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embarrased by past



I switched churches not too long ago. The church I grew up in just didn't have any social events and wouldn't even consider it. So I switched to a new church that has a very active young adult program. I really do like it, but somehow I just don't feel like I am one of them. This church also has a lot of rich people, and I feel like I don't belong. After all I am a teacher and don't make a lot of money. A lot of the people in my young adult group are lawyers, doctors, engineers, ect. so they are a lot better off financially than I am. I am very embarrassed by the way I grew up. I grew up with my mom living with my grandmother in her house. My mom even now struggles financially, and I'm embarrased by that. I love my mom, but I was always embarrased cause the majority of people i went to high school with had a lot of money. I remember people in my high school not being friends with me cause I wasn't from the right "social group". A lot of people I went to high school had rich fathers, whereas my dad abandoned my mom and me, so we had very little money. My mom never remarried, so she could barely afford much for me. I also struggled a lot in high school, and made horrible grades. I ended up graduating high school a year late, which is something else I'm embarrased by. I never tell people much about myself because I am so embarrased by my past. I never tell people when I really did graduate from high school because I am so embarrased by doing so horribly. I feel I'm not as good as these rich people I know. Maybe I'm jealous cause they had parents to pay for their education. I not only struggled with financing college cause my mom couldn't afford to pay for it, but struggled academically too, so it took me a long time to graduate from college. I always felt that I was stupid. In my young adult group at church which is a very large group we've had a couple new members join that went to my high school. I remember them but they don't remember me. They were quite snobby and would only be friends with people from their "social class". Thankfully these new members didn't remember who I was, and didn't even realize that we went to the same high school together. I hate feeling like I am not as good as others because of money or not being "gifted" like a lot of others who went to my high school. But people do change a lot after high school, but I am still embarrased by my past.


Low self esteem

It sounds like you may have very low self esteem. Why are you so embarrased about your past? it sounds like your mom did the very best she could after being abandoned by your dad and you dont have any reason to be embarrased about that. Many people have probably grown up a lot poorer than you were so what is the big deal? You cant change the past. If you had difficulty in school it could have been for any number of reasons -- undiagonised learning disability -- but you made it through and now your a teacher. so what if teachers dont make a lot of money. I am so tired of hearing that. Teaching is a great profession and one that I am proud to be a part of. I would advise you to simply get over your past and move on. Face the reality that high school is over and it's now time to be an adult.
I was a complete wild child in high school. I did all kinds of things I shouldn't have done including experimenting with drugs and alcohol. I use to think that I wasnt good enough to be a teacher because of all the mistakes I made as a young adult but with the help of my family and husband I learned that I had to forgive myself for those past mistakes and realize that the past is the past and what's important was the future. No, I dont tell anyone about my past and I occasionally see people who I went to school with who now have kids going to the school I teach in and i wonder if they think I am some how not a good teacher because I was so wild in high school but if they do so what - I know better. Good luck to you and stop worrying so much about what you cant change.


dear anonymous

Hi. I too went to a church where I didn't want to share my past. The people in the singles group I went to all put on these very perfect facades. And that's what they were, masks. I felt I had to act, dress, talk, and make the same choices as all of them just to make a friend or two. I hated that I grew up with an alcoholic father, was abused as a kid, had an abusive boyfriend at the time I started the group, and didn't make much money. They all seemed so put together and they all seemed very financially stable too. Here's what I learned: they were NOT put together! In some cases, they were more of a basket case than me. They may have been well off financially, but most of them didn't appreciate it. After five years with that group, hating myself for not being good enough for them, and feeling like I was living a lie because I wasn't showing them who I truly was, I decided I needed a change. I decided I needed to live my life for ME. I needed to start making the decisions I wanted to make with God guiding me. I knew it would be hard, I knew my "friends" wouldn't like it. And I was right, they all abandoned me. But I'm much happier and stronger now. My advice, after all this rambling, find a new church group. One that you feel like is full of people like you, compassionate, understanding, caring, and not afraid of sharing their past (we all have one). Good luck and many hugs!!!!


another thought

I was the child of people born in the depression. My dad and mom both only went to 8th grade, so I am first generation college, and have Masters + hours. That doesn't make me any better than my parents, or smarter...just more advantaged. We learn really, that most people hqve adversity in their background. I believe that any one who acts snooty is probably just trying to cover up some weak area in their own lives, because the people who have the most to be impressed with are some of the humblest, down to earth people I have met...:)


Junior Member
read this...

I just finished reading this memoir called The Glass Castle, by a women who was embarressed about her past of poverty and how she came to terms with it. It was the best book I read all year!!!


Senior Member
Have you considered counseling to help you deal with your feelings of inadequacy? I'm not trying to be mean - I've been to counseling and found it helpful. Many college campuses have services available for free.


keep searching


I'm not exactly in your situation and am a bit older. I went to a church about ten years ago where I was the "wealthier one" and was sometimes embarrassed that I had a nice home. I didn't want others to feel uncomfortable with their smaller homes. I hosted lots of groups here but developed the best friendships with people who didn't have a college education. I learned to live a simpler life and not be as materialistic. Now I go to a church with people with million dollar homes and am on the other side of the street, so to speak. These people seem to be too busy taking numerous ski and exotic vacations and "entertaining their business friends" to be a real friend. I really miss the casual "come over for a quick meal" attitude at my former church. I'm still searching for real friends there and think perhaps they are just hiding.



Senior Member
I agree with C. Also, church is supposed to be full of non-judgmental people. Are you thinking they'll judge you? Give some of them a try. As C. said, they're probably putting up a facade and they really want to feel loved and they think they can do that by flaunting their high paying, miserable jobs.


Senior Member
begin thinking of it in a different way

You need to change your thinking. Instead of thinking of your past as a negative begin thinking of it as a positive! Look what you have overcome. You took yourself from a poverty lifestyle where most people would have not even gone to college and now you are a college graduate. Wow! That's pretty major. I also had to change my thinking. My father died when I was a teen. My mother was a drug addict. I dropped out of school becasue I was so far behind with no chance of getting caught up. I was always having to drive my mother here and there. Spent many long nights in the ER to get her fix. I was getting home about the time that everyone else was going to school. There was noone in my family with anything beyond a high school diploma, if that. After a year of waitressing I decided I wanted more than that. I was very worried about getting a teaching job as a drop out. I changed my thinking and began saying that I overcame a lot. I now look at myself as a professional, mother, wife, etc... Not a failure. The only change that can happen will have to come from you. Teachers are a very well respected profession. I have a masters degree in counseling. I attend church with doctors, lawyers, businessmen, etc.. I also attend church with farmers, housewives, waitresses, etc.. It doesn't and shouldn't matter to anyone. If it is a vibe that you are getting from others you may want to consider finding a different church to attend. I can assure you that when we get to heaven God will not ask to see our credentials! :) I have the best of both worlds and so do you. I can relate and to the professionals and to anyone else that may cross my path. Remember, change your thinking!