anxiety · depression · Life Topics · social anxiety · The Blogger · The Journey

Affection and Growing Up.

Ever since I can remember I’ve never seen my parents embrace or kiss basically show any type of affection they grew up in a different time and in a different country up until their early twenties. For them is a way of showing respect so I grew up thinking its normal in families to not hug one another or say I love you when ever you see each other or when saying goodbye.

I’m bringing this up because as I laid in my bed last night not being able to fall asleep quickly I began to really think as to why sometimes I, myself can’t show affection or receive affection? I just wasn’t brought up to be that way.

I’m in no means trying to blame my parents for my anxiety or depression but in a way I feel like this affected me on not speaking up sooner about the way I’ve felt half my life and dealing with it. I just didn’t think I would get the support I would need because I never got the “don’t worry honey I’m here for you and I love you” speech,  you just had to be tough and speaking about feelings was a foreign thing in my house and my dad was always right no matter what.

In therapy they tell me my anxiety isn’t going to go away as quickly as I say “bam” because I let it go on for so long without seeking any type of treatment and I just wish I would’ve had the courage to speak out or the security of knowing I would’ve had that affection and support from my parents when I was younger but it just wasn’t a for sure thing and I was scared and embarrassed and having all that mixed with insecurity and no reassurance made me hide and conceal it even more.

Its a pattern that I want to break.

It’s already breaking with my siblings and I a bit, but also with the birth of my nephews and niece with them the affection is open they get hugged everyday and the I love you’s are endless something I know my siblings and I would’ve loved from our parents growing up.

We knew and know they love us they showed and show it in many different ways except with affection and words. Apart from trying to defeat my anxiety and depression I also want to become a better person when it comes to showing emotions and affection.

I hate the fact that I can’t express myself so openly and I just hold everything in till I’m alone. I hate the fact that I can’t cry in front of others maybe sometimes that’s a good thing but I also don’t think its healthy because then all you are left with is a bottle of emotions and people labeling you as a strong person when in reality you are weak half the time. I hate that I don’t know how to comfort another person when they are crying in front of me because I get uncomfortable and I hate that I find it awkward when spontaneously there is a hug between my parents and I.

You learn everything from your parents growing up but it doesn’t mean you have to be like them and they aren’t always right and its okay to voice your opinion and its okay to randomly hug a person you care about and its beautiful to tell someone you love them just because you do.

Once you’re out in the real world you don’t have to continue a cycle that you aren’t happy with, that is the beauty of growing up and life you can change it in many ways that make you happy.

affection-2

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Affection and Growing Up.

  1. I understand completely. To this day I still find the whole hugging to greet people a bit of a mystery, especially when it is somebody that I don’t really know. It used to be a big problem for me in highschool when my friends and I started hanging around girls. Everyone would hug and I would be thinking wtf do i do?!

    My brother has kids and like your sibling, he shows them an abundance of affecting. But I am really weird when it comes to hugging them…. something to work on i suppose!

    I don’t blame my parents for my anxiety & depression, but at the same time I don’t dismiss the role they played in the development of it. What I do know though is that they both did the best they could, with what they knew. They didn’t do anything to maliciously hurt me, but it is just a shame there wasn’t all these parenting/psychology books that are available to parents these days.

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    1. I think you should try and work on your affection skills (if that’s what we should call it? lol) with your brothers kids, my nephews and niece helped me so much and I can also see how much they changed my parents I think the innocence of a child always brings out the best in people well if you love kids they’re the only people I can say I love you too so freely and hug them without a care.

      and I’m totally with you when it comes to my parents as well they both did the best they could for us and I think they’re priorities was to give us the life they never had that it made them not notice a lot of things going on with me, I always ask my mom “did you not see anything wrong with me?” whenever I get frustrated with my anxiety which is mostly social anxiety and she always tells me I just thought you were a bit shy.

      So yeah its a shame I know if I ever have kids that will be a priority of mine making sure they aren’t struggling in silence.

      thanks for your comment 🙂

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      1. ‘affection skills’. Sure why not! A barrier for me when it comes to my newphews is that my social anxiety kicks in with fears and concerns that they will not be receptive, and that I will get rejected by them.

        I feel like I am like that with most of my interactions, I test the waters and try to get obvious queues before I engage, otherwise I just wait and respond.

        But, in the spirit of practicing affection skills, I did make a conscious effort the other night when we met up with some of my partners friends. I tried to both show willingness and avoid seeming awkward and shook hands/gave hugs etc.

        little steps 🙂 hope you are well

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      2. I think kids are very helpful when it comes to people that deal with social anxiety (like you and I) I find that with them I’m more open because naturally kids are very curious and when they are young their minds are very pure and I don’t find them to be judgemental they reciprocate the affection they are given so if you’re open and loving towards them they will be the same way because they get that vibe from you.
        As far as putting effort into the skill of affection that is awesome! I normally don’t have a big problem with hugging or shaking hands is just the awkwardness that comes afterwards haha but yeah thanks baby steps is what they tell us! hope you are well also 🙂

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      3. I met up with my brothers family for an early christmas lunch yesterday and kept your idea of ‘affection skills’ in mind. I think it worked out pretty well as I went to give my nephews big cuddles whether they liked it or not lol.

        At first one of them seemed to not like it but then later gave me a really big hug. it was sweet.

        I keep thinking of how much of a sponge little children are, so they could probably really pick up on my previous apprehension for affection.

        I think this was a success!

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      4. I still can’t get that newphews shift in attitude out of my mind. That transition from ‘ergh’ to ‘yay hugs!’…. absolutely beautiful.

        thanks, and same to you! hope you enjoy the holiday season

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  2. I have iffy feelings about showing affection through hugging and “I love you”s too because my parents weren’t really open like that. My parents come from a culture that bases affection more on what you do for the person (through actions) to show you care, rather than outright hugging someone and saying I love you. They’ve changed more now that I’ve grown up, but I think my own feelings and perceptions on showing affection have played a big part in why I still feel so awkward about it. I’ve gotten used to hugging my friends although I feel super awkward, but the idea of hugging someone if the person were interested in me romantically freaks me out. I can’t wrap my head around the concept of being in a romantic relationship, which is why I’ve never had a boyfriend. Part of me does wonder what it’d be like to be in love and be happy with a guy, but another part of me feels scared about being hugged or having to hold hands with the person.

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    1. Yeah I suppose my parents are the same way but I think as a child I think its important to have that affection from your parents and to even see them be affectionate towards each other. I didn’t know it pushed me into a box till I recently thought about it. Not really having much affection in my family growing up made me come off a bit cold sometimes and people thinking I was mean or rude. It also makes me second guess relationships it makes me believe that I won’t be good at a successful one. . .but that could also my anxiety speaking.

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