Children and Parenting
Ian Winer is an investor, philosopher, humanitarian, writer and public speaker who connects people to the truth of market places and human behavior. Ian is the author of the book, Ubiquitous Relativity: My Truth is Not the Truth. A regular contributor to CNBC, Fox Business, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Reuters, to name just a few, he is known for seeking connections through non consensus thinking and making it relatable to everyone.
As a victim of abuse, I tried every method I could think of to move forward in life, but they all failed. That is, until I accepted a world of Ubiquitous Relativity, and I finally found a way to rise from the ashes.
Like too many other young children, I was the victim of constant physical and verbal abuse from a very young age. This lasted until I left my house at sixteen years old. For most of my life, I believed not only that I deserved the abuse from my parents, but also that any major successes I have ever had were because of the abuse. I was so afraid to remember the abuse that I had drawn a causal relationship between the beatings and the moments in my life where I felt the most pride. Defense mechanisms come in many shapes and forms, and my defense was to blame myself for the abuse and justify it as fair punishment. Like many coping methods, it worked until it didnâ€™t. As I grew older and moved further away from the actual abuse, I coped by laughing about the torment with my two younger brothers. Although I knew the crimes were real, I still searched for ways to excuse the criminals. I considered pardoning my parentsâ€™ behavior, just like a court might judge someone too insane to stand trial. I thought, clearly they are mentally ill, because no sane person would treat their children this way. By my mid-twenties, I had turned to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate any pain I still carried with me from my childhood. I walked through life in a fog that never moved out to sea. I yearned for total control of everything and everyone around me, because as a child that had been the only way I could avoid a beating. I still got chills if anyone even touched me on the back of my neck or shoulders. I carried the burden of abuse in everything. I spent my entire existence living in fear. I finally realized that the brutality I experienced as a young child was not funny. My parentsâ€™ actions could not simply be excused as insanity. Their tepid remorse â€“ essentially paying lip service to their theft of my youth â€“ was no longer enough for me. I concluded that the only way for me to begin to recover was to confront my mother and father. My parents needed to know the truth. They had to understand that I remembered every detail of the abuse, and that â€“ no matter how much they skirt around the past â€“ I would not allow them to keep living in blissful ignorance. As I prepared to visit each of them for what I thought would surely be a climactic and cathartic experience, I awoke one night with an awful thought: what if telling my parents the truth was really only telling them my truth? Could it be possible that their truths were actually very different than mine? I tried to reassure myself that they would certainly acknowledge the facts as I knew them â€“ but no matter how many hours I spent trying to convince myself, I was no longer even remotely confident in that belief. In fact, the only conclusions I could make about their truths were that a) I did not know what they were, and b) It was next-to-impossible that they would be the same as mine. My hopes for a moment of lucidity with each of my parents faded away. Wouldnâ€™t it be inconsistent to say that each person lives in his or her own universe â€“ but to have a different standard for my parents? Could I logically claim that each person has their own truth â€“ except for my parents, who need to have my truth when we remember the abuse? If I answer these questions honestly, then I have to admit that my plans for this meeting with my mom and dad were at odds with my own philosophy. I struggle with this to this very moment. I believe absolutely in this philosophy of Ubiquitous Relativity, yet I want my parents to agree to my version of every event in my childhood. I know in my heart that â€“ as much as it pains me to admit â€“ their truths will be different than my truth.
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