Identity Problem

John A. Scott, Sr., Ph.D

A problem that many people have is called the identity problem. I am going to describe this to you, but keep in mind as I give you an overall description that no one person has all of the symptoms of this problem at the same time. So as I describe this problem to you, you may see some traits and characteristics here that you have had. I want you to know from the very beginning that once we identify this problem clearly, we will take positive and definite steps to clear it up. It can be cured and you can be cured. Rest assured that is true.

There are some people who do not feel that they know who they are. One might say, “Who am I?” There are people who do not know what their life is all about. They seem to be floating aimlessly along without specific goals. They do not have much ambition, which in turn indicates that they do not have very much energy either. So as they float through life without aims, goals, and ambitions they are like a matchstick tossed about on the water.

The inner self, which is called the ego, is weak and brittle. This is indicated sometimes by the person saying that he or she feels shaky inside. This shaky or insecure feeling inside causes a person also to be a little bit afraid about the future. They are not sure what the future holds for them. A person in this position does not have an inner sense of cohesion or connectedness. There is no sense of power. Another way that some people look at is that the inner self is scattered or fragmented. They feel that their life is in bits and pieces.

There are some people that describe themselves in this way “I am unwanted” or “I am unlovable”. Others feel that when they were born they were not planned so they have no purpose and feel like they are some kind of a mistake. They will frequently conclude that there is no reason for their existence into the future. And frequently reveal that they are unable to cope with life.

Some of the outer symptoms to a situation like this will be when people turn to vices such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, and obesity. Another feeling that is frequent with these people is that they have an intense fear of rejection. Many times they feel that their behaviour is more childlike than it is adult. They lack the security and the strength that an adult has. With some people they have recurrent depression and grief. There are some also who feel that they have lost contact with God and therefore they have a very empty feeling about themselves spiritually and emotionally.

The above are a few of the feelings or symptoms that people who have an identity problem manifest. What are some of the causes of this problem?

In some cases the ultimate cause of the problem goes back to the experiences that the individual had before birth. There is a kind of extra sensory perception in the communication between the mother and the unborn child. It is as if in the last three months before birth the child in the womb is like a mind reader. And it reads the mind of the mother. What happens to the mother in her daily life if it is very severe can send a message to the unborn child by means of the hormones that are secreted by the mother and in turn low into the unborn child.

The strong emotions of the mother which are manifested by fear, anger, hatred, or pain frequently will influence the unborn child. Before the child is born it is very sensitive to these emotions. This has been demonstrated many ways when the unborn child manifests its feelings by kicking and by change in heart rate and other activity inside the uterus. Other emotions of the mother which counteract these strong negative emotions are feelings of peace, joy, love, and security.

Sometimes the mothers feelings are that pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted and has no purpose, that it is a mistake. And if the mother has these feelings strongly, week in and week out throughout the pregnancy, there is a chance that the unborn child will absorb those feelings before it is ever born. If the mother has feelings of bitterness and resentment and disappointment, these strong emotions also produce feelings in the unborn child that are similar. This doesn’t always happen, but it sometimes does. So, a person can have an identity problem due to the events that happened before that person was ever born.

Then, the attitude of the father influences the feelings of the mother. If the father is not supportive and ignores the mother or abuses her or rejects her in some way, this is picked up by the mother and in turn may be picked up by the child as well. So, the father also influences the unborn child by means of the mother.

A person with the identity problem may, on the other hand, have that problem originate in early childhood. Before a child is five years old, it is in a perpetual state of hypnosis, which simply means that the child is highly sensitive and picks up quickly on all that goes on around him/her. The events and the feelings that happen that have a strong impression on the child influence that child’s feelings about itself. And so, if it is born into a home where it is unwanted and unloved born in a home where it is abused where there is rejection on the part of the mother or father or both, then that also works away on the new infant and puts within its mind a feeling of not being wanted, being rejected, having no cause to be alive. If the child was born prematurely or if it was born too late or if it had an unusual birth situation, this too can influence the child. It doesn’t always, mind you, but sometimes it does.

When the child feels unwanted or like an intruder into the world, how does it attempt to deal with this as the years go by? There are four possible ways that children and your people begin to deal with this subject.

First, the person may seek to fulfil the feelings of not being wanted and not having meaning in its life by some form of self-destructive behaviour. The child may even become accident-prone or illness prone which means that it is subject to many illnesses all of the time. In some cases even more serious illnesses like cancer and diabetes are aggravated or brought on by a person who unconsciously is seeking to fulfil self destructive thoughts, as to say deep in the unconscious mind. “I don’t belong here, so I am going “to leave”.

Other people deal with an identity problem by battling it. it is as if they fight against the problem but in a frustrated way. The people who are rebellious, or anti-social, they are angry all of the time, or they may be simply turning away from all association with people outside of themselves, so they are loners, unhappy, feeling alone all of the time. But this is an indirect and passive way of rebelling against society around them. It is as if the outside world did not want them and so they are going to fight against that outside world.

Another way that some people deal with the identity problem is to escape it, as if to cloud the mind with drugs or alcohol or smoking or even by obesity. They escape into these feelings and conditions because the feeling is if the outside world doesn’t want me then I am going to hide from it. And so they cloud their mind by these activities.

A fourth way that someone might deal with an identity problem is they get into a state of confused paralysis. This simply means that they do nothing. They are passive. If the world doesn’t want them, then they are not going to be a part of the world. They simply watch the world go by. In their apathy they don’t enter into the activities of the world. They don’t care for the world or the people in it. And so they simply take a seat and do nothing so to speak.

In most of all these situations the person is unable to love. This is the one trait that is common to all people who have an identity problem. They do not have the capacity to love. Even if they start to enter into a love relationship or they have a relationship that looks like it might be love, it doesn’t last. Something happens to those relationships that keep them from getting deeper. The same principle is true also in their relationship with God. Even if they say they believe in God or religion, they don’t understand God or they don’t understand religion and they don’t feel deeply spiritual in their relationship with God. So they have no ability to love deeply, either God or someone else of the same sex or of the opposite sex. Usually, these people have a confused relationship with their parents.

Now this may help you to understand a little bit more about what the identity problem is like. You may feel that you have it, maybe only to a minor degree. Maybe you have it to a serious degree. But I want to assure you there are things that can be done about it and wee are going to do them. We are going to take these steps to help you to be cured of the identity problem. But you have to help me, cooperate with me, and we will work it through. Now take a few moments of silence to decide definitely that you are going to work with me and cooperate with me as we solve this problem with you. And that period of silence begins now.