Sonya Fulgham HD 300- Early Childhood Themes and Life Cycles 09/13/11 Reflection #1 There are a total of six “selves”, they are the physical, which deals with the changes in size, shape, and hormonal structure that young girls bodies go through. An emotional selves is the way that young girls deal with their feelings, a young girl’s emotions are extreme and ever changeable. Academic selves is how a young girl views her academic success, they are put in positions to feel inadequate about their intelligence in comparison to young boys.
Thinking selves are when the young female tend to overanalyze and over generalize situations. Spiritual selves are the times were the young adolescent girls try to actively search for meaning and order in the universe in which they dwell. Social selves are the points were a young girl would disconnect from their parents emotionally and strive for the validation of their peers. All of these factors can have a great impact on a young adolescent female.
Physical selves happens to be a “selves” that I can totally relate to, because I can remember being in my young adolescent stage trying to understand and make sense of what exactly my body was going through. I started puberty by the age nine and I was not prepared for it. My mother had not taken the time to express to me that my body would endure changes. So I had a hard time excepting me for whom I was developing into physically. I felt like I was an alien, because I was starting to look different than the other young girls my age.
According, to the author Mary Pipher, (1994) the physical selves refer to when young adolescent females’ bodies are going through changes in the shape and sizes, along with the hormonal structure (Mary Pipher, 1994, p. 54). Which leads me to talk about, the emotional selves, this is a “selves” that hit home for me. Being a young girl that was developing at a rapid rate I can remember feeling moments of despair. Due to the fact that I no longer looked like the young girls my age, boys would pick at me to the point that I would become full of anger. I would be so outraged that I would engage in fights.
I was so confused, because these were the same boys that I was friends with playing football, racing, and be active with. My body changed and the young boys were starting to tease me. As stated in the book, Mary Pipher (1994) speaks about how despair and anger are the hardest to deal with as a young adolescent’s female (Pipher, 1994, p. 57). Eventually, this contributed to me losing my true self and replacing it with a false self. I found myself in a relationship with an older guy who acted as if he appreciated my body, which has led to other emotional problems.
Through that world wind I became pregnant at the age of fifteen. Me being pregnant at a young age interfered with my academic selves, because now I had to be responsible for another human being, while trying to stay focused on my education, and losing my childhood all at the same time. As I continued to read the book, Pipher (1994), expresses how boys tend to be portrayed as clever, brave, creative, and resourceful, however I feel as though I was experiencing boys and the girls attributes all at the same time (Mary Pipher, 1994, p. 62).
However, I could not help but to feel as though I may not have been as smart as the other students that I attended high school with, because of the decision that I had made to have a child at such a young age. Therefore, I felt as though I needed to prove to other and myself that I was not a failure, so I did what I needed to so that I could complete high school with a baby and living on my own. Thinking selves, I definitely understand the process of the thinking selves. I had to think for two people and understand that the decisions that I make could not only affect me, but could affect my child.
Having to be so responsible at a young age caused me to seek out companions whom were also on the run, which was expressed in the book (Mary Piper, 1994, p. 61). I now realize that we were not doing anything but playing house. Like discussed by Pipher, girls who stays connect to their true selves are also confused and sometimes overwhelmed. I can see how I overwhelmed myself by taking on to many responsibilities at such an early age, battling with trying to stay true to myself all the while losing myself all at the same time.
Social selves is an aspect in my life that I struggle with even to this day, because I did not get the opportunity to see what healthy relationship consist of. My mother made poor choices when it came down to the company she kept. Some of the people she surrounded herself around were negative influences in her life, which led her down a road of abuse. She became addicted to drugs and we were exposed to her being in an abusive relationship. Which has contributed to me not making the best decisions about the people whom I chose to allow in my life.
As stated by Mary Pipher (1994), adults who are struggling with their own problems such as depression, drugs or alcohol addiction or crippling poverty often have no energy to parent (Mary Pipher, 1994, p. 65). I now understand the importance about talking to your children, and giving them advice about how important it is to be cautious about what types of people they allow to enter into their lives. Because when children do not have guidance and direction from their parents they can fall prey to negative influences.
Spiritual selves is an important self to possess, because it can give you the comfort in understanding that there is a greater power than yourself, which equips you with a belief and value system. I was not fortunate enough to gain that in my adolescent years, my mother did not take us to church or help us develop a sense of our spiritual selves. It wasn’t until I was face with prison time did I learn about how important it was to have a set of beliefs and values to help me with guidance and direction.
I now understand why I must allow myself the right to develop my spiritual selves. According to Mary Pipher (1994), only when we reconnect with the parts of ourselves that are alive and true will we again have the energy to take on the culture and understand our spirituality (Mary Pipher, 1994, p. 72). In conclusion the experiences that I have shared have shown how the development stages of the six “selves”, physical, emotional, academic, thinking, social, and spiritual could affect a young adolescent females life.
Without the proper guidance and understanding adolescent females find themselves trapped in this vicious cycles of false selves well into their adulthood, until they take out the time and face these issues. They will need to take the time to search within and find their true selves so that they can become truly happy. I am now on a journey to finding my true selves, and I am starting to feel good about being me. References Pipher, M. (1994). Reviving Ophelia: Saving the selves of adolescent girls. New York, NY: Ballantine Books
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