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Exploring Mechanisms You Developed to Survive Your Family - Mimicry

You developed mechanisms of accommodation, rebellion, and mimicry to survive growing up in your family. Let’s look at mimicry.

Gootnick, develop, survive, family , mimicry, mimick

<b>Mimicking</b>

When you were a child you probably remember swearing to the universe that when you grew up you’d never, ever treat your children the way your parents treated you. You’d be different; you’d be better. You knew it from the core of your being. Right? So how is it that instead of making your vow come true, all these years later you’ve ended up copying their very qualities that you most despised? Welcome to the world of mimicking—the third mechanism (accommodation and rebellion being the other two)
we sometimes use that’s influenced by guilt toward your parents and siblings.
Why do we use “mimicking”? What are the reasons behind this behavior? Remember the warning “I hope your children do to you what you’ve done to me”? You were blamed for your parents’ suffering, and they wanted you to suffer the same way at the hands of your children. And so you do. Four reasons explain why.

<b>MIMICKING: PUNISHMENT AND RELIEF</b>

We become like our parents to punish ourselves and relieve our guilt for hurting them. If you think you’re responsible for causing your parents’ unhappiness, suffering, disappointment, getting out of control, then you deserve to be punished by having the same faults. Huh? Think of it like this, if you are unhappy, suffer, are disappointed, or out of control, then you have paid yourself back for the suffering you caused them. Think of the biblical expression, “an eye for an eye.” This requires that a punishment fit the crime exactly. It turns out that your conscience operates the same way. It requires that you be punished exactly in the way you’ve made another person suffer; in this case, your parents or sibling.
When your overprotective parent became frantic with worry when you played sports, you felt responsible for causing their worry. They screamed with anxiety, “You’ll break your leg! You’ll get killed!” And how does your conscience operate? It requires your becoming frantic with worry when your kids are playing, just as your parents did with you. There. Now you’ve been punished for your long-ago offense of causing your parents to feel frantic with worry over you.
Remember the indigenous tribe described in Chapter 1? Remember how they blamed themselves for earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, and so on? A child blames him- or herself when a parent continually acts badly. Later on in life, being like that parent keeps the grown child from feeling better off than the parent. This is how our conscience evens the score.
If you blame yourself for the explosive rages your domineering, overbearing father suffered when you didn’t submit to him, you’d assume that your independent attitude was responsible. You could do penance for your guilt toward him by becoming domineering with others and explosive with your own children. Why is this “penance”? Because by mimicking your father, you also suffer when your children act independently of you.
Does this sound self-destructive? It is. Surely, you’d prefer to not fly off the handle and rail at your children. And just as surely you’d rather not suffer when they don’t submit to you. But the idea is that if you caused your parents or siblings to suffer, you deserve to suffer in the same way. It’s precisely this idea, the dynamic of self-blame, that’s central to why we behave in ways that we hate.
That explains the first of the four reasons why we choose to suffer through mimicking our parents’ behavior. Let’s look at the second reason.

<b>MIMICKING: DON’T FEEL BAD—WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER</b>

If you’ve ever felt bad because you think it’s not fair to be better off than your parents, you might resort to mimicking to relieve your bad feelings. At a talk I gave, a woman told me about her experience with her obese mother. She remembered not only sitting with her during meals and snacks, but she also recalled mimicking her mother’s overeating because she thought that would comfort her mother. Her exact words were, “I felt she would feel comforted because we were in it together.” What was she really saying? “Don’t feel bad, Mom, I have the same [overeating] problem that you have.”
That’s the second reason for mimicking behaviors we hate, what’s the third?

