The Broken Eggshell

I often walked on eggshells growing up unsure of what to say, do or how to feel. There was tension between my mother and father that sometimes resulted in physical abuse. As a girl, the youngest with two older brothers, I looked up to them for guidance, support and sometimes protection since my parents were consumed with life - church, work and taking care of us well-behaved children. Plus, my parents didn’t allow me to often play with girls my age in my neighborhood because they felt they were a negative influence on me. My parents didn’t know I was molested when I was 4 or 5 years old by a family member and a few neighborhood boys as I grew older. I was too afraid to tell my parents. I had a feeling what was happening to me was wrong but I was too young to know I was being used or how to prevent it. Although I’m sure my parents loved me, they would jokingly make fun of me saying I was ugly, my neck was too black and I should start to wash it, not to show my teeth when I smiled because of my gap between my two front teeth. My brothers would say the same jokes. When my father got upset, he’d call us all brutal names “stupid, dumb, ******” I hated getting whippings or beatings going up because I could never recall what I did wrong but sometimes the feeling of not being loved and accepted remains with me today. I wanted to be perfect and make my parents happy so I got good grades and tried be thin (even though I didn't have a weight problem) but the pressure was too much; I tried committing suicide with diet pills when I was 11 years old. It didn’t work and they never knew I’d tried to kill myself or how much pain I was in. With all my might, I tried to embrace the church and God the way my parents did hoping it would make me feel better and ease my pain but no matter how hard I prayed, fasted, read the Bible or went to church, I didn’t feel secure, loved or accepted.

Verbal, emotional and physical abuse continued until I ran away from home at 17 years old. It was such a dangerous decision for me to be on the streets – I was terrified and shudder at the thought of the danger I was in and pray no child will never, ever run away from home. I stayed with friends and in a group home until I turned 18 and got my own apartment. I worked a lot, partied and went to school whenever I wanted to. I looked for love through sex. I’d began drinking and smoking weed (another thing they didn’t know about) when I lived at home so I continued. I also maintained a relationship with my parents. They were remorseful and anxious for me to come back home after I ran away but I was scared to move back home too. Although I was in plenty of unsafe situations, thankfully nothing serious happened to me and I graduated from college and eventually travelled to many places I wanted to see, worked and always volunteered to help others.

Now that I’m older and no longer under the invisible pressures from my youth and being a young adult, I find myself struggling with a host of feelings ranging from gratitude, happiness, anger, love, lust, loss, resentment, jealousy and guilt. Still sometimes those pressures still haunt me like it was yesterday. My father died years ago and we made as much peace as possible before his death. But if he was still alive he’d learn so much more about me such as my pattern of intimate relationships with men are the ones who aren’t emotionally, physically, spiritually available to me. I have a beautiful daughter but a failed marriage. I wonder how will I teach her how to love herself and have healthy loving long lasting relationships when I’ve been broken? When I recently told my mother details of being molested, although she was very sad, her silence afterwards spoke volumes about so many things that may never be fixed, healed or further discussed. I’ve learned that my parents did the best they could. Like me, they weren’t raised perfectly either.
zeeva70 zeeva70
41-45, F
28 Responses Jan 17, 2013

Harsh,true, but your perseverance is an inspiration.
I appreciate this post,it isn't easy to share this sort of history and emotion but it can definitely make us stronger and more compassionate to do so.

I find solace in Buddha's teachings in my moments of despair. I see infinite wisdom in what Buddha uncovered and taught thousands of years back, in the 5th century BC to be precise.
It's interesting to note that the questions pertaining to life were the same then as they are now. Human life has been plagued by the same questions since the time of it's inception I suppose - the same existential questions. And those questions bothered him like they bother me, like they bother us. He wanted to find answers. He was a prince. But gave it all up in his quest to find answers. And answers he did find. Answers that are as relevant now as they were back then.
Like I have said before I'm not religious at all. And Buddhism isn't a religion. It doesn't talk about who God is and how to worship or please him. It answers far more important questions than those. It talks about life. Tries to answer existential questions. It's a philosophical treaty on life and it's myriad hues, it's triumphs and it's tribulations, it's vagaries and it's contradictions. It's spiritualism without the vile cloak of religious bigotry.
I see wisdom. I see light. I find peace. May be you too can.

I'm somewhat familiar with the teachings of Buddha, more so after completing a study, which I found enlightening. I'm not the same woman who wrote this story a few years ago; I've continued to evolve in such a beautiful way. I wish you peace, wisdom, love and infinite light as well.

