Why I am grateful for the torment I experienced in childhood

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It’s been a long time since I’ve written something, aside from my novels and fiction in general, which has truly been from the heart.  Today is a day which requires it.

On this day, I wish to express my gratitude to those everyone who has ever teased, bullied, intimidated, or otherwise wronged me emotionally or physically.

Yes, it sounds really strange, perhaps like a cry for attention.  There is, however, a definite method to my madness.  This is not, by any means, a chest-thumping session in which I say “look at me!  I’m stronger now!”  No, this is about being grateful, looking back at how far I’ve come and where, in fact, I am going.  This journey has been far from easy; packed with difficulties, hardships, and numerous points in which I wished to not only give up on the world, but actually wished take my own life. This path has had more potholes on it than a Pennsylvania interstate following spring thaw.

Why this is coming to the surface is a matter of stoking my soul to action in my writing. You see, writing comes from the heart, but the wellspring of all creativity is the soul; without a direct connection to the core of one’s essence, creativity is relegated to little more than a random smattering of things for attention’s sake.  Where creativity is born is the cohesion of randomness, which comes from a variety of factors, and all derive from our own essence.  Everyone has a creativity aspect to their soul, but it takes special tools for that aspect, that raw material, to be transformed into something which can be used to achieve amazing things.  Pain is one of the most effective tools at our disposal, and those who experienced the pain of childhood teasing and bullying for being different often are among the most creative souls in this world.

To be singled out every day for years at a time for simply being different, molds the heart and soul into something very different from the average person.  This is the fire in which my creativity was forged; the pain and anguish of fearing being teased, picked on, and bullied every day, both in and out of school, was the anvil upon which the sword of my creativity spirit was struck.  Those who inflicted this torment were the hammers and, much to the surprise of many, a rather fine blade was made.

Yet, no sword is truly powerful without tempering in fire.  My fire was the willingness to walking into this devastating furnace, day after day, for most of my childhood.  Even today, some these memories return like the hammer upon the proverbial anvil, only this time is merely to straighten the blade when it has been compromised in battle.   This fire is what creates the ability to withstand the greatest tests life can throw at you.

You see, these individuals who harmed my heart and soul were actually serving me.

Strange as it sounds, pain serves us.  Creative types tend to crave pain, and with good reason; it tests us, challenges us to push through our limits.  When faced with “no,” we redouble our efforts, and fight back with even greater desire to succeed.  This forced me to evaluate myself, doubt myself, question myself, and feel the only one who could ever change my own life was myself.

The service this did me was beyond compare.  I am capable of doing so much I never imagined possible.  Rather than simply give up when someone denies me, I evaluate to see if the situation is really serving me and, if it is, I push back with even greater force.  My own character contains a stubborn refusal to allow anyone but myself to dictate my destiny, and with that quality I have managed to forge a sword which serves many, is coveted by some, and is enjoyed personally by but a few.  For that reason, I am expressing a gratitude which, today, is in extremely short supply in this world.  Rather than begrudge those who inflicted emotional, psychological and, in some cases, physical scars upon me, I thank them.  The reason is simple – without these experiences, I wouldn’t be who I am now.

This is intended as a message to those who feel they got the best of me, or that I have never been, nor ever will be, relevant.  Moreover, it is intended as a message of hope for those who have suffered as I did; there is service being done to you in your pain and suffering, and you must find the service which you are called upon to do in this world.  This life is yours to create and shape, and no one person, aside from yourself, should ever be granted the most sovereign right one may possess; the right of dictating an individual’s destiny.  Rather than be a victim, own your pain and anguish, love it, incorporate it into your whole being, and use the sword give to you to fight the good fight, everyday.

To those who forged me through their own ignorance, anger, hatred, and desire to inflict harm, I simply say “thank you” for serving me.

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