The Past Is Always Close By, Just Don’t Live There

Don't live in the past

It is true that you cannot live in the past and that you have to learn to put past regrets or hurts aside and move forward for your own sake if no one else’s. It is also true that there are some things that happen in one’s childhood that take its toll on an individual that they sometimes don’t recover from, or at least not quickly. What I can’t stand is when people try and tell you how long it is supposed to take you to get over those moments in the past that hurt you or those things you wish you had never done.

I’ve talked about my childhood many times here and in a way it’s often times therapeutic for me to get some things out that I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about, reason being that there are some with the stance of get over it already. Let me just say that my level of confidence in myself, or lack thereof, is a result of having a mother who not only physically and verbally abused me, but emotionally abused me too. When your mother tells you that you are never going to be anything at some point you actually start to believe it.

When you are a child is hard to dismiss anyone’s criticism of you but when it is the criticism of one or both of your parents then it is damn near impossible to dismiss it. As a child you look to your parents for confirmation, for guidance, and for reassurance. You need them to tell you that you are important, not to just them but to this world that you are in and that if you want to change the world then you have that power to do so. You need them to build your self-esteem up so that you can go out and conquer whatever it is in this world that you want to. When you are not given that it does something to you.

It’s one thing if you can get that guidance from other strong figures in your family but when it just isn’t there it does some damage to what should be your self-esteem. I personally had to build my own self-esteem up and honestly I’m still not completely where I should be yet in my level of self-esteem and confidence. But when people say to me you have to let what your mother did, or rather didn’t do for you go it infuriates me. It’s not that I don’t get that, it’s the fact that they don’t realize that it’s not going to happen with the snap of my fingers.

My childhood pain, the lack of love from my childhood, it’s still there right on my shoulder to smack me in the back of my head every time I start to actually move past it. It’s in that doubt that I feel whenever there’s something that I know I should go for but convince myself that I’m not good enough to go for it. People don’t realize that I didn’t really start to love myself until I was already an adult, with a child of my own, and that I had to build that up by myself.

Yes the past is something that you should not live in and you should most certainly forgive those in your past who have hurt you and done damage that was almost unable to be repaired. However, we all know that your past is a part of you, whether good or bad, it is what molds you and shapes you into being the person you are now, so our past is never truly behind us. It is there to remind us of where we came from, how much we have come through to get where we are now, and more importantly, particularly if it is a painful past, it is there to show us how strong we actually are. We are not who we were in the past, but we most certainly wouldn’t be who we are now without that same past.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Published in: on June 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
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I Should Have Kept a Diary As a Child

I started to think about all of the wonderful autobiographies that are written and a great deal of them stem from diaries that the authors kept when they were younger.  I feel like the childhood I had could fill at least two books of teachable moments that could somehow help some other person out there who dealt with some of the same things I did.  The only problem when I try and sit down and capture all of those teachable moments on paper is that I have spent so long trying to forget a good majority of my childhood that now it is hard to piece together every possible moment that would be important to remember.

I never kept a diary when I was younger because I honestly didn’t feel that I had anything good to capture on a page.  Most of my writing that I did was poetry which was how I expressed my emotions but a lot of it wasn’t literal, it was more metaphorical.  The other half of the time I spent writing it was creating stories that were far away from my reality, stories that were much better than my reality.

More and more as I get older and as I realize that a lot of what I went through as a child could really help someone else who might be going through the same thing now.  Now I am really wishing that I had kept a diary when I was younger.  If I am being honest with myself (and I try to be) I sometimes wish that I had kept a diary during childhood because the only memories I seem to be able to access were painful and hurtful ones, and I would like to think that there had to be some good memories in there somewhere.

I know that it couldn’t have been entirely bad but all that seems to stick with me is the abuse that I went through at home and the bullying that I endured, both at school and at home.  Then there were the people in my childhood who I should remember and yet I have no recollection of.  One person in particular who is important to me and I have no memory of them.

I almost admire those who keep a diary or a journal because they will be able to hold onto those memories every single day of their lives.  Even when they are older and can’t remember every detail they want to remember, they can just open up an old diary and there those memories will be.  I sometimes feel like my memories are lost.

I think that it would be a good idea to encourage my daughter to keep a diary so that she can capture all of the things that she wants to remember and express any emotions she needs to get out that she might feel she can’t talk to me about.  I think a diary could be a good outlet for children to express themselves so that they don’t turn to the wrong things or the wrong people.  If you are one of those lucky people who has documented every single detail of your childhood and your adolescence right into your adulthood, then make sure you celebrate those memories and perhaps even share them with others.  You never know what part of what you have experienced on your journey could end up helping someone else.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

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Published in: on January 30, 2013 at 5:24 PM  Comments (4)  
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Sometimes the Mission Chooses You

“You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won’t help, but that is no excuse, you must still act.”
~Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

It’s hard for anyone to know as a small child what they will be when they grow up.  Lots of children say they want to be a doctor or a teacher and then they change their minds when they find another thing they are more passionate about.  Some children (like me) discover a passion and it never goes away.  I’m not sure how many people aspired to be an activist when they were younger but it is amazing how the experiences in your childhood could fuel a mission that you never even knew was waiting for you. 

