I was Adopted at Birth, my step mom died at 9 and my step father drank himself to death when I was 13, I lived on the street for 7 months as a runaway from a foster care center in Chicago working 8 hours a day on newspaper trucks being paid $3.00 a day by the drivers, was arrested placed in a juvenile detention facility and then as a ward of the State of Illinois they had me committed to the Chicago State Hospital where I spent 4 months on the Mens Recieving unit at age 14 before being transferred to a to an adolescent unit CW 10, left the State Hospital at 16 hitch hiked around the country for two years staying at missions and working day labor joined the military where I served on Submarines, got out got Married had 3 children got divorced when they were little, I am now 57 years old with an 8th grade education and am home bound with congestive heart failure and emphysema, My twins just returned from Afghanistan all 3 of my kids are in the Army, my whole life seems to be replaying itself in my mind, and it does not make any sense it just seems so unbeliveable that anyone would have to go thru what I went thru, I am a very strong person but I need to come to terms with this, because thinking about it makes me angry !
A. Nothing can change the past. It will always be a part of your life. It is important to view your current life in a realistic perspective. Famous psychologist Abraham Maslow says that “getting used to our blessings is one of the most important non-evil generators of human evil, tragedy and suffering.”
You have suffered a great deal in your life but there are blessings that you are undervaluing. There is an old saying that may be instructive: “I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” You mentioned that you have twins who have recently returned home from Afghanistan. In fact, all three of your children are home and safe. Many families have loved ones fighting in Afghanistan, who may never see their children again. The fact that your children went to war and survived is a blessing that cannot be overlooked or underappreciated. The fact that you have three children is a blessing. Were you not blessed to have survived the ugly, bitter events of your childhood?
Dwelling on the past might lead you to feel anger. Your anger is understandable but it is self-destructive. You were dealt a difficult hand in life but you have survived.
Counseling could be of great help at this time in your life. What has happened in your life can never be changed, but how you view it and respond to it certainly can be. Counseling can help you to accomplish both. I wish you the best of luck.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Sep 2011
Randle, K. (2011). Anger About a Terrible Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 27, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/16/anger-about-a-terrible-life/