Missing Self Esteem? It Happens in Childhood

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 After I wrote my Mother’s day post, the comments and emails inspired me to write this additional post. It is not my usual style; more of a collection of snapshots, but I believe it gets the point across.  

The truth will set you free

~Why didn’t you hear me when I told you I was being abused?

~Why didn’t you see me as a person?

~Why didn’t you fight for me?

~Why did you disregard my feelings, my pain, my existence and my right as a human being?

~Why did you hit me?

~Why didn’t you care?

And the question that I never dared even think about, much less ever say out loud ~

Why didn’t you love me?

So I changed the question in my head to “why am I not lovable, not worthy, not good enough?”  It seemed easier to face if it was something that was wrong with me.

These were all the questions that I had for the adults in my life; my teachers, my family, my parents. And I tried to deny that I had these questions. I tried to disregard them. I tried to shove the pain back down into the dark where I had learned to keep it in order to survive.

I learned to discount myself, just as I had been discounted. The way they mistreated me was my example of love. It was the only example that I had. It became my teacher. And I learned self love and self worth by the examples of love and worth that I was shown.  And since the examples were so faulty and so absent, I learned my value and worth was not.

Still, my teachers were god. They set themselves up to be gods over my life and how was I to know they weren’t?  My parents held my life in their hands. They brought me into this world and they could take me out of it.  I had to survive.

And because I was born with a will to live, I had to learn how to survive; without the tools that I had a right to. Without the tools that I should have been given.

I could not fight for myself and yet when I got older I was blamed for the abuses and told that I could have fought, could have stopped it, could have behaved better, so that I deserved better; so therefore it must have been my own doing. Something that I wanted. Something that I caused. Something that I deserved.

So confusing for a child. So confusing for an adult child who never grew up properly because of all the lies.

And what they taught me, by example, was so contradictory to the way that I had to regard them. There were two sets of rules. The rules for them and the rules for me.

I had to comply with their wishes and orders if I was to survive. I had to accept. I had to understand, I had to conform to the ways and the rules they set out; I was too afraid not to.  The consequences of not complying, not accepting, of fighting or questioning, were steep. 

And then I grew up in age

~ With no understanding of my value, no identity of my own, with the wrong definition of love and with fear as my constant companion.  Fear of being wrong, fear of their wrath, fear of being cast aside.

Not knowing that I had already been cast aside.

My self esteem was missing. I had not yet become a person.  I had no rights because I had not been given any. I was completely brainwashed but I couldn’t know that, couldn’t see that, I had never had any other example of life or love.

Only survival, always survival

And the depressions started when I was a child. No wonder.

And I felt that I had no right to my struggles; I existed only to serve the needs of others and I failed at that too, because I had never learned by example. NO one took care of my needs ~ my need for love and for protection… and the guilt and shame and feelings of failure grew.

I was not seen

I was not heard

I was not valid

I knew not love

And all of this had to come to the light, so that I could make a difference in my own life. I had to realize what happened to me, so that I could grow myself up, validate my own existence, learn the right and true definition of love and embrace myself. I had to give myself permission, first to struggle, then to validate and acknowledge the pain, and then to live, to heal, to flourish and thrive and carry on to make a difference in the lives of my own children, and others too.

That is “Emerging from Broken”

This is Emerging from Broken.

The darkness did lift. My joy is abundant.  There are no more depressions. I found my true self. I live for a purpose. My life has worth. I have equal value. I am living alive.

The world lied. I am not unworthy; I am not here to fill their needs and serve their purposes. They lied, they still lie.

They are not god. I do not OWE them. I am not obligated to them.

They DO NOT OWN me. They do not decide if I live or die.

I no longer fear their wrath,

They were wrong about me; I have dispelled all the lies, replacing them with life giving truth.

I am free; I have emerged from broken.

Please share your thoughts.

A collection of little snapshots of truth;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

If you would like to receive the updates for emerging from broken through email, please sign up through the button on the right side bar and download the free Guide to Getting Unstuck.

