Ego States – CHILD (Part 6)

broken home


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 fastold damage – & 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:
a. Developmentally 
screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-3-09-18-am• 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.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-3-00-41-amAccumulated 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)

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)