Ego States – SUMMARY

e.s. summaryBOSSY, RATIONAL or FLAKY

Which E.S. do you present to the world?

PREVIOUS: Process – Recovery – #2

WATCH: On YouTube – TA, Ego-states 1, 2 & 3

SITEs: EgoGrams in couples counseling
EgoGrams” – Graphs of Professions
  Using the 5 ego states

EGO STATES: “The hypothesis that there are several different, coherent functions of the ego that find a parallel in brain structures are shown in the findings of neuro-anatomists & evolutionary psychologists, who refer to them as ‘mind modules’.

Mind modules are structures that specialize in certain functions such as attachment, emotions, empathy, language, movement….. Research has presented a great deal of corroborative material, especially where the are 3 major mind modules parallel the 3 ego states.

One ego state – the rational Adult – is a well-validated function that can be found in the human prefrontal lobe” (MORE….)

5 ego states

The Intelligent Heart (IH) schematic 🔽, developed by Dr. Frohlich, combines models by Freud, Jung & Berne, shows the underlying energy-flows similar to parts of NLP.
Included are our spiritual underpinnings, the essential energetic elements in all forms of communication. This is based on solid research data showing the psychological & neuro-physiological effects, given a spiritual perspective. (MORE…..)

HANDS represent the neurological functions of each side of the brain
Right hemisphere – corresponding to the left side of the body, provides the imagery, musical & artistic capacity.
ALSO higher consciousness & actual experienced spirituality
Left – in charge of the right side, provides structured & analytical thought processes, ie. mental concepts (the dogma).

1. Universal Wisdom of Love
It’s the personal experience of connecting to a Higher Power / Spiritual Source, either part of or separate from a Religion. The spiritual realm is the overall framework of life, uniting all things in the universe, putting our personal experiences in a bigger context, which allows us to broaden or change our perspective
(CHART & Story by Claude Steiner : Warm Fuzzies & Cold Pricklies

2a. Nurturing Parent (NP) – “Mother-Father energy channel“ which internalized positive parental messages (good Introjects), including those from other healthy figures (relatives, friends, teachers, neighbors…..). It provides nurturing to oneself & others, based on reality check from the R.A. (#4). “I can put myself in someone’s else’s shoes, while recognizing our differences” (Integration & Differentiation)

#1 & 2 CONNECT TO :
3a. The Inner Child (IC) – authentic Self, the essential Being within every person (regardless of one’s age) – our intuition, but requires constant reality checks to not turn into paranoid fantasies).
• a life affirming attitude towards self & others, & explores otherness
• the ability to sense the difference between love & hate
• the capacity for a  wide range of authentic Es (see post)
• curiosity & a fascination for whatever life has to offer
• a need to personally experience things, rather than follow others’ thoughts & rules

#1 also CONNECTS to :
4. Rational Adult (RA) – the capacity for logical thinking & decision-making, grounded in the present & can cooperate with others. Makes regular reality checks, knows when things make sense – or not, assumes available resources are for everyone’s benefit, & knows that together, people can achieve better results.
✦ Responsible for interfacing with the world to get our needs met AND interfering with the PigP’s connection to the AP 

2b. Pig Parent (PigP) – The Negative Introject, not always overt or verbalized. It’s OUR:
• self-persecuting, fear-based attitudes : “Mo one will ever want you, you’re stupid / ugly…. , you’re just like your mom / dad, all men are dangerous / weak…. ”.
• culturally formed prejudices, in-group/out-group thinking:”I have to be IN to belong”
• perceived / assumed need to assert power over others

3b. The Adapted Persona (AP) – starting at birth, conforming to actual or perceived reality, as an emotional survival mechanism.
• If healthy, it allows us to be ‘well-behaved’ in society
• If unhealthy (False Self) it makes us rationalize away traumatic experiences, or over-inflate our role in them, which impairs realistic appraisal of adult situations
• It included the conditioned responses to the PigP (internalized negative parental messages) : “If I sacrifice my True Self I’ll be acceptable. If I stay cute (childlike), they won’t expect to much. If I do everything right, they’ll finally approve of me…..”

NEXT: Ego States – Basics – #1

ACoAs: OVER-Controlling Ourselves (Part 4)


I LET THE PP BEAT ME UP – to keep me in line

PREVIOUS: Emotional Over-Control #2

SITEs:  Self-Control (Wikipedia)
▪︎ Over-Controlled Primary Aggressor

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

AS ADULTS (cont)
• ACoAs
were not raised on the handbook for “How to be a Healthy, Happy Human Being , which left our Child-part being impulsive, anxiety-ridden, only able see itself & the world thru distorted alcoholic / narcissistic lenses. So, one way to deal with our trauma is to do what they seemed to want – for us to die! Some ACoAs try literal suicide, but most do it by PMES forms of starving.

Being Over-Controlled is NOT related to being Introvert or Extrovert, which are inborn, but rather about ignoring qualities we all share to varying degrees (intuition, intelligence, being perceptive, artistic…) – which were unacceptable in our family.
It would have made our lives even more miserable if we hadn’t suppressed them – although some of us couldn’t hide them well enough to escape being attacked or ignored.

