I consider myself many things, some positive, most negative, but one trait that comes to mind when someone asks me, “What is one adjective to describe you?” I cannot really answer that honestly. “Hi, I’m Andrea and I would say that my overarching trait of all others is cynicism. I believe that I am the way that I am from learning how to cope with tragic events that have happened in the past. Sigmund Freud’s ego defenses could clearly back up this idea.
I am not cynical because I saw it on some TV show or movie when I was little and I definably didn’t learn it from my parents or friends. I’ve learned to be this way from past experiences, especially ones from the past three years. Two years ago I was living in Atlanta with my mom and my younger brother, Alex. Having known about my dad’s previous affairs, I was so hesitant and nervous about him leaving us, living alone for an entire year. I tried to put my cynical thoughts behind me and told myself it was time to forgive him and trusting him again.
The bad habit of thinking negative thought shows no exception to any situation especially this one. Two years later I find out that my dad had indeed a set of affairs while he lived alone. But this one I wouldn’t even consider an affair. These were hookers that he would have move to Singapore to live with him while we were oblivious in Atlanta.
See, I have lived with my dad’s previous secrets for two years without telling anyone and I wasn’t about to let this one destroy me for the second time. After I found out, I waited three weeks to tell my mom and when I did, my dad took my computer and deleted all the evidence I had of his disgusting ways, before I got to show my mom.
He told her that he would never ever cheat on her and that she’s insane for even believing me. And of course I put this on myself and think it’s my fault for telling her. It’s my fault for not being able to keep it a secret. The main explanation I can tell you about my cynicism is, if I cant trust the person the person that I am supposed to think the highest of… who can I trust?
When I experienced this I believe that I took the wrong path of dealing with the anger that I had developed for my dad. I did not talk about it for over a year letting it build up inside of me, that being my coping strategy. Freud, a founding father of psychoanalysis said, “We use defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from feelings of anxiety or guilt, which arise because we feel threatened, or because our id or superego becomes too demanding.” With the ego, our unconscious will use one or more to protect us when we come up against a stressful situation in life. Ego-defense mechanisms are natural and normal. When they get out of proportion, neuroses develop, such as anxiety states, phobias, obsessions, or hysteria.
My ego defense mechanism was a not particularly a good one. It caused me to develop a habit of thinking negative thoughts, about, it seems to be everything. Because I hid this secret from everyone for such a long a time I learned that keeping things bottled up inside is one of the worst things you can do to overcome an issue.
This problem I have had with my dad has affected my entire life and how I view things. Because of him, I have learned you can’t trust anyone, everyone is out to get you, and you are always alone.
People tell me, “Andrea its not your fault, you didn’t do anything wrong,” then why do I feel bad and why do I always think that? My friendships are not close; I am a very secretive and quiet person. I generally think poorly of everyone I meet. Maybe I shouldn’t blame it on my dad. Maybe I should think of other things that could be the reason for my newly developed cynical mindset. As I think about it it’s stupid for even feeling this way because of him. Affairs happen all the time and usually the people involved get over it within a number of months- or at least that how I see it.
I have learned that my defense mechanism was the main cause to the way I am today. I relate to Sigmund Freud’s stance on coping mechanisms that says, “if you take the wrong one, you will suffer.” I believe that if I had taken a different approach, I would have a greater positive view about my life.