Do we ever really grow up?

my-little-pony-468916_640 I had about 40-50 of these growing up. They didn’t look quite this “anime”, but whatever.

I guess I’m thinking about this because a lot of my friends with anxiety or mood disorders of some kind still have a lot of the same fears and frustrations from childhood that everybody else seems to have gotten past. It might just be me, but I think it’s a lot more difficult to let go of things when you have a mind that holds onto absolutely everything and won’t shut up for five seconds.

For instance, my husband has a lot of anxiety about money. There’s a good reason for this-I’ve had so many problems working, which is why I feel like a sorry sack of bipolar scum most of the time. We also went through all of our savings within nine months because I had an accident that rendered me unable to work much for seven months and racked up obscene amounts of bills and stress. But that’s not the point; the point is that any time I mention wanting or needing something, he gets nervous. I know he has anxiety issues, which I guess is one thing that makes him so understanding of the problems I’ve had. He tells me he loves me all the time, that I’m really good for him. I believe it. He’s a lot more than I deserve. Even so, it makes me feel the same way I did when my parents would balk when I needed or wanted anything that cost a lot of money. They didn’t say anything, but they really didn’t have to. The “look” they got on their faces when I mentioned needing $25 for a field trip or $70 to have a new color guard uniform made was enough to make me feel like I did something wrong.

As it turns out, they were having money issues because the treatments my sister got earlier on (doctors, rehab etc) were expensive to the point where they thought they’d have to go bankrupt. At least, this is what my dad told my brother about five years ago. I did not know any of this-I thought that they sent her away because she was bad and they didn’t want her anymore. I feared that, if I wasn’t perfect, I’d be sent away too. If I upset them too much the way she did…and money seemed to be the main thing they got upset about. I used to think that I would probably have turned out less sensitive or whatever had I known some of these things, but whatever. They did the best they could. I know nobody is going to send me away now, just like nobody would have then. Even so, the looks and demeanor my husband sometimes takes when I mention money makes me feel like that ten-year-old kid worried that she did something wrong or the 17-year-old who ran to her room crying when she told her dad how much the “senior stuff” (cap, gown, yearbooks, etc) would cost.

But I’m not a kid anymore. My husband has gotten a lot better about getting nervous and ranting for the same reason-my dad used to do that and it scared the living crap out of me. He didn’t mean to; it just did. To this day, it scares me when a man screams at me in anger. But I’m not a kid anymore. So why should it? Why do I still worry or think I’ve done something wrong anytime someone seems the slightest bit less than happy with me? Or when they seem miffed, period? I know that most people aren’t aware of how their words or non-verbal cues (tone of voice, body language etc) come across. So why do I still pay so much attention to it?

I know I’m not alone in this. It’s just that I think there’s something about the minds of myself and other friends with similar issues (I have a friend with OCD in mind) that holds onto things others would ignore and, in doing so, misses the primary stuff. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it can actually be quite helpful when you’re studying things like philosophy or religion where there are multiple layers you have to sift through. I didn’t realize this before, but one symptom of OCD is unwanted and distressing thoughts. I thought it was just about germs or whatever since that’s what all the movies show, but I learned that my obsession with body odor* and the scary thoughts I’d had about hurting my cats or wondering what would happen if I pushed my Spanish professor off a balcony (no, I didn’t do it) can point back to that too. I don’t want to say I have PTSD because I haven’t had anything traumatic happen that bothers me, but I wonder if people who *do* have even more problems because of the way our minds won’t let anything go.

I think I might have gotten off track here, but my question still stands. Do we ever really forget the things we learned about ourselves when we were growing up? Even if the “lessons” were false, do we ever forget about the bad things we learned enough to focus on the good things? Do we ever get past the memories and the feelings that they bring to light? Or are we destined to mentally become our ten-year-old selves when something goes wrong?

I was going to a great therapist last year, but I had to stop because we couldn’t afford it. I’ve joined a ladies’ depression support group that I think is helping, if only because I get to get out of the house and talk with people outside of our social circle. In fact, that’s what we talked about last week-how simply seeing friends in a different setting that usual can be very helpful.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll be able to motivate myself enough to write more paid articles rather than playing Pet Rescue Saga and randomly babbling here. If anyone else is in the same “hold onto everything”, tell me in the comments. Maybe then we can figure out how to keep it from sinking.

* Don’t laugh. If you had enough people from high school saying you stink both behind your back and to your face, you’d have a complex too.

About theprozacqueen

30s, female, married, Georgia US, very opinionated, open-minded mostly, too nice for my own good, Christian, fairly liberal, friendly. I have a pretty big family and several friends and in-laws that might as well be family. I don't have kids, but I have five cats who think they're kids. I have a silly (and sometimes off-color) sense of humor. I'm a Christian so I'll try not to be nasty or use bad language in my posts, but I'm not making any promises, View all posts by theprozacqueen

4 responses to “Do we ever really grow up?

