This essay will focus on an incident that I have reflected on in my previous critical reflection. I shall use this as the basis for this essay and expand on and explore the issues that arise from the topics uncovered. During the break of a lecture on genograms, I was prompted to give input regarding a conversation that had arisen between two of my peers, upon hesitating I was quizzed by the one of them: "Why are you always so quiet . . . ". As soon as I heard this, I was reminded of my family, memories of my childhood were brought up and after getting out of the conversation I was immersed in this line of thought for the rest of lecture. I slipped into an all too familiar thought pattern that would sometimes lead to daydreaming, but on this occasion it lead to self-pity.
Although I often disregard such emotions as silly, as I find that it is all too easy for me too feel sorry for myself, they inevitably creep up on me and catch me off guard. This turned into a feeling of anxiety and realization of how my childhood has affected me. I thought about the way I had been brought up by my parents and what may have led to the way I am so reserved and quiet, particularly at times when my input is required, such as in class discussions. There are times when I do hold an opinion on an issue that is being discussed, but I will not say anything, one way or the other. I have often made a connection between my upbringing and my present communication problems, but never looked at why that connection is there, this is something I shall attempt to do within this essay. Something that I have done is to feel sad at the thought of how my childhood could have affected me so negatively having produced an adult who is often not comfortable when conversation regarding his past is brought up. I feel vulnerable and exposed when required to comment on matters such as why I am so quiet, to the extent that it would induce a slight mental block which would prevent me form partaking in further conversation.
My reaction, of going cold and quiet, appeared to stem from the period during which my parents divorced. During this time my childhood was turbulent and rows often dragged us into the middle of things. Most of the time I would just listen to the racket, this constant exposure to 'destructive behaviour' caused me to become somewhat introverted and withdrawn. The introverted child has difficulty approaching new people or situations, and is more apt to develop problems with anxiety (Miller 1987:79). This view might explain why I have problems communicating with people that are unfamiliar to me. I developed asthma during this time also which could have been anxiety related.
I felt I was losing a parent, my father, since he would be the one to leave, and this made me feel vulnerable. If a person in such a capacity goes missing from a child's life, "that child will repress his/her emotions. She/he cannot even experience them secretly, but they will never the less stay in his/her body...stored up as information that can be triggered by a later event." (Miller 1987:11). In my case the emotions were of vulnerability and anxiety surrounding my father's departure, and the trigger of my peer's question to me during the incident. This sort of trigger has always led to similar results in the past and triggers have come in many forms, not only questions about the way I am, about my childhood, reminders of 'families' and family life.
This incident also brought up negative feelings in me towards my parents for handling their relationship the way they did in front of me. I felt that they were wrong and I, along with my siblings, was the one that was suffering. These negative feelings developed from these childhood years onwards. I became hostile towards them, this may be have been a manifestation of the I'm OK - you're not OK parent - child scenario. ( Harris 1995:47)
Childhood years are the formative years of life and mine where no exception. Despite my...
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Egan G. (1998) The Skilled Helper. Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. London.
Harris T. A. (1995) I 'm OK-You 're OK. Arrow Books. U.K.
Millenson J. R. (1995) Mind Matters. Eastland Press. USA.
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Thoele S. P. (2001) The Courage to be Yourself. Conari Press. California.
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Sanford L.T., Donovan M.E. (1984) Woman and Self Esteem. Penguin Books. London. Reference from handout in class.
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