Tag Archives: words

Here’s the Reason People Grow Up Idealizing Their Childhood and Parents

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An unexamined life is a gray life. You miss the explosions of insight and groundedness of maturity. Here is a wonderful article by Darius Cikanavicius of the Facebook page: Self Archaeology. He explains the realities of the survival skills children need to survive in precarious situations.

Why People Grow Up Idealizing Their Parents and Upbringing

“With nothing and no one to judge them against, we assume them to be perfect parents. As our world broadens beyond our crib, we develop a need to maintain this image of perfection as a defense against the great unknowns we increasingly encounter. As long as we believe our parents are perfect, we feel protected.”
— Susan Forward, Toxic Parents
Babies and small children are new to the world and their brains and minds are still developing. The biggest influence on a child’s development is their primary caregivers and their immediate environment. That’s where we get our understanding of concepts like love, care, empathy, trust, healthiness, goodness, worth, value, and so on.

Inherently, children believe and trust their caregivers. A child’s parents, other family members, teachers, and similar authority figures shape the child’s beliefs about the world and about themselves. This is how a child learns about self-worth and self-esteem, and about estimating others.The problem is that children have no objective ability to evaluate what they are taught.

As I write in my book Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults, “Children do not have a healthy frame of reference regarding their family environment and their treatment by their caregivers. Children have only experienced what they have experienced and have nothing to compare it to.” And so the smaller the children, the more likely they are to accept the teachings of their caregivers without questioning. This includes explicit teaching and implicit or non-verbal messages. Since children see their parents as all-knowing, all-powerful, and infallible, they also tend to blame themselves for how they are treated. Often they actually are blamed – and actively or passively punished – for disagreeing, being disobedient, or “acting badly.”

The truth behind this is children need their caregivers to survive. The child will die without their caregiver. Therefore, children are extremely sensitive to rejection and have no other choice but to ultimately be as their primary caregivers want them to be. So idealizing them is vital for their survival.

This dependency on a caregiver for survival follows people long into their adulthood. It manifests in different irrational beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. People grow up with a lot of accumulated pain and chronic psychological trauma. For the most part, even as adults most people remain psychologically dependent on their primary caregivers, unable to feel free and happy.

The beliefs people developed and internalized growing up haunt them throughout their lives. Most people idealize their parents even as adults because they have never truly examined their childhood and their early relationships and resolved the root issues, or at least not to the degree where they would feel safe and secure enough to let go of all their illusions and fantasies about an ever-loving parent.

It is extremely difficult to accept that perhaps how you were treated as a child was not normal even when you are a self-sufficient adult; it is impossible to accept when you’re a child. It is so hard because, for most people, it is unbearable to even contemplate risking their bond with their caregiver, no matter how toxic or downright abusive that dynamic may be.

Healing from all of it and growing is a long and complicated process. It often involves feeling emotional pain and discomfort. But it is necessary in order to finally set yourself free and live a happy and authentic life.


For more on these and other topics, check out the author’s books: Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults and Self-Work Starter Kit.

Darius Cikanavicius

Darius is the founder of Self-Archeology. He is a writer, educator, mental health advocate, and traveler. Darius has worked professionally with people from all over the world as a psychological consultant and a certified life coach. His main areas of expertise and interest are inner work, childhood trauma, social anxiety, self-esteem, self-care, perfectionism, emotional well-being, narcissism, belief systems, and relationships.

Darius is an author of two books: Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults and Self-Work Starter Kit.

For more information about Darius and his work, please visit selfarcheology.com. If you consider Darius for online consulting/coaching, you can find his contact information here or email him.

 

Abandonment

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Here’s a list of what abandonment is from Susan Anderson’s book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing” Pages 5 and 6. Susan Anderson has a blog with tons of information on the serious subject of “Abandonment”.

What is abandonment?

A feeling

A feeling of isolation within a relationship

An intense feeling of devastation when a relationship ends.

