How Our Childhood Affect Our Adult Lives
It may not have been planned but somehow, some way our journey from infancy to adulthood is always bound to experience some impediments which would usually have strong psychological and emotional consequences on our later life. These are subtle and often over-looked occurrences to which we are exposed from childhood on and throughout our journey to maturity.
Regardless of the amount of care and sensitivity we may have enjoyed, it is almost always impossible to escape this occurrence as we progress from infancy through to adulthood. These experiences of our childhood days, despite us being not fully aware of ourselves and the environment we are in eventually goes a long way to determine our personality traits and behaviors as adults.
The Vulnerability of the Early Days
Unlike some other animals whose nurturing period are often shorter so they’d usually become independent earlier, humans have to hang around their parents for much longer. A human, by the age of 18 would have spent about 25,000 hours in the company of his/her parents, years of dependencies in which we are constantly being exposed to different incidences that would go on to shape our attitude to life in our later years.
From the moment we are born till when the society sees us an adult, we are usually exposed to certain emotional damages which of course starts in the home, with our parents at the center of it all. Our maturity is so long that all through this time we are distorted and shaped by the happenings around us. This particularly long dependency period as well as the claustrophobic nature of our upbringing has even greatly contributed to this issue.
Living through the Challenges of Childhood
At infancy, we only exist in the physical sense and are subjected to the whims and caprices of our caregivers. We are helpless and frail that we’ll even be tripped by a common twig. Everything seems to overwhelm us and we’ll need help for almost everything from crossing the road to putting on our clothes.
It would usually take us as humans about a year before we can make our first attempts at walking. Talking on the other hand will take about two years before we start to stick words together. Compared with most other animals who are usually outside their parents’ influence within shorter periods, our journey is usually one involving a lengthy period of vulnerability.
Our vulnerability still does not stop at the physical level. Growing up, we have no idea of who we are and what our circumstances mean. We have only a vague knowledge of why our parents act the way they do and everything that is done around us seems to be the one true way to live life.
Whether it is their ambitions, their fears, and all of their dramas, we swallow everything hook line and sinker and are unable to really different sarcasm from reality. We don’t know when dad does not really mean that curse word he said to mum in his anger, we are just condemned to be mixed up in everything with no idea of what may or may not really be the truth.
Being the young and vulnerable person we are, there’s only a little we can do to salvage the situation. Everything in our upbringing appears to be the sacred truth to life. We have no skin of ourselves and can’t really understand why most things happen the way they turn out to be. We have no idea of the underlying causes of the actions and dispositions of the people around us but this continues to shape how we’ll eventually relate with the society.
This helplessness and distortions of our childhood would almost always influence our attitude to life at adulthood. Everything we’ve witnessed from our journey right from infancy to adulthood are usually being stored and programmed. There is no denying the fact that this will not only affect our views and perspective to life’s matters but would also play a role in our interpretation of actions, as well as our judgment of issues.
Childhood Emotional Distortion Manifests at Adulthood
As we age and seems to be escaping the prison of childhood, then our approach to life would begin to change. The experience of the early years would begin to impact our attitudes resulting in some kind of oddities. Although the causes of our imbalance may not have been dramatic, its consequences are nevertheless long-lasting and overwhelming.
These imbalances whose causes are often not known or considered due to the results would usually subject the individual to societal disdain. Everything then continues to happen with no valid reason to explain their occurrence. When an individual comes across as controlling, no one remembers their childhood had been filled with letdowns.
We only tend to see the seemingly spineless person, but society will never know the impact of the bullying and competitive nature of his dad. The individual too has to live a tougher life, seeing every other person as the wrong one never realizing that they had been the victim of a faulty upbringing.
It is quite unfortunate that this cycle continues this way and the younger ones have to be experience all of these. Noteworthy is the fact that these happenings may seem to parents and everyone involved as inconsequential at the moment they occur. If there is anything we have learnt from the ancient Greek history, it is that the most enormous of errors and slips may not account for the biggest consequences, rather the ones deemed the most insignificant may have the most terrible outcomes.
The psychological injury of our childhood has been termed rightly as a -Primal Wound, more aptly defined and elaborated in this very intriguing video.
In essence, most of our adult problems, whether that is insecurity or some other personality issues often have their origin from a distorted childhood experience. These experiences, as subtle and insignificant as they may seem, by the people from whom we have grasped them eventually go on to leave clear footprints in our lives, in ways the society as well as ourselves would not clearly understand.
Think back to your childhood. Are you remember any instances that had an impact on your development? Are you seeing similar behavior patterns between you and your parents? The first step to resolve and change behavior patterns is to see the patterns clearly and having a deeper understanding how they developed. Contemplate about the consequences of this patterns for your life. If they are negative, commit to replace the pattern with alternative behavior for a more positive outcome. In my inspiration/habit section you will find helpful tools to master this change process.
If you feel that you are not enough or unworthy, this can be because of a lack of love and care in your childhood. The best self-coaching technique is to learn how to love yourself and to care about yourself. Train every morning in front of a mirror or look at a picture of you in younger age. Accept and love yourself. Observe your self-dialogue and change it in a way, as you would talk to a good friend. Learn to talk to yourself always in an encouraging way. Avoid dismissive and insulting talk to yourself.
Imagine a picture in which you as an adult person cares, hugs and loves the child version of yourself. You simply catch up on receiving love and care from yourself. If you develop a clear picture of this situation, this can be a powerful tool to empower yourself and to help healing your wound from childhood.
Every article I write is intended to help you with:
- questioning and reflecting on your own view of the world
- understanding why you are looking at the world like you do
- finding different perspectives to view situations from different angles, and
- going on a meta-level and reflecting on the consequences of your view
However, with every sentence I write, I create another view of how things “really are”. Even if I do this with the best intentions, please critically examine if this construction of the reality is helpful for you as an individual person in your own special situation.