Recommended Reading ~ The truth will Set You Free ~ Alice Miller

For more information visit the Family Category and the Mother daugher Category in this blog

160 response to "Missing Self Esteem? It Happens in Childhood"

  1. By: diane Posted: 9th May

    Darlene, I appreciate your response! I am having difficulty with something and I dont understand what it is about my belief system. I do understand that they didnt love, like or tolerate ME and who I am. And I do understand what my definition of love is vs. theirs. Where there is a disconnect is that there is still something inside of me that has been crushed like a bug which means that I must still be believing a lie…but I cant figure out what the lie is! I wouldnt still be so sad and feel the loss if there wasnt some lie I will keep reading . I have been taking one article a day…and pouring out my heart on the comment section. It really helps!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th May

      Diane
      It will come to you. I figured out the lies along the way ~ it was as though they suddenly clicked, one at a time, and I wondered how I hadn’t seen them before. It takes time to undo what has been present for a lifetime.
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th May

    Hi Diane,
    I had to look at what I believed about the definition of love in this process. I looked at what I had been trained to believe love was according to people who raised me. And I realized that their definition of love only applied to them and they didn’t love me the way I had to love… sorting this out went a long way towards the recovery of my self esteem. (there is lots more to read in this site!!)
    Just food for thought..
    hugs, Darlene

    Hi Blair
    It is kind of crappy but looking back it was very exciting too… like being re-born and getting a second chance! Even the way you write your comments to me is exciting! your clarity and your goals! yay
    and yes, you ARE going to be fine!
    Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Blair Posted: 9th May

    This article hit it for me! I have been slowly getting comfortable with this whole process. And it IS a process! A crappy one, but no less important than getting the foundation right before you build a new house on it. My new house is going to be a wonderful place where I am no longer scared. But it is going to be SOLID! The lies are exposed. Self denial must be fought daily, self care must be on the daily ‘to do’ list. It is still very much a struggle to believe in my real self worth as an automatic default. After reading from this site, I can honestly say that I’m going to be fine. But I won’t lie to myself and say that I will be fine without tremendous dedication and time. It took a long time to make this mess. It will be a rewarding time well spent cleaning it up. Thank you to all for your time. 🙂

  4. By: Diane Posted: 8th May

    That process of healing …giving myself permission to struggle and then the next step and the next is exactly where I feel I am right now….and I feel I am on the brink of being healed now…or at least I am certain that i am on the right path and taking the right steps forward. The more I go backward, the more I feel freer to move forward with greater hope and strength and ME! I also am finding myself able to just “be”. I don’t know how to articulate this, except to say that I am finding more and more days where I am able to just sit or just do whatever it is that I am doing, and just feel a stillness inside…no pressure, no worry, no anxiety. I grew up in feeling such terror and anxiety and by the time I was18 yrs old I would literally shake uncontrollably from head to toe when I was scared….which was often enough since I had no idea how to even exist in the real world. I remember being so embarrassed because I could see my clothing shaking too. I struggled with severe anxiety for most of my life. At least, for me it was severe! Getting in trouble for something was sheer terror for me…and there was always going to be something in my “family” that had me in trouble. So for me to cut them off, deal head on with my issues, work on my marriage and myself, find this EFB site to help me has been like a miracle for my life and my mind. I feel so tired out….and some self pity too from working so hard to be liked, to be lovable, to not be in trouble with THEM or anyone for something I said or did or forgot to do or mistakes I made . I hadn’t realized how exhausted my brain felt. That sounds funny, but I feel li,e my brain is so tired that now that it is beginning to relax . I just want to “be” as much as I can too. I look forward to the day when there isnt pain in my heart and thoughts about my “family” and cutting them off. I loved them so much! I can’t be treated or liked or loved by them so I am glad that I did cut them off though. I long to have a balanced, healthy self esteem!

  5. By: Krissy Posted: 26th June

    Wow, I feel honoured to witness such a “noble” exchange. What an example of speaking your thoughts, truthfully and openly, even painfully, and then having the grace to work the through the conflict, apologize and re-connect.

