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Day 11 Childhood Revelations

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by MusicMan11, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. MusicMan11

    MusicMan11 Peer Supporter

    Thanks to JanAtheCPA's response to my last post, I started digging deeper into my childhood and discovered some unconscious rage.

    Ever since I was 4/5 years old, I was always a "gifted" child that was ahead of the curve with everything. I was putting together 50-100 piece puzzles, writing out letters at a very young age and even reading very early on. This was encouraged by my parents, as they were so excited to have a highly developed child, as any parent would be. There was a running joke in my family that it's "all about me" as I was the golden child.

    However, as the years went on, and my two other brothers were born 4 and 8 years after me, the "special" in me went from being exciting to just "the norm" of who I was as a person. What I mean by this is my brothers both struggled in school and learning basic fundamental skills during their childhood, but I continued to excel.

    I got straight A's, I made my own lunch as a kid, did my own projects, managed my own schedule, all throughout my life. It was implied that my parents were proud of me and they were happy they never had to "worry" about me, as they spoke highly of me to our extended family, friends, etc. The problem with this, is that indirectly forced me to start putting pressure on myself, because I never really got that "celebration" or "we're so proud of you" or "we love you for working so hard and putting in 110% all the time." Like I said, it became the norm and it was just unspokenly implied that my parents loved me and were proud of me.

    I would come home with my report card of straight A's and I'd get a half-hearted "great job", or "that's great," while my mom would stress over is my brother going to pass the current grade he's in. My grandparents would give me cash for a great report card, which as a kid was awesome, but I think instilled the "good grades = good job = money" stigma was cemented in my mind and unconsciously put even more pressure on myself

    This sounds super cliche and lame, but child me never got the attention or celebrated "wins" that I needed because I was a well-oiled machine that anybody ever had to worry about. But deep down, part of me wished they DID have to worry about me, like they did with my brothers. I'm a pretty extroverted, vivacious guy, but I HATE being the center of attention anywhere, which I think is also a result of my childhood. I also think this where some of my intimacy issues getting close to someone and not really saying "I love you" to people stems from.

    Don't get me wrong, I had a great childhood and loving parents, but part of me just wishes they tried to slow me down or stop to take some moments to celebrate and reassure me it's ok to mess up or screw up.

    This cycle began the constant need to "up the ante" for myself in all aspects of my life. Good grades, excel in sports, fitness, a sound job, a home, financially sound, etc. until I started causing myself so much anxiety and stress I forgot to give myself some celebratory wins, love and congrats that I never really got from Age 4-5 on. This I believe is where a huge portion of my TMS stems from. Pressure to succeed that was indirectly put on me from such a young age.

    This paired with the fact that my dad also suffered from mild health anxiety and stress at his job/with money at times throughout his life, makes sense as to why I am the way I am.

    I guess I need to just start checking in with myself to give myself a congrats and pat on the back for small wins and not put so much pressure on myself in all aspects of my life and start accepting that life is messy. Never getting an "i love you" or "i'm proud of you" pissed me off a little more than I thought I guess because at times I still feel like my parents expectations are a lot higher of me than they are of my two brothers.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Absolutely awesome post, and great work, MM. I'm bookmarking it, because it's the perfect answer to anyone who says "I had a perfectly secure and loving childhood, so how can I be repressing anything?"

    Our primitive brains start repressing negative and "unacceptable" emotions very early on. Doing this work with complete honesty will ultimately free you from the repression, and give you permission to love and nurture yourself, as we all deserve.
  3. Ivanka

    Ivanka Peer Supporter

    Wow, thank you for sharing. It's almost like reading my own story!

    It's like now a have the permission to resent my parents for treating me this way, even though it was not abuse or anything really horrible. That doesn't mean what they did was right.

    I am aware of all this, but can't feel the rage yet. Maybe a little sadness. I will keep journaling, I'm sure feeling will emerge eventually.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I didn't feel rage either, Ivanka, but I did feel loss and isolation. Both of those are important negative emotions which our brains will try to repress.
  5. Ivanka

    Ivanka Peer Supporter

    Thank you for reminding me of this.

    I am sometimes too focused on extreme emotions like rage and such and I tend to forget about less spectacular ones like loss and isolation.

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