I hated Me.
I grew up hating everything about me.
I created Warrior Kids, a self-control and social skills programme for children and teens at the age of 22. I became an author, a speaker. These achievements didn’t originate from confidence though. They came from a desperate need for acceptance and approval. I was desperate to justify my existence with purpose. I was apologetic for being alive.
My mother couldn’t stand the sight of me. For her and Dad, I was the reminder of the abuse and violence that they had suffered. The part of themselves that they couldn’t accept. Rather than seeing that as their problem, I sought power in believing that it was me. Power in the sense that I could change into someone that they could love.
I strived to be someone who was deserving and worthy of life. I was out to prove to the world that I was a good man. That I wasn’t the rape that I was born from. That I wasn’t the violence and abuse that I had endured. That I was more than the shame, guilt and self-loathing I carried. Monster, evil, loser were names I grew up with.
I broke the generational cycle of violence and abuse. Warrior Kids became renowned, I won awards for my books and work. Hero and inspirational were words people used to describe me now. However my parent’s view of me didn’t change. They still can’t be near me. And that’s okay. I love them.
What did change though is how I see myself. The shame and guilt were never mine to carry. I found approval and acceptance within. I found love within. No achievements or status required. I am enough just as I am.
This blog was first published on Facebook and Linkedin August 2, 2021.
Copyright© Tim Tipene, 2021.
Photo from NZ Herald, 1999.