Your childhood made you who you are today. Things you saw and lived through follow you throughout your whole life.
Now, that’s a beautiful thing if you remember your childhood in beautiful pictures; if you have happy memories which make your heart warm every time you think of them.
But what happens when those pictures are not so pretty? What happens when you only remember the pain and suffering caused by the ones who were supposed to love and protect you?
It’s something you’re carrying throughout your whole life. It’s something that can consume and destroy you.
Sadly, you’re blaming yourself for not being able to fight the demons haunting you from the past. But what you fail to see is that it’s not your fault. You weren’t supposed to have that crappy childhood, and you couldn’t choose the life to live. You got what you got—an alcoholic parent.
It’s not your fault because you were the victim of someone else’s mistakes and wrong moves. You were a victim, and you are a victim now.
And because of that, your life is not easy, and it never will be. You are not a quitter, and you don’t want to continue the vicious circle. You don’t want your kids to be faced with living a life they didn’t choose.
Living with trauma such as that raises many challenges you’re faced with, which other people don’t get. Every day is a battle for you. Every situation that others might find trivial can be disastrous to you. But you’re facing it. Every day. Every hour. Every minute.
Here’s what you failed to learn, and it’s not your fault:
1. No one taught you how to behave
Normal social situations aren’t normal for you. A quiet Sunday evening in a normal house was about spending the evening together, playing games or watching TV.
Your Sunday evening was either being the victim of an aggressive outburst caused by alcohol or watching your parent fall asleep in the middle of the house with a bottle in their hand.
In the best-case scenario, you could walk away or hide so as not to look at the misery surrounding you. So, today when you simply don’t know how to react to some things that other people think are self-explanatory, it’s not your fault.
You didn’t have a role model to tell you what is right and what is wrong. You didn’t have anyone to look up to.
2. You never learned it’s impossible to keep everything under control
When you were just a kid, your home was controlled chaos, especially, if one of your parents was an alcoholic.
The other one was trying to hide it, trying to force your alcoholic parent to keep up appearances. A lot of energy and force were invested in keeping the sober parent quiet.
You had to live with it. You had to spend your life in that controlled chaos in which you looked like every other family from the outside, but you were everything but a family from the inside.
As a result, now that you’re a grown-up, you’re trying to keep everything under control because you couldn’t control anything when you were little.
Not only are you trying to control your life, but you’re trying to control the lives of other people. You want to fix everything, so no one gets hurt. A lot of people can’t understand your behavior, and they think of you as a control-freak.
None of them understand why you are like that. None of them can relate to your painful childhood, and the environment which taught you to be like that.
3. No one taught you to protect yourself from harmful people
You lack emotional support. You never had the love you truly deserved. Your parents were never there when you needed them. They were selfish about being busy with their own lives, so they ignored you completely.
You sought attention any way you could. Maybe you were even problematic because deep down, all you wanted was for someone to take you in and hug you. All you ever wanted was someone to pay attention to you.
As an adult, you hold on to every relationship you have, even if it’s abusive. Sadly, an abusive relationship is the only thing you were surrounded with when you were a child, so to you, it’s normal.
You’re afraid if you turn their back even on the people who take advantage of you, everyone in your life will eventually leave. And you don’t want to be left alone. Not again.
4. You failed to learn to believe in yourself or respect your needs
While growing up, your needs weren’t important. Even more, you probably watched one of your parents sacrifice their own life to help protect their partner and clean up the mess they made every time.
Those behavior patterns which developed at an early age cannot be undone just like that. Over time, they can be corrected, but they will always be present, especially in emotionally-driven situations when people cannot control themselves easily.
Everyday interactions and relationships are especially hard for you. You always do what others tell you because you don’t believe in yourself. You seek acceptance, and you’re scared of conflict.
You hold on to chaotic and problematic people because that’s the surrounding you’re used to being in and because you respect everyone else except yourself and your needs.
5. You never learned that you are more than good enough
When you were young, nothing you did was ever good enough. Even more, you were constantly faced with criticism and disappointment.
Your alcoholic parent never acknowledged or noticed anything you did. Even if they saw it, they walked all over you because they didn’t care.
You’re very ungrateful to yourself. You don’t respect yourself, and no matter what you do, it will never be enough for you. You even verbally insult yourself because you don’t believe in yourself; because you’re insecure.
There will always be those who will try to persuade you that you are everything opposite from what you’re saying about yourself and what you think about yourself, but those words won’t find their way to you.
How can you see yourself in a positive light, when everything you’re saying about yourself is true from your perspective?
How can you love yourself when you never got the chance to learn how?