May 25, 2012

I've Lost Myself on the Way

This could not be a coincidence. It's May 24th, 2012. I was going trough some past work papers form the University. And I re-discovered a file. The title is Emotional Intelligence – How do I cope when I feel uncomfortable. It's from my first year of the University.

And now I have a serious question. Nea, how is it possible that your past-self was truer and stronger and more confident and far better than your present-self?!

Let's discuss it. Because this needs discussion. A tough one. Because I need to understand where exactly I've got off my way. It's too important to let it pass lightly, honestly.

I'll quote my past-self (I'll put just the one subject, that I feel is the most important for this task):
I feel I can't talk to my parents about my opinion about anything. I feel that I am not smart enough. 

How could you change the things that bother you? 
That I don't feel smart enough, well, I think life is a big learning, therefor I can't know everything. About my parents. I feel that I can't talk to them because really, I don't talk to them about my problems. My parents always said that if I had a problem I should tell them about it. But when I did tell them my what my problem was, they dismissed it like it was nothing or they told me something like »you're not competent enough«. Therefor I haven't spoken of my problems ever again. I tried to solve my problems by myself or I told them to my friends that always helped me. Usually, in life, I try to be independent without my parents' help, so I don't need to hear about how much they are trying hard for me and stuff like that. Therefor I rather do all by myself and I accept the consequences of my acts as my owns. 

What are your feelings about the things that bother you? 
I tend to feel angry about the things that bother me. I feel anger toward my parents for not listening to my opinion, like my opinion doesn't count at all. Therefor I feel angry at the whole world, because of why are things the way they are and not different. Then I somehow accept it and I go on. 

How do you usually solve the problem? 
I usually solve the problem with accepting it. I tell myself that all the things can't go always on my way. Like with my parents, I always hope, that they will understand.. and they don't. And every time I tell myself »how could you possibly think that this time would be anyhow different? It's always like that. 

How do you cope with the stress that comes with problems? 
Well, in fact, it's not that easy. I don't cope well. Lots of times I start screaming. I start crying. In then when I calm down, I find the solution to the problem. And with that, the stress goes away, too. In my opinion, I think the anger should be faced, put out there. Then you take a deep breath and you go on. If we keep them inside, it will suffocate us.

Ok. My past-self Nea is bad-ass. Really.

So.. where did things start going off, of this way of thinking? Where did I change?

The second year of University I went abroad for a year. I was planning this amazing year of my life in a foreign country. I'll admit, my Erasmus experience was taught one. I thought I would dissolve into nothing. And I'm not kidding. It was hard. Thinking New Moon was helping me cope, go through the day.. well, you must know, it had been hard. Very. And during that period, I escaped. I went home after a month. I booked a ticket to home for 3 weeks. And when I came home.. I was a disaster. No exaggeration or whatsoever. I was empty. I just was. Like I was a bystander. And my mom looked at me, and I started crying. Hard. And she hugged me and told me »Nea don't worry. You're home. Mom will take care of everything.« And I believed her. And in that instant I realised how much I loved and needed my mom to be there, to understand. I couldn't do it alone. And believe me, I was trying really hard for months before I gave up. From that day on, I had a good relationship with my mom.

After my Erasmus was over, I was myself again. That bad-ass Nea from the first year of the University. I've grown a lot in that period. I've learned something very important in that terrible month.. You can run all you want, but you will never be able to run away from yourself. And I've learned, that social environment is important – it is important to have people you love around you. I've never felt that alone in my life.

So ok, I've changed a little. I've grown up a bit. But I was still the confident Nea. The strong one. The one who believed in herself. Who faced the obstacles. The Nea who fought back for what she felt it was right. And the one who accepted the consequences of her decisions.

Today on my practice as a student of psychology at a mental health institution, a guy who's working there asked me something. I think he doesn't know what a big impact that statement did to me. He asked me »Why do you always put the blame on others? You're responsible for your actions and your doing. It's on you. You decide how will you face everything in your life.«

Uh huh, of course – like Freud himself said, the mechanisms of defense really work hard to protect us. My first impulse was to deny it. And I did. But now.. it has struck me to a halt. Wow. Damn, he is right. He is so fucking right.

