Hardly! Though it is a beautiful thing, to hear nursery rhymes, and other fairy tales as a child. I remember how lovely these worlds seemed and how I wanted to be in them. It is up to the parent to help transition the child, into the realities of life once they hit puberty. Unfortunately, in a traumatic household, the child figures it out for themselves.
Recently, I turned 60 years old. I took a trip with a good friend of mine, another therapist, for four days. She is 73. Her job was to help me transition into my sixth decade. I perceived this birthday as one that would cause a lot of depression and anguish for me. It did not. The reason for this was that I was not alone. I had built up a strong female support system in the past year. They are all in my age group or older and they all resonated with what I felt like. On my big day, they sang songs, sent cards, they all made a point of congratulating me in their own special way. There is nothing like having strong, trustworthy, faithful female friends during a time of need. It is part of what being a woman is all about.
How does one lose their sense of self? This is a loaded question. With a child, it begins when you are more focused on your parent than yourself. You realize that their needs are more important than your own. You make decisions that they will like rather than what you want. You compromise your likes and wants and needs to make sure they are happy. It can come from not having boundaries growing up so that there is no space that is your own. One example is not allowing doors to be locked, even in the bathroom. Therefore, when a child is going through puberty any moment a person can walk through the door. This is frightening to hear but yet this has become a life they are accustomed to. You don’t know any different. Another example is a child who does not even have a room to sleep in and so there is no place to go and read or talk to your friends on the phone. Losing your sense of self can make a person feel like a robot; they are just there doing what they are told. As one person stated, it made them feel invisible from those around them.