Our “I”

26.08.2020

Our "I", what we call "personality", is always the result of our biological and genetic character and of our life experiences , from the pregnancy itself in the womb to adulthood.

Indeed, from the fetus itself, the neuro-biological conformation of our brain will be molded through the interaction of our biological characteristics, with their corresponding genetic load, with the environment in which we land in the world and the relationships that we are establishing in the same, especially with the most important figures, those of our caregivers.

This enormous adaptive effort will always be aimed at cushioning pain and anguish as much as possible . Our brain, on a neurobiological level, and therefore our "I" on a psychological level, will always be the result of a survival effort, whatever the environment in which we grow up, more hostile or more welcoming.

Obviously, depending on the hostility of the environment, we will develop one type of attachment or another , so that the final result of the equation will be a personality, masterfully designed to survive in the "world" that has fallen to us.

This process is neurological and biological, and in it, our genetic base also plays a determining role. A visual brain, with a crossed left-hander, is not the same as a structured, formal brain with a tendency to recurring thoughts.

The formation of the "I" is linked to its history

In any case, we do not choose our caregivers, nor do we choose the genetic tools with which to cope with the primal experiences of our life. Obviously, the type of relationship that our caregivers establish with us is crucial in this process. But this is not the subject of this article so we will not go into details about the conformation of attachment types .

The important thing in this sense is that in this always unfinished process of neurobiological and psychological development, our "I", our "interpreter" of the reality that will accompany us until the end of our days, is taking shape. We will already have a secure attachment, or ambivalent or avoidant, even disorganized. We will have already developed different survival tools such as search for affection, control, emotional disconnection, generalized alertness, etc.

It is useless to qualify this result as good or bad . It is the result of an adaptive effort and as such, the "way" with which our brain, biologically speaking, solved the problem of survival in its development. From this point of view, this result is always adaptive. Another thing is that, over time, in adult reality, this "I" or the absence of it, is dysfunctional. This is what we call pathology.

In other words, what served at the time in childhood, especially to survive, is sometimes dysfunctional for the serene and mature coping with adult reality . For example, a personality secondary to abuse in childhood is very possible that, later as an adult, they will not "understand" that the environment is no longer hostile, that they are already safe and will constantly misinterpret innocuous signals as threats and friendly environments as hostile.

The "I" resulting from the abuse in this case, is not prepared for affection and affective relationships. And what you most need and yearn for, will often be what causes you the most fear, entering an irresolvable emotional equation with the subsequent devastating and enormously painful consequences.

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