One child won’t change the world, but for that one child,
His world changed, then changed again.
…It was the mid fifties.
A teenage girl became pregnant. This was not an acceptable situation for a single girl and her family, in the country where they lived. The stigma on their reputation would be untenable.
A precious baby boy was born to this poor unmarried mother. There were no celebrations, greeting cards or gifts from family and friends to welcome this baby into the world. Messages of congratulations to the new parents didn’t spread amongst the neighbourhood where they lived. No other choice was afforded to this young mother, other than to hand her baby boy over to the local authority to wait for adoption.
The grief in her heart must have sobbed violently, though quietly, as she hugged her son for the final time. She gave him his first kiss, her breath was the first scent to fill his nostrils. It was her gaze he first looked into when he opened his brand new eyes for the first time, as she named him Kenneth Theodore.
Kenneth means ‘Handsome’, ‘Born of fire,’ Theodore means ‘Gift of God’
She gave him very strong names, every time he heard them, he would hear “You are Handsome” “You are a born of fire” “You are a Gift of God.”
He was set up to survive a hostile world because these great names of strength and surety would fill his mind moment by moment. Every day he would hear that he was handsome, that he was born of fire, and was a gift from God. The mother, who painfully bore and birthed him, blessed him by name. Then as a penalty for her moment of unrestrained and extravagant intimacy, relinquished her rights over her baby boy for the sake of honour and repute.
He was taken from his mothers’ arms, the most important person in his life. It was she who was equipped with everything necessary to provide for his wellbeing. The one important nurturer, who he needed for consistency, to form his first and most crucial attachment. The person who should have shaped and secured all his future relationships, was gone, as if vaporised from his life.
Handsome would never remember her, or anything about her. He wouldn’t recall the abandonment or how he felt to be in an unfamiliar environment, with strangers.
Unaware of the severity of his woeful plight he would attempt to make that one vital attachment through communication as an infant child would. Then another child, possibly an older, more persistent baby would cry louder for longer, so he would be overlooked again for possibly the ninth or tenth time that day.
The instinct of the child was seeking for what he was genetically designed to need for his healthy cognitive development. When a child is continually, or overly exposed to stress it causes physiological alterations, that affect the development of the brain. In other words they trigger a malfunction that damages the potential of mental and emotional wellbeing. The calm composure of consistent regular attachment provided through a mothers or a specific others love, along with food, warmth, eye contact and affectionate touch are profoundly significant in a child’s most early days, weeks and months. If these neurological routes have been disturbed in some way, distress will be created in the emotional core of the brain that can then be affiliated to mental health problems as an adult, potentially causing Dissociative and other similar Disorders.
Maternal and paternal instinct does not come naturally to all parents for varying reasons. It is a powerful force in most parents of new borns, the strong natural desire that doesn’t need to be taught. To want to hold their baby close, and gaze into their eyes for a length of time that cannot be measured. To scoop them up in their arms for comfort, to reassure and console them to nestle in closer. Also just for the sheer joy and playful pleasure of watching them look down with trust and security as they’re held high above the head, safe in the arms of the ones who are their first and most pivotal attachment.
Kenneth, the wonderful Gift of God would possibly have cried out with his natural desire for emotional comfort for a few days. To possibly strive for two or three weeks, then would give up in his attempts to capture comfort. The deprived empty void was formed in his mind, where there should have been the psychological features, forming pathological circuits in his brain, that would become habitual sequences required for healthy attachments. All the solace he needed for his moral and emotional strength as nature had intended for his sound security, was lost with his estranged mother.
Doubt, miss trust, isolation and insecurity were established as burial chambers in its place. Infertile to any future growth from seeds of future attachments. The unintentional damage had been done.
It is my very personal subjective opinion, due to my observations of children from troubled life experiences in their early childhood. Females broadly speaking, survive stronger than males. Females talk, they are in the main, more open to embrace help and support and will persist in pushing the boundaries until they get what they need. Males are generally more inclined to independence and apathy. Pride can be a very strong defence to anything that may be interpreted as weakness. Of course there are many surviving males and many despairing females. It has to be recognised the historical trend that inherently men and women were shaped very differently in the long ago past. Little girls would be hugged and comforted when upset, but boys would be scolded for crying. The cries of a cute curly haired little girl would not be ignored. The demand to be gathered up in the arms of her carer outweighed the needs of an infant boy who looked on with a yearning for the same meaningful touch. The culture has changed remarkably in todays attitudes to mental wellbeing. Recognising emotional literacy needs to be taught, modelled and encouraged broadly across both genders. The importance for boys as well as girls to be able to express pain when hurt, then expect and be naturally willing to be cared for and comforted, is pivotal to emotional health.
Contrary to the theories that conditioned our culture in the early to middle 1900’s that hugs, tenderness and affection created weakness, was distinctly the physical language that makes us mentally and emotionally secure, strong and resilient.
Is this the reason why women tend to be emotionally stronger?
