Why is it that some kids endure unspeakable trauma and still become functional adults? Why is it that one child of an abusive alcoholic becomes a loving parent and another child from the same home abandons her children? Why is it that one child of a mentally ill parent spends the rest of his life in therapy and another child escapes the dysfunction?
I certainly do not know all the answers to these questions, but for me there are two main reasons.
The first and most important reason is Jesus. Because of Jesus, I knew with certainty someone loved me. Because of Jesus, I endured. Because of Jesus, in my darkest hours I could retreat to the nest in the back of my closet, curl up in His lap and cry. He cared.
The other reason is teachers. I was blessed to have teachers who knew what was happening to me and supported me through it.
When I was late to fourth grade because I had to get my little brothers and sisters to their classes and daycare, Mrs. Triplett would smile, put her hand on my shoulder, and tell me what page everyone else was already on. The smile said "You're okay. You can do this."
In sixth grade when the storm was overwhelming, Mrs. Gill pulled me aside and coached me in life skills. She taught me that, even at 12, I could chart my own course.
In high school, a Sunday school teacher prayed with me and taught me to smile no matter what.
I didn't escape unscathed, but I escaped. A childhood which should have doomed me to lifelong dysfunction is at its worst a reminder of how strong I can be when I look to Jesus and lean on those who have gone before.