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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Ward

Damn Dummy!

We all journey through the developmental stages of life. We are totally unaware that what is going on will linger inside of us and impact our sense of self and relationships. Children start out a blank slate and their surrounding world begins a script on that slate. It is not possible to journey through these stages without experiencing a wound between us and our caregiver(s). Children experience, even the slightest, events with caregivers as an anxiety inducing disconnect ranging in severity. The disconnect produces a reaction in the child and the child, trying to get their needs met, makes adaptation in themselves. Needs for a child are simple: get more attention and avoid pain. They do an excellent job of getting those needs met. Those adaptations made by children lie along o continuum from healthy to unhealthy. The adaptation is a psychological equivalent of breaking off a piece of themselves or changing a piece of themselves. The adaptation allows them to continue to get their needs met. Unfortunately, the adaptation leaves a mark or wound on the psyche of the child. These wounds, real or imagined, can become a maladaptive core belief about themselves. We all have them. Its the script for the negative narrator that plays in our head.

When I was little my father used the expression "Damn Dummy"...ALLOT! It was not hie intention to leave a wound. In she ways it was his job. Its every parents job to mess up their kids in some way and degree. Ideally, parents also equip their children to deal with their wounds. So one of my maladaptive core beliefs has been that I am stupid. This was augmented by being born into a family system with siblings 14-22 years older than myself. So my childhood adaptation was to believe that I was a damn dummy inspire of having an above average IQ. Yes, it is still hard for me to say that with confidence despite having my IQ tested, being in an accelerated class in grade school, and graduating at the top of my grad school class. Those maladaptive core beliefs hold us back and create our protective self who, while very well meaning, robs us of our authentic self.

Your authentic self lies in waiting. You see glimpses of it and may not be aware that your protective self is the result of your childhood. While your protective self has helped you survive it may be your childhood self surfacing. Those old neural networks are still there. They get activated and our wounded childhood self shows up on the scene. Especially in times of overwhelm or upset. Therapy and meditation have helped me identify mine. The journey is no where near over. If you want to begin your journey to healing, try therapy. Give me a call. Have nice day and go play sometime soon!


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