Our childhood experiences leave us with more than just hazy memories. They continue to have a profound impact on us even in our adulthood for decades and define who we become.
Experiencing trauma in our early years takes a severe toll on our orientation of the world, our well-being, our ability to establish meaningful relationships, and realize our full potential.
This leaves our sense of self completely fragmented. Acknowledging the impact of trauma is the first step to facilitating our healing process.
The Necessary Hero is a young child stepping into the shoes of an adult and assuming responsibilities beyond their age. Typical in children who experienced parental neglect, they lose their childhood; their sense of identity distorted and assuming a heavy burden of that of a saviour for everyone else around but themselves.
The Jester is typically the youngest child in the family who primarily uses humor or comedy in their bid to heal the wounds of others and utilises other antics to camouflage their own shortcomings as well as insecurities. This seems like their greatest weapon to strive for peace in a volatile environment but in reality is their greatest weakness as it does little to alleviate their own pain and suffering
The Substitute is similar yet a bit complex than the necessary hero. They assume this role when their primary caretakers fail to offer safety and security as required. Being wise and mature for their age, these children devote a great deal of time to “pick up the pieces” of their broken family. They shield their failed caretaker, act as their voice of conscience and are a protector of their siblings.
The Wild Child is one who rarely received the attention, validation and most importantly love that they craved for. Their impulsive and defiant personality is a violent approach to get that attention. This stubborn behaviour feeds back into the dynamics of parental punishment and disdain which intensifies the impact of trauma and the misery brought on by grief, loneliness, and even anger.
The Aimless Wanderer captures the essence of the lost child, who drifts through life cut off from practically everything. This child retreats inward rather than acting out. In fact, they believe that it is preferable to not have any expectations of anyone in order to lessen their suffering. This “invisible” child tends to withdraw into their rooms or turn to music, books, and their imaginations to escape the chaos of their family.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Raashi Kohli is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.