“You’ll never amount to anything,” my father said. I am still dealing with it

Do you often have that feeling- the feeling of restlessness- and you find it hard to concentrate? Or worry you’ll do something to mess another thing up…and that someone will lash out at you? So, you operate in fear?

Well, that was me back in the days.

Growing up, one of the hardest things I had to deal with was fear. Fear that I may never amount to anything.

You see, my father was harsh; or may be cruel. He bullied us as a form of discipline. We feared him. And his orders were law.

“Useless,” he habitually yelled at us whenever we did a mistake or forgot simple instructions.

Whenever he came home from work, we rushed to our room to hide until we fell asleep.

It somehow got to me. I understood very well that I would amount to nothing.

I suffered low self-esteem and often wondered why anyone would even bother to befriend me. I was used to ridicule even from my teachers.

One teacher once told me I was ugly and that I looked like a cat. The entire class burst out laughing. It was horrible. Soon, they began to make cat sounds whenever I would walk into class. I hated school; I dreaded daybreak, which meant going back to the hostile environment.

This contributed to my self-hatred and lack of confidence in my teen years.

Naturally, I did not even expect people to be nice to me. And when they did, I would be very angry knowing they were up to something, often, no good. I began to be anxious and tried to avoid people as much as I could.

Being exposed to such conditions has a toll on young children and teens and some grow to be quiet lest they become items of ridicule.

Overtime, I Somehow learnt to sweep everything under the carpet.

But for how long?

According to the mental health foundation, fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on mind and body and if not well addressed may lead to a variety of anxiety disorders.

Many things contribute to making us afraid. Some people fear situations where they have to make decisions. Seeking for help where one has to admit weakness is also one more situation that makes others anxious. It’s suffocating to be honest. This is a dangerous situation to be in as it could lead to depression.

So, what leads to anxiety disorder?

  • Upbringing

If you grew up in a household where being on the wrong side of the law meant severe punishment, as was in my case, or endless criticizing and harshness, then you might be prone to anxiety when a similar scenario presents itself in the future.

If you are around someone who is constantly putting you down, even though they might be joking, there is always a trigger point that takes you down the memory lane. Lucky are they who when they raise a concern over how they are treated, they are heard. Should someone mention that they are uncomfortable with the way you are treating them, listen and try to understand the reasoning behind their concerns.

  • Lack of confidence

You have heard it enough times: that you are not good enough; you will amount to nothing; or that you are not as good as so and so. You have basically conformed to that label and become comfortable with the description. What you do not know is that your state of mind is slowly registering your brain processes and will respond accordingly, making you more and more timid. You need to be your own supporter and cheerleader. Every morning, follow routines and regimens towards positive thinking and living.

  • Inadequate rest

Your body needs quality rest so it can rejuvenate. If you push yourself to the limit and take little or no rest, your brain becomes irritable and you are subjected to rapid anxiety attacks.

Ensure you get at least 8 hours of sleep whenever you feel exhausted.

How to overcome anxiety

  • Exit plan

Whenever you feel that a situation is slowly building up anxiety within you, find a way of removing yourself from that environment. You do not need the negative energy. Healthline.com says that sometimes, anxiety is due to feeling out of control. Truth is, you can’t always be in the driver seat of your life, but you can take steps to identify your triggers and cope with circumstances that cause anxiety.

  • Live in the moment

Every wellness advocate recommends taking a step at a time and enjoying every moment in life. Instead of worrying about tomorrow and things you cannot change, enjoy and appreciate the little things in life including the air, life, and small achievements among many other things. This is choosing a dangerous path. Life is about quality not quantity.

Anxiety is not normal, it makes one lose inner peace. You may opt to talk about it with a friend, or a professional in a bid to resolve the problem. That way, you get another person’s perspective on how to handle certain situations. Moreover, a problem shared, is a problem half-solved!

“Anxiety is a beast, but it is possible to win the battle without medication. Sometimes, overcoming worry and nervousness is simply a matter of modifying behavior, thoughts, and lifestyle. You can start with a drug-free approach, and then speak with a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen. These drug-free, anti-anxiety tactics can even help you complement your medication regimen. Do what works for you, and know that anxiety does not control your life.” Healthline says.

The writer chose to remain anonymous

4 Replies to ““You’ll never amount to anything,” my father said. I am still dealing with it”

  1. Just want add and say that you are beautiful inside out and Godbiw my witness that we are made in his image and He said it was and is Good:)

    About fear I do relate when I was young my dad
    Use to discipline in anyway that caused so much fear in me that made me do things out of
    Fear lack of affirmation on what I did was right or wrong
    Resulted to anxiety and self doubt …so I believe
    Fear is like a disease that needs to be addressed because dreams, goals, marriages have not been achieved due to this fear that result to anxiety

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with us. Definitely, as (future) parents, we need to instill hope and kindness among our kids for a better society and generation.

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