Wednesday 22 August 2012

Building Blocks

Most people have a happy childhood right? My childhood had happy moments, but overall was a very miserable experience.

It is said that a child's character is formed by the time they are six years old. We are born with a predetermined number of building blocks and how we are raised, how we are treated and the experiences we have decide how we use these building blocks.

Our reactions to danger, trust, pain, love, anger, fear depend on where we place these building blocks.

So much in life is a "two way street". Give and take, action and reaction.

If our formative years had a high percentage of negative experiences then we react by building walls in an attempt to lessen the impact of these events. As we are young builders then we may build these walls too high, thereby isolating ourselves and making it very difficult to let anyone close in the future.

As well as blocking out the bad experiences, we also block out good ones. Our reactions to events in later life may become inappropriate because the walls we built in childhood are too high or too low.

Hiding behind too many walls leaves us miserable and isolated. In an attempt to protect ourselves in childhood we inadvertently deny ourselves the ability to fully enjoy and appreciate life.

Every good building should be built on solid and safe foundations. Foundations can crack if not built with the correct materials and in turn the building on which the foundation stands becomes unstable.

The age at which traumatic abuse occurs can determine how we cope with it. In my case the abuse started when I was still a toddler. My foundations cracked and in turn the building of my life became very unstable, to the point that it actually broke into separate sections. Some walls fell down and some of the debris used to strengthen what remained standing. It made me an "incomplete" adult.

Walls exist where there should be doors; open spaces where a wall should protect me; turrets instead of boundary walls.

My reactions to danger, trauma and intimacy became exaggerated. Trust became distorted. The survival instinct kept me alive but not fully functioning. With my incomplete structure I allowed enemies in and kept friends out. Cracks exist, some wide enough and deep enough to trap and imprison me. One wall deals with danger, another love. A tower handles trust and a drawbridge intimacy. Fear resides in a moat and anger in the metal spikes that top the walls.

All different, segmented, pieces of whom I should have been. Some pieces working independently whilst others have wooden bridge linking them tentatively. Together they form me, my castle.

I'm calling in the builders. I don't want repairmen anymore that just patch and make do. It's time to rebuild, this time in safety and with love and care too. No longer an eyesore but something to be proud of, something appropriate. Join me?


LifeSights Coach said...

You describe what I spoke of in my blog, although you say it very eloquently...I let in the negative and keep the good at arms length because I know how to handle the negative. Bad is familiar. I don't panic when others will and vice versa. I'm trying so hard but letting good in, feels so dangerous and foreign. My children have inadvertently taught me that in looking out for them, I am learning to look out for me too.

Anonymous said...

Incredibly insightful and a depth of understanding that few can cognitively extrapolate let alone articulate. Very impressive. You are right on target at every level.

This must have been very difficult for you to write. Understanding how you became the person you are to the point that you can see how your over reaction to certain stimulus situations is amazing. I stand up and applaud your efforts at introspection and how successful you are at it. The next step would be to put what you know about yourself into play. Meaning, insight does not necessarily make change. We have to be willing to risk through behavior. Good Luck in all your endeavors. You are an amazing person!!! NEVER forget that!!!

~Nina Fox


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