At one time I thought that my family's dysfuntions were unique. When I discovered that not only was that not so, but there were worse situations out there I was afraid and so very saddened. Afraid because that meant that there was so much more nastiness in the world than I had previously realized. Saddened because I knew what it was like. At least my less nasty version...
I now find reading about this whole topic reassuring. I'm not alone. There are more people just as messed up as me, travelling along the same path. Some, with a great sense of humour. Like hers.
And then - as often happens with my life - some other angle on the current topic is illuminated by another source. I heard an article on the radio about epigenetics. About how earlier, childhood experiences (even more so than later adult ones) can actually cause changes in one's genetic mechanism. How certain genes can be regulated by either your physical environment, or even your social surroundings and experiences.
I believe I was raised by an Iron Monkey (from Harry Harlow's attachment experiments with infant Rhesus monkeys). She tried her best I believe now with what she was given (or, I'm choosing to believe this because the alternative is just too ugly). We've never discussed this to any depth or degree. When I open this topic up, it is shut down with a dismissive flick of her wrist and a 'oh, Yvonne... you only remember the bad things' type of comment. End of discussion.
So what? So what if I was raised in an environment that was physically undemonstrative and emotionally cold? (there are worse situations... 'it could have been worse you know Yvonne'. Yes, I know.)
Well, what if? Maybe, just maybe... my genetic expression was trained to deal with higher levels of... oh, I don't know... cortisol. Or learn to live in a bath of anxiety-produced body chemicals...? What would that do to one's genes?
I don't know. But I also don't know how I can maintain such a large body, such a high weight on what I eat and how I live. It doesn't make sense, doesn't add up. So maybe this is another piece of my puzzle.