If someone’s early years were brutal, to say the least, it is not going to be a surprise if they are in a bad way now that they are an adult. This could mean that they find it hard to function or they might be able to keep it all together.
Either way, living in this way can be what is normal, and they might not even realise why their life is this way. It could seem strange how someone could forget about what took place during this stage of their life.
But, as strange as this may appear to be, it will be something that automatically took place to protect them. They were simply not equipped to deal with what was going on and so it had to be repressed.
Along with this, if their caregiver/s were abusive, they would have been forced to create an idealised view of them. If they had accepted what they were like, it would have made this stage of their life even harder.
Consequently, one will have very little if any insight into what took place at this stage of their life and they can have a very lopsided view of one or both of their caregivers. One can believe that one or both of them are wonderful, for instance.
Nonetheless, their behaviour can shed light on how they really feel about one or both of them. For example, they might live on the other side of the planet and rarely call them, and even if they live close by, they might seldom see them.
It’s Always There
Still, while they will have numerous defences in place to keep their pain at bay and perhaps an idealised view of their caregivers/s to help with this, some of this inner material will make it through to their conscious mind. As a result of this, their life will be far harder than it needs to be.
If they find it hard to function, they are likely to be used to experiencing a lot of pain. On the other hand, if they are able to function, they could often be aware of some of the fears that they have and do their best to avoid experiencing them.
A Closer Look
So, whether it relates to the former or the latter, they could have the following fears:
Now, without being aware of it, they could structure their life with the hope of avoiding what they fear. As a result of this, one if not all of the areas of their life is likely to be very restricted.
If they have a fear of being abandoned, it could mean that they will find it hard to be by themselves. In general, then, they could spend time with another or a group of people.
Furthermore, they could typically be in a relationship and this could mean that they will have had a number of dysfunctional relationships. But as they have such a strong need to avoid being alone, they won’t give much thought as to whether another person is suitable for them.
If they have a fear of being rejected, it could mean that they will do what they can to hide their needs, feelings and their true self. This will be seen, deep down, as the only way for them to be accepted by others.
Most of the people in their life are then not going to know who they really are. Yet, if revealing who they are is seen as something that will cause them to be being rejected and then abandoned, why would they be any other way?
If they have a fear of dying, it could mean that they won’t allow themselves to fully embrace life. They could be very risk-averse and prefer to stay in their comfort zone as much as they can.
This won’t allow them to feel fully alive but it will certainly be what feels comfortable. Once again, if freely expressing themselves is seen, deep down, as the only way for them to survive, how else would they be?
If they have a fear of being harmed, this could cause them to isolate themselves and, when they are around others, they could be very submissive. Either keeping their distance from their fellow human beings or doing what they can to please them will be essential.
This is likely to mean that it will be normal for them to be walked over and taken advantage of. There is also the chance that they have been attacked throughout their life and are very cautious around others.
If they have a fear of being humiliated, it could mean that they will do their best to keep their head down. When they are at work or around friends, they could keep their thoughts to themselves.
This can stop them from being able to move ahead in their career and it will prevent their friends from knowing what they actually think. This will then be another way in which they hide themselves but it will be better than what is seen, deep down, as the alternative.
If they have a fear of being annihilated, it could mean that they will do their best to keep people at bay. When it comes to the people in their life, they might not have any close friends and they may only have casual encounters.
One consequence of this is that they can often feel lonely and disconnected. This inner experience can be repressed thanks to the different escapes that they have that allow them to avoid how they feel.
Irrespective of whether one can relate to all or just some of these fears, there is a strong chance that what they fear has already taken place. Therefore, in addition to what they fear, there will be the trauma that they carry.
With this in mind, in order for them to move forward, it won’t just be about them letting go of their ‘irrational’ fears. No, they will also need to resolve the trauma that is keeping these fears, fears that are totally rational given what they went through throughout their early years, in place.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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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.