A primal fear – the raw element that makes going through heartbreak, divorce, separation or bereavement cut so deep

An aloneness not by choice

An experience from childhood

A baby left on a doorstep

A divorce

A woman left by her husband of twenty years for another woman

A man being left by his fiancée for some “more successful”

A mother leaving her children

A father leaving his children

A friend feeling deserted by a friend

A child whose pet dies

A little girl grieving over the death of her mother

A little boy wanting his mommy to come pick him up from nursery school

A child who feels replaced by the birth of another sibling

A child feeling restless because of his parents emotional unavailability

A boy realizing that he is gay and anticipating the reaction of his parents

A teenager feeling that her heart is actually broken

A teenage boy afraid to approach the girl he loves

A woman who has raised now grown children feeling empty as if she has been deserted

A child stricken with a serious illness watching his friends play while he must use a wheelchair or remain in bed

A woman who has lost her job and with it her professional identity, financial security and status

A man who has been put out to pasture by his company as if he is obsolete

A dying woman who fears being abandoned by loved one as much as or more that she fears pain and death

Abandonment is all of this and more. It’s wound is at the heart of human experience.

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You could add to the list but I think you get the message, the important thing here is to name what the feeling is.

Abandonment is so very painful, it is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another. There is a PTSD component to abandonment which leaves it victims with shame, low self-esteem, and fear just to name a few of abandonment influences.

There is hope for survival and recovery, it will not be easy, you will have to do the important work of reaching deep within yourself and uncover the pain that is just below the surface of your awareness. Most of the time this work is not done alone. Counseling, or writing or exercising, read books on the subject, mindfulness and finding some way of getting to  the trauma that abandonment left behind.

You have to help yourself just enough to lift you. You are worth the effort. Don’t give up.

Symptoms of Depression

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To be clinically depressed one would have at least two symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks.

Very sad mood.

Loss of joy and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable.

Lack of energy and tiredness.

Feeling worthless and guilty for no good reason.

Wishing to be dead and thinking about it often.

Can’t concentrate and making decisions.

Unsettled and restless, sometimes too slow sometimes agitated.

Sleep difficulties.

Changes in eating habits.

This list is not all-inclusive and not everyone will exhibit all of these symptoms. Symptoms of depression affection emotion, thoughts, behavior and physical well-being.

The causes of depression are varied. A break up or living in conflict, poverty, unemployment, disability, victimization, victim of a crime, long-term illness, death of an important person, side effects of certain medication, stress of having another mental disorder like schizophrenia, withdrawal from substances, hormonal, there is also bipolar disorder depression, depression following childbirth, seasonal depression.

It is ideal to have early intervention but that is not always possible.

If you are suffering with any of these issues reach out to mental health care providers and if you are involved with someone who needs help remember the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan: ALGEE – Assess the risk of suicide or harm. L – Listen non judgmental. G-Give reassurance and information E-Encourage professional help. E-Encourage self-help and support strategies.

And of course if the situation is dangerous call 911.

Helpful Resources:

http://www.depression-screening.org

http://www.moodgym.anu.edu.au

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center _ 1-888-357-7924

A Healthy Lifestyle for Good Mental Health

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This information is from MentalhealthAmerica.net, take a moment and read up on how to help your mental health and the mental health of others.

Mental Health Month 2018 – Toolkit Download

Full Toolkit

Full Toolkit (PDF 39.4 MB)

Full Toolkit Zip (zip file – images included)

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and
treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally –it’s important to pay attention to both your
physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to
recovery.
This May is Mental Health Month; purelysimplewords.com  is raising awareness about the connection between
physical health and mental health, through the theme Fitness #4Mind4Body. The campaign is meant to educate and
inform individuals about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough
sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around.
A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and
anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also play a big role
in helping people recover from these conditions. Taking good care of your body is part of a before Stage Four
approach to mental health.
Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live
longer and healthier. Recent research is also connecting your nutrition and gut health with your mental health.
Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of our life and overall health. Getting a good night’s sleep is important
to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can
have a huge impact on all aspects of our health, so it’s important to take time to focus on stress-reducing activities
like meditation or yoga.
purelysimplewords.com wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Living a
healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but by looking at your overall health every day – both physically and mentally –
you can go a long way in ensuring that you focus on your Fitness #4Mind4Body.

For more information, visit http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

Fact Sheets/ Poster

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Diet and Nutrition (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Exercise (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Gut Brain Connection (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Sleep (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Stress (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: POSTER Take the Challenge (PDF) Meant to be printed 11 x 17 paper

Worksheets

When Changing Diet is Hard (PDF)

When Changing Exercise is Hard (PDF)

When Changing Sleep is Hard (PDF)

When Managing Stress is Hard (PDF)

Social Media Materials

Sample Social Media Posts (PDF)

Images (To download, right- click the image and select “Save Image As.”)

