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Frequent Tussles With Myself

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I grew up in a fairly strict religeous society. People always looking down on one another, shunning, sinning, like any other place. I found my niche in high school to be the black sheep, so to speak. I set myself up to look like I was nothing but trouble. The point I was trying to prove was that I was a good kid, and those around me were all wrong. I had this mindset that everybody was wrong long enough for me to have it installed in to my personality. Some how, my parents thought I was just depressed, so they took me to a psychologist who said I was just that. I thought I just needed a little attention. At least I had someone to listen to me ramble. I had developed some outstanding values for myself. They didn’t always go with everyone else’s, so I’ve always had a difficult time with relationships. Where I am at now, people think I’m an innocent kid. Back home, I’m a home wrecker and a heart breaker. Then along comes this girl (it’s always a girl, isn’t it?). She turns my world inside out. Out of nowhere I drop everything just to be a good, religeous guy. It’s like I never left church. Then, slowly, I creep back to my old self. Then I wrestle with my thoughts. Am I right to live with that free, open mind, or am I right to live strictly by the book? When looking from either perspective, nothing sounds glamorous. I had a direction in life, now I just don’t know. I was a very calm person, but now I’m snapping at people. I’ve said some things to people that are completely out of character. I’m not strong enough to overcome my old self, but the other side has a constant pull on me. I have had hours-long conversations with myself, debating the pros and cons of either direction and I’m still at a stand-still. Some days I think I have split personality disorder, some days I’m perfectly fine. help.

Frequent Tussles With Myself

Answered by on -

A.

The goal for everyone should be to become who they truly are. It would be psychologically detrimental to pretend to be someone you were not or to act in a manner that was inconsistent with your core beliefs and values.

Abraham Maslow, a humanistic psychologist, studied the characteristics of self-actualized individuals. Self-actualization is a process by which an individual is able to reach their fullest human potential; that is, to become who they truly are meant to be. Abraham Maslow found that very few individuals ever reach their full potential.

In one of his books Maslow details the characteristics of self-actualized individuals. He writes that “the average normal, well-adjusted person often has not the slightest idea of what he is, of what he wants, of what his own opinions are.” That is because people tend to accept the ideas and opinions of their culture. It is also not uncommon for individuals to adopt the same beliefs as their parents. Adopting the thinking of their culture and of their parents robs an individual of independent thought.

It may be difficult to know what you want or believe because you were raised in a strictly religious society. Presumably a strictly religious society tries to ensure that all of its members adhere to a certain way of thinking and behaving. Unfortunately, this tends to produce individuals who do not think for themselves and instead rely upon what the religious society defines as right and wrong.

You probably do not have a “split personality disorder.” You are most likely struggling to find what it is that you believe and to ascertain what your values, thoughts and opinions are. As unpleasant as this process may feel it may actually be a positive development. It may be a sign that you’re thinking independently about what it is you believe and I would always encourage this. That is exactly what you should be doing and it seems as if you are. If this is the case I’d say you are on the right track.

Frequent Tussles With Myself

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Frequent Tussles With Myself. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/01/frequent-tussles-with-myself/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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