Updated: Jul 24, 2019
What is arrested development? Do I/you/we fit the description? It was brought to my attention that this is a term that is unfamiliar to most. So this will be a series of blog posts concerning the term.
I can't rightly say where or when I first heard the term "arrested development." It could have been one of my psychology classes, a training or church. The one thing I am sure of is that it caught my attention, after which I am certain I said, "That can't be me!"
My mind would not allow me to believe that while I was a grown woman on the outside, that I remained a 5-year-old or younger emotionally and socially. How was that even possible? In fact it seemed to be an oxymoron to me; I was A GROWN BABY.
So, what is Arrested development really? Let's break it down by the Dictionary definitions:
*Arrested is defined as seizing, to take captive, to stop/prevent.
*Development is defined as the act/process of developing, or the state of being developed.
Allow me to put it in some practical terms and a scenario. Picture someone in handcuffs being shoved into the back of a police car or jail cell. Someone who has lost or relinquished his/her rights, freedoms and privileges. One who's life is now being dictated by others. We see it everyday right?
This same scenario can be practically applied to one's development. Here are the characters:
Alleged Criminal= a child/victim (I say alleged because they will make you think it's your fault)
Jailer(CO)= emotions attached to childhood trauma, specifically sexual trauma.
The abuser/perpetrator has revoked the rights of the child/victim to live a normal and unfettered life experiencing all of the things a child should enjoy. The jailer cell represents the emotional trap of shame, guilt, lust, hurt, pain, confusion and all other emotions. This begins a VICISIOUS cycle a kin to the recidivism rate if our prison system. The CO represents the negative mindsets that keeps one in line with the rules of the prison. He ensures you remain imprisoned by your thoughts; adhering to the protocol.
It seems elementary when you think of it in these simplistic terms. So whether you have heard the term "arrested development" or not, this is the bare bones of the concept.
It is my task/calling and purpose to give a face to the term; to give understanding and hope of a better outcome. On the outside, I looked like everyone else, while I was screaming and dying on the inside. My prison was not of my choosing but by the imposition of others. There are many others just like me, is it you?
Many succumbed to the mental torture by means of suicide, criminal acts, drugs, alcohol, prostitution and psychoses. I was blessed to have discovered what it means and have the ability to turn the outcome in my favor. I will be the voice that shows others that life on the other side of trauma is possible!
If any of this has struck a chord within you, stick around. If you know someone that this speaks to their situations, share. I know that I can give language to what you have felt and dealt with.
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