<b>MIMICKING: PUSHING AWAY THE PAIN</b>

For the most part, we all want to forget our unpleasant experiences of the past and have the bad feelings associated with them fade away. This done, we can enjoy our present-day lives. Now factor this in: By mistreating others the way we’ve been mistreated, we help forget that we suffered at the hands of our parents. How does that help, you’re probably wondering?
Imagine you’ve gone through something terrible like childhood abuse. (The victim could have been you or perhaps someone else in the family.) The result is that you can’t stand thinking about it, that you want to bury the memory and never reexperience the pain of it again. The farther removed from it you get, in physical distance and in time, the safer you feel and the less likely you are to think about it. What helps you accomplish this? Being as far removed as possible from your memories of the traumatic experience. What could be farther away from that opposite position? To become the one who mistreats, not the one is mistreated.
If as an adult you act possessively toward your children, you demand underlying loyalty and overt demonstrations of love the way your parents did with you, it’ll help you forget the pain you felt when your parent was that way with you. What pain? Maybe out of loyalty to your possessive parent, you inhibited your relationships with others. Or maybe you cut off new relationships because you feared being trapped by the demands of loyalty you felt all relationships came with. Either way, you suffer. And now, as an adult, if you dominate your children, maybe you’ll forget that you yourself submitted to your own domineering parents. You don’t want to recall painful memories of having been cheated out of your own independence.
With three reasons for mimicking looked at and understood, we’re left with one more. Here’s how that one shapes our world of self-blame.

<b>MIMICKING: WORKING HARD TO IMPROVE THE FLAW</b>

By doing to others what was done to you, you hope to meet people who can show you how to better cope with the behavior that harmed you. That’s the basic premise, and it’s a lot to take in so let’s look at it from another angle. These new people you meet become role models for you in learning new ways of dealing with behavior that was painful or difficult for you in the past. If you think about couples you know, you’ll find that this is often true. And if you’ve ever wondered why many couples have extreme opposite personalities that often clash, you now have the answer to all your wondering. A submissive person, who gives in easily, is with a domineering partner who tends not to. Why? Each one is actually learning from the other how to improve on his or her own shortcoming.
These four reasons are why, in spite of your best intentions, you may have acquired those qualities of your parents that you hated the most. In the case of David, a smart businessman who undermined his career success, you’ll see that he did this because of his father and because he identified with some of his father’s qualities.

 

Historical Mechanisms Promoting Chestnut Survival Through Hybridization

Historically, chestnuts have throughout the ages provided food and wood products in both European and Oriental cultures. Chestnuts have saved some civilizations from vanishing during famines, wars, and natural disasters. Native American chestnuts offered many promises and comforts to the early colonists, but during a blight that was introduced by importing nursery stock from Asia, the chestnut trees of American were almost eliminated. Certain chestnut tree colonies survived ...

chestnut,chestnut tree

Historically, chestnuts have throughout the ages provided food and wood products in both European and Oriental cultures. Chestnuts have saved some civilizations from vanishing during famines, wars, and natural disasters. Native American chestnuts offered many promises and comforts to the early colonists, but during a blight that was introduced by importing nursery stock from Asia, the chestnut trees of American were almost eliminated. Certain chestnut tree colonies survived in isolated locations and because of plant breeding advances, chestnut trees are being reestablished throughout the nation. The original stands of American chestnuts were far superior to all other types in the world in respect to the sweet taste and vast quantities of lumber that was produced. Foreign types of chestnuts such as Chinese, Japanese, and European have been used to implant immunity qualities back into the historical genetic code contained within the tasty kernel of the American chestnut.

An early reference to American chestnuts, ‘Castanea dentata,’ was given in John and William Bartram’s seed and tree nursery catalog, America’s first nursery catalog that was published in Philadelphia, PA in 1783. The Bartram family, famous American explorers and botanists, were close friends of Benjamin Franklin and U.S. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The Bartrams supplied American chestnut trees to gardens at Independence Hall at Philadelphia and the personal gardens of George Washington at Mount Vernon and to Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, Va. President Jefferson was an avid plant collector and spent endless hours searching for profitable horticultural crops that were commercially suitable for American farmers. President Jefferson attempted and succeeded in intercrossing and hybridizing the various collections of Spanish or European species of chestnuts, ‘Castanea sativa.’ He also performed crosses on chestnuts forming hybrid crosses of the European chestnut, ‘Castanea sativa’ and the American chestnut, ‘Castanea dentata.’

Thomas Jefferson is documented to have personally grafted European chestnuts onto American rootstock, however, it is unclear why he did this, since the American chestnuts were more desirable and tasted better than the European chestnuts.

In his book, Travels, William Bartram never mentions any encounter or observation of the American chestnut ‘Castanea dentata,’ despite his extensive exploration of the Southeastern U.S., where the trees were growing in substantially large numbers in their native habitat. The mystery created by Bartram omitting references to this very significant inhabitant of American forests is a conundrum that may never be answered. Maps locating Bartram’s famous Philadelphia, Pa. arboretum and garden still actively used today as a tourist attraction documented the presence of chestnut goliaths in the garden border.

