The answer I come to every time is that I must have been so unhappy, felt so unloved that I just did what I felt made me get love and feel loved. When a child feels unloved they can make some awful decisions and it's not up to you, the outside world, to determine what a child feels. Emotions are our own, even at a young age. Emotions are uncontrolled by others, although a child is young and needs that support from their elders to realize love is unconditional.
When my daughter and I sat down to write our book, Positive Girl - The Power of Your Thoughts, our mission was very clear in our minds; we wanted to find a way to help other children be lifted up, realize they are able to love who they are regardless of their environment.
There is a quote flowing around the Internet somewhere that says something like "it's easier to encourage a child than it is to pay for therapy for an adult" or something like that. It's so true. I am 30 years old and still facing demons that come about from memory, demons that I used to hold close and have grudges held against others. I felt at peace the day I started to have more faith in people and accept that I can not change others.
So there isn't a day that I don't remember the mistakes I've made, the remembering is not a problem, remembering is what keeps me in line and reminds me to not make those same mistakes again. Remembering what you have been through is one thing, but hanging onto it in a negative way is what will destroy your adult years. Let go of the past, remember but forgive and know that you can be a better person today, no matter how old you are, no matter what you have done.
Be that person you want to be, one tiny baby step at a time! You can do this!