PREVIOUS: Child E.S. (Part 2)
CES = child ego state
AES = adult ” ”
PES = parent ” ”
NC = Natural C. // AC = Adapted C.
2. ADAPTED Child (-AC) (cont)
Distressing & traumatic childhood experiences which greatly harm the Natural / Free Child (+FC) can be grouped into:
• at age 4 : when a sibling was born, you were left behind when mom went to the hospital with no one to explain or comfort. Not knowing what was happening you were scared, alone, confused
• at age 6 : started school, wanting to belong but had trouble fitting in, with some of the same emotions of the 4 yr old – confused, scared, lonely ….
• as a teen : uncomfortable relating to the opposite sex, not being in the in-crowd …. feeling unsafe, shy & insecure, like first days at school
• as an adult : when sexually attracted to someone, feeling like that insecure teen or scared 6 yr. old again, awkward when talking to them or afraid to approach for fear of rejection, like the 4 yr old whose mother ‘left’ you for another child!
◉ by Specific Events – long series of losses
• age 4: a parent permanently left or died. You didn’t understand, weren’t helped to cope with the pain, felt traumatized & withdrew
• age 7 : family moved far away, separating you from familiar connections with school, neighbors & friends. Starting over was tough
• as a teen : your best friend left you behind to hang out with other kids, with no explanation. You were devastated, confused, lonely, angry
• as adult : when your mate, best friend of even your child goes out somewhere – without you – you may feel a deep pang of abandonment, fear & jealousy, as if they’re never coming back.
Accumulated abandonments left us either trusting no one or trusting too easily – just to not feel alone.
They can add up, leaving us feeling unwanted, so we become :
⚒ isolated, bitter, angry, even paranoid
⚒ OR create a persona to cover the pain – the comedian, the ‘brain’, the controlling leader, the bad boy…. someone no one can ignore to injure, ever again
⚒ OR the timid soul, the love-addicted, the ‘good one’, so invisible that no one can touch.
🔻 No matter which form the self-protection takes, the PigP or WIC is in charge, with a weak Healthy Adult & a missing Loving Parent.
2a. BROADLY – Natural/Free & Adapted C. are :
• each subdivided into healthy & unhealthy versions
• expressed inward toward self, & outward toward others.
We’re born totally +FC, having gotten all our needs met in the womb. Immediately that starts changing – at every turn we’re required to conform to the world around us. An infant has no choice.
🔺While the +FC is always our most basic Self –
the +AC is equally important. If our environment is relatively stable & encouraging, we can accept what is expected of us.
It uses learned behaviors to avoid pain & get what it wants/needs without being over-compliant, functioning within set boundaries needed to get along well in its culture without sacrificing the Natural Self
🔻 BUT when our early life is full of danger, disrespect & dismissal, our native personality will tend to choose one extreme or another, either over-conform or over-rebel, as its coping mechanism.
Child’s RESPONSES to Dysfunction:
The -FC refuses to adapt appropriately to society, over-rebelling against early abuse & neglect, to it’s own detriment, while —
— the -AC does whatever it can to conform to the harmful alcoholic / narcissistic environment (details in “Child ES #3”)
As adults, both NEG styles are compulsive, usually unconscious, applying their unhealthy attitudes & behavior pattern to all circumstance, indiscriminately. They’re driven by Toxic Rules, such as “Don’t object to abuse, don’t deserve good things, Be like us, Hurry up, Don’t risk….”
The -AC slavishly obeys them, the -FC denies any rules exist for itself.
They’re in the “I’m Not OK” mode, marked by guilt, helplessness, hurt, loneliness, rebelliousness, shame, terror & a deep sense of inadequacy
(-FC) Negative FREE / Natural Child :
For some people the Unhealthy FC is the ES that’s in the driver seat most or ALL of the time.
They are selfish – socially & personally irresponsible, in-the-moment doing whatever they feel like, regardless of consequences to self or others. Pleasure is their only goal, but the actual purpose is to avoid any unpleasant / painful emotions or interactions. EXP : someone who makes a joke of everything.
NOTE : Magical Thinking is a form of dissociation coming from the Adapted Child’s Adult (-A1), when it decided that “I can protect myself by splitting my Free Self (-FC) off from the rest of myself”. (Review post re. Disconnected ES parts)
NEXT: CHILD (Part 5)