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Old 12-16-2015, 10:49 PM
 
13,022 posts, read 12,474,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
I have my doubts about it being nurture over nature. My brother grew up being spoiled if not smothered with love by my mother. She and my father were both abusive alcoholics. I was treated like the unwanted step child and everything my brother got handed to him I had to work for if I wanted it. I learned to fend for myself at a very young age. I was the one abused by both of them. He was the treasured one. There was something innate in me to succeed. I always found a way to make money, even at age ten when I had a paper route and did other odd jobs. I was the one that bailed them out when they nearly lost the house. It wasn't nurture by any stretch of the imagination that taught me to be shrewd. I've been labeled gifted and that doesn't come from nurture, that comes from nature. It's just the luck of my gene pool, just as it's the luck of my brothers gene pool that kept him ignorant and an under achiever at school. I never studied and I missed the honor roll by a couple of points. He grew up a loser that lived off of my mother until the day she died. I retired at 58 with enough money to live a very comfortable life. Nurture had nothing to do with that, and no it wasn't because I married rich. I am the money manager in our marriage and we both worked very hard for what we have. I often imagine how much farther I would have gone had I not toiled to survive my parents and plan my escape in my teens. I should have been in college right out of high school instead of putting myself through college and running my business in my 20's. If there is one thing I can be grateful to my parents for it's my gene pool. That's the only good thing that came out of two dysfunctional losers that never should have had children.
Your brother was not nurtured. He was spoiled and undermined by being given everything. He was also presented dysfunctional relationships as normal, and did not have the immediate negative consequences that you did. He thought they were normal because he benefited from them.

In a way, he was just as deprived as you were - just in a completely different manner. If you'd been in his place, would you have been as driven to succeed? You built a life. His was doomed from the start. How could it not have been? He was never taught resilience. He thought treating a family member like crap just because you could was normal. He never learned to work for anything. The primary relationship that was modeled for him was one of addiction and abusiveness. As horrible as it sounds, the abuse you received from your parents was better than their version of love, because you saw them for the monsters they were. Your brother was given a cyanide pill coated in honey.

What you went through was terrible, but it may have saved you. That shouldn't be something that happens in this world, but it does.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Maryland
912 posts, read 593,642 times
Reputation: 1078
Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
Your brother was not nurtured. He was spoiled and undermined by being given everything. He was also presented dysfunctional relationships as normal, and did not have the immediate negative consequences that you did. He thought they were normal because he benefited from them.

In a way, he was just as deprived as you were - just in a completely different manner. If you'd been in his place, would you have been as driven to succeed? You built a life. His was doomed from the start. How could it not have been? He was never taught resilience. He thought treating a family member like crap just because you could was normal. He never learned to work for anything. The primary relationship that was modeled for him was one of addiction and abusiveness. As horrible as it sounds, the abuse you received from your parents was better than their version of love, because you saw them for the monsters they were. Your brother was given a cyanide pill coated in honey.

What you went through was terrible, but it may have saved you. That shouldn't be something that happens in this world, but it does.
From what is known so far, I agree with this completely. That is a great way of explaining it.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:31 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,664 posts, read 42,807,149 times
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There is heredity involved, I think, but you probably benefitted from having to be resourceful and having gained an appreciation for things that don't come easy. If a poor kid feels like he doesn't want to disappoint his parents, that's a factor too.
I remember a business owner in a rural town where we lived. In the area, were farm kids and the kids of the executives from the major business in town. He always said he wouldn't hire the rich kids, because they didn't know how to work. The farm kids had to cut hay and take care of dairy cows, etc. from an early age.
If OP had to work for everything, he was given the gift of the self esteem that comes from knowing he is capable, and also was probably too busy to get into trouble. OPs cousins who are still on the couch, probably still don't know they are capable.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Maryland
912 posts, read 593,642 times
Reputation: 1078
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
There is heredity involved, I think, but you probably benefitted from having to be resourceful and having gained an appreciation for things that don't come easy. If a poor kid feels like he doesn't want to disappoint his parents, that's a factor too.
I remember a business owner in a rural town where we lived. In the area, were farm kids and the kids of the executives from the major business in town. He always said he wouldn't hire the rich kids, because they didn't know how to work. The farm kids had to cut hay and take care of dairy cows, etc. from an early age.
If OP had to work for everything, he was given the gift of the self esteem that comes from knowing he is capable, and also was probably too busy to get into trouble. OPs cousins who are still on the couch, probably still don't know they are capable.
It's ironic you say that. My first office job in ritzy Bethesda was because the owner knew of my poor area in Baltimore and he wanted to give me a chance to get out, probably with a similar thinking. I was vastly under qualified for that job, and when I asked how I got the job over others, he said it was because I was from that town and I was likeable. He said he can teach me all that I'd need to know, but you can't teach someone to be likeable or a hard worker.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:48 PM
 
11,548 posts, read 5,530,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilCookie View Post
great theory! I agree.

I wonder though...if you are an 'orchid', and recognize yourself as such - is there anything you can do to change about yourself? Make yourself more resilient?
I know I fold under tough circumstances...thank god i have had a fairly sheltered life so far...but I am absolutely terrified of anything 'bad' happening....because I just don't see myself fighting through it no matter what. And as a parent myself, that scares me in terms of what that would mean for my kids. Can I make myself a stronger character?
While I certainly hope that nothing bad happens to you in life, should it happen, you may be surprised at how well you will cope.

Sometimes, when I'm facing something tough, I will fold---but not all the time. For example, if I decide to take an adult ed course that's not for credits and not necessary to keep a job, I will drop it if it is difficult for me. However, if passing that course was of utmost importance, I find that I can dig down deep and get through it. In fact, when I was in college, there were some rough semesters where I thought about just quitting altogether...but...I knew that I had invested a lot of time in it already and knew that having the degree will help me in the real world. So, I plugged along.

When my daughter was growing up, the thought of something bad happening (loss of income, single parenthood), sure scared me. Yet, I knew that should I have faced that, I would have found a way to power through it because I knew that my daughter's future was at stake. As for raising a child---I'm, by nature, not an assertive person. My upbringing left me with low self-esteem and little self-confidence. Yet, I wanted my daughter to learn how to speak up for herself, so I forced myself to become more assertive. If I had to call a company because there was a problem that needed straightening out, I knew that my young daughter was listening and watching me as I spoke. Thus, it was important that I become assertive when needed. She learned well. As an adult, she now has no problems speaking up.

I guess what I'm trying to say to you is this --- don't underestimate yourself.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:17 PM
 
15,308 posts, read 16,867,859 times
Reputation: 15029
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilCookie View Post
great theory! I agree.

I wonder though...if you are an 'orchid', and recognize yourself as such - is there anything you can do to change about yourself? Make yourself more resilient?
I know I fold under tough circumstances...thank god i have had a fairly sheltered life so far...but I am absolutely terrified of anything 'bad' happening....because I just don't see myself fighting through it no matter what. And as a parent myself, that scares me in terms of what that would mean for my kids. Can I make myself a stronger character?
I think you can build resilience as an adult, but it is harder than raising a child to be resilient to begin with.

Things to do:
Make connections to social groups that will help when you need them.
Develop realistic goals and move toward them.
Nurture a positive view of yourself. Get rid of any negative self-talk.
You might try writing a journal about your deepest thoughts and feelings.
You might try meditating.
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:51 AM
 
Location: God's Country
4,662 posts, read 3,033,056 times
Reputation: 7561
Perhaps the OP inherited her dad's genes. Yes, he wasn't around but only because he was working his butt off to pay for his wife's medical expenses.
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