In this life script message the parents some how communicate to the child that they should have been born the opposite sex. A female may be born fourth in a line of girls as the parents tried to have a boy and this can leave the child with a deep sense of disappointment about itself. Some parents openly tell the child that she was meant to be a boy. They may dress the child as the opposite sex and engage it in activities of the opposite sex. The child maybe given a name that is usually used for the opposite sex or could be applied to the opposite sex. The child may be named after a relative who was the opposite sex. All these type of things can communicate to the child that it was meant to be born the opposite sex.
However it does not only have to relate to one’s gender. Some parents want their children to go to university and some simply do not have the academic ability to do so. Or the parents may want the child to be musical or sporty and the child has little talent and or interest in doing such a thing. Some parents put children in beauty or talent contests. Are they doing so for the child or because they want the child to be some way for their own psychological needs? In these instances the child again realizes that mother or father want them to be a particular way and realize they cannot or don’t have any interest in it and this can lead to emotional problems as described below.
We are who we are
It is possible for this injunction to lead to quite significant levels of maladjustment especially in the case of “Don’t be the sex you are” message. One’s gender is a basic and integral part of how people perceive and view them self. It is part of the core understanding of who we are. If they receive the message they should have been the other gender that can lead to quite a deep and profound sense of disappointment in relation to the parents and the child being in some cases disappointed in itself for some how not getting it right.
This injunction can be a basis of ego dystonic homosexuality and ego dystonic heterosexuality, some transvestism and some transgenderists. The DSM-5 would refer to this as a dissociative disorder where there is a disturbance in ones identity, in this case sexual identity. They note that such things can result from prolonged and intense coercive persuasion. One could see this as a euphemism for parenting in childhood which is a prolonged and intense period of persuasion.
This can also lead to pathological reasons for seeking cosmetic surgery. Repetitive cosmetic surgery can result from this injunction. Also there may be extreme fitness training as the person is trying to transform them self physically into something else, alternatively some have eating disorders for the same reasons.
They can also adopt the opposite gender role in relationships. Females will have more masculine qualities and less feminine qualities and the male is the other way around. So the male will adopt the traditional female roles in relationships and the female will adopt the male roles.
The tom-boy can be from a Don’t be you injunction. The parents wanted a boy and they got a girl so they treat her like a boy anyway. The girl adopts the typical male type of dress, activities, hobbies and employment. The same of course applies for the other way around when boys are treated like girls because the parents wanted a girl.
Others refuse to accept the age they are. They do not like getting older so they will adopt activities that are appropriate for younger ages, or they may ‘hang out’ with others who are much older or younger than them self. Some refuse to accept the aging in the body and will behave in a way that can at times be dangerous. For instance some men in their 60s will do heavy physical work or strenuous sporting activities that they could handle in their earlier 20s because they do not want to admit they are getting older and they still see themselves as a young person.
This can also give rise to what is called a chronophillia. That person who is sexually and romantically attracted to a person who is considerably older or younger. They just never fall in love with someone who is approximately the same age. This can be due to the fact that the parents let them know there was something wrong with who they were as a person, so they cope with it by changing their psychological view of self to fit with what the parents did want.