Hi there. My name is Steve, i hope this finds you well.
Just to say that i recently lost Sue my wonderful wife of 40 years to cancer. So, two things: yep i am old; and i am heartbroken, devastated and lost. i use this blog to help me cope.
Today, it’s nature v nurture. Are we made by our birth character or how we are raised?
I’m no behaviouralist, so i can only go about this from a personal basis.
We’ve all seen the films where there is a birds nest full of chicks and a parent returns with food. Often the chick that chirps the loudest gets the food.
Well, Sue came from a large family, and she was the nice, quiet one. She may not have been starved of food, but she definitely often felt starved of attention. She would quietly go about her nice business, but felt overshadowed or bullied.
As a result, Sue would often go off to be by herself, for a walk, maybe, or even go to bed. Anything to avoid confrontation.
Now, 50 miles away, there was a boy who was sent off to a school that he detested. He developed a terrible stammer. Trying to explain this just made it worse. We all know how unkind kids can be to those who are different. It became a fight or flight situation.
Being a teenage boy, i chose to fight. But, after constantly getting into trouble, and upsetting my parents, i switched to flight. Getting to recognise the warning signs, i would take off by myself, avoiding confrontation.
The result of this, of course, is that both Sue and i spent all our quality time alone.
I realised early in life that i had an ‘all or nothing’ personality. If there was a choice of my doing something, i would do it 100% or 0%, somehow i just couldn’t compromise. Whatever it was, it was all or nothing, kinda obsessive/compulsive. If i was going to be your friend, i was going to be your BEST friend. If i was going to sing a song, i would do it perfectly, or not at all. All or nothing. This made it very difficult for me to make easy-going relationships, i was so intense.
Incredibly, that 50 miles away, Sue was exactly the same. Best friends, or not a friend at all. Singing songs, playing games, hair and make-up, 100% or 0%, all or nothing. Sue also found it extremely difficult to make friends.
When Sue was 16, and i was 19, we went to work at the same place. (Fortunately my stammer had gone). On the first day, we looked at each other, and we knew. We saw ourselves in each other. If there could ever be a female version of me, it was Sue. If there could be a male Sue, then it was me.
As i’ve said before, we didn’t just fall into love, we avalanched into it. From that first day, we gave in to each other 100%. We never wanted to be apart. In fact, for over 40 years, unless we had to be apart, we weren’t. We simply preferred our company to anybody else’s.
If it all sounds extreme, that’s because it was. We had found our soulmates, perfect partners, forever buddies, best lovers, you name it, all wrapped up in each other.
why am i telling us this? Believe me, it is not to boast, that is not my style. Sue and i had our lives of mystery, wonder and romance. No, i am saying this in the hope that i can maybe help others.
Springsteen said :
Everybody needs a place to rest, everybody wants to have a home,
Don’t make no difference what nobody says, ain’t nobody wants to be alone.
Nobody wants to be alone. We all want to have someone to share our lives with. Everybody wants and needs to be loved, and to give love. Yet, it can be so very hard to come by, and to commit to it when it does. Uncertainty can stop us from giving it our all.
My personal view from experience, is that if you find that nature and nurture combine to give your heart reason to give unconditionally, to ache when you are apart, to feel joy and happiness from just the touch of a hand, or a glance across a room, then go for it. Consider it a blessing, and grab it with both hands. Don’t let it slip through your grasp. Cherish it.
OK, that’s quite a lengthy post for today, i’d better quit here. Thanks so much for reading.
Take care of yourselves and each other,