Okay, fine. This shit is supposed to be honest: By decided, I really mean my significant other convinced me therapy was healthy and necessary. Logically her argument made sense. However, it still took a shit ton of convincing (and I'm forever in debt to her for that) because of the way I was raised.
Born to Pakistani parents with traditional values, I was taught I can "will" myself to fix any issue. Does this sound familiar? And although this terrible ideology helped me develop some wicked will power, I learned some things can't heal themselves on their own. Off to therapy.
Wait, WTF? Did he just admit to seeing a shrink?Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I'm South Asian and I sought therapy on my own. That's in bold, motherfuckers. I guess I really must be crazy. Thanks Mom and Dad.
My initial therapy sessions helped me learn what's on the surface and a little underneath. It generally takes a few months to make some breakthroughs and begin the process of change, but I did figure out why I was so highly motivated: I wanted to prove to myself that I could be the best despite my upbringing. I believed I could succeed despite my father being emotionally vacant, yet always available to beat the living daylights out of my mom every night. I believed I could succeed despite my mother then taking her frustration out on me physically and emotionally. I give you Exhibit A - The Emotional Blackmail:
Ex. A. "You better get straight-As. It's your ticket to college and you need to go to the best because you need to make money to get me out of this house. I didn't stay in this marriage for nothing. Remember, you owe me."My guess is hearing Exhibit A every night for the first eighteen years of my life helped initiate the Superman complex I suffer from. It's even easier now, given I'm a teacher. There's absolutely no way I can go to bed knowing I don't have a great lesson planned for my kids. Although I've gotten slightly better at dealing with this, I still fall into that trap sometimes.
One thing I still haven't figured out yet is my love-hate relationship with abandonment. There are times when I fantasize about everyone leaving me - all my friends, family, etc. Other times, I dream about leaving them (don't kid yourself, you know you've thought about it too). "What would the world be like without me?" is an all-too familiar question I've used as a lullaby to fall asleep to. It's terrible, but I can't help it. As an "adult child of an alcoholic," I desire to please and help others. At the same time, I'd rather be alone. Mind fuck.
I thought by my mid-20s, I would have my shit together. It seems I'm far from it. Want to know a secret?
I often feel nothing.Absolutely nothing. It's the result of years of numbing myself. It is this mental block that is preventing me from growing as a person, being honest about my feelings, etc. It's just so much easier to ignore what's going on inside and focus on the task at hand. Or maybe focus on everyone else's needs. I'm disgusted with the fact that regardless of how I feel, I can somehow always find the motivation to do work. I don't want to escape anymore, but it's just so fucking convenient.
And what about my students? Who will tell them to seek therapy? A lot of them come from troubled backgrounds, abusive relationships, and broken homes. They won't all be as lucky as I was. Wow. I didn't even realize it until I re-read this paragraph, but I almost got carried away on their needs rather than my own. Shit.