Where to begin? "i mean it's not like much was going on in me that required any more awareness than i've already invested. What makes me so special that would qualify me as someone needing deeper, more introspective understanding. After all i didn't experience anything severely traumatic as a child. Other people i know... man they've had it rough." A narrative i unwittingly lived most of my life.
Thought i had Me figured out. This narrative was masterfully crafted and then played in a never ending loop by a feeling to which i was regrettably ignorant. Let alone privy to understanding that it was the key player in my all my illusions. The feeling i am referring to is something we will dive into momentarily.
To some it may seem blatantly obvious the feeling i'm referring to but for those wondering what the hell i'm speaking of please bear with me. For the most part emotional intelligence (EQ), a topic covered in greater depth over the next blog posts, was not entirely beyond me. Actually i was pretty confident in my EQ knowledge and depth. Stepping though my healing process there was a very humbling curve ball thrown my way. That badass survivor of chaos, instability, periods of duress and dysfunction i thought i was still needed to face the music. Denial, what a motherf*cker.
Allow me to state for the record that my childhood was "normal." I wasn't a direct victim to physical abuse or verbal abuse. Hearing "I love you" on a regular basis was more than some receive their entire lifetime. Sure i come from a broken home but who from my generation growing up in the South Bronx of NY didn't as a result? The accrued regular exposer to family drama, instability, chaos, witness to domestic and street violence as a kid didn't help one bit. Neither was a constant reminder to the role of being man of the house was mine from the moment i was five. Oh and naturally being responsible for my younger sister only served to compound the pressure i felt as a young lad. Note, the fact i was very independent and self reliant as a child only fueled the mentality that i didn't need much parenting. Only is it now i realized this placed me in a very precarious emotionally position.
My denial, i found was not allowing myself permission to acknowledge the "normal" i thought i grew up in wasn't actually normal at all. Nor was it conducive in developing healthy coping skills, effective communication with an acceptable understanding of my feelings. "It wasn't THAT bad" the recording i still hear over and over as i write this post. By all accounts it really wasn't. Emotional neglect is emotional neglect, however. Direct or indirect. Though having to grow up so early offered many perks it also stunted aspects of my emotional development. Denial, however, wasn't the feeling that enslaved me in insanity having me repeating patterns over and over that ultimately led to several challenging relationships and unwise decisions. Even regret.
The mastermind behind all my illusions, shame. You see, shame, a fractal of Fear, an aspect of Fear is the most crafty in existence. Here is how. By admitting i was emotionally neglected meant i was declaring the ugly side of my upbringing and worst of all that i was a victim. That i was subject to narcissistic tendencies and severe codependent dysfunction. While shame is the asshole uncle, guilt his duech bag little brother. Guilt would have me believe my victimization as a form of weakness and shame that i came from a f*cked up broken-ass dysfunctional home. Or that my feelings mean shit and as man of the house i had to keep it together for the greater good of the family.
No wonder i always felt the need to save or fix romantic partners and place the burden of my happiness on them. Shit, who wouldn't develop crappy emotional patterns?
One of the most liberating ideas is acknowledging and believing that my feelings actually do matter and that it is okay for me to honor them. Not only honor them but learning and understanding how to best to cope with them in healthier ways. Most notably, learning to Love self with grace, forgiveness, and compassion. Making better choices in support of your feelings is how we can all chose to define ourselves. This is how we can best show up for the world. Understanding is the key and through Love atonement.