Zeeva, great to know that things have improved and you have evolved to handle life better. May the inner light heal you even more and guide you better, and the life and love you give to your daughter.

Life can be so difficult sometimes. How I wish I knew why. Is there really any order to the chaos that life is as some people would proclaim?! Why the pain? Why the heartache? Why do some people end up hurting the ones they love?! And why can't some others love people enough so as not to want to hurt them?! Why do the innocent and the guileless suffer so?!! It just doesn't seem fair to me.
My heart reaches out to you. Can relate. All of us have fought our own battles. The collective history of human civilisation is fraught with stories of loss, of grief, of vicissitude. But some of us had it tougher than the others. Some like you had to fight bigger, more cruel battles. And it's infinitely more difficult to be a lone warrior. And you definitely have been one. Hats off to you for that.
I see incredible strength of spirit in you along with a sensitive and vulnerable heart. An indomitable spirit that has kept you standing; bruised and battered, but still standing, still fighting. It would have been so much easier to give up. So many in your shoes would have given up. But you haven't. I see pain but I don't see bitterness. I see loss but I don't see a cynic. I see a person who is wary and a li'l withdrawn may be, but one who is eager to help others who are in the same boat. I see a giving person, a loving person, a tender mother and a person who hasn't given up on herself. And that's commendable.
Some wounds never heal. Some heal leaving behind scars. Scars that smart for years to come. And some hurt so bad that they leave you consumed, numb, incapable of feeling anything anymore. I understand that. But I sincerely hope and pray that your wounds heal. And that you get everything that you deserve in life.
And believe me you, you deserve the best that life has to offer, not for any other reason but for being the kinda person that you are. You are a great soul.
I'm agnostic. Not really a believer. Yet I feel like praying today. Amen

Thanks for visiting my story and leaving such kind words. I'd probably identify best as atheist yet I'm thankful for your prayer today. I'm fortunate that I've been on a healing path for a long time, doing the work. So the big take away that I've learned to advocate for is self-love, self-care and self- acceptance. No one can ever love you like you can love yourself.

You poor darling, my heart goes out to you. I can not imagine what it must have been like as I come from a loving family. If you ever just want to talk send me a message. I would love to be your friend, please add me.
Take care.

Thanks for your extension of friendship and kind words. As you can see, I'm not adding people. Yesterday I read a heart-touching article that sums up my feelings, including those who come from loving families. Here's the link:

I did leave home as a teenager to join my sister in Paris and that was a big mistake as she was just as demoralising and a bully, like the remainder of the "family"

I'm so sorry you had that experience especially in a new place when you're vulnerable. Being demoralising and a bully is learned behavior, too often modelled by dysfunctional parents.

Wow, My heart goes out to you, I see so many parallels in what you have said. to this day when I go to my parents I still feel unworthy, I do believe you are right they were more than likely treated the same way or worse. My parents are still alive, and the way they could always make things if they didn't happen. I wish I could, emotions of every sort took the place of not feeling equal/ I woulndn't change a thing for nothing, accept maybe putting up recommended by a friend. you are precious...

I thing your daughter is very lucky to have you as her mother. you have experiences to draw on, be them good and bad. she will always have you to guide her

I can honestly say that it goes both ways.

may I ask how old your daughter is now?

No disrespect but I'd rather keep her age close to the vest. The most important thing is I'm tremendously blessed being her mother. Sending you positive vibes.

I totally understand.. I was just curious as I thought she may have already grown and moved out.. but am gathering she is not that old...::) and she is blessed to have you as her mother, protector and mentor

1 More Response

Do you even have a feelings of teasing and torturing men? If so why?

Why are you asking this same question on other EP stories?

Reading your story Zeeva, made me realize that how our parents raised us has a bearing on how we live our lives and interact with our own children. Many a times, I tell myself not to make the same mistakes as my parents did. Life is strange, however, and more often than not, when I analyse certain things and the patterns of behavior and outcomes, I've come to acknowledge that there are things that are quite beyond our control, no matter how sincere and earnest our intentions are. The universe works in mysterious ways. I like your last two lines. They speak of an acceptance of the way things have been.

It was very difficult to realize my mother is unable to feel compassion, empathy or remorse. She blames me and other people for her problems. I have no control over that nor could ever change her. I'm getting help to heal and recover. Being a parent brings up a lot of the painful past. I have some tools. I also have goals. Even though people reading my story will often have negative thoughts or feelings, there was some good that came out of my childhood experiences.

