presentsThe Evolving Self
When growth is the only option...

The Evolving Self is an e-newsletter that reflects the belief that growth is a choice that can bring an ever deepening and expanding awareness of who we are and what we are here for. The reader can expect affirmations, quotes, book reviews, insightful commentary and tips that support the growth of the individual.

Affirmation:  I love and embrace the child within me.

Quote:  "Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave when they think their children are naive." -Ogden Nash

Newsletter archives:

October 2016 - The Need/Obligate System

Septemer 2016 - Flower Power

August 2016 - Beeee Yourself




What is Dysfunctional?

John Bradshaw, who wrote many books on the subjects of addiction, recovery and codependency said that he believes 95% of families are dysfunctional. The presence of the average person we see in public seems to embody something that is nebulously considered to be normal, but normal in our society is dysfunctional if you believe John Bradshaw.

When you consider the number of people who struggle with addiction, depression/anxiety, self-destructive behaviors and low self-esteem/insecurity. When you consider the high number of children who deal with abuse, when you consider crime levels and the number of people who are incarcerated in this country. When you consider that the healthcare systems are flooded with people seeking help for overwhelming stress in their lives. It becomes a little easier to believe that 95% of families are indeed, dysfunctional.

What does it mean to be dysfunctional or to come from a dysfunctional family? According to Janae and Barry Weinhold, who have written many books on the subject of Developmental Trauma, it basically means that you didn't get all your needs met when you were very small and/or you got things that you didn't need. So, putting all these pieces together... it is normal for people to come from families where they didn't get all their needs met.

According to the Weinholds, at each stage of the emotional and physical development of a child there is a specific need that is targeted to be filled. The first need is attachment which is your first agenda when you come into the world, to emotionally attach to your mother or caregiver. But what if you are third, fourth or more in a line of children born to that mother and what if that mother has a husband who is depressed and drinking too much. What if that mother is working outside the home or is struggling with her own demons. That child may get the physical care it needs, but may not get enough attachment to fill their need. So the child carries that need to the next developmental stage.

The second need is to explore the world. This may sound like it would be easy since there is freedom to explore in a family that isn't paying attention, but because the need for attachment wasn't met, the child doesn't feel safe to venture out into the world, or maybe the mother is just overprotective, so she holds the child back. So now that child adds a second need to the unmet needs list  and carries it forward as well etc, etc.

The phases of development are outlined in the second article below


Phases of Development:

1) Co-dependency Conception to Six Months: Bonding and Attachment

2) Counter-dependency Six to Thirty-six Months: Separation and Individuation

3) Independence Three to Six Years) Mastery of Self and Environment

4) Interdependence Six to Twenty-nine Years) Cooperation and Negotiation Skills

In the face of a world that doesn't know how to see you, hear you, understand you and guide you to make healthy decisions, we cope and survive by creating a system of defense against further hurt.

For many people this looks like hiding our true feelings. Because if I let you know how I feel, you will then have the power to hurt me. You remember the old saying, "never let them see you sweat." Don't let people know they have an effect on you. Hide, play your cards close to the vest. Lie if necessary, even to yourself.

Here is the clincher: All the things we do in life to cope with our un-met developmental needs are the same behaviors that cause us problems later in life. While those coping strategies may have enabled us to survive at the time, eventually they become liabilities that prevent us from ever getting our needs met or connecting with others in a meaninful way.

How do we go about getting our needs met when we're no longer children? One way is to learn to re-parent ourselves. Bond and attach to the part of us that is desparate for connection. Allow freedom to the part of us that needs to safely explore the world, provide ourselves with limits aka structure and self-discipline to achieve what we want to achieve and identify our own needs and desires and stand up for them. And, to ask clearly and plainly for what we want and need.

I work with individuals who are interested in overcoming dysfunction. Please click here: to contact me.

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Jaqui Duvall works as a coach, mentor, trainer, facilitator and public speaker developing and delivering workshops, leading mentoring groups and working with individuals to help them identify and express their inner spirit and live a life of consciousness and intention. •  San Jose