Norman Rockwell didn’t live there…
We did not grow up with the Norman Rockwell magazine cover illustrations being reflected in our homes.
Our less than idyllic upbringing may have included neglect, abuse, a lack of affection, instability, mental illness, molestation, or any number of other circumstances and/or conditions.
Regardless of the specifics, the result was, and many times still is, social isolation and learning to cope with eventss over which we had no control.
Counter intuitively, instead of being stunted in our development into adulthood, most of us became far more mature, resilient, productive, and independent than our similarly aged “peers.”
Too “old” for our age, we perpetuated, and exacerbated, the isolation of our childhoods by never fitting in, nor finding spouses who were equally mature.
Our need for connection also made us easy targets for the predators who recognized us, but whom we failed to spot because we thought that we were “normal” and so were they.
Almost without exception, you are wonderfully capable, accomplished, productive and decent individuals who have been undone, at least partially, by the need for intimacy with others, including the families you escaped.
But that longing, to create in adulthood what you never had in childhood, is largely doomed. Parents don’t change. Siblings resent that you escaped and they didn’t. People you assume to be peers with whom you surely share perspectives and values turn out to be no such thing.
Marriage(s) may turn into exhausting one-way-streets of all giving and no getting – or you may settle for the illusions and trappings of “success” while dying from emotional and substantive malnutrition.
Recognizing this doesn’t fix anything of course. But understanding does help to ease the confusion and give you the basis for understanding your past from a more realistic perspective.
It also means you can learn new ways to relate to others, to yourself, to avoid those who degrade and sabotage you, and to recognize who actually fits in your life.
This is just one of the many pieces that make up the mosaic of your life that we’ll examine with you to discover how to assemble solutions that address all of the conditions you have been reduced to medicating.
Interested in more? Try reading
Then give us a call. All you have to lose is a bit of time.
Obviously, not every neglected child becomes prematurely “old” so what makes the difference?
The process of growing emotionally and psychologically hinges on 4 traits:
- You need to be smart;
- You need to be sensitive;
- You have to have a childhood that require you solve many of your own problems;
- Finally, it helps to be a person whose initial response to a crisis is fear rather than anger
If you’re not smart you lack the mental horsepower to develop effective coping skills – you don’t need to be a genius, but you do need to be willing to use your brains to manage your emotions, not the other way around (which is what CBT is all about).
If you are insensitive then you have no motivation to develop comprehensive skills, interests, and abilities, especially in interpersonal relationships.
If you are always being “rescued” by helicopter parents or others then, again, you have no reason to grow up – and usually don’t.
And if your first response to events is anger you learn that aggression is the only “skill” you need.
The good news? People who don’t possess enough of these traits aren’t reading our newsletter. More about that? Just call.