Can you relate to Chuck? He's a caller that I featured in Bad Childhood, Good Life. Chuck felt stuck in the past, filled with pain from his childhood abuse. It was damaging the good life that he shared with his wife and children. Chuck's call is one of the best examples I have of what closure really is, so I'm sharing this excerpt with you:
Chuck: Yeah. I just can't help it. Negative thoughts come into my mind, followed by negative feelings. I had a lot of abuse in my childhood.
Dr.Laura: (intentionally not commenting on the abuse) Yes, you're right, negative thoughts and memories happily invite negative feelings to join them for cocktails. No question about that. But you can do something about that each and every time it happens!
Dr. Laura: Well, it seems to me with your health being good, your job being successful, your wife being nice, your three children being fun... you've got a lot to tap into. Am I correct in those assumptions?
Chuck: Yes, but I'm still negative – even being aware of the good things.
Dr. Laura: Okay, Chuck, close your eyes and see yourself in bed with your wife, feel her soft skin against yours, and get into the feelings of rapture when you're making love. Tell me when you're there.
Dr. Laura: Is it wonderful?
Chuck: (with enthusiasm): Oh yes!
Dr. Laura: Okay, Chuck, now close your eyes and put yourself back in that horrible place from your childhood which you still suffer from. Do not tell me what it is – just tell me when you're there.
Chuck: (moments of silence and then a strained voice): There.
Dr. Laura: Ok now I want you to shift your attention, keep your eyes closed, go back to the scene in your life today, making love to your wife, the smooth texture of her skin, the love in her lips. Can you hold onto the bad images and feelings when you do that?
Chuck: No, I can't. So, you're saying that I have to make a conscious effort? I have to break the habit of staying with the thoughts when they pop back into my mind?
Dr. Laura: You're sounding like that's a bad thing. Chuck, you have the power to shift your thoughts out of the ugly past into the beautiful present you have built. You have that power.
This very moment was the turning point for Chuck – and probably for many other listeners identifying with him. When I said “power,” I had hit the core issue for people having trouble moving away from the emotional consequences of their traumatic childhoods: the sense of powerlessness and impotency, the inability to protest or protect themselves.
Chuck: Oh my God! Power! That's amazing. You know, I've always felt that I was powerless because of what happened to me as a kid. Feeling powerless is at the center of my pain – it's been my problem.
Dr. Laura: You were powerless then, as a child; you're not powerless now, as an adult. You have the power of will to take the beauty in your life today and use that to overwhelm the thoughts and memories from yesterday. You can't be in two places at once in your mind – and Chuck, you get to choose. You have the power!
Bad Childhood, Good Life: "There is extraordinary quality of spirit that leads one to aspire to conquering rather than surviving. I hope you discover that spirit in yourself.” — Dr. Laura
The #1 national bestselling author and popular syndicated radio host shows men and women that they can have a good life no matter how much they struggled in their childhood. Bad Childhood—Good Life aims to help you accept the truth of the assault on your psyche, understand your unique coping style, how it impacts your daily thoughts and actions, and guides you into a life of more peace and happiness.
For each one of us, there is a connection between our early family experiences and our current behavior. Many of the people Dr. Laura has helped did not realize how their histories impacted their adult lives, or how their choices—even their emotional reactions—were connected to their early years, playing a major role in their current unhappiness. In this hopeful, practical guide, written in her signature straightforward style and filled with real-life examples, Dr. Laura helps readers realize that no matter what circumstances they come from or currently live in, they are each ultimately responsible for their own actions and reactions as adults. Throughout, she shows the gains to be had by not being satisfied with an identity as a victim, or even as a survivor. Instead she helps readers from all walks of life strive to be the best they can each be—a victor!
"Chris D." rates the book ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on Amazon: I really liked this book, I only read it because I was curious. As many people here, I too have had a bad childhood. Abandoned in a catholic orphanage at age 3 until 11....then in an abusive foster family. As a child I really never knew what it would be like to be loved and belong to a family. But I am now 62 and have my own family. It is amazing how wonderful my children have turned out. I have had a counselor tell me that it is not possible to have a wonderful family after a childhood like mine. But I will say "Through Him anything is possible." I have been married for 40 years. I have to say I put many of these principles from this book to work. I never had a victim mentality. I decided at 18 after I left the foster family, that I would not look back, and I am now in charge of my own life. But I was angry with God for allowing me to go through that type of childhood. Now looking back I can see how He was there for me. I will not get into detail, but the book has many good ideas that I can honestly look back and say I did that and things worked out for me. If you had a bad childhood, I would highly recommend it.
"MaijaL" rates the book ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on Amazon: I think my biggest take away from this book is that I can't wait for my feelings to change before I change my actions. Pain from a bad childhood will never truly go away. One must be resilient and choose to behave as though I have a good life, which I do, instead of ruining it by focusing on the pain of the past and waiting for my feelings to change. If I wait for my feelings to change I will only succeed at repeating history. Highly recommend.
"Kalmontanna" rates the book ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on Amazon: After reading this on Kindle, I bought 9 copies of this book for each of my brothers- that’s how good this book is! It will: hurt your feelings, make you cry, make you transcend biological relationships, have second thoughts about how you’re raising your own children, etc.
I can see why people dislike Dr. L. They’re too sensitive, prideful and or weak to help themselves and she cuts like a knife to the problem. Who has time to skirt around their problems? Get the help you need, even if it hurts. Life’s too short to be sad and depressed, unless of course you like being the victim.