Erikson and the stage of integrity vs despair - page 2

Erikson says that older adulthood is a time for reviewing the past and rearranging the "photo album of life" just my question as I read this: - what does rearranging the photo album of life... Read More

  1. by   ceecel.dee
    Yes, I'm agreeing with you!
    I find the same thing odd in my MIL, but just never really stopped to think about it's oddness until your post. I find it interesting.
  2. by   GingerSue
    Maybe she was speaking of her childhood because her experience of being in restraints resulted in her feeling like a child. Being around the staff who put her into restraints resulted in her feeling no longer like an adult. So she couldn't interact like an adult (the woman with the children).

    Just remembering my own grandmother a few years before she died, I visited with her and she sat in her chair, crying, telling me of her unhappinesses, and the theft of her savings. So, she said that instead of thinking of the theft she would just say to herself that she "gave it away" - maybe she was "rearranging that photo album" so that it would be less painful.
  3. by   nurseinlimbo
    I think that it may have to do with the times that were most memorable, and that could be in either a good or a bad way. Example: right now we have a LTC client who lost her only daughter in a violent rape/murder. Her focus now, in her demented state of mind, is what an angel that dtr was, and how she fears for her own safety. This event was very significant, obviously and for obvious reasons, and at the time she used it in a productive way, becoming a social worker and helping others. But in her subconcious, she still mourns the dtr, and feels unsafe.

    I think one either blocks out those unpleasant memories, or focuses too much on them, very few are dealt with in a healthy fashion. I know that in my elder years, I will probably still harbor deep resentment for how I was treated as an OR student (LOL) and my biggest regrets will be not following my real career goal (professional horsewoman). I have a son, but very little focus will be on that, because that relationship is healthy (so far) and I don't feel I will have a lot of repair work to do.

    If you think of your own life, and hard times you have been through, you probably already go through integrity/despair, it shows in how you remember the bad times, is the focus on what went wrong, or how strong you became because of it? And in some situations, such as the death of a loved one, the focus is on only the perfection of that person, and all the negative is forgotten. Its a perspective thing.....
  4. by   Hoping LVN2BSN
    Quote from Meloney
    To be more specific, in 12 hours, she only said about 4 sentences that referred to her children. I thought that was unusual.

    Her stories of early childhood and teen years were the focus... so that's about 15 years, given you usually don't remember the first few years of life. She showed me a picture of one of her sons and he looked to be in his thirties, so her role as a parent lasted for longer than 15 years.

    My point was that just a few sentences referring to her children was disproportionate considering the length of time she spent in these life stages.
    Hi Meloney,

    I remember being taught that sometimes people this age usually remember much earlier memories (childhood) than adult memories. Though they spent much more time with their children during adulthood, their childhood memories have been with them much longer than their children and spouses. This has something to do with their episodic memory, the longer time they have to encode that memory the longer they remember it. It may be much more difficult to recall specific detail filled memories of children because in adult life your working to remember everything and in childhood fewer things and memories came easier. And when they forget, the later memories start to go because they're freshest. I know I can recall my very first home phone number when I was little much faster than I can my cell phone number now.

    Maybe it's not as sad as it seems, she could be resorting to what she remembers most, instead of the time when her life probably had so many roles and so much to remember. Hope that makes sense!!!
    Last edit by Hoping LVN2BSN on May 18, '07 : Reason: To add link