Oddly, Ive always had a thing for defying the odds. I don’t know why. I should have turned to drugs/alcohol, numbed out the abandonment and pain. That’s what all my social workers expected. I took the other way out and went straight academic. Lost myself at the library and tore through books like candy. I ran straight A’s through high school, had a part time job, I was a totally responsible kid. I avoided boys like the plague, didn’t drink, party or even socialize much.
They say your entire personality is formed by the time you reach teen years; that your self value is programmed by the age 20. What did I learn from my childhood and what was fixed information for me? I was completely disposable, to anyone and everyone I encountered. The only thing anyone ever wanted from me, the only thing I had of any value at all, was sex. I could depend on no one and that everyone would leave me eventually. I learned to get ‘them’ before they got me. I also reached adult-hood without killing anyone, including myself. And, while I have some fairly serious and easily targeted self esteem issues, I’m intelligent and well spoken and I like to think I’m a ton of fun. No one meeting me today would even imagine I had the childhood I did. Our past may create us but it doesn’t define us.
Think about that next time you see someone and make a snap judgment. We’ve all seen the posts about the quiet kid being abused at home, the taxi driver with the Ph.D etc etc. that is the reality of the society we live in. Never forget it. Everyone has fought their battles, some won, some lost. Before you judge them from your self assumed pedestal try stepping into their world.
Ive had a bit of an epiphany couple of weeks. Im sure they can see the long list of light bulbs going off over my head from the space station. My whole thought process has changed. I feel liberated and zen for the first time in a very long time. I get it…I actually get it.
Everyone is damaged. Everyone has baggage. You can’t spend your life living in that damage or blaming it for every decision you make. Sure, it impacts what you do. Sure, it impacts how you react and you certainly need to acknowledge the fact that it will temper everything in your life for the rest of your life but it’s up to you to change how you react and how you process situations. It’s up to you to change how you think; to stop being a victim and take control of your life. That is ALL on you. No one will do it for you and the world will not cater to your issues. No one cares. That is a very simple and incredibly hard fact for broken people to grasp. You’re on your own and as soon as you realize that you’ll take the necessary steps to try and repair yourself.
Or you’ll give up.
Those are the only two options.
Nothing pisses me off more than hearing “But I was a foster kid.” from people who use it as some sort of get-out-of-life-free card. That’s not how it works. Accept it, own it, and move on.