We are all born into this world innocent and mindless. We are dependant on our caretakers to teach us what we need to know. What we are taught by our caretakers, our teachers and the social structure of our culture takes shape on a blank canvas that becomes our personality as we grow.
We are taught as children what is acceptable behavior and what is not. We are taught to conform to become socially acceptable in the eyes of our parents, our peers and in public. The foundational teachings we learn in early childhood seems to establish a deep-seated belief that conditions us to seek love, approval, and acceptance from other people in order to feel good enough about ourself, to feel worthy of attention and to feel of value in our world.
I can tell you that when a child is abused, locked in a closet, beaten nearly to death, shunned, ignored, disrespected, defiled, violated, blown off or unacknowledged repetitively they begin to feel as if they don’t matter. Some of us feel invisible, unworthy, unloveable, unwanted or not good enough.
Some feel as if no one sees them, others don’t wish to be seen. They feel as if they don’t fit, no one understands them and that no one really hears them. Some stay in the background, blend into the walls and watch in silence. Others believe that no one cares if they live or die, no wants them around and no one cares about what they think or what they are feeling anyway.
Repetitive events of abuse tend to ignite a mental thinking pattern of their parents’ voices evoking a cycle of self-judgment, self-criticism, shame and unwarranted guilt that takes them down a very dark road and drops them off into a pit of depression, apathy, anxiety, and self-destruction.
Some adapt and manage to become functional. You see them on the streets. You see them at the checkout counter in your local store, you even speak with them in your office…but you wouldn’t notice them as an abuse survivor if you didn’t know their story. Some become abusive to others and to themselves.
As they grow into adults, they begin to wonder why they do the things they do and why they think the way they do. No one has ever told them that it doesn’t have to stay that way. No one ever taught them how to heal their old wounds. So let me share this to those who still wonder and wander aimlessly for answers…
STOP! Stop the mindless repetitive parent tape rolling around in your head!
Push the eject button, pull out the damn tape and burn that sucker…
Now repeat this to yourself…every time it tries to replay in an echo anyway.
YOU MATTER MORE THAN YOU KNOW…
What you Think Matters.
What you Feel Matters.
Your Voice Matters.
Your Life, Your Dreams and Goals Matter!.
You would not have been born in this world
…if you were not meant to be here.
You don’t need to strive to BE someone
…because you ARE someone!
You are here for a reason.
Your existence has a purpose.
You are here to learn, to evolve and to be the best that you can be.
My baby sister had the heart of an Amazon warrior woman who was more than willing to engage her rage to set someone straight. You could knock her down but you couldn’t keep her down. She would rise like a Fury in fairy tales and could hold her own against any man.
From what I have seen and heard, Rhonda Rousey had nothing on her and would have probably had a hard time taking my sister down. Over the years it appeared that the everlasting effects of abuse had generated an unquenchable raging fire inside of her. A fire that compelled her to stand up, speak out or pull you across the kitchen table and beat the living pulp out of you with a fervor unmatched by many.
My sister wasn’t rich by worldly standards, yet her abundance held more value than what the world banks could ever hold. My sister was ‘enriched’ beyond measure with a more lasting treasure that included all of the things that money can NEVER buy.
My sister was a woman who would give you the shirt off her back and her very last dime. Her door was open to those in need. She was a woman who had no need or use for greed. She was a woman who held a deep abiding faith, even during the toughest of times. She would tell me that there was always that inner whisper of knowing, that no matter what, everything would be fine.
My sister was a compassionate soul that was mirrored by her being a caretaker of many who was not her own. “I keep taking in strays!” she would say, “I can’t help it.” Young ones who had nothing or nowhere to go tugged at her heartstrings. There were even some who were visiting and instead found themselves a place in her heart and her home.
My sister loved her children and her grandchildren to the very depths of her soul. She gave each of them what she could with what she had. Her words were not always well-chosen, nor her actions always a choice made consciously, but she ALWAYS did the best she could at any given moment in time.
Her children and grandchildren were the true points of light in her life. Each one of them will carry some of her traits, characteristics, talents, gifts and many memories that will sustain them as they move forward forging a path of their own.
