The default position within the family was set on naive. The boy through no fault of his own inherited it.
Blithely he experienced what he leant from the newspaper and the radio news.
His mum shared the romantic stories of her cheap novels, love was something earned, and if you were lucky, it worked out ok.
For twenty years he lived that way, then he met a girl and thought he was in love.
Marriage came, and with it, the expectation of a life shared, of acceptance, of mutual love and care.
Within a week, he was confronted by the stark reality that marriage was not as he imagined. Living with another person had its pitfalls, and he was not prepared; his romantic notion of love and marriage was very soon shattered.
There upon he entered a world of pain, misery and torture, not what he thought he was signing up to.
It took another twenty years before he found himself and discovered he could live a life on his own.
That was not so easy either as for a long time he dealt with the guilt of having failed in marriage, of having the break the commitment of his marriage vows but there were others dependent of him to maintain some degree of sanity in an otherwise dysfunctional and insane world.
Another twenty years passed before he became aware he had grown into the person he was. Finding yourself meant dealing with a lot of demons, facing up to the responsibilities his life present to him, the relationships with loved ones being paramount to his development as a person and maintaining his sense of belonging.
In reflection, he felt satisfied he needed to lose himself in order to grow and find a better and more lovable self.