The oral defence
Last blog, I wrote about how the armouring against emotional and physical pain, can develop in the baby, from conception to three months.
We looked at how this then can show up as a theme in the babies life, all the way through to adulthood.
In fact, it can become a part of the persons character, and will show up in certain ways that I discussed.
The next stage of development covers 3 months to 18 months.
The baby at this stage is learning themes around need and dependency. A child of this age requires a great deal of attention and attunement, as they are dependant entirely on their care givers.
If the child experiences the need to armour at this stage, it is usually due to the following examples;
The parents or care givers are inconsistent with their presence, either literally by not being around, or emotionally by not recognising the babies needs.
Inconsistent with feeding such as feeding the baby when the parent decides, rather than on the babies demand.
Unable to always interpret what the baby needs, and so sometimes the baby gets needs met, and sometimes doesn’t.
Parents may return to work after having spent all their time with the baby. Perhaps childcare is introduced here.
Parents may have been alcoholics or may have had depression, or some other events occurred at this stage in life that meant the parents just weren’t’ able to meet the demands of the baby.
The parents are needy themselves.
In summary, the emotional wound is around deprivation and or unreliability.
As an adult, this emotional wound can show up as someone who feels like they never have enough, or that there aren’t enough of things for everyone.
They may chose relationships where there is an obvious one up one down dynamic revolving around need. For example, they chose partners to provide for them financially as they can’t seem to hold down a job.
They could harbour dependency issues where they never have their needs satisfied.
Some individuals will have learnt that having needs is too painful to accept, as they always get let down, so they learn to take care of themselves in a very dependant manner to avoid disappointment and may detest any sign of their own neediness.
They may refuse help from others when its offered and will find it very challenging to ask for help when it’s needed.
These people typically deprive themselves in their daily lives, and limit their needs. They may have to reach extreme depravation before any help is accepted.
They go through phases of busyness or mania where lots of effort goes towards taking independent action and helping others or making really challenging plans that are optimistic and or unrealistic.
They accept others demands well beyond their ability to meet them.
Semi regular breaking down and exhaustion is met when they fail to keep up with gratifying the demands they’ve promised to meet.
Subconsciously there are the beliefs that;
If you let others down, you will be abandoned.
Your needs are too big for anyone to handle.
I can do everything myself, I don’t need anyone else.
I am all giving, all nurturing, healing person and put myself last.
Nothing is ever enough.
I can’t ask for help.s
How does this show up in the body?
Regular physical illness and bouts of depression are common.
The constant care for others and neglect of the self can lead to sleep disturbances, malnutrition, hormonal imbalances.
Anger is internalised and the individual tends to be passive, especially during times of stress and anxiety.
This internalised anger often shows up as being irritable.
Physical and emotional collapse are common.
The Independent type will usually have a very straight spine, or tightness around the spinal muscles.
The collapsed type will usually have a sunken chest, rounded shoulders and a tucked tailbone.
The body holds a deflated posture.
Does any of the above sound familiar to you? Perhaps in yourself or someone in your life.
Next blog I’ll be talking about the next stage in which childhood experience holds in our body and can become part of our character.