Sunday, April 7, 2013

Shyness and memories

 I grew up in a liberal intelligentsia culture where psychology was considered a real subject in terms of how humans live and think and feel so I sort of take it semi seriously.
   Dredging up memories that supposedly affect how I react to present day situations somehow makes sense to me.
  I remember YAFL football I must have been in the 3rd grade. One of my teammates could not get to practice so I told him we wold pick him up. When I told my mom she freaked out,but went along to his house. Whatever problem I had precluded me from going up to the door and knocking. this enraged my Mom who proceeded to beat the crap out of me from the drivers seat of the car. My mom was a great screamer so there was lots of sound affects to go along with the punches as slaps.  I sat there and took it. After her rage was spent we left without picking David or resolving our conflict.
  I guess I was terrified but I honestly have no emotional connection to this memory. Apparently it would be good for me to know how I felt in those moments. A lot of me brain says that this is a crazy idea, who wants to relive moments of total helplessness and terror?
 When people ask if I was abused I always say no.... then I think of this experience and wonder... I guess somehow we think our experience is not abuse or I convinced myself that being targeted once does not make abuse. Maybe I have separated so far from that experience that I do not associate with "my" childhood. That was some other kid. I do not identify as a victim of abuse. That is a whole nother subject.
  As things go I had a similar experience with my oldest yesterday. He left something at his friends house and refused (For no good reason from my perspective) to go back up the driveway to pick it up himself. In case I am doing the usual and using one word when ten will do. (the opposite of the New Yorker which seems to use ten when one would do) Ben is 7 years old and both he and my younger son seem to have the same demon haunting them that makes them very closed off around people. We sometimes call it shyness. I started thinking that I should force him to do this difficult thing then I started to get angry at him for delaying us by his irrational seeming behavior.  Just as I opened my mouth something inside changed and I felt myself saying. "Ok let's go look for your toy. I felt a physical change i my body as the words of censure I had intended to say died and were replaced by something softer and more inclusive. He and I happily went up to the door and spent more time with the cute mom and Ben's friend. Both of us were satisfied that we had done our best and we felt like a team even though e actually did not find the toy.
  I actually had a flashback to the football story as we walked up the driveway and I felt that as a parent I had dodged a bullet on the voyage of raising and growing with a family.

  The story that we have to force kids to do things or they will grow up to be lazy and immoral runs strong in American culture. This is a thought that I think often justifies abuse of young people. (Spare the rod, spoil the child) If we are not hard enough on our kids they will not survive the rough and tumble of the "real" world.

No comments:

Post a Comment