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Getting Through : Dealing

Lost Childhoods

from madly - Tuesday, January 22, 2008
accessed 890 times

I posted this comment under another article, but I can’t help but wonder if others feel this way or if I simply described myself and how I feel.

Are most of us guilty of being somewhat narcissistic because we have been forced to look at ourselves, to be introspective in order to really find out who we are? For me, this hasn’t been a personality choice, but a must, an absolute given, if I am ever to even touch or get a glimpse of the person I feel I might have become if I had been raised in a loving and supportive environment.

Anyway, please let me know if any of you can relate. I thought it might be interesting to talk about.

I can’t help but feeling that most of us, (“most” meaning not all, so don’t jump on me if you are one of the “not all”) are a bunch of underdeveloped children playing house. We were never taught so many important things about life, how to think for ourselves and feel confident in our choices. Our parents made us look at love as if it were suspect and now we question the motive behind what others deem an innocent beautiful emotion. For us it can never be quite that simple; even though, we need love more than we will ever admit to.

We go through life trying to put on a brave face and be strong, because if we are anything, we ARE strong, but underneath our front, looking through the helmet, is a frightened child. We are like children scared to live in a world with out the constant protection and coverage of full armor.

We feel like victims and we look at the world through victimized eyes. We have become narcissistic in so many ways and our conversations tend to revolve around ourselves, as well as our thoughts. Even when we don’t share the true details of our lives, we can’t help but want people to know we are different, even though we can’t stand to be so.

We are special, but only to ourselves and forget that others have had their share of heartaches and can in so many ways relate and even understand, but we can never believe or trust enough to give them a chance.

We are selfish, because we have had to share everything and now we want it all and we demand to have it now. We are impatient because we have had to wait for what seemed like an eternity for our lives to start and now we are in such a hurry to live that we don’t have time to enjoy the lives we have been given. We hate fake people, yet we fear ourselves to be the real actors with masks put on, but sadly never quite suited to the parts we play.

We lost our religion, we lost our family, and on top of it, we have had to discover ourselves. We are now frantically trying to establish some sense of being, some sense of home and any form of peace we can find. Some of us become bitter, some depressed, some pretend it never happened, others struggle to overcome and move on and some simply throw in the towel, sadly giving up.

We can get through anything and we know it, yet we wonder for what purpose our strength holds and what good it does to be strong in a world that is constantly trying to make us weak. What would happen if we were to break, if we were to cry and admit that we don’t understand this life that we never have, and fear the most that we never will? What if we were to decide that we don’t care to be strong anymore, would it kill us? If we let our guard down would it break us, or, if we let someone in to love us would it help us learn to be the person we were never allowed to become?

Are we the cause of our conflicted life and do we continually keep ourselves from what we deserve to have… love, peace and happiness? Can we ever overcome and can we ever really see anything, and anyone, other than ourselves? Can we learn about others when we are so busy trying to find out who we are? Can we let someone love us, because we know that we need their love more than we need the air we breathe? Can we, is it possible to, ever do anything other than try to make up for our lost childhoods?

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from thatata
Saturday, February 02, 2008 - 07:54

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

As a child u imagine that grown-ups are adults that they have a clue, but as a teenager or a little older you realize that they dont, they're kids themselves 'acting' as adults - afraid to mess shit up - this is probably true unless Im talking too subjectively ; Hate seems more true then Love - Love is dangerous - it weakens, I even out of personal 'integrity' make sure not to be liked. I know thats sick but its sick only because I consciously do it; and its sick that Im writing this, and its sick that Im writing it is sick. But enough of this sickness - heres a thing that Kierkegaard wrote under an annoymous pseudonym(does that make sense?) by the way this does not represent Kierkegaard and it doesnt represent me(but I can relate).

"I have never been joyful, and yet it has always seemed as if joy were my constant companion, as if the buoyant jinn of joy danced around me, invisible to others but not to me, whose eyes shone with delight. Then when I walk pass people, happy-go-lucky as a god, and they envy me because of my good fortune, I laugh, for I despise people, and I take my rvenge. I have never wished to do anyone an injustice, but I have always made it appear as if anyone who came close to me would be wronged and injured. Then when I hear others praised for their faithfulness, their integrity, I laugh, for I despise people, and I take my revenge. My heart has never been hardend to anyone, but I have always made it appear, especially when I was toutched most deeply, as if my heart were closed and alien to every feeling. Then when I hear others lauded for their good hearts, see them loved for their deep, rich feelings, then I laugh, for I despise people and take my revenge. When I see myself cursed, abhorred, hated for my coldness and heartlessness, then I laugh, then my rage is satisfied. The point is that if the good people could make me be actually in the wrong, make me actually do an injustice - well, then I would have lost."

"A man with spirit is unbearable if he does not also have at least two things: gratitude and cleanliness." - Nietzsche
(reply to this comment)

From thatata
Saturday, February 02, 2008, 08:25

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

By the way this is exactly the type of comment Im trying not to make ; and I do realize that the first paragraph is perhaps a butchery of proper grammer - getting off the subject, a quote that administration would love:"How unreasonable people are! They never use the freedoms they have but demand those they do not have; they have freedom of thought - they demand freedom of speech."!

