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August 11, 2021

We’re all Screwed Up: Picking up the Broken Pieces of our Childhood & Moving on with Life.

Screwed up

I’m a complete and utter mess.

Despite my screwed-up self, my life is pretty f*cking great.

I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to figure out my place in this world. While on this mission, I kept running into walls that laid me flat on my ass. These walls were discoveries of all the things that were wrong with me.

When I’d pick myself back up, I’d take the time to figure out what had happened. Where did I go wrong? What was wrong with me?

I spent a lot of my 20s not even aware of all the stuff I carried inside that were holding me back in this life. Things that I didn’t know existed.

Everything I read pointed to my childhood. My life was basically a big clusterf*ck because my parents and family had no goddamn clue what they were doing. But neither did their parents and their parents before them. It’s all they knew.

My children didn’t have a shot in this world because I’m already screwing it all up for them. Because it’s all I know.

Once I figured out where it all came from, I spent a lot of time blaming my parents and family for all of my shortcomings. I blamed them for not teaching me how to love myself, how to set boundaries, and the attachment issues I suffered from, just to name a few of the sh*t I struggle with.

My parents divorced when I was in elementary school. My mom was raising four children on her own with no education and no income. At the same time, my grandmother passed away and my mom was left to care for her four teenage siblings.

My mom had to work three jobs around the clock to support our new larger family, so that left my aunts and uncles to care for us while she worked.

They did a sh*t job of watching us. They were children themselves. Under their care, rule number one was: children are to be seen and not heard.

What the f*ck?

I am beyond terrified of my own voice. I don’t know how to stand up for myself. It was easier to keep my mouth shut.

It was no wonder I kept hitting the f*cking wall. I was a mess.

This is just a small example of my childhood. There were so many more of these ridiculous rules we lived by as children, which ended up shaping me into someone who didn’t have the right tools to survive as an adult.

But I moved out when I was 18. I’m so far gone from my childhood, yet I still suffer from it.

When is it time to take responsibility for my own life? I’ve lived outside my childhood for 30 years now. It’s time to check in with myself and decide not to let the past affect my future.

The thing is, we are all a little screwed up; it’s just life.

I don’t know if anyone really does it perfectly. How could they? We are all products of the generation before us. It’s a world filled with a bunch of people a little screwed up. Some people might have it together more. Others, not so much.

Instead of blaming our already-screwed-up family, who seriously didn’t know they were doing anything wrong, why don’t we just accept the fact that they did the best they could based on what they knew? It’s now our responsibility to figure it out and move forward the best way we can.

It shouldn’t matter how we got here; we just do, and we are the only ones to make it better. Instead of focusing on where it came from, the more important question is, how do we fix it all?

The first step is to make a list of everything inside that is broken. All the sh*t that lingers inside from our childhood? Write it down. Prepare a list and break it down to specifics. Making a list will help us not forget anything, and we can always add to that list.

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Once we have our list ready, we need to sort out the order of importance for each. We need to work on each item. We have to at least attempt to undo the mess.

This might include seeking professional help or working on it ourselves, not as a whole, but really digging deep into each item to fix ourselves one mess at a time. The process will be long, but it will be worth it.

Next, we make a list of all the good core concepts we learned from our childhood. As much as our family screwed us up, they really did try their best to give us the best life they could.

I took that list and used it as my base. There were a lot of good things there. They loved me, no doubt. So I’m starting with love.

We can learn to forgive, release, and let go of any anger or blame we might feel. It doesn’t serve us any good. It’s not about forgetting the things that were missing from our childhood; it’s about acknowledging and moving past them. But we can’t move forward if we are always looking back.

Last but not least, we must accept what has become of our lives. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up and agreeing to the fact that we are screwed up; it means accepting that it is and working hard to undo some of the damage.

We want to live our best lives.

If I let my terrible childhood lead my life now, it’s my own fault. I’m in charge of my life and any change that needs to happen starts with me and me alone.

I might always be a little screwed up. I might always be working on some sh*t in my head. But I will always fight to be the best version of myself, no matter how screwed up I am.

I am living the best way I know how to. Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual.

So despite my screwed-up self, my life is pretty f*cking great because I am picking up the broken pieces from my childhood and making myself whole on my own.

We must not let our past dictate our future. We are in charge of our lives. Let’s create something beautiful.


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Sharon A. DeNofa  |  Contribution: 196,225

author: Sharon A. DeNofa

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