So, I’m home. And while I love traveling, very much, I am definitely somewhat “on guard” when I’m away from home. Especially when I’m traveling on my own for most of the trip.
So now that I’m back in my home base, and relaxing a bit, I’m realizing some things, which I’m going to jot down here, before I re-engage — for the first time in over a week — with my typical morning routine (including taking my son to school and going back for my first day at work).
These realizations feel new to me. I think I’m having them, this morning, partly because of the personal growth I’ve been experiencing — already! — during This Year of Living Non-Judgmentally.
However, they probably aren’t completely new realizations. They are probably lessons that I’m re-realizing, again, as I move further up the ascending coil of my life’s path. (Carl Jung spoke about our life’s path being in the shape of an ascending coil, which I wrote about here.)
However, these realizations feel new, probably because I’m experiencing them in a deeper, more profound way. And, even more importantly, I’m making these realizations more real, right now at this point in my life, because I’m bringing them out from a strictly internal sphere and sharing these with the external world.
Or to re-state that last sentence more plainly — I’m not keeping these thoughts to myself anymore. I’m sharing them with other people in my life and with the whole friggin’ Blogosphere, right now!
So where was I before those digressions? Oh, yes.
Here’s the main point I want to write today, on this Day 43 of the Year of Living Blog-mentally:
I have trouble believing that other people truly love me and will be there for me, no matter what.
There is the punch-line — the important realization — right there, in an italicized nut-shell.
So now I’m going to write a little bit about where I think this “trouble” comes from, for me.
(Although I suspect I’m not alone in this issue. Feel free to comment, if you like, if you can relate to this issue, dear reader.)
I think this issue is related to my childhood, when I was hospitalized very frequently for heart issues. During those “primitive” times of healthcare — the early 1960s — my parents were not allowed to be with me in the hospital, outside of regular visiting hours.
(Here’s an indication of how far health care has come, in this area, since I was kid. When I tell stories about my experiences in the hospital, people CANNOT BELIEVE that parents were not allowed to stay overnight with kids in the hospital in the 60s.)
Anyway, between the ages of 9 and 13, I was in the hospital a lot, dealing with lots of operations and scary things (and people), on my own. So even though I’m sure my parents loved me, they couldn’t be with me during some times when it really mattered. And I guess, maybe my young self believed — on some level — that if my parents really loved me, they would have fought tooth-and-nail, like tigers, to stay with me, no matter what.
But, again, it was a different time. And I think all of us — my parents and me — didn’t want to piss off the People in Control — the doctors at the hospital. I know that I had this childish fear: if I DID alienate the doctors and nurses, by not being a good (maybe even perfect!) patient, these all-powerful people might let me die.
And I think that my parents, even though they had the wisdom of adulthood, really wanted to please The Powers That Were, in the Hospital. I’m assuming my parents did not want to alienate the doctors and nurses who were taking care of me, by being Uncooperative, Troublesome Parents. (For example, fighting tooth and nail to stay with me, like tigers). I guess both my parents and I wanted to stack the deck in our favor with the doctors. Maybe everyone in my family believed, back then, that if we were really good and didn’t alienate the hospital staff, we would have had a better chance to survive these experiences, in the best shape possible.
I’m realizing now that these beliefs — fears, really — were probably untrue. (Now that I think of it, my parents and I were mind reading, fortune telling, catastrophizing, and maybe doing additional cognitive distortions.) (The 13 cognitive distortions are listed here.)
I’m realizing that those fears were untrue, because doctors are trained — in medical school — to keep people alive, whether or not they like them. Even if we had been Bad Patients (or Bad Family Members of Patients), I think I still would be alive today.
But I wonder if my parents and I were (or are) alone in responding to the medical community that way. When people seem to have life-and-death power over you, maybe a lot of people deal with that by being compliant, by not rocking the boat, by being as perfect as they possibly can be.
Hmmmmm. That last paragraph seems like a topic I’ll write about again. (And maybe THAT was part of what I was trying to write about in my post about anti-Semitism and other “isms” two days ago. (That difficult and — I believe — somewhat confusing post is here.)
A couple of more things I wanted to say about this. Maybe my parents DID fight tooth and nail to stay with me, and they didn’t succeed. (You think it’s tough fighting city hall? Try fighting rules and regulations at a hospital.)
If you, dear, reader, feel an urge to comment about what you read here in this post, I welcome your comment, as always. But, no pressure to comment.
I don’t need you to be a perfect reader, or compliant with my requests. Not at all.
And, I have to say, it’s good to be home.