I recently had an epiphany about my childhood (o aren't those wonderful), and Ive started to realize the real extent of my abuse. My mother moved on from my alcoholic abusive father to an alcoholic abusive boyfriend who lived with my family on and off throughout my childhood. I saw him regularly physically abusive my entire family, but not me. He verbally abused me a couple of times, but in my dysfunctional family that was daily occurrence. I thought the negative feelings I felt with my family was solely because this guy, whom my mother didn't protect us from, ruined the opportunity for our family to love each other.
my epiphany came when I realized I was a neglected child. At first I felt extremely relieved, like I was finally diagnosed and could take my steps to recovery and get out of my depression. And then I made the mistake of reading about adults from a neglected childhood. And there I was, "me" being described in a strangers article. As a child I believed that- if we all took care of everyone else, we would all be taken care of- and Ive lived my life that way. and then there was my favorite thing to say, almost word for word, quoted in a psychology article. Instead of college I volunteered in a 3rd world country. Before my depression hit, the only goal I was working towards was the peace corps.
I used to think that I became me DESPITE what I went through. Now I feel like I've lost my identity, or maybe truly found it, and I'm nothing more than a product of negative environmental factors.