How could this happen? I mean, really, how? Where is the strong Nea who faces her fears and accept the consequences?

When I discovered the answer, it has shocked the hell out of me. What?! I couldn't believe it. Still, can't. Well, actually I can. After 2 hours of thinking, yeah it makes sense. But it needs some theory, to be understood. Yeah, I know this is getting really long, but I need to write it down because this will make it real. And making it real, I will need to accept it. And start working on it. They said, if you know what your problem is, you're half way to solve it. We'll see.

You all know about my favourite professor. She's like God because she is so damn smart and intelligent and wow. I think that's also, mainly why I failed this exam already 5 times. I thought I wasn't good enough. Her lessons are life lessons. I love them. And most of all, I believe in them. And here starts the problem...

This is an important theory. Here it goes:

There are 3 types of people in the world:
-         Self-directed type
-         Other-directed type
-         Pathological Narcissist

Specifically for my need now, I will focus just one the first 2 categories. I will explain about Pathological narcissism another time, I promise. I think it's something we all should know about it. But let's stay on the topic.

1. Self-directed type

The self-directed type is representative of liberal capitalism. This type of capitalism was used before the collapse of the economy in 1929.

The characteristics of this type of people are:

Oedipus complex is solved classically – this means that the Father did well his job at being a Father – he was the Authority. Because with the punishment and the acceptance of the Authority of the father – the child has developed the ego and the ego Ideal. With this comes moral imperative. And afterward, the child will know (without the help of his father to reminds him) what is right and what is wrong. This person will have autonomy – when faced with a decision to be made – he will ask his conscience what to do – and the conscience will answer with the 10 commandments + additions (made by the person himself). So, don't steal, don't kill, don't... The person knows what's right and what's not. The person is also functionally grown up. And between choosing loyalty to – Law – people – comfort – he will choose the Law. This means, not to listen to what others say, but to listen to the Law (10 commandments + additions). Today there is 1% people of Other-directed type.

A bit tip here: THIS IS THE WAY YOU WANT TO RAISE YOUR CHILDREN. So, get your man to do his job right.

2. Other-directed type

Other-directed type is the representative of corporate capitalism. This type of capitalism has begun after the second World War – because the countries needed to put themselves together and they needed a good led for the economy. This is where managers were invented. To provide knowledge and rules so the economy won't collapse again.

The caracteristics of this type of people are:

Oedipus complex is solved, BUT not classically. The Father is absent (being absent means he could be physically absent or he didn't do his job at being the Authoroty). The Authoroty was forced by others – by the mother or by the peer group. He is moral, but he is not autonomous. He has heteronomous morality – which means – when he asks his conscience what to do – the conscience doesn't answer with the Law, but it answers with »ask what others think it right«. So, between choosing loyality to – Law – people – comfort – he will choose people. He is uncapable of making his own decisions. He needs others to tell him what is right. This type is also interesting because it helds the power to convert something immoral to something moral. Why? Because his conscience tells him to ask others, and morally (to this type) this is right. Then it depends on how are the Important Others to this person – as in, who will he ask for the answer.

This type is also the traditional type of Slovenian people. Because of the history, we needed to be practical, if we wanted to survive 1600 years. Worldwide it has started after the second World War. Today there are ½ people of Other-directed type.

So, this second type is important to me. You know.. being a traditional Slovenian type and all. You know, the funny thing is, I've always thought my father was the one to be blamed. I don't have a very good relationship with him. Well, actually, that would be an understatement. I have a bad relationship with my father. Which is a good thing. He did his job right.

And now here comes the shocking part (to me). Freud believed in it. My professor believes in it. And I did, too. Actually, I've believed it too much. (We, students of Psychology always tend to process everything we learn about ourselves).

