I grew up in a toxic home environment. My parents fought constantly in front of us kids, verbally abusing and belittling each other in front of us. This behavior bled into my brother’s own behavior and I was subjected to the same abuse they saw from our parents.
Growing up we learn families should treat each other with love. We learn this through societal influences including television shows, movies, and religious upbringing depicting a wholesome family environment. I remember watching television shows as a kid where the parents worked together to resolve family issues, loved one another as well as their children and the children loved and supported each other. Even if there was family conflict, it would be resolved in a supportive and loving way. As I was watching, I would think what’s wrong with my family? Why does my family not love or care about me?
As a result of my toxic home environment, my school grades were poor. While in grade school, I needed to attend summer school to advance to the next grade. Summer school actually was a blessing for me to attend since it got me away temporarily from my toxic home environment.
I never had many friends growing up. I generally gravitated to the troubled kids for the friends I did have. I didn’t partake in the drinking, smoking or marijuana they used; I just hung out with them. One thing my mother instilled in me was to not follow others, to be my own person. I also did not want any substance to have control over me. As I got older, my only focus was how to leave my toxic home environment. Smoking, drinking and drugs were not going to help me leave my family situation.
As a teenager I tried to commit suicide. I thought when I’m gone, then my family will realize they love me. Thankfully my attempt didn’t work. What it did do though was get me the professional help I needed to recover my self esteem and confidence from the emotional and verbal abuse I received.
I will always be grateful to the therapist I worked with who gave me the tools I needed to be the person I am today.
Don’t become your abuser, change your path. You can start to change your path by following the suggestions in the following blog by James Worthington, 10 Effective Techniques to Recover from Emotional Abuse.
It takes time to recover yourself. Words do hurt, they stick and are difficult to remove. I always thought I’m just looking for peace and how do I achieve that. What I really needed to find was the ability to love again, myself and others.
If you are in a situation that is unsafe or you have suicidal thoughts, reach out to a professional mental health worker, shelters, hotlines, or someone you trust. Let someone know what your situation is and receive the help you need.