My journey into the depths of my childhood continues. There is a lot of guess work about the events and patterns that have shaped my behaviour, but I know when I hit gold. I get a feeling of realisation. I pull at a thread that unravels the metaphorical piece of knit-wear that represents my neatly defined and packaged life. Before my eyes, fleetingly, the knit-wear is replaced by a mass of connected knotted threads that are strangely familiar and hold keys to my character. Things momentarily make a bit more sense.
My current hypothesis is about socialising. I don’t think I was taught how to play with other children my age. The concept of friendship was alien to me until my teenage years when I became self-taught. There is no doubt that this didn’t help my transition from primary to secondary school. The very few friends that I’d managed to make disappeared overnight. Along with a change of home town and school, I became a fish out of water and a prime target for bullying.
Bullying wasn’t recognised in the schools I went to. Zero-tolerance policies are the norm now, but back then bullying just didn’t exist; was not a problem; no policies needed. The first bully I encountered was clever. It was subtle bullying, and she made herself popular with the teachers so the eventual complaint from my parents was dismissed by the Head of School. The problem was with me, not the other pupil.
More of a certainty than a hypothesis is the fact that this drove me into withdrawing from the real world and into creating my own worlds. I feel this today. I inadvertently create worlds still. And I have very recently – at last – linked this to my feelings of resent when someone tries to enter one of my worlds without being invited, whether the world is physical or virtual.
It partly explains my constant rush to return to some kind of status quo. Clearing the kitchen after a gathering. Resetting the lounge after the Christmas decorations. Getting home. Everyone in their place, safely. Retreating and even withdrawing to the worlds I’ve created.
This is a strong and powerful realisation and I suspect the road to managing it will be one of the longer roads, but it has started.