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IDENTITY CRISIS Issue #40 - August 2015

What is Identity Crisis?

Identity crisis is a time or a stage when a person is not sure about what kind of
person they are and are trying to find out who they are or who they really want
to be.
It is searching for your true self; who you are or who you would want to be seen
or known as.. A crisis happens because we want to be somebody yet we may
not be identified as such a person. There is a conflict between the inner person
and the outside person.

Signs of Identity Crisis

For teenagers, there is a desire to be someone else. Teenagers at one point

want to be like someone else like a popular singer, the beautiful girl in school,
the talented sports man, etc.
Sometimes teenagers wish their parents were someone else.
The other sign for teenagers is that they become moody because they are
torn between the situation they find themselves in, and the situation they
would like to be in. And this is prevalent today because television and the
Internet have made our world more visual which has led to a lot more
comparisons among individuals. We all want the life led by teenagers in the
The other signs have to do with physical appearance.
For girls, they start to wish their physical appearance was different. Some
wish they had a different nose, some wish they had different breasts.
For the boys, they start to think they are either too short or too tall and if they
think they are too tall, they start to bend so
they can be like the crowd.
Thinking about identity helps us also answer
important questions in our lives: Who am I?,
What kind of person do I want to be?, Why
was I born in this family?, where am I going?,
Will I become what I want to be? Finding
answers to these questions is a good step to
determining our identity.

1. What does it mean for one to say they have their identity in Christ?
Identity in Christ simply means you are Christs follower. And that you believe that God
loves you. If somebody believes that God loves them and that therefore He is interested
in them, for me I think that there is no other identity you can have.
God loves me, He cares about me, every day when I sleep or awake, every breathe I take,
in Him I move, live and have my being, I think that if everybody grasped that, other things
like knowing the word and obedience will follow. I know that God cares for the plants
and they are so beautiful. How much more will He care about me? But sometimes we
forget that and for young people who are having many conflicts, it is a trying time
because they are trying to get their identity as Christians and are also trying to get their
identity in the human world which can get complicated.
Knowing our identity in Christ does not apply only to young people. Even a person like
me, I have to keep reaffirming my identity to my colleagues and to the people I supervise
that I am a Christian and this is who I amI dont do this and I dont do that.
2. Does the way a person identifies themselves affect where they end up in life?
Absolutely! Because I remember for me at one time I wanted the identity of a nice, kind,
patient, fun loving, generous, happy and helpful person.
Let me however add that there are some identities we cannot change. For example I am
the firstborn in my family and there is nothing I can do about that. And because I am the
first born, I had to take care of my siblings. I got my first job at the age of 16 and started
paying tuition for my siblings. So as the first born of my father I took up this identity that I
Drop us an email at

Anne Fiedler
Anne is a founding Director of the
Straight Talk Foundation where she
worked as a Programs Director for
over 13 years.
She currently serves as Chief of
Party for the USAID funded
Communities (CHC) Program.
She is married and has 2 Sons.
was a carer for my siblings and because I wanted all of them to succeed in life, I took
all of them to school. Up to now, I still play that role and it has been identified with
Today I also find that whenever I get feedback from my colleagues, they describe me
the way I wanted to be described. They ascribe to me an identity I wanted for myself,
an identity I at one point set out to make my own.
3. Most multi-cultural families experience an identity crisis phase. Is that something
you have experienced?
I am not so sure though my children feel like they do not belong anywhere. They
describe themselves as the new generation. When they were young I was living with
my sisters and so they could see that all their aunties were African. But they also have
the other family which is purely white. And so they are in the middle. So I suppose for
them, yes, they must have had an identity crisis.
4. How did you deal with it?
I think what helped them is that they went to schools where there were many people
who are different. There was no one skin colour that was prominent.
Also at home, everything was normal. And probably this had to do with the way I was
relating with my husband. There were no major differences fronted by any of us in our
relationship. If my husband had behaved in such a way to show that he is the white
man and I am a black woman, and that we come from different cultures, and made
that difference the big thing, then we would have had problems.
Skin colour is a mirage and so are our tribes. They do not really exist especially when
relating with somebody. But when you let those be the big identities, then actually
they will divide your family and bring confusion with identities.
Sometimes we forget that marriage is made up of two people. All these big words
multi-cultural, inter-racial, vanish in marriage and all that is left is two people and how
they treat or relate with each other.
People sometimes think that the dynamics in inter-racial relationships are different
from those in inter-tribal relationships but they are not. Sometimes it is not even
about tribe but maybe financial status. Someone who is well off marries someone who
is not well off. They all require the two people to come together, talk about,
appreciate, and work out their differences. You have to accept yours and your
partners identity.
When I met my husband, I told him that as part of my identity as my fathers firstborn,
I had to take my siblings to school. We calculated that this would take me 10 years and
we agreed that this would happen. I have also told my children that colour and race do
not matter. So they do not ask questions of which is a better race and which one is not.
They look at me and they can see that I am a black woman, but they also know that I
am their mother. They can see that I am good person with friends and they can also
see that on their fathers side.

Read more from Annes interview on the church blog.

Visit to check it out.
The KEY RING is a monthly publication by the Kampala Baptist Church Media
Team that seeks to provide an avenue where men and women can share
knowledge and understanding of the word of God, experiences and
encourage one another as the older perform the act of paralambano to the
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