My life story contains some traumatic turning points. In between those turning points I have often managed to sail along somewhat smoothly and occasionally even thrive. In order to do that, however, I was drawing against my reserves. Little did I know that I would eventually come up dry. And that is where I find myself these days.
When I quit the Terrible Job, I kept looking for causes of my troubles because that seemed like a way to find a solution. There was a lot of “I chose this, because that happened” and “when that happened, I began to believe this” and so on.
I worked my way back in time and kept asking myself “Is this where it went wrong, is this when I reached a point of no return?”
It seemed to me that at age 13 I still had a chance to make a happy life for myself. At that age, I still thought I was pretty cool and equal to everyone else, even though there were people in my life who would beg to differ. There had been some childhood problems and issues but it seemed recoverable in a way that my life from age 14 did not.
I believe that an important part of my personality became “frozen” at whatever developmental stage I had reached by age 14.
This means that from that point on, each challenge in my life was approached and possibly solved in the way a 14-year-old might try and solve it. Even when I had learned better ways, there was still that freaked-out 14-year-old in the background pulling some of the strings.
I used to say 14 is really awkward at 40. If that is true, then how much more awkward is it at 54??? It does feel weird, I promise you that.
People in my life that had a proper youth, at least as far as I can know that, seem to be better off as adults than I have ever been. They can roll with the punches and eventually bounce back. They seem to have an understanding of human nature that I skipped right over. They don’t beat themselves up endlessly. They forgive themselves. They are satisfied more or less with what they have and have accomplished. I’m not saying they have it easier. I’m saying they have resilience.
I want that resilience for myself. I have to build it from scratch, though. Thirteen-year-old me just might be able to help.
I want to combine the knowledge I have gathered through 54 years of experience with the kind of person I was before my life derailed. Sort of like– if only I knew then what I know now–but in reverse.
I am making steady progress and continue to feel different inside which enables me to start making different and healthier decisions. It’s incredible to me how slow this process is and I have to keep reminding myself just how long it took me to get to this point. A long, long time!!! So, just keep going, that’s all I can do.