Type 3 Introspection
The following excerpt was written by Erica Robinson. I believe it is a great example of the inner world of a type 3. I believe it also exemplifies how that type interacts with the SP/SO stacking (Erica is likely SP/SO 3w4). I thank her for her candid vulnerability and for letting me share this example on my blog.
To no fault of generations past, I had a breakthrough in this past year about the 'mother wound' I was carrying all my life.
I realized that at some young age, I drew a sweeping, likely inaccurate conclusion that my mom paid the most attention to me or really, what I deemed, 'loved me' the most when I performed well.
The most motherly engagement was when I was DOING something right in life, as a whole. Getting the good grades, doing the good programs, getting into the good schools, being a good person, all by her standards, which is cool and common and nothing against her.
But what it did is it created a few issues.
It created me becoming masculine. In order to receive love, much like her with her mom, I had to *perform*. In order to receive the MOST love, I had to be as close to perfect as possible. Grade A was not enough, I needed A+.
Can you see how this worked out? I had a 4.0 in undergrad; I went to med school. There are benefits to this.
But there are also drawbacks.
I lived a life for her - I lived an inauthentic life, not true to my own desires. My own desires were often clouded with the guilt of not being what she would want, the shame of not being perfect.
I carried this in a subconscious way into every interaction I ever had to the point that constructive criticism literally felt like an attack on my self worth. I became highly anxious, hyper triggerable. Will I have to defend myself again today? Will I have to defend my right to live? Will I have to defend my worthiness?
At the core of criticism I felt it was like my mom asking, "Where did the other 5% go?" when I brought home a 95% on a test. The sting of, "I like you, but I would have liked you even MORE if you got that 100%." That's just how my brain processed it, that's how it occurred for me. And so defending myself, defending the loss of that 5%, became defending my right to receive love, and it showed up EVERY where in my life.
And that's how I defined myself: I was only WORTHY (of love, of being alive) if I was actively DOING something, actively contributing to society in some grand sweeping way. I STILL live this way, to some degree: It's my strong suit. Now I get to take it off and breathe every once in a while.
I look at my daughter and I think, She doesn't have to do ANY thing to be worthy. She's worthy, by virtue of being here. By virtue of who she is BEING.
Certainly my mother never *said* any of this to me, it was all a misconstrued mess from the mind of a 4-year-old, that just kept telling these stories for 30 years. Gathering more evidence for the validity of the stories, making it more true, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy of course.
So it created issues like I said. The issue of being inauthentic to my desires and the issue of not even KNOWING my desires, lest I disappoint her. It created the issue of not feeling worthy - of love, of living - unless I was performing. It created the endless cycle of performance, leading to exhaustion. it created the issue of becoming A performer, becoming masculine, losing touch with my emotions. Emotions became things I didn't understand, that built up under the surface till they exploded.
Most of all, the core of the Mother wound for many of us - I lacked a healthy emotional attachment to my mother, and I lacked an emotional relationship with her (and still do, in many ways, much like she still does with her mother, and her mother before her). The Damage of Patriarchy runs deep, generationally.
I don't confide in her, we don't know that language. There isn't a space to speak, to be. There are things to measure up to, sure. There is performance - we can talk about that. That's what we know. When I share emotions with my mom, I'm given solutions instead of heard, much like her mom told her to 'Soldier On' or 'Be Tough,' - things maybe FATHERS typically used to say to SONS. And so as a result I don't go to my mother with my emotions, because neither of us really know how to be with them in the space between us. It's awkward and foreign.
None of it's right or wrong, it simply has an impact. It's a passing down of a generational wound.
So when I see Alice confide in me, it's the beginning of something BIG.
It's the beginning of an Emotional Relationship in WORDS. We are already clearly physically attached - that is what Attachment Parenting (AP) does. I chose to use AP with her, a style of parenting my mom and her mom had taken away from them. I chose to co-sleep for 6 years, and breastfeed for 4 years, and baby wear and involve Alice in my day-to-day life, even coming to med school with me.
All of that created a very strong attachment. I, on the other hand, was PEER attached as a child, I looked up to my peers more than my parents, particularly post-adolescence, which got me into a LOT of trouble in high school. Alice so far is parentally attached. I see it going much different for her.
And so in these small moments, I see us undoing the damages of patriarchy. The generational traumas and motherwounds. The relationships that mothers and daughters before us LONGED to have, or needed to have but never knew how to articulate such a longing. They just felt it, as a missing in their hearts. An awkwardness in the space between them. I see how I've overcome so much to be able to give her the space to just BE, not need to perform.
To teach her she is worthy by virtue of her BEING. To teach her the power of Authentic choices, that are in Alignment with who she is and what she values - not choices fuelled by fear, shame, and guilt, and the hope of pleasing me.
It took a lot. Like Snoop I'm gonna say Thank ME for doing that. "I Wanna thank Me for doing all this hard work." Thank you Erica for doing that. Because I had to become my own Mother to heal that. I had to grow a love and a worthiness and a self-acceptance INSIDE of me to heal that, not one that I demanded come from someone or something outside of me. And it took a lot of money and coaching and therapy and mistakes and failures and experimenting.
And it's been messy and disgusting and awful and chaotic and yet -
Here - crystallizing, in this very moment -
Are the fruits of the effort. The Beginning of the Harvest.
My Daughter, night after night, morning after morning, colouring beside me, confiding her growing emotions, in my confidence.
What a Soul.
We are undoing the harms of the World. Love really does Prevail. The process does not look or feel pretty, and it takes years if not decades. And that's what I'm beginning to understand:
The Beauty of Love is so fucking magical, because of what it had to grow through to become itself.