I was the oldest, my sister is seven years younger. As a teen I went to the ends of the earth for what I wanted and usually got it. I was mature for my age, well spoken, and outgoing. Sure I made mistakes but they taught me a lot. I was never someone who was accused of having daddy issues so colour me shocked when it dawned on me at the age of 31 that I might very well have been harbouring a few of them.
I grew up in a home where we painted everyday, made things with our hands and expressed ourselves creatively. While my parents were married, my father was very seldomly at home Due to work or whatever the reason was. Well until 8 months before my 18th birthday when he decided life was too much and opted for suicide.
When he was around he was quiet and introverted never inquired about school, hobbies, boys or life plans after school. He was always willing to listen to us and spend time with us but he was just not the "seventh heaven" kind of dad.
As I went through my formative years I felt for as long as I can remember extreme anxiety over finances. Being broke was very stressful. People my mom depended on and had to borrow money from treated her very poorly. I knew that I didn't want that cycle to continue. Being raised by my mom without my dad around, my sister and I learnt how to do minor household repairs, mow the lawn, rob Peter to pay Paul, get ourselves from point A to point B and just generally make due with what was available.
I learned to like the opposite sex without feeling the need to flaunt my body or sexuality. I prided myself on being able to spot the men who were the ones who would take advantage of girls. My mission everyday was just to reach adulthood and make money to escape the suffocating and demeaning poverty. My plans on "how" weren't quite worked out though. But part of achieving that mission was recognising that I grew up in a family of woman who were often mistreated and disrespected because of people looking down on us and that my daddy issues were always there, burried, rearing its ugly head every now and then.
When someone mistreats me or doesn't honor me I tend to focus more on the good in them, avoiding the bad. Until they have pushed me to the ninth degree. I never saw a man treat his partner with sacrificial love. I believe if I had or if I had a consistent male role model I wouldn't have tolerated so much shit for so long.
I'm overly independent, I have struggled with interdependence in my relationships for as long as I can remember, never finding a healthy form of give and take with my partner. I put men on a pedastal, I've spent years making best friends out of them. Turns out they are vulnerable and have insecurities too. This is why I gave the men in my life too much rope, too much empathy and too much sympathy, which mostly gets taken advantage of.
My hope for myself is that I can learn to identify the behaviours and red flags before I allow it to slide to my own detriment, but thankfully I'm intuitive enough and a great judge of character to suss people out before they can get close.
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