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My Struggle With Abandonment And Anger Through Resilience and Forgiveness

“There were constant thoughts that I wasn’t good enough. If my own parents could leave me, and I wasn’t enough for them to stay and want to be part of my life, despite all my great accomplishments, anyone can and will.”

Hello! Who are you?

Hi, my name is Felicita Castillo Delcambre. It’s important that I include my “middle” name because it’s almost a funny story. My maiden name is Felicita Castillo Castillo. I know, it’s a little odd, but this is a constant reminder that I’m a one-of-a-kind type of person.

I’ve never met anyone in person with my name either, and I’m convinced I probably never will. My name is quite unique in my opinion. My parents named me after my great-grandmother, Felicita, and my first name actually means “happiness”.

Growing up, I despised my name. I go by Feli (rhymes with Kelly, belly, jelly. You get the idea when it comes to teasing kids.) for short, and I was teased a ton as a kid because of it. Christmas time was the worst when all my classmates would sing “Feliz Navidad” as “Felicita Navidad.” Not my happiest moment.

My entire life, I’ve always done my very best to live up to the meaning of my name, although naturally, some days are harder than others. Now that I’m older, I realize there’s so much to a name and I’m reminded to search for the small instances of happiness because I was chosen to be called this for a reason.

As for my double last name, it’s a longer story, but after I got married, it was very convenient that I could still keep my maiden name without extra hassle.

Currently, I live in Katy, Texas in the United States. This is a town that thrives on football and being the best in all sports and academics. They have upwards of eleven Katy alumni graduates who have made it to the NFL (National Football League) and the football team typically makes it to the playoffs every year.

They currently hold 9 State Championships, just at Katy High School alone, not including other Katy ISD high schools in the area. Katy Independent School District ranks number one among Public School Districts in the Houston Area, which is currently the fifth largest city in the USA and is currently ranked number twelve in the State.

I say all this because I currently have a freshman daughter in high school that I need to guide to live up to these high demanding standards as an athlete in their volleyball program and participate in all advanced core classes.

She is my world, and I always want the very best for her. I am also happily married, and we celebrated our 5th anniversary earlier this year. Although we’ve only been married for 5 years, we’ve been together for the last 10 years and I honestly couldn’t imagine life without him.

Both my husband and I work in the oil and gas industry. I work for a small engineering company in Katy, TX directly under the CEO. I wouldn’t say it’s a job I’m passionate about, but it is a job I do excel at.

My ultimate dream is to grow my two current businesses into full-time income so I can work full-time doing what I truly love and have a passion for.

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset and passion for success. Even as a small child, you would catch me playing pretend “bank teller” instead of pretending to be “house mom” with my friends.

I wasn’t the type to play with baby dolls because I saw myself as a boss at a very young age. I believe I’m a natural-born leader. I’m currently a business owner of two businesses in the health and wellness industry.

It is my mission to empower determined women in their 30s and beyond to reclaim their energy through creating a sustainable approach to nutrition and macro counting.

I want women to build this strong belief in their best selves, both physically and mentally, because I know what it’s like to be torn down and not have help.

I want women to believe they can achieve their goals in their health and wellness, and realize the truth that they are more than just a mom, taxi driver, chef, housecleaner, and whatever other stereotypical womanly duties we are usually tasked with.

Overall, I am content with life, as there are those far worse, and I am grateful that myself and my loved ones are healthy, we have a home and are ultimately happy.

Felicita Delcambre 1

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What is your struggle and when did it start?

Although it seems I’m living the American dream now, this wasn’t always the case. I come from a very small town in South Texas with a population of less than 4,000 people. It is drug-ridden and low-income, and many people unfortunately never leave there.

It’s a depression trap for some, a motivation to leave for others like myself. I blame where I come from to be the beginning of my struggle with the anger of having a self-sabotage mindset, and learning how to overcome negative self-talk.

Ever since I was a small child I’ve faced many challenges from my family and peers. We lived in low-income housing, with my parents never being married and my father not in the family picture.

I’m the youngest of four. My two oldest siblings weren’t always the best role models with each of them having babies at a young age. We had big age gaps, so by the time they graduated high school, my other sister and I were still in elementary school.

When I was 12 years old, and my third oldest sibling was just 14 years old, my mother left us behind to move around the country with her boyfriend at the time.

Since her first two children were grown with their own babies and lives, my adolescent thought process led me to believe that she quit on us because we weren’t going to be enough for her to change her ways.

My sister and I bounced around family homes for about two years. One week with my grandparents, the next with cousins, the next with friends, then aunts, then my oldest sister, then back to my grandparents.

