There is a moment suspended in time…when someone who has a personal on-going challenge, even abuse…realizes that no matter how difficult their own personal challenge/test might have been, or currently is, there is always someone who has had it worse… or is suffering more, right now.
I find it empowering in healing. Many who suffer, do it with a quiet dignity and are role models for all of us to emulate. Within the last year, Randy Pausch, a college professor in Pennsylania passed away from Cancer. His book, The Last Lecture, is a lesson in dignity and grace. It is about embracing what we have been GIVEN in life, rather than focusing on what has been TAKEN from us.
Whereas we are all aware that Childhood Abuse robs us of innocence and leaves gaping wounds in self-esteem and self-worth…we must also come to grips with the fact that when we are adolescents and adults, we are not terminally ill like Randy, but rather curable. However, for some of us…it is easier to place blame on our personal misery and failure as to what has been “done to us.” Thought provoking would be to think on: Does doing this wallowing make us feel better. Has anyone ever felt better during the “Woe is me” trip…ever? I believe not. For myself, not feeling angry or sad towards my abuser(s) was the best medicine.
For Randy Pausch not feeling angry or sad that he was terminal, and would soon die…allowed him to live every day until the end in full and complete joy. Being happy is a gift we give to ourselves; it is yours if you unwrap it. It is the holiday gift we often overlook. Let the new year begin.
If the physical action or spoken words are consistently/constantly directed in a hurtful, negative manner and are damaging to the receiver that is abuse.
However, be careful.
I am often asked , especially by adolescents, if a parent being overly critical is considered “abuse.” If a parent repeatedly calls you something unfounded, such as, “You’re a waste of space on this Earth and no one will ever love you.” Yes, I believe that’s verbally abusive. Those kind of words lower self esteem and self worth. However, if a parent says: “You are wasting your time, and much of your life, with your friends who always get into trouble and also, they don’t seem to care very much if you get into trouble with them,” then that’s responsible parenting and setting boundaries. In fact, that’s what parents should do. There are always back walls and guidelines for parents/guardians or they are not “parenting” but rather just existing in a safe and comfortable environment. Parenting is the toughest of all jobs.
Also, if you are physically hit by someone who “loves” you… it “might be” abuse. If it happens more than once … it is abuse. If you are hit often, for no apparent reason, by the same person… it is without a doubt physical abuse and it needs to be reported. Adolescent or adult, constant words of negativity or continual physical punishment to your body by another person is… NEVER ok. Do not mistake this for love. Sue
We all feel overwhelmed this time of year; it goes hand-in-hand with the term “holidays.” Today, I am going to actively, “remember to remember” the reason we celebrate this time of year.
In honor of Jesus’ Birthday on Thursday, I am going to be more joyful, kinder intentioned towards others, and relentlessly patient; AND this last one is not always easy for me. I will smile more, excuse others, and forgive generously…even when my patience is sorely tested. But, most importantly, I will remind myself that this is not just behavior I want to exhibit only for this week…but continuously.
May we all be better humans in celebration of the Life of Christ not only December 25th, but for all days in our future life.
Merry Christmas and joy to all. sue