What Does a Painful Childhood Cost?

I  just discovered in 2010, that my primary addiction was to my family of origin—the family I grew up in. I have a picture of myself at age 5 which is about when I started thinking that I was terribly unfit to be in this family. There was always fighting, drama and violence. We had our loving times, too.  I believe that my parents did the best they could. When describing those years, I love what ACA says about The Problem: “This is a description, not an indictment.”

From other authors:

From Just Be Real : “What Did It Cost Me?”

What did it cost me that my parents fought? What did it cost me that I did not get the attention from my father? What did it cost me that they first separated and my dad moved out? What did it cost me that my mother remarried and I was forced to live with her and a new man that was to be “another father” in my life? What did it cost me not to have my real father around? What did it cost me to lose my childhood friends? What did it cost me to start a new school and be threaten to be beat up my first day because I was new and different? What did all of this cost “little JBR” at the time.

I will share a couple of the answers…

First “What did it cost me when my parents verbally fought in front of me?” “It cost me security.” Fear would grip my heart so tightly like a vice when I saw and witnessed their rage. That is why I cringe and cannot watch debates or intense arguing between people. I get so very frightened. I want to hide. It is hard to come by to give my opinion on a matter. As well as hard for me to speak up for myself out of fear of retaliation and rejection.

It also “cost me guilt.” Blaming myself for their anger and divorce. And to this day, if I am confronted on something, my mind automatically goes to “I did something wrong. I am guilty.” Without even knowing the circumstances.

And by far the next one is the most painful… “What did it cost me when my father did not listen, become impatient or belittle me?” “It cost me my self-worth. Along with shame.” That I had no voice. I was a “no-body.” Shamed I could not catch on quickly. Resulting in hating myself. Putting myself down and not trying before others would have the opportunity to do so. Or tell me to give up. Always thinking everyone is better than me.

“It also cost me who I am.” Since I believed how I was was not to my fathers liking, I would “try” and please him in a way I thought would please him. Only to find out he became even more irritable and annoyed with me. Telling me to stop! As I craved his attention and became a nuisance. That is why people pleasing is such a strong hold for me.

But, the biggest thing that this question cost me was, “It cost me love.” I had to really think on this one. Because I do not know what true love is. I saw it as if my dad did not pay attention to me. . . he then did not care. Trying to remember how did my father show physical affection towards me? I may have gotten an occasional hug. But, that is about it. Resulting in how I perceive God as well these days. Hard for me to give and accept love. As I did not get it. Painfully sad to me all the years I have missed out and what was taken from me in opportunities to experience and give love.

2.  From Urban Christian News written by Dan Wooding:

Few people know that behind the ministry of the legendary author and international speaker Josh McDowell lies a painful childhood, caused by a severely dysfunctional family, sexual abuse and an alcoholic father.

According to a news release from Gregg Wooding of I AM PR Services (http://www.iampronline.com), on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7 PM, Undaunted: The Early Years of Josh McDowell, a new docu-drama sensitively told by Director/Script Writer Cristóbal Krusen (The Bill Collector, 2011, First Landing, 2007, and Final Solution, 2003) will premiere on a Jumbo Tron screen at Chase Oaks Church located at 281 Legacy Dr., Plano, TX.

Shot throughout Michigan to capture the breath-taking outdoors and rolling acreage surrounding the McDowell’s provincial family farm, Undaunted sheds light on McDowell’s darker days as an innocent child growing up in a severely dysfunctional family.

The film portrays the heart-breaking circumstances in which Josh was raised and the atmosphere that produced one of modern Christianity’s greatest skeptics. To this day, McDowell’s miraculous conversion to faith from stubborn resistance and unforgiveness is one of the most sought-after testimonies in the Christian church. Though never before portrayed on film, his testimony has been shared in almost every imaginable setting on every continent to individuals and groups, large and small.

“The movie is less about Josh McDowell and much more about promoting Jesus Christ,” said Krusen, the award-winning filmmaker, who will host the premier screening of Undaunted along with Executive Producer Douglas Maddox.

In tribute to Josh, hundreds of his family, friends, supporters and fellow ministry leaders are expected to attend the weekend-long culmination of McDowell’s 50th anniversary celebration, simultaneously designed to cast a vision for the next 50 years of the evangelistic ministry. The unveiling of a 42-minute version of Undaunted is considered the centerpiece; the premier screening is free and open to the public on a first-come first-served basis. Doors will open at 6:45 PM.

3.  From The Boot Kelly Pickler Revisits Her Painful Childhood:

Kellie Pickler realizes what a momentous occasion the upcoming release of her third studio album will be. Growing up poor in the small town of Albermale, N.C., the precocious singer was raised by her grandparents, after her mother abandoned her and her father spent time in and out of jail. Success was hardly expected for a young girl with such a challenging childhood, which is what makes her growing accomplishments that much sweeter.

The 25-year-old previously touched on her traumatic upbringing in her Top 20 hit, ‘I Wonder,’ from her debut album, ‘Small Town Girl,’ but she admits she wasn’t ready to show her fans the depth of her pain — until now. Bravely facing the topic head-on, she penned ‘Mother’s Day’ with her songwriter husband, Kyle Jacobs, a tune that poignantly addresses how painful those memories still are.

“I didn’t realize how bad the situation was until I went back as an adult,” Kellie tells The Boot. “In shooting the [‘Mother’s Day’] video in particular, going back to those childhood moments, seeing my father struggle with his alcoholism and drug addiction … He was always in trouble with the law. Always. So it was a battle to have to go and visit him in the penitentiary as a child, but that was so normal for me. Looking at it now, as an adult, that’s not normal. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. I got to hit a whole lot of places, a whole lot of my past in shooting this.”

The blond beauty came up with the idea for the song after feeling the sting of her loss, when another Mother’s Day arrived, and she realized it was a day she had never been able to celebrate. “When ‘Mother’s Day’ came about, Kyle and I weren’t living together at the time. It was before we were even engaged,” she recalls. “Kyle and I had spent the day together earlier that day. He was dropping me off at the house, and he was headed home. He pulled in his driveway, and I called him and said, ‘Baby, can you come back over here? Today’s just really hard.’ He said, ‘Yeah, are you OK?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I just feel like we could write a great song today. I feel like today is the day we’re gonna write a song.'”

Photo credit.


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