Responsibility Is Not Maturity

When my mom was pregnant with me her youngest sister died. Her name was Ruth. She was the light of her whole family.
family. I have seen her picture and she certainly was a beautiful young girl. Everyone who knew her loved her. She was delightful to be around.

I have been told that after I was born when a family member felt the unhappiness of losing their sister someone would hand baby me to that person and inevitably I would cheer that person up. I continued in the comforter role for all of my growing up years. As an adult, I have been told repeatably that I was the one all the family called upon when they were hurt.

When I was 15 my father committed suicide. No one who was an adult at that time ever asked me how I felt about having my dad kill himself with my gun. The truth is that if someone had asked me that question I would not have known how to respond. It wasn’t my lot to be comforted. I was in the world to comfort. At his funeral I went from adult to adult trying to help them.

Decades later in my 50’s, a friend died leaving a son and a daughter in their early teens. At his funeral I saw the entire family including the mom, aunts and uncles, cousins and so on caring for the two kids. It was then, decades after my dad’s funeral I realized that I deserved comfort at a time like that.

I had a great ability to accept and deal with responsibility but at times my emotional immaturity would show. I succeeded at my jobs, I worked hard at being a husband and father but from time to time I would explode in anger. I embarrassed my family at restaurants blasting servers for not giving us the service I felt we deserved. I ranted at filling station attendant for over filling my gas tank.It did not happen often but it did happen. The problem for me was being buried in responsibility at a young age. That meant I learned to get things done but I did not have the maturity I needed to enjoy serenity.I have been in a 12 Step program for 21 years now. The primary thing I have done in program is deal with my anger. I worked on my anger by processing anger in a healthy way .

I have frequently shared that I consistently insisted that I keep my anger processed. That is because if I don’t process my anger in a healthy way my anger with deal with itself in destructive ways.In all my 77 years of living there has never been a time that I liked the timing or the methodology my anger uses to process itself.10 Comments

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