8 Stages of Man
Cameron Roney Lifep Development Eight Stages of Man Interview General question on childhood: I interviewed a seventy year old woman named Virginia that I met while doing my community service. I asked her to think about her first ten years of life and to describe times that she can remember being cared for. She said that it was her grandmother that did most of the caretaking for her, especially when she was sick. She recalled one time when she had a really bad sinus infection that her grandmother helped her through.
When I asked her if she could think of any time she was not very well cared for, the only time she could think of is when her father would come home bombed, which sparked some intense arguments in the family. She recalled feeling very lost during these times. Fun times in her childhood consisted of time with her family since she did not have any friends as a child. Specifically, she remembered having a lot of fun planting pumpkin seeds with her family. Trust vs. Mistrust: I asked her to describe her relationship with her parents. She said they were very close, and she went hunting with her father often.
She got a lot of adult attention. She considered herself to be pretty self reliant and optimistic despite her loneliness. She feels that her seclusion from children her age was a big factor in developing her independence and self reliance. She was trustful of her parents and family, and trustful in herself to deal with most problems that arose in her life at that time. Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt: Virginia reported to be fairly active, and she is. She runs a local community donation center and does a great deal of work for her church. She describes herself as self reliant.
When looking back, she does not feel that she relied on others very much. She considered herself to be adventurous, but not careless. She was not overly fearful, but she wasn’t overly risky either. All in all, she is a very active woman for being seventy years old. Initiative vs. Guilt: When I asked her about her efforts to stay active, she spoke about her work involving the construction of a new church, her being the chairman of the building committee, and her work at the community donation center. She does a lot to help care for her mother and helps her children when she can.
She says that all of this is a handful, but she enjoys the activity. She says that when she was younger she did consider herself to be a creative person and could think outside the box. She is an extremely able bodied woman for her age. Industry vs. Inferiority: I asked her to describe her career and her accomplishments. She recalls her thirty five years as a physical therapist. She considered it her responsibility and calling in life. She talked about one boy in particular that she worked with who lived out of town.
She worked with him for three years because no one else could reach him. When I asked her about times when she felt that she had been competent and productive and developed her skills. She recalls doing a lot of odd jobs which taught her a lot of new skills. She found creative ways to solve problems unique to the different fields she worked in. When I asked her to describe some times that she felt incompetent or ineffective she talked about times when she would overburden herself with too many jobs or trying to handle an extremely large workload herself.
She considers herself competent and capable, and really has accomplished a lot in her time. General Question on Identity: I asked her to think about her encounters with her peers when she was between 10 and 19 years of age. She said that she was not so accepted by those around her. She was overweight as a kid. She moved to a new high school which was in a city. This was tough on her because she had grown up in a very secluded setting and she lagged socially. She considered this a huge cultural shift for her. She felt very lost and really had a hard time finding herself
Identity vs. Identity Diffusion: When I asked her about her experiences as a teenager trying to find herself and who she was and what she wanted out of life, she said that she had always wanted to help people. She wanted to be an architect for the longest time, but she was discouraged when her sister got very sick and saw the therapy she went through. She said that is when she decided to become a therapist. She says that she has a very strong sense of who she is and what her purpose is now. She also says that she is fairly headstrong and not easily influenced by others.
To sum up, she has a strong sense of identity. General Intimacy Question: I asked Virginia to think back to her twenties and thirties and the experiences with imported others in her life at that time. She said she had a lot of support and encouragement from those close to her. She was not dependant, but it definitely helped her through some rough times in her life. Intimacy vs. Isolation: I asked her to describe her marriage, and this is where the bulk of the interview took place. She said that her marriage was rough at first.
Her husband was an ex-marine who killed 14 men during his time in the military. He was introverted and very little communication took place between them. It took him thirty years to open up to her. She says that the last years of their marriage have been the most rewarding. Her only sibling died when she was eighteen, but when she was alive they were very close. She was teased a lot, although there was not much fighting between them. They relied on each other for fun which brought them very close together. I asked her who she felt the most comfortable confiding in.
She said that she only really felt comfortable confiding in her grandmother and father, but they have both passed away. I asked her if there was anyone close to her that she felt she couldn’t really open up to. Aside from her husband until the later part of their marriage, she talked about her children. She has four, and of all of them the oldest is the most independent. This caused a lot of friction between them during his adolescents and young adulthood, but they have since grown closer. Her third daughter has been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and she has spent a lot of time trying to help her open up.
In my opinion, the only time that she has had any real intimacy with those close to her was during her early childhood and late adulthood. Most of her life between those times she seems to have been pretty isolated. General Generativity Question: I asked her to reflect on her life from ages thirty to sixty five. I asked her to describe he experiences of taking care of others around her. This was a pretty depressing part of the interview. She said that she often felt inadequate as a mother. She says that she should have gone another direction regarding the way that she brought them up, and that she often regretted having children.
She is now pretty involved with her children, and she helps her youngest daughter financially. She gives advice when she is asked. She has definitely taught and helped her children, but I think that it is pretty clear that she lacks a feeling of generativity. Generativity vs. Stagnation: I asked if she feels that she has done enough to have a positive impact on those around her. She feels that from her experiences she has learned to do better and guide gently. She considers herself to be pretty understanding. I asked her in what ways she has tried to pass along her knowledge.
She says that she has passed her knowledge along to her children, and she has done a lot of work with juvenile offenders in her community service. She says that she always tried to accept them for who they were, regardless of what they were dealing with. Regarding generativity, she has had a hard time with it, but she feels that she does a lot better now that she has her experiences to draw back to. General Question on Integrity: I asked her about her lifestyle compared to others, and she said that she lives a relatively laid back life. She is fairly chilled out and relaxed. She tries to do her part, but she does not feel pushed.
I asked her about how she felt about her mortality. She said that she is not joyous about it, but she is accepting. She finds comfort in her faith. Integrity vs. Despair: I asked her about her current goals. She says that she strives to stay active, she wants to learn to play the piano, and she wants to lose twenty pounds. She feels comfortable about her life and the decisions she made. When I asked her about her opinion about the future of the united states, she said that she is very pessimistic about President Obama, the recession we are experiencing, and the national defeciet.