As a child I was punished for being strong-willed, independent, daring and free-spirited. I was a precocious child who could see and think outside of the carefully crafted box my parents put me in. My defiance against the system that used terror to control me made my father punish me all the more. Now, before I sound like a whiner, my well-meaning parents were simply over-protective and did the best they could with what they knew. They believed in a God that bullied them and unleashed His punishments if they failed to control me.
The continual pounding on my body, mind and heart finally broke my spirit and my will, just the way parents believed I needed to be.
I grew up with the archaic belief that, “a child’s will needs to be broken” and “you must come to God with a broken spirit.” By the time I reached my teens I felt sufficiently broken. What I didn’t know then that I know now, is that the extent of trauma I experienced at the hands of my peers, occurred because I had already been traumatized as a child.
In my research I’ve discovered that individuals with low self-esteem make easy targets for relentless bullies, and those who cannot develop resilience often end up in self-destructive behavior.
It took a very long time for me to put the pieces of myself back together, re-build my will and heal my broken spirit. It turns out they never really broke me, just damaged my ability to recognize my light myself. The spirit, just like the body, can be healed and restored. Now I’m back to my strong-willed, free-spirited, bold and audacious self.
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