I don’t want to write because it seems too difficult to explain what is ‘going on’ without making it sound like I want people to ‘feel sorry’ for me or something!
When I look at my life and when I was the most comfortable at being ‘who’ I was without a mask, without ‘being friendly’ to avoid confrontation, my family may be surprised to find out it was actually when I was involved as a ‘gang member’ in our own private world against the world. If it came to my mind I said it loud and clear…if I didn’t like you, or what you had to say to me back then, you would have gotten an ‘earful’ of things you wouldn’t be able to tell your children.
I wasn’t afraid to ‘be who I was’, that is for sure; I could care less that you thought I was a smart, mouthy, and very insulting person to you…and since I one day found God and slightly reformed my criminal ways, I say slightly, because it has taken God so long to heal me and help me understand ‘how’ I became so convoluted in the first place…which is one reason for writing.
Please do not let even one child grow up the way I grew up! But especially your own children, because ‘why’ it happened to me was so preventable that a small part of me wants to question God, and the better part of me wants to be able to use what happened to me, to prevent other children from being like I was.
It seriously would have been better for me to have been abandoned as a child at age 5, than to have been ‘abandoned’ emotionally at age 5. What caused me to be ‘abandoned’ at age 5 emotionally?
When you tell a child to ‘just stop crying you are driving me crazy’, or tell them they are ‘such a crybaby’, or that they are crying like a ‘little girl’. Yes, that could be the all-time best thing to say to your son, if you especially don’t ever want him to ‘have emotions’ or make him to believe that what ‘he thinks or does’ is even important as a human being.
Just tell him to stop crying like a little girl. You instantly insult not only his character but his future manhood….and like me, could turn out to be one bad-ass kid who could be belted 50 times or more and not even allow his body to scream or cry.
Crying at that age of punishment would mean ‘masculine failure’, and that was not going to happen. I just could not allow someone the satisfaction that they had somehow inflicted enough corporal punishment upon me to make me cry. I withstood every beating without tears until he that was inflicting punishment would just give up.
For the sake of your child’s future…if for any reason they are crying….find out why? If it continues, please keep asking him in as many different ways as you can figure until you gain his trust, that you ‘actually’ care about those tears he is shedding, but I honestly believed no one did care, and for the most part turned the pain I felt as tears into hatred.
Apparently, the death of my 12 year old brother causing a 5 year old ‘identity’ crisis didn’t dawn on anybody that my older brother’s death could have that kind of affect upon me…and as a 5 year old…it was so far over my ability to understand what was going on, I instantly felt ‘like I was on my own’ from then on out; and for every day until that ‘life changing’ experience about 12 years later, I was on my own from that day forward.
Had I have been ‘physically abandoned’ it would have been better. I at least would experience (hopefully) the understanding from other people that I had been abandoned and that I needed to be loved and cared for. I would have experienced that ‘feeling’ of being loved and cared for and would have been a better start to this big, big world. The only ‘friend’ I experienced during this time was my pillow, where I could fall asleep sobbing with that somehow soothing, ‘feeling sorry for yourself’ feeling that came readily with my tears of not understanding why no one liked me…because I was a ‘crybaby’.
If when you were a young child, that every time that you attempted to walk from crawling on your belly, and every time you tried to walk, your ‘care-givers’ punished you for even trying to use your legs to walk, and then would knock you down, how well do you think you could walk by the time you were ready for kindergarten?
Maybe they thought you would be much easier to take care of if you never walked; then they wouldn’t have to worry about you accidentally falling down the stairs or something. Or maybe it just made life easier for them as long as you didn’t walk.
So you show up for kindergarten and your teacher asks ‘why are you crawling to your desk’? What would the answer be from a five year old? I don’t know…but then you see all these other kids using their legs to walk and they don’t even crawl anywhere….why am I so different?
Being physically crippled is easily recognizable by all….and being crippled physically should never affect a child’s esteem of himself that he receives from his responsible care-givers….however, when you have been emotionally crippled, there are very few people capable of seeing it as plain as they would see a physical crippling, but it is actually more devastating to the individual to be ‘emotionally crippled’.
People who are emotionally crippled sometimes may not even know it, except that when it comes to ‘self-esteem’, they actually have none, except for what accomplishments they can point to…those accomplishments tell them, ‘see, I must be okay…everybody liked what I did with this project.’ Sometimes, the only self-esteem the individual can muster within himself, has to be done accomplishment after accomplishment, to keep his ‘belief’ in himself that he is okay.
The only real problem with having to accomplish so much so that you can ‘feel’ self-esteem…is that its a great cover-up for deep, deep insecurities. The only path to healing of self-esteem issues like that is that ‘affirmation’ or real true esteem he receives from others…and what is even more important, is that he begins to receive that esteem for only who he is….not related to any project, accomplishment, education, things he has done, or people he knows….it has to be done in a state when he is just ‘being’….not related anyway to what he is ‘doing’.
Much like a flower. Parent’s only responsibility is to water and provide care for that flower. Maybe get it in the right environment where it will grow best according to what ‘kind’ of flower it appears to be. If a parent wants to make a ‘rose’ into a pansy, they are going to kill both the pansy from developing and the rose they will never have.