Photo by: iStock

Overcoming a Toxic Upbringing

Photo by: iStock



“Momma, come in the water with me. You’re SO happy in the water.”

My 10 year old daughter says to me with her hand in mine, trying to lead me through the soft sand into the breaking waves.

And so I did. We belly laughed as we fought the current of the waves together. It was a perfect moment.

As a mom, We have these opportunities to say yes. To pull out the inner child in us and just be present with our kids.

But how often do we find ourselves bogged down, overwhelmed, and in a constant state of worry for the next thing on our to do list?

I’m guilty.

And I haven’t always been aware. I didn’t realize how often I say no.

Growing up, we were always in “survival mode”.

Chaos. Alcoholism. Drug abuse.

Low end housing. Gangs and Drug Dealers. Close family in and out of prison. Strange faces in and out. Violence uncontained.

Toxicity normalized in the eyes of a child. Fear. Guilt. And an eventual emotional numbing.

These experiences stay with us. All of them. They shape our minds and mold our souls.

But if you’re lucky like me, one day you find someone who shows you life can be different.

It doesn’t have to be chaotic or toxic. It can be beautiful. It can be full of moments with pure, genuine happiness.

That is what I want for my daughter. More beautiful moments with belly laughter. A childhood she doesn’t have to survive. Happiness that she can recall later when she becomes a mother.

I want to say yes more. Lay the memories of my past to rest. Live fully and openly and create something better.

There’s no better time than the present.



Jackie Ferguson is an RN and mom(ish) blogger. She is a single mom who is trying to thrive through anxiety, depression and chronic illness through intentional living and mindfulness.

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