    Shows it can be done. I have seen too many on-line stoushes, and while I understand how easy it is for misunderstandings to happen, I have not often witnessed a resolution like this.

    Thanks, guys.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th June

      Hello!!
      I echo what Krissy posted! YAY, this is an awesome example that it can be done! I am thrilled with the results of this thread, the conflict, (which I totally supported, and was pleased that both Susan and Jasmine posted their true feelings and responses to the other) and then the resolution. This is such a great example to all the readers here!
      Thank you both Jasmine and Susan for having the courage to see this through to the end.
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Susan Kingsley-Smith Posted: 26th June

    Likewise Jasmine!

    I’m always concerned when things like this happen online and I do understand the feelings you describe around conflict….I feel grateful at your willingness to communicate and that we can both share our vulnerabilities in a respectful and safe space that is EFB.

    I’m very glad to “meet” you and look forward to seeing you again!

  7. By: Jasmine Posted: 26th June

    Hi Susan,

    Thank you SO much for attempting to understand. Indeed, it is very difficult to express intent through the web, and hence I do understand when misunderstandings happen.

    You’ve no idea how much your actions meant to me. I’ve never really had anyone apologizing to me, and have always felt that I’m responsible for every misunderstanding. Hence, I’ve always avoided confrontation (hey, that’s pretty cultural too :D).

    We all give in to emotions once a while, and the most important thing is to settle things amicably – which was what you did. I truly appreciate your efforts in sorting this out 🙂

  8. By: Susan Kingsley-Smith Posted: 26th June

    Jasmine; First – I do understand that in cultural differences and an online forum it can be difficult to express intent. My last note to you was accusatory, abrupt and insensitive. I truly apologize. My lesson learned is to be more careful about throwing around assumptions of others intention.

    You had said: “Susan – I’m so sorry if I came across as offensive. It was absolutely not my intention to invalidate your progress. I had just wanted to affirm that by how you’ve learned to employ such healthy coping methods, you must have come a long way. ”

    And rather than accepting that I latched on to trying to argue the points and explanations you were offering….I clearly had not read or comprehended your note in the spirit in which it was offered.

    Thank you for your continued understanding and contributions; I’m grateful for the opportunity to “meet” you and hope to learn more from your perspective.

    In appreciation:)

    Susan Ks

  9. By: Susan Kingsley-Smith Posted: 23rd June

    @Jasmine – I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your effort to work this out AND that I’m not trying to intentionally avoid the issue. I’ve not had a chance to go back and read through the posts/notes since I was here last and am off to work again this evening and out most of tomorrow.

    It is important to me to not perpetrate hard feelings or be offensive and I can see how my last note did just that; so please forgive me for making such a blunt accusatory statement. I was rushed and really had not taken the time to truly read and understand what you were saying and yes; I can see that there is some misunderstanding going on.

    I’m off now for the day and will come back and reread your notes more thoroughly when I can take the time to do so thoughtfully.

    SusanKs

  10. By: Krissy Posted: 23rd June

    Yes, Darlene, I see your point. Which is the whole point of your writings – that there is a belief system that is handed down. One of lies. Perhaps what I was referring to is not really relevant here, except that I just wanted to let Jasmine know that sometimes I find my cultural background problematic.

    With the kind of upbringing we have, both in the family and in the wider society, we are way behind the 8 ball, even after making some breakthrough in knowledge, because that knowledge is counter-intuitive to the culture, not just the dysfunctional family. So it’s one thing to discover that one’s family was abnormal, but to find out that the whole society is as well? And I’m also referring to stuff apart from abuse, which is universal, but other stuff like how we relate, do friendships, work, etc. So how that’s different to anyone else? Don’t know, except that I observe my Asian friends and there’s definitely presumptions there that I don’t see in Westerners, even if they have been victims of abuse. I guess it’s part of my journey to uncover it. Sorry for the diversion.

