Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

Does emotional independence inhibit personal connection?

My family is very small and very close emotionally, though quite distant physically. I have no siblings. It seems to me that a lot of people with siblings feel sorry for those who don’t have them, but I’ve never been able to understand why. I have never been through a period of rebellion or prolonged misunderstanding with my parents. They are my rock. They strive to love me unconditionally and have been successful. They have let me be free to make my own choices since I was sixteen years old. As I’ve gotten older, my appreciation for their support and their pride in me has only grown. I don’t like to contemplate life without them. I know it’s going to be devastating and possibly permanently crippling. The loss of my maternal grandparents was bad enough, as I was as close to them as I am to my parents, but without all four of them, I don’t know what I’ll do. I think I’m reasonably independent from most of the people in my life, but my bond to my parents is part of what gives me the strength to let others be free of emotional responsibility towards me.

I sometimes wonder, however, if this has made me seem remote and inaccessible to most people. I still remember keenly the first time I was called aloof. My gymnastics coaches had a party for the team after our state competition and they made little speeches about each team member, praising their accomplishments during the season. When they got to me, they said, “Although she’s quite reserved and never speaks about her personal life, nanila has been a wonderful co-captain and an encouraging influence on the other team members.” It’s seared onto my brain because it felt like an accusation although I believe it was probably said because they couldn’t think of anything else.
Tags: family, navel-gazing
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