Dr. Paul's INSIGHT:
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like a child in a grown-up world? Maybe you were in a meeting or a social setting when you looked around and said to yourself I don't know what to do. I feel like a little kid in a room full of adults. The stress of the situation may make you feel small and unable to "run with the big dogs."
I remember many times when I was reduced to a child as I sat among adults in a professional setting. I was scraping the bottom of the self-confidence barrel as it felt like my chair suddenly became oversized and I was swinging both legs because my feet couldn't touch the floor. Remember Lilly Tomlin's character Edith Ann? In one particularly vivid memory, I was sitting across the table from an adult and immediately began feeling like a very small child. This person's tone of voice and attitude triggered me and I slowly began to shrink inside my adult body. It felt like I needed a ladder to climb up to look out my eyeballs.
I call this Arrested Development. Traditional therapy calls it Fixation. Due to the fact that I had been wounded as a small child, my emotional development froze at the point of the trauma. My emotions were, therefore, locked up and I acted like a child when I was stressed.
If we are wounded as children, either by rejection, incest, molestation, emotional abuse, or physical abuse, the chemicals that would normally kick in around the age of 13 are blocked. Our emotional development stops, but our physical development continues. We grow and change physically, but our emotions are arrested and stay stuck. We then act like a child when we are stressed, which isn't pretty when we look like an adult. We have no impulse control and are driven by our childish emotions. We escape from the reality of life by distractions or addictions. We believe the world revolves around us. We develop a pseudo personality to cope in an adult world. This pseudo personality is often called the Jekyll/Hyde, dual personality, or the double-minded man found in Scripture. We are characteristically:
* lacking impulse control
* lacking limits
* unable to resolve issues
* desperate for freedom
* resistant of authority
* unhappy with our job
Our childishness manifests itself in our relationships. Women seek an emotional connection with a man, but will often have "magical thinking" concerning relationships. If arrested in development, she tends to gravitate towards "bad boys" rather than experience a good man and then possibly endure the pain of losing him. Instead, she gravitates towards a "bad boy" and manipulates him to get him to meet her emotional needs; however, she cannot identify her emotional needs so he comes up short every time. She may identify her wants, but they are childish and self-centered because she is emotionally childish.
Men, on the other hand, seek control over sex and money in a relationship. Men are 90% sexual and 10% emotional. Women are 90% emotional and 10% sexual. Therefore, a wounded man focuses and sees his success as handling money and expressing his emotions through sexuality. A woman can judge her husband's mood by the way he makes love to her and the way he touches her. Very seldom is he emotionally gentle and connected to her. Instead, he uses her as a way to rid himself of his emotions; his anger, rage, childishness, power and control, and manipulation.
As a man matures and finds his balance, he realizes that if he would meet her emotional needs (which means she needs to identify them because men are not good "guessers" or mind-readers) and communicate with her and bond emotionally, she will respond sexually and meet his needs with joy. Wounded women lock up their emotions because they have been hurt a greater portion of the time by a man. Men who have been emotionally wounded lock up in the areas of sex and money. There is tremendous hope. Over the last 28 years we have seen couples come together and find that intimate balance where there is a complete relationship for each of the partners.
There is hope . . .
We have found that arrested development or fixation can be restarted by learning how today's behaviors are sourced in a wound or wounds of childhood. This allows the body to back off of the adrenaline and the mind begins to understand why I do the things I do. As understanding and knowledge increase, our character is developed and we are able to grow up. What I understand, I can resolve.
The cure is simple. We will give you the tools you need to be mature and feel like an adult in an adult world. You don't need to feel or act like a child anymore!
There IS hope!