The legendary nuts harvested from the American chestnut had a superior taste and production capability over the European chestnut. These nuts were gathered and stored in the shade and coolness of fall, so that the starchy kernel could develop its spicy sweetness. The nuts could be shelled and eaten fresh, or they could be roasted over hot coals to improve the flavor. A common sight on the streets of New York City or Philadelphia was peddlers with mobile stoves roasting the fresh chestnuts in cast iron pans to offer for sale to pedestrians. The heavy crops of nuts in the native forests offered enough food for not only human populations, but also for animals such as bears, deer, squirrels, turkeys, and the now extinct passenger pigeons.

Chestnuts, because of their 42% starch content, can be ground into a powdered flour without deterioration for extended periods and baked into sweet, nutritious cakes. In Korea chestnuts are used in the diet much like potatoes are used in Western nations.

American chestnut trees were among the largest trees found in the Eastern U.S., sometimes measuring 17 feet in diameter, large enough to drive a carriage or automobile through. These nut trees were found growing from Maine to Florida and from the Eastern seaboard to middle America. Some scattered groves of chestnut trees could be found in Western States. The grandness and gracefulness of this amazingly beautiful tree was highly desirable in estate landscapes. The long white catkin flowers of the chestnut developed into a valuable food crop for the U.S. The tall, straight trunk of the tree was ideal for many uses, because it was easily split along the grain for timber and split-rail fences. The dense wood was strong and extremely resistant to rotting, thus making it perfect for telephone poles, fence posts, and other building materials.

The great gift to the New World of the American chestnut that provided food, shelter, shade, and wood resources, had all but vanished when the trees fell victim to a fungus infection, ‘Cryphonectria parasitica,’ in the year 1904. Many years earlier, a USDA plant explorer, Frank Meyer, noticed a fungal disease, later identified as chestnut blight, had entered U.S. ports in 1876 from China and Japan on nursery stock imported from those countries. Luther Burbank, perhaps the world’s greatest plant hybridizer, reported that he imported a number of chestnuts from China and Japan in 1884. The USDA official went before Congress in 1912 after the blight decimated American chestnut trees growing at the Bronx Zoo, and was personally given credit for his efforts to stop further debilitating diseases and plagues imported into the U.S. by enacting the Plant Quarantine Act of Congress.

Following the example of President Thomas Jefferson in crossing various species of chestnuts to obtain hybrids with vigor and offspring that might have, within the genetic material of the tree, a built-in resistance to disease, the USDA began hybridizing American chestnuts, ‘Castanea dentata,’ the Chinese chestnut, ‘Castanea ‘mollissima,’ and Japanese chestnuts, ‘Castanea crenata.’ Thousands of chestnut hybrids were obtained, however, the American and Chinese offspring were the most promising, whereas, the Japanese chestnuts were excluded. The European genetic types of chestnut trees were also omitted, because they were also struck down to some degree by the chestnut blight.

Since the hybrid seed of outcrossed chestnut trees were so widely variable and with such unpredictable germination results were unavailable, the seed of a hybrid selected tree did not demonstrate much promising consequence towards establishing profitable commercial chestnut orchards. The chestnut, outstanding hybrid selections, were grafted with extreme difficulty, thus the USDA was unfortunately forced to abandon its efforts on chestnuts in 1960.

It should be mentioned that the chestnut blight does not affect the roots of the trees and consequently shoots arise from the stumps that eventually produce a few scattered nuts that can be used to further the research in obtaining immunity in a hybrid offspring of the American chestnut ‘Castanea dentata.’ The chestnut blight only affects the Chinese chestnut trees, ‘Castanea sativa,’ in a minor superficial way. It became important to recognize that this immune quality could be transmitted into an American chestnut hybrid even when the presence of the Chinese chestnut immunity factor was only one-sixteenth of the final genetic composition of the hybrids that could be obtained from the cross of C. dentata and C. mollissima.