Challenge Call to Action (PNG 250 x 250 px)

Screening Call to Action Button (PNG 250 x 250 px)

Facebook Profile Picture (PNG 180 x 180 px)

Facebook Cover (PNG 820 x 312 px)

Facebook Shareable (PNG 1200 x 630 px)

Twitter Profile (PNG 400 x 400 px)

Twitter Header (PNG 1500 x 500 px)

Twitter Shareable (PNG 442 x 220 px)

Instagram Profile Picture (PNG 110 x 110 px)

Instagram Shareable (PNG 1080 x 1080 px)


Horizontal Banner (PNG 468 x 100 px)

Vertical Banner (PNG 100 x 468 px)

 

Thoughtful Thursday #202 – Cognitive Bias

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One of my FB friends gave me this idea. I am passing it along to you. Hope it helps.

It’s a detailed article about cognitive bias that we all carry at one time or another.

 

180+ cognitive biases, designed by John Manoogian III (jm3)

The better you know yourself the better your life experience.

Thoughtful Thursdays – #196 Examining Our Beliefs

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Ever wonder why you have certain beliefs that you stubbornly refuse to unbelieve? Eg. Only my religion is the right one.

Which ideas do you believe are true? Eg. All electronic equipment is reliable.

How many beliefs fall into the broad generalization category? Eg. All women can sew and all men can fix a car.

Is the belief based on emotion or evidence or did you swallow a second-hand opinion.

Self-examination of our beliefs is one true path to freedom. But be warned. It is not the easiest.

 

Thoughtful Thursdays #195 – Blizzard of Thoughts

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Snow blizzards can be a lot of fun.

Blizzard Ice Cream from Dairy Queen is fun.

But a blizzard of whirling uncontrollable thoughts is not fun.

It’s frustrating and scary. To stop those windy wizard of flurry, pirouetting, gyrating confusing thoughts, here are a few grounding suggestions.

  1. Count your breath slowly.
  2. Listen to Music.
  3. Do some art.
  4. Redirect your thoughts momentarily.
  5. Write it out uncensored.
  6. Meditate.
  7. Watch your thoughts and let them go.

That should keep you busy for a while and help slow the blizzard of thoughts to a balmy breeze.

Carry on.

Thoughtful Thursdays #192 – Prisoner Of Your Own Mind

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Any kind of entrapment feels uncomfortable. You can become a prisoner of your own mind too. Do you have obsessive thoughts? Are you adamant about your beliefs and won’t listen to other points of view? Do you have self-defeating tendencies?

The good news is being a prisoner of your mind is mostly artificial.  A lot  these thoughts are based on fear and insecurities.

The work to open that cell door comes from grounding yourself in some way. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Writing.
  2. Redirecting your thoughts.
  3. Exercise.
  4. Making art.
  5. Talking to a mental health professional.
  6. Meditation.

I am sure you can add to the list. The idea is to be in the present moment for as long as possible so your mind does not hijack you back to being a prisoner.

This takes effort, consistency, and even scary at times to go into this new territory.  The results are so worth it and will strengthen you. Go for it.

Thoughtful Thursdays # 191 – Today is not over yet.

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If your heart is beating, if your lungs are breathing, if you are still alive… then it is not too late to do something kind, creative, generous, satisfying, and courageous. Today.

It is not too late to behave like the person you want to be — instead of continuing in a cycle of behavior that you will regret.

You might feel sleepy. It might be tough. It could seem preferable to just sit this one out.

But…

Today is not over yet.

http://www.alexandrafranzen.com

Thoughtful Thursdays #188 – Move Closer

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There are some pretty scary emotions that we run from. Our minds race with one disaster after another. Our society almost demands that we let it go and move on from tragedy or trauma. Letting go and moving on is not possible if we smother the very emotions we need to move closer to. Emotions like fear, abandonment, isolation and worthlessness.

Move closer to the parts of you that you exiled. Move closer to the very emotions that scare you. Move closer to approval for all strange events you survived. Move closer to being curious about your behavior. Move closer to the parts that are so hard to accept and love. Move closer to having compassion and kindness for yourself. Move closer to being intimate with our own courage. Move closer to deeply knowing who you are because you can’t help anyone else without helping yourself first.

It won’t be easy but so worth the effort. Your thinking will become more integrated and grounded. And an important perk to this effort is you will become more productive, understanding and confident.