There will be the needs that a child has and then there will be the needs that an adult has. Now, some of these will be the same whilst there will be others that are different.
With this in mind, once someone is no longer a child, they are going to have a very different set of needs. However, although this can be the case, there is also the chance that it won’t be the case.
An Imperfect World
The reason for this is that even though someone may have grown into an adult, it doesn’t mean that they feel like one. In other words, they can look like an adult and still have most, if not all, of the needs that they had as a child.
By not receiving the type of care that they needed during this time, they won’t have been able to experience a second birth. They will then have had a physical birth but they won’t have had an emotional birth.
What took place will be over and yet, they won’t have truly been able to move on from this stage of their life. They may have a well-developed body and even a well-developed intellect, but deep down, they will feel like a child.
There is a strong chance that they will spend a lot of time feeling like a deprived child. Nonetheless, irrespective of if they are aware of how they feel, it doesn’t mean that they will actually be aware of why they feel the way that they do.
An Inner Driver
How they feel deep down, though, will have a big effect on what they do and don’t do. Furthermore, it will have an effect on what they expect from others and from the society that they live in.
Ultimately, most of the unmet needs that have been brought forward from their childhood years can’t be met by another adult. These unmet needs will need to be faced and grieved.
So, most of these needs are going to be ‘false’ needs now that they are an adult and will need to be let go off. Nevertheless, if someone is not aware of the fact that these needs are unmet childhood needs and believes that they are adult needs that need to be fulfilled, there is going to be no reason for them to undertake this process.
Instead, they will see these needs as being needs that other adults need to fulfil. Due to how many years have passed since they were a child and the beliefs and the defences that their ego-mind has put in place to keep their pain at bay, they will be oblivious to the true origin of these needs.
What will also play part in their ability to deceive themselves, and others, will be the people in their life who are also in the same position. They can have friends both in the real world and online who had a similar early experience and are thus, in the same position.
To support what they believe and to add more legitimacy, they can identify with certain ideologies. Ergo, one may be part of a movement and spend a lot of time trying to change their society, so that their unmet childhood needs will finally be met.
A Closer Look
If they were able to take a step back from what is taking place, to get underneath the beliefs and the defences that they have in place to avoid how they feel and to connect to their body, they may find that they have some, if not all, of the following unmet childhood needs:
Assuming that they have most of these needs, some of them will relate to needs that their mother didn’t meet and some will relate to needs that their father didn’t meet. Some of these needs such as the need to feel safe and secure will also be needs that an adult has, the difference is that an adult won’t solely look towards others to feel safe and secure; these will be things that can be provided from within and through the presence of others.
A child is in an undeveloped state and can’t source much from within, which is why it is dependent on others for just about everything. When this child becomes an adult and, providing it receives the right care, it will be able to source things from within.
This will allow the child to go from the first stage, stage one, dependent, and to gradually go to the last stage, stage four, interdependence. As one won’t have gone through these stages, they will be like an empty vessel or a black hole that can’t be filled.
A Natural Outcome
Consequently, it is going to be perfectly normal for them to look towards the government to take care of them. They won’t be aware of this consciously but unconsciously they will see this entity as a parental figure.
The wounded child inside them will want this entity to provide them with what wasn’t provided for them all those years ago. Thanks to how emotionally undeveloped they are, it is unlikely that they will be concerned about losing their freedom or anything else that could be classed as a ‘higher’ need, as their need to be secure, cared for and protected will be all-consuming.
A Different Lens
It can be hard for an emotionally developed adult to comprehend why another adult would be happy to give up their freedom in order to receive the aforementioned things. Perhaps, through thinking about the consequences of this kind of behaviour, they can also see how destructive this will be in the long run.
But, if they were to look beyond how old this person looks and to see that they are essentially a child in an adult’s body, it will make complete sense. They will be able to see that this person won’t be thinking about the impact that their behaviour will have; they will just be thinking about fulfilling their ‘lower’ needs.
As a child, they would have been entitled to have these needs met, but now that they are an adult, they won’t be. It will be up to them to face their unmet childhood needs, to grieve them and then to gradually provide themselves with what they need.
The trouble is that as they haven’t made the connection - linked their present needs to what they didn’t get in the past – they can still carry a strong sense of entitlement. It then won’t matter that this stage of their life is over as they will be convinced that other people, people who they unconsciously see as their parents as a result of transference, have to give them what they want.
Full of Fire
Not getting their needs met as a child would have probably meant that they experienced a lot of anger, rage, hate and shame. This would have been a time when they were totally helpless.
It is likely that the people who were supposed to care for them abused their power and mistreated them. Considering this, one can be full of rage and believe that this rage is a consequence of what is taking place in their adult life when, in reality, it will be rage they have carried since they were very small.
Until they can join the dots, so to speak, and to see why they are so full of rage and even hate, they will continue to seek indirect revenge. Without being consciously aware of it, they will have re-created their early years with the hope of finally getting what they missed out on as a child.
Finally, as so many parents are either too traumatised and/or busy to truly be there for their children in today’s world, it is not much of a surprise that there are now a lot of deeply wounded adults. Their childhood will be over but a big part of them won’t have moved on from that stage of their life.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.