Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We are more than the sum of our part(ner)s.


There's an odd communal consciousness that can develop when living with others. I noticed this with PG fairly early on in our marriage. He'd get a bit freaked out by how deeply into his head I would dip at times. "Where's the....?" "Second shelf behind the peanut butter. No, on the _left_!" "What am I looking for anyways?" "You're looking for the syrup, aren't you?" "Ok, that's just creepy!" Now, I'm starting to notice little bits and pieces of that happening with PG, S and I as well.

It's sort of like the idea that people start to look like their pets, only in an interpersonal way. How does one maintain a sense of individuality when it can be so much easier to just drift into the flow of the group mind? I even find myself using "we" even more frequently than I used to, no royal aspirations intended!

PG has a more well-developed sense of self than I, and so does S. I'm not sure why I have a mushy sense of self, at least within the context of my larger family dynamic. It reminds me of when I was back in jazz band. I very consciously chose to have one of the inner parts, despite having talent enough to take solos and so on. I much preferred being part of the collective to standing out, in spite of being worthy of notice as an individual.

While I am certain that I have more self-confidence and sense of my own worth than I did at 17, is this tendency to blend into my family a vestige of a time when life was not so rosy, and being able to conceal who I was was a useful tool? When unseen, it was easier to have freedom of movement.

Now I lead a fairly public life. Others know quite a bit about me, about us. Oddly, when we started this blog up, it was fairly balanced in participation. Now I am the main contributor. Part of me is wondering how I ended up here, largely on my own, exposing my inner self to others? Part of me is sure that this is exactly where I need to be right now, sharing about my family, but also working through things that are all about me, learning that I am indeed more than the sum of my partners.

No comments: