Saint-Exupery said that to “be a man, a woman, an adult, is to accept responsibility.” And during those years that are bracketed by the dawning of conscience and end of adolescence (seven to ten) we must –by slowly expanding the dominion of what we can be responsible for –become our own grownup.
We must start claiming as ours the welter of hungers and angers and conflicts that dwell inside of us. We must also start learning to tie our own shoes. And as we extend the realm and the reign of our consciousness and competence we will find ourselves moving farther and farther from home. In the phase that Freud labeled “latency” …we leave the benevolent fortress of family life. Our job as a latency kid is to acquire the social and psychological know how without which we cannot manage this new separation, these new necessary losses.
As healthy adults we feel our self to be lovable, valuable, genuine. We feel our self’s “selfsameness.” We feel unique. And instead of seeing our self as the passive victim of our inner and outer world, as acted upon as helpless and as weak, we acknowledge our self to be the responsible agent and determining force of our life….
Because as healthy adults we know that reality cannot offer us perfect safety or unconditional love.
We many be a long time learning that life is, at best, “a dream controlled” –that reality is built of perfect connections. ”
SOURCES: Necessary Losses, Judith Viorst. SImon and Schuster, NY. 1986. p. 142-143; 168-169. ( Quoted in The Antidepressant Tablet, Volume 3:2. Page 6. 1991.
Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.