I`m raised to know from a very early age the difference between yours and mine. My mum still prides herself that her children never opened other people`s drawers, never longingly looked at their possessions and never stole a single thing, but although this will certainly have made us easier children, I sometimes wonder whether it also made me an adult who is too reluctant to share.
Don`t get me wrong – I`ll give you anything you want, but today, I had a(nother) situation where I felt forced to give something away, and something from deep inside me wanted to cry out that I didn`t really want to.
I had a punnet of strawberries sitting on my reception desk which I ate while working away. While I turned round, a child (just under 2 years old) discovered the fruit and will have indicated that she wanted some, so the social worker picked one and gave it to her just as I was turning round. While the little one was already munching, the social worker (who is a lovely woman, just in case anyone asks) said I hope it was okay to give her one of your strawberries. I said of course it was (and meant it!), but three minutes later, the child pointed again, social worker picked another one and, while already handing it to the child, asked: “Can she have another one?” I blurted out “It`s my fault that I put them there in the corner, so yes, help yourself.” I think she got the message, as she moved the punnet and profusely thanked me once again for my two strawberries as they left.
She probably thought I was being mean, but something inside me felt that my rights were being violated, just as I did when my dad freely helped himself to our sweets right in front of us if we didn`t hide them, but punished us if he missed a couple of squares of his chocolate, stating that he bought this chocolate from HIS money which HE is working hard for.
Why am I still so damaged at the age of 40 by what my parents have done to me more than half a life ago?