I am reading this interesting book “I am OK & You are OK” by A. Harris. I find it surprising when he states that EVERY child concludes in the very early phase of his life that HE IS NOT OK! This kept me glued to the book.
That is what Dr Harris says
Very early in life every child concludes, “I am not OK”. He makes this conclusion about his parents, also: ” You are OK” This is the first thing he figures out in his life-long attempt to make sense of himself and the world in which he lives. This position, “I am NOT OK & You are OK”, is the most deterministic decision of his life. It is permanently recorded and will influence everything he does. Because it is a decision it can be changed by a new decision. But not until it is understood.
Many people insist they had a “Happy childhood” and concluded nothing like “I am not OK & You are OK”.
There is a bright side. In the child is also a vast store of positive data. In the child are recorded the countless, grand a-ha experiences, the firsts in the life of a small person, the first drinking from the garden hose, the first stroking of the soft kitten, the first sure hold on mother’s nipples, the rhythmic OK of mother’s rocking, the sentient softness of the favorite blanket. However, our observations both of small children and of ourselves as grown-ups convince us that the NOT OK feeling far outweigh the good.
I believe strongly that every child concludes it (“I am not OK & You are OK”), “happy childhood” notwithstanding. It is essential to keep in mind what the Iï¿½M NOT OK ï¿½ YOUï¿½RE OK, position means to the three year old. I AM NOT OK means: I am two feet tall, I am helpless, I am defenseless, I am dirty, nothing I do is right, I am clumsy, and I have no words with which to try to make you understand how it feels. YOU ARE OK means: You are six feet tall, you are powerful, you are always right, you have all the answers, you are smart, you have life or death control over me, and you can hit me and hurt me, and it IS still OK.
This conclusion and the continual experiencing of the unhappy feelings which led to it are recorded permanently in the brain and can not be erased. This permanent recording is the residue of having been a child. Any child. Even the child of kind, loving, well meaning parents. It is the situation of childhood and not the intention of the parents which produces the problem.
What sets me thinking is this line:
When the children of the ï¿½goodï¿½ parents carry the ï¿½NOT OKï¿½ burden, one can begin to appreciate the loads carried by children whose parents are guilty of gross neglect, abuse and cruelty.