Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How Childhood Suffering lives on...

"Some things that happen to you never stop happening to you..."
Author Unknown

Each of us who has endured prolonged childhood suffering leaves behind our own unique trail of tears. Some of us still have nightmares. Others no longer remember; we simply experience a sense of emptiness and a vague and disturbing suspicion that something was, and perhaps still is, terribly wrong. Although our symptoms and behaviors vary, we are each aware at some level that we have been deeply wounded. For most of us, there's a secret shame imbedded in this knowledge. In spite of the fact that we intellectually understand that we were innocent and vulnerable children when the deepest wounds were inflicted, there remains a part of us that perceives ourselves as failing. All too often it becomes ourselves whom we cannot trust.

The child who blamed him or herself for the abuse becomes the self-condemning adult. The losses and betrayals he or she endured become promises that more hurt will be forthcoming. The child who was powerless grows into a frightened and defensive adult. The little girl whose body was abused remains disconnected from her grown up body. The anger of the small boy lives on in the man who lets no-one close enough to harm (or heal) him. Another compensates for his or her shame by devoting a life time to achievement, but the struggle never ends. There are no victories great enough to annihalate the inadequacy and self-doubt. The child who acts out his or her pain in destructive ways might continue the pattern into adulthood, unconsciously creating situations that inspire the very misery he or she so desperatley sought to escape. These sad cycles can go on and on. And they can be broken.

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