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Feeling awful about a ****ty childhood Watch

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    I grew up with a single mother (my dad left when I was very little) and two sisters who dropped out of school due to getting pregnant. I was raised on a council estate, but it was in a really nice little town down South (leaving out the name so no-one recognises me) and I made quite a few great friends at school in years 6 and 7. I often had to drop out of school to help my sisters look after their kids, and my mother's boyfriends were often physically and emotionally abusive, but my schoolfriends were there for me. We never talked much about what was going on at home but I somehow managed to stay happy.

    When I was 13, my mum got an awful boyfriend, who had two nearly adult sons of his own. I had just come home from school one day when the son tried to molest me. Thankfully, I got away and managed to call the police. The Social Services came round, and there was enough evidence that my mum had been neglecting me that I ended up moving in with my aunt, who lived in a completely different city.

    Once I'd moved, my aunt (who was very strict and religious) wouldn't even let me have my mobile phone, or use the Internet, so I was completely cut off from my old friends. I once tried to catch the train back to school just to explain things to them, and was grounded for a week. Apparently she didn't want anyone to have an "influence" on me. She also made me get a part-time job and start paying her for her spare room. As it was better than going back to stay with my mum and her many "boyfriends" that's what I did till I was old enough to go to uni. Because I was working a lot longer than someone my age should have, and my aunt imposed strict curfews and rules, I wasn't bullied at school but I literally had no friends there either.

    I got to uni (in a different city) last year and it's been alright, but again it feels so different. I can't even go home for the vacations as I have literally no support system. My aunt and mum ring me every now and then and that is it. I've made friends, and am becoming reasonably popular, but even though I'm 19 my childhood still haunts me. I know what I want to do as an adult, and I can be a normal university student and go out wearing a short skirt without my aunt yelling at me. But it's horrible knowing that so much of my childhood was wasted. I almost feel less inclined to grow up, it's like I've left something behind.

    I was on Facebook today and looked up my old school friends, they're all on there but I don't know if I should get in contact, it's literally been 6 years and I'm the kid who was out of school half the time so they probably wouldn't even remember me. Despite the fact my family was poor, I could have had such a happy, normal childhood and instead I'm at uni crying about it because it was all wasted. I can be a successful adult but I just don't know how to deal with the past.
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    That sounds really horrible, but you're out of it now at least.

    Maybe get in touch? What's the worst that could happen? As far as your childhood is concerned, best to let it go. Holding on to something that bad isn't a good idea. Maybe seek counselling etc? You're old enough now, and don't have to let your family influence you anymore, you're free Will you be staying in your uni city over summer, or going home?

    Don't let this ruin the rest of your life
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    (Original post by beckaroo7)
    That sounds really horrible, but you're out of it now at least.

    Maybe get in touch? What's the worst that could happen? As far as your childhood is concerned, best to let it go. Holding on to something that bad isn't a good idea. Maybe seek counselling etc? You're old enough now, and don't have to let your family influence you anymore, you're free Will you be staying in your uni city over summer, or going home?

    Don't let this ruin the rest of your life
    Thanks I'm staying in my uni city over summer. I wish I could make this the home I never had, but all my uni friends will be leaving once they graduate.

    I've seen a counsellor at uni and though she's empathetic she just doesn't really have much advice to offer. I've talked to a doctor too and she just didn't really seem to get it.

    My childhood wasn't entirely horrible, I'm just sad I couldn't even salvage all the good bits like my friends.
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    Your past isn't your future. You have had a terrible experience, but feeling this way is just going to make you feel worse. You're at uni, you know what you want to do with your life - look forward to that and don't dwell on the past. I probably wouldn't get back in touch with them for a few years until you are sure about yourself and who you are as a person, and to get there I really think you should speak to a counsellor to help you.
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    I don't want to come across as naive, because I've never had an experience like yours, so feel free to ignore this if it doesn't help. I do really feel bad for you.

    However, if you let this time go you will only come to regret that as well. You are still very young - you have time to make some great memories. I know it's easier said than done, and that your uni friends will be leaving soon, but that does happen around this period, even for people with good childhoods - the ages of 20-25 tend to be quite transitory and independent. It's a good time to experiment with people, friends and relationships.

    I would (again possibly naively) strongly advise you to live in the moment and do everything you can to just have fun. Then when you are more settled you can find somebody and raise your own children to have the childhood you never had.

    Good luck with it. I know you can't just drop your childhood like that, but try to remember you are only just starting your real life.
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    I find this very sad to read yet also very relatable. I also had an awful childhood and believe me I understand what you mean about dwelling on the past. I've spent many years yearning for the lost childhood and teenage years that I never had and the thought of it is enough to bring me to tears sometimes. There is so much bitterness and resentment and frustration and anger. And plain sadness.

