Sometimes I feel guilty for the life I have. I feel awful for all the children who suffered in their childhood and never really made it out. Even the ones who survived often face a life of struggles, crafted by their beginning.
So many of them get lost in a system designed to teach them they will never be enough. They grow up to be dependant on drugs or alcohol. They grow up alone. They don’t know what it is to be happy. Even as an adult they are still just surviving.
On average one child a week in the uk dies from abuse, neglect or intent. With child homicides most often perpetrated my a parent or step parent.
I always struggle to see those headlines. I force myself to read them believing that if we ignore it or turn away we are part of the problem. And everyone is like torture. I feel heartbroken for the children, for the lives they must have know and the ones they never will.
I am reminded of how close I came to being that statistic. Heartbeats away from an outcome I could never come back from.
And recently I have released there is another feeling rumbling away in the background. I feel guilty. I feel awful that I got out. I feel awful I found happiness. Why was I lucky enough to have all of this.
I am so grateful for my life now. I am grateful for so many things, my wonderful job and the opportunities it enables, my wonderful family and friends, and the warmth and love they share. My home and its welcoming embrace.
I recognise that I have so much of an amazing life. Most of these children wont even dream of a life like mine. For them the dream of these things is a nightmare, a torment of something they believe they can never have. They turn away from it all. The only future they can imagine is the one where they continue on the path set out by others. That’s as good as it gets.
I was lucky in so many ways… the moments on my path someone threw me a line, kept me afloat, aided me enough that I kept my head above water.
The opportunities the world loudly offered me that I didn’t accidentally pass by.
I managed to save that tiny essence of myself throughout it all. And that spark was enough to ignite so many fires.
For so many children, people weren’t there for them, at least not often enough to make the difference. The opportunities silently passed them by and their spark was extinguished in the persistent torrent of abuse.
I have no idea why I managed it. How I still manage it, I am so grateful I do and I so wish more children could have the futures they deserve.
The next time you see someone behaving aggressively, looking dishevelled or drunk, before you judge ask yourself do I have any idea what their childhood was like?
These people probably grew up afraid of the people who should have loved them,with no safe place to go. They learnt that they were the problem, they were worthless. They were conditioned to believe they had no hope. I certainly understand how easy it is to get stuck in that place, even if the world changes around you, who you believe you are stays.