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...
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