The subject for my study was Kat. She is a unique woman who has survived and thrived through many life changing traumas. As she has aged, she has been getting assistance with her troubled past, while also advancing her education by getting her Bachelor’s then proceeding to get her Master’s. Kat has recently revealed publicly her past traumatic events, she was inspired by the “”Me too”” movement. Coming clean about her past has helped her come to terms with the direction in life she is going currently. Her acceptance of herself and her overall persona has made her become more than a friend to me, she is like a second mom with everything she does and who she is as a person. It can go without saying that Kat’s middle adulthood is really allowing her to gain control of her life once more and become a better version of herself. Middle adulthood is a time for reflection and balance in one’s life and as it seems Kat is achieving both quite easily.
The candidate I used for this study is a 53 year-old-woman named Kat. She is currently going through the middle stages of adulthood. While she self-identifies as a feminist and atheist, she is also bisexual and polyamorous. Kat is comfortable being herself in her own skin and doesn’t apologize for who she is. Kat says she might be damaged by her past traumas but that she feels better and stronger for the trials she has gone through. When asked how she sees herself, she described herself as a hard-worker that never gives up. Individuals such as Kat in middle adulthood are the product of their life history as well as of their situational demands, opportunities, and barriers. Individuals in middle adulthood are seeking balance and working on getting closure for past issues they repressed.
Kat is going through her middle adulthood years. She is at a point where she is beginning to accept the physical, sexual and mental abuse that occurred for the majority of her life. The life experiences she has gained thus far have jaded and shaped the way she now lives her life. The time during middle adulthood is when adults begin to discover and reclaim repressed parts of themselves that they have yet to get closure on; these are parts that are lost to social conformity during the first half of our lives. As we age into middle adulthood people seek out balance and gain a sense of empowerment and confidence in order to be able to reprocess past issues. This is a time for reflection and reevaluation, many people take this time to seek counseling for any issues unaddressed or they go back to school and achieve goals they had previously walked away from. Kat has chosen not only to seek counseling to deal with repressed childhood trauma’s but she has also returned to school to get her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Psychology to be a Psychologist. Kat feels as though her past experiences would help make her a better Psychologist because of her ability to relate to her patients.
Kat was abused by many closely related people from her past, many starting at a young age. She was sexually assaulted from age five to fourteen by her biological father, biological grandfather, and her mom’s boyfriend. Survivors of abuse typically have an intense, negative frame of mind long after the abuse has ended; anxiety, flashbacks, and trust issues are common in people who have experienced abuse. Kat’s sexual trauma has carried on through her life into her middle adulthood where she is now able to fully process her feelings and deal with them in a healthy way. As a child you had to protect yourself from the emotional and physical horrors of abuse; in order to survive, that child remained locked inside, unable to express the feelings and thoughts of that time. One way of coping with sexual abuse is to repress or forget that it ever happened. Even in the absence of conscious memories, certain experiences can trigger intense feelings of fear, and nausea. Kat’s abuse has permanently changed her personality and changed the way she operates.
Kats abusive past has made her untrusting and overprotective. Kat’s alcoholic father, difficult childhood, childhood poverty, stress, and her economic deprivation are all risk factors that influence her middle adulthood. Kats protective factors include the emotional support she receives from friends and family, her healthy lifestyle, her exercise and meditation routine, and her giving and receiving social support. Her anger was built up and she never exploded until recently, Kat came out because of the Kavanaugh rape case with Dr. Ford and the “Me too” movement. For the first time in thirty years Kat came out publicly about her sexual abuse. Most people in their middle adulthood are attempting to find a balance to their lives. Kat is reevaluating her life as she ages gracefully. I believe Kat is reevaluating her life and coming out because she is finally ready to reclaim parts of her that she has repressed from her past for fear of social ramifications. Kat stated she finally came out because ultimately, she wants to help people like her because she had no one to turn to when it mattered, she also wants to help break the cycle.
Generativity is an adult’s concern for and commitment to promoting the well-being of youth and future generations through involvement in parenting, teaching, mentoring, and other creative contributions that aim to leave a positive legacy of the self for the future. One of the key features of midlife is the opportunity to pass along the wisdom of our accumulated years onto others. Kat has a generative personality which is why she is pursuing a career in psychiatry so that she can take care of a younger a generation and pass her years of knowledge and experience onto others. That is also why Kat and I are friends, she is like a second mom to me and is my mentor, she is helping me with my own personal self-esteem issues and my own issues about my abuse history. In middle age people seem to gain a sense of confidence and liberation from insecurities. One thing I am envious of Kat for is her confidence she doesn’t care at all what others think she’s able to fully be herself.
Kat is functioning in her middle adulthood quite well she may be a bit neurotic but ultimately, she is successfully moving through her life and bettering herself. She is able to reevaluate her life and rectify the parts she doesn’t like, such as going back to school to pursue her dream career. Kat is also currently focused on bettering her physical and mental health. Middle adulthood appears to be a very transitional time in one’s life where one can change and grow for the better. I believe that middle adulthood is where people begin to wrap up their lives and gain closure on any unresolved issues in order to gain a sense of peace and balance.
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