We were mostly separated the entire time my mother was gone, but eventually, my mother ended up getting us our own apartment to live in so she could calm the nagging family taking care of her children.

At the young age of 14, the same age as my daughter now, my 16-year-old sister and I lived on our own and had to face adulthood extremely quickly.

We cooked, cleaned, washed our own clothes, worked, figured out schedules and rides, and performed all the parental duties ourselves, and for one another, growing up.

My mother would only send money for bills that weren’t covered by government assistance, and we faced eviction a time or two. This was the beginning of my struggle with anger and self-sabotage.

There were constant thoughts that I wasn’t good enough. If my own parents could leave me, and I wasn’t enough for them to stay and want to be part of my life, despite all my great accomplishments, anyone can and will.

I was angry because I worked so hard. I was always on the honor roll with amazing grades. I was captain of every sports team I played on. I made the varsity cheerleading squad and softball team as a freshman. I had figured if I worked extra hard to do the best and be the best, it would encourage my mother to come back to us.

I thought maybe she would recognize how amazing we are, and want to be part of that, but she didn’t. On the outside to my teachers and peers, I was this amazing student and friend, on the inside I was hollow bitterness living with the constant voice telling me I wasn’t good enough no matter how hard I tried.

Over time I used my mother’s abandonment, for lack of a better word, as a motivator in life. Eventually, my sadness turned into anger, and this fire propelled me to achieve many goals I set for myself.

Once I graduated high school, I moved to San Antonio, Texas to carry out my dream of moving away from that place of sadness and building the home I never had.

Shortly after my move, I hit my first block of self-sabotage. I came out pregnant and found out a month before I was to go into the United States Air Force.

Looking back, I see this as God guiding my path, but at the time, I was devastated and disappointed in myself that I was so irresponsible in repeating the cycle I so desperately worked to escape.

I had worked so hard to finally leave a place of sadness, just to sabotage myself into now having another human depending on me. My daughter’s father wasn’t the best of people, and needless to say, we didn’t last. When my daughter turned a year old, I left him, and we were off and on until I met my now husband when she turned 4 years old.

I would say I still struggle with anger and self-sabotage to this day. There are times when I use my upbringing as a debilitating excuse in various aspects of my life. Sometimes it’s a hindrance, and sometimes it’s a motivator. There are times when I struggle in my marriage, as a mother, as a business owner.

On days when I’m dreaming up my future and how my businesses will one day be successful, and I’m putting in my notice to leave my job, there’s always this small voice I hear saying, “Look where you come from.

You don’t have a degree. You’re not good enough to be the leader of a successful business. You don’t belong in that crowd of success.” Then, I reflect on all the statistics I overcame at such a young age and remind myself that I already walked through hell and back, and if I can do that as a child, nothing can stop me now.

The passionate fire within me runs so deep in my soul that I truly believe I was made for great things. It’s the faith that my story thus far and the meaning of my name is meant for greatness and happiness, despite the sadness I endured. I wasn’t named “happiness” for no reason, and although I don’t know the reasons now, I’m content with never knowing.

The anger still lives in a small place inside me, and I still struggle with this daily. I’ve since forgiven both my parents and now understand many things and their reasoning that I didn’t understand as a child.

I realized that anger will only continue to self-sabotage my dreams, and having faith in my search for my happiness and success continues to be my new motivator.

How did this struggle make you feel at your worst moments?

At my worst moments, I wanted to die. Even as an elementary school-aged child, these thoughts came to mind. I thought about dying and what people would say and think.

I prayed my peers would regret being so mean to me when I was gone. I prayed they would suffer the pain of the sadness they inflicted on me once I was gone. I prayed they would ask for my forgiveness.

But then I would think of those who did love and care about me, and I couldn’t bear imagining the pain they’d feel also. It was my imagination of their sadness that overpowered the pain of imaginary hatred that kept me alive and I’ll forever be thankful for their love.

It was never clear to many people that I was suffering in any way. As far as everyone knew, I was the best at everything. I was strong. I was independent. I was capable. I was very smart. I was happy.

No one knew I was struggling unless I told them I was. Teachers had no idea. Only some very close friends knew. I couldn’t bear the look of pity. I hated to tell people my mother left me because people would give me this disgusting look of empathy as if they could possibly imagine what I was going through and I couldn’t stand it.

It made me feel even smaller than I already felt. It made me feel incapable and weak, and I didn’t have time for those feelings. I didn’t have room in my heart for weakness because if I wasn’t strong, I would fail. If I wasn’t capable, there would be no one else to help me.

