PREVIOUS: Self-Hate #1
WIC: Wounded Inner Child
2. SOURCES of Self-Hate (S-H)
a. In CHILDHOOD:
i. Being abused, abandoned, mistreated, neglected by our parents & other caretakers.
✶ To any small child, parents are experienced as all-powerful “gods”. Gods are supposed to take care of us & only punish for good cause or to teach lessons, SO when we’re continually hurt by these gods we concluded that we definitely deserved it!
Unhealthy parents & other adults – repeatedly acted like or told us that we were “lazy, a pain in the a@@, good for nothing, selfish, stupid, unacceptable, weak, ugly, ungrateful, unlovable”…..
We clearly got these messages:
• INDIRECTLY, by all the ways they did not patiently, lovingly nurture & take care of us, guide, listen, mirror, be good role models…
• DIRECTLY, by saying things like : “You’ll be the death of me yet” “Why did I have to have a kid like you?”, “No one’s ever going to love you”, “You’ll never amount to anything” “Kids always lie”….
ii. OUR OWN child-centered point of view: all kids think the whole world revolves around them & have the universal power to make everything happen – good, bad or indifferent.
Therefore, when bad things happen to us at home, or to anyone else in the group (like our parents getting divorced), we’re convinced we must have caused it / been somehow responsible. In the child’s ‘logic’:
• If WE were bad, then any suffering / punishment / verbal abuse…. we experienced naturally would ‘fit the crime’. RESULT: we should work even harder to win back their good graces, or just give up & BE bad.
• BUT if we tried really hard to be good & still were neglected / belittled / manipulated / battered / violated / tortured…. – then we concluded it was our very essence that was at fault, & therefore hopeless to fix!
RESULT: there was nothing we could do to fix that, which could only end in intense rage, depression & a wish to be dead.
EXP: A young woman was in an ACoA group therapy – a very intelligent lawyer, somewhat stiff & ‘all logic’. She knew she was sitting on a lot of rage at her repressive parents, who lived in another state. She admitted she was terrified to express those feelings out loud in the group, & never did, because her WIC was convinced that simply letting that rage out (here) would literally kill them (there) – at a distance.
b. In the PRESENT – the surface reason (Deeper reasons in Part 3)
i. I.C.’s CONVICTION – we keep telling ourselves we’re never good enough or worthy of getting our needs met. We believe we’re powerless to change that, & being powerless feels much worse to an ACoA than being ‘bad’ – so we stay feeling ‘bad’.
The TOXIC BELIEF that creates anxiety: On the one hand we’re powerless – over everything, while at the same time we try to control everything! We can’t prevent people from leaving us but if they do, we’ll die!
Can you hear the inner kid screaming?
ii. Negative INTROJECT tells us we’re wrong, stupid, evil…
• we hate that part of us, which is so much like our parents, just as judgmental as them, making the same mistakes, picking the same kind of mates, sounding like them…. We swear we’ll never be like them, yet can’t help but be a carbon copy – it’s our genetic heritage, as well as our experience of them
• we can feel the bad voice, like a baseball bat, pounding away at us, & we just want to kill it off (one reason for ACoAs being suicidal), yet believe it completely, & find it a familiar ‘comfort’.
We don’t know how to get rid of it without killing ourselves, yet we protect it with every fiber. What a bind!
NEXT: S-H #3