When we were moving a few months ago, I stumbled upon an on old journal from my childhood. I sat down, amidst a pile of boxes, and ignored the surrounding mess to go back to a place that I hadn’t visited in a long time. The pages were laden with my 12 year old scribbles. There were entries about my loves , my friends, and trivial problems, but in between those pages were some hauntingly poignant entries about the abuse that filled my childhood. As I read, it wasn’t the entries describing the latest attack, it was a simple statement, ended with a question, that I think I sent out to the universe:
“I feel like I will never be good enough. Like I will never measure up. I feel like unless I do what they want, and only what they want, they will never love me fully. They call me names, they insult me, they punish me when I stray from their beliefs. Is this how a parent is supposed to treat their child? Is this normal?”
As I grew up, I spent a lot of time asking that question over and over again. It wasn’t until I had my own child and pulled out this journal that I recognized the answer to that question was supposed to be a resounding “NO!” I’d like to say this discovery has ended any self-doubts, but daily, I still ask “Is this enough? Am I enough?” The impact of this emotional abuse as a child has left a permanent mark, even so many years later.