On one side of the spectrum, there are people who had a childhood where most of their needs were met, and on the other side, there are others who had a childhood where the majority of their needs were ignored. And in the middle of these two extremes will be people who would have had moments where their needs were met and moment’s when they were overlooked.
This is just a rough guide, but what it shows is that not everyone on this planet has the same kind of experiences during the beginning of their life. However, while what happened during these early years can have a big impact on the kind of person someone will become; how they responded to what took place will also have an effect.
There are plenty of examples of people who have a good upbringing (or at least appear to), who end up going down the wrong path, so to speak. In this case, it could be said that their childhood years had very little effect on them, or it could be a sign that something is being overlooked.
On the other hand, someone’s upbringing can be less-than nurturing and yet, they can end up rising above it. When this happens, it could be said that one’s inner strength has enabled them to move forward.
However, humans beings are all different, and while certain reasons can be put forward as to why some people rise up after a bad start to life and some people don’t, it is not possible to explain everything. What can make a big difference is if someone had at least one person around during their early years who affirmed them.
Through being in their presence, they would have been able to realise that they are valuable, and it would have opened their mind to the fact that not everyone is the same. A seed of hope would then have been planted, and as a result of this, it would have been possible for them to experience life differently.
They may also have needed to reach out for support, and it is unlikely that this support would have come from within the family. And if they did have someone who affirmed them, they may have only have been able to do so much.
One may have looked towards their friends and/or they might have been drawn towards other sources. They may have started readings books on how to heal their past, and this might have also included working with therapists and/or spending time in support groups.
If one did experience some kind of abuse and they were able to work through it with their caregivers, for instance, it might have lessened their need to look outside their family for support. This would then have not only saved them a lot of time, effort and money, it would have also stopped them from experiencing as much pain.
In The Past
In today’s world, someone can go onto the internet if they need support, and while the support they receive here is not always going to be enough, this option wasn’t available in the past. This is one reason why it could be said that it can be easier for someone to move on from a less-than nurturing childhood than it was in the past.
Also, there is a greater awareness in today’s world when it comes to what is acceptable and what isn’t in regards to how a child should be treated. For example, what is classed as abuse today was often seen as normal parenting in the past.
Without there being the same support outside of the family and as abuse was more acceptable in the past, there would have been a greater need for someone to overlook what was taking place. When someone perceives something as normal it might not matter how painful it is, and this is because it is just how life is.
As the years have passed and there is now greater awareness around what is acceptable and what isn’t (when it comes to raising children), there is more information available to assist people in moving beyond a less-than nurturing childhood.
However, even though someone was abused, it doesn’t mean they will realise this. Instead, they might just be in a position where they have mental and emotional problems, or they may struggle to when it comes to experiencing self-confidence, for instance.
How they experience life can then be what is ‘normal’, and they are going to be drawn to things that will allow them to experience life differently and to feel better. This may mean that one is drawn to certain books and/or audio books, or they might go from one course to another.
Fulfilling a Need
It would be inaccurate to say that everyone who is into self development was abused, but it is clear to see that it is fulfilling a need. And if one’s childhood was a time where their needs were rarely, if ever met, they can end up having the need to do something about what happened.
One option will be for them to ‘develop themselves’, and this is then another example of what can happen when someone is unable to be supported by the people around them. This absence is then what drives them to look towards people on the outside to assist them with their struggles.
This also comes down to the fact that there has been a breakdown in the family unit. And even if someone was not brought up in a family that was abusive, it might have been a time when they were neglected.
One was then not harmed through what did happen, they were harmed as a result of what they didn’t happen, and this is another form of abuse. If one did have a less-than nurturing childhood, it is important for them to reach out and not to suffer in silence.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.