1. Fear of breaking rules: You were the main peacekeeper in your family, and set ground rules every day so that sanity prevailed on a daily basis. So it is just impossible for you not to follow the rules, because you know better than anyone else that any price is too small to pay for peace.
How to overcome: Understand that rules are mostly man-made, and they can be challenged. Breaking them will not lead to chaos as it used to in your home. The world is a different place. You can experiment.
2. Fear of displeasing people: You had a huge responsibility on your shoulders from childhood: to see that everyone is okay. So you had to always toe the line and keep everyone happy, even at the cost of muffling your own voice.
How to overcome: You can get your point across and still not alienate people. People who cannot accept diverse opinions do not deserve to be in your life anyway. Your feelings are valid. You have the right to show your displeasure at things that offend you.
3. Low self-esteem: A child needs to be nurtured. It needs to be brought up in a way which brings out its natural talents and shows how to use them for day-to-day living. No one did that for you. On the contrary, you were doing this exercise for the grown-ups. You were never aware of the gifts you possessed.
How to overcome: It’s never too late to begin anew. If you find you are not heading in the right direction, then change your tracks and find your calling. Find your strengths and excel at something. That will boost your confidence. It’s a long journey, but you will reach there.
4. Fear of being selfish: You were fending for the whole family. A wrong step could undo days of painstaking work. So, you neglect yourself for the general peace. Your problems were so minuscule compared to the raging battlefield you were in. They did not matter.
How to overcome: Save yourself first. Be selfish. You can extend help to others only when you are in sound physical and mental health. Cut off for some time. Rewind. Things won’t fall apart.
5. It’s my fault: The world was falling around you every day. You didn’t know why. Your understanding of the world was stunted by the atmosphere at home and even the abnormal became normal. You looked for an explanation and wondered if it was all due to you.
How to overcome: There is no explanation. These things are random. You have to shed the negativity and move ahead. Take refuge in books. You were a child brought into a toxic environment. You had no control over anything. Be kind to yourself. It was never your fault.