Growing up

Postby AverageAndy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:32 am

Hey, so I used this forum quite a while ago and got quite good responses so I thought I'd use it again.

Growing up I wasn't the friendliest boy regarding my behaviour towards my family. I have Aspergers which means my brain is wired differently. I would scream, yell and fight with my parents and siblings. I only recently found out that the neighbours had called the police a lot back in them days because of all the noise I had made. It has been a long time since then and I'm a totally new person. I have a lot of guilt built up from all my bs. No one knows what I did growing up which I'm happy and sad about. Them not knowing is good because it's like a fresh new start but it makes me sad because would someone want to hang out with a person who would be abusive towards there family. I can't go back in time and change the past. When my mom gets a bit frustrated she brings up past events. I get quite upset and it makes me feel extremely guilty. It's the same with my siblings too and it can be quite upsetting. I get a flush of emotions and my mouth goes dry. I just calmly respond and try to change the conversation to something else or just leave and do something else.

I used to talk to my friend about some of my problems but she passed away. She knew about some of the things that I did and said in a way it wasn't entirely my fault for behaving that way. I'm kicking myself now because I wish I would had asked more questions. I was embarrassed when she brought this up and I'm also certain she knew that I was also embarrassed. I think she was just trying to let me know that it wasn't the end of the world. Even though it feels like it lol.

I've been quite harsh with myself these past few years with this and even though my actions were terrible I was young. I used to think that aspergers didn't put me at a disadvantage and I shouldn't have any excuses for anything. What I did was me and that no one forced me to do anything. I've changed my mind.

So my question is, am I only accountable for my actions growing up? I'm no longer a child. I'm a man and I'm trying my best to do the right thing. Before I throw myself into a pit of sh** I want to just get a more rounded opinion. I think that would help. Maybe I'm just shying away from the truth. I'm not sure. Have a good evening whoever you are.

Sorry for any spelling or grammar. It's quite late here
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:50 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:01 pm

AverageAndy wrote:So my question is, am I only accountable for my actions growing up?

Philip Zimbardo is a psychologist famous for the Standford Prison experiment. The experiment showed how quickly young males could be placed in conditions that rapidly transformed their actions. These males were screened as psychologically normal, healthy males.

Here is a video on that experiment.

Zimbardo was asked to testify regarding the abuses committed by U.S. soldiers in if I remember correctly Abu Ghraib in Iraq. It was in 2003. ... oner_abuse

Here is an image you might remember depending on your age:

The above leads me to the question...where the U.S. soldiers accountable for their actions?

Zimbardo testified that like the Standford Prison experiment that our environments and/or the circumstances we encounter can have a profound influence on our actions. However, he notes, these do not absolve us of accountability.

Zimbardo says the environment/circumstances are mitigating factors. In other words, the environment/circumstances allow us to empathize with why a person acted in one way or another. We might reduce whatever punishment or sentence for their actions, but we don't absolve them of their actions.

And that is exactly what happened to the soldiers. They were prosecuted not absolved. They were accountable, regardless of circumstances, for their actions.

The same holds true for you.

Certainly your upbringing influenced your actions. Your family, your environment, your cognitive disposition all allow us to empathize with why you might have behaved in ways that were less than nice. This should give you comfort. You don't have to bear 100% of the responsibility for why you acted in ways you regret.

Still, you are accountable.
Posts: 10904
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1131

Return to Psychology