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jabag11's avatar

How does your childhood have to do with your current identity?

Asked by jabag11 (670 points ) March 30th, 2011

I’m in the midst of “finding myself” you could say…. and I’m wondering how important childhood is to your present identity? how do they connect and should it be important to who I am today?

I mean people change for a reason of course so i am wondering, would reminiscing about my past (in depth) to help understand who I am be pointless? Please all answers appreciated. And I am a 19 year old male. thank you…

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18 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Everything. My family was very stable, and that was such a blessing. I wonder how kids deal with so much now, with so many families being disjointed and blended.
For example: my daughter has a son with a guy who has 2 other kids with 2 other women. One of the kids mother is now working as a prostitute. The other kid has 3 brothers and sisters by her mom, all with different fathers.
There are times when my daughter takes care of one of her son’s father’s baby’s mother’s other kids.
No wonder kids cut themselves.

KateTheGreat's avatar

My childhood made me who I am today. I had to grow up very quick. For my age now, I believe I am pretty mature. If I didn’t have the childhood I did, I wouldn’t know as much as I do today. I was adopted and I still grew up in an unstable family, never had a stable home, and my parents split very early. It’s inspired me to become better than what I was raised in. It inspired me to do everything that nobody else in my family ever did.

Nullo's avatar

Your past is who you are to date, so it’s a pretty big deal.

jabag11's avatar

Right of course it makes you who you are to date but I’m talking strictly in terms of personality, not knowledge necessarily..?

Seelix's avatar

So many things happened while I was a 19-year-old male that shaped the person I am today.

jabag11's avatar

it’s like this….if we all have souls which I believe we do then that means we are all a certain way, our personality IS our soul pretty much right. When we say ” i’ve never sold me soul for nothing” that means you know who you are as a person. And to know who you are as a person would be to know your PERSONALITY…

so its like, if my childhood memories were all washed away, then what would happen to my personality? if we all have souls…shouldn’t my personality come out the same after I begin to re-develop it? I’m sorry if what I’m saying is hard to understand but it’s hard to explain

Symbeline's avatar

I was told that when you’re a child, your brain will register much of what happens to you and how that goes in to develop who you’ll be, at least largely. Why and how, I don’t know, I’m not a shrink. I’m not even sure if it’s true, but it seems just about right to me. These are apparently crucial years for personality development, but I’m thinking that inner traits as decreed by DNA or wtv play a big part, too.

creative1's avatar

Your usually shaped and molded as you grow. Does that mean that if you had the worst childhood that you will turn out bad. NO! Same stands true for the best childhood it doesn’t mean the will turn out the best. We are all given certain opportunities in our lives both good and bad. I lost my father when I was 17 and I could have easily turned did drugs or worse think life was too hard because in a moment I lost a key peice of my family but instead it made me a stronger person and that is what you need to remember is each bad experience is making you stronger. Never let it define or break you because you can reach for the stars no matter what your background is.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Yes, your childhood has to do with a decent amount of who you are today. There is an often disputed myth that we change as we grow, but the truth is that we become more of who we already really are. It is just a matter of identifying what it is that you enjoy. For example, what are you doing when you look up at the clock and think, “Where did the past hour(s) go???”

anartist's avatar

A very painful thing for my family happened when I was 2. An agonizing death of my baby brother from bone cancer. I could feel the grief, but not understand it. Of the 6 of children who survived, I was the most fragile, most prone to depression, and most timid.

jabag11's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I couldnt agree with you more in terms of we are just finding who we are as we grow…. but hear me out…I’v always felt like I knew EXACTLY who i was..I even questioned the concept of not knowing who you are…

and then somewhere in the midst of me and my girlfriend breaking up during 9th grade, in which the same periodd that i started smoking marijuana and moved to another city (about 20 min away) I began to lose myself almost…or just not be as aware of who I am at the core as i use to be…SO WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED?

it;s a cery empty feeling…as if i’m not here… all insights greatly apprecaited

marinelife's avatar

Childhood and its experiences have a huge impact on forming who we become as adults.

For example, I moved every two to three years in my childhood because my father was in the service.

It made me able to stand outside of things and observe.
It gave me the ability to size up situations very quickly, which helped me when I became a management consultant.

Childhood affects how you are in relationships, in the world, inside yourself.

downtide's avatar

Everything. My childhood experiences caused all of my adult issues with depression and low self-esteem.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

For you stated objective of finding yourself, reminiscing about your past in depth would only be pointless if you plan on doing nothing with the information or plan on using it to excuse current behavior. Each person does come into the world with some personality. Ask any parent of more than one child. This means, even if the children are born of the same parents and raised the same way, they will react differently (in most cases) to the same experiences. If you are just trying to understand how or why you behave certain ways, recalling your childhood can help you figure it out. Now, IMHO, this can be helpful in just understanding yourself, but the more productive thing to do would be try to use that information to better yourself. Some of our childhood experiences cause really good personality traits others cause problems. An example, my mother had a bad temper while I was growing up. You never knew what was going to set her off; each day it could be something else. I found myself later in life reacting the same way, and questioned it because I am not an angry person. Once I realized I was reacting the same way she did, it was easier to change (mainly, because I did not want to raise my children in the state of fear I was raised in.) No, there was no physical abuse. It was state of fear because I never knew if I was going to do something “wrong”.

You mentioned 9th grade. Most people begin to question themselves and those in authority around that time. This is one of the reasons most parents have difficulty with teenagers. They begin to develop a sense of themselves and the world which is independent of their parents. They can ultimately accept or reject all or part of the values their parents raised them to believe in up to that point. Their personality and values are no longer just an extension of their parents.

Supacase's avatar

The succession of three fathers before the age of 5 has left me with some abandonment issues. The treatment I received from my stepsister (who was 7 years older and had been the only girl plus the baby of the family) and the lack of backup I received from my mom made it difficult to have much self-confidence. My mom encouraged (or didn’t discourage) my self-medicating with food, and I ended up being the fat kid – my body image sucks even now that I am a “normal” size and I still battle with food.

jabag11's avatar

@optimisticpessimist youuu hit the head on the nail with ALSO using this to better myself..im so glad you said thatt…i was already thinking that but you kind of reminded mee…thanks a lot..thanks everyonee.

Winters's avatar

it all definitely helps to define the person you are today, especially any event that occurs that stirs strong emotions when you are a young child, and the steps you chose to deal with the ones that affected you in a negative way.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

@jabag11 You are welcome. Good on you for doing this at such a young age.

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