Why Am I…

“We are the sum of our past experiences and memories.” –Fellow Criminal Law Student 

I haven’t really been talking about myself on here because I just feel like there’s nothing to talk about. I was finally courageous enough to seek help for my anxiety and depression and now I’m at the point where I can get out of bed every day and not be in hysterics all day. Additionally, everything is really amazing in my relationship. So, what is there to talk about?

I know I am more than my relationship and my depression/anxiety, but it seems that the last few years these two things have really been the biggest parts of my life. Interestingly enough, I’ve been considering what makes me, “me?” Like, how have my past experiences and memories shaped who I am today?

No matter what you think, we can never escape our childhood. We will forever reenact the relationships we viewed and had as children.  For example, my parents loved hard when I was little. When it was good, it was good. When it was bad, it was bad. I’ve noticed this cycle when it comes to my relationship with my girlfriend. When we are happily in love, it’s like God has opened the clouds and specifically picked us to shine the sun on. However, when we are not so happily in love, it’s explosive and anger filled. What I will say is that my girlfriend isn’t the actual aggressor when it comes to our arguments; it’s really me. But, what I’ve noticed is that I mimic the way my parents used to fight and interact and then get pissed when my girlfriend does not react or go along with it. It’s actually kind of weird.

Additionally, as a child I had a lot of people just drop out of my life. It was for all types of reason, like death, moving away, or just disappearing. As a child, you don’t necessarily understand why people are no longer there, so you kind of internalize it. So, here I am as a 23yr. old and I now have this weird relationship with others: either I’m really needy or I have this wall built up. I really attribute it to my experiences as a child. I’m needy with the people who didn’t leave me because I’m scared they will eventually leave me, but I build up a wall against the people I’ve perceived as having left me in the past. I don’t really get it and I feel bad that I am this way, but it is what it is. You know?

Sometimes I wish I could change these things about me, but then I wouldn’t be Gabrielle. My past has shaped me to be extremely loving, selfless, maternal, and intelligent. When I love someone, I love them regardless of what they do, but what they do will dictate whether I put up a wall or I barrage them with my emotions.

Do you think we are the sum of our past experiences and memories, or do you think we are just who we are?

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3 thoughts on “Why Am I…

  1. I think it’s more complicated than that. I think that childhood and so forth do affect us, but we’re also constantly adapting. As kids we learn to change in changing situations. Especially people like you and I who saw our parents split, and close family members leave our lives for one reason or another. Children are like putty that mold into the shapes life tell them to. The biggest mistake we make as we get older is to think this adaptation is left behind as we grow. We never stop learning. That’s why certain parts of our personalties aren’t the same all the time. Even outside of medication or drugs and drinking everyone is constantly changing. We see new situations in life and we become new people. So, yes I think childhood effects us profoundly. But it’s in more ways than one. The old stuff that happened to us has mad us who we are. But, the most important lesson we learn as kids is, adapt or die. We never stop evolving. If the question is “what makes us who and what we are,” then the short answer is we are everything that happens to us. Not just nature, not just nurture, and not really both. People are dynamic and no part of us sit still, including our personalities.

  2. Pingback: Youth Musing: 6 Things Childhood Can’t Help But Teach You | The Drunken Musings

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