Adult behaviors linked to childhood overcoersion can be grouped into three distinct patterns depending on the age when parental coercion begins to present itself: Docility, Active Resistance, and Passive Resistance. The reader is encouraged to read about each of these in greater detail by reading “Your Inner Child of the Past” by Hugh Missildine (1985) where other aspects of over coercion are considered in greater detail as well.

Remember the child of a coercive parent(s) gradually sacrifices his or her ability to initiate, joyfully accomplish and derive satisfaction through their own efforts. As adults these “inner children” continue to relate to themselves as their parents related to them in the past. While they may be motivated to achieve they tend to resist their own imperatives just like they resisted those of their parents. In other words they perpetuate the “demand-resistance” cycle established in childhood as adults but this time in reaction to their own internal and sometimes perceived external “commands.” As a result, even their efforts at self-initiated achievement are thwarted and they often find themselves in a self-defeating cycle of self-criticism (for unproductiveness) followed by injuries to self-esteem and self-confidence. In short, they miss the “triumph” associated with creative “work” which is the natural state of living organisms, especially human beings.

Areas where you find yourself resisting your own efforts may identify the domains where you may have been over coerced as a child. In adult life commands are almost always self-imposed. Some of the signs that you may be in a demand-resistance cycle described earlier are procrastination, under-productivity and fatigue that is unrelated to physical causes.

 Tomorrow we will look at what can be done to extract oneself from this enduring consequence of having been over coerced as a child of the past.