This photo used to be hard for me to look at……..not just because of my hair! This was taken in the same year my birth father began molesting me. In my 50 years of life the damage created by the years of physical, mental, and sexual abuse I endured has had substantial effects in my life. Finding meaning in life when your brain has been rewired due to traumatic abuse, can be a daunting task.
I have decided to create this blog to openly discuss the negative and positive effects child abuse has caused in my own life, and to share my wisdom in healing. While gaining my degree in psychology, I went through some deep, dark months of depression. Having to look inside my own mind and cracked psyche was a frightening journey.
In my blog I will be open to discussing any and all topics. In doing so, I realize that I will be extremely vulnerable to other people’s opinions and judgment, but in the hopes of helping other…bring it. Are there events and decisions in my life that I regret? Yes, tons! I realize that I can do nothing about the past, but what I can do is share my story.
So to start I want to talk about some personal values. When I was a child I did not understand the concept of personal values. All I understood was that children are the property of their parents and adults can do as they wish with them. Growing up in a southern baptist home I understood that the words of elders were to be obeyed. I knew the 10 commandments, but could not relate to the message. When you grow up being raped by your father regularly, watching siblings being beat and family pets killed at the hands of the “elder” the bible says to obey, how is it possible to develop personal values beyond survival? Well, what are some of my personal values today?
Personal values are a core part of who a person is and who a person wants to be. Becoming more aware of personal values is an important factor in developing a happy life. Personal core values used to guide decisions can leave a person feeling satisfied with the choices and direction of life. Every human can be said to have different personal values. What would every parent say would be the personal values most desired in the development of children? Three personal values discussed in this blog are self-control, honesty, and consideration of others.
Self-control separates human beings from the animal kingdom and from ancient humans due to the development of the large prefrontal cortex. The development of the prefrontal cortex begins around the age of seven and continues into the early twenties, and is the last area to mature and is vital in controlling impulses and in decision-making (Guberti, 2016). Civilization requires self-control from all citizens for the world to be a harmonious melting pot of humans. In this day and age of fast information and social media, self-control has taken a back seat it seems more often than not. Under Societal Concerns (main GSS survey heading); desirable qualities for children (sub-heading-1) self-control (sub-heading-2) percentages over ten years: In 1983 only 13.6% of parents value self-control versus 18.2% in 1973. There is an obvious downward trend found in the data in parents’ value of self-control in children. The data and measures in the percentages were generated more than thirty years ago, given more up-to-date data would be eye opening.
Consideration of others is another personal value that is important and vital in creating a peaceful world. Being kind and respectful to others no matter the race, religion or creed can build cohesion in all communities. Alena Hall writes in 7 Habits of Considerate People (2014) that people thought as considerate in nature are found to practice empathy, smile often, are intuitive, are polite, are selfless, are patient, and are found to apologize easily. Under Societal Concerns (main GSS survey heading); desirable qualities for children (sub-heading-1) consideration of others (sub-heading2) percentages over seven years: In 1986 36.4% value consideration of others versus 28.7% in 1980. These data sets, yet again are from thirty years ago. It should be noted that even back then there was an upward trend in parents valuing consideration in children.
Honesty and integrity produce peace of mind and promotes relationships of trust. The opposite of honesty creates anxiety, distrust, conflict and corruption. Jeff Durham (2016) discusses the importance of honesty in life and relationships as vital in producing trust and confidence. Honesty is an important value that leads to the building of trust, loyalty, and respect in many of the vital areas in life, whether it be work, school, or personal relationships. Honesty seems to be a value that has been lost not only in the news media, but also within the government secure of the United States. Under Societal Concerns (main GSS survey heading); desirable qualities for children (sub-heading-1) honesty (sub-heading-2) percentages over seven years: In 1986 51.6% value honesty as compared to 64.5% in 1980. Even thirty years ago there was a downward trend in parents valuing honesty in children. It could be assumed that the downward trend continued and the children then are the adults of today.
Self-control, consideration of others, and honesty seem to be no brainer values that should be foundations for life, business and government. I lived portions of my life having only the personal value of survival. During those years I made choices that would not coincide with my current values. I could have been looked at as a bad kid or young adult to everyone on the outside, but I was a damaged human trying to stay alive. Today I realize that the horrific abuse at such a young age rewired my brain to live in survival mode.
Berkeley University Survey Documentation and Analysis Data. (2014) Sda.berkeley.edu, Retrieved from sdaweb/analysis/?dataset=gss14
Durham, J. (2016) Integrity and honesty: Important attributes. Lifecoachexpert.co.uk, Retrieved from integrityhonestyimportantattributes.html
Guberti, N. (2016) 5 Stages of human brain development. Nancyguberti.com, Retrieved from nancyguberti.com/5-stages-of-human-brain-development/
Hall, A. (2014) 7 Habits of considerate people. Huffingtonpost.com, Retrieved from habits-of-considerate-people_n_5710033.html
There it is, my first blog. As time goes on, I will dig into my past as a child and adult. I want to share my story to help others, including those in the field of helping abused children.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Peace, Love and Happiness