I have a fear that I will make it difficult for my daughter to make friends, and that this will make her lonely and an outcast. The the feeling is very intense. I was speaking to my partner about it, and what came up is that this fear of not having friends – and all the things we do to avoid that fear – is due to a built-in survival instinct that tells us that “alone I am nothing.” In ancient societies you could effectively use outcasting as the ultimate punishment as a person would not survive in the wilderness by themselves. It is also why the silent treatment is so effective. No one wants to be kicked out or isolated from the group.
It came up strongly when we were at the local pool. There were other kids in the kiddie pool and my girl was clearly interested in them. In not going to daycare she already stands out from her peers, as she doesn’t spend very much time with other children, and it is something I as a mother am acutely aware of (and stressed out about), particularly in not wanting her at an disadvantage, and therefore feeling that I constantly have to compensate because it is assumed in the culture I come from that it’s best for you to go to daycare and be ‘socialized’ around other children.
At the pool there were some older children playing and as they were going down the slide next to her, my girl tapped herself on her chest and said her name, meant for them to hear it. They didn’t hear her or probably care about her as they were much older than her, and she did not seem to care that they didn’t respond, but in me it sparked an intense reaction of emotional pain.
Reflecting on it, what I saw is a fear of her innocently welcoming herself into the world, completely open and vulnerable, only to be ignored, rejected, teased or ridiculed by other children. I looked at how it would break my heart to see her that way, and at the same time, it was such a beautiful gesture of her, not even two years old, announcing herself to the world, and making it known that she’s here, that she matters.
The other point that has come up in relation to this point, is a memory of my own mother, whom I experienced as socially difficult and awkward as a child, at least in certain situations. At my school functions I experienced her as severely self-conscious and having emotional reactions of feeling rejected, isolated and excluded, due to her age and due to her being single whereas a lot of the other children had both a mom and a dad with them.
I took it very, very hard. Too hard probably, and as I’m beginning to understand myself more, I can see how a part of my being is a point of seriousness and depth, which has not always served me to my favor. Another is the fact that I as a person am all about relationships, and was so as well as a child, and I really needed an adult who could help me navigate friendships and relationships – and my mom basically had the opposite effect, of creating even more issues in me, due to her own issues. So in that sense, we were a bad combo. Although I’m actually certain that it might not have even been as big a deal to her as it was to me. But that’s because of my signature.
It was difficult for me that people didn’t like my mother, and subconsciously I internalized that and developed a great fear from it. I developed a belief that “If people don’t like you, they won’t help you, they’ll be against you, and you’ll be all alone having no one to call on, having to fend for yourself.” So somehow, along the way, I made it my mission to become likable. I studied what made other people likable and tried to copy and emulate that. So I would be helpful without being genuinely helpful for example. I learned how to be funny by studying sound, pitch, and timing of language.
And at the age of 19, I got my first real friend. Until then, it was an extremely stressful experience for me, desperately trying to gain friends, and feeling like the biggest loser in the world because it was difficult for me. I played with other children, but I cannot say that it was the most natural, or enjoyable relationships.
So – I have a fear that it will be the same for my girl, and that I will make the same mistakes that my mother made with me. And I see how I can create issues for her that might not even exist to begin with. Because I AM all about relationships. And I do enjoy getting to know people. And I don’t often create problematic relationships with people or go into isolation. And the other thing is that I have learned that the most important relationship a person can have, is with oneself. And second thereafter comes parents, not friends. Friends are cool for sure, but they’re not a matter of life and death.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to accept and allow a reaction within me of feeling like my heart is breaking when I see my girl innocently, openly and vulnerably open herself up to other children or people, in my anticipating and expecting that they will ignore her, push her down, laugh at her and ridicule her as that is the association I have towards expressing myself this way, from when I was a child – and because I have tied this association and fear to this expression, I expect that it will happen to my child as well.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear, but also expect that my child will be pushed down and ridiculed for expressing and sharing herself innocently, openly and vulnerably by other children and by adults, because that is what I experienced as a child, and when I imagine it happening to my child, it’s like it’s happening all over again to me, because this experience still sits within me as a trauma and a fear
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that what I fear is that my girl will be hurt and wounded and that she will pull back into herself, but in actuality I am afraid of again standing in the experience I had as a child where I expressed and shared myself vulnerably and openly and experienced that I was ridiculed and talked to in a harsh way by other children and adults.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to so extensively start fearing being open and vulnerable as a child, that I deliberately hardened myself, and sought to become smart and cool and calculated and strategic in my communication with others, so that I would never again be caught of guard.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear expressing myself in full and exposed openness as who I am, because I believe and expect that I will be taken advantage of, laughed at, ridiculed or abused in some way, to the extent where there is a part of me that wants to keep my child away from other people, to protect her innocence so that she doesn’t have to lose it, or lose herself
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to deliberately hide and suppress my pure expression, and to always be on guard and have an edge around me, always being ready for an attack, and never actually allowing myself to fully relax and be myself around other people