Very sad but touching. None of us are perfect and all we can do is try our best. I can relate to a lot of this...sending you hugggggggs.


Can u message me

Pretty tough. Good to hear you scrapped through but I know the scars that leaves. Personal experience you understand. Very sympathetic to your experience.

Thank you for sharing your story and allowing us to view the inner most part of you. You are a survivor and you have done well. You are a single parent raising your daughter with love. There is no perfect parent. All anyone can do is there best in what they have been given. That is what you are doing and I bet your daughter will be beautiful.

They walk most straight
who learn to walk beneath a weight.

you are such a sweet soul,you give your daughter as much love as you can possibly give !

A rough time but you appear to have come through the other side and be a sensible Lady.

wow ! you are great dear - you struggle too much
One salute for you

Thank you for sharing your story. You remind me that diamonds don't start out as diamonds. They are formed over time, with heat, and pressure, deep under the surface of the earth. Keep on keepin on. Thank you again.

wow i admire u so much. i kno alot about abuse an bad parents too tha foster care system was not a nice place to me. i really like how u included how u are now at the end like more mature an stronger cause of stuff u survived an choices u make. i wish all parents could read this. alot of families i stayed with didnt even care at all i was like just a disposable pet an abuse never gets reported in places like that or fixed. im glad u didnt go back after u turn 18 an u was successful in college too :) thats amazing. i think people that have to fight to survive are much better people stronger smarter an more mature than people that just get given everything with no struggle. im still struggle with crazy emotions even now 2 yrs with my new fam so glad i never have to move again but sometimes i really want to when i get angry at life. i just wanna run away. i did that before from alot of foster homes i was at after they did abuse an it always made it worst cause i got moved again. but i really like how ur story show how u can survived an u even did college too an traveled. i really like this story cause i can see u are very strong inside an shining bright. its inspiration.

AquilaAqua, thank you for your comments and forgive me for taking such a long time to respond to you. I’ve visited your profile and you’re going through so much in your young life. Sometimes I’m not sure what to say because things haven’t been wrapped up neatly in a bow for me and after a childhood like that and how could they be for people like us? Yet I have much to be thankful for. A couple of facts to clear up: A year later after I ran away, after multiple separations, my mother left my father for good. And I did live with them both for brief periods of time in my early twenties in between going from one goal to another. There was somethings that I wished that I had known about when I was younger so I didn’t have to deal with them as an adult such as getting academic help in high school, shamelessly learning how to be a good student and learning life skills. In college and when I began my professional career, I discovered “gaps.” It may have been easier if they were addressed in high school, if the resources are available. That means if you need a tutor or you find you learn a certain way, to get help. Getting tested for learning disabilities is also important because they’re available resources that can help you. However, life has its way of teaching you what you need to learn at the right time. I recommend finding a constructive way to protect yourself from abuse and deal with the anger now. It could be a combination of therapy, exercise, art, affirmations and Mindfulness. Could you find a way to communicate with your adoptive parents? Surround yourself with people who’ll support you. Hurt, fear and anger fueled my accomplishments but I matured, I hurt, fear and anger wasn’t the sustainable (fulfilling) fuel I needed. I was so used to neglecting myself at a fundamental level. In my late 30’s up until now, the healing has begun. It’s called recovery.

wow im standing outside at school for an emergency drill reading this. i got tested last year an im dyslexic my reading an english is really slow but it mostly effects my math like i just done get math so hard. im at a private high school now for ppl with learning differences an its alot better than tha 3 public schools i tried an failed out of. therapy exercise an art are everyday things for me now eversince i move here after my adoption but tha affirmations an mindfullness is idk what that is but its not there yet. i always got some inside struggles going on an i also struggle to understand people an sometimes like thursday i react like a nuclear bomb an its really bad. i neglect an punish myself alot. im really hard on myself an i over thing stuff alot but even when i try tha things my therapist say to do to over come it i still go back to it casue thats all i know how to do its just so hard to change for me. sometimes it works tho most time it done work. i still struggle seem like even more now with communicating with my new parents. its alot going on in they life with businesses they both own an stuff like that plus they regular jobs its hard to get time with them an when i do im usually in trouble so its always just them yelling at me so idk. i tried writing notes sometimes that works if i can find right words to say how i feel. most times its just a rant. i hope u done neglect urself no more an wow im really glad healing has started for you :) im not joking when i say u r inspiration too. :)

I can relate in so many ways to you life at home. As parents we do the best we can do with what we've been given. My parents made many mistakes with me and their parents made mistakes with them. I pray the mistakes I make with my children will not harm them or scar them. Thank you for sharing your story Zeeva. You are beautiful.

