S & I : Lack of Individuation (Part 2)


PREVIOUS: Lack of Individuation (Part 1)

 

INCOMPLETE / DAMAGED (cont)
REVIEW: As a result of parentification, the child never has the chance to individualize – stifling the child’s ability to develop a sense of Self.  Without this, it will be confused about their role in the world. Their self-esteem will be low, making it hard to know what they want to do or be, not able to take healthy risks that could help them realize their potential. Frustrated to the extreme, these kids may either lash out or withdraw into themselves.

Further, an adolescent’s sense of identity is built through the choices & commitments they make. Without the chance to explore & then commit to the chosen beliefs & values, an adolescent stays in a diffused state, never forming their own identity. (MORE…. re. Adolescence / Adult-child’s delayed individuation)

FIELD-DEPENDENCE (FD) is a concept in the field of cognitive styles, the way we think, perceive & remember information, measured using the Rod-and-Frame Test or Embedded Figures Test.
Liam Hudson (Carey, 1991) identified 2 styles of problem-solving : convergent thinkers, good at accumulating material from a variety of sources relevant to finding a solution, and divergent thinkers who are more creative & subjective in their approach.

Carl Jung took from the field-ground concept of Gestalt Theory.
DEF : It is the degree to which a person is consistently influenced by  environmental (external) <— vs —> inner cues (body sensations).
This preference is mainly inborn, but can be modified or distorted by early experiences, especially long term, continual trauma.
It is :
• how a person orients themself in physical space, & is able to notice subtle nuances in their surroundings
• the level & degree of one’s perception or understanding of information coming at them
• the extent to which one is able to make fine distinctions about their internal experiences in the moment. Not everything is B & W or of equal importance / intensity.

NORMAL: In general, being Field-dependent (FD) contributes to how we deal with the world.  (FD) people vary widely in personality type, but can still interact with the environment from a stable inner world, because they’re balanced with Field-INdependence,(in future post)
UNHEALTHY – firld-dependent
BUT being totally FD is the result of weak individualization & unrecognized True Self, without a clear stable Identity – so that such a person can only react to PPT (people/place/things) they encounter

Regardless of one’s natural tendency,  an alcoholic / narcissistic upbringing leaves both Extro- & Intro-vert ACoAs totally other-directed, expressed as co-dependent people-pleasers with weak boundaries & little or no S & I.

SOME RESULTS
• Being other-directed, ACoAs use others as motivation to function (not the same as outer-directed), relying mainly on who we’re with & what they want, instead of our own emotions, needs & values. This leaves us at the mercy of outside forces.
EXP: If you’re mad at me I automatically believe I’m bad. If you like me  / approve, I’m temporarily OK

• ACoAs have a built-in forgetter about abuse – not remembering experiences & info we’ve already been trough, including what’s positive, so have trouble accurately identify new events that are similar
• We learn less efficiently in hyper-media-based environments (a nonlinear medium of information that includes graphics, audio, video, plain text & hyperlinks), because we need the personal touch, & tend to favor social sciences or educational fields

• On the one hand : UNindividuated F-Ds have trouble noticing, identifying or making sense of unclear, ambiguous information, including subtle social cues (don’t pick up on facial expression, indirect comments, body language…).
❖ It mimics autism but IT’S NOT – because it’s psychological, not physical, & therefore can be corrected with Recovery.
NOTE : These missed cues represent what other people are actually experiencing & expressing, & not what the F-D is projecting, mind-reading, assuming….

• On the other hand, unhealed ACoAs are overly-oriented toward other people, with their main focus on the terrible things we assume they are / will be thinking & feeling about us. We always interpret their slightest reaction in the most negative way, taking everything personally. This is a  projection of recurring family & school abuses —> on to present people & situations, using F-D antennae to try protecting ourself, without actually seeing who other people actually are – safe or unsafe.

NEXT: S & I – Separation

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