The Beginning of the End

Published on 31 March 2023 at 15:25

Core memories shape the way we view ourselves and ultimately the world. They are the foundation of our personality, behaviors, and emotions. So when some of our core memories are full of trauma, it isn't hard to understand why we have traits such as distrust, fear, anxiety, anger, lack of self-confidence. What are some core memories you have that have created the person you are today?

I was seven years old the first time my dad hit me across the face with a stick because I had done something "wrong". I'm not sure what I did, but whatever it was, it had deemed that I was officially old enough to become subject to his abuse. I had been the "cause" of him taking things out on my siblings previously and been around the abuse for years before that, but that day marked the beginning of when my dad painted a target on my back as well. Marked me as a scapegoat. A tag that would follow me through my life. 

 

Putting this label on me as a small child, one that says "you are bad" or "even if you didn't do anything wrong, you are to blame" or "your worth comes from others", it kept me in a constant cycle of seeking approval, affection, and basic safety. And as a kid, those behaviors don't usually come out in positive ways, which in return, because those things were never met, I just kept repeating those seeking behaviors, which meant outsiders saw me as the "difficult kid" now too. This cycle only confirmed to me a negative self-image that I was "bad", that I wouldn't amount to as much as the "good" kids, and that I wasn't "enough" or deserving of love and kindness. I mean how could a kid think they are when they are constantly being shown that the people that are supposed to protect them and love them unconditionally are the ones hurting them? So much as my dad dropping a jar of jelly and it breaking, meant I would get screamed at hit because I was nearby. I hadn't done anything, but I was there and he was angry, therefore it was my fault. 

 

When kids can't create a positive bond with their parent/s, they naturally assume there is something wrong or defective with themselves. Which in turn, creates feelings of shame, self-doubt, fear, abandonment, unworthiness, anxiousness, etc. These feelings can also transform into thoughts like "if only I could do ______ then they would love me" or "if I were more like _____ then they would be nicer to me". It can cause a kid to be incredibly hard on themselves when they fail at something because in their eyes, it's just one more reason nobody loves them. Or possibly, they are constantly jealous of others and even feel the need to sabotage them to try and either get ahead or steal from them to try and be like them.

 

Negative feelings come out in SO many different ways, especially in kids. It's why the last thing kids need is another person judging them, being angry at them, punishing them before knowing any backstory. There is usually a feeling behind the behavior. If someone would take the time to talk to the kid, calmly ask them some questions about what feelings they are having that made them decide to do what they did, you will generally find that there wasn't ill intent behind the decision. But instead, a hurting heart desperate for understanding and kindness, someone to help them work out their feelings. Teach them a better way. Teach them they are loved, wanted, and safe.

I mean realistically, don't we all need that sometimes? 

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