PREVIOUS: Parent ego state (Part 1)
PES = Parental ego state
1. Old / Historic ES
2. NEW Parent** voice – For ACoAs, the Loving Parent (LP) is developed in Recovery as part of the “UNIT”. It requires a measure of Separation & Individuation in order to form a self-caring, nurturing component in us, capable of empathy for self & others, & can therefore help others without being co-dependent.
Whenever we notice the OLD voice getting loud or taking over we can ‘de-contaminate the Parent’ by calling on the Good P. to help getting the Adult back in charge.
The experiences, emotions & instruction we got from family were taken in wholesale, without consciously considering whether we really agree with any of it or if it suited us. The PES is now our ingrained voice of authority, combining our native personality with our conditioning. It’s made up of a huge number of hidden and obvious mental recordings.
People from a reasonably safe family automatically have a positive Inner Parent, with useful & accurate rules & regulations, realistic knowledge about the world, knowing how to be appropriately kind, useful….
But even for such people, as adults some of their parental messages will be out of date & need to changed or modified because:
• they’re no longer children, so some of those rules no longer apply
• in many cases society is different (role of women, technology, working styles…), making some of the early info limiting or useless
PURPOSE of PES – Overview
1. To have a strong, safe, loving way to nurture oneself & provide a clear sense of direction in life, based on positive experiences in childhood
2. To take care of & nurture the next generation, passing on knowledge & skill to help children develop a positive sense of self so they can contribute to society
3. To express caring behavior toward one’s immediate society & also the world, wherever help is needed – teach, guide, support – to the degree that the person is realistically capable of
**The INNER Loving PARENT voice follows the ‘general guidelines’ for healthy parenting. It is a biological imperative that children require mental, emotional & physical attachment to maintain psychological health.
Some of the things we would have gotten in a functional family (there are no perfect ones) include providing the need-to-connect common to all children BY:
• having the child’s thoughts, emotions, fantasies & other needs validated, so they can do that for themselves later
• providing realistic mirroring, which allows the child to know who they are
• giving child opportunities to have an effect/ make an impact/ influence the others around them
• being listened to, their needs understood & at least some of the time wishes / desires provided
• feeling secure with a safe adult who can be relied on to provide protection, like freedom from humiliation & physical violence
• receive support & guidance, including physical closeness & positive shared experiences, such as learning & playing together
• opportunities to express gratitude to & love for good parents & caretakers, received well as a sign of bonding & loyalty
🏡We’re in Parent mode when we evaluate things, make generalized statements about the world, look after ourselves or others. This is OK as long as we have a Good Parent voice, & the Adult stays in charge
Interestingly, many ACoAs do have a version of a Loving Parent, BUT only used for others, It’s in in the form of care-taking, rescuing, people-pleasing, AND sometimes being of genuine help (teacher, nurse, leader, parent….) – BUT don’t apply that benevolence to our own needs
In RECOVERY the goal is to learn how to talk to ourselves in the best way possible. Harmful internalized messages have to be identified & replaced, but most ACoAs need help hearing what that sounds like.
EXP: Sarah was telling a friendly neighbor some frustrations she was going through lately. The older woman was sympathetic, & thought she was helping when she said “You shouldn’t feel that way”. Sarah smiled & replied “I don’t should on myself.”
NEXT: Parent ego state (Part 3)