PREVIOUS: Child E.S. (Part 2)
CES = child ego state
AES = adult ” ”
PES = parent ” ”
NC = Natural C. // AC = Adapted C.
FIXATION (see CHILD – Part 1b)
As long as the original trauma in our past is still lurking in the background as unfinished business, those experiences become psychological fixations – “stuck-ness”. So behaviors, beliefs or emotions connected to unhealed buttons can still be triggered today.
One stressor may throw us back to thoughts, emotions & actions when we were 10, while another event make us feel like a helpless infant
When the -AC E.S. takes over our usual way of functioning, we’re hijacked by something inside, out of our control because it happens so fast – & we’re back in our childhood. This shows us exactly where particular old wound needs to be repaired. (“Cycles of Power” has examples)
This damage is a mirror of the PP (Introject), not from our True Self, which would include the Natural Child (+FC), capable of being comfortable with self & others. Mal-adaptive Introjects keep the Child in pain & psychologically trapped in the past. Fortunately we can reprogram the brain.
⚙️ We can be emotionally stuck in the past because of verbally, physically & sexually abusive adults, physical & emotional neglect, unmet developmental needs, & generally unskillful or inadequate parenting. Children get confused when their needs are punished, misunderstood, ignored or trivialized – consciously or not. When it happens often enough, those lacks poison our whole world
💜 But even with caring parents, some ACoAs can get fixated at a developmental stage because:
• the child or siblings’ needs were particularly complex or obscure
• unavailable or incompetent social / medical ‘support’ systems
• the family was under extreme stress from various hardships (severe financial or health problems, natural disasters, war / PTDS)…..
….. which under better circumstances parents would have wanted to & been capable of providing
Distressing CHILD experiences can be grouped:
• 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 : being uncomfortable relating to the opposite sex, not being in the in-crowd …. feeling unsafe, shy & insecure, like those very 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 who’s mother ‘left’ you for another child!
b. by Specific Events – such as a 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 : your 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 you either trusting no one or trusting too easily – just to not feel alone. They can add up to feeling unwanted,
so we :
⚒ 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, 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 PP or WIC is in charge, with a weak Healthy Adult & a missing Good Parent.
NEXT: Ego States – CHILD (Part 4)