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Child Psychiatrist /Adult Psychiatrist

Who am I? A sponge…Self-absorbed??

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

Self-Reflection of my life

a yellow sponge with holes

It is an amazing experience to recognize how much your growth and development is influenced by a stable, loving environment. I use to think in my teens and early 20’s that I was nothing like my parents. I would describe the contrast, as though they were born in Mercury and I was born in Pluto. But, during my late 20’s and early 30’s, I realize that I am nothing more than a reflection of the values, beliefs, and ideals that were taught to me by my parents, my extended family, mentors, etc. I think its interesting to see that I am a hybrid of these influential people, who showed me true, unconditional love through their actions and not just their words. I view children as sponges, who are very capable of absorbing positive and negative experiences based on the influence of their environment. This is a concept that I consistently discuss with my patients’ parents, to help them recognize how much of an positive influence they can be on their children.

a child with her mouth open

After working with children for over the years, I realize how much instability children can be exposed to. I think my mom is sometimes surprised when I give her random compliments about how great of a parent I think she is. Both of my parents sacrificed so much for the betterment of my sister and I, forgoing their happiness at times. I truly learned about sacrifice through their actions, because they believed that my sister and I would be reflections of their love and dedication. As a child, I use to recognize how much effort my parents would put into being a part of my life.

They always wanted me to be well-rounded, which is why they would let me try new things. I think I was enrolled in at least 4 different sports, each year, in which my parents would try to attend each event. In addition, they emphasized pretty consistently that I needed to do well in school, otherwise I would lose a lot of such privileges. I still laugh at how they let me get 3 earrings when I was in high school/college, which I thought at the time was “super cool”. I think that’s what I love the most is they never restricted me from exploring aspects of life, within a certain limit. I still laugh about the time that I was “super into” playing the clarinet, had my mom purchase a brand new one. Then I slowly started showing interest playing the saxophone, as the clarinet was “not cool enough”.

I imagine my mom might have been annoyed, but she did not get mad, based on my shift in interest. My new music interest in playing the tabla, which I have not played in a while, however I need to start practicing again. I took lessons for approximately 1.5 years, which was amazing. I think its the coolest instrument, reflecting the richness of the Indian culture, which I love. As an first generation Indian-American, my parents submerged me into the Indian culture and Hindu religion as a youth, which I did not appreciate at the time. I was more interested in running around and playing games with friends that I would met.

I guess I am only a reflection of the incredible people that I was blessed with. I will always miss my father, who was an amazing human being. I can notice things that I say or do that replicate his prior actions, which I find fascinating.

Source: Medium - Author Dr. Vilash Reddy

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