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Do you identify with the child you once were?

Lurker

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If you sense some developmental break in continuity that seems like an anomaly to you, like a phone momentarily cutting out, do you think your brain was altered significantly? Think of the ripple effect, here. This "break" can be major or minor, just anything you recall that stands out to you.

Have you fundamentally changed in a way that is unexpected? For example, I was almost an autistic child. Then, in my late teen years, a friend explained empathy to me -- and how I lacked it -- and it just clicked. I became extremely concerned with others' feelings, and I was able to put myself in their position easily -- it all came down to learning how. It's hard for me to express how dramatically I changed.

I also grew up in an emotionally abusive home. I think this experience taught me about empathy, as well.

So, this is one example of a change that is unusual, being considered almost hardwired in a teenager.

So?
 

Cognisant

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Until about the age of six I was a carefree somewhat spoiled child, then my mother's parents (doting grandparents) both died of cancer within about a year of each other, my parents divorced, my father went to the tropics to co-manage a Thai restaurant and my mother became involved with a new man.

Turns out he wasn't such a great guy, quite the abusive prick actually, in early primary school I was getting high distinctions in mathematics, science and english, by highschool I was struggling to even pass those subjects on account of being bullied at school and beaten at home on an almost daily basis. Around the time I started highschool my mother and I fled from him and my father moved back to the city, he wanted to reconnect with me, I was very emotionally withdrawn and antisocial.

In highschool there was a little bit of bullying which stopped entirely after I snapped and choked one guy (he was fine), some people tried to befriend me and I made my own efforts but I just couldn't relate to them, at the time I didn't understand why. At the age of sixteen in my room in a house on a hill in the suburb of Carseldine I had my "break" as you called it, after pondering mortality at length I concluded that I would never truly be happy as a human being, that any happiness I might find would be stolen away by death and so the only logical recourse was to seek technological immortality or die trying.

I've grown emotionally and mellowed out a bit since then.
 

TransientMoment

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^ Goes to show sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. I'm glad you've been able to mellow out. Hopefully your psychological wounds will heal completely the longer time goes on.
 

Lurker

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Until about the age of six I was a carefree somewhat spoiled child, then my mother's parents (doting grandparents) both died of cancer within about a year of each other, my parents divorced, my father went to the tropics to co-manage a Thai restaurant and my mother became involved with a new man.

Turns out he wasn't such a great guy, quite the abusive prick actually, in early primary school I was getting high distinctions in mathematics, science and english, by high school I was struggling to even pass those subjects on account of being bullied at school and beaten at home on an almost daily basis. Around the time I started high school my mother and I fled from him and my father moved back to the city, he wanted to reconnect with me, I was very emotionally withdrawn and antisocial.
My God. It sounds like you lacked any consistent source of comfort at an age when it's hard for a child to even understand the "why" behind all the abuse. At least a teen can realize that the problem isn't with them, it's with the abusive fucktards and neglectful adults who must have known, but let it slide.

When I was in fifth grade, we had a class taught by our counselor; it was sort of like psychology lite w. a bit of coping skills training. Anyway, she said something that stuck with me. Basically, for a kid to be psychologically grounded, two of the three main pillars of the kid's life must be going well: home life, social life, and academic life; if all three pillars have collapsed, then so has the child's psychological ability to cope, because there is simply nowhere to turn for comfort. I'm remembering this from 1988, so it's definitely not exactly as she phrased it.

In highschool there was a little bit of bullying which stopped entirely after I snapped and choked one guy
Good for you, good for your self-esteem.

(he was fine), some people tried to befriend me and I made my own efforts but I just couldn't relate to them, at the time I didn't understand why. At the age of sixteen in my room in a house on a hill in the suburb of Carseldine I had my "break" as you called it, after pondering mortality at length I concluded that I would never truly be happy as a human being, that any happiness I might find would be stolen away by death and so the only logical recourse was to seek technological immortality or die trying.
I don't have many words. Just, this is sad.

I've grown emotionally and mellowed out a bit since then.
-

Good. I have found in life that if you don't compromise your self-respect or integrity, your self-esteem improves.

Stay well.
 

onesteptwostep

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I'll revise this post later, but basically somewhere inbetween. During childhood I moved constantly, like once per year, so I never really had a grounded social life. I would say my entire adolescense was a continual developmental break because I always had to re-adjust to my new enviornment. I've been in three countries, 4 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 3 high schools and two colleges. Had to constantly new local cultures, which I guess wasn't too bad compared to other tcks (third culture kid- the sociological term for my situation) because I lived in all developed countries. I think I started to feel really grounded since around last year, because it was around then that I really stayed in one place to finish school. I don't feel restless and wanting to move anymore, but I still have this curiosity I had since I was little about anything. I feel like lifes more predictable now and more stable, which makes me feel a lot more confident in relationships and life goals in general. Home life was boring but really stable for me, but my social life was always in a flux and my academic life sort of dived a bit after switching schools too much. I was able see all sorts of academic conditions, like being in the top five best educational districts in the US for example, so I was pretty dissappointed when other schools taught in a medicore fashion. Been to pretty much all of them. Urban, rural, international, private, public, co-ed, single-sex, religious, secular, so on.
 

redbaron

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I think at some point around 13 or 14 I went from having aspirations to giving up on everything and I'm slowly just getting closer and closer to that.

I don't identify with what I once was because I used to at least have stuff I cared about, now I just go with whatever keeps me alive.
 

QuickTwist

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Hmm... Interesting question.

I would say overall, I am still the same person, however, there are a few differences in behavior. when I was in grade school, up until 5th grade, I went to a very needlessly strict Baptist School. They had rules about everything including when you could go to the bathroom and shit like that. To give you an idea of how this school operated, take my sister for example who got sent to the principal's office for skipping down the hall because it was too much like dancing. Yes, that actually happened. Anyways, being as constricted as I was there, naturally I looked for ways to rebel from such a rigid system. I recall being quite the prick to people and name calling on occasion. Naturally, I didn't want to get in trouble for doing these things because that meant I got sent to the principal's office which meant a spanking.

Anyways, after 5th grade I went to another different christian school, where I was verbally bullied a lot by the kids who were rich. I hadn't realized my new environment yet and still looked for ways to spice things up a bit. But I began to be a little more withdrawn.

Then in 7th grade, a quarter way through the year, I switched schools to a public school. It was complete culture shock because of how much bigger the school was. I completely shut down and stopped talking to my classmates. The school psychologist was worried about me. She had a few meeting with me, but ofc I didn't trust her one bit so I put on a show that everything was alright with me and she bought it hook line and sinker. Then, in 8th grade I had a classmate kill himself. I knew the guys that he hung out with, bad dudes, mean dudes who were drug dealers. These guys latter tried to bully me by speaking grotesquely about my sister. I knew what would happen to me if I fought back so I just acted like I didn't care and ofc they bought it and left me alone. Didn't help that I was literally the smallest kid in the school. Naturally, this happened just after wrestling practice.

Anyways, ever since 7th grade, I haven't really cared too much about being social with people, since pre 6th grade I cared a whole lot more about that kind of stuff. Not really sure what it was during those years that shut me down from being social, but the interpretation of events (rather than the events themselves) must have been pretty fucked up to have such a drastic effect on me.

I find it interesting that some people go through horrendous shit and just basically walk it off while others go through much less and it affects them to extreme levels. Weird.
 

Pyropyro

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Until about the age of six I was a carefree somewhat spoiled child, then my mother's parents (doting grandparents) both died of cancer within about a year of each other, my parents divorced, my father went to the tropics to co-manage a Thai restaurant and my mother became involved with a new man.

Turns out he wasn't such a great guy, quite the abusive prick actually, in early primary school I was getting high distinctions in mathematics, science and english, by highschool I was struggling to even pass those subjects on account of being bullied at school and beaten at home on an almost daily basis. Around the time I started highschool my mother and I fled from him and my father moved back to the city, he wanted to reconnect with me, I was very emotionally withdrawn and antisocial.

In highschool there was a little bit of bullying which stopped entirely after I snapped and choked one guy (he was fine), some people tried to befriend me and I made my own efforts but I just couldn't relate to them, at the time I didn't understand why. At the age of sixteen in my room in a house on a hill in the suburb of Carseldine I had my "break" as you called it, after pondering mortality at length I concluded that I would never truly be happy as a human being, that any happiness I might find would be stolen away by death and so the only logical recourse was to seek technological immortality or die trying.

I've grown emotionally and mellowed out a bit since then.
Damn, I'm glad that you've managed to push through Cog.
 