    It would be hypocritical of me to tell you to stop thinking of the years you never had and look to the years you have ahead of you instead, because I know how hard that is to do. But I'm slowly coming to realise that it's the only way to not be miserable forever. You have to be strong and not let all the crap that has happened in your past to pave your future. Yes, there are many things we have missed out on and several years we have lost, but what good will it do dwelling on that? It will always hurt a little bit deep down, but I prefer to think of it as something that has made me stronger.

    As for contacting old school friends, I really really recommend you do it. Getting back in touch with people is quite nerve-racking, but talking to old friends made me feel better than ever. I really do wish you the best and I'm so sorry to hear about everything you've gone through.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks I'm staying in my uni city over summer. I wish I could make this the home I never had, but all my uni friends will be leaving once they graduate.

    I've seen a counsellor at uni and though she's empathetic she just doesn't really have much advice to offer. I've talked to a doctor too and she just didn't really seem to get it.

    My childhood wasn't entirely horrible, I'm just sad I couldn't even salvage all the good bits like my friends.
    It's early to worry about that. Maybe get a part time job, and you'll get to know locals, and fel more at home? Yeah, I've heard counselling sometimes isn't helpful. If you're not actually depressed, then there's nothing they an really do. Sounds like you're dealing with it well.
    It's early to be thinking bout your future just yet. See what job you get at the end, and see where life takes you really
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    I know how cliched this sounds but your past no longer exists, it's just a memory stored electrochemically within the brain. All you have is the present. Regrets and sorrow are worthless, so let them go and concentrate on where you want to go from here.

    Read this book, I found it pretty powerful: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Power-No...e+power+of+now
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    Don't put too much emphasis on your childhood. Everybody's childhood is out of their control, it shapes you to who you are so people usually don't consider the time "wasted" if it was unhappy. I would only consider years 'wasted' if they were mine to shape and I wasted it myself.
    I didn't grow up like you, my family is wealthy, but still emotionally very shut down. I lost my father to cancer when I was little and was left a lot on my own, which has led to me becoming an almost extreme introvert. I guess what I'm saying is that every family has its stuff, regardless of financial situation, parents missing or not etc.

    19 is young. I'm still very shaped by my upbringing and I'm almost 23. People change a lot throughout their twenties and it's not until their late twenties they become more confident and have formed their real self. It's also part of the reason why most people start to get going in their careers at that point and meet their life partner in their late twenties. You're still a teenager.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks I'm staying in my uni city over summer. I wish I could make this the home I never had, but all my uni friends will be leaving once they graduate.
    Get a job and get to know some locals! I've probably made more friends from my job than university.

    My teenage years were ****ing awful for the most part but i've largely got over it. It's been hard explaining to my friends why I never go and see my family, why I don't have home friends etc and I do get a bit jealous of them. Everyone jokes about how i'm really closed off and that they know nothing about me before uni, but it's not something I particularly want to talk about.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I grew up with a single mother (my dad left when I was very little) and two sisters who dropped out of school due to getting pregnant. I was raised on a council estate, but it was in a really nice little town down South (leaving out the name so no-one recognises me) and I made quite a few great friends at school in years 6 and 7. I often had to drop out of school to help my sisters look after their kids, and my mother's boyfriends were often physically and emotionally abusive, but my schoolfriends were there for me. We never talked much about what was going on at home but I somehow managed to stay happy.

    When I was 13, my mum got an awful boyfriend, who had two nearly adult sons of his own. I had just come home from school one day when the son tried to molest me. Thankfully, I got away and managed to call the police. The Social Services came round, and there was enough evidence that my mum had been neglecting me that I ended up moving in with my aunt, who lived in a completely different city.

    Once I'd moved, my aunt (who was very strict and religious) wouldn't even let me have my mobile phone, or use the Internet, so I was completely cut off from my old friends. I once tried to catch the train back to school just to explain things to them, and was grounded for a week. Apparently she didn't want anyone to have an "influence" on me. She also made me get a part-time job and start paying her for her spare room. As it was better than going back to stay with my mum and her many "boyfriends" that's what I did till I was old enough to go to uni. Because I was working a lot longer than someone my age should have, and my aunt imposed strict curfews and rules, I wasn't bullied at school but I literally had no friends there either.

    I got to uni (in a different city) last year and it's been alright, but again it feels so different. I can't even go home for the vacations as I have literally no support system. My aunt and mum ring me every now and then and that is it. I've made friends, and am becoming reasonably popular, but even though I'm 19 my childhood still haunts me. I know what I want to do as an adult, and I can be a normal university student and go out wearing a short skirt without my aunt yelling at me. But it's horrible knowing that so much of my childhood was wasted. I almost feel less inclined to grow up, it's like I've left something behind.

