This Lady Called Life is a recent release on Netflix. It had such amazing reviews that I decided that it would be great if I watched it too. In the movie where the main cast is Bisola, we see how the story is told of a woman who strives to make something of herself regardless of what her parent (in this case, her mother) has told her to believe of herself. With the use of flashbacks, we see how as a growing child, this woman felt unloved and unwanted by her mother to the extent that her mother threw her out of the house when she got pregnant while in the university.
I couldn’t help but feel emotional at the scenes of verbal abuse in the film and how the mother ridiculed her daughter so much that she felt worthless. So worthless that she didn’t have the zeal to pursue her career, accept love, or believe in herself. As toddlers, the words and feelings our parents express towards us go a long way in shaping our psyche and making us feel capable or terrible with ourselves. We often “bant” on Twitter or create jokes about how the typical African parent shows little to no signs of affection and is ready to cuss us out at every slight provocation. While I am glad that some of us turned out okay, after watching the film, I can’t help but wonder if a lot of individuals out there had to the way did or even worse.
I also remember a conversation with my friend on how his father was also verbally abusive to him. How he was described in words and sentences like, “useless”, “you will never make it”, or “you don’t know anything.” Etc. This friend also told me how words like that would go a long way to him not believing that he could succeed or make anything out of himself. To date, he still struggles with the voice in his head that tells him he has no worth.
It’s really sad to have to go through that but here are a few tips to help you if you were raised by a verbally abusive parent.
You never know the damage done to you during those formative years until you are much older and experience challenges in your personal and public. It might be hard to let yourself enjoy kindness or form attachment. Knowing that you need professional help and seeking it for yourself will help you undo the challenges caused by the trauma.
Stand up for yourself
It might take years but it advisable to do this when you most feel ready. Speak on how they have hurt you in the past and how. They might not necessarily ask for your forgiveness (don’t expect that) just focus on letting things out of your chest to feel lighter.
You might not think that you are deserving of love because you didn’t get it from the people who should have first given it to you. But as you grow older, you need to learn to treat yourself with love and an extra measure of love.