By Nancy Virden (c)2021
As a guest on the Red Table show, Will Smith openly discussed his vulnerability as a child of domestic abuse. His father beat his mother, a repeated event the children had to hear and see. This is where Will developed his quick sense of humor. As long as he had his father entertained, his mother was safe.
Can you imagine this little boy trying so hard to make his father laugh? He grew up believing he was never good enough because he could not protect his mother all the time. He feared his mother’s disappointment and yearned for her approval.
These issues traveled with him into adulthood. As a star on the television show Fresh Prince of Bel Aire, Will was 21-28 years of age. He confesses now that he lost control and treated a member of the cast terribly. He admits he was obtuse, totally unaware of what his words were doing to another human being. He has recently apologized to Janet Hubert who played the part of Aunt Viv in the first three seasons.
So much of Will’s story is personal and familiar to me. I too watched and heard domestic abuse as a child. I too developed a sense of humor to distract my parents from fighting. An understanding of my innate value was fragile. Like Will, I yearned desperately for approval.
Into my thirties I was clueless as to how my words or rejection could hurt others. I was not cruel, I was unconscious. Think about it. If one believes she has little to no value, how could she suspect anyone would care if she destroys their friendship? I barely felt. How was I to understand the depth of other people’s emotions?
Will is coming to terms with his childhood and current state of being. At 52, he is on the same calendar as I. Age 53 is when the concept of God’s love for me was untangled from all the baggage.
I wish Will Smith all the best. If he is entering the world of self-discovery, he will need all the prayers we can offer in Jesus’ name. Not one time in all the years I did not understand love did Jesus leave my side. He has protected me from self-destruction and attempted destruction by others. He is faithful.
Today’s Helpful Word
Though your father and mother forsake you, the Lord will lift you up.
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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