(Original Post from Dr. Brenner’s personal Blog, July 5, 2013)
The first question in May 15 blog: In the first ten years of your life, what did you appreciate most about your parents or primary caregivers? Please, do not use the word love. What words or word feels most like love to you?
Brief summary: What you appreciated revealed: your values, how you love, how you feel loved, who you tend to blame and if not lived, can lead to depression.
The second question in June 19 blog:In the first ten years of your life, what did you need if anything from your parents or primary caregivers? Please do not use the word love. Rather, how would you want to have been loved, treated , etc.?
Brief summary: The unmet need revealed: how you parent others the way you would have wished you were parented, and how you parent yourself the way you were parented. To move towards self love and unconditional love of others parent yourself, the way you parent/ treat your best friend.
The third question is the subject of this blog. How did you cope with the unmet need as described in the second question. What skill did you developed in order to avoid the pain of your unmet need in the first ten years of your life’s?
In the previous blog on the unmet need, I coped with my belief that my mother was ‘not there’ by learning how to ‘please’. if I please her, she seemed to be more present. I coped with my father’s ‘criticism by ‘achieving’ and his inconsistency by ‘ ‘being independent’ I believed that if I were successful in sports and school, he would be less ‘critical’ and if I were ‘ independent’, I would experience less criticism.
There is a hook. The cope skills that saves us in childhood tends to recreate the pain of our childhood in adulthood. In my case, I was so good at ‘pleasing’ others and anticipating what another needed, that no one thought I had any needs. I n having achieved so much, people expected me to do things well and if I ever underachieved, I often felt ‘criticized’. Not needing anyone, also set me up for criticism for not connecting.
Solution: Stop coping! Meet your own unmet needs. The only one you can save is you. To save your self is to reclaim self love and so unconditional love for others. In meeting your unmet needs by treating yourself as you would your best friend, you also heal your ancestry and the yet unborn.
Paul Brenner, M.D., PhD