Much of how we grow up determines who we are as adults. I am no exception. I grew up in a household that was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive. Now, I am not talking the stuff you see on the LIfetime Channel. We went hiking and camping, I was involved in Girl Scouts and the school choir and band. I did have fun growing up, but on and off over the years there were times that abuse, whether it was physical or emotional was very much a part of my life.
So how did this affect me as an adult and does it still?
I lived in a single parent household with my younger brother. Our mom was very negative growing up and still is. Years ago when I was in my early 20’s I came across my elementary school report cards, everyone of them said “negative attitude” that was my first realization and the realization that changed my path. I couldn’t believe that was me. I always had a smile on my face, I was always very outgoing and out spoken, I had a hard time believing it, but knew their had to be some truth to it.
Fast forward a year later sitting in the car with my mom. I don’t remember the conversation, but I remember realizing where I got my negative attitude growing up. I was shocked. I knew at that point I needed to make a change. That was my declaration at the time, however I didn’t think beyond that declaration. Until one day……
God has a beautiful way of placing people in our lives at the time we need them. And at this time, he placed “Jason” in my life. Nice looking, full of life, just an amazing spirit about him. We dated for a while, and even though it didn’t work out, he was the solution to my declaration.
“Jason” went through things in his life that made my crap feel irrelevant, but yet, he ALWAYS had a positive attitude and such a beautiful energy about him. Each time I started down my negative rhetoric road he would call me on it. He never feared my reaction, he just said it like it was.
Jason helped squash my negative attitude, but I still dealt with low self esteem and low self worth. For me, because of the verbal abuse, it was easier for me to tackle all the negative things people said about me. When someone said something about me that was genuine and positive, I really just dismissed it because I couldn’t believe someone saw that in me. I just figured they were lying or they wanted something from me (which was very rarely the case).
As an adult these issues of low self esteem and low self worth manifested as fear. Fear of good things in life. My mom would always say just wait, you have plenty of time. If I listened to her, I would not have accomplished anything in life. But as the years progressed some of my decisions would contradict my own personal beliefs about myself.
I say I had low self esteem and low self worth, but people that know me would have a hard time believing that because of all the things I have accomplished. I was the first person in my family to go to college. I have a BS in Advanced Medical Imaging Technology. I am the only person (I believe) in my family that has a MSEd. I have a husband and a beautiful little girl, how could I have low self worth and low self esteem?
So how can I say I have low self esteem and low self worth when I have accomplished so much? There is ONE primary reason…..I didn’t wanna end up like my mother, a single parent that struggles to support my kids and no education. The only way I would know if I could do it was to just do it! I am very proud of myself. And though the low self esteem and low self worth are pretty well buried, I still have issues of fear.
I learned as a younger adult where my negaitve attitude came from, I am pretty sure I have concurred that, but what has stuck around over the years is the fear. Fear is what is holding me back. Fear is what is keeping me from moving forward. This fear is fear of failure.
Fear is a very powerful enemy. Fear slows you down and even stops you. That is not the life you should be living. That is not the life I wanna live. I wanna to remove that noose that is fear and live my life authentically.
How do I do this?
I surround myself with people that love and support me unconditionally. People that will call me on my shit. People that will support me and guide me when I ask them to. People that will pluck me from my couch and light a fire under my butt to get me going. These are the people I love. These are the people that have had a huge impact in my life.