Love is another one of the words that I have struggled to truly understand. I grew up in an environment where I didn’t feel loved in the way stories, movies, and TV shows described it. I knew my parents cared about me, but I honestly didn’t feel loved and therefore had no real-life reference for what love actually felt like or really was. I had only the perfect stories from sources not based in reality. The sad part is while I longed for that perfect love, deep down I didn’t feel that I deserved it or would ever actually have it.
I had all the hormones, emotions, and anger of a normal teenage girl added with a difficult childhood, abuse, and neglect. In my mind I was GROWN. I examined many of the “adults” in my life and was confident that I was their equal or superior in a multitude of ways. I watched how many of them lived their lives and vowed that I would not live my life like them. They would serve an anti-example of how to live my life. I worked, saved money, I was responsible for two kids, and I knew Education was the key to changing my situation because no one was coming to save me. I would have to save myself, not my “real” mom, not my aunts, not my dad, no one. I would have to save me.