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Exoticflower here--anyone know how to define or describe "Emotional retardation"?
August 24, 2006
6:00 pm
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exoticflower
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Just a term I keep running across, and in working on some closure things (truly accepting my abusers sicknesses and allowing myself the peace from being able forgive him what he was genuinly too sick to know was wrong), was wondered if this could help me shed some light on things. All in the name of progress and moving forewrd, as ever.

Hope all are well!!! Hugs, EF

August 24, 2006
6:10 pm
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southgoingzax
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really? that's really a term professionals use? It seems pretty odd, though...

A google search turns this up:
THE BARRIE SYNDROME; PETER PAN AS THE DRAMATIZATION OF EMOTIONAL RETARDATION

But, I couldn't get the abstract. Sorry.

How weird.

zax

August 24, 2006
7:46 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi E/F,

I will try to explain this as I (and only I) understand this. It is not a clinical or professional explanation so please take it as only interpretation.

Emotional retardation is applicable to a person who may be age wise in their (example) 30's or 40's, but, acts like they are 15.

I used to work with a woman who was 50 years old. But, when you talked to her - I have had more intelligent conversations with my children when they were teenagers. This was in the work place, and she would turn everything into a sexual remark or pun - like a 15 year old boy would.

I have also ran across some people, that for whatever reasons - environment, they way they were raised, or lack of life experience were the same way. I have met people who are my age, but are literally afraid of everything - or when they discuss things, again, it feel like I am talking to a teenager - even though they might be close to 50 years old.

I hope this helps you somewhat.

Z.

August 24, 2006
7:58 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi EF!!!! How are you???

Do you think it is similar to arrested development? I asked about that awhile back- if you want to do a thread search under those words there were a few responses.

Hope all is well.

SD

August 24, 2006
8:17 pm
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doubleloss
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emotional retardation - never heard of it, though while going through all this pain I have felt "emotionally retarded" somehow, knowing that I need to move on, knowing I ignored red flags, having an incredibly hard time moving on - so it made me smile (mhhh, 12 year old mind?) maybe i am emotionally retarded, LOL.

On a serious note, retardation means
to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede. ooooh!, maybe I am emotionally retarded, at least when it comes to love issues.

it sounds bad though, but I'm still smiling! i think i'm having a good day today...

August 24, 2006
8:56 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi (((EF))),

It is SO weird that you posted tonight. Just today....not yesterday...not last week...TODAY.... I was thinking about you and wondering how you've been. Very strange. It's good to hear from you.

I can't say that I've heard the term "emotionally retarded"...however, I have read that, addicts especially, suffer from a "delayed maturation".

It is said that addicts STOP growing emotionally at the point of addiction. Emotional maturity does not stop when one drinks or does drugs...but at the point of actual addiction. Which explains why so many 30, 40 and even 50 year old people have the maturity level of a 15 year old.

If true....that certainly explains A LOT regarding the very immature ideas that the ex has about a lot of things. And having that understanding has helped me tremendously when trying to understand why he says and does some of the things he has.

I also read that it is not a "permanent" condition. If and when the person finds REAL recovery.....they will begin to mature emotionally again, basically at the same pace they would have had they never become addicted.

Very interesting stuff.

I hope things are going well for you?

Love,
Lolli

August 24, 2006
9:32 pm
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mamacinnamon
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HI EF:

I don't have any answers. Just wanted to stop in and say HI and how are you and your little one. (She is still little isn't she?)

August 25, 2006
9:06 am
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Anonymous
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The definition of emotional retardation being someone in their 30s,40s,or even 50s acting like a 15 year old sounds familiar to me.My husband has been that way for as long as I have known him,and only recently with the support of my family and my friends here(Thank you!!) have I made a stand against this,and he is making progress.He was abused by his father and brother well into his teens,and it seems with the approach of his 32nd birthday,and me getting on him about my needs and stating my case,he is now leaping and bounding into adulthood with all things I needed him to grow up on.He paticipates more often with disciplining his children,helps around the house,has been supportive with my new job,and I no longer fear his intense overreaction when the bills come due for payment.
I was married to Peter Pan,but now I think I may have the grown up version now...Time genuinely heals all wounds.

August 25, 2006
9:52 am
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Zinnie
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Hi P.O.'d,

See from what you are saying, it sounds like if they are forced to take responsibility for themselves and their actions, they can and will grow up.

But... think of this - when dealing with people that we know are like this? How many times do we excuse their behaviors by saying "oh, that's just them"

So you see, we are not doing these people any favors. If we force them to take on the responsibilites of their lives and actions - they can grow up.

Z.

August 25, 2006
4:37 pm
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readyforachange
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haven't ever heard that specific term; however, in our first round of marriage counseling, the counselor told us that an alcoholic's emotional development stops at the age they begin drinking. For my ex, he started drinking at the age of 14 or so...and as soon as my son turned 14, I realized that he was more mature than his father.

