Who am I? From age 30 to 35 … Sept of 1987 thru Sept 1993
The beginning of my discovery of who I am … dysfunctional and overly responsible and caretaker?
Pillar of strength of the family? Letting go of dreams and grieving over what would never be?
I’ll call this my period of Discovery with Hope
He had cheated and I made him leave and I agreed to reconcile on the condition we got into marriage counseling. This was my first real experience with therapy and of course in my head I was going BECAUSE of HIM. I still remember that huge chart on the back of his door. The one where we mapped out relationships with biological family and each other. It seemed like forever before he started “real counseling” and then when he did!!! He started identifying things with ME????? I wasn’t the problem (so I though) I was the perfect Mom, Wife, Daughter, Employee etc. When he started using words like “dysfunctional” and “roles” man did I get UPSET and darted out that door like a canon. I think I actually accused him of taking a bribe from my deceased ex.
I did go back and it was hard to face initially. The realization that I had not “miraculously” escaped my childhood untarnished? When my dreams and heart started to crumbled to the ground but not all at once. It didn’t save our marriage but it save me as I can’t imagine trying to cope and learn all of this stuff at one time. I was glad we reconciled I had my youngest.
It was the first therapist to ask me if I thought I was Jesus? He brought to my attention that all my behaviors of how I saw others and interacted with others was very unhealthy and distorted. Children are not meant to become caretakers at the age of 5 (this is when my brother was born).
He identified that what he saw was I was the pillar of strength in our family. The Mother of my brother and in some cases even my Father. How wildly bizarre and strange is that???? SO at age 5 a caretaker. But then at some point, when my Mother accused my Father and I of being in cahoots and talking code because we both coughed at the same time then I really became lonely because in order to keep her calm he just did what was needed. So she already identified me to be the Devil when I was young what did that make me?
Dan (the therapist) was also the one who helped me to understand that just because my Mother exited at age 16 did not mean that we could now just “wipe the slate clean and be a “real” family and somehow establish a healthy Father-Daughter relationship. It was a very difficult time as he helped to make sense of that because I was able to stop expecting and then being very upset … it did take quite a bit of time to grieve that one though. More dreams shattered more broken heart. All that time I would spend lying in bed thinking “Someday ……”