People say words can hurt but that is one thing that I had to learn after growing up in an emotionally abusive household.
Growing up I was always harshly criticized for a lot of things, including my looks, grades I got in school, and even what I wanted to do in the future. I rarely had a good compliment from my mom growing up and it made me believe that no matter what I did it would never matter to anyone. It also made me believe that no matter what I say to people, I should not care how they feel and that how they feel is their personal business they need to deal with themselves.
When it came to empathy and respect, those feelings are few and far between. Growing up in a household that was emotionally abusive, my own feelings were never put into perspective of my family members. When it came time to move out and start my own life, I thought what I learned was normal. But it wasn't until my last relationship that I realized that this isn't how most people were brought up.
Here are 3 things I learned when healing from my past.
1. Words do hurt.
I never realized how much I had hurt others with my words and how much I was hurting myself until I would talk to my friends and my therapist about my life. I realize that even though it may have felt like the right thing to say at the moment, it can end up going a long way.
I cannot speak for the people I had hurt, but for me, I realize that because of my rough upbringing I grew overly independent but also I had always doubted myself and my self-confidence.
2. It is hard for me to know how to encourage the people I care about.
Growing up I was never encouraged through love but instead, I was always given bad outlooks on things. My mom used to tell me that I would never do anything right and that she didn't know if I would ever be something of myself. At the time I felt she was right and I just took it as it is.
When I dated my last ex, he was doing all that he could but he was not doing things the way I felt he should. Instead of encouraging him to do more for himself, I tore him down by telling him that he would be nothing if he kept doing things his way. I wished I was more patient towards him and been more positive with him, but I had also wished that I had gotten the same from my parents.
3. It's hard to be kind towards myself and others.
Not only had I put others down a lot, I had also put myself down as well. I would judge myself so harshly to the point that I would fall into crippling depression and anxiety. At the same time I would have this huge ego and would tend to hide my pain by criticizing others especially whoever my partner is.
It is hard to analyze yourself and tell yourself that you will work towards changing for the better. When my ex-left me I realized that I had to make a decision and that was either I stay who I am and risk having a lonely life, or I can do on this journey towards bettering myself and have people who are in my life stay for a good reason. I chose to change because I want to be kind and empathetic towards others.
This won't be overnight but it is a journey I am willing to take no matter the hardships that will come my way.