Jul. 15th, 2013

pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
Two years ago I wrote that being bad at math and video games let me go farther in them than people who were innately good at them. I didn't consider it at the time, but one of my core personality traits is being Good At Learning, and that probably ties in to initially being bad enough at something, sometime, that I was forced to learn how to learn how the relevant skill, or to work around lack of it. And I'm really glad I have that trait.

A friend once called me the poster child for the idea that social skills can be learned, and my social and emotional IQs are orders of magnitude higher now than when she said that. I love that about myself.

I have spent a lot of time and energy resenting my parents for being bad at parenting. They meant well, and they had love for me and my brother, but they both had* subtle but serious mental health issues that corrupted my childhood. Some of it was overtly bad parenting, but the lack of healthy models of human behavior was worse.** I had to work out everything about being a functioning human being for myself. It was really difficult and excruciatingly painful, and I've hated my parents for putting me through it.

Today I realized that this was the very long game, emotionally punishing version of me learning math. If I'd had the childhood I wanted (deserved), I think I would have gotten as far as my parents had taken me and stayed there, because even developing the sight to see where else I could go would have been almost impossible. By putting me low enough that I couldn't help but climb up, they let me see how much further I can go. By not giving me an example of healthy relationships, they forced me to go looking and define exactly what I wanted. I don't think either of them will ever have the perspective to understand what they've given me, and that makes sad, but they were always good enough parents to say they wanted us to have it better than they did.

*and have

**The starvation was also pretty bad, although no one knew it at the time.


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