We all have things that have shaped us into the humans we are. Some for the better, some, not so much.
I recently watched The Accountant with Ben Affleck. The movie was very good, but it also brought to light how things that happen in your childhood shape and mold the adult you become. I’ve thought about it a fair amount since then and I can see how we actually become the people we are based on circumstance. I know its fiction, but the correlation struck me.
We’ve also recently been binge watching Mad Men. At first I absolutely hated Don Draper and his shenanigans, but I’ve grown to see where they stem from. While I still hate his behavior, I can see how his childhood shaped his life and why he holds little regard for personal relationships and behaves as he does.
So, this has had me thinking about myself. As a child growing up, I was raised by alcoholic parents. There was always beer in the fridge and a glass or two on the kitchen table as they sipped at it most of the day. It resulted in fights between my parents, and as time wore on, and the alcoholism escalated, days when my brother and I fended for ourselves in getting something to eat and clean clothes to wear. Growing up, this was just the way it was.
I learned to watch and listen for certain moods cropping up and when the dark moods entered the home, I learned to steer clear. When the solemn moods cropped up, I learned I had to sit and listen to one or the other parent drone on and on about nothing in particular – but usually centered on all the horrible transgressions people had passed on to them. Whatever.
How has all this shaped me? Well as an adult, I don’t sit in the house and drink and I never drink alone. The Biker and I will have a drink in the evening, every so often, two drinks, but that’s the gist of it. I’m independent and strong. I take care of myself and I know I can get through anything with perseverance. When people around me start getting drunk and I see the dark moods rolling in, I find another place to go. No thank you, I’ve had enough of that.
I have very little patience for whiners, blow hards and generally people who feel sorry for themselves. I think because it mimics the drunken behavior of the people I grew up with. If I want something done, I do it myself. I don’t need a lot of people around me, sitting alone is just fine. I can write or do a craft project, or read, I can always occupy myself. I think this comes from occupying myself as a child, my parents seldom if ever, did anything with us as a family. We lived on a farm, out in the country by ourselves, and when I wasn’t working on the farm, I was in my room.
I’m very aware that my brother and I could easily have gone down the other path in life. The one where we ended up just like our parents. But, honestly, I hated being around them as a child and I never wanted to be like them, so it isn’t all coincidence that I’m not like them, it was hard work. As a teenager and young adult, like many who have come before me, I partied. I drank. And I did stupid stuff. Then, I grew up. It was bound to happen. My brother has turned out alright too. He has a good job, a great family and life is good. We’re fortunate in the fact that hopefully we’ve broken that ugly cycle of passing on an ugly legacy.
What events have shaped your life? Care to share?
Now, let’s go see what my fellow bloggers feel has shaped their lives.