Unhealthy BELIEFS of Over-Controllers:
• Everyone is out to rape me mentally & emotionally
• I have to keep control of my feelings so I don’t go crazy
• If I lose control, there will be no sanity in my home (or on the job)
• Losing my cool is unsafe, so I avoid conflict at all costs
• No matter what happens to me, I’ll never cry or need anything again
• No one’s ever going to get under my skin or hurt me again
• Don’t trust anyone with your feelings, thoughts or dream
• Never let others know how their behavior or actions effect you
• Never show your anger so you won’t get abandoned
• There’s only one way to survive a crazy world – climb into your shell, & stay there!
► Do you hear the voice of the Toxic ROLES?)

HOW we Over-Control ourselves
a. DEFENSES – Rigidly held defense mechanisms are used to hide from emotions we’re afraid to experience, but the ‘protection’ ends up running our lives:
Addictions – as a way to numb the cruel PP voice & to ignore our WIC the same way our parents did, but actually adds to our suffering.

Counter-Phobia – being attracted to things that are scary while not fully aware of the accumulated terror underneath. Dangerous relationships & activities are seen as fun, which keeps the adrenalin pumping. We’ve stuffed the anxiety into the unconscious, but it needs an outlet, so we rush towards unhealthy ‘excitement’. If we stopped running we’d have to feel all that fear

Fear of Engulfment, feeling suffocated & over-controlled by someone else’s need & demands. Not allowed originally to develop our own inner boundaries, we end up erecting a very thick wall against intimacy so that we won’t get swallowed p again. It keeps everyone at a distance, while longing for connection. The wall gets activated whenever anyone wants genuine intimacy with us, even if it’s what we say we want

Guilt (review post What is guilt?’) – an emotion that controls us to:
— ensure we never disobey our family’s Negative Rules
— keep from learning healthy rules so we could improve our lives
— prevent us from developing our True Self via S & I, which would unhook us from the family dysfunction

Over-activity, such as workaholism, controls how much & what kinds of emotions we allow ourselves to experience = staying so busy that we don’t have to feel anything ’real’, & using it to cover up S-H & as sense of powerlessness

Paralysis, mostly our voice – stopping ourselves from saying & doing things that would be good for us, because of fear of punishment, fear of abandonment & fear of visibility….. speaking up for ourself, which would help us grow, stop others from hurting us, enhance our self-esteem & move us toward our dreams

Vagueness / dissociating – staying in ‘la la land’ so we don’t have to face any reality we don’t want to deal with, starting with how badly we’ve been treated by family / school / religion / mates / work….& that we’re responsible now for having to care for ourselves.
So – we don’t notice how much we spend / eat / drink… how others treat us, how we feel, what we need, how we treat others….

NEXT: O-C Ourselves – Part 4

ACoAs : OVER-Controlling Ourselves (Part 2)


I’ll do all kinds of bad things!

PREVIOUS: Over-controlling ourselves (Part 2)


DEF: Over-controlling (O-C) ourselves is not so much about our actions – although it also affects them as a consequence – but mainly means :
✒︎ rejecting our emotions, needs & observations to such an extent that we go thru life in a state of constant ‘under-nourishment’ (deprivation) & bewilderment. Those discarded parts, which we’re terrified to face & own, then become our shadow side

• Instead, we are run by a False Self (FS), that protective identity formed so early we actually think it’s the real us. It’s made up of various aspects of the WIC (scared, angry, apathetic, suicidal…) & the PP disguised as a ‘guardian’ in the form of a know-it-all cattle-prod. The FS is comfort-seeking & therefore short-sighted, making unwise, unhealthy decisions – a kindergartener trying to do college level work

Peter K. Gerlach, MSW, writes that unhealthy will-power occurs when a person is controlled by a fierce Guardian hardened into sub-selves such as Addict, Fanatic,  Martyr, Perfectionist, Preacher, Survivor, Zealot….
Its determination to protect the WIC at all costs can cause rigid self-discipline which is toxic to the host person & also other people.
EXP: the talented Magician sub-self can distort reality to justify or excuse self-destructive attitudes & behaviorsabused

☛ Of course some ACoAs will react to the controlling inner voice by
— doing very little with our life, from confusion & terror
— OR nothing positive – from misdirected rage.
Over all, these limiting sub-personae produce distorted beliefs (CDs) & intenseEs such as shame, guilt, fears, trust imbalances = which make it hard to bond to others

EXP: A perceptive & bright daughter was a threat to her incestuous father because she would not have been easy to silence if he molested her. So instead he turned her into the family scapegoat, verbally & physically beating her. This succeeded in convinced her that she was stupid & unable to trust her observations & intuition. Even though she resented him, she still gave him the benefit of the doubt & spent much of her life hopelessly trying to win his approval! SIGH, UGH!

ACoA Damage – Any form of prolonged & intense control is painful & debilitating, especially for children, who are powerless to escape it. Being over-coerced &/or under-attended (in Part 1) are both abusive parenting styles.

