“What is actually me and what are the things that I adopted from my childhood, parents and early surroundings”? I have never asked myself that exact question before but I have asked myself a variation which is “how have my family and experiences shaped who I am”. These questions are EXTREMELY different.
I know that outside sources can shape who you are, but then again, they don’t have to. Some things become who you are, and some things are just bad habits that need to be broken. One major example of this in my case is the cyclical and back and forth nature of my thoughts and emotions. One week my overall mood is one thing and the next week it is something completely different. This. Is. Not. Good. And the consequences that come from this are painful and confusing.
To start fixing this I first tapped into my awareness of it, then I tried to see if I could identify some patterns. The only pattern was that it happened at times in my life where things were unbelievably stressful, such as the death of my father (that’s stressful? Nu uh…). Even though this is totally understandable, it is not a habit that I should be open to keeping. My response to it should not be that it’s just who I am, because it most definitely isn’t. So where the hell did it come from and what can I do so that I’m not a living manifestation of a Katy Perry song (I am referencing the song Hot and Cold. Don’t look it up. It’s not that good).
Why do I act this way? Up until about an hour ago I had no idea, but now I do! It hit me when I was texting my brother. I was telling him that I was having a really good day, that I was happy, and that I felt really, truly relaxed. He told me that this was awesome and then asked me why I was doing so well. The answer was that I had talked on the phone with my aunt yesterday about everything that I was going through, and she had such a calming affect on me. So I told my brother “I was talking to our aunt yesterday and she just makes everything seem less scary”. BOOM. CAPOW. ALACAZAP. WHAMO. There it was.
Everything was made less scary to me. So why was this such a big deal to me? Well bitches I’ll tell you why. It is because I have had some pretty scary stuff happen to me in the past 20 years. I have faced a plethora of unknowns. And the person that was there to help me process all of these things and all of the accompanying feelings was just as terrified as I was and she had a way of building upon my fears, unknowingly making them seem bigger. Scared was often turned into terrified. Terrified into utterly paralyzed.
However, recently this person has not been in my life for a number of complicated reasons, and upon their absence I have made discovery after discovery about my self and my past. No matter how much this, now absent, person didn’t want to hurt me… she did. Repeatedly so. A lot of the hurt came from an environment that was built off of emotional chaos. An environment based on back and forth. An environment truly unpredictable.
Sound familiar? It should. Because that environment now lives on in my head. This is something that I have taken from my childhood, experiences and hurt. It is a well conditioned habit, not who I am.
So now I take my awareness, and I take my new understanding of its origin and I work on getting rid of it. Katy Perry song no more.