I'll be the first person to say that I've been blessed in the past in many ways -- but I'm convinced that the constant bullying and harassment that I experienced in the early days of my childhood have affected me throughout the days of my life. I have found that every time I was challenged -- with financial difficulties, relationship difficulties, and personal confrontations -- I have discovered this latent fear that returns -- fear that was borne of the nearly daily bullying and physical beatings and abuse that I experienced from both boys my age and, I'm ashamed to say, from my stepfather, if not physically then emotionally and verbally. (I got physical abuse from the other boys my age, from nearly the time that I started grade school to nearly high school. But my stepfather abused me nearly every day on a verbal basis.) To this day, I still don't know how to deal with it, and I'm afraid it will affect my life and decisions for the remainder of my days.
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