I was alone and I only had me and I preferred it that way. I needed to be independent. I wore this mask of strength for so long, that sometimes I feel like I still wear it. In fact, sometimes I know I do. This is how I know I still struggle.

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Was there a moment when you started to turn things around?

It wasn’t until I learned I was going to be a mother myself, that I realized I needed to change. I didn’t know what kind of mother I was going to be, but I knew one thing. I was going to do everything opposite of my mother.

I knew I had to end the cycle and it needed to be me to do it. My daughter truly saved me from myself. I often feel if she hadn’t come into my life when she did, I probably would’ve spiraled into this chaotic tornado.

God knew I needed her and although she came at the most unexpected, inopportune time, she was meant to be. I knew the first step to making a change would be forgiveness and I started to heal my relationship with my mother once I became pregnant.

By then, she had made her way back to my hometown after finally leaving her boyfriend whom she left us for. She came back my senior year of high school thinking we’d dance back into her loving arms. That didn’t happen with me, but my sister moved back with her, while I refused and eventually moved away after graduation.

A couple of years later, after her repeated attempts to mend our relationship, I gave her the chance to be there for me throughout my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter, and she was. She was there for me in the exact motherly way I needed her to be, and slowly my heart started to heal.

It was a couple of years after my daughter was born that I came across network marketing, and the company I was with was huge on personal development.

I read so many books on overcoming negative emotions, communication, and wealth management. I practiced what I learned, and transformations happened. I started to actually become the person I always wanted to be.

I overcame emotional obstacles more easily. I was more understanding of things within my control. My career in network marketing never flourished to the lengths they said were possible, due to paralysis of fear in my opinion, but I’m grateful for everything I learned when it came to all the personal development teachings I practiced in the 3-4 years I was with my team.

I took a break and have recently begun a new journey with an entirely different company now. I don’t see network marketing in the same way I used to, and I now know the limitations of its success, but I do see the benefits of it being an actual business and how the product is still very impactful in a good way. 

I remember before moving away from my hometown, I used to dream of leaving so that no one knew me and I could be whoever I wanted to be and it would be true because they wouldn’t know me to cast judgment up front.

I could be anyone my heart desired. No one would know where I come from. No one would know anything about me and I could portray my best self. My true self and that would be who they knew. Then I would be the person I was made to be.

I would actually be the one who is the best at everything. I would be a strong, independent, capable woman and it would be true because I would no longer live in the shadows of despair in my hometown with the judgemental eyes and people waiting for me to fail. I would finally be happy.

Now, when I look in the mirror, I do see her. Deep down, I have forgiven my past and I know that my true self is the desires of my heart and future, which is why I can confidently be the person I am today and not feel like there’s a mask on.

Of course, I have my days of self-pity, and I make excuses, and the spurts of self-sabotage come out to be an unproductive day but ultimately in those instances, I give myself grace and remind myself that I’m human.

I’m not perfect and I never will be. I am capable but I deserve breaks. I am independent but I deserve a partner. I am strong, but people who love you help you carry the load.

Slowly, over time I’ve opened up and learned that it’s ok to let people in. Allowing people in your heart doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you’re loved.

What steps did you take to overcome your struggle?

I started with forgiveness. I recognized that anger was my fuel and my trigger and it was very unhealthy in many ways. It was my anger that led to my self-sabotage and the excuses I made to not be my best.

I knowingly put a wall up and did not allow people in. Take the time and identify the emotions you know are hurting you. Ask yourself what’s making you mad, if it’s anger. If it’s sadness, what’s causing the pain of sadness? If it’s selfishness, what’s causing you to feel like you’re going to lose something that you have to grasp everything so tightly and selfishly?

What do you feel like you’re lacking, or going without that you feel the need to take so much? It is so important to identify the emotion that is causing you pain and understand what is in your power to overcome that emotion and channel it into something positive for yourself and those around you.

For example, I identified that I was angry at my parents and needed to figure out how to forgive them for leaving me. I needed to prove to myself that I was enough for love. So the first place I turned to was the Bible.

God’s word explicitly explained exactly what love is and how no matter what I am and always will be loved. No one on earth could love me more than God himself, and for me, that was enough.

I learned how Jesus forgave those who crucified him, and he was perfect. He did nothing to deserve his tortuous death. This showed me that if he could forgive them, I could also forgive my parents and anyone who hurt me.