A very powerful and well written experience. It's a testimony to your strength that you survived all of that and have a wonderful relationship with your child. Keep up the struggle.

Ooh dear, you've gone through tough times.
But it neither break your soul nor corrupted your heart.
You are a strong woman, you could go on your journey, and keep up with all hurt and you did make it. You did not fail yourself. You could lead a decent life.

You are walking tall sister. You have great courage to open up and look at the pain, this will heal you.

My sincere appreciation and prayers to you, dear.

I'm sorry you have been through so much suffering. I'm so proud of how beautiful you have kept your soul through those trying times. You are a very special person and it is time you spoil yourself and the beauty that surrounds you. Have a beautiful day!

Thank you for your response, Stonebar.

It hasn't been easy. Healing takes time and can't be rushed however; I'm be working on spoiling myself and embracing the beauty in my environment.

After all these years trying to get it together, keep it together and making sure my daughter has a healthier life; I'm just beginning to love and accept myself.

I didn't see that but I didn't get a notification of your and chocogal's response from today. I just so happen to check back and saw them.

<p>God, the bible,religion,will be of no use to someone who does not receive love from the people who are the nearest to them,I believe the love of God expresses itself through other loving human beings,if that is lacking you cannot pluck it out of thin air,praying to a God "out there somewhere"in the sky, reading verses from the bible which very often are written in riddles and following religion which has misguided and in some cases persecuted people for years and appears to have little sympathy for those who need it the most, is certainly not going to be of any help to someone craving Love and needing support,protection and acceptance.I am so glad you survived all you have been through with,it appears, your strength of character and courage mostly.</p>

I can relate to your comments, berangere.

I'm humbling asking God (not religious) or the Universe to allow me to experience love, support, protection and acceptance in a way that I haven't before.

I am sorry to hear about your situation as a youth. I know the frustration of poor communication. I to am in a failed marriage that will be over soon.
I also have been threw trials ( like everybody ).
Here is another thought I believe.
We go threw trials to help other people go threw them. I personally believe that people will be placed in your path of life who will be going threw similar trails as the ones you have been threw, so can be helped, so can't.
I know that love is a strong force.

I'm so sorry about your marriage. Divorce is never easy. You're right; we all have trials. I cry sometimes and struggle yet I'm thankful for my experiences because I believe if one thing was different in my childhood, then I wouldn't be where I am today. Like you, I want to help people by sharing what I've gone through. After rocky beginning, my challenge is learning to tame my demons enjoy life, be happy and to love.

I like that thought of going threw life becoming our personal self. I am in love with a beautiful smart lady who has been threw similar experiences as I have. I said we had to both go threw our past to be what we are so we can fall in love. If we wouldn't go threw our past we would not be us and there for not in love as we are.

Yes, the past can shape you, for better or for worse.

That's true 1changingheart. Congrats on your loving relationship. I'm so happy for you.

So true, berangere.

2 More Responses

I'm so sorry you faced all of that...I think a good many of us spend a lot of our adult years trying to fix and figure out what happened in our childhood, even when we were raised by good parents. It's hard... No one is ever perfect or does anything perfectly...

Just because you can share this so openly says you will offer a lot more guidance and help to your daughter. Awareness and open communication goes a long way in this...

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts sierra. The interesting thing I've learned is that many people have experienced far worse than I did growing up; I'm thankful for my life because those tough experiences shaped who I am. Because of my past, I do my best to tune into my daughter and at least once a day I hug her, tell her that I love her and she's my favorite. Also one of my personal goals is to choose a healthy loving intimate relationship for myself.

I do think the hard times makes us stronger, smarter and more willing to do what it takes to make better times....You're doing that with your daughter....and the choices you make for yourself and that's huge....

Wow. that was a really tough childhood to have lived through. Especially having your innocence stolen from you at such a young age. But the encouraging thing to look towards is the great inner strength you have to overcome your circumstances. That's what you will transmit to your daughter. You should be proud of yourself. That was a powerful story.

I was always a very sensitive person who had to pretend that things were fine so people didn't know about the abuse in our family. That silence and shame made it easy for me to be someone's sexual victim. I know I'm valuable. Sometimes I feel it and everyday I search for my worth.