I am perpetually immature. I don’t seem to engage with people my own age very often. I have dear friends who are older than me and I tend to feel daughterly with them. This speaks to my mommy issues, I suppose. I feel the need to please them and bask in their praise. They may not be much older than me, but I count on their wisdom and seek their approval. I often feel childlike in their presence.
It seems that most of my friends are actually much younger than me. With them, I find myself being Mama Bear. Again, mommy issues. As my value lies in how well I care for my kids, I feel buoyed by them seeking my advice. I enjoy feeding, nurturing and caring for my young friends. I also feel less concerned with my behavior in their presence, and at times act like a child.
Now, I have only just realized this about myself, and find it curious. Does this mean that I only allow myself to be vulnerable with people when I’m acting in another role? Perhaps. It makes absolute sense that I would employ a defensive shell and revert to infantile behavior to protect my emotions.
Are these behaviors healthy? I don’t know, but I am certain growth only occurs with some measure of discomfort. So, I am going to reach out to my friends that are my own age because it’s more difficult. They really know me best and have known me the longest. With them I feel more exposed and can’t help but compare our lives, which always makes me feel inadequate. I know this is only in my mind, not theirs. It is an old, familiar, nagging beast that puts me down and makes me feel like a child. It is decidedly not healthy if I choose to listen.