“My childhood wounds haven’t impacted me at all because I don’t let them.”
But they did. This woman was talking about how she was always left out as a kid. Everyone would get invited except for her. No one wanted to play with her on the playground or be her partner in class.
“If you get left out, suck it up,”
She didn’t believe her childhood wounds stuck with her but I watched how she spoke about kids who were now outcasts. “Kids these days are so soft,” she said. “Not my problem if your little feelings are hurt. Get over it. Life is hard.” She didn’t teach her kids to be inclusive because it’s not their job. If other kids are hurt by that, tough.
I’m not sure she even knew how to extend empathy to these kids, even though she’d walked in their shoes. No one showed her kindness when she was young. Why should she show someone else kindness when they’re in the same position?
Mostly, I was just sad for this woman.
She’s not alone.
A lot of people believe that their childhoods had no impact on them — that they “overcame” what happened to them with no real scars or long-term damage to how they function in this world — but I don’t think that’s possible.
Everything we go through shapes us.
Your childhood wounds do impact you, whether you believe it or not. We pick up our beliefs and habits from the world around us. If the world teaches us that we have no choice but to be alone, then we’ll adapt our beliefs to make that loneliness hurt less.
Then we grow up and insist that all that childhood sh*t didn’t matter, even though we’re still sitting on the same beliefs that got 9-year-old-us through elementary school. And we perpetuate those same beliefs in our own kids, whether those beliefs serve our kids or not — which usually gives them the same wounds we grew up with.
That’s what happens when you ignore your past.
This doesn’t mean that you’re broken. It just means that you’ve acquired some thought and behavior patterns that benefitted you at one point, but might not anymore. You can move beyond the way you were raised. You can do better and be better.
But the first step in doing better is recognizing what isn’t working.
You can’t do that when you insist that the past doesn’t matter. It does.
What wounds are you glossing over?
What thoughts, beliefs, and habits are no longer serving you?
What haven’t you reckoned with that you’re still carrying around?