  11. By: Vicki Posted: 22nd June

    That’s one thing that was always made painfully clear to me: what abuse is. I mean being sent out into 25 degree weather without a coat to sit until she tells you you’re allowed to come back in–and she never did, I always just came back in when she wasn’t around, which took up to 45 minutes sometimes–well that’s pretty damn obvious abuse.
    If there’s any subtle abuse, it didn’t come from my first mom. She would hit people in the face with wooden spoons, force them outside in 25 degree weather, make them go without dinner if they were 15 minutes late to the table and bang their heads against walls over and over and over. Either until she got tired of it or blood was running down the walls like a den of Beezlebub.
    I used to listen to Satanic music. This one song had the words ‘Splattered red you’ll find my den, blood running down the walls.’
    It always reminded me of what she did. And I found comfort in the song, when I was a teenager, b/c I thought it meant somebody else knows about it. Like maybe it had happened to them and I WASN’T the only one.
    Until I heard that song, I never knew that. People don’t burst out in casual conversation with ‘My mom used to bang my head against walls.’ So nobody had talked about it.
    I don’t listen to the music anymore, b/c I found out that most of the bands singing it were liars. By their own admission. Eminem said none of the stuff he sings about has happened to him, he’s just trying to sell records. After I found that out, I lost whatever respect I had for them. I only like the ones who really know what it’s like.

  12. By: Jasmine Posted: 22nd June

    Krissy,

    I totally get where you’re coming at. I think you’re right in saying that the difference is not whether the actions are invalidating or not; but the degree to which such actions are accepted. It’s just the same way as how I had never seen how others have been invalidating, had I not talk through it with someone else, like in this very case. But just because I don’t see it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen!

    I had never meant to invalidate in the first place, and I don’t think that I was being invalidating either. But that’s MY view, and it’s okay to see it otherwise. If someone attacks me, isn’t it normal to “protect” myself? I was just explaining where I’m coming from, but I understand that I can’t make everyone see my point. And hence, I’m also not expected to agree with everyone. I’ve grown up being forced to swallow other people’s perspectives, and I’ve had enough. It isn’t my intention to dismiss her feelings, but that’s just because I don’t see how my initial comment was invalidating in the first place.

    I’m glad that you’ve had the opportunity to see abuse as it is 🙂

  13. By: Krissy Posted: 21st June

    Darlene, I agree with your post regarding culture. In many ways, your mother’s behavior is similar to the typical Asian mother – the effect of abuse and invalidation is certainly the same. I guess the difference is the degree to which it is accepted. Eg, you have a blog like this and people kind of get what you are saying. Even on a macro, governmental level, there is a recognition of what children need and what is abusive and/or not, although on a micro level, it is not practised. But in a typical (whatever that means, we are talking many many different subsets of nationalities and races) Asian community, the abuse is totally acceptable and ingrained at all levels, so what happens at home happens at school happens at work happens at church happens on the streest, etc. There is no such thing as mandatory notification, or womens services, or criminal justice for childhood abuse. Such avenues may not ease the trauma (courts often re-traumatize), but at least at some level there is clarity and knowledge of what is acceptable and what is not.

    How do you even start to work through or recognize stuff if there is NO clarity to be found anywhere? The only reason I have found clarity is because I live in the West! I was given a womens advocate through an organisation that ex got engaged in. Then I was recommended to counselling that was abuse-aware. Before that, all the counselling I ever got never recognized abuse. Yes, that is the case everywhere, but I have not met a single person among hundreds in my Asian community who understand abuse. Not only that, when I do explain it, they say they do it all the time. To them abuse is what happens in Saudi Arabia or orphanages in China.

