Childhood is the most alluring and exquisite phase of an individual’s life.
Childhood experiences play a vital role in shaping one’s personality and behaviour. During childhood, we learn to manage our instincts and alter them into socially admissible behaviour.
Different experiences may have different impacts, as the young mind is very impressionable; Childhood occurrences influence one’s personality development.
According to Sigmund Freud, “personality forms during the first few years of life and the ways in which parents or other caregivers interact with the child have a long-lasting impression”.
Adverse childhood experiences hinder one’s mental health.
Children of dysfunctional families or having experienced abuse, negligence, domestic violence, bad parenting or exposed to violence at an early age or have watched their loved one suffer are at a greater risk of mental illness.
These children can suffer from:
· Chronic stress
· Poor self-esteem
· Trust issues-
· Self-destructive behaviour
· Anxiety or anger-related issues.
· Sometimes they can also develop new fears.
Though I was lucky enough to never have experienced domestic violence or bad parenting, I have had a bad phase in my life in which I had no friends. My mom thought it was me who could not be social but it was just that I couldn’t “vibe” with anyone whom I could call my “best friend”.
Childhood and Counselling:
Once, my mom was asked to take me to a counsellor back then counselling was stigmatised as something that was not considered “normal”. I was just 10 years old and I didn’t know what was going on. It was neither my mother’s fault nor mine. It was just that I wasn’t able to fit in with my peers.
Probably, I was not confident about myself. Moreover, I was never accepted by anyone among the people of my age. I was dealt a bad hand when it came to academics. I was always trapped in a perpetual state of feeling useless and that I was a burden to my parents. At that time the only person I could rely on was my mom, she was my only friend. I could share everything with her. She made efforts to understand what I was going through. I always felt suffocated because no matter how close we were, I needed a true friend who was around my age.
For a long period, I felt like I didn’t want to be myself. The only time I used to feel good about myself was when I was with my cousins. I never felt unwanted when I was with them. Though I never told them what I was going through because I was afraid of being judged. I wanted to be liked and accepted by everyone.
But during the beginning of my high school era, I was lucky enough to find some people who, I am assured, will be my life-long friends. I learnt a lot of things from them along the lines of self-love, how not to think about society, the repercussions that would follow me if I didn’t abide by their so-called “rules” and not to dwell on the negative stuff in life. Now I am a completely different person, more confident and expressive. Now I don’t want to be liked by everyone because I know that’s not possible. You can’t please everyone.
Gradually my parents began to understand me, they stuck by me through thick and thin and were able to help me get through that phase.
PS – my mom is still my best friend.
Now I love myself and I take pride in being ME.
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