I have been struggling all my life, from when I was a child of only 10-years-old to an adult. My struggles were mainly internal as I was always questioning my self-worth, my purpose, and my reason for being here.
When I was 10, I struggled with depression and had continuous suicidal thoughts because of the way I was treated by the one person who was supposed to love and appreciate me. Being told that I was no good and that they would be better off without my existence took a major toll on me. All of this coming from the person who is supposed to love and shelter you can have a major impact on your life. While I was grateful that I was provided for at all times with clothes, food, and shelter, I was still left unsatisfied internally.
While I was young, I would struggle to get a hug or even a word of appreciation. So moving forward, this made things difficult for me emotionally. I was completely detached from everyone, mostly because I wasn’t taught the right things and how to be emotionally attached to others.
When I was in high school, I didn’t know how to express myself to anyone. I was considered a recluse even though I was surrounded by great friends all the time. I was usually the one who sat in the corner and didn’t talk. Even though I wasn’t much of a talker, being at school was my escape from what I went through at home.
Spending time at home was the worst considering the constant backlash I would receive. The idea of being alone in the house and hearing nothing but continuous criticism from that person was something I wanted to avoid. There was not a single spec of love within the household. Being told that I wouldn’t be able to do anything in my life by the person that was supposed to do the opposite was the main reason for my struggle. These feelings stayed with me as I grew up and became a major part of me throughout my life.
The Impact Of Internal Struggle On Life
When I moved to the UK, these struggles stayed with me and there was no running away from them. Even after turning 30, I continued to struggle internally as nothing would be good enough, no matter what I do. My struggles manifested in different ways over time. I became a perfectionist, I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect; the way I want it. This took a toll on my children and my other relationships as well. I had a lowered sense of trust in others.
Throughout my life, I had a problem trusting women mostly as the underlying reason for my struggles revolved around a woman who didn’t love me. The only thing that would come to my head when I would be with a woman is that they would hurt me. This was one of the deepest and extreme struggles I have had since I was young. Because of this, I struggled in school even though I had enough ability to get my school work done but I was emotionally drained and damaged to do anything so I focused on thinking about other things. I struggled to connect with others and create lasting relationships.
Because of how I was raised, I started treating women a certain way. Since being hurt again by a woman was not an option, my defense mechanism emerged into womanizing. All I thought about was that nobody was going to love me or appreciate me. To get rid of the feeling, I would have numerous girls around me all the time. It was difficult for me to trust them and I knew that every time a woman stepped out of my house, they would take a piece of me. I would hurt myself and hurt them simultaneously. But I didn’t want to accept the truth behind what I was doing and it carried on for years.
This is only a small part of the struggle that I dealt with. I struggled with emotions, understanding, acceptance, hope, kindness, and more, all of which I didn’t have while growing up.
Know Your Worth And Invest In Yourself
During the last 10 years, I have changed myself and started living the way I wanted to and the way I should have been living since the start. I still have a long way to go but I am on the road and I’m closer to where I need to be now than I was ever before.
For a major part of my life, I would claw, push, and fight to get the attention that I wanted. I felt like nobody could see me and that made me want to fight for the attention always. But over time, things have changed, and I have learned to accept myself.
The only way I got out of this situation was after I took sabbatical for a year. This made me analyze things and made me realize my self-worth. I accepted how I hurt myself and others around me while I took a break from every wrong thing that I was doing.
You can only truly get over the trauma and struggle once you invest in yourself and come to terms with things that go on in your life. It was after I took time out myself that I realized what my true worth is.
Even though I will always be susceptible to some form of emotional trauma as I have been through a lot. But I need to fight it off myself and accept myself. This has led me to be surrounded by people I can rely on.
My partner, my wife, since the last 5 years has been a blessing for me. She helps me keep my ground now and supports me fully through everything. Having someone who loves and appreciates you makes you want to do better.
In the end, it is okay not to be okay. But we need to continuously work towards accepting who we are and where we are. This will help us write our own story and reach the place where we want to be.
Andre Ferguson is a family man, Speaker, coach and mentor who helps the modern man go from struggle to victory, making him realise the reasons for his struggles and bringing him to live his purpose. Learn more about him on www.andreferguson.com. You can also follow him on instagram at andreoferguson