Looking back from when I was 16 till now, I realized that my life wasn't easy. I never had it good like the other kids- and I am not talking about basic needs like food and shelter. I am talking about family support and mental illness. Many people view having a good childhood as a life where you are fed, clothed, and sheltered, but in all honesty that is only the basic foundation.

Growing up I saw hostility, heartbreak, confusion, and betrayal. When I do see love it does not last long and I would cherish every moment of that love and affection I had because unlike many mothers, my mom would experience moods that can be so unstable.

One day I am the best thing that happened to her and next moment I am nothing but useless and a burden. Another thing that I experienced in life was being in the foster care system for over three years. Although it is not as long as many other kids in the system has been in care, I saw both the good and bad of being in the foster care system.

After seven years, here are 10 things I learned growing up with a difficult childhood.

1. You never know how strong you are

One thing I hate is when some people over admire me for my strength. Don't get my wrong, I love compliments but some people act as if being a strong person is some sort of super power few have. In all honesty many of us are strong in our own way depending on our circumstances. Being strong is a part of life that everyone has to be at some point and no matter how much you try to run from it, life will hunt you down with this lesson no matter who you are.

2. If you don't like something, change it

Life will always have its challenges no matter who you are. At the end of the day you can make the decision to change the life that you are living. It does not matter what you are going through or what you are born into. my logic is that as long as you have that willpower to change your life you are all set to accomplish whatever that is

3. People are in you life for a reason

One of the biggest kicker I experienced is when I realized not everyone is meant to be in your life. Many who had left your life are toxic nine times out of ten. One great thing I learned about life is that is will always be full of people and just like we have a choice to change our situations we also have a choice on whether or not we want to welcome new people into our lives.

4. You cannot change people who does not see an issue with their actions

After my last relationship I realized that as a woman I am not accountable for another person unless that is my own child. I remember trying to help one of my exes find a job (mind you I was 17 with a job And going to school while he was 20, unemployed and sat at home) and at the end of the day all I got were excuses after excuses. I also had an ex who was irresponsible with keeping a job and his family expected me to make sure he stayed on track with his life ( like for real???). After reflecting on both of these relationships I realized that you cannot change someone who does not want to do good with their lives and you deserve to ask for someone who is already within your standards.

5. Forget the mistakes remember the lesson

It took me a while to realize that I am not my mistakes. Years of verbal and emotional abuse had prevented me from loving my flaws but now I realized that my flaws don't define me. Instead they teach me how to be stronger.

6. Stop expecting loyalty from people who cannot give you honesty

Loyalty and honesty goes hand in hand. I realized this when I had to cut off toxic people in my life and afterwards I had realized that they were never loyal to me to begin with if they were never honest with me

7. Replace "why" with "what"

One thing I hate doing is feeling sorry for myself. It was not until later in college when I start to think about how far my struggles had taken me instead of what my struggles had done to me.