there’s a theory that, in your adult life, you re-create whatever dynamic was damaging in your childhood and try to repair old wounds by re-hashing the relationship with someone new. a friend told me that she realized she’d been creating relationships with people who ignore her and/or are rude because that’s how her mother was, and subconsciously, if she can win the love of these people, she would feel better about not ever receiving the love that she wanted from her mother.
this makes total sense to me. what i couldn’t figure out is what the source of my problem was.
my parents are, and always have been, amazing. i was your standard, run-of-the-mill suburban brat and had to be severely punished a few times, but i deserved everything i got and probably even more that i didn’t get, because i was my own best defense attorney.
in spite of being well parented, year after year, i find myself on the fuzzy end of the relationship lollipop, and i sought the advice of my therapist to source this pattern. he explained to me that it’s human nature to seek conflict, and that i appear to have, in the absence of an obvious obstacle to work out, switched roles. essentially, i am now playing the part of a good parent, and i have cast the role of “the child” with various ungrateful brats, not unlike myself in my teenage years. i have been dumping unconditional love and support into people who are breaking curfew, stealing cigarettes, and giving me the finger behind my back.
of course i understand that we all infuse our lives with conflict. i used to read and develop scripts for a living – there is no good story without a conflict. but as an audience, and as the star of our own story, we also seek conflict resolution. i’m learning how much easier it is on all of my senses if i spare myself as much pain as possible. i’m beginning to steer around the potholes of people that cause me a bumpy ride. i’m not going to fill buckets with holes in them any more.
for those of you raising children and doing everything you can to get it right, yep, i guess this means that no matter what, your kid will somehow end up with a few screws loose, whether or not it’s your fault. and that is, for my previous blog audience, a damn good reason to be happy that you don’t have kids.