Learning to love oneself becomes a full-time job. In childhood, one survives scrapes, bruises and bullies and grows whole, intact. Most take it for granted, that sense of wholeness and the ability to protect oneself naturally, instinctively.
But trauma during childhood, specifically traumas that go without intervention then the child is blamed, silenced and not helped in any way, these trauma’s break a child’s self-worth and erase the child’s very existence. The wholeness meant to grow does not. The nurturing of a tiny spirit is removed in order to keep her silent.
I learned I was unloved, not worthy of love, and incapable of just about anything. How could I feel loved when attacked then forced into silence and shame over it? I believe it’s the silence and shaming that killed my ability to self-love. Where even now I must work very hard to see my side of things, to feel what I feel, because for so long I’d been absent or trained to only think about others; especially others whose cruelty towards me went beyond comprehension. Why would I know how to love myself now? Where is the map?
These are things that we do when we decide to have a child. Protect. Protect the child so she grows into who she was meant to be. Not twist her, and break her, and let the pieces shatter. When a child is harmed is such a way, everything must stop. Protect that child. Nothing else matters except that what you now know happened never happens again. And that child needs the most loving, gentle care…for a long time to come. It is possible to repair the damage at the time of the trauma, to mend the wounds and the child grows free just as she was meant to be.