topiary cats

topiary cats

Monday, January 11, 2016

The First Five Years

I wrote recently about something I have been thinking about and trying to figure out for a while.

That "something"...whatever it is that people have which enables them to create and attract relationships, that "something" that makes other people want to be with you, connect with you- I don't think I have it.

And I have discovered that I'm correct about that, and I have figured out why.

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When I went to the Mas Sajady event I did not feel good afterwards, like most of everyone else.
Actually, what happened over the next several days is memories from my toddler years and early childhood surfaced which I haven't thought about in decades.

Also I had the insight during the meditation that my father never bonded with me.  And that makes absolute perfect sense. I'm at peace with it, now, but it is what I expect from men in general.  Life has not proved me wrong. I wish it would.

I do have several distinct memories from when I was a toddler. Not a single one of them is good.

Anyhow, after doing some talking and reading, I have encountered the research on the first five years of life.

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The first five years of life are known to be the most crucial years that shape a human's entire life in regard to how the brain develops and learns about environment and people, relationships, and how to connect and bond with others.

Somehow, I don't think that is very fair. But that's what the research shows.
If a child gets messed up in those years, it is very difficult to overcome it.

If that environment is hostile and unstable, as mine was, it patterns and alters the brain and how the child learns what is safe and what is not.  If other people (caregivers)- especially the mother- are not safe and no strong bonding with caregivers is established, it affects how the child is able to bond with other people through their entire life.  Again, this makes perfect sense.

My mother and I never bonded. After I was born, in addition to the emerging mental health problems she already had, she went into a severe post-partum depression and never came out of it.

She did bond with my sister who is 13 months older.  My sister was a very abnormally mellow baby who slept through the night permanently at 10 days old. From that experience my mother decided that babies were easy, like playing with dolls, and all the people who said babies were hard, a lot of work, etc were just wrong. (Her own words)

Then I came along and all my mother's problems began. I was a normal baby according to my father- (I asked him once if I was abnormally difficult- he said no) but to my mother I was a huge problem and a burden because I was not as abnormally easy as her first baby. Relatives told me she would often just ignore me, or let me cry instead of feeding me. Additionally, I was born with messed up eyes.  My right eye was crossed. My mother didn't like having a baby with an obvious physical defect.

She also taught this hostile attitude towards me to my sister, who openly admitted she always hated me growing up. And she had no problems acting like it, right up until the last time I saw her. It was a very bad dynamic.

My parents' marriage was already a bad situation and my father was on his way out. He officially left when I was around three years old. Everyone was always fighting and yelling. So I never actually bonded with anyone, and this has continued until this very day.  In my teenage/young adult years, if I had even just one strong positive connection to an adult, things might have been very, very different for me.

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I spoke with my aunt a few weeks ago.  She is my mother's sister.  She is 12 years older than my mother. They are (were at one point?) close.  We don't talk a lot, but it was really nice to speak with her. She asked me if I would be open to speaking with my mother again.  I said no. She asked why, and I told her. My mother is so, so very sick. Deeply sick. I hope she gets help (she won't) but I can't be involved with her anymore.  It is too toxic.  Besides, why would I want to connect with someone who has openly admitted for decades that she doesn't even like me?  I don't need that and I sure as hell am not going to expose Daya to it. I got away. I broke the cycle. Daya is ok.

My aunt told me that she understands and agrees with me. She told me that I am right, because my mother not only isn't getting any better, she's getting much worse.  My aunt told me she supports and agrees with me, and that she is proud of me.  That means a lot to me because I know she knows the reality of the situation.

It is sad. But there isn't anything to do about it.
For my own stability and peace- and my daughter's- I have to stay completely out of contact forever.

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So, where to from here?
It is a good thing to have clarity on these things, the why's.
Why I feel like something is missing from my foundation programming.
Why I just don't relate to so much of what other people experience.
Why, where most others have strong foundational bonds, I just have blankness. There is no other way to describe it. Where there should be connections, there is just...blankness.

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It is rather bleak because I don't think I ever really stood a chance in this life.
While I certainly have come a very, very long way- and I broke the cycle with my own child- who is completely removed from all of this- Daya does have a chance at a good life- I don't have any answers on where to from here for my own life.

I would be ok with my past- all of it- if I could somehow change the present. But it doesn't change, despite all my momentous efforts.

I truly don't know what else to do, that I have not already done or am not already doing.

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I've already had too many "worst case" scenarios.
I'm numb to it.
I want something else.
Something positive, something happy.

I just want a chance to try, with awareness.
That's all.

3 comments:

  1. I hope that with all this self awareness you find peace.

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  2. Jessica this made me cry because I've felt the same way. I never really bonded with anyone growing up. I'd love to have that opportunity but I'm thinking my time had passed too.

    Thankfully we didn't pass this on to our children... my oldest is in a very loving and wonderful relationship... I pray that Valentina goes the way.

    I don't know what the answer is for us but I'm trying to get to acceptance and being happy on my own and no that is not easy.

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  3. I appreciate your vulnerability in your post... it's very saddening to learn about your relationship with your mother... the psychological theory you mention is interesting... but I feel like the fact that you've almost red flagged your childhood and see the disconnect from your mother as a potential for how your relationships are affected now allows room for you to overcome. You could be the exception to the rule.

    Take good care of your sweet little girl. Keep doing what you believe is right for you! Good quote: "stop listening to what your head wants and get what your soul needs."


    Amber
    All the Cute
    Today’s Post: Buffalo Plaid Dress

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