How do you move on from a crappy childhood?

Let me start off by saying that I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to forgive and forget. Growing up, we were dirt poor. We didn't have a working car. I'm the oldest of 10 kids. I was a babysitter. I spent my entire life raising children. My stepdad was physically violent over the years. My biological father never cared enough to come around.

To this day, I don't function right. I'm working on my sobriety. I'm really trying. I'm working 3 jobs at 22 to save up for college. I want to move past everything. I want to be successful. I want to get married and have kids and a good career...but my mental health is crap. I've been going to a therapist, but It hasn't helped much. My stepfather has since apologized for physically abusing me, but it doesnt mean much. My mother has apologized for making me take care of my 9 younger siblings all of my life. My father has apologized for not being around. I can't seem to forgive or forget. Any advice?

Updated 5 days ago:

I don't take minor inconveniences like a normal person. I get a flat tire, and contemplate suicide. I see a news story about a dead child, and I get severe anxiety. I worry about paying my bills everyday. I constantly live in fear. What should I do?

9 Answers

  • 3 days ago

    forgiving  is not for them  but for you, because if you let all the hurt go and forgive them, it takes all your  built up hate  and hurt away/...that way you will feel better in yourself.... i cant say how long it will take  to make you feel better but forgiving them  thats not saying you agree with what they did and you dont have to have anymore to do with them if you dont want neither ..but forgiving helps you only .

    you can be real proud  of yourself  working and saving up for college ..pat ya self on ya back deserve it!!... always praise your self up for all the good things you do and never run yourself down neither ,all that helps  you be happier  ..if you learn well before hand how to change a flat tyre ,you wont get so stressed  ..make sure you always have a spare.,.,.,.,.,.,

    when things  go wrong in life, always have a plan  worked out for all the different scenarios seeing things stress you easily..

     try have money saved  for when things go wrong..

  • 4 days ago

    Therapy = DOING THE WORK it takes to come to recovery.  You can't start a journey toward recovery if you're not working at it.  Therapists don't have magic wands... it's your responsibility to work and put forth effort to get better. 

    Forgetting?  That doesn't happen, but moving forward and living with presence DOES HAPPEN.

    Maybe the book, The Power of Now would be helpful, as well as doing the work your therapist suggests. 

  • Ann
    Lv 7
    5 days ago

    There are several things you can do.  You say you want to save up some money to go to college.  First, go to a jr. college's counseling dept. and take an aptitude test.  Find out what your skills are, and determine if the skills are in line with what you would like to do with your life.  Then, that is a goal to set for yourself.  There are successful jobs you can do with an associate's degree (2 yrs. instead of a 4 yr. college, which might be out of reach for the time being.).  Next, know that you aren't obligated to "forgive and forget", but set another goal for yourself to rise above how you were treated as a child and determine that you would never do that to your own family.  Make up your mind that you would be a responsible wife and parent for them.  Learn to take one day at a time--maybe even one hour at a time.  When you successfully complete one hour, congratulate yourself and look forward to the next hour.  If something negative happens (such as a flat tire), take the experience as something you've learned to deal with instead of it being a disaster.  Tell yourself you can get through that experience successfully, and master it.  We can't help what happens to other people and we can't control situations.  What we can control is how we react to situations.  If you're working on sobriety, that is another goal for you.  Go to AA if you haven't already, and discover there are other people who are in the same condition as you.  They understand the lows of depression and anxiety, and they are people you can talk to.   I would suspect that you haven't had a lot of positive interactions in your life, or time to do anything fun.  Get some exercise every day, and you will find that if you're feeling good physically, your mental attitude will be lifted as well.  Think about something you would enjoy doing for yourself--some kind of sport, or painting, or singing.  Develop a hobby that will bring you pleasure.  Set some personal goals for yourself such as buying some makeup or getting a new haircut.  New clothes don't have to be expensive.  Thrift shops can have some good bargains, and you can mix and match until you have a nice wardrobe.  If the adults in your life haven't been kind to you, find some other people to interact with who have positive outlooks.  I wouldn't recommend going to bars to find companionship.  Instead, consider visiting some churches and seeing if there is one you would be comfortable with.  There are singles groups for people your age, and they are generally made up of people who are looking for positive and non-threatening interaction.  Good luck to you!  

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    5 days ago

    maybe you should get some counseling

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  • 5 days ago

    First, I want to congratulate and support you on your attitude and working toward your own mental health.  You are far more intelligent than you give yourself credit for.

    What we promote in psychiatry is to forgive and move on, NOT FORGET.  To forget would be living in denial.  Accept what was done and LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE but do not forget how wrong it was.  You have become stronger because you have survived and lived through this and you will go on.

    I would like to highly recommend a good book to you:  TOXIC PARENTS by Dr. Susan Forward.  You can get it on Amazon or at your local library.  The book is worth your time and attention because it tells the true stories of other people who were abused and neglected by bad parents and who became stronger and overcame their past and were able to BUILD a better future for themselves.

    Therapy takes time and over time it should TEACH YOU BETTER LIFE SKILLS.  And what doesn't kill us just makes us stronger and more determined in the end.

    But if you contemplate suicide over minor things, you may need medical treatment for depression.  the American Medical Association has declared that depression is a disease and like any other disease it responds well to medications and therapies.

    I wish you every success and all the best.

  • T J
    Lv 5
    5 days ago

    You are a good person, and yes it hurts like hell, how your life was, you are trying your best to be a success in life. Some how, you have to let it go, I know it is not easy, but its time for you to concentrate on you. You are the most important thing to worry about. Face  that you cannot undo your past. Spend your time, trying to get education assistance from your state, city. Go to the college and make a appointment to talk to financial aid, busy yourself on you. I wish you all of the best anyone can have to move past your problems, let them go.

  • 5 days ago

    You are doing the right thing with a therapist.....or I'd have suggested counselling to get rid of your unwanted emotional baggage.  You are positive.  You are proactive.  I think you are going to be OK.  You are doing things for yourself to make your life better which is fantastic.  You are only 22 so don't be in too much of a rush to settle down etc.  You have bags of time for that.  You are already domesticated if you've raised 9 siblings so don't rush into more domesticity.  Go to college, live that student life for a while and gain new friends and live in a new environment with other students.  Take things a bit slow.  The next 10 years are solely for you to do and get what you want out of life.  Then you'll still be young enough for marriage and family etc and will be able to financially provide for your own kids.  Good luck and well done with the sobriety.  It's so easy to fall into bad habits when one is unhappy.  You've got fighting spirit.  Try counselling and/or hypnotherapy to shed the damage done throughout your childhood.  It's in the past now.  You sound like you are moving on already.

  • 5 days ago

    start by not sharing your personal information in a public forum. if you need to vent, get professional help.

  • 5 days ago

    You forgive not for them but for you only. People are not perfect and we all do horrible things but we should forgive them that is how we move on. No one should have our past held over our heads. Therapy is not a cure all but it comes from us inside we choose to forgive so we can move in the right direction.  It is hard to let go I know but life is too short to be mad all the time.

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