Do not cover up your childhood pain with the things that you say and do. This is what you do to try to feel better, but it does not work, which I am sure there are daily reminders that this is so. Each passing day you stir the pot to conjure up these thoughts of days since passed. It only widens the distance to where you want to be. In your attempt to protect your feelings, you hurt the feelings of others, and this is never good; of course, you know this for your life has told you so. No matter how fast you run, you cannot run from the memories that cause you so much pain and misery. And to pretend you do not think those thoughts will not make life easier. In fact, the cycle continues. By the minute, day, or month, you are up just to come back down to where you never left.
You know, even if no one else does, what bothers you the most about your childhood has not gone away. You cannot stave off those thoughts of days long past that hound you from far away. They may be in the distance, yet they feel so close to you today. Emotional hurt and pain is a symptom that not all is well with how you think. No new boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife, or even children will provide much relief from your “painful thinking.” If you want to change how you feel, you must change how you think.
You cannot live in the past, so why should you let the past live in you. Let what you do speak for you, not what has been done to you. To some degree, this has happened to most of us. It is how you think about your thoughts. And, of course, your thoughts are the only things that you have to think about.
Your husband or wife, or not having either, does not cause your pain. Neither your employer nor your friends are the cause of the pain that you feel. When all has been said, the pain you feel now is caused by no one other than you, for you have not done what you need to do to resolve the issues you will not let remain dormant in your memory. It does not matter the source, but the time and place was your dysfunctional childhood and family life. It could be from abuse, lack of nurturing and caring, neglect, bullying, or some other interference. Whatever the source, the effect on your growth and development was all the same. This kind of treatment breeds low self-esteem and insecurity that only you can allow continuing.
Remember, it is not the job, the neighbor, or anyone else or thing. The source of your pain is how you think. It is not the real you that they see when they look your way. You have hidden your Self under layers of hurt and pain.
IF NOT PERFECT, WHAT. ADULT SUCCESS PUTS CHILDHOOD PAIN AT REST.
I comes before you, they, them, we, and us. When I do not come first, life will be disordered until I do. You have struggled long to come out. No one knows the real you, for you have not shown your Self to them. You have been afraid to look at you. When will you let the real you show up? There are times when no one is around that you allow the hurt to pour out. No one is there to hear your cry but you, so no one but you will know. It hurt so bad not to be yourself. It aches in your heart. There are times when you need to feel that one person, just one, loves you for who you are. But how can they when all they know is what they see you do. Your hurt has wounded you.
Remember this: “I” comes before you, they, them, we, and us. When “I” do not come first, life will be disordered until “I” do.
Memories of hurt and pain from the past will change when you change how you think. You have to understand it for what it is and how it influences your thoughts. I cannot say this enough. When how we think and act is the result of the pain we feel, we must trace our pain to where it leads. That would be our childhood.
Your childhood is real, and the effect that it has on you is just as real. You must look back one last time. First, though, you have to stop your defensive behavior, which takes work and practice. It is no different, though, from other efforts that require repetition. You have to drop your guard, remove the façade while at the same time keeping your emotions under control. This is one of the few times self-control has a useful purpose. When your self-esteem and image of yourself is at the level it should be, there is no need for self-control. You are then the real you, the person you were meant to be all along.
I am terrified as this man’s large hands closed around my throat. I feel nerves where I never felt them before. My whole body is shaking in fear. I am in shock as my aunt’s soon-to-be new husband’s grasp tightens as if he is trying to squeeze the very life out of me. I feel his dislike for me ratchet up as he shouts out his angry words not even inches from my ear. I have no way to know what else he has in mind. Is my next breath to be my last? My heart beats as if it is headed for the finish line. As though in a hurry to stop.
Just as unexpectedly as it started this man, stepped away and went back to my aunt’s side. Had he choked me just because my aunt had asked me to turn off the television, and I had not moved fast enough? No—it was a message from this man to me. I was in his way; he wanted me gone. I was terrified, thinking about what he might do next.
