January 26, 2020 at 10:48 pm #335242
Recently, I have watched videos or listened to conversations that hit an old childhood nerve that I never knew how to deal with. When I was younger, I wanted to be a gymnast. I enjoyed the focus, strength training, and foam pits of a gymnasium. However, I knew my mother couldn’t afford it and when she asked me if i wanted to be a gymnast I told her no, to spare her any pain. I am now 20, in college, and I so grateful for what i have been able to accomplish. However, whenever I hear about gymnastics or gymnasts it’s like i’m picking at a wound. I understand that you’re never too old to try and when i get the opportunity i plan to learn. Right now, my university is in the country, surrounded by a whole bunch of cattle and horses so I can’t get to a gymnasium right now. But my question is how do I feel okay with the decision I made? I know I shouldn’t feel too bad about it, I was only a child, but i continue to ask myself what if I would have said yes, what if I had joined a sport when i was younger. Would I be able to emotionally handle things better. Would I be able to try harder and keep going instead of feeling like i need to to just give up. I feel like if I had joined a sport I would be more emotionally developed than I am today.
Any and all comments are welcomed,
Love, KB.January 27, 2020 at 10:10 am #335324
You wrote: “I knew my mother couldn’t afford it and when she asked me if I wanted to be a gymnast I told her no, to spare her any pain”-
– I think it is relevant, therefore I ask: tell me more about your mother’s pain, the pain you didn’t want to add to (by telling her that you did want to be a gymnast)?
anitaJanuary 27, 2020 at 11:41 am #335336
My dad had to move to Oklahoma for police training when i was younger and I’m pretty sure she had to support the family more than she usually had to. I remember one of the workers at the gymnasium explaining the price of being a member, for leotards, etc.. But what I vividly remember was my mom’s face and she just looked stressed. I’m the youngest of 3 girls also and I think there was alot on her plate because she wasn’t as happy as she is now.January 27, 2020 at 12:20 pm #335376
I think that you did the right thing, to not ask your mother to finance gymnastics for you at that time. I would have done the same thing in your place.
You wrote that the reason you regret not taking gymnastics is because you think that if you did take gymnastics, then you would have been “able to emotionally handle things better.. instead of feeling like I need to just give up”-
– what is it currently that you are not handling well, and what is it that you want to give up on?
anitaJanuary 27, 2020 at 1:12 pm #335392
Right now I’m teaching myself not to give up, to keep going. I usually do pretty well in my classes but this year I have a class that has really tested me. I also have gotten serious about starting my own company, and I realize that I never practiced persistence when i was younger. Right now it just feels challenging to keep going, but i know I got this! If I am watching a gymnastics competition or an interview with a gymnast I get pretty sad because it was something I wanted to do and I think I would have gotten a lot of character building skills from itJanuary 27, 2020 at 1:34 pm #335396
I will be away from the computer for a few hours and will reply when I am back.
anitaJanuary 27, 2020 at 5:25 pm #335422
“Right now I’m teaching myself not to give up, to keep going”- keep going but give up on a few of your objectives, for now. You have too many objectives: to complete writing projects, to start your own company, and other things, in addition to our college education. It is as if you are in a hurry (at 20) to make up for wasted time.
You are regretting “Opportunities Missed”, but I don’t think that is the gymnastics that you most regret missing. It is something else, but I don’t know what it is. You share almost nothing about your childhood which is eighteen years out of your twenty years of life, if you consider 18 the age of adulthood.
Any idea what it is, that most important opportunity that you missed, earlier than the gymnastics idea?
If you want to, share anything that comes to mind about your childhood experience, anything at all that comes to mind. It is completely okay if you don’t; I read your previous threads and this one, and I have no further understanding beyond what I suggested here. Maybe with more information…
anitaJanuary 27, 2020 at 6:07 pm #335426
I think I missed out on having a fulfilling childhood. Most people, if you asked them, would say that they wished they could go back and I don’t. Where I am right now is so much better than where I ever was.
I feel like I missed out on sports and engaging with others as a child. My mom would put on VHS tapes for me and my sister and when one movie would end she would put in another. So I was always sheltered. I did go to public school which did expose me to other people, but I didn’t get a push from my parents. I wanted my parents to show me what it meant to be a woman, or show me how I should carry myself but they weren’t able to do that for any of my siblings. I was literally raised by the TV and had to raise myself in a way. I remember them fighting and when I was vocal about how I felt I was punished, so being in front of a tv, not engaging with others felt safe for me then.
I love my parents, they are my #1’s and I feel like we have grown together because they aren’t so much like the people they once were. But when I think too long about childhood experiences I just go back to my bedroom and I wonder if I would have made the choice to be a gymnast would things have been a little different.January 28, 2020 at 7:10 am #335480
Your regret is focused now on gymnastics, but what it is really and primarily about is your regret for not “engaging with others as a child”, at home, feeling alone and lonely, disconnected from any parent figure. You needed your mother to talk to you, play with you, teach you, show you, raise you (“I was literally raised by the TV).
There is no stronger need a child has than her social need to interact with her mother. It is true not only for humans but for other highly social mammals, stronger from the need for food a lot of the time.
Another need you had was to feel safe while interacting with your parents and while they interacted with each other, but you felt punished when interacting with them, and they fought with each other.
Your solution as a child to not feeling safe: “being in front of a tv, not engaging with others felt safe for me then”, but you still very much needed to interact with others.. safely.
Notice this, you wrote: “I love my parents, they ae my #1… But when I think too long about childhood experiences, I just.. wonder if I would have made the choice to be a gymnast would things have been a little different”-
– we people don’t like to think about our parents in any negative way, we really don’t like to entertain thoughts like that they didn’t like us, or love us.. or that they were selfish or whatnot. It makes us feel guilty, as if it means we don’t love them. So we don’t entertain these kinds of thoughts, and instead we focus on something else, something that distracts us from thoughts that hurt most. In your case, you focus on gymnastics.
If you did engage in gymnastics as a child, you would still be lonely, because nothing, not even food, not gymnastics or anything else substitutes a child’s need for safe interactions with her main caretaker, usually it is the mother.
I am glad to read: “Where I am right now is so much better than were I ever was”- to be even better where you are right now, you have to access, express and process your real and primary regret: not having had safe and loving interactions with your parents. Because you are only 20, better you attend psychotherapy. With a good therapist, it doesn’t have to be for long, but if you do, it will greatly improve your life experience for decades to come.
anitaJanuary 28, 2020 at 9:19 am #335504
Whoa, I think that’s exactly it. I never had the opportunity to think really hard on the situation so thank you so much for being patient and helping me and others work through our situations.
Love, KB.January 28, 2020 at 9:30 am #335508
Dear Kaylen/ KB:
You are welcome and thank you for your appreciation. Post again anytime and we can continue.