In 1975, a girl was born in South Africa to a loving mother and abusive father. When she was 15-years-old, her father came home drunk and threatened her mother with a loaded gun. Acting in self-defense, the girl's mother shot and killed her husband with her daughter watching.
The girl was Charlize Theron, who not only survived a difficult home life, but rose to stardom for her roles in The Italian Job, Monster, and Mad Max. In an interview, she said: "There's definitely an acknowledgement on my part that I had...a very traumatic experience in my life and somehow it’s formed me."
For some of us, childhood wasn't just building sandcastles on the beach, getting tucked into bed at night, or going out for ice cream. Many young children experience divorce, abuse, alcoholism, and financial difficulties in their families, which affects them for the rest of their lives.
For example, victims of emotional abuse claim to have emotional and social problems, including blaming themselves for everything, having difficulty making eye-contact, and anger issues. There's also evidence that being exposed to stressful situations while young can alter brain development and increase the risk of learning disabilities.
Although a difficult childhood can be damaging, experts have found many good things that can come of it. Not only are children resilient, but being exposed to difficult situations can drive your ambition to rise above bad conditions, just like Charlize Theron did.
Overcoming hardship builds character, and if you had a tough time growing up, you could have these important strengths...