In the traditional Slovenian Other-directed type, the mother takes the raise of her children in her hands (with the absent father and all). She uses punishment so that the child can functionally grow up. Here's the catch. The Mother is the form of unconditional love. With the mother's unconditional love, the child will develop the belief in himself. And the Father should be there to do his function – Authority. But as we said, the father is absent. That leaves the mother on her own. So she starts with the Authority if she wants her child to functionally grow up.

Now.. the child is seriously confused. If the Father would be there, the child would have come to understand – how to operate with the mother and how to operate with the father. 2 registers. With the mother, he would use the register »comfort« and with the father, he would use the register »do what it's right«. Becuase the Father's love is conditional. The child has to know, that he needs to do what is right so the father will love him. With the mother, he doesn't need to do what is right. He can stick with, what is the comfort. – This is the way it should be!

BUT. As we said, the Father is absent. So, the child has a mother and he is completely confused. Because she is one person and he is incapable to figure which register to use – the comfort one/the right one. It's unconditional love and conditional love at the same time. Obviously, the child is confused. And this way of raising a child will develop – a moral child nonetheless (other-directed type), but! also a child incapable of having the feeling what is right and that he can count on himself. That he is worth it. – Therefor: He will know what is right when faced with BIG decisions, but he won't be able to choose right from comfort in the SMALL ones. – Sadly saying this, but WOMEN OUT THERE – if your man is absent – YOU NEED TO DO THIS. IT'S NOT THE BEST, BUT IN A LONG SHOT IS LESS WORSE, THAN THE OTHER OPTION, which is PATHOLOGICAL NARCISSIST. So, I should say here, CHOSE CAREFULLY THE FATHER OF YOUR FUTURE CHILDREN. If he will do his job right, you won't be facing any problems of this kind ;)

But let's get back to me, now. Freud said that only the child who experienced the unconditional love of their mother will develop the belief in himself. He will know he is worth it, even if the whole world would stand against him.

This was the shocking discovery of my pathetic life. A year ago. I've been dealing with this shit for a year. I've been so angry with my mother for a year. Of course, I didn't say anything to her, but inside I was boiling. Why couldn't she love me unconditionally? Why couldn't she? Yes, this was a big stress. And lots of lost of coffees with my friends. Long conversations that lasted for hours. Trying to figure out, what in the world had I done wrong? And that's also why I haven't passed this exam yet. I studied hard, and I know I know the subject well. But I didn't feel confident. I haven't felt worth it.

So, today when that guy at the Mental health institution told me I was blaming others for what should be mine to blame, I was completely shocked with the realisation.

I've always felt worth it. Always. Until last year, when I first heard about this. And I believed it. And of course, it was easier to blame it on my mom. She isn't perfect. She is too apathetic too many times. But that shouldn't mean she doesn't unconditionally love me. And even if she doesn't.. It's me, who needs put things in my hands and start doing things for me. I've allowed myself to overshadow everything I ever did in my life, by what? Some stupid little insecurities I've got in that time. The irony isn't lost on me. I feel so stupid. I've spent a year blaming someone else, when I should have been the one to blame, for being a bystander and thinking things couldn't get fixed. God, I was so so wrong. I will fix it. Because if there is another thing that I've learned is this: We are, what we think we are. And therefor, I can change everything. I will change everything. And I hope, I will never ever do this mistake again.

Not everything is written in stone. If we wouldn't have doubts about anything, we would still be 500 years behind, maybe even more. Science has started with a doubt. I should have doubted, too. I think I've learned my lesson. And now I need to face my consequences. Yey for me. Being grown up really sucks :P

Good God, it has taken me 6,5 Word pages and 5 hours to write this down and to understand, finally.

Uh huh. Thinking of it now.. Well, this is kind of very personal stuff. But then again, I think no one will read it all. I mean, 6,5 pages?! Ugh. And I, um, apologize for any grammar mistakes.. 5 hours in the flow, should answer your frustrations. And it's 3am. I'm tired now. God, I need to wake up at 7am. Ouch, life really isn't fair. But, tomorrow I will start in my best to improve all this knowledge into practice. I will figure it out. And you know why? Because I am worth it.

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