Kenneth was not alone. Thousands of babies found themselves subjects of similar or even worse situations. Today they are possibly among our failing parents. They’re our broken relationships, our lawbreakers and victims of addictions. Those who commit violence against others and self harm to their own bodies. Tragically some are convinced the only answer is the extreme act of suicide.
Sadly yesterday’s damage is done, set up to do its worst tomorrow.
There was a remarkable married couple, who were childless. They made inquiries about adoption, their request was to adopt a baby boy. Soon the good news they hoped for came; there was a baby boy, from a background of well standing. His name was Handsome, born of fire and Gift of God, in lesser words, Kenneth Theodore.
At five months old the handsome, born of fire, gift of God, Kenneth, was adopted and placed legally into the care of a loving Christian couple.
This innocent child of only a few months old was reborn and renamed by adoption into his third attempt to begin his life. He was delivered into the care of those who would be his kind, loving and wonderful mother and father for the rest of their lives.
Research proves that the mind has its own memory. Everything that happens to us and everything we do from the moment our hearts beat, is stored in a memory bank of its own. It will all be remembered in our subconscious mind, and carry significance through our entire lives, both the pleasures and the pains. In his subconscious mind Kenneth will not be forgotten, neither will his birth mother along with all the rest prior to his adoption. There is hope of restoring secure mental and emotional health from former damage, It would require the purposeful intention of parents and carers to realign the young mind with many healthy strong and consistent attachments. For an older child such as a teenager they would need to learn healthy coping strategies, that subsequently correct the neurological circuits in the brain required for their stable mental and emotional well being and attachments.
As an adult the ‘Handsome Gift of Fire’ would be very generous with his sincere praise and appreciation for his parents who showered him with encouragement. He boasts of the love they gave and sacrifices they made for him. And rightly so, they were wonderful parents, who loved him unconditionally.
At seventeen, and with his full agreement, Handsome found himself bereft of his mother, again, and in the care of more strangers. Did this arouse and unsettle the deep tangible memories in his subconscious mind and the echoes of a baby’s cry, from the long ago newborn? He did not cry to be held, or need to feel the warmth of comfort from a nurturing attachment this time. He wasn’t a dependent infant now. He could go and get whatever he needed to fill the empty void of loss and loneliness. He couldn’t have recognised that his mental health was scarred and disabled from unknowing neglect. It would be decades later when he would discover where his problems began, through no ones fault especially his own.
As a young adult living in a large city, there were many places he could go to find satisfaction for the anxious yearning within. Easy access to top shelf magazines full with adverts of those all too willing to console with pleasurable sexual brief encounters, to then walk away. Leaving him emptier than ever!
At the age of sexualisation, which varies for each person, it is critical that the first experience is for the right reasons. It is so euphoric, it releases the desire for more, invariably the need will return to where it first sought fulfilment. I have suspicions that there are some undisclosed events around this time frame of his life that made room for his addictive flaw.
Very soon he had found a career he loved in the Fire Service.
The baby born of Fire became a Fire Fighter.
These were some of the happiest years of his life; he would talk of his fireman friends with fondness as though he had found another family and another world he was mutually connected to.
Surreptitiously, the lurking prowler was skulking in the shadows. The Grey opposition of grave destruction, who would eventually peel away his character, repress his humour, while stripping him down till only a carcass was left!
My husband told me the following events. As an experienced Fire Fighter, the bells rang and off the Green Watch went to fight the flames in a two-story house. A person was seen in the upstairs window. Up the ladder he went, without thought for his own safety, along with a colleague. Flames licked up the steel ladder, burning through his gloves causing third degree burns to the palms of his hands.
One after the other they jumped through the bedroom window, hitting the floor. At the same time a ball of fire engulfed the room. It headed for the window that a split second before they had jumped through. They had survived a Flashover. With third degree burns that took the palms of his hands. His helmet had melted into his face. He suffered burns to his ears. The two fire fighters were rushed to hospital. Remarkably the one I was to fall in love with told me he left the hospital within five days. New skin began to appear on the palms of his hands the day after the fire. His healing was miraculous; he needed no skin grafts and has no scars. The new flesh that had grown on his palms was as soft as a newborn babies. After a few weeks of convalescence, he returned to fight fires and save lives. He was presented with an award for his bravery.
He knew he could have died in that fire. He made his peace with God then shortly afterwards left his loved career, to follow a strong spiritual call to Preach the Gospel.
The infant ‘Born of Fire’ was born into Gods family through ‘Fire!’
Should you recognise yourself or someone close to you as a possible victim of neglect. Talk to someone you know will support you. Your GP will refer you for counselling, through which the counsellor can assess your mental and emotional well being. You may have no idea that an early life trauma has affected you, but you will possibly find things begin to make sense. Why you react the way you do and other mysteries about some of your personality traits that don’t appear rational will have a foundation of reason.
Talk to me, i am more than willing to help and support you.