It’s hard to rewrite how you see yourself.

I am confident in a lot of things. I’ve never been insecure (maybe a few times in high school) about what I look like. I’m surrounded by lots of beautiful women, some I consider prettier than me but that never really made me insecure.

If anything it made me feel like, yeah there’s always going to be prettier people but I like my face. I like my body. This is how I am built and I can’t change my height or my face so I’ll just love it.

Where I begin to lose the confidence, is what I have on the inside. Compared to my sisters, I was the weak one. The crybaby. Even before I could talk properly, I was scolded for crying. Do I know why I was emotional?? No. I was a child. But my parents, in their own way, thought the answer was to shout, to demean. To call me names. At the end of the day, it made me cry more. It made me even more emotional and sensitive.

It’s a cruel world. Now as I have my own babies and my life is pretty happy, I don’t cry nearly as much. My feelings are always validated thanks to my husband and friends. My family’s lifelong trauma has made it hard for my siblings to be able to be that lifeline even if we experience similar things. But none of them were ever me.

They were always strong. They never cried. They just took the shouting, they acted as if nothing bothered them. I was always being compared. “She’s younger than you and she doesn’t cry nearly as much as you, what is wrong with you?”

You know, they always thought they were doing the right thing. Because we never were hit as kids. We didn’t ensure the physical abuse they did, so they did things the right way, right?

I was torn down, ripped apart from the inside. I feel like the scars are on the inside. And those take longer to heal. Those can leave a lifetime of wounds inside you, and you can’t see them.

You can’t speak up. You can’t show the pain. You have nothing but the trauma to remember your dad by.

Years and years of this emotional abuse led me down a path where I realize sometimes I can be toxic to people. I don’t communicate well with people. I try to relax and be normal but I don’t even know how. I tense up with there’s a tiny twinge of conflict. I’m scared.

Will they belittle me for my feelings? Will they think I’m just over dramatic and sensitive? Am I being too emotional?

I always say it’s so important to put yourself first. But I feel like I am not worthy of being first because I am too this or too that. No one will take me seriously, how could they when I don’t even take myself serious?

The cycle will end here. I won’t physically abuse my kids but emotionally? I will try to meet every need. I want to be perfect, I know I can’t but I wish there was guidelines that tell you what to do and what not to do.

If my kids are sad, then they should be allowed to be sad. If they want to cry sometimes, well go ahead! I do too! Everything in this life will always be about being about to be kind and loving and forgiving instead of trying to build these mean, vicious, unemotional creatures my parents tried to create. It’s not ALL about being strong.

We can be strong when we need to be but we are also allowed to have feelings of weakness. Emotions are not a bad things. And I will try my hardest to show my babies that all we truly need to do is love each other and be loving, kind and whatever else they choose to be.

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