Thursday, May 24, 2007

Identity

This week in counseling was based on decompressing from being with my family. Family meaning my Mom, my brother, my younger sister, and my stepfather. After spending time with them I had the realization that any disagreement with my Mom is viewed as arguing with her as opposed to holding a different viewpoint. My position in the family order is that of the rebellious child. But, I don't think I was specifically rebellious. My counselor views my "rebellion" as my way of surviving in what is a very dysfunctional family. In fact, not wanting others to tell me what to do and standing up for myself is an integral part of my identity according to him. Dr. A believes that if I were to ignore that part of my personality that I would basically lose myself. He even asked me how I thought I turned out so good coming from the background I have been telling him. How my "rebellion" plays out in adult life is tricky. It means I don't want anyone else telling me what to do or suggesting what they think I should do. Part of me feels that probably everyone feels this way about being told what to do but I guess for me it is even more crucial.

I also realized this weekend that I experience anger as a result of feeling rejected. Having this self awareness made me realize that anger isn't the exact feeling that I should be acknowledging because underneath that anger is sadness. My initial reaction to the rejection was anger and wanting to sever ties with those causing that feeling. I doubt I would have had this self awareness if I hadn't been in counseling for the past six months.

4 comments:

Ampersand said...

I have a blog post brewing about what's beneath the beneath...talking about the same kind of layered realizations.

I too resist being told what to do. I was not that way as a young child, but as I grew up it became an important act of self-preservation.

I relate, my friend.

Carol said...

So identify with the thought that having a different opinion was not a bad thing. We need to be allowed to do that.

BTW, your Psycho Grandma dialogue cracked me up. We have always lickened her to the lady in Hansel and Gretel. "Little Boy Pie!" LOL!

my15minutes said...

Your mom and my mom must have been classmates at the "I'm Right, and If You See It Another Way, You're Rejecting Me!" School.

Glad you're gaining self-awareness in counseling. I think that's where real progress is made...when I start seeing the ways I respond, the behaviors I tolerate, the ways I train others to treat me, etc. then I can start moving forward in making changes that aren't contingent on anyone else's behavior.

Sentient Marrow said...

Amp- I look forward to the beneath the beneath post. And, like you, I don't feel that I was that way as a young child but probably from puberty on and it was definitely about self preservation.

Carol- My hope is that as a mother I will allow my children to have their own opinions and not make them feel bad for doing so. Sometimes I think they have their own expectations that I am going to be judgemental when I am actually in agreement with them.

Beth- It's the making changes phase that seems to be tricky because even when you make a change it seems like those around you don't want to trust that change.