HANNAH ORION BN. RN. © 2011
This booklet might induce hurt feelings but as they say “No Pain - No Gain”.
Just as athletes train their physical bodies, pushing them and discovering
through the pain of exercise and exertion the limits of their abilities and how
they can obtain the best results and performance by it. We too need to
understand our own mental and emotional limits. We need to know ourselves
and we need to have a sense of identity. We need to develop our own self-
esteem and how to respond to other people in a way that draws the best
advantages to ourselves.
Our ability to interact with others i.e. our behaviour is largely determined by
what we learn from others. This education and process of learning begins at
birth and continues throughout our lives. In this way LIFE can be seen as a
journey. How comfortable that journey is and how much we enjoy it depends
upon how well prepared we are to undertake it. This preparation is comprised
of many things, some of which are inherited factors but most of our
behaviours and coping mechanisms are learned.
This booklet will explore some of these factors; how they are learned and
who taught them to us during our formative years. This teaching forms our
preparation for the journey of our LIVES.
From the moment a child is born certain milestones are expected of it, both
physical and mental All of these milestones such as teething, talking,
crawling and walking are given a general time-frame in which to be
completed. What we are as adults, how well we function, how well we handle
stress or grief even how successful we are, can be said to be the result of our
mastery during these milestone stages of our early development. Our ability
to achieve these milestones however does not merely depend on our ability to
learn them but also on the expertise of those who teach them to us.
We have many teachers; Parents and significant others, relatives; Brothers,
Sisters, Uncles, Aunts & Grandparents; Non-Relatives; Baby-sitters, pre-
school & school teachers, friends, neighbours, strangers. Non-People; pets,
insects and animals, TV, movies, cartoons, and events the list goes on. In fact
the experience of life itself is our teacher.
If we experience traumatic circumstances during the years of our early
development our mastery of the expected milestones may be impaired. The
result of such impairment creates a behavioural handicap for us and in
response to such a handicap we often develop a coping mechanism or defence
mechanism to compensate.