    It is of course no excuse to perpetrate abuse. But it takes time to even uncover what is abusive and what is not. I can understand what Jasmine meant, but I also understand what Susan said. If she hadn’t pointed it out, I wouldn’t have picked it, only because those things are said to me all the time! Does that mean it’s OK? No, but it does mean that it would not have occurred to me that it was unacceptable. And many other boundary violations are in fact commonplace in my original community and it will take time for me to find out all the ways in which I am accepting or perpetrating invalidation.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd June

      Krissy
      I really do understand what you are saying, but what I am saying is that this is what is said to me every day by north American people. Millions of people (children) were told that abuse was NOT abuse and that they had no right to complain about it. Millions went for help and were rejected and told to hush up. SOME were lucky enough to find an advocate, but it is shocking how many never did. The court system has failed way more than it has helped. SO it takes time for all of us to realize what abuse is. It may be harder in the east, but it is not as different either because it is the brainwashing that we are talking about at the root of everything. That false belief system. In my family system, the abuse I suffered was not viewed as abuse at all. It is really all about realizing the brainwashing. I understand that you are saying the definition of abuse is far different in Asian countries. But that is just another belief system that country has. I could see the abuse of others but not my own, (because of the brainwashing) and I was never understood by anyone I talked to until about 5 years ago. I had been to lots of therapy, no one ever thought the abuse in my childhood had anything to do with my present struggles. When I read what you write it is so similar to what I lived here in Canada and what I hear from everyone here on this blog ~ which has regular readers from over 900 countries. That is all I am trying to say. (well maybe not “all” LOL)
      Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Jasmine Posted: 21st June

    You know what, the truth is that there is a disagreement and misunderstanding. The other truth is this – there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t agree with Susan how how she responded, but we’re just different individuals. Hence, I don’t see how we can assert that the other is wrong.

    I think the only way to resolve this is to understand things from each other’s perspective. I can disagree but it doesn’t mean that I can disregard.

    Darlene, I agree that there might be no wrong or right in this.

  15. By: Susan Kingsley-Smith Posted: 21st June

    Jasmine; we are now crossing the point where this is simply becoming the crazy making that most of us are very familiar with. I do not agree with you or your statements about me and I am not going to try to change your mind about anything. At this point it is moot to even attempt to enter into any discussion or exchange.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st June

      Susan,
      As an outsider reading from both side of this situation, and in all fairness, I really think that Jasmine is sincerely trying to resolve this situation. I am fine with you leaving it alone, but for the sake of the other readers, I wanted to make this comment.
      Both of you are very frequent commenters on this blog. I see both sides of what has happened. I understand both of your points of view. I think there might be some misunderstanding going on, but again, as a netural reader, I dont think Jasmine is crazy making. I think that she is trying to sort it out.
      I am not asking either of you to go any farther with this, but I did want you to know my point of view. Sometimes there is not just one wrong and one right. Sometimes there is confusion in the middle somewhere and if we can get to that, everyone grows and learns.

      I once had a problem with a commenter on my blog one time. We really go into it in email.. It really bothered me, but I kept trying to sort it out FOR ME not for her. I am so glad that I did. She ended up being a great contribulter to the blog and she had a huge breakthrough about HER reaction to me. I was understood about my issues, without backing down from the truth, and We both won. We both had reactions (were triggered) by the exchange and we sorted it out. sometimes that can be done, sometimes not.. I will let you decide.
      Hugs and love, Darlene

  16. By: Jasmine Posted: 21st June

    Susan, I hate to say this but neither do I think that you want to understand things from my perspective. To me, what you were trying to do is to make me agree with you…and do you think that’s validating?

    To set the record straight – I think that I was misunderstood and that you chose to see my explanations as being dismissive. And to imply that I don’t understand what it means to be dismissive…well? To me, that’s almost saying that I don’t understand what it means to be abused!

    If you take my explanations as defensiveness…then did you expect me to just agree with you? You said that you didn’t take offense, and yet you were offended. You said that you did not imply that I didn’t know you, and yet seem to contradict yourself in the same sentence.

    My question is, don’t you think that you were disregarding my feelings as well?

  17. By: Jasmine Posted: 21st June

    I’m not implying that cultural norms are to be used as an excuse for abuse. I do believe that abuse is abuse no matter what the culture says. What I’m trying to say is, that culture makes us see things in different ways. Hence, what is seen as abuse in one culture might just be the norm in the other…and we all take different routes to understand its gravity. Do i think that Tiger Mum is abusive? YOU BET. But unfortunately, many Asian children and parents don’t see it that way.