(reply to this comment

From Fresh Lemonade
Saturday, February 02, 2008, 14:45

you know, I like you thatata--always have....if I could find a good techno version of the song “lemon tree” I’d post it here for you... or me ;-)
(reply to this comment
From JohnnieWalker
Saturday, February 02, 2008, 19:33

If you're referring to Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden, send me an email through my profile and I'll send you the techno remix. :)(reply to this comment
From i shall
Saturday, February 02, 2008, 20:01

I used to listen to that song a lot--right before I made the decision to leave.

(reply to this comment

from conan
Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 01:27

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
This is an interesting subject, and I’ve been thinking about how best to go about making a comment without coming across as a completely cynical, albeit smug, bastard. I am narcissistic, but wasn’t always (completely) so. Well, perhaps internally I always was the fantastic, egomaniacal person I’ve come to so completely adore, but I certainly had been trained to bury that side of myself for so many years. The utter embracement of myself came about when I made the realization, for the first time, that my life was completely my own. It was mine to enjoy, to destroy, to build toward a future of my choosing, and mine to fuck up when and how I saw fit.

While I completely agree with the premise that most of us (not ALL you whiny, sensitive people) had severely underdeveloped childhoods, it was overcompensated by the intensity and the rapidity with which we were expected to ‘grow up’ and face the end of the world. We may not have been children in the strictest sense, but then we were never treated as such because we were never expected to outlast the ‘endtime’. It as such that we are both victims and strong byproducts of the process that victimized us in the first place. I know, the paradox is heady and yet ‘cliché’, all at the same time.

I am fucking special, and I could give two flying shits what the rest of the world thinks of me. I was raised to view the world as bad and evil and all-enveloping/devouring, yet discovered that to be a farce. Actually, come to think of it, I’ve discovered the vast majority of everything I was taught in my youth was a complete and utter fallacy from beginning to end; intentionally so, to boot. Why then should I allow myself to remain the victim they (attempted) to mold me into, when the very premise for which I (we) was (were) victimized was to promote a personal, misguided, misogynistic agenda in whose grand scheme I was merely a pawn, yet I managed to escape the clutches of the machine that (failed to) mold me in an image I happily shattered as soon as I realistically could?

What you said about being ‘selfish’ is true. True too are your remarks on impatience, masked acting, faux (or genuine) pity, etc. This particularly rang true for me: “Even when we don’t share the true details of our lives, we can’t help but want people to know we are different, even though we can’t stand to be so.” It’s borderline painful to exist in a world where you constantly judge what happens around you from a perspective no ‘normal’ individual shares, yet still wish you could ‘fit in’ instead of being the ‘interesting oddity’ you so often are. The lack of an identity due to the collective masquerading of our intents as children and the willful beat-down of any free thinking and/or spirited individual amongst us only caused (in myself at least) further confusion and separation of identity from self.

I am selfish, but don’t necessarily see that as a flaw. I want for myself the things that allow me the comfort of ‘conformity’ whilst still being individualistic enough that my personal achievements will grant me some level of notoriety amongst ‘peers’. The irony is thick, I know.

I think to some (this does not hold true for myself but know some people to whom it does) the lack of an end goal in their life seems to lead to a listless ‘search’ for some purpose, which, in turn causes the internal conflict that keeps ‘happiness’ so elusive. I made the discovery very shortly after I left that everyone alive on some level searches for ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’. It is that very notion which separates our ‘intellectual’ species from that of other animals. And so, being the narcissistic, selfish, cynical, self-indulgent bipedal Homo sapiens that I am, if I may be so bold as to quote myself here:

“But I discovered joy in the simpler things…the pleasures of my own creation
A quivering pile of flesh in my arms; or being reduced to the same
Or even a film of morbid and dark nature, enjoyed in private elation.
And so I go on, no guilt do I feel and oft these pleasures and more I tame.”

My childhood was not lost. It simply never was. It was stripped from me before I had a chance to partake of it, and as such I can never make up for what never was available to me.

So, I guess my personal conclusion to a portion of your very legitimate query is a resounding ‘Yes!’ I think that we are the individual causes of conflict in our lives, and yes, much of that is based in our cumulatively lost childhoods. We can achieve on a personal level whatever ‘love, peace and happiness’ means to each of us. We can learn about others, although chances are (speaking from experience here) we’re better off knowing less so there’s less to despise.

Can we let someone love us because we need it like the air we breathe? On that, I’m still currently unsure, yet positively negative. While it may be a possibility for some, to allow myself to be ‘loved’ would require a great deal more faith and trust in another human than I have yet to muster. Besides, to reciprocate those feelings at this stage in my existence would be an act, and by making it an act, the tragedy would be in convincing the recipient that the feelings they project are just those; a projection. The fragile psyche that allows itself to be so dependant on another’s flitting affections is one that, while I have encountered, I have no desire to embrace, nor become.

Or maybe it is as you surmise; that I’m too afraid to be perceived as ‘weak’ and so project the part of my psyche that enables me to interact so freely with the life I’ve created for myself. If that’s the case, wow! Am I fucked up?!

