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Kevin Hart's Statement About How His Mistakes Affected His Kids Reminded Me Of My Own Father

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Kevin Hart

Over Father’s Day weekend, Kevin Hart appeared on Jada Pinkett-Smith's Red Table Talk show alongside Will Smith.

During the episode, Hart and Smith discussed their roles as fathers, life growing up with their fathers, blended families, and tough conversations they’ve had with their children.

Hart addressed the past homophobic tweets of his that had surfaced before the 2019 Oscars, as well as his 2017 scandal where he cheated on then-pregnant wife, Eniko Hart.

The comedian and actor also revealed details of a conversation he had with his daughter, Heaven, that was "like no other."

One particular statement he made really resonated with me.

"You don’t realize the impact that your mistakes can truly have. When the kids get involved, it’s a different feeling, it’s a different emotion," Hart said.

Hearing Kevin Hart speak about the impact his actions had on his children during his Red Table Talk made me think about my own father.

Both men are examples of what happens when parents don't realize how their mistakes can affect their children.

RELATED: My Father Never Beat Me — But I'm Still A Victim Of His Violence

I was always daddy’s little girl. I loved the smell of his Irish Spring soap and I loved wearing his oversized t-shirts.

I knew at a young age that my mother and father didn’t have the best relationship, but they always reminded my siblings and I how much they loved us.

Growing up, I remember hearing my parents fight and argue. My father was abusive towards my mother. At times, it was late at night when they thought I was asleep, but I was wide awake.

Hearing screaming and fighting can be scary as a kid. I didn’t realize it would affect me as an adult... until I found myself driving to my father’s house at midnight to have a heart-to-heart with him.

I was 19 years old at the time and was living with my then-boyfriend and his family. My boyfriend's mom was involved in an abusive marriage and, for the most part, I didn’t get involved in their drama.

Every time they would get into an argument and start fighting, my heart would race, I would become anxious and I felt scared. I didn’t know what to do.

I shouldn’t have been scared — it wasn’t my argument or my fight, so no physical harm would come towards me, right? Still, I was truly afraid and anxious.

RELATED: Why Trauma Bonding Keeps People Stuck In Abusive Relationships

One night, they had a really bad argument and my boyfriend, as usual, got involved. Eventually, an argument broke out between my boyfriend and his stepfather.

Being the girlfriend, I was guilty by association and became subject to his verbal assault as well. I don’t remember all the details or everything that was said, but I remember how I felt.

I felt as if something was stuck in my throat, like I was that helpless little girl. I packed up all my things and left.

As I drove to my dad’s house, I didn’t know what I was going to say to him when I saw him. How do you justify appearing at your dad’s house unannounced in the middle of the night?

When I showed up with my boyfriend in tow, my father was oddly confused. The last time one of his kids showed up unannounced was to tell him they were pregnant.

I wasn’t pregnant, but I had a few things I wanted to get off my chest. I had to put on my big girl pants and have this well-needed talk.

RELATED: 6 Signs Your Past Childhood Trauma Is Making You Physically Sick

I didn’t know how to start the conversation; it was as if there was a huge lump in my throat that I couldn’t get to move.

Like all parents when they see their children crying, they begin to ask questions and run down a list of possibilities as to why.

Having to explain to him that seeing my boyfriend’s parents argue and fight brought up trauma from my childhood was one of the toughest conversations I’ve ever had to have.

My dad looked completely caught off-guard.

“I didn’t think you remembered that, let alone that you felt that way,” he said.

My father had no idea that I was affected by his actions well over 15 years ago, but I was.

Getting that off my chest was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I was finally dealing with some of my childhood trauma — and it felt good.

Having those tough conversations with your parents is important, even if those conversations make you feel uncomfortable and even if you don’t think that things in your childhood will affect you as an adult. There’s always a possibility that it will.

Hearing my father apologize has strengthened our relationship, but I never thought I would feel anxious hearing couples scream and argue.

It serves as an important reminder to parents: your actions can (and will) affect your children.

RELATED: Why A Strong Father-Daughter Relationship Is So Important For Girls’ Self Esteem

La’Shawnté Burgess is a freelance writer who focuses on family, relationship, and entertainment topics.