QuickTwist

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@Polaris,

I see your point. I am not trying to argue that someone actually has it "worse" if they actually have it better but their interpretation is fucked up. My point was that there are differences in sometimes big ways in how different people interpret things differently. I honestly don't know how to explain it while still being a determinist except genetics.
 

Polaris

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^ I understood what you meant, but I wanted to expand on it. My wording may have been a bit clumsy.

Edit: Previous message deleted as it doesn't belong in the public section.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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Oh yes. When I dropped that hit and a demon possessed me and I became a schizophrenia.

Still me tho.
 

Mxx

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Yeah, I still revert back the playful and loving child I once was when I'm with good friends or an attentive and loving partner.
 

cedardust

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I'm still the child I was. The innocence transforms into wisdom so long as we keep mind that with every experience, good, bad, or neutral, there is wisdom that can be gained.
 

gps

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I suppose it depends on which stage of childhood I pin down this `Inner Child'.

My first sibling rival came along before I was a year old, so I didn't get a chance to make it through my terrible twos before challenged with competition within the family forum.

My father left the `home of origin' when I was 6.

My next `father figure' in the form of my maternal grandfather died when I was 11 ... along with my childish notion of a male big daddy in the sky who was omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent -- EG couldn't get off the hook for the disappearance of these mortal father figures ... and yes, `benevolent' towards me, at any rate.

Then I suppose I qualified as still a child up to the blurred lines of the onset of puberty/adolescence.

So for me there are at least 4 significantly different configurations of `the child I once was'.

Though -- perhaps most importantly -- during each stage or phase I experienced a traumatizing shock which resulted in the next iteration of `child' or `emergent me' incurring a partial fugue state proportional to the incompleteness of grieving and twisting deformation of my psyche.

I'd characterize my basic child-state temperament -- in common to all 4 configurations -- as more hypersensitive NF than calm-cool-collected NT/Rational;
I suspect that I became more self-critical, skeptical, and even cynical in response to childhood trauma in an ATTEMPT to never, EVER allow myself to be duped AGAIN into Blind Trust arising from blind faith, uncritical thinking, etc.

Variations of my Inner Child are definitely still In (t)here -- part and parcel with the collective me/us -- and I'm sure it's through them which I still experience and acknowledge BOTH childish still-under-reprocessed-Traumas and unSelfConscious Joys.
So I acknowledge THEIR-cum-OUR ongoing contributions to my would-be `adult' INTP personality whether or not I `identify with' ... whatever this means to those (mis)using the term.
 

Lurker

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I can't identify with the person I was when I wrote this thread.

I forgot ever starting this thing. I didn't recognize my writing at first.

While this may not be true for most/many/some/other people, I clearly see how I don't participate in life events in the way I see some people doing. My experiences are incorporated, and they play a part in shaping me. I learn, or leave, an event or experience changed permanently.

This is in just a few years. I wonder how anyone can identify with the kid they used to be.

Logically, free will is a ridiculous idea that people latch onto because it's emotionally satisfying to feel in complete control of your life; it's also a way to avoid thinking too much about situations that make us uncomfortable.
 

lightfire

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I was an extroverted child. And I mean extroverted af. I used to make friends on the airplane or get lost on purpose because people are awesome!

Around 10 to 13 was the time I dealt with emotionally abusive relatives which in turn gave me trust issues. I still think about that stuff till this day.

The thing that remains the same is the curiosity and interests. When I am around people I trust, I revert back to my childhood self.
 

Jennywocky

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I've had a few large "breaks" in my life. One involving when I decided "god" probably really didn't exist; until then, I was choosing to believe because the possibility seemed feasible, but eventually I reached a tipping point and decided it was more likely that there wasn't a singular guiding supernatural force to define everything. I just kept crunching numbers in life and eventually that happened. But it's funny how people work -- I remember having dreams (and I usually don't remember my dreams) of being abandoned in a house where I had lived with a loved one but now they were gone and I had no idea where they went, even if the old photos and belongings remained scattered through the house. The mind and subconscious personalizes it.

Another was when I chose to integrate my inner with my outer instead of putting on a charade, and deal with any fallout IRL because I was tired of feeling like a shadow person and saw value in being fully integrated rather than living under painful convenience. This also included being willing to disappoint, enrage, annoy, and/or distance myself from others depending on circumstance rather than always trying to appease everyone and appear blameless in life.

