My new assignment is to study teen agers between 14 and 16 to better understand myself at that age and how I didn't really have the skills to deal with the reponsibilities that were thrust upon me, even though I thought I did.
It was amazing yesterday to really look into how young I was when I started fending for myself. I mean, I knew I was young, but I didn't realize that the process started when I was around 6 (when my mom married my step dad) and that I was more or less responsible for everythng but my dinner by the time I was 9 ish. Don't get me wrong, I had everything a child needs, food, shelter, clothes, a more than healthy dose of dicipline and negative attention...But I was responsible for my breakfast (didn't eat) my lunch, (usually didn't eat, and funny, my family just laughed the day I told them I had a dorrito for lunch. Now I understand how wrong that is) laundry, chores...all the things that I have to deal with as an adult, only now I have bills too. Yesterday I had to tell my counselor that I didn't go to the dentist or doctor from the time I was 9 until I made myself an appointment for a sports physical when I was 14, and a dental cleaning when I was 17.
But one of the things that I didn't realize is that through all that, I had to deal alone with all the emotions that I was having. Crying was not allowed, so I would wait until I went to bed, and cry myself to sleep. I was so angry at my parents, my mom for ignoring me and not standing up for me, and my step dad for being mean, but I wan't allowed to be angry, and as I got older and we left, my mom told me that I needed to forgive my step dad, that it wasn't ok to be angry. The reason this matters now is that I see how I have trouble turning to anyone else for comfort. Anyone else for support. Because I have supported myself emotionally for so long. And I think I need to learn to accept the support of others so that I can be more of a whole person. It felt really good when she told me that it was ok to be angry.