2. What kinds of memories, circumstances, or behaviors you experienced as a child have led you to believe certain things as an adult?
3. What are some of the beliefs, habits, or symptoms you think you might be dealing with today as a result of your past?
The pandemic was the start of a new and overwhelming chapter of my life. During that time, my husband got sick and medical care was limited due to the pandemic and precautions implemented. No one in my household got COVID, but the fear was pervasive, almost to the point of paranoia as my husband’s health deteriorated. I felt helpless to get the attention and care he needed. Then I felt guilty for not making someone listen and provide the care he needed. As hope began to wane, I felt that I could have and should have done more. In January of 2021 he passed away. There was no clear reason that his body shut down. I lost my best friend and partner of almost 37 years. To this day, I keep wondering what I could have done different to change the outcome.
As a child of divorce in the 50’s, it was clear that “something was wrong.” Women stayed in bad marriages and tolerated a lot to keep the family together. My mother was my shining example of courage, strength and independence. She was a constant reminder that I could be anything I wanted to be and that boundaries were meant to be crossed. Yet under the confidence she exuded, was a mother who went above and beyond to ensure that I had everything as two parent families. Beyond the unconditional love was the material things that would define me. Designer clothing and theater tickets at a young age set the tone for my reliance on the “wrapping” to define me. While it doesn’t sound so traumatic, it was a burden I carried into adulthood. My inability at times to support the material lifestyle resulted in fluctuations in my sense of self worth. I remember one time my husband angrily pointed out my ridiculous shoe collection, many expensive shoes were unworn. I snapped back that I feel good about myself when people notice and comment on my accessories. In retrospect it was a silly retort. But in reality, the feedback about my wardrobe defined me. Despite my professional success, I wondered if I was really good enough.