The word Positivity in a white box on a background of a sunny meadow
Joint Base San Antonio

Life in the ghetto, “a slum area occupied by a minority group of people,” is where many of us homeless folk were raised and reared. A lot of us who resided in these obscure and demeaning locations are convinced the cards have been stacked against us because of where and what we come from — as opposed to who we are on the inside. Many of us come from dysfunctional family situations, where alcohol, drugs and sex were misused or abused. Often, that trauma is or was a great part of how we think and behave in our daily lives.

I’ve heard it said that “everything we need in life we learned in kindergarten.” In some facets this holds true, because a lot of stuff I was exposed to in my childhood shaped and molded me into the adult I have become. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but some minds are a terrible waste of space. What I mean is the brain stores information we don’t want and from time-to-time it is regurgitated and processed once again into our daily lives. But this is not all your fault! 

A lot of things we say and do are learned behavior. Whatever keeps me in the same position, when I know it’s not the right thing to do, is insanity. For some reason, these old ways keep rearing their ugly head, unwarranted.  

Sometimes it seems I have no control and I can’t do a thing about it. This self-mutilation has, at times, gotten the best of me. But it’s not all your fault. Stop beating yourself up!!!  

We might have to spend the rest of our lives, or the best part of our lives, unlearning old behaviors and transforming our minds into new patterns of thinking. 

But it can be done, and it’s not all your fault. If you respect yourself, you can stop blaming yourself.

To be continued.