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April 10, 2018

The Foundation

by David Edsel

So at the risk of sounding like a complete buffoon- I’m already resigned to being a partial buffoon- I will ponder what can be scavenged from Erik Erikson’s theories on developmental Psychology, and compare them to my own childhood experiences. Hopefully, though with some degree of skepticism, I can analyze the events of my life and come to some sort of understanding of how I came into my current predicament, so maybe I can attempt to pick up the pieces of this fucking disaster that my life has become. I mean, for Christ’s sake, a year ago I probably would’ve been quick to succumb to the folly of moral judgement upon the person I am today. What am I today? I’ll get around to that, but if I were to throw a label on me, I think most people understand what a junkie is right? You remember that commercial, nobody ever says I wanna be a junkie when I grow up? I still haven’t met anyone who contradicts that paradigm, so kudos to you, 80’s anti drug campaign, you hit the nail on the head. Too bad the actual policy has been a dismal failure- I don’t mention that often enough in this blog, do I?

So I guess that Erikson thought the first stage of development for infants revolved around two outcomes based on his conflict model which he used throughout his whole developmental roadmap, so to speak. The first challenge encountered is trust vs. mistrust, which, in my opinion, is irrelevant in my case. I don’t remember, but I’m pretty sure I was nurtured enough by my mom. I won’t go into to much detail, since well, I was a fuckin baby- nothing exciting going on there. You all have heard those stories about fucking neglected babies growing up with serious issues integrating into society. Shit, maybe some of you are living through that kind of existence right now- in which case, you can discuss that with your therapist, or continue your successful career as a high-functioning, corporate executive psychopath in upper management. You may never experience love, but you have the ability to completely destroy other people’s lives, without those pesky emotions like guilt or empathy to weigh you down.

I don’t know how much truth rings in Erikson’s developmental psychology model, but he believed that if at any of the stages of development, there is an outcome which results in, well, I’ll use the word failure to overcome that stage’s challenge, there is a corresponding virtue which is not developed. In the first stage, for example, the virtue of hope is carried on throughout life if you were coddled enough as baby.

To that I say…. mehhh. Maybe, maybe not. There is definitely some situations where this has proven to be true, and it seems to fit with most people’s lives. I welcome any opinions on Erickson’s model of development. Please comment and share your thoughts and experiences. No judgements here on my end, just curiosity. Thanks for reading, I’ll probably explore this topic further in coming posts.

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