When you have seven older sisters, three older brothers, and two younger brothers, not only are you child #11, you are starved for attention. I was never starving in terms of my physical needs. My siblings and I were well-fed, properly clothed, and under a stable roof throughout our upbringing.
We were all deficient in emotional attention and nurturing though. It was our reality, partly based on too many children and not enough time in the day. Also based on our parents raising us as they had been raised. Many strong values were instilled during our upbringing, but healthy identification and expression of emotions weren’t among them. This may sound like judgment on my part. It isn’t. It is me coming to terms.
It is also me speaking only for me, child #11. Each of my twelve siblings and I have our own unique perspectives and emotions, which in turn impacted the way we viewed and experienced our early years and the years since. There is common ground for sure, but no implication on my part that I can accurately capture someone else’s frame of reference. It has taken me this long to capture my own.
My faulty root system fed feelings of self-hatred and created a self-perception that was anything but kind and loving. I was imprisoned by fears and thoughts paralyzed me rather than catalyzed me, at least in terms of my emotional growth.
Wellness is overarching and includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components. If one area is lacking or unhealthy, it impacts the others. If two areas are lacking, problems deepen. Throughout my childhood, I was probably operating with just two out of these four much of the time. Things got weedy at times.