It seems like these coping skills may have first
started between the time you were born
and when you turned 3 years old
Our level of insight grows as we age. When we are newborns we have no insight. We think we are part of our caretaker. As we grow we gain more insight. Sometimes we get stuck at a certain age level of insight if there was a trauma. Since we usually don't remember things that have happened at this age, at first it might be hard to believe that something did happen. When we have had a trauma this young, as we get older and a trauma is triggered we have no words to explain how we feel. All we know is that we feel like we can't live without the person who is triggering the trauma. During this time period, according to Erik Erikson, we're moving through the "trust vs. mistrust" and "autonomy vs. shame" stages where the expected virtues that we learn are "hope" and "will". And if we do not learn these virtues they are expected to reappear as problems in the future.