When I was younger I was bullied and picked on a lot and not just by the kids at school.  Mostly it was because of my weight but a lot of it was also because I didn’t necessarily fit in with the other kids at school.  I was always a creative, artsy, type and most of the kids didn’t really understand me.  I had hoped that when I had a child that the bullying would skip over her and that she would not have to endure that kind of hell.  Unfortunately kids have not changed much since I was little, in fact, they’ve only gotten worse. 

Seeing the bullying that goes on in today’s society makes what I went through (at least by the kids at school anyway) look like it was nothing.  Kids now just really like to humiliate other kids that have even the slightest appearance of a weakness or a difference.  They don’t stop at just hurtful and derogatory words, they are getting physical and their attitude is nonchalant about anyone else’s feelings but their own.  The kids in my daughters class literally make me want to forget that I am a Christian because when I see how they act I want to shake them and ask them what their problem is.  They are bullies and they are proud of it. 

I started thinking about what I could do to change things if I was in the position that I had planned on being by now.  If I were someone like Oprah or Lady GaGa, with their money, their prestige, and their power (in a sense) just imagine what I could do as far as taking a stand against the bullying that is relentless in schools today.  But when I watched Oprah’s next chapter last night, which was a special on Lady GaGa and her Born This Way Foundation (fighting against bullying), I realized that someone without all of that money, prestige, and power, can still be effective right where they live.  

I started to realize, with all of the bullying that is getting worse as the years go on, and the kids who are literally pushed so far that they sometimes take their own life, it doesn’t matter who is taking a stand as long as someone takes one.  Just as I am sure that Lady GaGa and Oprah never set out to be an activist of any kind, I am also sure that the experiences that they went through in their youth were somehow, even then, preparing them for that exact journey.  

I myself would have never thought that there would be anything good that could’ve possibly come from my childhood experiences.  However, I am starting to feel something inside me that is pulling me in the direction of using those experiences to take a stand against bullying.  I may not be able to reach people on a national level but I most certainly think that there has to be something that I can do, or get the right people to do, for the schools in my immediate area (starting with my daughter’s school).  

I’m no Oprah or Lady GaGa, but I am me and I think that if I wait until I am in the position that they are in (because I do believe I will get there someday in the near future) that it may just be too late (especially for my own daughter).  I think that I want to start looking into the ways that ordinary people like me can do something about this epidemic (because that’s what it’s becoming).  Who knew that I would ever want to be an activist of any kind?  I guess sometimes those childhood traumas you thought you would never get past can be used to help prevent someone else from going through the same kind of pain that you did. 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

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What We Take Away From Our Childhood

This is going to be short (I hope) but I felt that I needed to share this today.  I was talking to Ms. L. earlier today and we were talking about (in short) expectations and what we will and will not accept from people, or as far as standards, period.  I had an epiphany in the middle of the conversation and it was something that I had always known deep down inside but had never brought myself to say out loud where someone else would actually hear it.  Now I don’t want to get too far into detail because it’s a little too personal but it had to do with things that were carried over from my childhood.  

Parents we must watch what we say to our children, but more importantly, what we don’t say to them.  I hear and read stories about children being bullied in schools, young girls becoming promiscuous, or children just acting like they have no respect for any adult, and when you actually listen to what they have to say you realize that the shortcomings are sometimes within the parents.  In my conversation with Ms. L I remembered about all of the things that my mother said to me and mostly what she didn’t say to me.  Those words, and those lack of words still live deeply within me today and they have affected my choices and my decisions and sometimes the rough situations I found myself in were a result of what I wasn’t told and shown when I was younger.  

I know we teach our children to be independent and that the belief has to come from them that they are smart, and beautiful, and that they are worth more than the hand they are sometimes dealt, and that they don’t have to just settle for what seems to be okay when they could have better.  But children need to be told this, and they need to be told constantly because it stays with them.  How many times do you hear when someone tells you they are the way they are because that’s what they were taught and brought up to know and do.  Now when they are speaking of something good and respectable we congratulate their upbringing, but we forget that that answer applies to those that do things that are not respectable as well.  

The children out here being bullied by other, or worse, bullying others and being promiscuous and disrespectful are doing what they are taught, and what was instilled in them somewhere.  Either they aren’t being told that they deserve better or they aren’t being made to believe it.  Our childhood does stick with us into our adulthood and while you quite possibly should leave some childish things in the past, the things that are ingrained in you, they stick, whether we want them to or not.  That’s my thought for today and I hope that someone gets something out of this.  Until tomorrow…Let your children know that they are worth, and deserve the very best! 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

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