Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Irene Watson and The Sitting Swing

Our special guest today is Irene Watson, author of the memoir, The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference. I've asked Irene to discuss how childhood issues impact adulthood. Here's what she had to say:

To understand how childhood issues impact adulthood, one must first understand what happens during childhood. Socialization practices and the effects contribute consistent evidence that parental warmth, acknowledged and non-inflicting punishment practices, and consistency in child rearing obviously discharges positive personality development. How young children relate to and are related to by others is conceptualized by the end of the first year.

The "internal working models" of self convey attention to social experiences and form subsequent relationships with others. If the environment and interpersonal experiences change, particularly with parents, the expectations regarding self and others also change. If there is an insecure attachment bond in infancy, there is then a low level of empathy, compliance, cooperation, and self-control, as well as high levels of negativity during toddler, pre-school, and early elementary school years. It is clear that attachment security is related to children's early child-rearing experiences and their subsequent psychological, behavioral, and personality development.

Importance lies in parents paying attention to events in early childhood, namely, knowing that it takes years to acquire and to consolidate learning necessary to produce a competent adult, and that personality structure is highly dependent on the family or social setting into which a person is born. However, parental values and attitudes, and parental practices also influence character development. Furthermore, parental goals, informational assumptions, and evaluative judgments are basis for the different parenting styles and behaviors. It is evident that the authoritative rearing approach combined with positive parental behaviors, is critical in developing a functional personality. However, a very small percentage of parents use this approach.

In many cases the functional personality is not developed and if all the needs are unsatisfied, then the life is dominated by the physiological needs of acceptance, love, fun, and power. The needs are then acted out in dysfunctional ways, e.g. codependency, substance abuse, abusive relationships, or addictions. Seeking help to address these issues is of utmost importance.

Once you realize the behaviors are unacceptable and come to terms the behaviors are dysfunctional, you can start developing the understanding of the roots of the dysfunction and provide a foundation for healing. Healing is about family of origin work as you discover the role, the rules you were given and general dynamics from your family. Most adults from dysfunctional families remain in those roles, abide by those same rules and, struggle with dynamics that are similar to those learned in their family of origin, repeating patterns with their partners, their friends, and their children.

However, insight alone doesn’t heal the pain caused by the dysfunction, nor does it provide the healing necessary to change the unacceptable behaviors and patterns. Learning how to emotionally detach is important in the early stages and will be the foundation throughout the rest of your life. Detaching is learning to balance yourself in the relationship with others. This may be setting boundaries which in turn allow you to have lower emotional reaction and less dependency on dysfunctional relationships. It certainly is a new space that needs to be learned but in the end you will be able to answer the question: Who am I? At this point, needs, wants, and feelings will be identified and communicated as you move toward healthy relationships, diminishing the need for codependency, addictive substances, or acting out.

But, there is more. Self-esteem building, stress management, and communication skills also need to be addressed. Learned tools assist in regaining the lost self, or a self that never developed because of the parental dysfunctions. Recovery is about salvaging the innate personal power that never developed or was lost during the dysfunctional family dynamics. It is also about living a life without the need of approval, the fear of abandonment, preoccupation about pleasing others, and basically over-functioning in relationships. Recovery is claiming the self back.

About the book:

Irene Watson's pretentious life could go no further until she faced her past. Her moving and inspiring memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, where she has gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt and uncertainty. Her powerful story is a testament that it’s never too late to change your life, never too late to heal.

THE SITTING SWING VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on September 2, '08 and end on September 26, '08. You can visit Irene's tour stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in September to find out more about her and her new book!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author with a recent release or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner will be announced on our main blog at www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.wordpress.com on September 26!

This virtual book tour has been brought to you by:

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