The hardships they all endured will give them a depth of strength to overcome any adversity they may have to face in the years to come. They have been nourished with a special cup of wisdom that supersedes the wisdom of this world. They will have to fend for themselves now, but they have all the tools and knowledge they need to make their own way in this world and to make the world a much better place to be in.
I know my sister will still be there when they need her the most. She will continue to fight for them on the other side. They too have the backbone, the willpower, and that fighting spirit inside of them.
I wasn’t able to spend much time with my sister through the years, but I came to know and understand her more deeply than others really knew. All my brothers and sisters were affected by the abuse we all received and my baby sister carried additional battle scars of her own. The unresolved, deep-seated wounds that remained unhealed in her heart and mind turned cancerous over time.
My sister passed away from brain cancer on May 30th, 2019. Her body was riddled with cancer after her second brain surgery. After this last surgery, we were informed that her cancer had spread to her lungs, chest and was deeply embedded in her left hip joint.
My family was told that recent tests revealed that the cancer in her hip socket had turned to gangrene, and that the doctors wanted to take her leg, shortly after the brain surgery was done. My sister refused. She was tired, she had had enough and was ready to go home.
My sister’s celebration of life services was held on her birthday June 5th and she was laid to rest the next day. She is home now with her daughter Jennifer, our mother, and my oldest brother. She is no longer suffering and in pain…and for that I am grateful. She will always hold a very special place in my heart, my mind and my soul. I will miss her presence. Her death touched me deeply. Perhaps I will share that in my book.
Through all of this I have seen and learned that the pattern of abuse is handed down from one generation to the next. My family alone has given birth to what is now the 3rd generation of children that may still be affected by the abuse their parents recieved in their childhood because their parents have yet to heal their own wounds. I have even seen snippets of it in my own children as they begin to raise their own. I see much more in some of my nieces, nephews and their own children.
I have learned that the effects of abuse are not only far-reaching, but I have also seen how it destroys lives and how it is now destroying the Gift of Life itself. I can also see how it has easily expanded to become a global entity in our world.
When I look outward and reflect on what I have learned, I realize that there is not a soul on this planet that has not experienced abuse in some form. It weighs on my heart to see such beauty scarred in this Garden of Eden. We never truly left it you know. Earth is our heavenly home and even she has not been left unscathed by the abuses wrought upon our environment from human thinking, human greed and dismissive human deeds.
Those of us who have survived the trauma of abuse have unwittingly perpetuated some of the unhealed patterns of abuse in our children – and it needs to stop.
Stopping abuse begins inside each individual. It begins with me and you. Our words and our actions can harm or they can heal. I am much more mindful of what I think, how I think and why I think and feel the way I do.
I hope you will take time to think before you speak or react in anger, frustration or rage to those you encounter every day.
Be the change by becoming the game-changer for our world. Blessed Be.
I am grateful for Life and the ability to breathe.
I am grateful for all of Life’s mysteries.
I am grateful for my senses and sensibilities.
I am grateful to my parents for being absent…
… you made me unafraid to be on my own.
… you taught me to be my own woman.
I am grateful for your obtuse abuse…
…you taught me resilience,
…you taught me strength
…you taught me self-respect and resolve.
I am grateful for your criticisms…
…you taught me to be critical in my thinking.
…you taught me to think for myself.
…you taught me to see things from a different perspective.
…you taught me not to believe everything I heard.
I am grateful for betraying my innocence and trust…
…you opened my eyes to my reality.
…you taught me to see things more clearly.
…you taught me trust must be earned.
I am grateful to my siblings for shunning me…
…you taught me self-preservation was key.
I am grateful to all my family for abandoning me…
…you taught me to be self-reliant.
…you taught me to hold my head up and walk alone.
I am grateful to my ex-husband for your abuse…
…you taught me longsuffering and temperance.
…you became the catalyst for my healing journey from abuse.
I am grateful to my current husband and my children…
…you taught me acceptance.
…you taught me patience.
…you taught me it was safe to trust.
…you taught me it was safe to speak up.
…you taught me it was safe to step out of my comfort zone.
…you taught me it was okay to be who I am.
…you taught me Love really does exist in this world.
…you taught me to Believe in myself.
I am grateful You are here.
I am grateful You hear my heart.
I am grateful to You…for just being You.