Courses aims to provide readers with insight into the various ways children are affected throughout life by the death of a parent. City of One efficiently describes how Course’s childhood experiences affected her throughout her life. As she recounts her experiences from early childhood through adulthood, Courses has several realizations that she details in her writing that have potential to help both professionals and the average reader better understand how childhood trauma follow a child. Courses has very vivid memories of her childhood. After her father’s death, her mother never talked about him.
Courses, her mother, sister, and brother all lived in the same Village as her mothers family located in the South Bronx. Two years after the death of her father, Course’s grandfather passed away. Course’s entire childhood revolved around the unexplained disappearances from her family members, making her fearful about her future and her relationships with others were uneasy. Courses was given hardly any explanations as to why her mother died and she was the one who had to explain to her little sister, Alexis, that their mother was not going to come back.The two girls continued living with their grandmother after their other’s passing; however, the grandmother was not able to keep up with the responsibilities of taking care of n. ‘vow young girls. Within two years the girls were taken out of the care of their grandmother.
Course’s mother’s family was not able to house both of the girls and so they were put into foster care. Courses felt deep betrayal and she believed something was wrong with her. Courses blamed the death of her parent’s on herself and she thought that her mother’s family blamed her as well and in turn rejected her.A woman named Arm took the girls in as foster children. Courses’ relationship with Arm was rocky at best because she was afraid of letting another adult in out of fear of them leaving her.
Courses went away to college and her contact with her siblings gradually diminished. Courses attended school at City College, located in Harlem. She moved into( her own apartment soon after beginning school. Courses had always been excellent student; she focused most of her energy into her schoolwork, as it was something she had direct control of in her life.Courses had known she wanted to become a doctor for some time and she achieved her goal despite several setbacks. After working in internal medicine for some time, Courses shifted her focus to psychiatry.
Courses states that she feels a connection with her patients but would often times become too involved in their life NC she would find herself exhausted. Courses fought hard for the people in her care, her focus is on those who were sick and poor – patients who are generally overlooked. Courses worked her way to a position of power and she fought hard for mid to lower class patients.After being single for a number of years, Courses got married and had a child.
Courses had a stable home environment in which she flourished for a erred of time. When Course’s daughter, Elizabeth, was about to turn two years old, Courses developed a deep depression. Courses enrolled herself psychotherapy so that she can better manage her depression. After several therapy sessions, her therapist recommended that Courses should allow herself to feel the anger, fear, and sadness that she did not express as a chill Course’s depression ceased less than a year after it had begun.Several years later, Courses began extended psychoanalysis, which helped her build an inner sense of peace. This however did not help her overall sense of oppression and anxiety.
Courses decided to try taking an anti-depressant, Approach that decreased her worries and her fear of death gradually ceased. City of One is well written and provides great insight into dealing with the death of a parent as well as life in foster care. Courses unintentionally supports the ideas behind attachment theory.The attachment theory was largely shaped by John Bowl, who states that a child’s dependency on caregivers extend beyond the confines of physical care and include the idea that individual differences, the core of personality, are shaped by the experiences we have with our early caregivers.
Without attachment to a primary caregiver, usually the parents, a child’s emotional health will be impaired and the infant may experience extreme difficulty in relating to others in a positive way (Bowl 1980; Newsworthy et al 1978). When a primary attachment is ended through separation or death, then grieving takes place.The effects of severed attachment due to death are clear in Courses’ City of One. According to Susan Goldberg, two separate attachment styles – anxious and avoiding- could be linked to grief reactions. Individuals with anxious attachment tend to show lack of trust in themselves, anxious about separations, fear of being abandoned, and they tend to be clingy. Avoiding attachment directly contrasts anxious attachment. Avoiding attachment is characterized by mistrust in others, they are strictly independent, they avoid emotional interdependency, and they suppress emotions.
The description of avoiding attachment matches Courses’ description of herself. Courses doesn’t trust those around her to not leave her. Courses states: “But I didn’t need a rational explanation for his erratic behavior, since I knew hat sooner or later everyone deserted me” this is evidence of her mistrust in others. She is in constant fear that those around her will either desert her like her mother’s family did- or they will die like her mother and father. This mistrust in others follows Courses for most of her adult life.Because of Course’s fear that people will leave her, she is fiercely independent. “If you don’t like that answer, don’t accept me, because no one tells me what to do! ” (Courses, 2006, p.
162) this statement, declared by Courses, reflects her dependency on no one but herself. In fact, Courses is desperately fearful of coming close to people because she doesn’t want to be emotionally dependent on them. Courses says “One side insisted on managing without being close to anyone, said its just not worth it, people are too unreliable… ” (Courses, 2006, p. 54) this quote is an example of how Courses wants to avoid emotional interdependency. She doesn’t want to get close to someone and allow him or her into her world and in turn becoming emotionally dependent on someone.
Courses tries to suppress her emotions so that others do not see her vulnerability; she puts up a wall to her peers and only Very rarely does she let people in. Course’s displays all four characteristics of avoiding attachment as the result of her parent’s death and later, her abandonment. These characteristics began forming when Course’s father died and they followed her through adulthood.All of the displayed symptoms of avoiding attachment are interrelated to each other. Her mistrust in others fuels her to us press emotions and causes her to avoid emotional interdependency, which leads to Courses being independent. Had Course’s parents lived she may live an entirely different life. Courses describes her mother as being loving, kind, and nurturing to her and her Alexis.
Courses idealized her mother and the only fault she confessed her mother had was that she was not able to display her emotions or discuss her emotions with her daughters.If her mother and father had lived, it is likely that Courses, Alexis, and Henry would all have secure attachment relationships to their parents. This would result in Courses and her siblings having positive internal working models. She would view the world around her was safe and she would have healthy relationships with her peers.
This is not a perfect world, however. The death of Course’s parents resulted in her avian a negative internal working model. There are ways in which the internal working model can be changed over time through experiences and conscious effort.
To become more secure one should seek relationships with those who are secure and also seek therapy. Courses did this by marrying her husband, Nick. Nick was extremely supportive of Courses; he helped her look into her fathers past and stayed by her side during her depressive State. Courses made conscious effort to change her thinking and habits when she enrolled herself on long-term psychoanalysis. By going to therapy Courses will be able to get to the root of ere feelings and she will explore why she feels the way she does.Therapy will gradually give her a better understanding of herself. In time, Course’s relationship with Nick and her attendance at therapy will greatly improve her internal working model- changing it from insecure to secure. Attachment relationships as an infant shape who we become as an adult.
Mothers who are attentive, loving, consistent, and who express emotion often raise children who are secure and have positive internal working models. Mothers who are the opposite raise children who are insecure and have negative internal working models.Course’s situation was different as she was raised by a mother who likely would have provided her with a secure attachment, however, Courses experienced major trauma due to the loss of her mother.
This trauma impacted the rest of her life and shaped who she became as a person. This is not to say that everything that came out of her mother’s death was negative, however. Upon the birth of Course’s daughter, Elizabeth, Courses did everything in her power to become a dependable and good mother. By the end of City of One, Courses was on the path to become a Secure and having a positive internal working model.