Following up on the sad, depressed baby thing….

I don’t think I had any idea that I wanted to be happy. How would I? I just felt this need. No idea the need was for happiness or contentment or love. I have this need, and people don’t like this need.

As a baby, I am sure I didn’t connect that, but as a young child, I think I did. I wasn’t stupid exactly. I knew my mom was taking a nap or trying to wash dishes or doing something aside from being interested in me. And I wanted her attention. And I knew demanding her attention when she was doing everything but pay attention to me was irritating to her. I knew I was being annoying. Annoyance is not hard to work out. Children plow through annoyance with their needs because they have no control—not because they don’t know they are annoying people. Most of the time, anyway. I think.

I also think once I had gotten past the “Oh, a cheerio….” distractibility, I would understand that people don’t like to be interrupted from things they want to do.

I But I needed it so badly. I didn’t know what I needed, but I needed it so much. I just felt this impulse inside me. I don’t think I connected it to wanting love and attention and care.

I don’t think I felt like Happy Baby enough for that to even feel like “me.” I did feel like Needy Baby who Annoys her Mom.

It makes the shame make sense. I didn’t know I wanted to be seen or attended to or that I wasn’t allowed to be the contented child this care would lead to. I didn’t understand that was the goal of my behaviour. I had an impulse, and I connected the annoyance I got in return with my state in the moment when I expressed the impulse.

So the shame would be about the feeling of need, or the impulse to attract attention or to get understanding. It would be about what happened before I got the love and warmth and I then might not even connect the love and warmth to what I did in order to get it.

I have a cold and a fever. I am off to bed now. Good night and take care all.