My Childhood Pattern – my foundation

I am 100% no expert – so this is just my take on all this – but learning and understanding (I hope) why I am the person I am has not only been very insightful but also rather scary!

None of us arrive in this world with all the baggage we have today.  The views and truths which make us who we are. 

OK we arrive with a standard set of human instincts.  Instincts of survival such as running from attack from animals (and I include other humans!) and the basic instinct supplied by our senses of smell and taste which stops us poisoning ourselves (mostly!).  But that must be about it.

We didn’t arrive with the other “truths” which each and every one of us stands by today as adults. These had to be  learnt as we grew. And as a result are different for each and every one of us.

I grew up in a very loving family.  Also, according to my mother, as a child I always trailed along behind my big brother wanting to be included in his boyhood games!  Ah!  Interesting.  My brother, even now, 60 odd years later, still treats me with a level of contempt and I (muggins) up to very recently was still quite hoping for some level of acknowledgement and approval!

So this Foundation was created. A foundation built in childhood but nonetheless the foundation on which I then added other building blocks as I grew up.

Added to this what happened to me as a 15 year old and I became someone who would do almost anything to be ‘loved’.  I saw bending to others wishes and desires as my route to approval and love. 

And now for some raw honesty.  This lead to some extreme behaviour through my 20s and early 30s which now looking back probably had me labelled as ‘easy’.  I thought I was being part of the liberated 60s and 70s when the pendulum of the ‘anything goes’ culture of newly liberated women had swung in an alarming direction.  The problem was it wasn’t and isn’t the person I wanted to be. But my foundation to be included and ‘loved’ egged me on down that route. The good foundation put in place by my mother (being loving is a good trait) but distorted by the actions of my older brother who had set different rules.  Distorted alarmingly by being sexually assaulted at 15.

So in moments of stress my default truth, my foundation, is I need to do almost anything to be loved. 

So what about Alex.  Alex as a middle child not being heard created his foundation by closing out the world around him, keeping his mouth shut and ‘running’. Add to this a mother who had a streak of bitter determination in her, a belief the world was out to get her, whose view was the only one allowed and for him, I believe, he sees this as his only option.  Hence when things weren’t right between us he resorted to this foundation and then fed himself masses of examples as to why this was the exact route he should go for.  The trouble is he also has a wonderfully gentle, moral, loving streak (given to him by his loving, but rather weak, father) and his dilemma is massive.  He’s pulled in two directions.  He dithers as he is in conflict with himself.  Along comes the OW bitch (a strong and determined woman) and the pull was finally too great. Why because his childhood foundation told him so.

So here we are some of us – the dumped – and we look at those who’ve dumped us and wonder what came over them.  Why they’ve resorted to behaving like children. Their extremes of behaviour, so out of character from the adults we married.  As though an alien has suddenly invaded their minds and turned them into someone almost unrecognisable.  But what they’re doing, I presume, is running a version of themselves created as their first building block, their foundation, their safe place of home as a child.  The trouble is mostly it doesn’t work as an adult.

And in times of stress we probably all do it!!

A wish to be loved  – come what may

An overwhelming desire to be needed  – come what may

An inability to show emotion – come what may

A desire to control – come what may

A desire to be ‘right’ – come what may

The list is endless. We are all unique.  And we will all ‘fight to the death’ to stick to our “TRUTH” as it’s what makes us us.  But delving deep and understanding why and where that TRUTH came from  gave me the chance to have the courage to change the bits which could give me a better future.

It is the most scary thing I’ve done.  No wonder I fought Stephen so hard.  No wonder I got so angry.  No wonder I still retreat to my foundation (more often than I’d like).  But at least now I know I do it and why.  At least now I know I can ‘grit my teeth’ and push myself to change.

I am unbelievably grateful to Stephen for ‘making’ me dig and see I could change.  I totally understand those who may read some of his comments here and want to rage against them. To maybe treat them with fury, annoyance, contempt…. (another endless list!!) –  I’ve been there and ‘got the T-Shirt’!!

Taking that step into the ‘unknown’ was very scary.  But I can tell you dear reader when I allow myself I find it’s much more fun on the other side of the ‘void’!

As I say this is just my unprofessional take on it all.  You, dear reader, may disagree.  What do you think?

6 thoughts on “My Childhood Pattern – my foundation

  1. Caroline what a profound and honest post you have presented to us here. The fact that you are so willing to share your wisdom, your struggles to accept your new learning and your honesty is a testament to you and how hard you have work – AND how far you have come. I agree wholeheartedly with you, we all have our truth. Our acknowledgement and understanding of our truth is what moves us on to be all we can be – in return for all the hard work we give out faith that the world will respond to our new truth and treat us respectfully. I wish that for you in your journey, which by they way, I think from what you say you are beginning to reap the rewards of. Well done you!

  2. Finding the key that unlocks the door to oneself – and then understanding and accepting what has been found …
    Reaching “self-truth” and discovering all the elements that created this “self” is an amazing and sometimes terrifying journey. And then, moving forward with this knowledge and utilising the greater understanding it brings can be so liberating.
    Caroline, I take my hat off to you. For so many, this journey is never started. No matter what starts it, the willingness to make it is an enormous leap of faith. To conquer the road blocks, to take the road less-travelled, to confront monsters, to discern false destinations, to backtrack, to learn and, ultimately, to LIVE as YOU. What an achievement!

  3. Hi Caroline. I read this post this morning and have been thinking about it a good bit during the day as I work on my artistic (I hope) endeavors. All I can say is you are flying. Congratulations.

  4. Thank you my dear readers. I wrote this post not only for me but for all out there (where ever ‘there’ is!). Because through all this I’ve learnt that we can all have so many truths. So that makes the actions of the person who hurt us more ‘understandable’. It doesn’t take away the hurt and pain but it gives a glimpse of what could be happening to them.

    And also what’s happening to us.


  5. Wow, Caroline, this is a fascinating (and very brave) post. It got me thinking, and I feel, much like Pat, the need to mull it over for a while.
    Anyway, it shows how much work (and I can imagine how much pain) you’ve been through to get here now. You are amazing!

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