Deliberately or not, our family gave us the message:
“Search & Destroy any signs of personal identity. Be ‘good‘ (don’t think, don’t feel) or you’re not part of this family. If you try we’ll destroy you! ”
And we know that every kid obeys the Family party line – whether by giving in or rebelling.

• In reaction to the restrictions & neglect, this harmful message forced us to gradually over-control ourselves (O-C), a basic component of S-H, & a familiar way ACoAs relate to self & others.

These early experiences became our Toxic rules which now act like a virus in our psychological operating system, invisible while corrupting, and needs to be de-bugged!

Before FoO Recovery
✏︎ much of the time we act as badly as our family did, OR
✏︎ put ourselves in positions to get punished for trying to be ourselves.
We’ve been so brainwashed that we’re desperately afraid to let go of familiar patterns, which the WIC believes would cause us to fall into a black hole we’d never get out of
‣ Faced with a scary new experience, the WIC comes up with the usual reasons why it won’t work out
‣ If we even consider going after something we really want, the PP says: “Who do you think you are – anyway?”!

NOTE: Some ACoAs raised without more obvious physical abuse & chaos – but just as mentally, emotionally & Spiritually (PMES) unhealthy –
will act out all the hidden family damage by being the one sibling in trouble, socially or legally, using addictions promiscuity & dangerous ‘excitement’.
▶︎ These ACoAs are the living “Portrait of Dorian Gray”, which shock & appall the perfect-looking family!
— EXCEPT WE don’t have to die, we can Heal & Grow!

NEXT: O-C Ourselves – Part 3


 no Bs

You’re too close! Hey, why are you leaving?

PREVIOUS: Bs & ACoAs (Part 2)


Sigmund Freud concluded that there were 2 main psychological forces in humans – Eros & Thanatos, love & death, sex & violence (where have we heard that before??).
They are strong instincts which he called “an original self-subsisting instinctual disposition in man”.  These drives give people a kind of psychic “energy” which can be diverted into other areas (not repressed), giving some form of satisfaction.

Modern psychologists (Kohut, Mahler, Winnicut ….) have given us a revised understanding of these 2 forces: Attraction & Repulsion, Connection & Separateness, Attachment & Individuation.  In balance, both extremes are necessary for us to be psychologically sound. To feel safe we need connection, but to be our own person we need to be separate.

• For ACoAs, however, this internal tug-of-war is lose-lose. No matter how ‘wonderful’ we think the various individuals to be (‘my mom is the greatest – honest!’….), in a toxic family system both of these basic needs are distorted.
The wounded caregiver can be:  fearful or angry, withholding or push-pullintrusive, distant or controlling – all are scary & damaging. We end up as adults equally afraid of commitment AND of abandonment.

a. Fear of one-ness with mother —> being engulfed
The result in the child is the need to form Rigid Bs (walls).
Having absorbed an unsafe mother (introjected object), the child feel the threat of loosing it’s True Self because of the caretaker’s lack of Bs.
Any fragments of their own identity are very precious to the child & need to be protected. This may happen by regressing to an ‘autistic’ stage – a normal part of infant development outgrown in a loving environment, but for us became stunted, limited or suppressed
~ AND ~
b. Fear of separateness from mother —-> being abandoned Results in Weak or no Bs: At the same time, because the internalized mother is unhealthy & can’t protect the child’s True Self from her damage, the whole world feels unsafe.
The outside is assumed to be as threatening as our family, so we’re reluctant to venture out & stand on our own.  The fear is that we’ll be set adrift in an alien, chaotic world knowing we don’t have a strong base to return to – so why leave?

Wounded adults who STAY (Ss) too long – the clingers in any type of relationship, and the LEAVERS (Ls) – who are afraid of getting too close  — are very often drawn to each other!
CHART : C = Conscious  //   Un = Unconscious
FoA = Fear of abandonment // FoC = Fear of commitment

• On a conscious level both types seem to be polar opposites – always at odds, demanding what the other cannot give. Ls want freedom, Ss want security.
• The key to understanding this unlikely attraction is what’s going on underneath.  In the unconscious, each had the exact opposite fear, but the Ls are not aware of their FoA, & the Ss vehemently deny their FoC.  The hidden part of each resonates with the other, acting as a magnet which keeps them repeating the pattern set up in their family

BTW what proves that Stayers are afraid of commitment?
They keep is : they keep picking Leavers who are deeply unavailable, physically or emotionally, so they can avoid letting anyone get too close to their WIC. Just because they get married doesn’t mean they’re capable of actual intimacy!

• AND, what do the Leavers get from choosing Ss?
Not only someone who will never leave them, but also someone they can rebel against!
They can have the illusion of being wanted, needed, loved… & still stay at arm’s length.  It’s an illusion, because the Ls are just as afraid of someone knowing how vulnerable they feel inside that armor, & the damaged Ss they hook up with are looking to be taken care of, behind their wall of self-hate.

This core conflict goes unresolved as long as our WIC has a high level of anxiety, which is old FoA terror not discharged (by deep emotional release work) AND a weak or missing Loving Inner Parent to replace the cruel Bad Voice (the UNIT).

NEXT: Bs & ACoAs (Part 4)