Being largely raised and supported by my mother has been the biggest influence in my life that I can think of.
In the last couple of days, my mother has appeared in my dreams. This is unusual for me so I guess I have released something in my psyche by considering my parents in more detail than normal.
My mother has always been supportive and that is how she was in my dreams too.
Mother in my Dreams
In one dream she pointed out to me that there are some messy things in my life that remain unresolved. I have swept stuff under the carpet, but it never goes away, but just sits there as a constant reminder. But I try to ignore it. I am given a pen to communicate with but instead of writing, I just use it to make random marks. It’s a start but there is more to do yet.
The other dream was rather more positive. Mother came to a concert I had organized to be given by the Rolling Stones rock band. My mother has always disliked the band but comes anyway to show her support. In return, I make her very welcome and pay attention to her comfort and well-being, like a loyal son should.
Doorways feature in these dreams. A few I lock to keep “bad” aspects of me out, but also, I find others to open to reveal new experiences.
Overall Parental Analysis
As a child, I learned some ways of behavior that have repeated themselves many, many times in my life.
A simple analysis regarding dealing with conflict becomes very clear.
My father’s main approach to serious conflict in the home was to use force, which is characterized by a high concern for the objective combined with a low concern for other people’s feelings.
Whereas, or possibly, as a result, my mother’s approach to serious conflict was smoothing, which is characterized by a high concern for the other people’s feelings combined with a low concern for the objective.
My Adopted Strategy Regarding Conflict
The pressures were great, and my main concern was always survival since there were many other things going on at the same time. So I found that withdrawal was an acceptable strategy. This approach is characterized by a low concern for the objective combined with a low concern for other people’s feelings.
Withdrawal is actually a strategy of accepting losses but, perhaps in my mind, minimizing those losses and surviving to play another day.
Perhaps the most negative side of withdrawal as a strategy is it involves leaving. And that is what I have done many times in my life. In fact coming to Singapore was an instance of that strategy that I still fell back on even a quarter of a century after it was initially installed during my childhood.
So what have I learned from all this?
I have found a number of instances of strategies installed during my childhood, of which this is but one. These strategies are triggered by events and I don’t even realize they are happening.
They are now facets of who I am. (But I am still not sure if behaviors count in who I am)
Perhaps I could change them? Well, I am not there yet. This is still a learning journey.
Being positive, there are many instances where withdrawal is a good strategy. At least, it is adopted by various people whom we might admire.
The big question is, after withdrawal for these people, do they disappear forever (permanent withdrawal), or do they return to the mainstream with benefits, teachings, or other useful things (temporary withdrawal)?
I am pleased with the progress on my journey that I have made over the last couple of days. There is still a long way to go, but my approach is already bearing fruit.
PS. I notice that everyday thoughts are very like dreams because they are unattached. If I try and remember my thoughts of yesterday, they are mostly lost to me and the ones I can remember are somewhat confused. And I don’t mean events here! I do remember those.