148398503My Mum always warned my older sister that one day I would be big enough to fight back. Most of the time, I would swing my fists wildly at her but they always missed their mark because I was just too small. And so the cycle of bullying and physical and mental abuse continued every single day.

But sure enough, that day arrived. It was a day I dreamed of but never thought would come. It was on a Thursday night that my sister spat in my face and tried to slap me while she pulled at clumps of my hair. I swung my arm out to defend myself, as I always did, but this time it was different. Rather than punching wildly at the air, my fist reached her face and with the sudden thrill of it all, I punched her a second time. She screamed and ran to her room, mouthing obscenities as she slammed the door.

I have never again felt such a burst of complete exhilaration. But although the physical violence ended on that day, the mental effects were far from over.

You see, my sister had taught me for more than ten years that I was worthless. Her constant bullying and abuse went unrestrained, giving me further evidence that I had no value. As a result, my journey into adolescence and adulthood was devastated by a crippling fear of meeting new people and an overwhelming belief that failure would become the inevitable outcome of everything I tried to be.

Even though we grow up, we never leave the child that we were behind. Inside every one of us is that small child, in my case filled with the despair of worthlessness. But there’s something else. Even though some people are no longer in our lives, people we were glad to see gone, they too are still inside us, taunting us with their abusive thoughts.

The single largest obstacle to believing in yourself is believing that you are not worthless. It may sound easy but in reality it is the hardest thing because your self-worth was taught to you when you were a child.

Sometimes, we try to hide who we really are. But the person we hide on the inside is usually the most visible on the outside. A sense of worthlessness invades our confidence, making us shy, embarrassed, weak-willed. It perniciously undermines our attempts at being all that we can be.

It took me two decades to value myself. I started by talking to that inner child. Praising and valuing that child. Stopping the negative thoughts that reinforced a sense of worthlessness.

Children who are subjected to bullying and abuse don’t leave it all behind. They are forced to live with it for the rest of their lives.


  1. I could not agree more. No matter your age, if your foundation was shaky, it’s shaky even now–like a house built on such would be–liable to fall down in a storm. And your solution is perfect. Parent the lost child inside now that you can (and by you I mean me..:) )

  2. My brother, 10 years old than me, would grab my shirt at the neck, pull back his fist and threaten to hit me if I ever . . . fill in the blank. I believed he would kill me. To this day I still seek his approval, although it is wearing thin. I think he smiles through gritted teeth, still thinking I can somehow run to my mom for cover, who has been dead for years. I used to think we had a pretty functional family. I have come to realize it is pretty normal. Dysfunctional, but normal.

    Give your inner child a hug for me!

  3. I totally agree and you said it very well– as always. Your voice is powerful.
    Happy New Year to you and yours and your inner child!

  4. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog
    like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100%
    certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.


    • Hey there. I use WordPress because everyone knows it and it’s fairly straightforward. It comes with various preformed blog pages for you to use. You do need some computer skills but not much. Then it’s just a matter of having some images and something to say! John

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