Eric Erickson started the psychosocial development theory that discusses the stages of a person’s life. These stages can be observed from my autobiography. I was born in California with a very rich family. I was told that my mother was a banker while my father was a very prominent businessperson. According to Erickson stages of development, during my infant years when I was about one to three years during the learning basic trust and basic mistrust stage (Crain, 1985). I was well handled and nurtured by my parents. However, when I was about three and a half years my parents and I were involved in a car accident. In the accident, both my parents perished. A woman named Jane (not real name) who was helping in the rescue carried me to the hospital. She took good care of me while in the hospital. After a few weeks, she was able to adopt and take me to her house as her child. At that age, I was already attached to my biological parents. It took a while for me to accept my mother. Since my childhood I was always informed that, my mother had adopted me and my biological parents had died. She was an excellent mother and a friend all through my childhood.
At the age of four to five years, I had an imaginary friend named Ann. This stage is referred as the preoperational stage according to Piaget (Haggbloom, 2002). In this stage, the children are able to think symbolical things that could be ‘make believe’. This is the reason why I had an imaginary friend. During the stage of industry versus inferiority, I experienced bullying (Crain, 1985). I was a very shy girl. This fact caused me to be a target for many bullies.
In sophomore high, I had only three friends. The three friends came from the neighborhood I was living in. Everything changed when I went to junior high because I joined the cheerleading squad. This is where my life changed. I was regarded as one of the popular kids in school. I started changing my behavior in that I became rebellious towards my mother and teachers. I talked back to my mother and slammed doors when she was still speaking to me. I was so rude to everybody and very arrogant. I thought that the world revolved around me. I began dating a high school football player. I spent most of my time with him. My world revolved around him. I began sneaking out in the middle of the night to go out with him. This stage can be stated to be the genital stage in accordance to Freud’s psychosexual stages (Haggbloom, 2002). This stage is where people or adolescents begin to fall in love with other people.
I remember there was a time when my mother and I were arguing about John and I told her in a fit of anger to her face that she was not my real mother so she should stop bothering me. The minute those words came out of my mouth I regretted it. I will never forget the look on her face. It was a mixture of pain, anger and disappointment. That was the day that I realized that I had changed for the worst. I apologized immediately but I knew that something was broken. I changed my behavior and started treating my mother better. I worked harder in my senior year and now am in college. This act can be stated to be following the Kohlberg moral stage called the morality of individual principle of conscience. In this stage, when a person acts immorally they are filled with guilt (Crain, 1985). The guilt will cause the person to change their behaviors in order to start acting morally right and please the society or people.
The relationship between my mother and I has become better and now I cherish her more. The support, love and care I got from my mother fulfilled all my needs. It can be stated that my mother was able to fulfill all the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In looking at the five stages, one of them is biological and the physiological needs where I was able to get food, sleep, shelter and drink (Haggbloom, 2002). The second stage is the love and belongings where I was able to get affection and love. The third stage is the esteem needs where my mother gave me the independence to do whatever made me happy. The safety needs was achieved when my mother and the rest of the family ensured that I felt safe and secured.
Crain, W. C. (1985). Theories of Development. Prentice-Hall.
Haggbloom, S. (2002). The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century. Review of General Psychology.