Although I was raised in Vancouver, I was born in Montreal. My brothers and sister grew up and lived there before we moved across the country. They sometimes recount their memories for me and many of my earliest memories are from there. When I was four years, my family was watching "Wheel of Fortune" on our old box television in the basement of our Montreal home. I was sitting on my dads lap while he taught me math as we watched. He was teaching me simple math-1+1=2,2+2=4 and so forth.
Naturally, I inched my math-ing skills up to knowing that 5+5=10. I then immediately deduced that 50+50=100 if 5+5 =10, and felt so proud of myself for my new awareness of multiples of 10 (of course now knowing that's what they were called at the time)
That proud feeling and confidence sticks out in my mind (maybe because I would have so few of those moments, as I aged into adolescence).
Nonetheless, my dad didn’t seem impressed by my new found math powers and that hurt my feelings. In hindsight, I think he failed to recognize my intelligence at a young age. Growing up he was known as being a cold, distant, unemotional father- practical and reliable- but without connection.
This may have been the first time I remember experiencing self-awareness,self-confidence and disappointment...all within a 10 minute span..
I have since developed a great relationship with my father. I believe he would approach things differently in that instance if he knew how much it meant to me for him to value my intelligence.
This memory has enlightened me regarding the unhappy times in my life. I used to blame my violent, angry and unstable upbringing as being the cause of my anxiety disorders.
Surely they didn't help.
However, referring to the exchange I shared with my father is a small child, I realize I could have easily grown up in a perfect, happy, stable home, and still ended up living with anxiety disorders.
I understand now that I bruise easily emotionally as a result of my hyper-sensitive and analytical nature, and that if i did not eventually learn to manage my emotions skillfully, it could have potentially resulted in a life of trauma, pain and limitedness, regardless of the external environment I grew up in.
I realize that I can't blame and pinpoint this person or that situation as to the cause of my current issues. Life is not so black and white. Maybe there were signs and tendencies. But at the end of the day I am responsible for my own life and I must learn to release those past experiences that I thought were responsible for my actions today.
That's all there really is. Right now. Today. The present. I am responsible for my actions today...not anyone else...and definitely not past experiences I thought had molded me into a set type of person with a set type of actions and reactions.
The saying goes, "It's a new day, man. It's a new day." Peace.