Poll: Did you have a good childhood?

See the results of this poll: Did you have a good childhood? (from your perspective)

Respondents: 47 (This poll is closed)

  • Yes : 14 (30%)
  • No : 3 (6%)
  • Yes & No: 30 (64%)

I voted yes and no.

Obviously there are numerous factors that make a dramatic difference to a child’s life and don’t want to undermine that, but I really believe childhood is such a muddled mix of the good/bad for the majority of people including me.

@oliviasarah That’s fair enough. I’m a yes & no too.

I said yes and no too, at the time we knew no different but in retrospect mum and dad’s relationship was extremely toxic. We lived a simple life which has taught us to appreciate what we do have but their relationship example which you grow up thinking what a relationship is has taken a lot of work to unlearn and except what I deserve if that makes sense.

@anna3891 Wow, thanks for sharing. I basically went through a very similar experience. For me it was realising how much emotional neglect I went through and how today I can heal from that. I’m glad you’re finding your feet now :slight_smile:

I chose “yes and no”. It was mostly good, especially up through early elementary school, but I contracted Lyme Disease in 3rd grade, was severely abused by my 5th grade teacher, and we lost our house just before 8th grade. I was also bullied a lot and excluded from a lot of things in high school. And I’ve had severe depression and anxiety since at least preschool. But my home life was great; I have an awesome, big family (most didn’t live with us because the two half-siblings of mine we’re closest two are over decade older than me and had their own families by the time I hit middle school) and I was always well provided for.

I voted yes and no too. I had a good early childhood, but I was bullied at school and started showing signs of depression and anxiety when I was around 10, in my older childhood as a result. I always had a good home life however, so in that respect my childhood was good.

Thank you both for sharing!

I went for Yes, but I guess Yes & No would also work.

I chose yes because I think I had a really lovely childhood. Close family, loving, fun. Of course there were arguments (I was not a child that was prone to doing my homework) but I knew I was loved and wanted and I was cared for well above and beyond the basic needs.

My mother died when I was 14. I don’t know how much that still counts as ‘childhood’. Obviously that was pretty terrible. But even since then my family have been wonderful and close and caring. So I went with an overall Yes.

I voted yes and no. I had an on and off toxic relationship w/ my father, has a terribly abusive stepfather, and was a victim of sexual assault. I had a severe eating disorder throughout late elementary, middle, and junior high school, and not many friends.

Despite all that, I learnt so much and grew into who I am today. Without all those experiences, although I wouldn’t wish them upon anyone, I wouldn’t be ‘me’. I met people who I hold near and dear to my heart. People proved how much they loved me, and I know my passions and where I belong in the world.

Something that really redeemed my childhood was my mother. Despite the pain I went through, she proved herself loving and comforting time and time again, and I am so thankful for that. I couldn’t be happier with who I’ve become, and who I have in my life. It definitely wasn’t ALL bad. I always did well in school, and found enjoyment in the little things. I was a kid.

Thanks guys! It’s interesting to hear that everyone defines a good childhood differently. As a teen I always looked back at my younger childhood as though it was the best time of my life, but with age I have actually reflected on the ways in which it wasn’t so great. That still surprises me sometimes.

Also, I would definitely still count 14 as childhood. I think of childhood up until 18 really. Younger childhood tends to be, as a brit, up till age 11 (end of primary school); older childhood is teens until sixth form time before uni.

I also voted yes and no. I had a dysfunctional family growing up which gave its own issues, but overall, I was fed, loved and had a roof over my head, so it was good in that aspect.

@eireann I can relate :slight_smile: Thanks for sharing

I voted yes & no. My parents had a toxic relationship and they were both angry people. My father was an especially angry man who took things out on us. My mom sometimes seemed to be 2 different people; sometimes she did everything she could, and sometimes she was distant and neglectful. I couldn’t find a lot of comfort in my home and often sought it out elsewhere when I needed it. I was hit with “middle sibling syndrome” pretty hard at one point and felt no connection to my older sister or my younger sister and kinda isolated myself and played alone a lot. But I remember good times. We had vacations and outings and wonderful holidays that were pulled together despite being a poor family. We had our good days despite how dysfunctional we were. There were nights when all that negativity didn’t exist in our world, and for just a few hours we chased fireflies and sat on the hoods of our mom’s car and danced to 80’s in the parking lot. It wasn’t all bad, but the bad stuff did hurt.

