Being called a failure just made me more determined.

From a very young age I had it drummed into my head that I would not succeed at anything. My mum's husband would either whisper that to me, or loudly call me a failure and tell me I would never amount to anything. From when I was a very young age he called me names. Some of them quite horrific, and at the time I had no idea what their meaning was.

Every dream I talked about, every hope I had was often shot down. I was an embarrassment to them. I did nothing right in my mum or her husband's eyes, but he went above and beyond to tell me that.

I know I am not alone in being raised with such negative energy. I know other's, maybe like yourself, have had someone knock you down emotionally and mentally. It becomes something that you carry with you your whole life. That fear of trying something and disappointing others, or failing altogether. It is overwhelming, and it becomes a difficult thing to overcome.

Words hurt so much, and I do not think people realize that. I think people get heated and they snap. They say things that are vindictive and mean, and then the person on the receiving end, ends up with an emotional scar. I would think some parents do not even remember what they say. When people get angry and then calm down, they can forget their choice of words quite quickly. I am here to tell you to please be aware of what you say, as the end result is someone like myself carrying a hurt for years after hateful words have been spoken

We are in such trying times right now with COVID-19 around us. Families are spending so much time together as they are in isolation and waiting out this difficult time. They are in close quarters and arguments are inevitable. People can easily get on each other's nerves while they are housed together. It would not be a surprise to have someone say something they did not mean. Stress, anxiety, close quarters, children home schooling, jobs lost, can amount to arguments. Please do your best to think before you say something you might regret.

As a child all the fighting in our home was directed at me. My mum's husband hated me. My escape was my imagination. I would sing into my hairbrush, I would pretend I was being filmed for a TV show, or a movie. I would watch TV shows and think how I would deliver the lines differently, how I would recreate the role. I would also write songs. I was writing songs from a very young age. My family hated that I had these dreams. When I was placed into foster care at the age of 8 years old, it was my dreams that kept me going. After I moved out on my own, I went on to sign with Holub Modelling agency. I was in my teen years. I loved having photos taken, and my first movie I was in was Anne of Green Gables. We shot that at Pioneer Village by Toronto when I was about 17 years old. I got the acting bug quite quickly. I have been blessed to have now been acting in movies, music videos etc...for over 35 years. I went on to sign with Angie's Models and Talent, and I now work through Smyth Casting. Some of my children have also had very successful acting careers.

I am a bit of an overachiever. I have written and had 3 books published, recorded a song that I wrote. I have sold my paintings. I owned a Spa for 18 years, and had my own line of skincare and cosmetics. I am a professional face painter...I have worked so hard to find my success, and to make my family proud of me. I had a recent realization. I determined that I do not know how to stop and relax. I keep going, creating new ideas, working several jobs at the same time. I think it all stems from my desire to never be that failure that my mum's husband called me.

He would remind me about it, over and over again, daily, weekly, yearly. It left an imprint on my heart and my head, and I have been going full force to make sure no one ever said that about me again.

I raised my children to know that they are loved and I continue to praise them constantly. They are amazing young people who I have learned so much from. They have taught me what a true family dynamic is. I love them with everything I am.

It was so important for me to not raise my children the same way I was raised. To make sure they always saw their value. I am so very proud of each one of them.

Take a moment to see your own great qualities, to see your self worth, and to praise those around that you love. Be kind to each other.

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