Kirk Franklin and his son Kerrion's latest family issue made public has had a lot of people talking. For me, perhaps this was probably the most interesting dialogue that I've seen from the populace in quite some time.
Many people "sided" with Kirk Franklin and sought to shame Kerrion Franklin for the "exposé." The public consensus was, "Why are you sharing such private matters to the public. What are you seeking to gain?"
Others (a much striking minority) have come to the support or defense of Kerrion, citing "Parental abuse" and shifting the conversation in the comments to bring awareness.
For me, I've never thought to showcase private family matters to the public.
Like the majority of offspring and parent relationships, there are issues.
I've never thought to bring shame or public scrutiny to my parents when we disagreed or had issues - this is for different reasons:
1. I have a bit too much pride. Protection is important.
2. That's no one's business.
3. I have control over my emotions and authority over my decisions.
Now just because "I" wouldn't take that route doesn't mean that for those who have, have my criticism. For many, it's sparked conversation that is quite important:
What IS abuse?
Should family therapy be REGULAR?
Can offspring abuse their parents? How?
Can parents abuse their offspring? How?
Can and SHOULD empathy be shared between parent and offspring?
My parents never spoke to me the way that Kirk spoke to Kerrion, with the name calling. Many people said: "That's how my parents spoke to me growing up and I'm fine."
Okay great. That isn't everyone's reality. Especially if that way of speaking has been engrained since childhood. That's unhealthy communication.
I also never told my parents or any adult for that matter, to "Stfu" in the way that Kerrion did to his father. Never would in a million years. It's just not in me to do.
Our parents and parent's-parents generation endured a lot of "silencing:" Shh. Don't say anything. Family secrets are loaded in our parents and parent's-parents generation because of that "Be quiet"-ing thing.
My generation and below are not having that. It's considered Revolutionary to defy the traditions and choose mental and emotional health. For many offspring, speaking up and against tradition is considered disrespect - even if that tradition is rooted in dysfunction and degeneration.
Kudos to the Parents that adapt and accept that the old ways were maladaptive and degenerate. Kudos to the Parents that CHANGE. Kudos to the offspring that sever that traditional tie (break the generational "curse").
It wasn't until I started taking Youth into my home that I've learned that Guardianship / Parenting isn't linear. If you make the decision to serve as a parental figure, the responsibility you place yourself in is great. If you have sex, get pregnant together, and have a child - that responsibility is great. I don't have the experience in having biological children of my own that I was not prepared for. There can be a different emotional connection there and different legal responsibilities as well that can add to the importance.
All in all, that Kirk and Kerrion feud caused me to look at any residual resentment towards my parents, let it go, and forgive. It was just that simple for me. My parents did the best they could with what they had. Working the way that they did and being raised the way that they did lent them towards not having the ideal emotional connection that I needed. We've already spoken about it - my parents communicated THEIR reality, and I understood. They also apologized for not showing up the way that I needed. The same way that I sought acceptance from my parents, I've had to give to my parents. Instantaneous healing. When you reach that point of your life, the Peace you allow in on the inside is unmatched.
I look at that painful event and only feel empathy towards the entire family. There's so many families that suffer in this way. May they all receive the healing and reconciliation that they need.
What did you think?
I dropped a podcast episode speaking more on this.
Hey, Lover Muffin.
Welcome to the bonfire. The space of Authenticity.