Death Dhamma Podcast podcast

Venerable Dr. De Hong: Childhood Trauma and Aversion to Self

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When your own parents do not offer you love and support, how do you come to a place of self-acceptance? If you go to school, bloody from being beaten, isn't reasonable to expect someone/anyone to ask if you are OK? And when they do not, you might just begin to wonder if there is something wrong with you. And aversion towards yourself takes root.

Venerable De Hong knows about trauma. He left Vietnam on a boat. Overcrowded with others escaping a harsh regime, they sat in place for many days – with no food and maybe a tiny amount of water. Then at 18, he found himself in the United States, with $10, responsibility for his younger brother, unable to speak the language, trying to finish high school while working all night to pay for food and rent. Before this, Venerable De withstood tremendous amounts of verbal and physical abuse from his father. In between physical attacks, he was told that he was nothing and that was not worthy of an education, it is no wonder that Venerable De developed an aversion to his own appearance. On the list of ACE or adverse childhood experiences, Venerable De has lived through almost all of them. Spoiler alert, after going through his own suffering, he came through the other side. And now he uses his experiences and his story to help others.

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