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I Grew Up In A Children's Home

Here are 6 ways it affected my life

By Gal MuxPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
I Grew Up In A Children's Home
Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

A nuclear family is regarded as the most ideal nurturing unit for a child to grow up in. A father, a mother and children makes up the most common family unit.

In 2020 there are many types of families. With a more accepting and open minded society, children are being raised in single parent, same sex, polyamorous, polygamous and many other non traditional households.

Growing up in a nurturing family situation equips a child with the many physical, social and emotional skills needed for life.

But I spent the first eight years of my life in a children’s home. As an adult I acknowledge and understand well the social, psychological and mental repercussions of my kind of socialization, and here is how it affected my life.

It taught me that everyone is disposable

Families are supposed to stick together no matter what, right? But here I was away from my biological family living with ‘strangers' and considering them my family.

In the homes, you couldn’t get too attached or form close bonds with other children because sooner or later they would leave. Their case would be processed, their parents or guardians would come for them or you could leave yourself never to see them again. After losing a few friends this way, you learnt quickly to not allow yourself to get too close.

As an adult I carried this lesson with me. I never form too tight of friendships. And I am quick to let people go.

It made me not see the necessity of a traditional family

I didn’t grow up in one. At least for the core formative years of my life. And I turned out fine! By the time I left the children’s home, my core personality had already been formed.

As an adult I have little interest in a family of my own. At least in the traditional sense of the word. Of course I would want kids of my own someday, but the ‘picture perfect' societal expectations of family is not something I feel is necessary for me.

It gave me a loathing for institutions

Growing up in an institution with a branded uniform that you would wear when going out or when having visitors over, having your ‘freedom' curtailed where you could only leave the gates under special circumstances or under close supervision really put me off institutions as an adult.

I would swear as a child that I would never choose a career path that required me to wear a uniform. As an adult I failed to transition or adapt well in companies with strong work cultures or companies that required me to think or act a certain way.

I really just wanted to be free mentally in particular. And I found my freedom and improved mental health in entrepreneurship and flexible work environments.

Had I been a teen in the 60’s and 70’s, just to feel free, I would have joined a hippie cult I normally joke to friends.

It made me not be able to stick to one place too long

I change jobs quickly, I lose friends quickly, and if I were able to afford it, I wouldn’t be living in the same place for long.

Having lived in at least five different family environments before I turned ten, I might have developed an affinity for instability. Or maybe found a way to still thrive in instability.

I can’t grasp the thought of working in one place for ten years. I don’t understand how anyone could possibly do it…

It made me emotionally independent

I am not constantly looking for someone to love me, or call me or care for me. I understand how cold this might seem, and I am not implying that my life was and is devoid of love.

I just don’t feel the need to have someone in my life to feel complete. People are disposable to me. And the only constant in your life is yourself. I tend to rely more on myself emotionally and usually lean inwards when going through a rough time.

It made me adapt easily to changes

I am not a rigid person. Everything does not have to go exactly the way I want or planned it. I am flexible enough to work around changes in life.

After living in several different places with several different people and several different guardians, parental and authority figures, I learnt to adapt easily.

If the world toppled over, and Artic shifted to Antarctica, I would still be fine!


Don’t get me wrong. Of course not everything was perfect at the children homes. There was canning, discrimination, jealousy, feelings of abandonment and a lot of other situations my child brain could not process or blocked out.

But there were good memories too. Wonderful memories. Situations, life lessons and opportunities that changed my life for the better that would not have happened to me otherwise.

I embrace all of them. The beautiful and the ugly. Honestly, if I could go back, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I also understand the boundaries between my socialisation and how it shaped my personality and an unhealthy lifestyle as a result of active choices.

Within limits and once in a while, I try to examine some of these traits in me in my bid to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

It is hard and sometimes painful to attempt to change my perspectives on these issues I will admit.

But my measure of satisfaction is the little progress I make every day.


About the Creator

Gal Mux

Lover of all things reading & writing, 🥭 &

🍍salsas, 🍓 & vanilla ice cream, MJ & Beyoncé.

Nothing you learn is ever wasted - Berry Gordy

So learn everything you can.

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