People who experience childhood trauma have three dominant paths in adulthood after growing up in an abusive environment: living an average life, becoming extraordinary, or engaging in criminal and self-destructive acts. Did you know that 150 out of every 100,000 women in Oklahoma are imprisoned (Jones et al. 2)? The primary reason for their anti-social behavior is emotional, sexual, and physical abuse during childhood. I know how terrifying these experiences can be because I was physically and emotionally abused in my family. Still, I was able to find my refuge in academics because I was lucky to have inspiring teachers. I think that youth with similar backgrounds could benefit from my story and improve their situations. Therefore, I want to share two lessons I learned from being abused by my relatives: having faith and finding inspiration.
It may sound like a cliché, but one can always find something positive in any unpleasant circumstance. Indeed, the first lesson abuse taught me is that believing that any horror story has an ending nourished me spiritually and gave strength not to commit suicide. I understand that people in worse situations than mine may develop anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or illicit drug dependence (Jones et al. 4). However, having faith will save their lives, allowing them to continue fighting their fears with the help of therapy, which served me immeasurably. Second, finding insights in teachers, friends, book or movie characters, celebrities, and public figures is another antidote to the harm produced by abusers. In fact, my high-school teachers and Harry Potter protagonists were the primary sources of inspiration. These people and stories encouraged me to read more books and acquire more knowledge to attain my goal of entering college and leaving an abusive household.
It was an honor for me share the lessons that I learned from my experience. Growing up in an abusive home is a traumatic episode in one’s life that requires much mental work to heal. Unfortunately, many young people follow the destructive path, ending in prison. Nevertheless, these individuals can always overgrow their suffering if they find the strength to have faith in a better future and seek inspiration to become virtuous human beings. Lastly, I want to ask all those children living in a brutal environment to believe that the Universe has a better plan for them, but they should find a purpose and pursue it.
Jones, Melissa S., et al. “Bruised Inside Out: The Adverse and Abusive Life Histories of Incarcerated Women as Pathways to PTSD And Illicit Drug Use.” Justice Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 6, 2018, pp. 1-26.