As a child I never realized, who wonderful my childhood was and also never realized how difficult my mind is. I just always realized, that everything was difficult, as soon as I had to interact with children my age. I grew up in a family led by my mum. She studied product design, when seh met my dad (musician) and got pregnant with my older sister. I mean we were well in the 80ies when that happened. So my dad (son of a leading professor of music in a university in the US), who got a job in Ireland found his only way of getting this situation handled was to tell my mum (26 at that time) he loved her and would marry her, if she just quit everything and came with him. Otherwise he would leave her with nothing. Crazy to think a woman would go, but a quick reminder: We were in the 80ies, my mum did not have an education done, pretty much popping out her first child and loved that handsome musician.
Contradiction vs Complement
When my mum told me this story I got angry. She always made us think: We need to be our own caregivers. Never be financially dependent and if that means you gotta work, you gotta work. How can that powerful, strong lovely woman accept this “offer” and travel into the nothing with this man? Wasn ´ t she strong in the first place? Answer is: She is a strong woman AND that is why she was able to quit everything and leave for the unknown. But one thing my brain never seemed to connect is that you can be two things, that might not go together. I can be humble AND self confident. I can say sorry even if it is not my fault. I can be sensitive AND still tell people the truth (Good read on this is “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott).
Now why is this a problem? First of all this not have to be a problem! It just somehow is in my head and stays there. My mum always asked us to be humble – which I am not enough – and in critical situations first of all be self responsible and ask ourselves what our part is and what we could have done. End of the game? As soon as I get in a critical situation I become the captain of the defense and I will find arguments even if the game is lost already – I will stand. Sound good – yeah, but remember, I am veeeeeery sensitive. So all the defense is just loud but very lousy. In reality all the negative will get me and will all I mean all. I still feel the mean comments of my classmates from when I was in third grade – that is almost 25 years ago. And right there, that is the point. Humans have memory, the brain also tends to believe all the negativ, cause it has more intense impact on us. And I have very good memory. What a skill right? Yes it is a skill and also a burden. I just wish I would forget more and focus on positive memory.
I the end we all have good memory. All we do is saved. It is saved in our DNA, it is saved in our subconscious, in our matter. Some memories you can see, like when I fell into a rusty nail as a 8 year old – I still have that scar on my right leg. What you do not see as obvious is the emotional memory that sets you up for your adulthood – the question is, what can we change about that? Do we want to change it? And if yes how?