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Overcoming an „Addictive Personality“

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  • #409713
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Julia,

    That’s the thing I also judge most on other (family members, especially my parents).

    Alright, so if I understood you right, you also judge your parents for being slackers/non-achievers?

    I don’t know if it would necessarily “prove [my] worth” (to whom?) rather than just make me something else (than my parents?) than boring, I don’t know, hard to put into words

    If you were to achieve something special, you feel you would be better than your parents, who are slackers/non-achievers/boring/lost in the crowd?

    If so, it could be that you didn’t have too much excitement in your childhood, that you didn’t get much stimulation from your parents (in terms of playing games, doing fun things together), and so you felt bored…. and also boring, because they didn’t encourage you to show your brilliance, your gifts and talents? Do you resonate with any of this, or it is off track?

     

    #409846
    Julia
    Participant

    Dear Tee, Dear Anita,
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Anita, you wrote what comes to my mind as I read what I quoted here is that your parents did not enjoy taking care of you and preferred to do something else, something other than attending to you, and therefore, you felt lost in the family, forgotten and forgettable“ – What you wrote might be true for one half of my parents (my father) but my mum definitely always had time or made time for me and enjoyed spending time with me. It was hard and still is for her to give emotional support or talk about problems. Those are ignored and not talked about in our family. So I cannot say I felt lost or forgotten by my family but I remember that sometimes plans were made to do stuff as a family (going to the swimming pool etc.) – so disappointment comes to mind when I think about those occasions.</p>
    I really meant that I was confused that grownups would do dishes, get up early to go to work do sports they didn’t enjoy when they could do (in my childish mind) everything they wanted to, why would they chose this? It could come from my parents complaining about everything, making every little task sounding like a marathon, I don’t know.

    Tee, you wrote „<em style=”font-weight: bold;”>Alright, so if I understood you right, you also judge your parents for being slackers/non-achievers?“ – yes exactly. I mean my dad sits literally at home for over 10 years after losing his job and going into pension – doing almost nothing besides eating and maybe reading and watching television. That always makes me so upset and angry even how one can just waste his life away like this. But who am I to judge, sitting at home in the evening, eating and watching netflix…

    „<em style=”font-weight: bold;”>If you were to achieve something special, <em style=”font-weight: bold;”>you feel you would be better than your parents, who are slackers/non-
    achievers/boring/lost in the crowd?“ – I

    – I would, in deed. Because I would have proven to myself that I am different.

    „<strong style=”font-style: italic;”>If so, it could be that you didn’t have too <strong style=”font-style: italic;”>much excitement in your childhood, that <strong style=”font-style: italic;”>you didn’t get much stimulation from your <strong style=”font-style: italic;”>parents (in terms of playing games, doing <strong style=”font-style: italic;”>fun things together), and so you felt <strong style=”font-style: italic;”>bored……. and also boring, because they didn’t encourage you to show your
    brilliance, your gifts and talents?“

    -This supports what I wrote to Anita in response. There was definitely a lack of stimulation, I was a clever and creative child and I guess I needed extra input. I remember wanting to go to soccer training when I was 6 and my dad halfheartedly tried to took me to some training location (probably to show me that they don’t train girls). I think he never tried to enroll me or so. Just years later I found out that girls were also trained in the small town where I lived. Another example comes to mind when I was 10 and wanted to take dance lessons. My mum enrolled me and went with me to the first lesson but we were at the wrong gym so I never had a first lesson. We never tried to go there again afterwards. It just stings when I think of this missed opportunities and when I think of other children or friends who were encouraged by their parents to follow their passion and were actually helped. I couldn’t even try to find my passion. It felt impossible.

    So, that that. I don’t think I have anything more to add, I just hope I do better for my kids.

    Julia

    #409862
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Julia:

    I will read and reply to you in about 11 hours from now.

    anita

    #409869
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Julia,

    I hear you, and I think I understand what happened. Your parents were the type who did the bare minimum in their life. They complained about everything rather than try to change something. They had jobs they didn’t like, did sports they didn’t like (if I understood that part well?). Everything extra, including taking you to extracurricular activities, was too hard for them.

    It seems they almost sabotaged both your soccer training and your dance training, because they only took you once, and since it “didn’t work”, they stopped trying. Your mom didn’t inquire where the proper gym is, so you could go next time. She just gave up immediately. She was probably relieved that she doesn’t need to take you there.

    It seems that neither of your parents understood how much such activities mean for the child – they just did what was easiest for them, which was to sit at home and not be bothered. It seems they suppressed their own inner child too, because they never discovered their own creativity and joy of life.

    Not surprisingly, you adopted some of their behaviors, such as “doing the bare minimum” with your master’s degree:

    I am just putting enough effort into it to pass. I don’t work my butt of. I choose easier courses, I just do what is needed. I don’t even try to understand some things. I just gave up.

