- It is normal for us to either ask or be asked the question about what happened to us whenever people see the decisions we make
- What most never consider is that upbringing has a direct impact on an individual's adulthood
- Oprah Winfrey's book "What Happened To You?" details her rough childhood and the experiences that have shaped her into who she is
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"What happened to you? It’s one of the most important questions we can ask someone, especially when they're going through something."
Those were the first sentiments media mogul Oprah Winfrey made to introduce her upcoming book titled "What Happened To You?"
In the book, she breaks down the art of parenting and how it plays a critical role in the emotional stability, or lack of it, among adults.
"Most of the struggles I endured as a child resulted in trauma that would define many relationships, interactions, and decisions in my life," she wrote.
The effect was that it took decades of work, conversations, and healing to break that troubled childhood and make peace with the past.
It is this deep history that informed her decision to co-author the book with Dr Bruce Perry, meant to help others heal and shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?”
"The most pervasive feeling I remember from my own childhood is loneliness. My mother and father were together only once, underneath an old oak tree. Nine months after that singular encounter, I arrived," reads an excerpt.
She goes ahead to reveal that she was raised, for six years, by her grandmother.
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Things changes when she passed on as Oprah would live her life shuttling between her parents, her father who lived in Nashville and her mother who was based in Milwaukee.
"My mother worked as a maid for 50 dollars a week doing what she could to care for three young children. There was no time for nurturing. My mother felt distant, cold to the needs of this little girl," it reads.
According to Oprah, her mother was so engrossed in making ends meet that she started feeling like a burden, "an extra mouth to feed."
She explains that the void was so huge it left her feeling unloved, which, by extension, impacted her adulthood as she struggled to experience love.
"What Happened To You?" paints a bigger picture of the emotional damage children suffer when they are raised in households devoid of parental love and care.
Although the story dates back decades ago, it is a representation of modern-day parenting where many fathers and mothers have buried their heads in hustling for wealth, leaving their children to their own devices.