Still, I question my aunt’s lack of judgment. George—was about to be on trial for murder. He had killed someone. This fact was not in dispute nor was there doubt. His first wife had an affair with someone that the two of them had raised as a son. Not that it matters, but it is not clear to me and what I do not understand is why George and his wife took the boy in when they already had children of their own. That would be a question worthy of an answer. His wife had always shown affection for this young man, I have heard. So this could be the seed of her desire. And over the years, it is clear her feelings grew to where she could not control what was growing inside her.
Who knows when this happened—a glimpse of his naked body while acting surprised that he was there? Making sure he got “safely” to bed. Whatever way it happened, eventually, a long-term relationship developed. His wife became pregnant with this boy’s—who was now a young man—child. George assumed the child was his. At first, George had no idea what was happening, didn’t have a clue (16 years or so passed) even when it was there in his own home looking very much like his father, in no way resembling George. And furthermore, George’s son-in-law (lover boy’s brother) is the baby boy’s Uncle.
He had raised his wife’s soon-to-be lover as if he was his own. But as this young man became a “full-grown” man, he and George’s wife brought out into the light what had only been partially hidden anyway. It would not be a stretch to say that the one who didn’t know was the one who acted as if he knew it all. George.
The newly formed couple left and began living together. That, however, was not good enough for the cheating pair: George’s wife and her lover boy. As anyone with a death wish tends to do, the lover boy put himself in a position for just that. He returned to take away some of George Hildreth’s property. And at that very moment, just as he was about to lean over to start the tractor is when George raised his twelve-gauge, pointed it with accuracy as sharp as his hatred for this man squeezed the trigger and with that shot killed him. This no doubt set of the chain of events that would later come to rest at my front door.
Could what had happened to George in his first marriage have influenced his feelings about me? Perhaps he was insecure. Looking back, I can almost sympathize with that. Almost. I was of a similar age to what the boy was when he had first started having sex with George’s wife. In retrospect, I wonder if this was the case. At the time, however, my only thoughts were about survival and my aunt’s betrayal. My aunt’s behavior confused me. Until she met this person, George, who to me was not much of a man, she had been an excellent mother to me.
If the trip back through the hurt and pain is too difficult to take, try being me, and I will be you. It will help you understand how the millions who suffer here and around the world may feel. How they act is a way to learn about you. You can do it when you change how you think. You are not alone. Yes, many of us have been hurt. The pain has its roots in and grows from a life being interfered with. The interference is where others have added “clutter” to an already hurting mind. You have to go back to this point, as painful as it may be. It is there where your path to the right way of thinking begins. That your view may be clouded by time does not change a thing. You were a child in an adult world. It does not matter. It is the thoughts of your childhood that hurts. All that you read here—if you listen to what you read—is for you and is meant to help you understand why you think, feel, and act the way you do.
Is what you see when you look the way you remember it to be? Some things you can change; others you must change how you think about them. We will never change the past. Memories of days since passed should not be your guide. It is for a good reason. What you can recall about the past can change. What you remember is not always what you thought it to be, at least in part. Even the clearest memories only tell us what was, not what is or what is going to be.
You can go to the past in your mind when you want. Just remember to come back. There is no room there. The time is filled with life that has already been lived, and the past leaves no space for rearrangement of any of the pieces. All of the space has been taken. It is not meant for us to spend more time thinking about what was or what’s ahead or could be more than we do the present. So even when you imagine the future, do it with a degree of restraint.
If you suffer, and there is not just one way, you do not know why for if you knew why you would not suffer. The why is, you tell yourself, at times, in ways you are not aware of, that you are not worthy. You think you are not good enough; you do not deserve to be yourself and be happy. Do not say that in any form. If you do, know that it is not true. The Self does not want to hear it. When you hurt yourself, there is a memory that has hurt you. When love is not there, the place where it should be will not be left empty. Hurt will fill its place.
The drive to survive is born with us. It is the first law of nature. Do no harm to what has been given. If you do so, it will cause grief and will harm others in your life, as well. Most of the problems in our lives today are caused by how we think. Not what others think about us. We bring these problems on ourselves. Often, it is when we think we know the thoughts of others as well as we know our own.
I hope that what I have said will have meaning to you and that it helps to heal your mind from the hurt and pain from a time long passed. Yes, it is your childhood, look back and move on. If not you, whom?