After being subjected to the debacle that was my childhood, I knew it wasn't a normal, healthy or good experience. If you read my book, "The Illusion of a Girl" you'll understand what my childhood was like, since my book is loosely based on it. The first 50 pages of my book are included on this site if you want to check it out.
I'll give you a quick overview of my childhood so you understand my background. My father was an alcoholic, but because of that or in addition to it, he was also mean. I think he hated himself and his hate carried over to his children. Looking back, I think we provided a safe outlet for him to vent his rage. Safe because we couldn't fight back. We had no power over him, and he didn't seem to care what we thought of him. He showed us little to no affection, and we showed him no affection. As the youngest child, he scared the crap out of me. He would yell at us over ridiculous things like leaving toothpaste spit in the white bathroom sink. He slammed my head into the wall for sassing my mom, and I can't even remember over what else. The TV volume had to be kept so low it wasn't even worth watching TV. He never asked how our day was or how school was going. Really, the only words I said to him daily were hi and bye. Not to go on and on about the abuse, I'll just list it out. My father was: verbally, physically and emotionally abusive.
I may have been an usual kid or just shut down emotionally, but I didn't seek or want his love or attention. Or maybe I don't remember wanting it. My dad passed when I was 21 years old and I've never missed him. I don't understand what it would be like to have a relationship with a father.
Our childhood wasn't all bad since my brothers and I managed it with a lot of humor. In addition, the minute I left our home, I didn't think about it. I enjoyed my friends, ran track, chased boys and generally had a good time. I'm sure a psychologist would call this behavior "compartmentalizing."
So, how did I end up here? "Here" meaning my current fantastic, mentally-balanced self! My determination to have a good life is/was the most important factor. The other factors were lots of counseling, a few self-help books and some anti-depressants. At the age of 18, I asked for counseling, and my mom set it up for me. I continued counseling on and off into my 30's. I pursue additional methods currently, but it's another blog post.
Why did I pursue counseling at 18? Because I was scared to death I would turn out like him. As I aged, the other various mental issues an alcoholic's kid may suffer from came up, like PTSD, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety and so on. I'll talk more about getting over your messed up childhood in my next blog : )