TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What makes you yourself? What experiences throughout your life have shaped you into the person you are today?

I am doing a project for school and my essential question that needs to be answered is What shaped your true sense of self? I used the movie Perks Of Being A Wallflower and the novel Looking For Alaska in my research. I would greatly appreciate other opinions and comments on this questions pertaining to the sources i used or your own personal experiences.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jun 8 2013: I spent thirty five years trying to figure out what made me - me. I believe that we are everything that we have been through, everything that we have seen, everything that has been done to us, and everyone that we have had relationships with. My particular story began well before I was born. My father was a first child and his mother died giving birth to him. His father resented him and hated him from the moment he was born, because he lost his wife because of this baby. His father then remarried in order to have someone home to take care of this child. She was crazy, and I mean that in the true sense. She spent the last thirty years of her life in the mental institution. So my father was raised with an angry father and a nut for a step mother - and this is the man who became my father. Having never been shown love in his life, he knew not how to show it to his family. His only emotion was anger and hostility, the same traits he grew up with. I was abused and made to feel worthless by this man, all while my mother did nothing. (I think that she was scared of him also.) I always tried to make him proud, thinking that his anger would stop. On the day that I purchased my first brand new car, I drove to my father's home to show him and take him for a ride. I thought surely he would be proud of me, but he had a stroke and died that day before I got there. He was 55 years old. I never got a chance to figure out and make sense of my childhood, and I will never hear the words I'm sorry from him. But I can move forward in other ways, such as being a good calm and caring mom to my son. As much as I have tried to overcome my upbringing, the fact of the matter is it made me who I am today. I am a scared person who will not trust anyone and who still shakes when I hear someone yelling. We are where we've been. We are what we've been through. And we can try our best to overcome our past, but we will never be able to change it.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.