I grew up in a family where everyone had a role, and each person rarely stepped out of that role. My mother was the one who was in control, and this generally took place through making the decisions and keeping people inline through losing her temper.

My father, on the other hand, was someone who would typically do as my mother wanted and was the calm one. There was then my sister, who had no trouble expressing herself and losing her temper if she wasn’t happy with something.

A Difference

This is not to say that she was just the same as our mother, but what she did have was an extremely short fuse. Thus, in the same way that we would often walk on egg shells around my mother, we often did the same around my sister.

I was very much like my father, in that I would often do as I was told and would rarely make a scene. Although this wasn’t a role that reflected my true nature, it was a role that felt comfortable.

Damage Control

On one side, this meant that it wasn’t possible for me to express myself, but on the other, it limited the amount of pain that I would have to experience. Usually, if I didn’t do as I was told or if I lost my temper, I would be in trouble.

Being hit or neglected was often the punishment for doing so, and this meant that as time went by I would often just do as I was old. What had happened in the past was what kept me inline.

Loaded With Fear

The reason for this was that my body was full of fear, so I didn’t need my parents to threaten me at this point. I was the perfect slave during this time in my life, easy-going and obedient.

And, for as long as I lived in this environment, there was no need for me to change my behaviour. When I was at school, I continued to behave in the same way, and same thing happened when I first went to college.

Inner Conflict

Behaving in this manner caused me to experience a lot of anger - anger that had to be pushed out of my awareness. This went on top of the rage that I had already experienced through being neglected and physically and verbally abused.

Deep down, I wasn’t interested in doing as I was told and going along to get along, but I didn’t have much choice at this age. What I did value was working together and treating other people with respect.

Everything Changed

After my father passed on in 2011 and our family guest house closed shortly after, I came to see that I longer needed to play the same role. Part of me felt comfortable with playing this role and another part me wanted to change

Even so, due to playing the same role for most of my life, it wasn’t possible for me to simply change my behaviour. Yet regardless of what was taking place within me, I came to see that the time had come for me to embrace my true nature.

True-Self

If I had continued to play the same role, I would have needed other people to stand up for me and to direct my life, for instance. This was something that I wasn’t willing to go along with, which meant that I had to integrate the other parts of my nature.

I gradually began to connect with my true needs and to express myself. The pain that I experienced through not being able to do this as a child was what propelled me forward.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, author, and coach, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand five hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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