flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread
So there’s a thing I haven’t talked about here yet, but this new character means that I sort of need to address it. As with all of the other intensely personal things I’ve brought up here, I refuse to be embarrassed by something that isn’t my fault, but unlike depression or anxiety or any of the other things I’ve talked about, this concerns other people, too, and I haven’t wanted to say something hurtful.
So, this is no surprise to the people who know me well, but I grew up with an emotionally abusive parent. He’s changed, and we actually have a fairly good relationship now, but it took a long time to get here, and I don’t want to destroy that or take a step backwards. The bare facts are that, while I don’t forgive the monster who haunted my childhood and young adulthood, I do respect that he is no longer the man he was then, and I deal with him largely as a separate person.
Anyway, this isn’t about vilifying someone for a past they can’t change; it’s about the inevitable results. The fact is that growing up in an unpredictable, hostile, scary environment changes a person in ways they don’t always realize. I’ll go to great lengths to avoid conflict; I dwell on negative interactions to a destructive extent; I frequently think people are talking about me or are angry at me, because so much of avoiding fights in my youth was about monitoring his moods. I didn’t realize till my boss asked me to please stop leaping out of her path years ago that I consistently watch traffic patterns in the room and try desperately to stay out of everybody’s way, because that’s what I was trained to do. There’s a rather good article about it here: informative without being terribly hard to wade through.
Anyway, that’s what I’m drawing about at the moment. Sorry; these probably won’t be very funny, but I need to do it.
Oh my God, Nara… You’re me. 😦
We’re a lot of people, I think. You’ve got me beat, though — you’ve managed to build and sustain a romantic relationship with another human. Not sure I’m capable of that, honestly.
Really appreciate the article – makes me understand better why I don’t handle stress well and why I had to stay on anti-depressants until I was able to retire and reduce my stress load. (I grew up with 2 very damaged and abusive parents) Ty for sharing it.
Thank you. Love you!