While exploring my past and how my personality developed over the years, I would be remiss if I were to ignore my relationship with my mother and how it affected my adult relationships. As a child you never think about whether or not you are hugged, kissed or told that you are loved, because, truthfully, you don’t know what you don’t know.
I would never have known that in other houses when children went to bed there were bedtime stories being read nightly as children were being snuggled under their covers, kisses on their forehead, and whispered “I love you” as little ones were being tucked in for the night. I didn’t know that children freely hugged and kissed back, saying “I love you, mommy” or “I love you, daddy” as they sat on their parents laps watching The Carol Burnett Show or some other family friendly show of the time.
I did, however, know how to dial 911 or the operator, depending on where we lived. I knew how to keep my mouth shut during the tensest of family fights… until I became a teenager and couldn’t hold back. I learned that no matter how well I did in school that it would not be noticed, but it was better to fly under the radar than to be noticed.
My favorite “baby doll” was Mother Goose, so not even really a baby at all. I also had an imaginary friend, he was a giant purple monster named Delbert. I truly loved him, he lived in a mine. He ate billboards on occasion, and when my family moved from Arizona to Wyoming, he chose to stay in Arizona where his mine was located. I was heartbroken. I couldn’t make him come with me. I was five.
Throughout all of my years (at least the ones I can remember, besides infancy), as a child, teenager, and adult… my relationship with my mother has not changed. It has been cold, standoffish, and one of almost mutual dislike. At times, I have looked for her approval, of course that was years ago, I no longer seek her acceptance or approval. While my mother had different relationships with my sisters and brother, I do not recall being told “I love you” or being hugged or touched (except being hit) once as a child.
Certainly, the fact that I was not nurtured had an effect on the fact that I grew up to be known as somebody who has no affect.