Sunday, October 24, 2004

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #3

Social and Psychological Development

Young Adulthood

Based on the theoretical approaches to social development in young adulthood discussed in my text book, I would have to say that I have pretty much failed in the social growth aspect of life. I am hoping that within the next few years I will be able to resolve Erikson's "Intimacy vs. Isolation" crisis. I am not even going to discuss Levinson and Valliant's theories, because I don't even come close to either of them in my opinion.

I did get married in my mid twenties. I wanted someone who I could make a life with. I also wanted a protector and a father for my future children. To say I was feeling lost and alone would have also been true. I was glad to find someone of my own faith, at least superficially, and near my own age who also shown an interest in me. Unfortunately, I ended up marrying a cross between my mother and father, which would have been okay if it had been a mixture of their good qualities. He basically told me what I wanted to hear before we got married and then after a year or two, he emotionally withdrew when I needed his support. This continued until he was actively trying to destroy me emotionally and mentally. I went into therapy, got us into marriage counseling and tried everything I was physically capable of to save our marriage. The only problem is that he didn't want it saved and I had neglected my own health to the point that I couldn't do much. When he began to include the kids in his program of health neglect, I left. He then filed for divorce before I could and jerked everyone around for two years until the courts settled everything.

I got pregnant right away in our marriage and had our second child fourteen months later. My children are one of the greatest joys of my life. They constantly amaze me with their insight and humor. A lot of the difficulties I expected to have with them based on the other families I had observed did not happen. Instead I have to help them to learn how to deal with insane people while retaining their sense of self and sanity. Teaching them about science, literature and other things happens naturally in our family and I often forget the impact of that until my children surprise someone else with their knowledge.

As a parent, I am definitely an authoritative parent. I like my children to develop their own strengths and talents and I try to help them by giving them space to learn within proper boundaries. I let them discuss things with me and occasionally I will make compromises with them, if they have a better idea how to handle something. It doesn't bother me in the least that my son hates sports and my daughter loves them. Though it does bother me that their authoritarian stepmother is telling them that this means that they are going to be homosexual and will want gender changing surgeries when they get older. Luckily, I have plenty of examples to show them that this isn't true, but I may have to take this up with the stepmother if it continues.

My circle of friends is rather limited to those who can either understand my unusual views or don't care about them. Most of my friends are intelligent, creative, trustworthy and solid. Some may not have all four characteristics, but they all have at least two of them. I usually choose my friends on the basis of how they expand my knowledge of the world. Even if I don't agree with them, I do find their insights useful.

Middle Adulthood

Hopefully I will catch up on social development during middle adulthood. Despite my lagging on the "Intimacy vs. Isolation" conflict, I do feel I have made headway on Erikson's "Generativity vs. Stagnation" crisis. I am already expressing generativity in a communal way by nurturing my children and a few others. However, I have made goals which will ensure I will take on more and more of an agentic form as I grow older.

I already see an improvement with my relationship with my parents and in time this should reoccur with my siblings. There had been some improvement there, but then things got sidetracked. I now understand what I need from social interactions and learning ways to achieve my needs. I hope I will eventually find a companion who I can share my life and goals with.

No comments: