Coming to grips with an indifferent childhood

by Mary
(Wellington)

Where does one start, and convey feelings in a nice and neat nutshell? For most of my life, I have felt vaguely unhappy - I was never outgoing but strangely enough I wanted to be! On reflection, my life has been and still is such a myriad of conflicting and opposing forces. On the one hand I am very shy in a group, and yet in one-to-one situations I just love to talk! While I write this it's making me aware of that for many reasons, I just grew up suppressing a lot of my natural tendencies.

I recall feeling "closed up" as a child, and never wont to express myself or my feelings.I have two distinct compartments to my childhood memories. The first 5 or 6 years by all accounts I was brought up as a loved and well-cared for child by my single mother's foster mother, and I recall happy and carefree, warm memories from that part.It seems I may have been quite precocious, and certainly doted on by a loving grandmother who delighted in dressing me in beautiful dresses and treating me like a princess.

Looking back, although I wasn't strongly or consciously aware of it back then, that all changed when I went to live with my birth mother who had married and was starting her new family. There was never any sexual or physical abuse. I only remember getting one good hiding and that really was it.But looking back, there must have been some sort of "cloud" over my whole existence once I moved in with my new family who by then had two kids (I love all my brothers and sisters dearly - even that seems odd given I had a bit of an inferiority complex).

You must remember that all that I am expressing now - I don't believe I was even aware of it consciously. However, now that I am in my 50's I can look back with an awareness of that child who was disconnected from her village upbringing and carried forth to her new family. I don't recall once that my stepfather (who had his own issues) ever made me feel welcome or loved. He never openly and verbally expressed to me any messages of welcome or acceptance. No bonding ever took place, no expressions of love or hugs. But that is partly explained however by my stepfather's very emotionally cold upbringing within his family who never expressed affection toward one another.

There was no overt hostility, however I suspect that the absence of these things created a void of some sort in me.I never really felt a true part of my new family and subsequently felt quite isolated in alot of ways. I recall feeling lonely and withdrawn, and was more likely perceived as a bit "weird" by some. I always felt like an outsider, and just never felt sure of myself.

It's so freeing to finally admit I have had and still have abandonment issues! In fact, my ex-partner blurted out during one of our frequent abusive arguments that I had abandonment issues - that knocked me for a six but I repressed that nonetheless. Now , years later something drove me to dig into this further, and came across this site.

It's nice to know I'm not alone with such a stronghold of longheld feelings of inadequacy, and know that awareness has the potential for great healing:)

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