Anyone who knows me, realizes I have always had my guard up. Vulnerability  isn't the image I normally portray, and that's always been intentional. That is, until I realized how it was harming me in more ways than one.

I grew up in an unconventional home. I am the middle sister of three girls, and I have always preferred to love them from afar. You see, growing up I had to protect myself from them. They liked to fight as a team … against me. I refused to fight back. I'd let them kick my ass because I never wanted to hurt them. But on the streets… Well, that was a totally different story. I was known for winning a few fights against two females at once. I'm not proud of that. I hated that I was even put in situations where I had no choice but to fight.

As I grew up, I was so happy spending time outside of my house and being around people who weren't like me. I hid my background, embarrassed of who I had been and afraid they wouldn't see who I was now. The people I met seemed to be better or more impressive.  I would see their judging eyes on me. I hated being looked down on, even at an early age. I faked being happy in public as much as I could because I didn't want to be known as that "white trash" girl in the suburbs.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.