    I was on Facebook today and looked up my old school friends, they're all on there but I don't know if I should get in contact, it's literally been 6 years and I'm the kid who was out of school half the time so they probably wouldn't even remember me. Despite the fact my family was poor, I could have had such a happy, normal childhood and instead I'm at uni crying about it because it was all wasted. I can be a successful adult but I just don't know how to deal with the past.
    I'd say get in contact with your old school friends, what's the worst that can happen (them saying no)! About the childhood, you've just got to have a positive mind set. The past is gone and their's nothing you can do about it, but just look forward to and change your future.

    You could even consider volunteering and helping those less fortunate as well, by volunteering as a youth club worker or charity worker or something to help other children. This could help you move on, maybe?
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    Not the best childhood, but far from the worst.

    **** happens man, it sucks, but that's life. You gotta learn to let go of the past and move on. Forgive the people around you and yourself.
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    All I'm saying is that I got huge respect for you. You're someone that can actually say that you started from the bottom and now you're here. SALUTE
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    (Original post by thatrollingstone)
    I know how cliched this sounds but your past no longer exists, it's just a memory stored electrochemically within the brain. All you have is the present. Regrets and sorrow are worthless, so let them go and concentrate on where you want to go from here.

    Read this book, I found it pretty powerful: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Power-No...e+power+of+now
    Thank you for the recommendation, will check out that book. My past is still affecting my life right now though - i.e. I have no "home" friends and my aunt's city feels completely irrelevant.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for the recommendation, will check out that book. My past is still affecting my life right now though - i.e. I have no "home" friends and my aunt's city feels completely irrelevant.
    Home friends? Can't you just make new friends, in a way trying to contact your home friends will keep reminding you about the past
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I was on Facebook today and looked up my old school friends, they're all on there but I don't know if I should get in contact, it's literally been 6 years and I'm the kid who was out of school half the time so they probably wouldn't even remember me. Despite the fact my family was poor, I could have had such a happy, normal childhood and instead I'm at uni crying about it because it was all wasted. I can be a successful adult but I just don't know how to deal with the past.
    Your achievement in getting into uni against many difficulties is one to feel proud of, can you work towards focusing on a mental attitude of building on that achievement and carving out further successes for yourself, against all difficulties?

    What have you been doing during the holidays, do you literally have no place to go? Are you in the States? (you said "vacations".)
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Your achievement in getting into uni against many difficulties is one to feel proud of, can you work towards focusing on a mental attitude of building on that achievement and carving out further successes for yourself, against all difficulties?

    What have you been doing during the holidays, do you literally have no place to go? Are you in the States? (you said "vacations".)
    Thank you for your response. I'm trying to turn my background and strong personality into a positive.

    I've been able to stay in uni accommodation over the hols, it's been expensive but there's no way I'm going back home. My aunt would throw me out if I so much as wore a short skirt one day.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I grew up with a single mother (my dad left when I was very little) and two sisters who dropped out of school due to getting pregnant. I was raised on a council estate, but it was in a really nice little town down South (leaving out the name so no-one recognises me) and I made quite a few great friends at school in years 6 and 7. I often had to drop out of school to help my sisters look after their kids, and my mother's boyfriends were often physically and emotionally abusive, but my schoolfriends were there for me. We never talked much about what was going on at home but I somehow managed to stay happy.

    When I was 13, my mum got an awful boyfriend, who had two nearly adult sons of his own. I had just come home from school one day when the son tried to molest me. Thankfully, I got away and managed to call the police. The Social Services came round, and there was enough evidence that my mum had been neglecting me that I ended up moving in with my aunt, who lived in a completely different city.

    Once I'd moved, my aunt (who was very strict and religious) wouldn't even let me have my mobile phone, or use the Internet, so I was completely cut off from my old friends. I once tried to catch the train back to school just to explain things to them, and was grounded for a week. Apparently she didn't want anyone to have an "influence" on me. She also made me get a part-time job and start paying her for her spare room. As it was better than going back to stay with my mum and her many "boyfriends" that's what I did till I was old enough to go to uni. Because I was working a lot longer than someone my age should have, and my aunt imposed strict curfews and rules, I wasn't bullied at school but I literally had no friends there either.

    I got to uni (in a different city) last year and it's been alright, but again it feels so different. I can't even go home for the vacations as I have literally no support system. My aunt and mum ring me every now and then and that is it. I've made friends, and am becoming reasonably popular, but even though I'm 19 my childhood still haunts me. I know what I want to do as an adult, and I can be a normal university student and go out wearing a short skirt without my aunt yelling at me. But it's horrible knowing that so much of my childhood was wasted. I almost feel less inclined to grow up, it's like I've left something behind.

    I was on Facebook today and looked up my old school friends, they're all on there but I don't know if I should get in contact, it's literally been 6 years and I'm the kid who was out of school half the time so they probably wouldn't even remember me. Despite the fact my family was poor, I could have had such a happy, normal childhood and instead I'm at uni crying about it because it was all wasted. I can be a successful adult but I just don't know how to deal with the past.
    All the very best to your future.. I am sure you will do wonders.. Just Think about living the rest of your life the way you wanted.
 
 
 
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