I have survived some crappy things in my life, and with the help of intermittent therapy and life experiences over the years my self-esteem has grown tremendously. The “victim” still likes to peek through my defense systems from time to time, and I know I still have a lot of healing to do. Briefly, to be discussed in depth over time…
1. Bullying. At the earliest, I was the kid that everyone picked on in school… “Booger Queen” … for the obvious reasons. I had very few consistent friends growing up, and I was basically bullied until, and past, JHS. It wasn’t until HS that I felt I was able to start having a real social life. Consequently, though, I have difficulty maintaining active friendships. I have a lot of friends, but not a lot of active friendships, if that makes any sense. Interestingly, facebook has been a valuable tool for me to be less isolated, and some of my longer-term friends are becoming even greater friends now. 🙂
2. Sexual Abuse. From the ages of 8-13, approximately, I was sexually abused by a male relative who will remain unidentified for now, out of respect for his own life conflicts that led to him abusing me (he was abused), and for the brevity he showed throughout the years in terms of admitting his wrongdoings and being accountable for them. I am aware that my gregarious sexual nature is likely secondary to this, but man, am I grateful I am very interested in sex, as opposed to very scared by it! However, with the combination of the bullying history and this, I have tended to be in serial relationships, also preventing me from fostering active friendships. However, now, Fall 2012, I am committed to not being in a primary relationship for a while and learning how to have friendships and be more independent – even though I was mostly independent in my relationships but there was a lot of codependency.
3. PolySubstance Abuse. Addictive traits run in my family, and, having seen their effects I really never thought it would happen to me. In my teen years and early 20’s I was sort of a good girl (except for lots of romantic affairs!) and it wasn’t until my late 20’s that my dabbling in alcohol and drugs took over my life. I’m grateful to be sober today! Every time I see a patient in the hospital who is still caught in the grips of the addictive cycle, I feel both merciful towards them and even more grateful for my own sobriety. My clean date is May 1st, 2007, so as of 2012 I’m clean 5+ years!!! Fortunately I got clean before getting my Nursing license, and I pray pray pray I never ever pick up again while I am a Nurse! That is such a scary fate, with diverting medication and trust issues with coworkers and all that. I am consciously aware of the possibility that if I don’t take care of myself, and if I relapse, that would be a possible ending.