Can A Broken Childhood "Self" Learn To "Trust" Within Adult Relationship?
"The inherent feature of secure attachment - contingent, collaborative communication - is also a fundamental component in how interpersonal relationships facilitate internal integration in a child.”
"This has implications for the effective treatment of maltreated children.
For example, when in a therapeutic relationship the client is able to reflect upon aspects of traumatic memories and experience the affect [See Below For Description] associated with those memories without becoming dysregulated, the client develops an expanded capacity to tolerate increasing amounts of affect.
The client learns to self-regulate. The attuned resonant relationship between client and therapist enables the client to make sense (a left-hemisphere function) out of memories, autobiographical representations, and affect (right hemisphere functions)."
~ Child Abuse and Neglect: Effects on Child Development, Brain Development, Psychopathology, and Interpersonal Relationships ~ Author: Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D
Definition: "dysregulation" ~~ "Emotional dysregulation can be associated with an experience of early psychological trauma, brain injury, or chronic maltreatment (such as child abuse, child neglect, or institutional neglect/abuse), and associated disorders such as reactive attachment disorder.…." ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Emotional_dysregulation
Negative "Affect" (af´ekt), n 1. the feeling of unpleasantness produced by a stimulus, such as comments that bring to memory harsh put-downs and destruction of the "self" of the child, during his childhood.
"You ALWAYS do that!" "You NEVER do anything right!" "Why can't you LISTEN!?" "You EMBARRASS me!" "As USUAL you didn't FOLLOW what I was saying!" "You are an ASSHOLE" "Don't you ever do ANYTHING but fuck-up?" "I wish you had NEVER been born!" "You are SO STUPID, you CAN'T be MY child!" "Why CAN'T you be LIKE, your sister [brother]!" "You are more BOTHER than you are WORTH!" "Forget it! Why did I even BEGIN this conversation with YOU!" "Get the HELL AWAY from ME!" "I HATE you!!"
On and on, through-out childhood... (this type of treatment of a child is arrogant abuse by immoral adult "authorities" who maintain power over the child throughout his childhood).
This type of mistreatment of a powerless child is as far away from the moral description of "bringing-up" a child as there can be.
If this mistreatment of the child is never challenged (by legal authority or family members), the long-lasting consequences of such maltreatment can be long-lasting… perhaps a lifetime).
AFFECT - Continued definition: n 2. the emotional complex influencing a mental state. n 3. the feeling experienced in connection with an emotion."
A child who has had to endure such harmful treatment may grow up to act-out the same type of abusive behavior to those he allows in his life, only to find that he cannot sustain his relationships within a satisfactory environment for long, thus, re-enforcing his earlier tormenters' programming that he is irredeemable and unworthy of ever being loved.
If the "silent treatment" (another form of abusive control of the child) has been added to the destructive childhood environment, the child learns he is open to an expanded experience of abandonment by those who should have valued and loved him within a respectful teaching experience.
He learns by this (silent treatment) experience to act-out distancing strategies, later in life, as a means to keep the woman he longs to love, at a safe distance (he cannot trust that any woman could really love him).
The "silent treatment" abuse, is an emotional and psychological mistreatment that forces the child to surrender his right to be treated with respect, in exchange, for being "accepted" into his longed-for intimacy and bonding with his abuser(s).
The child's longed-for "acceptance" -- of course -- is never given because all abuse is about control and punishment and has nothing to do with love.
Especially for the bright child, this forced surrender of his dignity (in hopes of finally obtaining acceptance by his abusers), causes shame and the rage of injustice to embed itself into his mind.
In his effort to create a sense of personal value and obtain a free "self", he may act-out carefully chosen acts of rebellion as a form of ego support through-out his life, seeing surrendering to the "will" of another as being imprisoned to that person in exactly the same way he had been imprisoned by the injustice of his childhood abusive environment.
Within the aim and hope for adult renewal (of the lost childhood "self") is the recovered ability to experience freedom and liberty (instead of imprisonment) when surrendering to the reasonable longings and hopes of a woman he longs to love.
The Hope Of Recovery: The implications of recent treatment regarding early childhood trauma, (some of what is presented here), is that there can be a recovery of a child's damaged "self" toward an adult recovery of the renewed, "self" which allows the person to react to the memories of earlier maltreatment without "acting-out" the rage (or the distancing strategies) that such memories have the ability to trigger when remembered.
Emotional Claustrophobia: "Commitment-phobia defies all sense of logic because it was birthed in early childhood, which is not a time of logic (adult thinking formed in objectivity) but of feelings.
Our earliest emotions are ruled by only one thing, the instinctual desperation to survive. When a young child is soothed by consistently safe and secure bonding with his parents, bliss happens.
However, the indescribable emotional trauma of being a rejected, emotionally abandoned child detours God’s plan [i.e., trust in a shared long-term intimacy] away from future healthy adult bonding and towards a life-long, fear-based need to avoid enduring such pain ever again.
For a commitment-phobic male [or female], early parental rejection holds him captive to the paradox of craving what he fears most: love and connection.
This includes [men and women], who addictively runs towards love, but, when love runs towards him [her], the unconscious memory of parental refusal to nurture overrides nature [causing the ending of the relationship]."
The hopeful promise within such study is that an adult who had been maltreated when a child and has learned to protect himself through the use of child-developed, hyper-vigilant, protective strategies can learn to re-examine his adult environment (as an adult) within a an objective cause-effect observation of the behavior of the woman he wants to love (separating her behavior from his early negative experience as a distinct and individual response).
The battle to guard the "self" by the earlier maltreated child through instant self-protection, served to create a level of personal safety to adulthood.
Yet, it is this learned reactive response to perceived attack, challenge or blame, which hinders the adult to place into effect an objective examination of any perceived complaint within a cause and effect empathy.
When the choice is made toward recovery from earlier mistreatment, the now-adult, injured child within the man, has the choice to commit to a genuine willingness to develop real empathy (based on objective examination) of her feelings and viewpoint (relaxing his self-taught, self-protection) with the woman he wants to love.
When this choice is made freely, it appears truly possible to create within himself a level of empathetic response which allows him the freedom to place genuine trust in their relationship, which will allow him to risk that earlier sense of abandonment in exchange for lasting intimacy (freeing him from the prison of past injustice).
Notice: The viewpoint(s) presented on this site is the author's and/or contributors. Individual suggestions for possible causes that may activate negative behavior choices in relationships are examined within logic and/or experience (or education) of the presenter.
The viewpoints provided here, may express similar or unlike causes in an effort to explore the negative behavior choices impacting male/female relationships. Professionals dealing with the human mind may agree or disagree with the viewpoint(s) presented on this page for a reader's consideration.