I’ve never stopped to think particularly about the different stages of my development through childhood, but right now as I realized I just completed another stage in my book writing, I am anticipating what might be coming next. I won’t know until I get there!
I am still writing for Question #6 for the book my daughter and I are working on. Within #6 I found a wide open highway without external obstacles and I am running down it. When and where I will consider #6 completed so we can move on to a Question #7 I do not yet know. But in my part of the writing I am still 8 1/2 but am moving quickly now on toward my 9th birthday.
And I am anticipating, based upon the jumble and tangle of ‘facts’ that I remember about myself in 4th grade, that I must have had some version of a childhood ‘enlightenment’ period happen around this age. I am therefore closing the Part Three of my answer to Question #6 and preparing through a short break for my journey into Part Four.
What will I discover? The value and the mystery of this kind of ‘memoir writing’ for me is that I have no clue. It has only been as my adult self returns backward in time to locate the ‘young me’ that something important happens as if a gift is passed between that young me and this adult me — that of course does nothing to change the young me but seems to have great power to change this adult me!
These realizations might mean nothing to anyone else when I am finished. I don’t have any control over the power of the end product — our book — to make sense or to entertain or to assist someone else on their healing journey. If nothing else, though, I am realizing how important it is to make this kind of journey, perhaps in the particular way I am doing it.
Again, as has been said so many times on this blog, experts in the field of developmental neuroscience and human attachment agree that when an infant does not receive what it needs in its earliest caregiving relationships to form a safe and secure attachment system in their growing body-brain, the #1 symptom of that fact by adulthood is that the survivor will not be able to tell a truly coherent narrative of their own life story.
As much writing and exploring as I have done about myself enduring the hardships and suffering of my mother’s chronic severe abuse of me, and as much learning as I have already accomplished about what hurt and what heals me, it is only now as I put the entire story together from the beginning — taking one step through time after another — that I must be discovering a version of coherency for myself in my story that I have never found before.
Especially for those of us who suffered from birth forward from a lack of safe and secure attachment to anyone, and therefore are most likely to have the insecure attachment disorder of ‘Disorganized-Disoriented” — which is the one I strongly suspect my mother had (if not all severe Borderlines), the very real benefit of writing a life narrative in this meticulous ‘proper order’ can’t help but accomplish some major healings.
I am finding new levels of organization and order to my OWN experience of a truly hurtful, disorganized and disorienting childhood. After I take today’s break, beginning tomorrow I will open my Word computer files and go back to work on this. I have to encourage myself, seek encouragement, cajole and tantalize myself into working on this project on any given day.
It is often all I can do but to turn around and distract myself by running in any other direction I can find other than to do this task. And yet once I set myself down at my ‘school desk’, pick up my proverbial sharpened pencil and dig in — I KNOW I can do this. I can make more progress. And, in truth, I want to see if I can discover that childhood world inside my nearly 8 1/2 and 9 year old self. I sense there is something very magical about that age — that there is a cognitive and emotional evolutionary quantum leap inside a human as they develop through this age.
I want to know what that looked like, what I felt like, what I was like — the best that I can.