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 is 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 statesAT OUR BEST
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 element 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 – corresponds to the left side of the body, provides the imagery, musical & artistic capacity.
ALSO higher consciousness & actual experienced spirituality

Left – in charge of right side, provides structured & analytical thought processes, ie. mental concepts (the dogma).

1. Universal Wisdom of Love
The personal experience of connecting to a Higher Power / Spiritual Source, separate from or part of  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

2a. Nurturing Parent (NP) – “Mother-Father energy channel“: internalized positive parental messages (good Introjects), including those from other healthy source figures (other relatives, teachers, neighbors). It provides nurturing to self & others, based on reality check from RA . “I can put myself in someone’s else’s shoes, while recognizing our differences”

3a. The Inner Child (IC) – authentic Self – the essential Being within every person (regardless of one’s age) – our intuition (requires constant reality check to not turn into paranoid fantasies). HAS:
• a life affirming attitude towards self & others – exploring otherness
• can sense the difference between love & hate
• the capacity for authentic Es like joy, anger, sadness, fear, curiosity or surprise
• a fascination for whatever life has to offer
• aims to experience things rather than follow others’ thoughts & rules

#1 also CONNECTS to:
4. Rational Adult (RA) – the capacity for logical thinking & decision-making, being in the now & cooperation with others. Makes 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 PP’s connection to the AP 

2b. Pig Parent (PP) – The Negative Introject, not always overt or verbalized. It’s OUR:
• persecuting, fear-based attitudes “You’ll never find a husband, you’re not pretty enough, you’re just like your mom… Men are all the same”.
• culturally informed 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) – Conforming to actual or perceived reality, as an emotional survival mechanism.
• If healthy, it allows us to be ‘well-behaved’
• If unhealthy (victim) it makes us rationalize traumatic experiences or our role in them, which can impair a realistic appraisal of situations.
• It carries the conditioned responses to internalized negative parental messages: “If I sacrifice myself I will be well liked. When I stay cute (childlike), I won’t be held responsible for my actions….”

NEXT: Ego States – Basics – #1

ACoAs: OVER-Controlling Ourselves (Part 4)


to keep my 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 of 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. Then, one way to deal with our trauma is to do what they wanted – to die!

Being Over-Controlled is NOT related to being Introvert or Extrovert, which are inborn, but rather about ignoring qualities (intuitive, intelligent, perceptive, outspoken…) we all share – that 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

Unhealthy BELIEFS of Over-Controllers:  
• Everyone is out to rape me emotionally
• If I lose control, there will be no sanity in my house (or on the job)
• No one’s ever going to get under my skin again, & I’ll never let myself be hurt again

• No matter what happens to me, I’ll never cry or need anything again
• Don’t trust anyone with your feelings, thoughts or dreams
• Getting angry or losing your cool is unsafe, so avoid conflict at all costs

• It’s important to keep control over your feelings so you don’t go insane
• Never let others know how their behavior or actions effect you
• There’s only one way to survive a crazy environment – to climb into your shell, & stay there!
► Do you hear the voices 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 out the cruel PP voice & to ignore our WIC the same way our parents did, but only adds to our suffering

Counter-Phobia – being attracted to things that are scary while not fully aware of the fear. Dangerous relationships & activities are seen as fun, in reaction to how deeply terrified we really are.  We’ve stuffed all the fear into the unconscious, but it needs an outlet, so we rush towards unhealthy ‘excitement’.  This can include torturing ourselves with ‘what if’ thoughts & endless obsessions of S-H & FoA

Fear of Engulfment, which was originally caused by being over-controlled as a kid. Not having developed inner boundaries, we put up a wall against intimacy to keep everyone at a distance, while longing for connection. The wall gets activated whenever anyone wants something from us, even if it’s what we would like to do & would make us happyguilty of??

Guilt (review post What is guilt?’) – an emotion that controls us to:
— ensure we obey our family’s Negative Rules
— keep from learning healthy rules & using them to improve our lives
— prevent us from developing our True Self, as that would take us away from the toxic family system

Over-activity, controlling how much & what kinds of emotions we allow ourselves to have by staying so busy that we don’t have to feel anything ’real’, using it to cover up S-H & powerlessness

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

Vagueness – staying in ‘lala land’ so we don’t have to face any reality info we don’t want to deal with, starting with how badly we’ve been treated & that we now have to care for ourselves. We don’t notice how much we spend, how others treat us, how we feel, 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 ‘undernourishment’ & bewilderment. Those discarded parts, which we’re terrified to face, 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 possible sub-selves such as Addict, Zealot, Fanatic, Perfectionist, Preacher, Survivor, Martyr….
Its determination to protect the WIC at all costs can cause rigid self-discipline toxic to the host person & others.
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 cause intense shame, guilt, fears, distorted beliefs (CDs) & trust imbalances, which cause trouble bonding 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 tho she resented him, she still gave him the benefit of the doubt & spent much of her life hopelessly trying to win his approval!

ACoA Damage – Being over-coerced &/or under-attended are abusive & abandoning styles of upbringing. Any form of prolonged & intense control is painful & debilitating, especially for children, who are powerless to escape it.

Deliberately or not, our family gave us the message: “Search & Destroy any signs of personal identity. Be ‘good‘ (emotionally O-C) or you’re not part of this family!”
And we know that every kid obeys the Family Rules – whether by giving in or rebelling. Toxic rules are like a virus in our operating system, invisible while corrupting, which needs to be de-bugged!

• This harmful treatment forced us to gradually over-control ourselves (O-C) in reaction to the restrictions & neglect. It’s become the most familiar way ACoAs have of relating to self & others.

Before FoO Recovery, most of the time we act as badly as our family, 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 family 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 in less obvious physical abuse & chaos – but just as real mentally, emotionally & Spiritually (PMES) – 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 will shock & appall the perfect-looking family!
— EXCEPT they don’t have to die, they can Recover!

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??), 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 (not repressed) into other areas, 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 intrusive, distant or controlling – all are scary & damaging. We end up as adults equally afraid of commitment ANDpush-pull of abandonment.

a. Fear of one-ness with mother being engulfed
Results in a need for 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 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 their choices? 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 is 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 an weak or missing Loving Inner Parent to replace the cruel Bad Voice (the UNIT).

NEXT: Bs & ACoAs (Part 4)