I’m just riffing here, but its something that has been on my mind recently. When I look back upon my career, relationships (with people and money), education, and even sports, I think in many (if not all?) cases, I’ve been driven by a warped sense of Pride.
A Pride that seeks to express itself via an urge to scream: “I did that! I created that! I manifested this! All — By — My — Self. Look at me and how brilliant I am! I did this without anybody’s help! Aren’t I awesome and amazing?”
Or maybe this is ego?
Where does this come from? Why am I this way? Why do I seek to achieve things on my own when I’m perfectly capable to avail myself of so many smart, resourceful people within my life circle that have the right tools to point me in the right direction, give me a boost, or supply that much needed piece of information, capital, or connection that I so badly need? Why am I so afraid to ask for help?
There’s a feeling inside me that the answer to these questions lies somewhere in my childhood where I unconsciously sought out to be radically independent as a form of self-preservation. A shield.
While in elementary school, my parents were divorcing and my mother was left to fend for herself to take care of her three children (me, being the oldest). During this time, my mother struggled mightily (who wouldn’t?). There was never enough money, she worked as often as she could — multiple jobs — and then she had to come home and deal with an often chaotic scene of three grumpy children and a babysitter who couldn’t wait to go home. Naturally, this made my mother constantly stressed.
My way of dealing with all this was to try to take on the attitude of: “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. I don’t want to be your (or anybody’s) problem. I’ll just stay out of the way and you go do what you need to do.” This is probably where my default conflict avoidance stance comes from as well. I hate conflict. It’s always made me uncomfortable.
By staying out of the way, I sought out ways of being noticed through cool/smart/resourceful things I did on my own. I wanted to prove that I’m ok. Look! I did this! See? You don’t need to worry about me! I’m good.
But was I, really?
And am I now? Really?
I should probably unpack all this with a psychotherapist. There is likely gold to be found here. If I can get to the root of this, and heal whatever past hurt is uncovered, it might unleash a torrent of creativity, resourcefulness, confidence, and achievement that would blow my mind.
This is me simply thinking out loud, openly. Thanks for reading…