When I look back at my past life, I regard many of my behaviours as astonishingly immature. That’s quite a HARD thing to admit to myself, although it’s been niggling away at me for some years.
Not in the work sphere, where I have usually been very conscientious, and regarded as a “safe pair of hands”, with good judgement, a broad knowledge base and caritas. Indeed the worst criticism I received in an appraisal was that I ‘cared too much’ and became too involved with my patients. That’s when I worked in hospitals, and I think my boundaries are better than that now.
No my immaturity was in my relationships with others; particularly men, but also with family. My generous brother offered me a home when I moved back to London, and in retrospect I did not behave well. In my defence I was lost and bereft after the end of a long distance relationship, but it’s not an excuse for the extreme selfishness and messinesshe had to put up with.
Underneath the story of Ben’s conception is the understanding that onsome level, deep inside I wanted something to love me. Someone to love me. I’m an educated woman who knows perfectly well how contraception works. I was so far in denial I not only failed to prevent pregnancy, but failed to recognise it for almost 3 months.
I grew up a lot once I had a child to care for but I have still allowed my heart & Emotional state to rule my decision making in a way which I do not find admirable; no I find it immature, ungrounded, foolish and selfish.
I wonder how I can have had such a split existence? A professional life governed by discipline, commitment and solid achievement, and a personal life full of loss , pain, stupidity, selfishness, and desperately low self esteem.
Angela says I have not been properly “nurtured” as a child. That I didn’t learn self esteem and self worth from my birth parents. I believe that about my father who had little interest in me; I find it harder with respect to my mother, who I know loves me very much. But, whilst she is great at practical help, she’s quite critical as a mother. I don’t ever recall, for example, her telling me that I looked nice – even now she will critisise my clothes (memorably she told me a couple of years ago that my shoes made me look like a prostitute- they really didn’t) and never every praises me. I know she loves me and is proud of me,but maybe her generation find it hard to demonstrate.
Is immaturity a result of poor parental attachment (in the loosest form) is it related to the large amount of alcohol I drank – kind of halting or delaying personal maturity, whilst allowing professional development to continue (obviously I was not drunk at work) … is low self esteem a character traitor does it come from experiences?
I’m not in the blame game – I’m trying hard not to ‘blame’ myself for the place I am now, and I’m certainly not ‘blaming ‘ anyone else. I’m trying to understand. To see why and from what place I made the decisions I did …. maybe to try and inform how I parent my own childrenand to try to make better decisions in the future.
The role of alcohol in all of this is shadowy, not overt; but rather subtly, pervasively, subversively preventing personal development. Obscuring clarity, comforting me, numbing painful feelings and giving me false social confidence. Falsely reassuring me that “everything is fine” … it really wasn’t.
I hope through my ongoing sobriety, my therapy sessions and my sitting with the deeply uncomfortable feelings that are stirred up by looking at some of this stuff, I am belatedly developing a personal maturity befitting my age,
What would that look like ? It would look like financial stability and security, it would look like no further relationships with men for at least a year, it would look like planning and sticking to a training schedule for my events next year,: it would look like prioritising myself, my sobriety, my health and my mental health.
It would look like forgiving my mother.
It would look like forgiving myself.