  • Marie Abanga

    Sometimes I have the same questions too my Lady – alas many of those times my answers are more of skeptical, what I do know is that I am not giving up on Faith – Hope – Love πŸ™‚
    Cheers and empathy to you my friend


  • idiotwriter

    I simply understand what you have written. I wrote a whole long comment to express why and how things progress…but it seems preachy and longwinded.
    Do we ‘grow up’..yes – and no. All in various ways I suspect..but all of us have triggers that revert us to our old coping mechanisms. Seeing those in ourselves and our loved ones… helps. You seem to be on a good path to that discovery not only in your immediate place but within human nature and humanity too.
    Being sensitive to me is a burden and a strength… I guess it depends on how we allow ourselves to utilise it?
    For ours and others benefit or as a means to break us down. That for me is the key to it. Take it all in… process and see these things in others so to be able to understand their space.
    When we know what our REACTIONS are and why… thats really cool..cos then we can inform our little selves what they should be. We can be that ten year olds mommy or daddy, where mommy may have fallen short because she simply did not know and did what she could to protect he babies of what she saw or understood as right and good at that time in her life.
    You know – (cannot help myself can I?!)
    I look back on some of the things I have done as a mom through three kids, and I see where I went wrong. I see from one to the next where I should be more open – where I should be more reserved – where to be stricter where to be lenient etc blah blah… the point it, they KNOW it too, and so know that people make mistakes and they will too. But as they get older they understand WHY those mistakes were made… and us WE get older we know why we make them too. And we simply DO progress… if we are looking at it all. Which you – CLEARLY do. WHich is epic. Makes one crazy sometimes – I do so know!- but you keep coming out with more and more under your belt after each cycle. But seeing those things takes a toll and is draining. It is JUST how it is…
    I could go on – but yeah. Phew – You, madam, got me going today!
    I AM Supposed to be concentrating on my ART! lol.
    ALL these wonderful things to learn and know and understand to grow. I adore how it gets passed around and connected through different experiences. Fabulous stuff!
    Have a good weekend.


    • theprozacqueen

      Sorry I haven’t gotten back to you! I’ve had kind of a hard time focusing on my projects. That’s a huge issue of mine.

      Yes, it helps to recognize what causes our parents, others, ourselves etc to do and think the things we do. For instance, when I learned that my dad’s parents were “yellers” and sometimes more, I saw that he didn’t mean anything by it, that he probably didn’t know any other way. It was also a lot better than what some of my friends had to deal with. We don’t hold this against our parents, we know they’re flawed. Also, as much I hate the way some people automatically assume my bipolar disorder is the reason for my reactions, I know that sometimes it’s true. Once we know the reasons for something we can work on getting past it, or if we even want to.

      Thanks for the compliments! I know I’ve grown a lot in the past few years, but damned if it doesn’t feel that way sometimes.

      LOL well I’d better let you go before I go on too long (another issue of mine)! Have a good night, or morning or whatever. It’s night here.


      • idiotwriter

        REALLY – do not worry about the time.
        I could go into a whole lot – AGAIN – but I will not today πŸ˜‰
        Only to say without repeating what you say – that I get what you are saying. πŸ˜‰
        Human beings are too multifaceted to box them up and stick a label on them.
        One SMALL word I feel I wish to share (though you may not need to hear it – but one never knows) – is I HAVE found (for myself) that over assessing for TOO long… can have the adverse consequence…and screw with us even more. It is a case of UNDERSTANDING..but still – as I explained to my dearest teen the other day:
        Teaching people how to treat us. We can see aaaalll the reasons someone is as they are – but we learn our biggest ways of interacting withing relationships when we draw our lines clearly – of what we accept and what we do not. I could ofcouse elaborate on this till the end of time as human nature and relationship interaction is pretty much what I and bloggy are all about.
        Why I am saying this to YOU? You seem like such a gentle accepting soul – filled with love and tolerance of peoples ‘flaws’…and that CAN be such a draining place to be – when we SEE – but still – the ACT brings US suffering.
        I really hope that makes sense? Like I say – it needs a lot more added to it probably.
        (at this point it is perfectly acceptable to say to yourself – ‘oh shut up idiot!’ πŸ˜‰ )
        I just feel this place you are in some way and I know so many of the places I allowed myself to be more than I was intended to be and in that gave people the wrong message… about WHO I really was and what I really felt about their behaviour toward me.
        AND the best friend you can have is someone who will do the same for you πŸ˜€ I was lucky to have that in my partner – who somehow knew exactly how to show me what was MY shit and what was his…and when it was MINE – he did not accept responsibility for it.
        Oooo K!
        Best of luck with those projects! (Focus ey? yeaaaah… that IS a bastard! πŸ˜› ) Actually you remind of something I wrote once and never published …hmmmm – I should go scrounge around for it – somewhere?! lol
        Take care dear!


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