I have some issues. That’s not really surprising. Everyone does. Mine? I grew up as the unwanted child, sister to the golden child. It seemed that I could do no right. My brother could do little wrong.
Now, looking at this from an adult’s perspective, I realize that there were some odd dynamics in my family. I also realize that I was not nearly as secretive about the things I did, which meant that our parents generally knew what I was doing. My brother was better at hiding his bad behavior.
My visceral reaction to things is colored by what I grew up with. So, I have trouble trusting that people really like me for me. That means that I’m just one mistake away from losing a friendship. It also means that I am very sensitive to the least little perceived rebuff.
Years of working through these issues have helped me to think through the things that happen. Even though my initial reaction can take me right back to that hurting 13-year-old emotionally, I can take a breath and temper my reaction. That’s a skill that’s taken years to develop. And, I still slip sometimes.
Because I know that my brain goes quickly to bad, hurting places, I understand when someone else seems to overreact. My guess is that they’re reacting more to their own issues than to what’s happening in the moment. After all, we all have our own issues.