People who are abused or neglected in childhood, or even as adults, are often left feeling that they are unworthy of love and belonging. The pain of abuse and neglect doesn’t go away on its own and often continues throughout life, but sadly, many people never come to terms with the events of their childhood.
The good news is that there is hope for the future. Abuse and neglect aren’t your fault, and it’s possible to build a life stronger and better than ever before.
This is the important message that author Tammy Lang offers in “Damaged Goods: Things You Must Know about Healing from Abuse,” written in 2011.
Lang is familiar with the pain of severe abuse, which for her, began when she was only three years old. She describes a cruel mother and a father who subjected her to sexual abuse at knife-point. The toxic, abusive environment was reinforced by friends and family.
The abuse resulted in self-hatred and a total loss of confidence that led to serious thoughts of suicide by the time she was 19. However, a simple act of kindness and concern by a stranger who offered her an umbrella in the rain was the beginning of Lang’s journey to self-love and acceptance, a process that took 20 years.
Love Yourself First
Everybody deserves love and everybody has a chance to begin anew, Lang writes, no matter how severe the damage. However, it’s impossible to love others without genuine self-love. This is a challenging concept for people who feel they are unworthy, or that they have to earn the love of others.
Lang writes that she feels compelled to share her experiences. “I can’t imagine not helping others recover from their pain by not sharing my experiences.”