Do you sometimes think about how your parents raised and truly wonder why you aren’t more messed up? I do, a lot.
I swear my mother was afraid of everything and everyone. We never went to downtown Seattle because she was afraid we would get mugged. I always found that logic faulty because she worked in the city and she was never mugged. When I lived in the University area she refused to come and visit me because of ‘all the traffic’ , honestly we lived in King County there was traffic everywhere. She hated most of my friends and thought they were a bad influence on me. I suspect that is because my friends, as friends do often got me to grow and be more independent. When I was getting ready to leave for college my mom nearly had a toddler style melt down in hopes that I would give up the plan to leave. Now if she had planned the
meltdown a month or so earlier I might have given up the idea, but don’t have a meltdown the day before I am supposed to leave.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mom, but she created a lot of work that I don’t think any child should ever have to do.
Because of the reinforcement of her behavior I have a tendency to be a bit fearful. I have been known to have panic attacks in the mall parking lot, honestly I don’t miss shopping at the mall. Online shopping was a godsend for me, no more over-stimulation from all the physical choices in a store. At work I prefer putting my head down and getting the job done, I am not keen on talking to people. My boss knows this and she thinks it is amusing. I freely admit I am painfully shy to most people who ask me. I think the worst thing though is that my mom taught me how to be judgmental, and I have been trying to unlearn that skill for ages. Although if you were to ask her about it, she would have denied it was her.
Because I have been working on curbing so many of the habits she taught me I can see how far I have come from that frightened woman who refused to drive more than a few miles to shop, who would do anything to get people to like her, and who would often make caustic remarks without really thinking about what I was saying. I am by no means complete with this journey, but that is why I write this blog to discuss, discover, and share about my journey to self-realization.
And I continue to ask myself, “is it really any wonder…”