Ego States – CHILD (Part 3)

Child Ego State (# 1)

SITE: Comfort bags : emotional first aid kit (includes SONGS for the IC)

CES = child ego state  //  AES = adult ES  // PES  = parent ES
NC = Natural C.  // AC = Adapted C.(WIC)

(+AC) ADAPTED Child – It is a normal & necessary aspect of all human beings, the part that learns what is expected of us in our particular society, so we know who we are & how to survive. It incorporates the lessons of our family, school, society & religion – molded in childhood, every day by every aspect of our early environment.

Our Adapted Child part learns how to behave under the influence of its family, in ways the parents would like it to be – obedient & precocious, or reserved & scholarly, or aggressive & vindictive….

❇️ For kids from functional homes, it’s formed around healthy rules & values, which eventually translates into well-adjusted, self-caring grownups who contribute their special abilities to society.

🔅 Adapts, Adjusts, Fits in, Reconciles itself to its environment
🔅 Absorbs values, mores, rules & restrictions of its society
🔅 Conforms to gender-specific messages & other norms
🔅 Contains the development of social skills & appropriate behavior
🔻          🔺           🔻

(-AC) For ACoAs, the ADAPTED C. is our wounded part (WIC), in reaction to wounding caregivers, made up of :
Ts – actual memories of many traumatic events
Es – all the pain (loneliness, despair, shame, hurt, humiliation….)
As – the child’s coping behaviors (caretaking adults & siblings, fighting, hiding, lying, studying…. )

In functional families, every child occasionally feels uncomfortable or threatened (a new siblings, a poor school grade, a divorce, a serious illness….), but most of the time they don’t have to worry

BUT for ACoAs – our sense of dread & anxiety came from being constantly stressed (neglect, abuse, confusion, loss…),
so the -AC:
• became our False Self, developed as the only way to cope in childhood
• overshadows the True Self, so we may not even know who we truly are
prevents us from having access to a Healthy Adult
• denies the intuition & emotional intelligence of our Natural Child

All kids come up with strategies to get through difficult situations, but when a child endlessly needs to protect itself, those strategies become a habit, then armor or a wall, the default position is used in all situations, no matter what the circumstance.

Characteristics of the -AC ego state
• Assumes it is the ‘Real Self’, being the only one a person knows, but is not
• Believes it’s protecting itself, but prevents needs from being met correctly
• Compulsively obeys the Toxic family RULES
• Emotions include anxiety, envy, guilt, rage
• Houses the Toxic ROLES Hero, Scapegoat, Lost Child, Mascot
• Acts from Victim or Bully position
• Can over-compensate, becoming aggressive or rebellious
• Is over-controlled & can be controlling (copying thbad WICe Introject)
• Lacks genuine confidence. Not able or willing to accept balanced, appropriate responsibility
• Weak boundaries, so gives in to unreasonable demands from others

As the WIC, the -AC reacts to the world around it by either changing itself to fit in (‘good girls/boy’), or rebelling against all forces it encounters (as enemies)

If a grown-up temporarily regresses to this ego state, they’ll experience their inner needs & the outer world as they did in one of their earlier developmental stages. Although they may seem to be in the present, they’re actually reacting thru childhood mental & emotional lenses

As long as the WIC runs our life – emotionally & cognitively – its severely compromises our view of people-places-things, which makes us distort the facts of most current situations. Because it’s programmed to follow the Toxic Rules, it keeps us trapped in victim, people-pleaser, rebel, perpetrator, hero….roles

When adults regularly / automatically use those old coping mechanisms, it often causes more pain & suffering than protection. So even if a person is no longer in ‘danger’ in the present, the Adapted C. thinks it has no choice but to keep using them.

NEXT: Child E.S. – Adapted (Part 3)

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