Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thanks For the GloMar

A lot has been stirring in my subconscious as I shed more and more of the ideas that I grew up with and also actually get a chance to grow up. My parents expected me to act like an adult but treated me as a child when it came to making decisions for myself. Arrested development makes for some odd and uncomfortable reactions to things as an adult because you never learned how to handle situations properly. Probably the biggest fear I have which creates a constant baseline of anxiety is that I will be abandoned by the people I care about if I do something wrong or, for no reason at all. After a lot of introspection I realized that growing up I believed that if I had refused to obey my parents they would have tried to beat me into submission and if that didn't work they would have kicked me out or signed me away to some fucked up religious organization. I also believed that if I ever did something worthy of legal repricussions (like drugs) they would have called the police to come get me. One day when I was about 10 I had enough of my mom being cruel to me and screamed "I hate you". When my father got home from work that evening he pulled me aside and said "if you ever say that again you can find a different place to live". 

I only have that one concrete incident (and the knowledge that it was okay to stone rebellious children in the bible) I can call back on as a basis for my fear so I have questioned whether I created this anxiety in my own mind. That was further compounded after I shared these feelings with my girlfriend and she said "that's ridiculous. Parents wouldn't do that nor can they legally abandon you". The only way I have been able to calm myself down is to meditate on the idea that I will be okay no matter who I lose in my life. Telling myself "so and so will never abandon you" doesn't help because I know that nothing is guaranteed or completely safe in life. 

If my brain is the origin of this paralysis then why can't I just shake it off? I finally decided it was time to just ask my parents how extreme they would have been. Last night I made the call and posed the question to my mother of how far they would have gone. I understand that it's hard to know exactly what you would have done in a situation years later but basically she GloMar'd me - "I can neither confirm or deny because I'm not there now". I was hoping she would have said "no, we would never have done anything that extreme" but she said "we loved you and would have done whatever we thought was best." 

The conversation left me a bit down because where was I to go from here to get rid of this constant cortisol drip? When I told my girlfriend about my mothers response she became so furious I was a little taken aback. I know my parents aren't evil and tried to do the best they knew how so I just accepted the lack of resolution and figured maybe I was just sensitive and weird in my own way. As we talked about why she was so angry it started dawning on me - when you GloMar, it's as good as saying yes while leaving enough doubt so the onus isn't on you. I have felt extreme anger towards other people's parents where I wanted to beat them to death with my fist for the evil they perpetrated on their children so her anger began making sense. Despite not providing confirmation, my mothers response coupled with my girlfriends anger helped me understand that my fear was real but also that I can now let it go because it's not all in my head. My brain isn't fucked up with some weird misinterpretation of events and there is a very good chance that if I had pushed the limits at all, my fears would have turned to reality under the auspices of my parents genuine yet misguided good intentions. 

Today I feel a whole lot more relaxed because I don't have to fight the doubt and guilt of being tormented by a fear that I may have created. It was real and I can let it go knowing that while nothing is guaranteed, people who aren't fucked up don't just abandon you without good reason. Sometimes no response is all the answer you need so if you have something tormenting you, go ahead and ask questions. As they say, "knowing is half the battle".

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