    Another example will be that I’ve been taught to keep the peace and not argue (and hence writing all this is really difficult), whether I was right in the first place or not. This has opened the door for plenty of abuse to happen. But because of the norms, it took me a long time to see what was going on.

  18. By: Susan Kingsley-Smith Posted: 21st June

    Jasmine; I’m not approaching my note to you as that you intentionally meant any disrespect but rather I was letting you know that your comment was offensive. There is no right or wrong in the context of my note to you and your defense and explanations of your actions make it clear that you did not hear me and view any cultural differences as justification.

    I was not implying that you did know me Jasmine; but that you DID not and do not know me yet you saw it as appropriate to put such a value judgement on me.

    I take no offense and wish you well. While I understand cultural difference I also understand the concept being dismissive and defensive and that each experience and interaction is an opportunity to learn and grow.

    I’m quite sure you were not ever intending to be offensive Jasmine. Yet – I told you that I was offended, what exactly I was offended about and attempted to point out why I felt that way.

    Yet – you opted to justify and defend yourself at no time even acknowledging that my feelings were important but instead suggesting that I dismiss your actions as a cultural difference.

    So no; I do not view this as a cultural difference. The fact that you would even suggest that view this as a difference in perspective and that I set aside my feelings says it all.

  19. By: Jasmine Posted: 21st June

    Krissy, THANK YOU. I’m quite relieved that I’m not alone here 🙂

    However, I’m still in southeast Asia, and so unfortunately I haven’t come across many people from non-Asian cultures yet. I must agree with you though, that we might view abuse in a really different way. Thanks to this blog…I’ve really learned that my way of seeing things is not absolute. I understand growing up being taught that our parents are ultimate. I can’t imagine having to adopt the values and systems of two cultures at the same time.

    I also agree that the individualistic cultures can have a greater clarity about abuse. In the collectivistic culture that I was brought up in, there is a very blurred line between what constitutes emotional, verbal and psychological abuse – and what is okay. We grow up not knowing that what was done was even wrong.

    Yet again, I must say that it doesn’t mean that the views of either culture is wrong. I think that we do need a good balance of both. And just because I might think differently and get myself misunderstood, it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong either. It simply teaches me that not everyone thinks the same way 🙂

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st June

      But Jasmine, I think I really do understand what you are saying… I was also taught that I should keep the peace and not argue. I was taught that I came last and that being a servant was always the more worthy position to be in. I was taught to respect those who did not respect me. AND I was taught that my value was sexual, all of which are wrong. Cultural doesn’t have to come into it, does it??
      hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Krissy Posted: 21st June

    Jasmine, I can understand what you mean, because I come from the same background. However, having lived in a western community for many years, I have adapted, as I’m sure you must have, to the way they operate. My parents’ voices are still very strong, and I have had to work through what is justification for abuse and what is truly cultural. For my siblings and friends who now live in the West, this is also a constant and unending challenge.

    At the same time, I am still in a community of Oriental people as well, so it seems like I am always living in duality. I think this is a pretty unique challenge to those from other cultures who have to find support from the community we live in. If I didn’t, I would be isolated because family is far away. Also, it seems like the Western culture has far greater clarity about abuse – don’t see this level of understanding among the Asian community, for example. So I need to engage and get something from a community I was not born into. Mostly, it is not a problem, but at times, belief systems and presumptions that I never even thought were unique to my background get me into hot water. I’m not using your comment as an example, but simply agreeing with your post that there is a difference in the way we were taught.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st June

