Jill (not her actual name) who has a successful career, tells her story of growing up in a violent home.
“I grew up in a home where conflict, rage, and abuse were everyday occurrences. I never understood why this was happening to me, but I knew something was wrong with our home. I heard other children talk, and it appeared that they had ordinary families.
I longed for love and attention, but I kept my feelings bottled up because I didn’t know where to put them. Much of my childhood was spent crying, and I was often fearful that my mother would kill me. My mother once told me that she wished she had gotten rid of my siblings and me when she had the chance. My heart would break every time she said something like that.
I lived in this trap of violence for seventeen years until I finally fled. I turned to male companionship and became involved in sexual relationships in the hope that I would find someone who would love and care for me. I did not even care if drugs were involved as long as we were having fun and I could cling to the hope of a lasting relationship that was free from violence.
Eventually, I found myself married to a man who was extremely controlling and had a violent temper. I was back in a terrorizing situation. It didn’t take long for me to run from that situation. I was in the habit of running
from situations that I could not control. But leaving my marriage only brought another devastating blow to my self-esteem. I did not know how to handle pressure of any kind until I was well into my forties. I often wondered what my life would have been like if I had grown up in a “normal” home. What else could I have accomplished if my confidence in my abilities had not been challenged at such a young age and to such a degree?
I will never know. All I can do is understand that when I was young, instead of being nurtured in times when normally a lesson could have been learned, I was beaten and subjected to words of hatred. This created emotions and feelings that I was unable to understand. I went out into a big world unprepared for the realities that exist in everyday living. Like so many others, I escaped into the world of gambling, drugs, and alcohol –still trying to run from the terrors of abuse I experienced as a young child.
It was when I realized that what happened to me as a child was not my fault that my life began to change. When I realized that I am a loveable person, my life began to take on new meaning. I was finally able to forgive my mother for the atrocities she inflicted upon me as a child.”
Jill was attached to her past under buried feelings and fears, with self-blame being the most potent. As mentioned earlier, children tend to misread what happens to them as an indication of something wrong with them. Imagine a little girl thinking that she deserved or caused her parent’s abusive anger and violence. This way of thinking is a common attachment to a painful past.
It helps to know that what you experienced as a child was not your fault. Carrying the fears that you felt as a child is bondage. These buried feelings and fears can only be uncovered and resolved by looking back and facing them. My book offers many stories like Jill’s story and is written to help people uncover and resolve the pain of the past. It’s also a kind of training manual for those who are trying to help others overcome the past.
Available on AMAZON here