succumbing to peer pressure

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Epiphany

So I've been sort of talking around this thing for several weeks, vaguely referencing my latest therapy session but not really talking about it...and obviously I've been working up to it, hence the rambling postings I think I'm finally ready to take a stab at articulating this thing. Here goes:

I've been aware of the 'symptoms' (for lack of a better term) for a while - I rarely cry, it's practically physically impossible for me to cry in front of anyone else, I was pretty much taylor made to withstand the border-line emotional abuse of gymnstics (I'm not about to confess to any sort of emotional abuse during my childhood; I'm just saying that the defense mechanisms were already in place long before I ever met my coach Billy), and I don't like myself very much whenever I feel like I need something from someone else or otherwise feel vulnerable or weak. It was this last statement that made my therapist say, whoa. Let's unpack that a little bit. And in the process of unpacking, we got to this - Despite outward appearances of being there, my Mom wasn't really there emotionally. (which makes sense, considering that she grew up with an emotionally abusive alcoholic father. her defense mechanisms are way more honed than mine will ever be.) She stayed at home to raise us, made my lunch everyday, tucked me in every night, bordered on the saintly with her devotion to my interests...but wasn't really able to make herself available enough to really offer comfort to me. And I was afraid of a lot of things as a child (hell, I'm afraid of a lot of things as a pseudo-grown-up). Sure, she'd wake up in the middle of the night and turn the light on, since I was afraid of the dark...but she couldn't really make me feel better about being afraid. And I learned really early on to...I don't know, not stop needing that, but I guess stop expecting it, or asking for it, or thinking it was ok to need it, or something. And to hate those parts of me and those interactions and events that reminded me that I did need to be taken care of and comforted.

And yes, I realize none of this is particularly unique, we all hate feeling vulnarable, or at least find it to be scary... but it's been a big deal for me to fit this piece in, it's made a lot of other things in my life make there it is.


Blogger g. kryptonite said...

I do not want to trivialize your "symptoms" or issues, but I think I may have the same problem... but here's my excuse. Growing up in the states, I've been told to idealize independent individuals with rugged, almost hardheaded, determination with impossible ideals. I strived to be one... but when I thought I was doing so well, they (life coach, mentors, bosses) tell me I got it all wrong; that stuff only works in movies and frontiers. I was confused as hell. I think I still am.

9:04 AM  

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