I also actively participated in a small faith group where we’d meet once a month, pick a bible verse to discuss, and share the thoughts in our hearts. It was a safe space for me with people I knew I could trust, so I would recommend finding a community that you feel can be your safe space as well.

For those non-religious, I would still say to read, and reading books on personal development helped me tremendously. There are various books that explain how to identify different emotions and what you can do to overcome obstacles preventing you from being your best and true self.

Journaling is also a very beneficial method that helps to relieve emotions that are harming you internally. I have journals that date back to more than 20 years ago.

If you don’t feel like you’re ready to talk to a professional, journaling is a great way to speak your voice in an unconventional way, although I would also highly recommend speaking to a professional.

Depending on what you’re struggling with, getting professional help is one of the best ways to resolve some issues, if you feel like these are things you can’t quite handle on your own, or don’t know how to overcome. Trained professionals can help guide you to the healing you are seeking.

Reading was also another way I learned different techniques for identifying emotions. I read several books on personal development and learned different ways to channel my anger into something productive. I learned that I had control over my emotions, and could use this power over thoughts and actions to be a person I’m proud of.

I didn’t realize I was already doing this but in a negative, unhealthy way to a certain extent. Not letting people into my life did nothing but make me feel sad and lonely.

I learned that other’s actions didn’t dictate my feelings. It was my reactions to others that I needed to learn to control. Reading books that help you with things you can relate to helped me tremendously on my journey thus far. 

Have you shared any of this with people around you in real life?

As a child, I only shared bits and pieces of what I was going through with friends. Close friends knew my mom wasn’t there, but they didn’t know my mental health struggles.

I also didn’t share many of my emotions with family other than my sister who was experiencing the same emotions with me because she was left behind also.

I didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about it because I despised the feelings of pity, which was always the first reaction. I also knew that no one else could fully relate to what I was experiencing because they never went through anything like that.

It was difficult for me to speak to anyone I knew wouldn’t fully understand and I didn’t have time to waste trying to do so. It wasn’t until after I significantly started healing that I felt more comfortable sharing this struggle with others. 

I did share this experience with my husband, and he is one of the only people who truly knows everything. I also served on a church retreat team years ago, and shared my story of forgiveness with the retreatants, along with my small faith group members.

Otherwise, that time of my life has now come and gone and I don’t feel the need to share my journey as much anymore. After finding healing, I’ve come to be so much more at peace. 

If you could give a single piece of advice to someone else that struggles, what would that be?

Time is the enemy and the gift. We don’t know when our time is up, and instead of wasting your energy on all the negative things in your life, use it wisely. Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person you’re angry at to die.

You’re only hurting yourself at the end of the day, and you’re losing precious time that you could use to be happy. There’s no good reason to suffer.

Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste your time on things that are hurting you and the people you love. Don’t focus your time and energy on things that aren’t helping you be a better person.

What you give to the universe you get back tenfold, so use your time to be your best self, and your best self will eventually appear. It’s a choice to live miserable, or happy. The choice is yours.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, YouTube channels, or other resources for you?

  • The Secret by Rhonda Byren helped me understand that you attract what you put into the universe. You are in control of your desires. 
  • The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson helped me identify obstacles in my path toward the dreams I had in my heart and how to overcome them using the power of the mind.
  • The Shark and the Goldfish by Jon Gordon helped me by showing me different ways of seeing things in a positive way, instead of a negative way. Nothing is out of reach and perspective makes a huge difference in the outcomes you desire.
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki helped me understand the fundamentals of a successful business. Changing your mind around how you see money to make it work for you, rather than you working for it will help build financial wealth.
  • Slay Girl Slay Podcast with Ashley Leggs has helped me on days that I struggle to believe I am worthy. Whenever I’m discouraged, I’ll put on her show and she is the ultimate hype woman. I highly recommend listening to her show.
  • The Good News with Ashley Leggs is also another show I listen to when I’m discouraged and beginning to self-sabotage. This reminds me that I’m not alone. The show features so many people who went through a similar childhood as me, or worse, and overcame their obstacles too. It helps me remember that I’m not the only one who’s suffered and overcame trauma of some sort.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

You can sign up for my email newsletter where you’ll learn ways to live a healthier lifestyle without giving up things you love. You can sign up using this link.

You can connect with me more on my recent health journey on Instagram at @TheVindiJourney. My personal profile is also linked in the bio section to connect with me there as well.

💡 By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, I’ve condensed the information of 100’s of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇

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This Cheat Sheet Will Help You Be Happier and More Productive

Thrive under stress and crush your goals with these 10 unique tips for your mental health.

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Hugo Huijer AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

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