The Mind Prison: Shackled by False Belief

Guest post by Joyce Harrell

I was profoundly moved by a recent Kate Powers article entitled “Beating the Bully”. It stirred up my own past history of hurt and deeply-rooted insecurity. Through great belief breakthrough coaching, the completion of several wellness coaching training programs, and really understanding how God sees me, I am learning it was only lies that clouded my thinking and self-esteem.

I remember being a very well-adjusted, happy, healthy, self-confident child. I was blessed to be raised in a home with no sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, or other dysfunction. We had a nice home, plenty of food, warm clothing, and heat in the winter. My parents loved us.

I was 12 years old and getting ready for 7th grade the summer we moved to the country, right around the same time the next-door neighbors moved in. It was a great summer for my younger twin brothers and me. The closest neighbors had three boys and a girl ranging from 2-13, and another neighbor boy was about 10. Everyone got along and I thought life couldn’t be better. Then school started.

The next-door neighbors and I had the same bus stop, and that is where the fun began. I wondered what happened to the nice kids I had played with all summer. They began to tease me, calling me names like Jolly Green Giant, Mr. Green Jeans, Riceland (in place of Joycelynn), and whatever else they could think of. From the start I endured teasing on the bus ride to and from school, and then they got their friends involved at school. To make matters worse we went to the same church, so suddenly I was being made fun of at church. When my mother spoke to their mother, it sealed my coffin. It only got worse from there. I wanted to die.

This went on for years, and had finally started to slow down at around 11th grade when my brothers grabbed the baton. I remember crying and leaving the dinner table every night as my brothers told me I was so ugly I would never find a boyfriend and get married. My senior picture reflects the face of a girl who is not at all ugly. No one is ugly.

Things eventually began to look up for me. The neighbor boys quieted down, my brothers found other things to do, and I began to breathe. The perky outgoing young lady I had once been started peeking through again.

My senior year “the guy” everyone wanted to date took an interest in me. He was the pastor’s son, four years older than me, and he was to die for—the most gorgeous guy I had ever known. What a boost to my self-esteem! We dated a few times, an experience I think I really needed.

At one point I started dating—would you believe it?—the oldest boy next door. What was I thinking? But people and situations change, and even though this was an on again—off again thing for three years, I thought I had found my soul mate.

I didn’t understand his lack of commitment at the time, but near the end of the relationship I finally asked why things were so rocky. He responded, “My mother doesn’t want me dating you.” Those words would haunt me for most of my adult life, for they brought with them the overshadowing lie that I am not good enough. I wondered if anyone else but me had ever believed that lie.

I left home for an out-of-state college and thereafter only lived there for school breaks. I fell in love, married, and had three children—still trying to prove I was good enough. Every major event, like graduating from nursing school or getting a promotion or receiving a certification, I made sure the news was made public so I could prove to everyone—to his mother—that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was good enough. I now see how tragic it was to live so many years trying to prove myself.

God has done a great work in my life. The journey to freedom has been long and painful, but I realize now that my eternal worth is priceless. I have made it a point to assure our children of their Godly worth. Because of God, I am empowered. I am loved. I am strong. And I can finally say that by His grace I am good enough.

Joyce Harrell, RN, OCN is a Christian holistic nurse who provides natural solutions to common health problems. Joyce utilizes the art of nursing by implementing essential oils, enzyme therapy, vision boards, wellness coaching, and nutritional therapy to help you create an environment for your body to best heal. Joyce is a wife, mother, nana, author, holistic healer, and above all committed to her relationship with God. You can find Joyce at  or email her at

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

2 thoughts on “The Mind Prison: Shackled by False Belief

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Joyce. It’s unreal what some of us have to endure while growing up. Your journey has been difficult, but now you’re speaking life to all the rest of us and I thank you for it. Amazing. You are a brave-hearted woman, beautiful inside and out. ♥

  2. Thank you so much Victoria for your kind words. I was so fortunate as I know that many women have endured physical abuse, sexual abuse, and worse even by their parents. I was so fortunate to not have been subjected to those things. Bullying is something that pierces and wounds so deeply just as many other things that could have happened. I’m greatful for healing. I’m greatful to share and pray that others are set free from what ever abuse was endured which holds them captive.

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