PREVIOUS: Grandiosity & ‘Normal’
GENERAL: From the very beginning of life all children are PMES (Mental, Emotional, Physical & Spiritual) sponges – ‘swallowing whole’ every moment of every part of their environment. Kids are highly intuitive & very observant.
We picked up:
• what we saw, what we heard, where we went
• how we were treated, at home & outside
• our parents’ emotions, values, opinions and secrets – whether obvious, unexpressed, or those hidden from themselves (denied)
• how adults treated each other – our parents with each others & our siblings, their parents & siblings, their exes, friends, bosses… (Antidotes )
BUT, all of that was experienced & processed thru the lens of a child’s limited perspective AND their specific personality. Therefore, each child in a family will have a different ‘story’ of what happened.
So to get an accurate picture we’d need everyone’s point of view formed into a psychological collage.
IN THE PRESENT
In common: Everyone has an Inner Guide to good & proper behavior – our inborn, God-given conscience, & the beneficial or harmful ‘super-ego’ version of our specific society. (This is NOT schizophrenia, or other mental illness)
People with relatively sane childhoods have an OK or POSITIVE INTROJECT for self-soothing, & to be of legitimate help to others
However, ACoAs raised in an emotionally unhealthy, neglectful, abusive, torturing environment have a Negative Introject – cruel, distorted, rigid, unsympathetic, & a LIAR! – the Pig Parent (PP) in”Games People Play“.
• some good stuff, here & there, but mainly it was …..
• …. all the damage & dysfunction of our home & community! Imagine – every kid has to try to make sense of their ‘world’ with distorted info & very limited experience, & many without any loving help to navigate life
This turned into Self-Hate, the #1 defense used to keep from going crazy.
MAKE UP of the PP
• Our version** of each major caretaker – anyone who was important to us, &/or that we spent a lot of time with
** We did NOT misunderstand, exaggerate or distort our perception of them.
Later on we sometimes get additional facts that form a deeper – but not necessarily better – opinion of them. More often it validates our experience!
PP is :
• a specific parent with the most forceful, controlling &/or crazy personality, & now is our loudest voice
• parts of our psyche we disown – a pitiless ‘conscience’, an ‘alcoholic’ Higher Power, distortions of positive life-rules…..
• the rules of our social & spiritual communities
At the same time:
• not all those who raised us / taught us – were evil, just very damaged – so we’ve also internalized some of their skills, hopes, dreams, talents, knowledge, goals… as much as were visible. BUT it’s a small part of the PP, compared to their sickness
WHY is it so IMPORTANT to identify the PP?
Because we copy it! To the degree that we ‘honor & obey’ it – we feed our S-H, live in fear, sabotage ourselves, choose inappropriate people, can’t grow into our best self, hurt others & allow others to hurt us !
a. IF we were in pain as kids, and are in pain now, even if we don’t remember what happened, or don’t understand why – we can be sure that:
• we absorbed what others in the family were feeling – especially whatever they refused to acknowledge (their suffering was ‘in the air’)
• we felt our own daily emotional pain, without anyone to comfort us, to validate our feelings, to explain that it was NOT about us & so NOT our fault
b. We may have a limited understanding of who everyone in our family was – what their motives were, what they went thru, what their ‘diagnosis’ may be – since even with our intuition we couldn’t possibly know all the facts of their lives – unless we’re told
BUT the one thing we can be sure was not a distortion : Our suffering NOW is all the proof we need of how bad it was. Not being able to remember is not an excuse to maintain denial. Emotions say it all.
NEXT: Negative Introject (Part 2)