Forgive my skipping from the first person to the second person narrative, but I couldn’t figure out if I was better off writing from a personal perspective, or if I should try and hypothesize on the demise of our collective entity, and so my dualities are quite clear throughout (to me).

(reply to this comment)
From my 2 cents
Saturday, January 26, 2008, 08:14

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(
Conan, your honesty is refreshing!(reply to this comment
From madly
Saturday, January 26, 2008, 05:11

Now that is what I would call a comment! Thank you, Conan. I really enjoyed reading that. :)(reply to this comment
From Falcon
Saturday, January 26, 2008, 05:10

'To redeem what is past and to transform every "It was" into "Thus would I have it!" - That only do I call redemption!' - Nietzsche (reply to this comment
from Phoenixkidd
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 11:01

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

For me I've had to put myself into context of world history and circumstances that affected America mid-20th century. It helps me feel that I am not a lone and maybe not such a freak.

For example:

Vietnam war and youth dissatisfaction in a commercialized society, in turn creates gurus and youth-leaders who promote anarchism, hippiesim and rejection of social norms, therefore cults formulate,

That coupled with globalization and American supremecy makes the cult spreads worldwide.

Result: Tons of kids born into this cult all over the world, with total disconnect from the societies and countries in which they were raised.

"Lost" children is nothing new, think of the lost boys of Sudan, the children who's parents dies in World War II, or whose parents were taken to concentration camps in Russia or China or Cambodia.

We are not one of few but one of many.

We must learn to cope and move on.

(reply to this comment)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 05:14


"Adult Child" carries a double meaning: the Adult who is trapped in the
fears and reactions of a Child, and the Child who was forced to be an Adult
without going through the natural stages that would result in a healthy

Very good article on lost childhoods and recovery

The Body never lies-

Good Book

The Truth Will Set You Free
Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self
Basic Books, 2001

Drawing on the latest research on brain development, Miller speaks out against the increasing popularity of childhood corporal punishment and demonstrates how spanking and other disciplinary traumas are encoded in the brain, stunting our ability to overcome them. Our bodies retain memories of humiliation, causing panoply of physical ills and dangerous levels of denial. This denial, necessary for the child's survival, leads to emotional blindness and finally to mental barriers that cut off awareness and the ability to learn new ways of acting. If this cycle repeats itself, the grown child will perpetrate the same abuse on later generations, warns Miller.
In this stunning new contribution to her life's work, Miller not only invites us to confront our own pasts, but reveals how each of us can liberate our present as adults and as parents.

Prologue: Thou Shalt Not Know

When I was a child, the story of Creation was for me above all the story of the forbidden fruit. I could not understand why Adam and Eve should not be allowed to have knowledge. To me knowledge and awareness were wonderful things. So I failed to see the logic behind God's decision to forbid Adam and Eve to recognize the essential difference between good and evil.

Read whole Prologue here,

(reply to this comment)
from .....
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 04:34


Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.
Carl Jung

Familerise yourself with evil
Carl Jung

The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.
Carl Jung

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Carl Jung

'Saving Your Life' (2007), I describe this "work" and the inner processes it involves. The reality of childhood will never go away. Even if these parents were suddenly all transformed into angels, the memories of their cruelties, their hatred, their rejection remain as knowledge stored in the bodies of their children. The task devolving on the adult children is to free themselves of those memories, not by forgiving and forgetting, but by accepting the logical response to torture, the experience of rage they have denied themselves for so long. Medication can do nothing to reveal this truth. All it can do is to camouflage it, often for decades, without bringing any genuine relief.

Like Sandra, most of us are adamant in refusing to believe that parents can be so cruel to their little innocent children, despite the appalling facts we read about in the papers every day. This refusal leads to a deceptive idealization of our own childhood and hence to an unconscious repetition of that cruelty. The only thing that can help us to relinquish our blindness and spare our children the same fate is the courage to accept this truth.

breaking the cycle.
(reply to this comment)
From madly
Thursday, January 24, 2008, 22:32

Unless I am having children... that doesn't help me, but thanks. (reply to this comment
From my 2 cents
Friday, January 25, 2008, 01:46

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(

even if you don’t plan or wish to have kids perhaps your inner child would find that helpful.
Throwing the baby out with the bathwater perhaps? (reply to this comment
From madly
Friday, January 25, 2008, 21:01


Very good point. Thank you. :)(reply to this comment

from A letter to my anger
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 04:32

(reply to this comment)
from rainy
Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 18:12

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
I know what you mean. I normally feel that I'm just pretending at being a real adult person, and going to work, interacting in society, etc. But I've come to realise that most of us feel that way to an extent. I liked what you said, because it's true, egocentricity is a feature of babyhood, and for many of us, our independent emotional growth was severely stunted. It's quite liberating to realise most people are just like you, same anxieties, same struggles and sense of putting on an "adult" costume for the day. They have different reasons behind it and different words for it, but we're all human. Finding that link with humanity that you once felt with your peers in that closed community you came from is hard, but possible.
(reply to this comment)
From yep
Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 21:36

Suffering is universal and most people contemplate these kinds of questions at one point or another. (reply to this comment

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