March 2nd, 2008
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Categories: Behaviors


Hurt people hurt people. Humiliated people humiliate people, the folks that have mistreated you so badly often seem to be the ones that need you the most sometime later in your life.

Simple concepts today from church that I’ve thought about all afternoon while planting beets and carrots. One son and I talked about it a good bit while he turned over a garden bed for me, his strength can drive that shovel through the clay soil faster than I could ever dream of accomplishing.

He’s sixteen and has been through the wringer during the last four years. Several out-of-home placements including stints at juvenile facilities, a ranch and an outdoor therapeutic wilderness program have changed him for the better. Now he appreciates us as his family, heck it’s been nearly eight years that he’s been mine, it’s about time. He’s glad to be home but is still in therapy and involved with the Department of Juvenile Justice.

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He’d been deeply hurt in his childhood, first by his birth parents and their violence, neglect and empty promises, later by the foster care system, he certainly had no intention originally of ever trusting me.
Instead this hurt person tried to hurt people for many years. It’s been a fairly common event around here as most of my children were badly hurt before they came here and definitely unwilling to trust me.

I was reading this story which opened my eyes to view the common situations through experienced eyes.

Eventually I’ve found that the hurt dissipates but it sure has taken my children a very long time. There comes a point when the pain dims, the laughter takes over and they find themselves reaching out for hugs instead of violently pushing me away.

Now, some 20 years later in this journey, I’m starting to see a very dim light way far off at the end of an imaginary tunnel. My children now aren’t so hurt, they’ve morphed into normalness slowly, but we still have a way to go. It’s easier however now that I’ve had a taste of progress.

Photo Credit Cindy Bodie

3 Responses to “Hurt People Hurt People”

  1. Julia Fuller says:

    Thanks for the pep talk Cindy. We all need it sometimes, especially when we’re still in the trenches.

  2. condo-mom says:

    I passed along the story you refer to (about “Manny”) to friends fostering 2 sibs. After almost a year in the home, the kids call their foster parents “Mr. D” and Mrs. G”. Culturally many adults here go by Aunty and Uncle when relating to children, so Mr. and Mrs. is a bit odd. But my friends are patient and see small steps in building trust with the kids. What struck me in the above story was the length of time (age 8 to 14) that transpired before the writer says he “realized adoption was a possibility.” Maybe there was some unavoidable reason for that kind of delay, but I sure hope permanency comes a LOT sooner for most kids !! If it’s going to take them years to recover from (or learn to live with) their early hurts and truly trust their family, leaving them in limbo can’t be helping. — Rachel

  3. forevermommy says:

    As adoptive mom to two kiddos who were 5 and 13 when theyw ere adopted, I was always looking for a book, or something, that would help my kids through some of the rough times (me too, for that matter). That was before Blogs and such…but now I have found a great book for the kids…Called “I Am Adopted” through Tate publishing. Our family has been through a lot of the tough feelings and problems you have talked about, and we have come through with flying colors. I hope this book can help someone.

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