    You are judging yourself for being like that, and I believe you’re also judging your parents for “making you” like that:

    I was a clever and creative child and I guess I needed extra input. … It just stings when I think of this missed opportunities and when I think of other children or friends who were encouraged by their parents to follow their passion and were actually helped. I couldn’t even try to find my passion.

    Maybe your reasoning goes something like this: “I am irreversibly damaged by the lack of opportunities to develop my talents and follow my passion, therefore I am destined to be a slacker like you [your parents] and live a dull, boring, mediocre life. Because of you, I am destined to be less than I could have become.”

    Would you say that this is close to how you think and feel?

    If so, the solution would be to stop blaming them, to know that you’re not irreversibly damaged, and that you can still start exploring your talents and your passion. Even if you’re now a mother and have less free time, you can still play with your own creativity.

    You can take a dance class, or whatever seems exciting. You can find time for yourself, even if it’s just once a week, to PLAY and have fun exploring your creativity. Your creativity is not lost, it’s just buried a little and needs dusting off. So nothing is irreversibly lost, it’s still in you.

    But you’d need to stop blaming your parents and forgive them for being “slackers”. And not expect them to change. Instead, give yourself permission to play and have fun and do the things that they haven’t encouraged you to do. Take yourself to a dance class, and have fun! 🙂

    What do you say?

    #409878
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Julia:

    I read your recent post and then re-read your previous posts. This is what I noticed this morning that I didn’t notice before: your anger (an understandable, valid anger) about having missed out (all the “missed opportunities”) on what life is supposed to be about- when you were a child and to this very day, anger about missing out on the excitement, satisfaction and euphoria that accompany self-actualization, i.e.,  expressing yourself creatively and becoming fully yourself, living life to the fullest, or close enough to the fullest.

    Thoughts which I try to avoid can be summarized with: I am not good enough, I could do more, work more… be more creative (it was a big passion during my childhood years)“- you placed your big passion to be creative in parenthesis. It’s as if life itself- for you, growing up- was placed in parenthesis and you were understandably unhappy being stuck inside a parenthesis.

    Life is just life. It is not necessarily boring but just bland… lost in a crowd, nothing to talk about , forgettable, boring“- this is how life feels inside a parenthesis.

    Even as a child I did not understand, why people / grown-ups just had to do things which they obviously did not enjoy… I  was confused that grownups would do dishes, get up early to go to work do sports they didn’t enjoy when they could do (in my childish mind) everything they wanted to, why would they chose this?…  It could come from my parents complaining about everything, making every little task sounding like a marathon“-

    – I am trying to envision your life growing up: you naturally wanted your parents to be happy, but they were not happy: they were complaining a lot, how life is difficult, a drag to get up early in the morning and go to work, and then on top of that, to do the household chores, etc. I imagine you tried to tell them (tell one or both of your parents) something like: then stop doing these things that make you miserable! Maybe you offered your mother to do the dishes, so that she can be free to do what she wanted to do..  but she refused your help and/ or kept complaining. So, feeling powerless (like you can’t help her to be happy), you were angry at her/ them, and your only way to make yourself feel like you have some power to make a difference, was to promise yourself: when I grow up, I will not do those boring or difficult tasks that would make me miserable!

    I kind of promised myself, I would never put myself into this kind of situations so when such a situation is at hand, where I actually have to do things because there is a deadline or it’s about health etc. I’m trying my best to postpone doing it. I’m finding myself grabbing my phone, binge watching, eating etc… “-

    -I think that what’s fueling your “Addictive Personality” as you termed it, is anger at having been powerless as a child to make your parents’ lives better, to some extent or another. The fact that “problems…  are ignored and not talked about in our family” meant that you were angry and upset throughout your childhood. Having been powerless as a child to express yourself as a soccer player or a dancer made you feel even more powerless, more like living inside parenthesis.

    I imagine that if you felt some power to make a positive difference in your parents’ lives, that would have made a huge difference in your own life. I wonder: when you think expressing yourself creatively NOW, part of you angrily and exasperatedly protests: Too late!! NOW should have happened long ago!!?

    anita

     

    #410157
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Julia:

    I hope that in my last post of 5 days ago, I didn’t veer too far off from your personal experience and described instead, my own personal experience. Growing up, I am the one who lived within parenthesis: a non-entity, overlooked, unheard… unnoticed. My life growing up was boring and non-stimulating (except for the emotional pain that kept occupied and my exciting pleasurable escapes from misery via elaborate daydreaming).

    I was so focused and so immersed in my mother’s misery that I HAD TO MAKE HER HAPPY before I allowed myself to attend to myself, before I had the right to be happy. I tried to help her by doing the dishes and cleaning… but she said I did it wrong and caused her even more work than if I didn’t try to “help”. As a teenager, I read psychology books and I tried to present to her concepts and ideas so that she will correct her thinking and live a better life… but all in vain.

    I hope to read more from you, Julia.

    anita

Viewing 6 posts - 16 through 21 (of 21 total)

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