The non-rewritable discs of our childhood

This is a post for the Growing Up Fatherless archive. It’s an article from The School of Life on the The Non-Rewritable Disc: The Fateful Impact of Childhood. I quite like some of the School of Life’s newsletter articles. I know it’s considered pop-philosophy or pop-psychology, but at the very least it can alert one to things that they can then get all much more serious and academic and less accessible about. I liked this part:

But this impatient brusqueness with the patterns laid down in childhood, though deeply understandable, causes us a raft of problems, for it means we can be neither compassionate about where some pretty odd behaviour may be coming from in others (especially when one is in a relationship with them); nor, in our self-understanding, are we careful enough about interpreting our impulses. It may simply be wisest to accept that there will at points be a furious, unhinged inner five year old who will take charge, refuse to cede the controls and attempt to cause mayhem.

We have to be aware of moments when we misread situations and unleash difficulties on those close to us that a mature adult would never consciously want to set loose. We should know that we may be enduringly and deeply wounded and must, therefore, when we can manage it, find words to warn those we care about what living with us will mean.

… It’s a sobering situation that calls for humility, forgiveness, constant vigilance over one’s own conduct, polite warnings to others – and a very black sense of humour.

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