I’ve been thinking a lot on the experience I blogged about previously. I realized it wasn’t so much my colleague gunning for me as I’m overly sensitive to people questioning me.
This is another childhood hang-up with a story.
My family moved around a lot as I was growing up. I think I counted once that I had moved 16 times before I graduated high school, most of it during my formative years of grade school. I had very few opportunities to learn how to navigate the social waters and all the rules and regulations of interactions for I never lived in one area long enough for me to bother establishing any relationships. I tried it a few times early on and learned that it wasn’t worth it.
And on top of this, my parents fought all the time and were emotionally and physically abusive. When questioned by people, at first I would be honest with them, but then the wrath of my parents would fall on me: “why was I lying to all these people about what was going on?” they would charge. Soon I learned that I must be mistaken and began to really lie by not telling the truth.
I developed a severe complex. All throughout school I would find myself lying for things I didn’t even need to because it had become such an ingrained habit. There would be times when I would lie about the origin of a bruise (I’d blame sports or being a klutz) or there would be times when I would lie about why I misspoke (instead of simply making a mistake, I tried to make myself seem cooler by saying my Russian pen pal was teaching me her language and I goofed trying to say one of the words – totally transparent). It was bad.
When I graduated, I realized the extent of this and stopped the behavior. I flipped and instead of lying a lot, I became brutally honest and blunt. I also developed an intense sensitivity to people calling me a liar because I used to lie so much. I’d wonder, “Am I? Am I telling an untruth? Am I still doing that?” And instead of standing my ground, I’d back off and end the conversation; totally awkward.
And I realized earlier today that that’s what happened the night of the play. It wasn’t so much that this colleague was trying to trip me up, she was asking a clarifying question and I took it the wrong way.
I have been so angry this weekend. I am so upset that after all these years of healing and therapy and writing and knitting and talking it out that the way I was brought up is still affecting me adversely. It’s so frustrating. Here I am, nearly 27, a professional in a very public and social position, and because of my childhood experiences, I seem incompetent because of these hang ups.
I’ve also been wondering if I should go back to counseling. It didn’t do me any good when I was growing up (yes, I went to counseling for YEARS and YEARS as a child as my parents thought I had a deep-rooted negative memory from childhood, what it was, they would never say, and that’s why I was such a mess). But I wonder if it would now that I am an adult in a very stable and supportive environment?
All I know is that this has got to stop and I don’t know how to make it. I can’t continue being so sensitive to people and situations. I can’t seem incompetent in my job because of my awful childhood.