While this may not be true for most/many/some/other people, I clearly see how I don't participate in life events in the way I see some people doing. My experiences are incorporated, and they play a part in shaping me. I learn, or leave, an event or experience changed permanently.

This is in just a few years. I wonder how anyone can identify with the kid they used to be.
I still identify with my child self in terms of my core values and characteristics, and my inner life has had continuity, but it's more like my childhood me was far simpler due to a lack of life experience, and my "current me" has a huge tree-like expansion in every direction adding a lot more complexity around that core. SO I view it as less a "change" and more an "expansion."

But I do sometimes have visions of my current self parenting my younger self, the kind of self-absorbed, good-natured child who doesn't know what life is going to bring and doesn't understand some things about life yet, and thinking of what I would tell my younger self to keep myself on track and not be crushed by life as I almost was at various times.

All that being said, there were some RADICAL nuances added to my development throughout my life. Some of those were correcting ways (well, more like adjusting, they will never be "fixed" completely) in which I had been damaged (my viewpoint) by earlier life experiences, some were more flowerings of the seeds of the person I could become and I did grow in those ways.

That child was timid, and vulnerable, and too worried about pleasing people ("What if someone is disappointed in me? Or they think I'm a 'bad' person?") And everything was supposed to make sense. And be fair. Etc. The adult is far more battle-scarred and weathered and much wiser... and self-supportive rather than self-undermining.

Logically, free will is a ridiculous idea that people latch onto because it's emotionally satisfying to feel in complete control of your life; it's also a way to avoid thinking too much about situations that make us uncomfortable.
I don't know how to resolve free will issues. You're right, it's convenient to view all of one's decisions as "choices" but there's so much crap we just do because it's where we started, or it's the best we can do with a situation and our current knowledge/coping, and there's always choices programmed. I look at it like that -- it's like playing Zork with a language processor to take input, but it can only deal with what it's been programmed to deal with. Yeah, it feels like you can type anything into the field, but your choices are more limited than you realize. And the kinds of conclusions we reach have to be conclusions within our purvey, it's not really an unlimited range of choices and conclusions.
 

Siouxsie

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I´ve always thought of me as a continous line, the same child through time. But that has changed in the last two years, somehow I´m not the girl I used to be. I guess there comes a time when you can´t afford to ignore some stuff anymore, kind of like innocence leaving you.
I´ts scary....
 

Minuend

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Not at all, I feel like I've been like 3-4 different persons over the course of my life

Child me was restless, always needed to be doing something. Had a strong sense of personal justice where I had little to no empathy with people who did bad or the wrong things. I didn't understand why they did it and i judged them in a fairly black and white manner. I was also pretty autistic in how I interacted with and viewed people. I was both overconfident in some skills, while being very unsure of myself due to how poorly I was treated at home both by my brothers and father

Young teenage me was pretty emo and naive, but pondering about a lot of things. Was and felt like an outcast who had difficulty establishing relationships with other people.

Late teens early 20s I became a bit more confident in who I was and what my interests and personality was like. I was more comfortable with being and thinking the way I was. I was pretty depressed due to stress and difficulty managing school/ work, but I was also having a lot of fun with friends online, and socially I was pretty confident.

Mid- late 20s is where I changed somewhat for the worse. More cynicism, less jokes, more hopelessness, less enjoyment when talking to people, less enjoyment in anything whether it being videogames, movies or whatever. I did develop a type of perspective and understanding I think is hard to come by unless you've been through some shit, but it also hardened me in some ways and made me a more pessimistic person

Hopefully I'll be like a fifth person in the future if things works out, combining some of the outgoing positiveness I had in stage 3 with the perspective and understanding I developed in stage 4.
 

Polaris

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Not really, it's like I've become a different person every decade. Makes me wonder what my next stage will be. I'm kinda saddened about it, not sure why...like I'm not actually gaining anything, just losing parts.

Perhaps that's the whole point, strip your person back to its essence and then you're finally ready to be gone for good.
 

QuickTwist

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Hmm.. I would say I still have relatively the same response as I did then. A few differences though.

I would say I am actually trying to get to know the child I once was more. Not to say me now isn't the same person as me then, just that I feel there is value in knowing who you are - who you really are - both who you are and who you were. There is immense value in it; to know the kinds of prerogatives you might have taken at any given point in your life and comparing that to the new you is definitely an enlightening experience. Perhaps some meditation on this is necessary... Hmm...
 
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