Continuing from my last post:
Day 297: The Origin of Anger in My Life Part 4: The Beginning of Self Image
“What I can see is that the stage in my life in which I see I started to have like, a self-image, and started to feel good or feel bad about things is the stage where I had words – I had a vocabulary. I was learning ‘what things mean’, and I was forming a self image through receiving input and feedback from people in my environment in the form of words, and how the words were spoken.”
So before I continue I want to put this investigation into specific context in terms of why I’m looking back at the beginning of my ‘Self Image’ as a child.
What I’ve found with the nature of Rage in my life is that it is the result of the accumulated suppressed energy of reactions of anger and frustration, where I actually move into anger and frustration from an initial emotion of feeling helpless, powerless, mistreated — within scenarios where I’m faced with an obstacle or problem that I don’t see how to overcome, and also actions or words directed at me in which I feel mistreated, judged to be inferior in some way, or judged to be a bad person. So I looked at when in my life did I start experiencing feelings of being mistreated, inferior, powerless, frustrated? Because I can see that anger and rage kind of evolved from these experiences.
I found I started experiencing these kinds of emotions frequently from around the age of 12, when I started middle school, in which I started to be faced with scenarios that I hadn’t experienced before in my life, which were of the nature of being faced with rules, expectations, and social situations where I could not make sense of ‘why this is happening to me’. For example, in middle school I was exposed to more types of other kids than I was in elementary school, and kids at this age started to congregate in specific groups like sports kids, rock kids, hip hop kids, aggressive bully type kids, attractive kids, ugly kids, etc. At this stage in my life I started to experience things like being rejected and made fun of more frequently, or like, being ignored and experiencing certain kids simply having no interest in talking to me, and also starting to become aware that for instance I’m judged to be not a particularly attractive or ‘cool’ person based on the way I look, the way I dress, the kind of music I listen to. Basically I started to become more of an ‘outsider’ in relation to ‘everyone else’, and had few friends that I spent significant time with. And, in addition to the social dimension of what I was experiencing, there was the fact that there were very strict rules as to how you could behave, and what you could and could not do at school in the classroom, in the lunch room, in the hallways, etc. And, there were times when I did something I got punished for it and had to go to detention, and I could not understand why I was being seen as having done something bad or unacceptable.
What I identified in looking at the kinds of experiences that I ‘took to heart’ the most in these years, is that the kind of things I would ‘feel bad’ about, or feel sad about, or feel confused and frustrated about, is things where I’m being seen as not good enough, or as stupid, or as ‘misbehaving’.
And what I found in looking at why I took these kinds of things personally so much, is that I had always seen myself as a good person, as a talented person, as a likable person, as a nice person. These things were like, big parts of my Self Image. Oh and another point of Self Image that started to take a hit at this stage in my life was that of seeing myself as a smart person. I mean I had always enjoyed school and done well up to that point, but in middle school is when I started to experience a struggle to understand a lot of the math and science subjects in particular, and within this starting to compare myself to the other kids who were doing better than me and so, all of a sudden I didn’t feel so smart anymore, lol.
So going back to my earlier childhood, I’m going to continue in the next post with looking at where these Self Image points started forming in terms of, how did I act, what did I do and say, and what feedback and values did I receive and accept from people in my environment, that caused me to start defining myself as a ‘good person’, and as a ‘nice person’, and as a ‘smart person’, and as a ‘talented person’.