By: Kindall D.
A dysfunctional family can be a result of alcoholism and drug abuse, untreated mental disorders or even parents continuing on a previous pattern of dysfunctional behavior. (Source: https://nobullying.com/dysfunctional-family/)
Children that are raised in dysfunctional families are said to grow into adults that suffer addictive behavior issues, anxiety and have depression. It is said these troubled adults often think negatively about themselves, believing they are a bad person unworthy of being liked or loved. That doesn’t have to be the story that haunts you rest of your life though.
Author Jennifer Harris grew up in Birmingham, AL in a very dysfunctional household. She had a father that battled alcoholism which in turn caused him to not be able to provide for her and a mother that was a diagnosed schizophrenic. In order to be properly cared for, Harris was then eventually forced to move in with her Aunt at the age of 12. Harris’ life and self esteem though had already been crafted by her dysfunctional parents.
“Since I was 9, I’ve never accepted myself and as I grew older, it became much worse. I’ve tried to be like other females and take on their characteristics because I didn’t love myself enough to be me. I would jump from relationship to relationship with guys hoping that they would give me the love I’ve been wanting for myself and from my parents. Growing up in a household with a schizophrenic mother and alcoholic father, I was never taught that I was good enough and that I was loved.”
The twenty-five year old writer began using writing as an escape and wrote her first book at the tender age of nine for a class project. Last year in 2016, she started her blog site called, Jenuine Blogs, where she released everything by writing what she felt needed to be voiced which in turn pleasantly surprised her with an audience that was actually able to relate to her. Not only did she have to bare the hardships of her upbringing, she also faced major depression after having her daughter that was the result of a failed relationship a few years ago.
“I was so depressed after having my daughter that I nearly went crazy, myself. I meditated, prayed, and fasted. God led me to write this book about my experiences, my past loves and the relationship with my parents.”
After garnering a decent fan following off her blog writing, she was inspired to publish her first book entitled, Journey to Love, which is loosely based off her personal life where she battles feelings of low self worth, rejection and abandonment.
“I’ve written the book ‘Journey to Love’ to help inspire young women to learn to love and accept themselves while learning to discover God’s love first before giving themselves away to become accepted and loved by society.”
The book follows the main character, Journey, throughout her teen and young adulthood life as she tries to overcome her unstable upbringing so that she can lead a healthier life overall. It delves into her love life and self love issues. We follow Journey from one failed relationship to the next, with each one just adding more fuel to her ultimate breakthrough testimony at the end.
“It took me until I was 22 to actually learn for myself about the love I receive from God daily, how beautiful I am, and how much of a cool human being I am just by being myself and not caring about what the world or what society has to say about me.”
You can purchase Harris’ book, Journey To Love, here.
“I’m just getting started, and I have a long ways to go until my mission is complete.”
Harris continues to inspire and give others hope through her writing and recently had one of her short, poetic writings published to the widely known blog site, Thought Catalog.
As she continues to dive into the entrepreneur world of writing, although Harris is facing all new challenges with promoting her work and sticking to an affordable budget to keep her living expenses and the expenses of her dreams balanced. Regardless the struggle, she advises to never give up.
“To all the aspiring entrepreneurs, DO NOT GIVE UP. No matter the circumstances continue to follow your dreams, set daily goals for yourself, and always remain determined. Whatever it is that you aspire to do, keep doing it until it becomes your reality.”
Harris could have crumbled and gave up on ever overcoming her childhood upbringing and repairing her damaged self esteem by letting the odds that were stacked against her break her. However, she chose to emerge from her rough past instead of becoming a product of it, find God and pursue her calling. She is the true epitome of the rose that grew from concrete. Her testimony alone is enough to empower you to not let what you’ve suffered through, break you. She is the inspiring exception to all of the statistics that were stacked against her.
If you would like to learn more about Jennifer Harris and would like to follow her as she promotes her book, Journey To Love, click here to follow her on Facebook.