Self Analysis

I think because both my parents were of middling intellect, the fact that I showed a propensity for learning and academic achievement lead to praise and acknowledgement. This was really the only thing I recall my parents being especially, outwardly proud of me for and thus my entire identity became "I am smart" and anything that provided counter examples to this (losing at an intellectual game such as chess) drove me to great pain and frustration--a deep and shuddering cognitive dissonance about the nature of my identity.

Anything less than an 'A' was an attack on my identity. Anything that showed I wasn't the smartest, drove me to great pains and my self-worth suffered. Any reminders of fallibility, imperfection, or inadequacy drove me to tears. Perhaps to the outside, it seemed like I was competitive, but internally I was fighting for survival.

My parents didn't push me academically. On the contrary, when I was showing a lot of promise, the opportunity to move up a grade came up. I jumped at the idea. My parents decided not to do it as they didn't want to stunt me socially. The irony is palpable. No, I was the only one pushing myself but I quickly learned to give up when faced with adversity. If it isn't easy, don't bother trying. I want to be loved. To love. To be interesting to other people and to genuinely find any company I keep similarly interesting. I want to stay out in the open. I want to be free of shame. I want to be happy when those moments that make life worth living happen. I want to be gracious and express gratitude when gratitude is deserved. I have most of these things. I have what I want. I have what I need. But my mind is bent. My psyche twisted around The ability to feel was taken from me. The ability to easily and casually express myself was taken. My identity is lost in a cloud of conditions, issues, reactions, maladaptations, and defense mechanisms. I don't know who I am or if there's really a person under all this psychosis. I, as a child, perpetually felt in the way and to survive I just made myself scarce, invisible. Being invisible felt (and still does) safe. If you don't try, you can't make any mistakes was one of the main lessons I got from my mother. She'd rage at me that I acted like I was a guest in the house because I didn't read her mind and do the things she wanted me to do automatically. But even if I did things proactively, I either did them wrong, or she accused me of lying and made do them again, so the best approach was always just to avoid her, let her yell at me to do something, then get it done as quickly as possibly. This approach earned me the venerable title of "lazy."