A person’s past life holds the torch for his future and the lessons learnt from these past experiences determine his future. Life is a journey filled with successes and failures, pleasures and disasters and the path is strewn with roses and thorns. When I look back at the twenty six years of my life, I can see the roller-coaster ride that life has offered me and the lessons that I have learnt. Even though the disasters in my life have left me with undeletable scars, they have also taught me to fight and survive.
My childhood gave me lessons on adaptability and patience while my years at the war zone brought out the survival instincts in me. Upon introspection of the various facets of my past, I am able to relate my experiences to the theories of adult development as explained by Sigmund Freud. Although many developmental theories have evolved, Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory was the first modern theory of psychology and has been the most accepted and influential theory across the globe. According to Sigmund, the three major factors that rule our actions are the Id, Ego and the Super ego.
The Id is the factor urges us to follow our desire, without any thoughts about the consequences. The ego factor instills some sense of reality in us and acts as the plug that controls our hasty actions based on desire. The super-ego factor, which is our conscience, helps us to distinguish between good and evil and to choose the right path. Freud believed that the neurotic behavior of a person is the influence of these factors and such actions are not meaningless but goal-related. The developmental theories of Sigmund Freud help me to realize the influence of these three factors in my past and how they will shape up my future.
I understand that my actions have been a result of the goals that I set for myself. Even as a child, I was exposed to the harsh realities of life and these bitter experiences influenced my actions. I was born into a large dysfunctional family and was one among the 12 children. My father Robert Bell Sr. was married to three women and had twelve kids, seven boys and five girls. He had five children through his first wife, one through the second and last six children were through my mother. My dad was a minister in church and my mom was a depressed, alcoholic. Marie Bell.
Dionne, Robert, Daryl, Zannette, Maurice and Shante were my step siblings. Maurice was 8 years older than me, and Dionne the oldest was 18 years older than me. Shantae was 6 years older than me. My own siblings were Tonielle, Theresa, Timothy, Thomas and Taurence. Taurence was four years younger. Thomas was two years younger to me. Timothy, Theresa, Tonielle were all elder to me. Having been born in the midst of a range of children spanning all age groups, my situation gave me the first lessons of survival and adaptability. I was subject to a violent childhood.
My siblings would often beat me up, cut me with knives, break my wrists, break my toys, spit on me and punch me. The reason they had for this was that I was talking too much and was too good at studies. Yes, I was an’ A ‘grade student at school. Such violence often left me depressed and helpless. To add to my miserable condition, my father divorced my mother and deserted us when I was ten years old. My father was a retired Master Sergeant in the Active Army and worked as a civilian for the government and he was the sole bread-winner of the family.
My mother was a typical military wife and she could not take the burden of running the family. Today as an adult, I can understand her sense of despair. She was left with the burden of nurturing twelve children, of which six were not even her own. She was a home maker and had no source of income. Thus we were in abject poverty and a decent meal became a fantasy. Even as a ten year old, I was left with the task of taking care of my younger siblings. I would often steal food from shops or passers-by and this would occasionally appease my hunger.
These experiences left me craving for more success and I yearned to change my life once I grew up. I feel that the most miserable condition of life is poverty in childhood. This affects the present and future of the child. As Sigmund reiterates, the past holds the key for the future. The childhood that I spent in poverty and abandonment influenced my adolescent life. I determinedly set foot into my adolescence and joined the army. My experiences in the army were a kaleidoscope of successes and failures. The period during which I was stationed in Germany was a challenging one for me and my family.
I indulged myself whole-heartedly in my work and I rose up the ranks from a PV2 to a Specialist promotable cadre. While I was stationed in Germany, I was deployed to Iraq for a period of thirteen months. During this short span of time, I won a lot of awards and went from a PV2, Private to a SPCP. I was tasting success for the first time in life and it left me craving for more. Despite being posted in a war zone. I completed some college courses, and received my Professional Fitness Trainer Certification and maximized my army correspondence courses.
I was at an all time high. But I came crashing to the ground when I was betrayed by my wife. When I came back from deployment, I found out my wife was cheating on me while I was in Germany and Iraq. I plummeted into depression and turned to alcohol. I lost my rank in the army and my career path became disarrayed. I felt suicidal and totally lost interest in the future. This adversely affected my promotions and I got dropped down from an E-4 promotable to a E-1. Finally, I was forced to leave the army, albeit in an honorable condition.
I divorced my wife and felt that there was nothing more to look forward to in life. But hope lingered on and I felt that all was not lost yet. There is a turning point in everyone’s life and it is at this point that one learns from his past and moves on to the future. I feel that I am at this junction of life. I have learnt to face misery, poverty, danger and betrayal and these lessons will help me to build a better future. I have set specific personal, professional and academic goals for myself and I wish to achieve them, while I am still in my prime.
Despite what I have been through, I have future goals. I have specific personal, professional, and academic goals that I am in the process of achieving. I visualize a happy family with a beautiful wife and at least four children. We will live in a big and beautiful house. I would be a doting husband and father. I am determined to move heaven and earth to give a wonderful childhood to my children, something that evaded me in the past. I would like to achieve a debt-free life before I turn forty.
I aspire to succeed in my professional life by starting my own chain of fitness centers and spread my business all over the world. I am also determined to complete my college degree and come out with flying colors. I would garner all the necessary academic skills that would make me a highly accomplished and well- known business magnate in the fitness industry. As I reflect upon my past life, I realize that I have come across a very tough path. Even though, it was painful to tread, my experiences have given me the rich education that no Academic Institution can offer. I would often blame destiny for my failures.
But today, as a mature individual, I realize that we are not dealt with a deck of cards that we cannot change. It is just that we need to take the initiative and change them in our favor. We are the ones who are in total control of our lives. As Sigmund Freud’s developmental theory states all our actions are and behavior is goal-related. It is up to us to set high goals and ambitions in our lives and strive to achieve them. References: Witt, G. A. , & Mossler, R. A. (2010). Adult Development and Life Assessment. Retrieved fromhttps://content. ashford. edu/AUPSY202. 10. 1
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