So much of our worlds are inherited. Often times, what we think about ourselves, about others, how we behave and cope with emotional stress, our expectations as it relates to career, love, and life in general, and so much more are all passed down to us from the people we interact with and from what we read or hear. Children are perfect little recorders of their environments. They pick up the vocabulary, the dialect, and all the subtleties of the human behavior surrounding them. Because of that, the emotional space a child grows up in plays a major role in how they experience and demonstrate their emotions throughout life.
My last relationship was my first adult relationship, and I went into it stumbling, wanting this love, yet very fearful. Much of the time we were together, instead of placing my trust in my partner and what we were building, I was afraid to really open myself up and let him in, let him know where I’d been and what I battled with. In being dishonest with myself, I was dishonest with him. I thought I knew how to love, but I didn’t. The reality was that I didn’t know how to love myself, so I didn’t know how to love him and I felt sort of inept the whole time we were together. Why couldn’t I open up? Why couldn’t I articulate my feelings? Why was I so afraid to be vulnerable and discuss my emotions? Why couldn’t I treat him the way he deserved to be treated?
One word: dysfunction. I was dysfunctional.