15 votes

How'd y'all grow up?

If you care to explicate your personal situation... I'm interested! So, in what circumstances did you grow up and how did that effect you in terms of the person you are now???

1 comment

  1. knocklessmonster
    I feel like I'm a 30 year old defined by my life before the age of 15. My earliest memories are of my parents arguing, and my dad doing carpentry that go back to the age of two (one of his...

    I feel like I'm a 30 year old defined by my life before the age of 15. My earliest memories are of my parents arguing, and my dad doing carpentry that go back to the age of two (one of his projects I remember is dated 1993, sitting behind me). My parents divorced when I was 6, and my brothers and I were treated poorly by our mom who would try to buy our love, but hurl abuse and vitriol at us when we did anything wrong, or simply because she had a bad day at work. I came out a bit worse than my brothers, having apparently had to bare the worst of it by consensus with my brothers, largely due to personality conflicts. I've always been wound very tight and strongly ideological, which has put me at odds with both parents at one point or another, and that was before the stresses of childhood. My dad would get mad, but was actually able to manage his anger, while my mom couldn't. This led to me becoming shy and anxious, and later angry and violent. I was sent to anger management therapy at 12 after kicking a trashcan across the classroom, and I swear it kept me out of jail. Nothing got better in my life before the age of 16, when my mom mellowed out and the bullying stopped, but I managed to not beat the shit out anybody that didn't arguably have it coming (I lost it on bullies a few times, and even then wasn't able to do much to them).

    My dad got forced out of my "professional" life, as it were. Any attempt to help us with our school teachers and administrators led to a huge fight with our mom, so he understandably took a step back to keep the peace. He did his best to teach us how to be the best version of ourselves, and while a lot of the lessons took some time to stick, I think he was largely successful.

    Another point I credit with making me who I am today was a spiritual crisis I dealt with when I was a kid. It started when I was around 4 or 5 (I was in 1st grade), and we'd been learning about the dangers of drugs. I asked my sunday school teacher why God lets people smoke cigarettes if they'll kill you, and got a standard answer about God not intervening with free will. Later, around 8 or 9, we learned about Job, which shook my belief in an omnipotent, benevolent God. I had nightmares about Armageddon (the Biblical end-times, not the Michael Bay movie), and decided I was done with Christianity. I spent 9 years going to church never quite believing anything I heard because there never seemed to be a

    This is where it gets very /r/iamverysmart, possibly with a dash of cultural appropriation, but any part of this process happened over years, not as the result of a sudden awakening or "Eureka!" moment. My perceived failure of Christianity left a hole I tried to fill with philosophy in any way I could get, which wasn't much, and was mostly me trying to make sense of morality with little guidance and vague principles about not harming people. I eventually learned about Buddhism in history class, read the little material I could understand about it through high school, and have since spent the last 17 years passively studying Buddhist philosophy, particularly Zen and similar schools from the Asian mainland (Chan, Soen, and a dash of Thien), which tend to be more pragmatic. I'm very much a lay Buddhist, I don't even meditate with any regularity or anything, but try to live up to Buddhist teachings as much as I can simply because there's a morality to it that makes sense. I probably would've responded similarly to any framework like Kantian ethics or Stoicism if I'd been exposed to these, but that's stuff I didn't learn about until my 20s.

    6 votes