Dear Karma Kid,

I know you have heard it a hundred times, but your past doesn’t define you.  And because you have heard it a hundred times, I am going to explain what I mean.  You are not evil because you grew up amongst evil.  You endured evil.  You experienced evil.  But none of those things make you innately evil.  I know the statistics.  Those who commit evil have been through their own trauma.  That is true.  How could they know it otherwise?  But you are not what you experienced.

You don’t have to claim victim, survivor, or even overcomer as your primary identity.  Sure, you have a story.  And your story sucks.  Your story sounds so horrible, a screenwriter couldn’t come up with that crap.  But it isn’t all that you are.  It isn’t even most of what you are.  Don’t get me wrong, there would be no Beating Trauma without it.  But it doesn’t define you.  More importantly, it doesn’t limit you.  There aren’t certain thresholds of life that become unavailable to you because of your story or any other reason.

More importantly, you aren’t destined to fail because of your past.  You are worthy of the same beautiful life everyone can attain by gaining a deep self understanding and working hard.  You are worthy of great things even though the first part of your life was far from great.

You don’t have to live with the label of evil because you were coerced to do evil as a child.  This is a tough one for you.  I get it.  You were brainwashed.  You were told you were evil and they tried to prove it by forcing you to do evil things.  But when you do something awful under the threat of homelessness and financial destitution, or with a weapon aimed in your direction, you aren’t evil.  You don’t become evil.  You become victimized in a new way.

You don’t have a deal with these evil people.  A deal requires you to have a choice about the deal.  You were told to keep quiet so you could live.  That’s not a deal.  That’s a threat.  And it doesn’t apply anymore.  I am here to protect you from that nonsense now.  They aren’t powerful or magical.  They are actually quite the opposite.  Those who prey on children are the least powerful people in the world.  I am more powerful than they are because I didn’t use my trauma as an excuse to hurt others in adulthood.  I am more powerful because I chose recovery.  There is no deal.  It is null and void.

And I can hear your response.  You are saying, “That sounds good, but …”

“But the evil happened.”

“But the people still threatened me.”

“But bad things happen to me all the time.”

“But it seems like I am destined for failure.”

“But how do you explain all of that?  It has to be karma.”

“But there has to be something wrong with me.”

But karma doesn’t work that way.  Karma isn’t about punishment for having been abused or making deals with evil people to stay alive.  Bad things happen because bad things happen in life.  And I know it seems you have had a disproportionate amount of bad things.  Maybe you have, but maybe you haven’t.  Maybe you chose this life because you were strong enough to do some serious heavy lifting on planet Earth at this time.  Maybe it was more random than that.  But it has nothing to do with who you are as a person.

Karma is about what happens to people after they commit evil … not by some act of God or other evil people … but in their own psyche.  There is a torture that comes with committing evil acts in adulthood.  You must know it exists because you struggle so much with the childhood acts you were forced to commit.  Imagine living in their heads.  It would not be a good place to be.  The shame would be overwhelming.  The constant attempts to cover up the pain would be almost impossible to cope with.  This is karma.  And it isn’t yours to carry.

I know you think I should leave you behind.  I know you think you are damaged goods and can never become more than that.  I know you think you are holding me back.  But that’s not true.  You can heal too.  And even if I could leave you behind, I wouldn’t.

So let’s work to let go of this tie to an evil that is not yours.  Cut those ties.  They are not your burdens to bear.  You can let go of it and all the baggage that comes with it.  Let the bad karma be with those who deserve it.  You don’t.  We are too busy building up the good karma, being a good parent, helping others recover, and having some fun finally.

I love you and I don’t think there is anything wrong with you.  I am glad you found a way to cope with an evil you didn’t deserve or ask for.  But now, I am asking you for your trust, which I know is a huge thing to ask for.  But without it, we can’t be whole.

Love, Elisabeth