of all wanted to thank you for your excellent website. It is of great use to
those suffering from psychological disorders and indeed for the rest of us.
You have done the Church and Catholic doctors a great service. One thing I did
notice was that the tone of certain articles, e.g.
sending yourself to hell,
could be perhaps over severe for many patients suffering from low self-esteem
to the point of exacerbating the condition, since they are unable to approach
the article in a neutral way. Just a thought. But, overall, thank you for your
website. The Lord will reward you and may your good work continue!
he greatest problem with the
Church today is that people avoid speaking the truth about the faith because
they fear offending someone. Christ was killed because
He spoke the truth and offended the Pharisees, but do we see a lesson in this
for us? Well, if we did, we wouldn’t have so many individuals, from popes, bishops,
and priests to religious education teachers to parents, all cowering in fear of
the Cross itself.
So, what is the truth about
Low self-esteem results when
children who are raised in dysfunctional families
deny the truth about their parents. Wounded and traumatized
by abuse or neglect, emotional
dishonesty, hypocrisy, manipulation, and family game-playing, children
have a clear idea of the truth but are too terrified to admit it to
themselves. They circle around it like a moth around a flame, but the
terror is overwhelming. “My parents don’t love me.”
Those words are terrible. To say the words seems like death itself.
To hide the truth, children
deny their emotional pain, make excuses for their parents, and then blame
themselves. “There must be something wrong with me. That’s why everyone treats
me so miserably. It’s all my fault.”
A deep fear that often
lurks behind the fear of admitting that “my parents don’t love me” is the fear that if
you admit the truth about the lack of your parents’ love you will condemn your
parents to hell. But no one can condemn someone to hell; when souls end up in hell
it’s only because they have sent themselves there of their own free will in refusing
to admit their own sins, repent them, and turn to God for mercy.
Wanting to be
Deep in their hearts they want
to be loved, but they don’t have a teacher or mentor explaining what is
happening to them. So they take up an impossible task: to
make their parents love them. “Maybe if I can tell my parents how miserable
I am, then maybe they will love me.” But because their parents never taught them how
to talk honestly about themselves, they act out
their pain, rather than speak it, hoping that someone will notice their
wretched behavior and in turn notice how miserable
they are feeling.
So the children act out. Some
throw themselves into study to hide their pain, but for many others, their
grades in school drop. Some smoke cigarettes.
Some drink alcohol. Some use marijuana. Some become
overweight. Some dress immodestly.
Some defile their bodies with tattoos and piercings. Some
defile their souls with sexual perversions. Some allow their
physical and mental health to degenerate. Some reject the
Church. They all scoff at authority. They’re all lost in pain, lost in confusion,
and lost in an empty desperation for love. They will do
anything it takes to make someone notice them. They will even send themselves to
hell if only then their parents would say, “I’m sorry. I failed you. Come back to me,
and I will do anything it takes to learn how to love.”
But rarely do parents say they
are sorry—at least from the heart as an expression of true
sorrow for their sins.
The Real Hell
So what happens to the children?
Well, if no one tells them the truth about their behavior, their imprudent
attempts to send themselves to hell will actually send them to hell—the real
hell. And then they will be really lost. Their life-long
success at failing will be supremely manifest.
Low self-esteem, therefore, isn’t
something that should cause us to walk on egg shells for fear of
exacerbating it. It’s something—like sin itself—that we
should speak the truth about, in the hope of healing it,
before it’s too late.
Anxiety about sending yourself to hell
Blind to your own anger
What is anger without sin?
A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information
gathered from my websites (including this webpage) is now available at your fingertips
in book form.
Falling Families, Fallen Children by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. Do
our children see a mother and a father both living in contemplative love for
God with a constant awareness of His presence and engaged in an all-out battle
with the evil of the world? More often than not our children don’t see living
faith. They don’t see protection from evil. They don’t see genuine, fruitful
devotion. They don’t see genuine love for God. Instead, they see our external
acts of devotion as meaningless because they see all the other things we do that
contradict the true faith. Thus we lose credibility—and when parents lose credibility,
children become cynical and angry and turn to the social world around them for
identity and acceptance. They are children who have more concern for social approval
than for loving God. They are fallen children. Let’s bring them back.