Super Saiyan 4 Goku, from Funimation
Without me, you're nobody.
Do any of these words sound familiar? Do they bring back a familiar sting? Were they accompanied by a slap, a shove, a punch? Something that made you want to curl up into a ball and disappear from the world?
For those of us who grew up with this crap, the sting never fades, not for one moment. We learn to deal, to live with it, if we can. But the memories are always there, at our mind's back door, waiting to pounce at a moment's notice.
My very first memory is of familial violence. Though I was never an easy kid, my home life was a nightmare. Days were filled with words like these, and many more, of how I was never good enough, how I would inevitably end up dead or in jail.
To be fair, for the longest time, they were right.
Those words and the feeling of those blows, still haunt me to this day.
Like I said, maybe we weren't the easiest kids to raise, but no child deserves to grow up in fear. If you believe that fear and violence is the way to get through to your children, I beg you to either reconsider parenting, or consider giving them up to someone who will do right by them.
I'm grown now, closer to forty than I am to thirty, and I was recently reminded of exactly what my upbringing was about. That's what prompted this blog.
And then I start to think, as I hope you do.
Where are you now?
Do you have a job? Friends? Ambitions? People who love you?
Do you have a child who thinks the world of you?
Are you trying to just trying to get by in this world, like the rest of us?
Are you still here?
Because if you are, guess what.
All of your tormentors, your abusers, your detractors?
That's how you truly overcome the monsters that did their best to kill your soul. YOU SUCCEED.
When I say "Succeed", I don't mean make millions of dollars (though that would be nice) or do something revolutionary or world-changing. I mean you get up, every single day. You care for your friends and the people who love you. You make sure your children are okay. You hold fast to the things that mean something to you. And you do this every single day.
To simply survive in this world as a good person despite the monstrosities you've had to endure, THAT is how you succeed. THAT is how you prove them wrong.
As for me? I'm still alive. I'm writing this from the comfort of my bedroom. My son is making his own breakfast. My fiance is spending time with a lifelong friend. I have a home, transportation, a job I love and a plan to have complete control of my schedule within five years.
So I'm not trash.
I am not worthless.
And I earned the life that I lead.
YOU ARE NOT TRASH.
YOU ARE NOT WORTHLESSS.
The truth is, within you lies a strength that terrifies your abusers, one they hope to destroy lest it overwhelms them.
And if you get up every day and handle business, then you have proved them wrong.
Some of us have to get beaten down to realize how powerful we truly are.
Thanks for reading and best of luck.