      Hi Krissy and Jasmine,
      I would like to offer an opinion about the definition of abuse ~ I just published a post today called “when children are not regarded as actual people” and I talk about the ways that children are “taught” their value. I don’t think a cultural norm would make the meaning of that that post any different. I also don’t think that children in Asia have a higher self esteem then children in North America because their culture has more acceptance when it comes to abuse. (cultural norm) Jasmine has spoken before about the difference in cultures, but every time she does, I don’t “get it” because it is never any different then how I grew up. I was devalued. And she was devalued. What I am trying to say is that I don’t care what the culture is, I believe the devastating results and damage to the self esteem of the child (or wife or whatever) is the same. I was not born into a family instilled any sense of self esteem into me in the first place and I was taught “respect”, but it was at the expense of me. SO.. it was abusive.
      In my work, I meet people all the time who say that they can’t recover because their situation is different. BUT I don’t believe that. I think that itself is a belief. A false belief set in place by brainwashing. I think that understanding culture might be one of those things that allows a person to make excuses for the abuser, just like I made excuses for mine because of her past. Excuses none the less. I hope that I am making sense. I guess you will have to read the post that I just published to get more clarity on what I am saying which, again, is about the results when children are not being valued as people no matter what the cultural norm is. AND also, is a cultural norm excusable? (I don’t think so, damage is damage)
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Jasmine Posted: 21st June

    Susan – I’m so sorry if I came across as offensive. It was absolutely not my intention to invalidate your progress. I had just wanted to affirm that by how you’ve learned to employ such healthy coping methods, you must have come a long way. I never said that I know where you started or where you are now, or even how far you’ve come.

    I don’t know, but we might see things from different cultural viewpoints. In our culture, it is uncharacteristic to focus on the individual. We have been trained to see and talk in the “you, they, we” perspective. Hence, to focus all on my own experiences it would seem to me that I am being self-centered. Hence, I might also see abuse in a very different way that is seen by many people here. For example remember “Tiger Mum” – she calls her children “garbage” and they accepted it probably because it is in the cultural beliefs that parents love you if they scold and beat you up.

    I hope that you’ll understand that we probably see things from many different perspective. To be honest, I’ve been taking risks with every comment that I write in here, because I know that the way I think may be very different from how others think in here. It doesn’t mean that any is right or wrong – it’s just different. Still, my fears are proven this time.

  22. By: Jasmine Posted: 21st June

    Hi Darlene,

    What I meant to say was that from what I see for myself, the negative emotions just fade away if I deal with them properly instead of stashing them up and ignoring them. I don’t mean to say that they will go away on their own, as it definitely takes some work! What I meant was that if we were to deal with them honestly and appropriately, we probably won’t have to try so hard to “forget them”. I hope I made this clear 🙂

    And oh yes, we learn to deal with our emotions properly as we progress in healing. Children are made to absorb everything that the environment throws at them and there is no way that we could understand all the injustice that was done to us as a child. But as we begin to heal, we also need to employ new coping mechanisms that are healthier.

  23. By: joy Posted: 21st June

    Hi Susan

    As I said on your wall. it was perfect timing ..Everything everyone says is always good but yours..literally ..fell into my box when I was saying my regrets about something that transpired today

    I get so tired of fighting ..but then if I don’t stand up for me who will. no one else in my family .

    I was weak today and was tempted and could have very well jumped at an offer handed to me but in my brokenness I still held to my need to heal but after I was questioning myself.. ..

    I was like in a mini desert. told i would be forever and ever by myself.. no one would ever like me from the famly. I had heard it all before but today was just a weak moment day .

    Thank you for your words and for your kindness and will be saving your last post before this as it fell at the right time..and said just the right thing for the time.

    joy

  24. By: Susan Kingsley-Smith Posted: 21st June

    Hi Joy! Well thats a good thing – WordPress told me that my comment didn’t post so I was happy to receive the note that you got it and it made sense!

    One of the lessons that helped me in this process was learning that I couldn’t control the process…but that it was an organic thing and when I just went with it it went a lot easier. I say that only to let you know that I completely understand what you are saying and to let you know that your experiences are normal and expected…I and so many others have traveled similar paths:)

    Its hard letting go after a lifetime of being told to “do” (everything and anything) “RIGHT” or GOOD ENOUGH. It felt so good to get to the place where letting go no longer terrified me – although I still address it every day. Just like everyone else in the world:)

    I’m glad it makes sense Joy:) Thank you for your note:)

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