I also suffered from severe anxiety - general and social - as well as severe selective mutism, depression, and my own host of anger issues. It made school and family functions extremely difficult places to be, especially when other kids pointed out how quiet I was and said I was weird. I had wonderful teachers in the early years (2nd & 3rd grade) though, who went above and beyond for me and helped me to finally feel comfortable. And despite it all, I made friends. Real, good, solid friends who boosted my confidence and helped me through. I have so, so many wonderful memories of elementary school and of my childhood friends. Middle school and high school were a more difficult thing to process; I had a fair share of breakdowns and even reverted back to a selective mute for awhile, especially after moving, but I found new friends and mentors alike that pulled me through it.

It really was a mixed bag. But I think it’s that way for most people.

@trulybrilliant Thanks for sharing! I relate to what you’ve written in more ways than one :slight_smile: I got real independent though because I wasn’t so lucky in the friendship department. That’s changed now though. Life gets better :smiley:

It’s great to hear that so many of you are evidently aware of the effects that your pasts have had on yourselves/ your lives. Kudos to you all :slight_smile:

I said yes & no. Like many others, I grew up in a deeply dysfunctional family with a lot of secrets, anger, violence, control issues, and emotional neglect, and there was a lot of pain surrounding that, but a lot of good times as well. I grew up with OCD and selective mutism, and as a teen developed panic disorder and agoraphobia. I was bullied very severely and in high school was sexually assaulted during school. I dropped out of school and had a lot of anxiety and guilt because of that, too. We were very poor and for a time when I was very young, we lived in a tent. I was also gay in a very orthodox religious family and that was very painful and conflicting as well.
On the other hand, I was generally very close with my 8 younger siblings and my maternal grandparents, I was taught a lot of valuable things by my parents, and there was a strong sense of humour in my family that ended up shaping a lot of who I am and how I see the world today. I was also raised to be very “cultured” considering how poor we were – my parents were big lit & theatre fans, we all took various music lessons, went to museums when possible, more than one language was spoken at home, etc. – and that has been so important and helpful to me in my adult life. I have a lot to be grateful for.

Thank you for sharing, handlion :slight_smile: I’m sorry to hear that you were abused as a child. That’s horrible and I hope that you’re able to heal from that in some way, today.

It’s so interesting to hear that so many people relate over similar things, and also really interesting to hear about the complexities of our experiences. There can be so much bad and yet somehow there can also be good amongst it. Though by no means am I endorsing the bad. Of course we all want to progress by making sure there is less of the bad in our lives :slight_smile:

I also voted yes & no. My parents are lovely people luckily but things constantly happened to us to make our lives hard. First part of my childhood, my dad was away in the military and my mom severely depressed, he only came home because he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The military told us he would be wheelchair bound in 5 years and dead in 10– it’s now been 11 years and he’s still walking.
I dealt with a lot of bullying for multiple reasons over many years of school, by adults & kids.
I dealt with a lot of mental illness as a child (starting at age 2) and on numerous occasions misdiagnosed — my OCD, anxiety and depression was seen as attention-seeking, my panic attacks were called tantrums by professionals as they had never seen them. I was very frustrated as a child dealing with severe compulsions I was unable to control and being told I was just a bad kid by therapists, even though I was the ultimate people pleaser and my parents & teachers knew I was good. I developed depression early on and also ended up being undiagnosed for 2 years with endometriosis which caused me to miss a lot of high school. I did eventually drop out due to physical & mental illness and being hospitalized for suicidal ideation. School isn’t really set up for sick kids.
My sister had an eating disorder and that was very difficult to deal with as well, for her and for the family. It’s harder to see your loved ones suffer than it is to suffer yourself.
I’m also bisexual, which hosted its own slew of problems & confusion haha.
My parents were very positive people through my childhood and I had a great relationship with my sister and my parents. I’m very grateful for what we had — a roof over our heads, food, clothes and toys—though we did go through some hard times (not all listed here, obviously). The majority of my childhood was fun & lighthearted, with lots of road trips and happy days.

Thank you for sharing that @auroracallista !