Luther Burbank reported intercrossing chestnuts from a resulting gene pool that involved crossing Chinese, Japanese, European (Italian), and American chestnuts to include also chinquapin trees. Out of this genetic blend, he managed to develop a dwarf chestnut 1 ½ ft tall that produced nuts from the seed after 6 months from being planted. He also managed to produce a crop of chestnuts from everbearing trees that involved chestnuts and flowers being produced month after month continuously. The nuts were a mammoth size of two inches in diameter, each weighing an ounce or more in clusters of 6 to 9 nuts per burr. In the natural state, the spiny burrs act as armor that protects the nuts from squirrels and birds.

More recent observations of the Italian pathologist Antonio Biraghi have shown that certain survivors of the European chestnuts, C. sativa, are believed to contain a form of chestnut blight that has been genetically weakened in virulence by an internal virus to the extent that the effect, called ‘hypovirulence,’ appears to demonstrate that the virus affected chestnut trees have acquired a measure of immunity to the deadly chestnut fungal blight. These clones are believed by many plant scientists to be capable of imparting a new immunity into the new C. dentata hybrid crosses with C. sativa and backcrossing onto parental genetic types and are being evaluated.

Many chestnut trees are offered by mail-order and internet companies today, offering an optimistic and productive future for commercial chestnut tree orchards. Some of these offerings are available through the valuable insight and efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its research facilities.

 

Historical Mechanisms Promoting Chestnut Survival Through Hybridization

Historically, chestnuts have throughout the ages provided food and wood products in both European and Oriental cultures. Chestnuts have saved some civilizations from vanishing during famines, wars, and natural disasters. Native American chestnuts offered many promises and comforts to the early colonists, but during a blight that was introduced by importing nursery stock from Asia, the chestnut trees of American were almost eliminated. Certain chestnut tree colonies survived in isolated locations and because of plant breeding advances, chestnut trees are being reestablished throughout the nation. The original stands of American chestnuts were far superior to all other types in the world in respect to the sweet taste and vast quantities of lumber that was produced. Foreign types of chestnuts such as Chinese, Japanese, and European have been used to implant immunity qualities back into the historical genetic code contained within the tasty kernel of the American chestnut.

An early reference to American chestnuts, ‘Castanea dentata,’ was given in John and William Bartram’s seed and tree nursery catalog, America’s first nursery catalog that was published in Philadelphia, PA in 1783. The Bartram family, famous American explorers and botanists, were close friends of Benjamin Franklin and U.S. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The Bartrams supplied American chestnut trees to gardens at Independence Hall at Philadelphia and the personal gardens of George Washington at Mount Vernon and to Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, Va. President Jefferson was an avid plant collector and spent endless hours searching for profitable horticultural crops that were commercially suitable for American farmers. President Jefferson attempted and succeeded in intercrossing and hybridizing the various collections of Spanish or European species of chestnuts, ‘Castanea sativa.’ He also performed crosses on chestnuts forming hybrid crosses of the European chestnut, ‘Castanea sativa’ and the American chestnut, ‘Castanea dentata.’

Thomas Jefferson is documented to have personally grafted European chestnuts onto American rootstock, however, it is unclear why he did this, since the American chestnuts were more desirable and tasted better than the European chestnuts.

In his book, Travels, William Bartram never mentions any encounter or observation of the American chestnut ‘Castanea dentata,’ despite his extensive exploration of the Southeastern U.S., where the trees were growing in substantially large numbers in their native habitat. The mystery created by Bartram omitting references to this very significant inhabitant of American forests is a conundrum that may never be answered. Maps locating Bartram’s famous Philadelphia, Pa. arboretum and garden still actively used today as a tourist attraction documented the presence of chestnut goliaths in the garden border.

The legendary nuts harvested from the American chestnut had a superior taste and production capability over the European chestnut. These nuts were gathered and stored in the shade and coolness of fall, so that the starchy kernel could develop its spicy sweetness. The nuts could be shelled and eaten fresh, or they could be roasted over hot coals to improve the flavor. A common sight on the streets of New York City or Philadelphia was peddlers with mobile stoves roasting the fresh chestnuts in cast iron pans to offer for sale to pedestrians. The heavy crops of nuts in the native forests offered enough food for not only human populations, but also for animals such as bears, deer, squirrels, turkeys, and the now extinct passenger pigeons.

Chestnuts, because of their 42% starch content, can be ground into a powdered flour without deterioration for extended periods and baked into sweet, nutritious cakes. In Korea chestnuts are used in the diet much like potatoes are used in Western nations.

