During my therapy appointment on Monday, we discussed the concept of nature versus nurture. I was curious about where she stood professionally on the topic. She believes that it is a 60/40 split (60% nature/40% nurture), although she emphasized that an individual’s personality is a makeup of multiple factors. I agree with this, but I think I have been affected more by “nurture” in my life, rather than “nature”.
My family moved to NJ from TX when I was in the 6th grade. Shortly after settling into our new home, it quickly became apparent that something was different about my father. My dad actually moved almost a year before we did so that he could begin his new job and supervise our home being built. During that time alone, my father’s social drinking became full-blown alcoholism. Once our family was reunited, things seemed to change overnight…for the worse. My fun, easygoing dad had turned into a monster. I would get into bed at night and wish that we never moved. In my mind, if we had stayed in Texas, nothing would have changed.
I have wondered a few times in my adult years what my life would be like if we had not moved. Would my dad be an alcoholic? Would my sister and I be as close as we are now? Would my parents be happily married? These are questions I will never have answers to. I do believe I would probably be a very different person, though, had we not moved. I am a type A personality. I like things organized. I am task-oriented. I prefer things to be done a certain way (aka my way). Those aspects of my personality, the “nature”, would most likely remain the same. But my anxiety, my desire to please people, my need for control, my inability to make decisions…I know that is all “nurture”. I am a pretty textbook case of a child of an alcoholic. I have never wanted to blame things on the fact that I was raised in an alcoholic family, but there is no way to deny that it affected me very deeply.
Where do you stand when it comes to Nature versus Nurture??