My Mommy - she has to be the one who influenced me the most. I always loved her fiercely and really needed her approval. It was not meant to be in this lifetime.
My mother was a true narcissist, and she never fully grew up emotionally. She was the youngest of seven children and her father died when she was a baby. My grandmother, an uneducated immigrant from the Ukraine, now had to raise seven kids on her own. It was easy to see why my Mommy demanded all attention be on her...she got lost in the shuffle growing up.
I got punished daily just for being me, the apple of my Daddy's eye. She did not seem to get that her actions were alienating my Dad, and they fought over the way she treated me.
I grew up with horrible self-esteem issues, and held myself back throughout my lifetime.
So why do I say she was the person who most influenced me? Well, deep inside she was a wonderful, loving, and caring woman-child. Somehow I always knew that. Our bond was and still is unbreakable although she no longer lives on this earth.
She taught me that I have to work to make my life happen, that I can overcome anything and everything, and that whatever I truly want and need - and is good for humanity - is worth fighting for.
I was bitter a long time. Now I rejoice in the knowledge that in spite of it all, she loved me as much as I loved her. It's palpable. I feel it. It's a gift.
Lesson learned: Make sure your life counts for something wonderful, for you are wonderful.
— D. Poppendieck, PhD