I had a difficult childhood. My mom had six children I am the second to the oldest, which we all lived with my grandparents. My grandfather were physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive. I never could understand why my mom didn’t work harder or do something to take us out of that environment when I was younger. As I got older I kind of understood why. She worked so hard and every time she got paid my grandfather wanted her money which left her stuck in a position of never moving us out of that environment. My mom were sexually abused by my grandfather at the age of 5. She had 4 siblings which he sexually abused all at a young age, even the boys until they were grown. That effected my mom mentally and emotionally.

Coming up as a child my mom were involved with many men, most were a lots older than her. My siblings and I really don’t know who our fathers may be, she told us but none of the fathers were involved in our life.I can’t remember being penetrated by my grandfather unless it have erased itself from my memories but I do remember my private areas being touched. I grew up watching my mom perform sexual acts with men until I were 10 yrs old.

I grew up poor, some days no food, no clean clothes, or no bath. I remember my mom stealing food in order for us to have something to eat. When I was 12 I started stealing food so my younger sibling wouldn’t be hungry. Due to being poor, children at school teased and hit me daily at school. I never wanted to be notice by kids or teachers so they wouldn’t hurt me in any kind way. I never talked or played with anyone, I just stayed to myself at school hiding in some corner. I felt sick every day knowing I had to go to school and felt sick every day knowing I had to go home.

The man who supposed to be the father to me and my oldest sister told us he didn’t want to have anything to do with us so stop calling him because his wife don’t want him to have anything to do with us. That hurted so bad, all I wanted him to do was to take me to McDonalds. Every weekend I waited for him to change his mind about us and show up to take us to McDonalds.

I never had a man to love me. Because of that as an adult, I constantly let this guy for 8 yrs and counting do me wrong and I settle for whatever he puts me through. All I want is for him to love me, I can’t seem to understand why a man can’t love me.

I have two wonderful children whom I love dearly. I try to be happy for them but inside I am miserable. I feel stuck and life is passing me by. I am very much overweigh and feels that no other man will ever want me. I am terrified to go in front of other people because I know they may talk about me. I feel so clueless and dumb to a lots of things and situations. I am well educated but no job. I panics everytime I go on an interview or maybe they don’t chose me because of my weigh. I don’t know what I can do to make my life happier for a change.

A: What a hard, hard way to grow up. Now that you are a parent, I think you understand why your mother couldn’t leave her parents’ house. She had nowhere to go. From her point of view, some home was better than none. As an abused person herself, she didn’t feel good enough about herself to think that she deserved better. Like you, she wanted to be loved. Like you, she settled for whatever “love” she could get rather than have nothing that looked like love in her life. I suspect she had so many children because babies do give us unconditional love. What a sad, sad life she had.

Fortunately, things are different since the time when you were growing up. For the last 30 years, therapists have been figuring out how to help people heal from an abusive childhood so that they can take charge of their own lives. Your past does not have to determine what you present and future will be.

You can recover and give yourself and your kids a better life. Locate a therapist who specializes in adults who have been abused as children and do the therapeutic work you need to do. Your doctor can help you find one or you can make some phone calls yourself. You deserve to become the emotionally healthy and loving person you are meant to be. Your children deserve to have a mom who takes care of her own emotional business so that she can really be there for them when they need her.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Feb 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Dysfunctional childhood is affecting my life as an adult. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/02/09/dysfunctional-childhood-is-affecting-my-life-as-an-adult/