Immaturity

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.

 


9 comments

  1. I definitely have a lot of growing up to and only realised this obv since I’ve made the decision to quit. I feel like an emotionally stunted 17 year old trapped in a 38 year old’s body. I think when we use alcohol to self medicate we lose the ability to deal with emotions and life events in a normal balanced way.
    There is a lot of power in forgiveness. x

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  2. I think forgiving yourself is most important. I too feel like I have grown up a lot emotionally since becoming sober. I still think I have a way to go but I am so much more in tune with people and compassionate, which I never was when I was drinking. I love harrahforcoffee’s comment about being a emotionally stunted 17 yr old stuck in a 38 yr old body. That’s me too!

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  3. I love your line: “Obscuring clarity, comforting me, numbing painful feelings and giving me false social confidence. Falsely reassuring me that “everything is fine” … it really wasn’t. So true!

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  4. Yes, I think low self-esteem is very much a by-product of a lack of praise/interest from a parent. I can relate to this very much too. And whilst I can never blame My Dad for my drink problem, I do blame him for the voices I have had to carry with me for my whole life telling me how useless and stupid I am. Your therapy sessions sound quite good… Do you think they are helping you a lot? Do you find them uncomfortable? It’s brave facing all that stuff ‘head on’! xxx

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    • Yes, the therapy sessions are really helping me “unpack” a lot of the emotional baggage I have been carrying around. It’s helping me to make sense of my emotions and it’s quite “containing” -helping me sit with a degree of emotional discomfort I have spent my adult life avoiding. It’s not all plain sailing though. I do find facing all this “stuff” very hard and at times I’m almost overwhelmed with the agitation that comes from looking at this stuff. I could not have done it, or it would have been pointless, if I were still drinking. The easiest thing in the world is to drink those painful feelings away – but I’m having to cope with it as best I can … not always that well. Lily 🌷Xx

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  5. I think you are such a kind and loving person, you dont deserve to have been through so many bad relationship s
    Im so proud of you for standing up for yourself and turning it all around Your in a good place now stay here for some time till your more confident about the future, you have lovely sons and you love them so much and your dogs keep you happy and I admire you so much you fit so much into each day. Well done Lily

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    • You are very kind to me Mary. I don’t feel I deserve it at all. I’m struggling quite a lot right now , agitated and don’t know how to control / sit with my anxiety . It’s tough right now. Thank you for your support Lily 🌷

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