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear the innocent and unconditional openness in my child’s expression when she announces herself to the people, where I react with experiencing it like I’ve been gut punched and my stomach is constricting – because I fear that within myself and do not allow myself to express in this way, not realizing that my child is not me, she may not have the same issues I did, and as opposed to when I was growing up, she actually has me as a parent and her father, as people who are walking their own process towards standing up as who we are in the fullness of our expression, and who will therefore support her to do the same, as well as will be able to support her if she does experience emotional reactions towards someone ridiculing her – and as such support her to keep standing as who she is, no matter what.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to try to protect my child by deliberately stepping in when I for example see that she’s expressing herself towards adults and they are, from my perspective, ignoring her – not realizing how I am within doing so projecting my own fear of not being heard, seen and taken serious onto her, and am effectively making my issues her issues, when she might not need my protection and I can’t even protect her from facing reality and the devolved state of humanity, which is something we all have to walk through and take responsibility for as self in each our own way, in order to walk our process from consciousness to awareness, including my child.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear that I will make it difficult for my child to have friends, because I feel socially awkward and struggle with friendships, but also because that is exactly what I experienced happened with my mother, and so I fear the past repeating itself
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to place extensive value in children having friends, due to this being hyped as extremely important in the culture I live in, and because I have accepted and allowed myself to integrate it as a truth within me, founded upon a deep-seated fear of being outcast and alone, and as such unable to survive
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that everything is in reverse and that the creators of consciousness most certainly would’ve wanted human beings to be split into and between themselves, to actually fear the one place that is the path towards real oneness and equality which is: inside ourselves, alone.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that the power within standing alone, is in fact that through standing alone, one has the opportunity to walk one’s process from consciousness to awareness, because developing a connection to one’s body and beingness is crucial, and because the opposite of aloneness, as society and culture currently only exists to promote separation and illusion, whereas aloneness (except for in thinking) is still to an extent “pure”.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to doubt myself and my decision not to place my child into the care of other people, because I experience a distinct push and drive from society and people around me to do exactly that, and because people find me strange and intimidating for not doing it (Like I’m “off” and they don’t like it, and I don’t like THAT lol), because I have developed my value in relation to being liked and accepted by others, and as such am afraid of the exact ostracization I was talking about earlier – when I know for a fact that my child is doing very well, is thriving, has an awesome life, and has a rather minimal need to spend time with other children
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not yet stand fully secure and trusting of myself in my decision to not put my child into care of other people, because there is a part of me that knows that what I am doing is unpopular, and it causes certain people to react to me, and even frown upon my decision, and I have a fear towards that, because I have a fear of being ostracized, because I have not yet stood in the power of being alone inside myself – not fully realizing or embracing that I’ve got all of existence inside me, as me.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to blame my mom for causing me to struggle making friends as a child, and I forgive my mother for not taking responsibility for walking her own process from consciousness to awareness, and step up as a support for me to learn how to navigate the world effectively, and for example share with me the power and value of being alone.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to project my mom’s experience of awkwardness onto myself and to internalize an experience of feeling like an outsider that I interpreted that my mother was experiencing and creating a distinct feeling of being an outsider that I now fear I will transfer to my child – not realizing how, being an outsider has been my saving grace in many respects, and is in fact one of my strengths and one of the things I appreciate the most about my life, and as such nothing I have to fight or fight for, but simply something I rest in and as, as I integrate and immerse myself fully with the groups of people I surround myself with, without it changing who I am at my core – and as such, my child too will be an outsider because she is my child, but I have the opportunity to also show her how to be an insider, as everyone we meet is part of us as we are part of them, and as such there is no distance, separation and nothing to fear – because all we can ever meet, is ourselves.
I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to place extreme value and importance on being liked and accepted by other people, specifically because I believe that I am an outsider, someone that has negative value because of that, and therefore that I MUST struggle in order for other people to accept me – and if they don’t, it will be because there is something wrong with me, and not for instance because they recognize parts of themselves in me, that they don’t want to meet, and as such, whether people align to me and want to create relationships with me or not, is really more about them than it is about me. I can be a total asshole and people might still want to create a relationship with me because that resonated with something in them.
When and as I see that a fear of being alone and an outsider in social situations comes up within me, I stop, I breathe and I remind myself of who I am and where I am.
I commit myself to embrace the fact that I am an outsider and be proud of the life I’ve lived and walked, and to use it to actually get “inside” in terms of actually connecting with people on real, deep levels that will bring us together instead of perpetuate separation in this world.
When and as I see that I fear or doubt myself in relation to providing my daughter with proper social relationships, I look at her and make a self-honest assessment in self-trust about her well-being and living conditions and whether they are up to standards that I can accept and condone.
I commit myself to stand within self-trust that I am doing what I see is best for my child and that I am able to assess and take responsibility to do so, if she is not thriving in the environment I have selected for her – and to take action accordingly.
I commit myself to stop living for people to like me and accept me, and to instead live and walk from a starting-point of standing and walking in my aloneness, as all-one-ness. I commit myself to push myself to express myself fully, as who I am without fear.
[Photo by Steve Courmanopoulos for Unsplash]