“You can look at your past, recognize the noise and how it is holding you back, and choose to go a different way. But you can’t live your life looking in the rearview mirror to see who you are. Look yourself straight in the eye. That’s the real you. You get to decided what comes next. Stop getting in your own way, and stop telling yourself you can’t. Because you can.” – Bethenny Frankel
1) Being Gay
As early as I can remember, I recall thinking: I’m going to hell because I’m gay. What horrible thoughts for a child to have; to be in constant fear of eternal damnation. Now this thought wasn’t imposed on me by any particular person, just religion in general. Even though my childhood religion (southern Baptist) may seem adverse, I’m very thankful for it. I loved going to church with my family and having something to believe in. It wasn’t until I left my wife, approximately 4 years ago, that I decided I’d probably come out of the closet. That is when I decided that any 4 year old should not fret about heaven or hell. I determined that it was okay that I worried about homosexuality as a child, but will no longer let the thoughts control me. I am who I am. I literally was born this way. I released this childhood noise.
2) Being Epileptic
This was sort of beyond my control, but looking back over my childhood, caused me a lot of anxiety. I remember never being able to sleep, and now I can recognize that it was because I was scared to. I always had my seizures while sleeping and as a result my mind wouldn’t let me go to sleep. It sounds silly, but sleep is one of the most important things you achieve, for a healthy life style, ESPECIALLY as a child. Although, I was scared of sleeping and hated spending time in the hospital (which i did), I got some great memories from being epileptic. I remember my mom always bringing me chocolate milk before bedtime, and letting me watch I Love Lucy, until my eyes couldn’t stay open. I also remember my dad always taking me to McDonald’s after I’d get blood work done. Those are some of the best memories I have with my parents, and as Bethenny says, “Take the good and leave the bad.” That is what I’ll choose to take, the memories.
3) Being Dyslexic
This is something I still, technically, struggle with, but I’ve definitely overcome it. I remember feeling so different and slow as a child. Honestly, I felt stupid almost everyday. I had no self confidence due to dyslexia and had no idea how to get it. I didn’t read my first book until after I graduated with my undergraduate degree. How ridiculous is that?! I remember telling my dear friend, Erin, about 2 years ago, “that if you read more, the better your reading comprehension gets.” That may have been something everyone else learned in the 5th grade, but I guess I’m a late bloomer. Oh well, being dyslexic has made me a harder worker and I’m proud of that. It is possibly one of the main reasons I’m so driven now? I choose to take the skills I learned because I had to study harder, and leave the feeling of being stupid.
I feel confident that I’ve overcome most of my childhood noise. It has made me a better and more productive person. What is some of your childhood noise and how are you coping with it?