Thursday, July 14, 2005

Kid 101 - part 2

"Your genius can be found in your bad habits."
~Heather Roan-Robbins~

So, basically, the number one component of a child’s reality is its powerlessness.

Because of its powerlessness, it is dependent on the external support system for its survival, which makes the child deeply invested in monitoring for its goodwill. So, you see that the child’s reality goes from powerlessness, to dependence, to monitoring for goodwill. From there, it personalizes into these specific parents that are personal to this particular child. Another child would have different parents. For one child, being quiet may be the way to survival, while to another child, speaking up and showing up may be the way it breaks out here.

So, there’s the impersonal, which is general for all children: powerlessness, dependence, and monitoring for goodwill. Once you go into what is goodwill, then things get very personal and specific to each child. When you’re dealing that way, you’re dealing in fundamental, core issues that are simplified to the lowest efficient, effective, and useful common denominator.

Whatever it is that you can assess from your particular Kid will give you information about your personal history, which is what you’re trying to get at.

"Why am I the way that I am? Why is this Kid bothering me in this way? Why do I feel the way that I do? Why are these things hard for me? Why do I feel so much pressure, urgency, and resistance, whatever that is?"

So, it goes from the general/impersonal, (as a child you had no choice because you were powerless and you had to depend on the goodwill of others for your survival), to the way that it broke out for you, specifically.

The more that you understand that, the easier it is to comfortably bring forward the Adult ...the survivor ...who managed to take you through everything and still accomplish so many of the things that are important to you. How did that happen? The Kid didn’t do that. If the Kid had his way, you would be living next door to your mom, living your life the way that your dad wanted, and doing things the way that the lineage wanted. Now, you are so far away from that. Who did that? It’s that part of you that was independent enough, powerful enough, and strong enough to insist on going against the tide...even with the Kid yapping at you the whole time.

The opportunity in the Transition is to support the Kids in knowing that they can relax now. It’s all over. They were doing this yapping to make sure that you would survive. Well, they've done that, so now they're off the hook.

But if YOU don’t know that it's over, that you've survived and are grown up now, how are you going to convince them that they are off the hook and can relax?


At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Ava, this is sooo wonderful.

At the moment I am very interested in the move the kid makes from, 'this environment is not nourishing,' to "I am a wrong kind of thing." Why does this happen? I have seen this move, almost like an energetic back-flip, from another perspective and it's brilliant, and hilarious. So maybe it's an empowering move?

Pema Chodron also talks at length (from a different perspective) about the felt sense of wrongness. She said that she had to educate some Eastern teachers because in talking to western audiences they did not realize that everything they were saying was being filtered by western audience members through this type of thinking/being. Why would that be?


At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're very welcome!

And, yes, it seems to be an empowering move. The guys have said that taking "blame" upon oneself allows for the possibility of changing the environment by finding a way to become a right-kind-of-thing. And so the monitoring takes root.

Thanks for the comment and question!

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge fan of research but... There is research on women's health and trauma in the field of psychology that supports this. Some researchers have found that among women with breast (and other cancers) as well as persons who have been sexually assaulted, better outcomes are associated with taking responsibility for the event! "This could be called self-blame" but I am thinking that this is another opportunity for cleaning up language. Blame is associated with a victim/perpetrator relationship. "Taking responsibility for one's experience," is perhaps a more proactive way to think of it. Any thoughts?


At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yikes..I'm sorry for the confusion. I was not clear in my thinking or writing...I'll try to do better in the future.

So, what I meant to say is: It's an "empowering" move for a *child* to take the blame.

An adult is in an entirely different relationship to both blame and responsibility.


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