August 26, 2006
3:49 am
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glittered when he walked
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sorry, saw the thread and giggled because at times when talking w/ my soon to be ex I would say things like "maybe I'm a little bit emotionally retarded" it was comic relief in a serious discussion. Honestly, I dont think or feel emotionally retarded just that my stbx and I were ill suited for oneanother. what i foucs on now is what i can do better and who to avoid as unhealthy.

August 26, 2006
4:07 am
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cpt1212
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i have not hear of that specific term but can relate to it---my sister was kicked out of the house when she was 16 and it seems that her emotional development stopped at about that time. her oldest son is almost 17 and it has become very clear in the past year or so that he is much more mature than she is. i was having such a hard time putting into words my frustration with what goes on in her home to my counselor and she said that it sounds like a house full of teenagers (she has 2 sons 13 and almost 17) and since she said that a few months ago i began looking at their interactions in a whole new light and the term "emotional retardation" fits better than anything i have come acrossed.

August 26, 2006
10:36 am
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StronginHim77
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My ex's psychologist explained to me once that even though my ex was chronologically "62," emotionally, he was about "12-13." (He has borderline personality disorder.) I used to see and hear him doing some really odd stuff, until I understood he was frozen at a certain stage of development and would require years of therapy to get past that point. In the meantime, he would yawn and make loud, distracting noises, if I tried having a conversation with -- perhaps-- one of my sons (because he was jealous of any attention I gave ANYONE but him) and he would "tantrum" alot, screaming that he never wanted to see me again, etc., whenever I displeased him in any way. Just like an enraged kid, yelling at his Mom, "Go away; I hate you!" Weird. But it made sense, after his shrink explained it to me.

- Strong

August 26, 2006
10:52 am
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revelation
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EF!!! Hellooooo!!!! Haven't talked to you in ages! How you getting on girly? I'm not on here a lot, but I had to reply when I saw your name...how is little exotic baby? Getting big now I bet!

Emotional Retardation...here is my take on it:
We learn how to show emotions from our parent first...after all, they are just about the only people we know when we are very young. So...we look to them to learn about relationships, communication and showing emotions at a young age.
IF your parents are the type of people who don't show emotions or communicate with each other (You know the type...that victorian "Don't talk about it", "Brush it under the carpet" mentality...then you won't naturally know how to show any emotion or communicate genuinely with anyone.

Now...if you are still like this as an adult (after all, there are people who have parents like this who are VERY good at communicating and showing real emotions)..but, if you are still like this as an adult...its probably because, an extra-facet of your parents relationship, and the relationship you have with them...is CONTROL.

I have seen, in fact I KNOW, people who are quite emotionally retarded and find it really hard not to be fake...and the reason is because, their parents, actually still control their emotions...still have such a hold on them...that they have NEVER learned to communicate properly...in fact...they believe that people who ARE genuine...are bad people.

The underlying reason why most people would be "emotionally retarded" would be extreme emotional abuse by their parents as children.

Now...I'll get loada people here...saying "Hey...I was emotionally abused as a child, and I AM NOT emotionally retarded" Well, thats probably because, something traumatic enough happened to you in your life...you got hurt one too many times...and you realised that you had to change...thats my take on it!

August 27, 2006
5:31 pm
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exoticflower
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HAhaha, ask this bunch a serious question, get a good laugh? Yeah, I suppose the every day stressors of healing and growth cause some emotional incompetance for me sometimes too!

But, I asked my therapist, and she said about the same thing but elaborated a bit more (she said it's just a good descriptive term, not a professional one, by the by). She went so far as to say it strikes her as more of an inability to grasp the intricite realities of emotions and emotional concequenses--like, that some people can not identify to with even the concept of what most peoples emotional range is, it's like a limited capability to understand the realistic range of emotions normal people feel, even conceptually. Like a blind man trying to describe what something may look like. She thinks it seems more learned than something like what we know as retardation, but says she sees a lot of people that are quite incapable of a normal healthy adult grasp on what our varying emotions actually consist of as a race (human).

Which was a comfort in a way--I'm starting to believe he is truly ignjorant and mentally incapable of understanding the realistic affects of ones actions on anothers emotions. Like, I'm starting to understand not just that he is sick, but that he is in a way quite ignorant to any responsability for himself. Like being involved with a child, sort of--if that makes sense?

Anyway, I'm doing well, to those that asked. I've adjusted well to my city, am loving my online journal about single parenting, have found myself really in a depressive slump lately but recognize it to have been related to leaving myself vulnerable to some phsych abuse from the ex, and am recognizing where I was wrong (abusers are unsafe, and I am learning, unable to stop--duh) and how to take better care in such areas. Mostly, things are good, or if not, at least always moving foreward in a possitive direction every day. Hugs, EF

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