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Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

Below is Dr Matt's Answer
to a Burning Question


A Perfect Response to Abuse

17 yrs old

Dear Dr. Matt:

It seems that every holiday has been ruined for me because my family. All they do is focus on physical appearance. I always get called fat, even in other languages...but I already understand it from growing up & hearing it all the time.

My grandma lives in the Philippines & its tropical there, I remember coming down her stairs @ her house in a tank top &  gray shorts, all of a sudden i hear the word "fat" in Tagalog. i was only 12 then, I'm 17 years old now. Even when I was a size 4-6, I would constantly be teased...only by family. Most of high school I suffered from bulimia, my brother even walked in on me with my fingers down my throat. My dad used to hear me puking until I start bleeding. It used to be so bad that as soon as I'd wake up, I would throw up stomach acid just beacause sticking my fingers down my throat was what I was used to.

Thanksgiving 2 years ago, I remember my Mom started stretching out my shirt in from of my cousin's wife. She told my Mom to stop & leave me alone. The shirt wasn't tight, I was just wearing a shirt underneath to cover up cleavage. I was also playing w/ my baby cousin that night & i kept on having to leave to go to the bathroom b/c I didnt want them all to see me cry.

On Mother's Day, my dad, mom, brother & i went out to eat. we ate sushi, then my brother started mentioning my stomach & legs...how they are chubby. fine, do it...that hurts to hear.

At the end of last year, i was raped by a guy. he took off my bra & underwear but got fed up w. me fightin back. i ended up in the ER because he hit me & left me outside to bleed by myself. someone did find me. my bottom front teeth were pushed back & one knocked out, my lips were black & blue, i had bruises my hips and i had to have stitches

The rape changed my outlook on life alot. i attempted suicide numerous times before but i so badly so badly wanted to die after it happened. i kept prayin to God that i could be strong. my brother needs me for girl advice, my mom needs me to go shopping with her, my dad needs me because i am his lil girl & my dog needs me b/c she doesnt play w/ anyone else.

i didnt think of anything but death for a few months after. i constantly do still think about death today. i have social anxiety, i cant get close to a guy or even normally talk to them like i used to. i lost all my caring for what other people think of me now. Well not all, my family opinion means the world to me.

tonight, my Mom just came home from the Tanger outlets....she had bought me a tank top. she says "u are really big now like me so i can borrow it too". I ALWAYS tell her not to mention ANYTHING about my weight around me. I even hate it when she judges celebrities and random people.

i dont want praise but ive done so much and overcome so in life. i had a brain tumor when i was younger. it just gets so hard sometimes. i know some people have it worse, but i just cant figure out what to do.

im graduating high school, my brother never did. i dont do drugs, smoke...i may not be skinny but i can still walk uphill. the fact that im actually still on earth should be some sort of clue. i am strong & i am not ashamed to admit it anymore...but i need help sometimes.
I know there is no miracle and this all might sound stupid but why cant I ever be enough?

thank you,

Dear Penny:

When you change your definition of being "enough," . . . it is then, you will be able to soar with the eagles--that is . . . if you will choose to soar with the eagles!

Here are two ideas that I develop in my book, "Changing Your Stripes," that will be very helpful to you:

1)  In this life there is only one Vote that you need to get:  I call it "the Only Vote that Counts!"  As long as you hang your definition of being "enough," upon the evaluation and feedback from your family and friends, or anyone else, . . . you will inevitably be disappointed.

2)  You mention that you are aware that others may have a tough time in life--maybe tougher than you.  Because this is absolutely true, this is why I refer to the life of Viktor Frankl in my book.  Whatever you're going through, it's not as hard as being tortured in a Nazi Death Camp, having all your family members murdered, and having your entire community of friends destroyed.

Life is tough. Get used to it, get over it, and get on with it!

Keep your heart and mind focused upon the only Vote that counts; and once you get that Vote, then it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If you haven't figured it out yet, . . . the only Vote that counts is the one that comes from your Creator.

I speak of HOW to get that Vote, in this article about Perfection without Stress

It's a fairly long article, but if you can grasp what it communicates, . . . you will have a completely clear conception of how to proceed with you Life, and ALWAYS feel "enough." Yes, I want you to be perfect, but the definition of "perfect" is NOT likely the one that first comes to your mind (nor the one that comes to most people's minds.  The perfection that Christ invites us to, is a widely misunderstood. Why would he invite us to do something that is impossible? He didn't! Line upon line, one step at a time, perfection is entirely possible--the perfection of our hearts. Further, "all thing are possible to them that believe" (Mark 9: 23).

Read my article entitled:  Perfection without Stress . . . then, write me back and tell me why you cannot have a perfect heart? And then, I will write you back and tell you why you can.

Here's a quote from my book that will guide you in moving forward with a perfect heart:

Mastering a challenging situation is ultimately a matter of mastering yourself! You must not expect that things will get better simply because tough times decrease via avoidance. Life is to be lived with gusto! Challenges are to be met head on, . . . for it is directly "in" our challenges that we find our ultimate destiny. In the ever-appearing adversities of life, we can increase in strength of character; a character that at mortal death is the only possession of which it can be said: "you took it with you." What you will take into the eternal world is . . . what you become! (Changing Your Stripes, Introduction, page xvi)

And when you have a "perfect heart" . . . you will always be "enough" according to the Creator's definition. And YES, there is a miracle waiting for you, compliments of the Creator (John 1: 3, 10; 2 Cor. 5: 17).

Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

* * * * * * *

The Greatest Prize
for Life's labors isn't
in material possessions
or impressive accomplishments,
but in the progress of personal character.
You labor for your own becoming, this is your richest reward.
Who You Become is your greatest possession,
make it your Masterpiece!

(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 274)

The book, "Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
the ditch in which you've been dumped (the difficulties of which you are a victim), and
the ditch in which you've jumped (the difficulties for which you volunteer).

"Mastering a challenging situation
is ultimately a matter of
mastering yourself!"

- Matt Moody 

"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
making you a new kind of creature capable of communicating
with calm, even as storms of contention swirl.

If these principles resonate and ring true,
then . . . this book is for you!

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Changing Your Stripes is a
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Changing Your Stripes

Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

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