Saturday, July 11, 2015

Different Fabrics Kids Can Wear

Let's say that we are talking about two little kids. One grows up in a loving and nurturing home and the second little girl grows up in an abusive and oppressive environment.

I think it is pretty safe to say that the child in the positive environment does better in life. This child grows up happy and confident, well-liked in school and full of hopes and realistic goals with all the support from their family and friends they need. When problems appear, the family resolves these problems as a family and they move forward together. The parents and older family members model healthy positive problem solving skills so the children see those models and they learn to make that behavior their very own; it becomes second nature to them. They adopt those behaviors and implement them in their very own lives effortlessly. They face their lives happy and productively knowing that their family has their back. They know that their family will supports their decisions and encourage them to follow and explore their interests. In these families, the kids come first. How the children are raised is of utmost importance and the parents take this very seriously.

So, if this child were to adopt a mantle of love about themselves, I think it would look something like this:

This mantle is part of this child's behavior, in this spirit, this child goes about their life full of confidence and true soul sustaining fulfillment. Having their needs met appropriately, this child grows into a nurturing adult who can seek a mate with similar qualities and they easily pass this skills down to their children and these qualities affect generations to come.

That description I have just set up is not fairy tale; I know families who behave this way. I know flesh and blood families who are this way. They are human and when they make mistakes they apologize and keep moving forward stronger than before. When tragedy hits which it will do, they manage it the best they can together supporting one another and emerge stronger still. To witness this first hand in my day to day life is a blessing for me. It has healed me so very much and I feel privileged to witness it first hand.

Now, let's look at the child who grows up in an environment of abuse, neglect and violence. This child barely gets their needs met. They have a roof over their head and food to eat but the emotional needs this child needs to thrive are absent. This child does not hear positive feedback, they are shamed and humiliated. There is nothing they can do that the family members approve of. When they misbehave, the punishments are abusive and extreme. This child is banished to their room for weeks on end; beatings are frequent.  Holidays are a nightmare, all abuse that happens inside this home has to be hidden from outsiders and the children are threatened with violence if they breathe a word of it to anyone. The children are compared one against the other which results in constant fighting and bickering. The adults are unstable and cause the kids to act out inappropriately.

This is one of the ways that bullies are made. The children learn from the behavior they witness. If there is no one to show them how to achieve, guess what? They won't learn it until they can sit down and work through the issues they were burdened with from their family of origin and learn new behavior.

Kids raised in ugly homes become addicts quickly. They can suffer with depression, neediness and promiscuity. They have the same needs that every single one of us has but no one taught them how to manage those needs. When you are parched for water, how rational can you be?

So if abused kids had their own fabric, it could look something like this:

How successful do you think this kid is going to be? It is no surprise to me that depression is exhausting. Think about how much emotional weight carrying around years upon years of abuse can translate into.

It is crushing. It is debilitating. In some cases, it is fatal.

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