Tyler Perry, the famous filmmaker, actor, and advocate talks openly about being abused by his father in an interview with Chris Wallace. In the interview was a picture of him at five years old.
WALLACE: What do you think about that little boy five years old?
Perry: That’s hard to look at; I look so much like my son. The great thing about having a child now seven years old is I get to say all those things that I didn’t get to tell my younger self, so I feel like it’s helping to heal a lot of wounds.
WALLACE: Have you come to terms with the fact that you didn’t get that from your father? Or is it still an open wound?
PERRY: I’ve come to terms with it, but the beauty of having my son - is every time I say I love him, I feel that is also being said to the LITTLE BOY in me.
Perry: My father sent a message to me a few years ago through my brother saying, if I beat your ass one more time, you would be Barack Obama, meaning that he thinks his abuse brought me to success. But he negates the love of my mother. And the love of my mother is what brought me here. It wasn’t the abuse; it wasn’t the rage and the anger. It was her love that brought me to this place.
(From the interview: His Dad wiped him so bad it felt his skin coming off, and he tried to take his life when he was younger.)
I salute his courage to share so openly. We both had similar fathers that believed their way of fathering would make us better – they were both wrong. It was the culture at the time, and they didn’t know better; they could even quote the Bible ‘spare the rod, spoil the child.
We both had to do massive work to heal our wounds and find our recovery and success. We must stop passing on trauma from fathers to sons.
Here is an exercise I created 15 years ago and used for almost two years to help heal my toxic shame messages that I lovingly pass on to all of you:
I carried that picture in the post to reparent little me. Each time I caught myself in self-condemnation, I would look at the picture, confirm that I was enough, and refuse to beat up little Paul anymore because that is who I was putting down. I repeated this, and it did wonders for healing the stronghold of my toxic shame messages. Today I love who I am!
I suggest you find a picture of little you, put it on your phone, and give it a go.
One of the most destructive patterns that will stop our recovery, spiritual growth, and living our best life is our negative self-talk. And trust me, most of it begins in childhood, so why not try to reparent little you?
Sincerely yours, Paul Noiles