American chestnut trees were among the largest trees found in the Eastern U.S., sometimes measuring 17 feet in diameter, large enough to drive a carriage or automobile through. These nut trees were found growing from Maine to Florida and from the Eastern seaboard to middle America. Some scattered groves of chestnut trees could be found in Western States. The grandness and gracefulness of this amazingly beautiful tree was highly desirable in estate landscapes. The long white catkin flowers of the chestnut developed into a valuable food crop for the U.S. The tall, straight trunk of the tree was ideal for many uses, because it was easily split along the grain for timber and split-rail fences. The dense wood was strong and extremely resistant to rotting, thus making it perfect for telephone poles, fence posts, and other building materials.

The great gift to the New World of the American chestnut that provided food, shelter, shade, and wood resources, had all but vanished when the trees fell victim to a fungus infection, ‘Cryphonectria parasitica,’ in the year 1904. Many years earlier, a USDA plant explorer, Frank Meyer, noticed a fungal disease, later identified as chestnut blight, had entered U.S. ports in 1876 from China and Japan on nursery stock imported from those countries. Luther Burbank, perhaps the world’s greatest plant hybridizer, reported that he imported a number of chestnuts from China and Japan in 1884. The USDA official went before Congress in 1912 after the blight decimated American chestnut trees growing at the Bronx Zoo, and was personally given credit for his efforts to stop further debilitating diseases and plagues imported into the U.S. by enacting the Plant Quarantine Act of Congress.

Following the example of President Thomas Jefferson in crossing various species of chestnuts to obtain hybrids with vigor and offspring that might have, within the genetic material of the tree, a built-in resistance to disease, the USDA began hybridizing American chestnuts, ‘Castanea dentata,’ the Chinese chestnut, ‘Castanea ‘mollissima,’ and Japanese chestnuts, ‘Castanea crenata.’ Thousands of chestnut hybrids were obtained, however, the American and Chinese offspring were the most promising, whereas, the Japanese chestnuts were excluded. The European genetic types of chestnut trees were also omitted, because they were also struck down to some degree by the chestnut blight.

Since the hybrid seed of outcrossed chestnut trees were so widely variable and with such unpredictable germination results were unavailable, the seed of a hybrid selected tree did not demonstrate much promising consequence towards establishing profitable commercial chestnut orchards. The chestnut, outstanding hybrid selections, were grafted with extreme difficulty, thus the USDA was unfortunately forced to abandon its efforts on chestnuts in 1960.

It should be mentioned that the chestnut blight does not affect the roots of the trees and consequently shoots arise from the stumps that eventually produce a few scattered nuts that can be used to further the research in obtaining immunity in a hybrid offspring of the American chestnut ‘Castanea dentata.’ The chestnut blight only affects the Chinese chestnut trees, ‘Castanea sativa,’ in a minor superficial way. It became important to recognize that this immune quality could be transmitted into an American chestnut hybrid even when the presence of the Chinese chestnut immunity factor was only one-sixteenth of the final genetic composition of the hybrids that could be obtained from the cross of C. dentata and C. mollissima.

Luther Burbank reported intercrossing chestnuts from a resulting gene pool that involved crossing Chinese, Japanese, European (Italian), and American chestnuts to include also chinquapin trees. Out of this genetic blend, he managed to develop a dwarf chestnut 1 ½ ft tall that produced nuts from the seed after 6 months from being planted. He also managed to produce a crop of chestnuts from everbearing trees that involved chestnuts and flowers being produced month after month continuously. The nuts were a mammoth size of two inches in diameter, each weighing an ounce or more in clusters of 6 to 9 nuts per burr. In the natural state, the spiny burrs act as armor that protects the nuts from squirrels and birds.

More recent observations of the Italian pathologist Antonio Biraghi have shown that certain survivors of the European chestnuts, C. sativa, are believed to contain a form of chestnut blight that has been genetically weakened in virulence by an internal virus to the extent that the effect, called ‘hypovirulence,’ appears to demonstrate that the virus affected chestnut trees have acquired a measure of immunity to the deadly chestnut fungal blight. These clones are believed by many plant scientists to be capable of imparting a new immunity into the new C. dentata hybrid crosses with C. sativa and backcrossing onto parental genetic types and are being evaluated.




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