We as a society do not fully understand or comprehend the real impacts of emotional abuse, especially deprivation or abandonment. Physical abuse is apparent that it wounds by its own nature. We all have been hurt at some time or another, whether we’ve sprained an ankle, tripped and skinned a knee or took an elbow to the face during a pick-up basketball game. Essentially all of us have had our bodies damaged at some point. So, we have all learned how it feels – what physical pain feels like - and can find empathy for those who have been beaten by someone else.
But when it comes to emotional traumas – abuse of the mind & spirit – it's far more confusing. And that’s because we all have brains built by varied and individual experiences and none of us respond to the same circumstances in the same way. Therefore, we are apt to negatively judge another person for being “irrational” when they have reacted in a way we wouldn’t have. And if you look at their life & childhood experiences – you might not ever see how it was “really that bad" in your opinion. But without living it ourselves, we are never able to gather the magnitude or summation of everything each and every one of us has gone through that have made us who we are today.
My wish for you to carry into this new year ahead of us is to approach one “challenging” person you have in your life with a different view – empathy – and consider for a moment the truth – they have a hurt child inside of them that is struggling and guiding their adult self today, and the adult you see probably doesn’t know. It won’t excuse their behavior today but it will make this world a little kinder and more loving if you understand that about them.