Start Fresh

9 May

I just finished President Clinton’s book, My Life. I also visited Clinton’s Library in Little Rock a few weeks back. William (Bill) was born in 46′ without a father. While his mother was pregnant with him, his father was traveling from Chicago to Hope, AR to bring her back to Chicago so they could start their life together after WWII. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident and never made it back to Hope and never got to meet and raise his son.

Virginia, Bill’s mother could have gave up (she was only 23) but she didn’t. She returned to nursing school in New Orleans so she could support her son. While she was away, her parents looked after young Bill. Clinton believes that a child needs to feel like the most important person in the world and that he or she really matters (he defined what self worth is). Of course, the parent is supposed to provide that, and Clinton felt like he got that from his mother and his grandparents.

Virginia married again when Bill was 8. Bill’s new dad was a drunk and was abusive to Virginia. Even though this new dad was a negative force in family, Bill accepted and bonded with him. Clinton would say later that he always lived two parallel lives. His outside life that he loved: friends and school but then his inside life: the abuse that was going on in the home. I believe that by living this way, Clinton was able to survive and thrive even though it wasn’t easy.

When Bill was about 14, he came across Roger Clinton beating his mother. Bill threatened to hit his “daddy” with a baseball bat and Roger stopped. Clinton would go through life as a peaceful man but when he was threatened, he would stand up for himself and his beliefs like he did when the Republicans were trying to slash Medicare and other social programs during 95′ which led ‘t to a government shut down. Clinton won that fight too which led to American enjoying seven years of prosperity.

When Bill was in high school, his mother took Bill and his half-brother, Roger Jr. away from their “daddy” because she was tired of the abuse and his alcoholic behavior. Bill’s “daddy” pleaded with Bill to convince him to help him win his mother back. Bill didn’t get involved and his mother gave in and took the drunk and abuser back.

Clinton, of course went on to be very successful in public service because he didn’t allow his negative “home life” hold him back. He is one of the fortunate ones. Clinton didn’t allow his well being to be dependent on his parents. He defined his own well being. But for those who aren’t so fortunate, and haven’t done as well as you planned in life because of your “home life” there is a way out.

First, you have to really acknowledge what happened in your childhood and stop taking responsibility for it. It is not yours, it is your parent(s). Second, you have to work through the pain and the feelings of your childhood and then share that with your parent(s). You can use the 4-step process (borrowed from the book, Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward):

In a letter or face-to-face with your parent(s), share with them:

1) This what you did to me.

2) This is how I felt about it at the time.

3) This is how it affected my life.

4) This what I want from you now.

By working through this process you can start fresh in your relationship with your parent(s) and start fresh by defining who you are and where you want to go next in your life. I wish you well…


2 Responses to “Start Fresh”

  1. Jan & Keith Exum May 18, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    We finally logged in to read your blog. We met you while we were having lunch at the Clinton Library outside on the patio and enjoyed our “visit.”

    • lifechangecounseling May 18, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      Thanks so much for checking my blog out. I have been looking for you since we met.

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