PREVIOUS: Ego States – CHILD (Part 4)
SITE: Dictionary of T.A. Terms – (only / all “As”)
FORMS of the ADAPTED CHILD E.S.
We can regress into or take on any one of these variations of the WIC, applying whichever one seems to fit a situation when we feel unsafe.
This person is probably an introvert by nature, AND constantly ignored &/or left alone as a child. Their -AC received almost no mirroring, so has little or no sense of who they are. They invisible wherever they are, and rarely speaking up (not sharing or participating ) reinforce that state
a. In a less intense version, this state shows up as the ‘good girl or boy’, as people-pleasing, rescuing, care-taking, overly concerned with what others will think / say about them. This ACoA may be highly functional on the surface but needs hidden addictions to cope with the burden of perfectionism. They’re often the hard workers who can’t relax, not from ambition but from being vigilant all the time
b. In the severe form, the ACoA is a milquetoast, the ‘yes’ man/ woman who is run by sheer terror or being disobedient & unacceptable. It’s the kid that always gets bullied, the battered wife, the patsy, the loser ….
Basic characteristics : being amenable, obedient, even submissive.
They dutifully conform to the commands, demands or instructions of parental / authority figures, willing to carrying out orders, requests or wishes of another. They are too easily tested, too open & responsive to advice, criticism, judgment, suggestion
A darker side we try to hide from ourselves & others. Some psychologists believe it’s a primeval survival mechanism that’s become redundant. Berne describes it as the part of our personality that likes to eat flesh. Given the right set of circumstances & long-term stressors, we can all release the Little Fascist, as seen in gangs, bullying of any kind, war crimes…. (More….)
Defiant aspect of the AC, the extreme opposite of the Compliant, this Child E.S. is bent on opposing any form of authority, rules & accepted conventions of society. The ACoA feels &/or expresses strong disgust & repugnance for limits & anyone ‘above’ them.
They tends to be argumentative, with a contemptuous, antagonistic attitude. They’ll oppose or retard forward motion, growth, positive change – unless it benefits them. Their agenda may be hidden if they’re an isolator, or expressed in open defiance, or in organized resistance
a. Child’s version of an Adult, starting around age 5.
It’s filled with some truths, a lot of half-truths, illusions, nonsense & mush. It’s the smart, creative & manipulative part that originally helped us learn how to get what we needed.
In an unhealthy family it functions in the background to gather & store data about what works & what doesn’t – in that environment. Survival is its prime directive, so whatever it takes to survive will become habits that follow us into adulthood
It functions on intuition & instinct with very limited understanding of reality, so it will cause us problem if we mistake the Little Professor (L.P.) for a True Adult, because it’s likely to tell us what we want to hear rather than health & truth (which it doesn’t know). In the present, as long as the L.P. is being hollowed, it limits what we assume are possible ways to provide for ourselves & our loved ones
b. On the plus side, it’s the curious & exploring Child part of us, always trying out new stuff, often much to the Controlling Parent’s annoyance. It’s full of creativity & imagination, so we need to give ourselves permission to access all our talents, whatever they are.
Both the L.P.. & the AES are ‘computer’ mode, but the latter has accurate data in the form of experience & wisdom on its hard-drive, which is missing in the L.P. Even so, we can make excellent use of it whenever creativity is needed, like writing, designing, teaching, & making anything new.
NEXT: PARENT ES #1