 years. There, she met her future husband through Couch Surfing, an international non-profit network that connects travelers with locals. Today she enjoys her life one picture at a time. She runs a photography business in sunny California and document her daughters life one picture at a time. You can find this artistic mom on her blog, Ewa Samples Photography, on Twitter @EwaSamples or on Facebook!

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ARKANSAS, USA: Interview with Margie Bryant

ARKANSAS, USA: Interview with Margie Bryant

Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

I was born and raised in Arkansas and have lived in the capital city, Little Rock, for the majority of my life.

What language(s) do you speak?

Southern English. It’s definitely a language of it’s own!

When did you first become a mother? (more…)

Margie Webb (USA)

Margie Webb is a forty-something, divorced mom of three biracial sons: Isaiah (21), Caleb (16), and Elijah (6/8/1997 - 7/2/1997) and two bonus sons: Malcolm (5/10/1992 - 10/9/2015) and Marcus (22). She lives in Little Rock, the heart of Arkansas, and enjoys traveling, attending the theater, calling the Hogs during Arkansas Razorback football season, spending time with family and friends, and, a perfectly shaken Ketel One Cosmopolitan martini. In addition to obtaining her Bachelors and Masters degree, she also has a Graduate Certificate in Online Writing Instruction and a National HR Certification through SHRM. She excels in her career as a Human Resources Management professional. Additionally, she has represented World Moms Network as a Digital Reporter at various conferences, including the United Nations Social Good Summit. Her life has been one big adventure in twists, turns ,extreme lows, and highs. After recently embracing her new lease on life and her identity in the LGBTQ community, she is excited about what is yet to come. She can be found on Twitter@TheHunnyB and her blog The Pink Pills Make Me the Happiest

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GUEST POST: AUSTRALIA: Becoming Powerful Over Alcohol

My name is MATA.

The other day I was telling someone about my blog to which they replied “what made you ever think of doing that?”

This is a question I haven’t been asked up until this point, and at the time, I didn’t have an answer. However, since then, I have thought long and hard as to why I started my blog, and why I continue to write a post nearly every day.

Let me start at the beginning:

My name is MATA. I am a Mother. I have two children. I have a full-time professional career. I have two degrees from University. I am divorced. I live in a ‘nice’ apartment in a ‘nice’ neighbourhood. I am an alcoholic. It took me just on twenty years to say that last sentence out loud. (more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

More Posts