I had everything society said I needed to be happy: A good job, house, partner who loved me, two beautiful step-children, a great circle of friends. I had holidays every year, owned a car and had good connections with my family.
Yet I was miserable. Something was missing.
I was always rushing and never had any time for me. I had lots of friends but always felt left out.
I couldn't handle criticism yet was very judgemental of others. I tried to keep everyone happy, otherwise they might not like me anymore.
I would often lose my temper and say things I didn't mean. I had no idea how to really ask for help or how to be vulnerable. I feared those things meant I was weak.
As a result, I attracted people who didn't value me. A boyfriend who didn't notice my unhappiness and who thought it fun to use humour to put me down.
I used to fight with my family a lot. raised voices, sharp words and a lot of unexpressed pain lay between us.