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04 May 2004

Future dad anxious about the baby to come...
Dear CyberShrink,
I would want to ask you a question, if you don't mind...
While I was a kid, my dad hit me a lot, i don't think it was abuse...but don't know...and in fact don't want to think about that....
There's only one thing I know: I never want to do to my (future) child what my dad did to me...
The thing is i am afraid to hit him or her and sometimes i feel really angry and i have a hard time with my self-control....
And my wife just discovered she is pregnant..
I am really scared. I don't know if i could be a good father to this baby.
Two months ago, i was with my cousin, her son is 4 y/o, i love him...but when he cries, or when i hear a baby or a little kid crying it just reminds me of memories i hate to remember...
I don't know how to do with my wife, i know she wanted a baby since a while now, but i don't trust myself at all... I never spoke about my childhood with anyone....sometimes we argued with my wife but i could never hit her...but i don't know how i could handle a baby...
I don't want to see the fear in my child's eyes...But i heard a lot of people who were hit during their childhood, hit their own children...i don't want to do that...I am reaaly anxious about this baby to come...
Please tell me what to do...
D.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hi D,
It's actually not uncommon for someone who has had the experience of abuse or physical violence, both to very naturally not want to think about it, and to fear that they themselves might do to others what was done to them. Fortunately it is unlikely that this will happen, more so than in other families, because you know, directly and personally why such physical aggression is a bad idea. I think it's likely that you would be a really good father to your child(ren). You may know more about what will be important to them, than some other dads who have never had reason to think about such things.
And I think what one reads on this subject is often unbalanced. Though a fair proportion of people who abuse others, were themselves abused, many have never ever experienced abuse themselves, so there must be other more important causes of being an abuser --- and the huge majority of those who did themselves experience abuse, never harm a fly ( well, maybe the occasional Fly ) ...
But, whether relatd to past experiences or not, you say you tend to have a bad temper. And counselling, which would enable you to explore all these matters which hav been bothering you, and to explore what is remediable about this temper problem, could help a lot.
And, as usual, some excellent, accurate, and helpful responses from our readers.
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