Quick Summary: Many of us imagine ourselves to be a character in a storybook. If we are to reach psychological maturity, we have to get real…

I find that most people don’t realize that just as adults can be of different physical ages, they can be of different psychological ages, which may not be close to adulthood. In fact, the psychological age of an individual may be quite a contrast to his or her physical age. Today, I’m going to write about the wounded psychological infant that so often lives inside adult physical bodies. See if the following information brings to mind anyone you know:

The psychological infant believes, “I alone create my special destiny, and I select the course of my life. I choose the ‘good’—what gets me what ‘I’ want. I reject the ‘bad’—what interferes. What I choose is none of your business! But you need to…” As much as these “babies” may think that they are making their own choices, they largely act from their environmental programming and conditioning. In other words, where people in their environments take them, this is where they go. “Infants” judge by superficial appearances, such as assuming that a physical adult is psychologically mature as well. Because “infants” themselves are lost in imagery, the realm of appearances, their communication establishes a picture of them and their lives that is a pleasant cover story. By what they say, they seem so successful, saintly, heroic, or decent to the core that they distract other “infants” from seeing the harsh reality. The grandiose and fanciful delusions of these false-self-fixated individuals consistently distract themselves and others from their painful reality as severely traumatized human beings. Enduring chronic abuse and neglect without treatment is how someone becomes stranded in psychological infancy.

Growing up, these “infants” received the basic physical nutrition they needed to survive, but they were denied human psychological nutrition – what their hearts and minds needed to grow. The fullness of their humanity was neither accepted nor nurtured, so they became attached to what was accepted and nurtured – image! Because their “infant” caretakers fed them character roles (men are this way and women are that way) and story lines, they grew into a fictional “reality” that supported one predominant way of being and of interpreting events. Unless a more evolved human comes along and meets their developmental need for truth and love of their true identity, “infants” stay psychologically where their caregivers have taken them.

“Infants” attach to people’s facades. They are stuck playing character roles and telling stories of good and evil, or some other black and white theme. While they hold their characters in a positive light, their traumatized identities that they have pushed aside to keep up appearances act out the negative reality. With such polar restrictive movements, resulting from their own split minds, “infants” cannot venture beyond their traumatic avoidance and re-creation patterns. They are stuck in the paradigm of post-traumatic stress, ever re-creating their traumas or avoiding whatever reminds them of these traumas. Thus, they perpetuate the trauma cycle by passing their traumas on to the next generation.