I am a living testimony as to how growing up in a … shall we say “challenging” household can have a negative impact on your adult life. I was born into a household where both of my parents were alcoholics and drug abusers. Like most alcoholics and drug users, their first priority was getting their next high. That meant that I fell way down on their priority list and more often than not, I was totally neglected.
Growing up, I was both physically and sexually abused by my father and I honestly can’t remember one nurturing moment that I shared with my mother — not a hug, no bedtime stories, baking cookies..none of that. There were many days that I went without food and I remember moving quite often too. As a child, if you are treated with neglect and/or abused — treated like dirt… then you begin to feel like dirt. I stayed in that environment until I was 12 years old and I still to this day thank GOD for keeping me alive through it.
Low self-esteem can be devastating if it is not addressed. My childhood molded my self esteem and quite frankly, it was in the toilet. My low self esteem stayed with me during my childhood, my teen years and well into adulthood. During my young adult years, I didn’t think very highly of myself and it showed in many of the choices I made and many of the things that I allowed into my life. My low self esteem began to slowly invade every part of my life and it led to negative results. Negative friendships, negative relationships and quite frankly, there were many times that I simply lost the will to even try to create a full and happy life for myself.
For me, in order to improve, I had to get to the root of my low self esteem. It was necessary for me to combat the negative things that I went through during my childhood and also address the negative things that I thought about myself. I needed to confront the situations that I was placed in and allowed myself to be in, and I also had to just accept that I, as an adult, was in control of my life regardless of the environment I was raised in. I slowly began to realize that without help, I would never begin to shake the shackles that my low self esteem had on me. I can’t begin to tell you how much courage and determination it takes to look at your pain and fears head on and attempt to address it by getting help.
The one positive thing being raised by 2 junkies did for me was to teach me how I did not want to raise my own children! I will never claim to be the perfect mom (heck, there is no such thing) but I tried to place positive seeds into each of my children in hopes that those seeds would blossom within them and grow into something beautiful. When I look at all 3 of my children (especially the oldest 2 daughters) I am able to see that I broke a HUGE negative cycle!! Watching my daughters love and care for their own children is simply precious! It is something that I wish I had at a young age but something I am happy that I was able to model in raising my own children.
I felt the need to share a bit of my own personal story with everyone. The adult me of today is a very sensitive, upbeat, positive, loving, caring, full of energy type of gal that suffers from (or is it suffers/lives with) OCD and anxiety. The OCD and anxiety are the battle scars that I carry around today – stemming from my childhood.
In sharing a bit of my story, it is my hope to reach just one person that is struggling with something inside that they feel is holding them back from living the life that they want to live. If you are out there – please know that it is never too late to live a life that is filled with happiness. Know that you aren’t destined to have a shitty adulthood because you have had shitty experiences! Now is the time to get out of your own way and seek some help. Reach out to a loved one, a doctor, someone at your church, school or place of employment — just reach out! Self-esteem issues can be addressed and resolved. Heck just being aware of them and where they stem from is a help. All it takes is one step forward in the right direction!