The Compliant Child Syndrome

I suppose we all know or have known a person or persons who suffer from issues that can be traced back to childhood. More often than not, that observation is something we see about ourselves. Isn’t it interesting that in spite of our deliberate efforts to forgive our parents for their ‘bad parenting skills’, we still find many of their negative behaviors becoming our own. Even their negative words somehow find a way into our own language and self-talk. But what about the truly psychotic behaviors of a man who walks into a movie theatre or a pre-school and simply starts shooting? Is there any rhyme or reason to this behavior? As strange as the following statement sounds it’s true: their actions make perfect sense……to them.

Years ago, one of my clients, who I will refer to as ‘Madam X’ described her unwanted behaviors as follows: “My mother has been dead for more than 10 years.” she said wiping the tears from her eyes. “But I can still hear her voice ringing in my ears and I’m as frightened of her now as I was when I was five, maybe even more so now. Its as if she’s still running the show, standing over me telling what a pathetic loser I am! Strangely, I never had a problem with drugs or alcohol until she died. It was after her death that I became an addict. I always did what she asked of me, all I ever wanted was her approval. Now that she’s gone, I won’t ever be able to get her approval.” she went on, “So, why would I start to do drugs now? Do I have a death wish that I don’t know about?”

What is the machinery behind such aberrant behaviors? I’ve counseled and been able to help many people over the past 5 decades with identical issues and my experience tells me the rules governing this behavior are well beyond the grasp psychology. In point of fact, it enters into the realm of spirituality. By the time Madam X came to me, she had already seen several very competent psychologists and one Psychiatrist who put her on antidepressants. “No one seems to understand.” she continued. “They (meaning other therapists) think that if I could forgive my mother I’d be over my addictions. They think that if they can label it, they’ve cured it. What they don’t understand is that I’ve already forgiven her. I don’t hate her. But it’s as if someone or something outside of me is governing my mind and body. I feel completely out of control.”

Here is what I’ve learned from 50 years of very practical experience in dealing with the subconscious mind, the trauma from adversity, regardless of its derivation, settles in us in three ways: Emotionally, Physically and Cellularly. Emotional traumas are expressed in the form of aberrant behaviors, like unreasonable anger, fears or anxieties that often turn into phobias. Generally, we deal with these traumas in three ways: 1.) We suppress them. 2.) We try to get away from them or 3.) We medicate ourselves as a means of coexisting with them. By the way, the medication route can and does range from legally prescribed drugs to food, alcohol, cocaine, heroine and so on. None of the aforementioned methods solve the problem, if anything the are a temporary fix.

The reality is, If we don’t adequately deal with our emotional traumas, they will escalate into physical traumas that surface inside and on the surface of our bodies and they can range from minor headaches to migraines, from a little indigestion to serious digestive issues like ulcerative colitis, and skin eruptions like acne and rashes can become serious immune issues. Cellular trauma is exactly as it reads: Every cell of the body has a memory and when prompted those cells can and will respond with such profound expression that they will sometimes literally, render the subject unable to move (like a deer in the headlights) or the subject will break out in a cold sweat from head to foot without consciously knowing who, what where or why.

Okay, assuming I know what I’m talking about, why did I call this article “The Compliant Child Syndrome”? First of all, It happens to be the name of my next book which will be published in late 2017. Secondly, I believe it’s important to know that all of us have had to be compliant in one way or another; its a part of how we fit in. I also attempt to explain through real life examples, how most of the time, we are acting out of a volition that isn’t ours. In other words, the negative self-talk that constantly punishes us doesn’t really belong to us. I talk about how the dark energy came into us and what we can do to be free of it. More importantly, I talk about how we get to a place of peace. But who or what is the compliant child and what does all this business of the logical mind versus the illogical emotions have to do with him?

The compliant child starts out like any other child: He wants life to run smoothly, so much so that he is willing to comply to the unreasonable demands of his parents, friends, relatives and teachers. But even though his outward behavior is all about harmony and coexistence, inwardly, subconsciously, he seething with anger and frustration over the hypocrisy of the world but instead of speaking up and rebelling, he holds it inside. He suppresses his frustrations with parents who tell him to do as they say not as they do, frustrations with the bullies at school who push him around because he’s different, frustrations with the teachers who turn a blind eye on all these injustices, and finally, frustrations with long time friends who would sacrifice his friendship in order to be a part of a high school, college or societal clique.

The bottom line is, If he doesn’t find a constructive way to release his frustrations and resentments, the compliant child becomes an adult volcano of negative, irrational emotions ready to erupt outwardly toward the world and all the people in it or inwardly in self-destructive behaviors that may result in actions completely out of character to the people who thought they knew him. Interestingly, there is a very thin line between the rebellious child who gets the help he needs early on, who then becomes a pillar of society and the compliant child who ultimately brings pain and suffering to himself and possibly everyone around him.

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