A Child Abuse Survivor: How can I turn my life around at 50?
(Quitman, Mississippi, USA)
Darlene, I am a licensed BSW (Bachelors in Social Work) and am going back to school for my MSW (Masters in Social Work). As a child I was physically abused, sexually abused, emotional abused, and neglected in every way thinkable. I weighed only 135 pounds when I came to work for the MDHS (Mississippi Department of Human Services) in June 1994. Now I weight 200+ pounds.
I married at age 17 and had a son and daughter in 1976 and divorced in 1990. My son was a perfect child and teenager. He now tells me that he is a homosexual. My daughter inherited all of my negative behaviors. She is expecting her fourth child and she now lives with the baby's daddy and not married.
I remarried in 1992 and inherited a four- and five-year-old, as their mother is a crack cocaine user. The past 16 years has been a rollercoaster, and my life felt like I was doing social worker 24/7. My stepchildren love me, but they know that they can't act like they do around their mother's family, and so they don't come around me often. I am angry at myself for taking care of everyone else and not my own self.
When I married my husband I had A-one credit. Now I cannot buy a piece of bubble gum. I am still here, and he receives Social Security benefits and I work all the time. He rides his motorcycle and plays.
Before I die, I would like to stop feeling like a failure. My homosexual son does not come around often because I cannot totally accept his life choice. I cannot talk to my co-workers about my feelings because they are all under 35 and I will turn 50. I was always in shape, now I look like a Good Year blimp. Can you give me some suggestions? My husband has nine heart stents and four herniated discs, and I feel sorry for him. Stupid 1958 Note from Darlene: My answer to this Ask Darlene question "A Child Abuse Survivor: How can I turn my life around at 50?" can be found below. If you do not see the comments I've written, please be patient, as there is a system glitch regarding comments going live on my site. Lisa, I replied to your query June 8, 2008, comments titled "Regrets, righting wrongs, and a responsibility to yourself..." Keep checking back to this page. I thank you Lisa and my other visitors for your understanding while I work at getting this minor malfunction resolvedEmail addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in visitor comments are STRICTLY prohibited, and could result in being banned from making further comments on this site.