Why RESIST talking to the Inner Child? (Part 2)

love the kid 

to stop & talk to the kid!

PREVIOUS: Talking to the Inner Child (#1)

POST: “How to Dialogue with your I.C.”


Putting off (consistently OR at all) talking WITH our Inner Child is another example of the insidious procrastination many ACoAs are plagued by, representing resistance, either from the WIC or PP.
Many times we put off taking actions, even ones we would like, because we can’t make a decision. Our thinking is thoroughly confused by having several conflicting points of view about something & we don’t know how to parse them out. Which one is right?

🔸 This hamster-in-the-wheel thinking can include :
🗣 the real ‘voice’ of a mentor, friend or relative, ➕our own —hamster wheel
• the PP, society’s rules & religious beliefs as CDs
• the WIC’s fear, hopelessness & self-hate
• possibly the Healthy Child’s intuition / wishes
• sometimes even the rational Adult voice….
…… all at the board meeting in our head, vying to be heard & trying to win over the others

When this happens on a regular basis it does NOT means we’re crazy. It DOES mean we don’t have an clear sense of our own identity & permission to ‘know what I know’.

However, as we connect with our True Self – our general human rights &  specific needs – we can separate out the various internal voices, choosing the one most fitting to us & the current situation, via the healthy Adult. The others we ignored as irrelevant, incorrect or harmful

When ACoAs in Recovery are asked “Why don’t you talk to your Inner Child at all, OR if you do occasionally, then why not every day?” –  the most common response is “I don’t know” – with a lilt & a shrug. We know we’re supposed to but we have so many ‘reasons’ for not doing it!

1.  MAIN excuse
for refusing to talk to our Inner Child is:
I don’t woma & circleswant to connect with the pain that will come up: “I hate the kid – it only causes me trouble. It’s always messing things up for me! I want it to go away because it hurts when I do let it surface, AND I’m terrified I’ll uncover some deep dark trauma I can’t handle”

ANS: Re.causing trouble’ – as long as we ignore that younger, hurt part of us, it’ll keep jumping up & down, & biting us in the butt. Only when we consistently dialogue with the WIC will it act out less
Re. fear of ‘uncovering – actually, we already know all our deepest darkest suffering. Originally we had to shove it under a mental carpet or lock it away in the dungeon of our subconscious, but we never really forgot the main events.
What we’ve resisted knowing / feeling is how truly abusive & damaging they were for us, & so we ‘cope’ by cutting off & distracting ourselves.

Re. the Pain – We can only fully face early trauma when we have enough self-soothing skills via a good Inner Parent, a decent support system for guidance & comfort, & internal permission to feel all our Es without S-H.

With Recovery come a deeper, clearer understanding of what happened TO us & why! We must believe in our bones that we did not cause our damage, which will allow us to go deeper. It takes a certain amount of healing to tolerate re-feeling the backlog of old pain, which is provided by Ego Strength – “the ability to maintain emotional stability while coping with internal and external stressors”.

In any case (able to face the pain or not) – we need to develop a rapport with the Child, which means talking with it throughout the day about anything & everything – the weather, the colors we like, what we’re going to do after work, what book to read or show to watch…. No topic is too trivial! It’s time to heal our sad little one, & only love heals. Information is important, but love is the medicine.

NEXT: Resist Talking to the I.C. (Part 3)

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)

Ego States – CHILD (Part 1)

Inner children
when I connect with my Child part


CES = child ego state
AES = adult   ”     ”
PES  = parent  ”    ”
NC = natural child / AC = Adapted C.

Everyone has a CHILD Ego State (CES) – the earliest stage of our development, forming our personality in the first 5-7 yrs of life. Similar in many ways to the Freudian concept of id, it operates on the pleasure principle, automatically & persistently aimed at gratifying & fulfilling needs – but available on a conscious level.

We continue in child mode well into our late teens & early 20s, through 7 developmental stages.(“Cycles of Power” by Pamela Levin). For the rest of life the CES is both an influence (what we think & feel inside) & a state (looking & acting like the little person we once were).

🌺 It’s called “archaeo-psyche” because it’s a collection of taped & stored info – CHILD e.s.behaviors, thoughts & feelings held over from childhood. It’s made up of the Natural Child – our fundamental identity – overlaid by the Adapted Child, healthy or unhealthy, developed in response to our environment & filtered through our natural tendencies

Its goal is to feel pleasure & avoid pain – no matter how or at what cost. It’s focused on Self needs only, even when relating to others or trying to being helpful : “I want, Don’t leave me, I refuse, You can’t make me, I don’t wanna, I want you to….”

This does not mean it’s a bad aspect, to be gotten rid of. We need it, since it holds the seeds of our native qualities, as well as the wounds that influence later behavior. It’s just that as adults it’s not healthy to be ruled by the Child. (See ‘Contamination’)

✦ This E.S. is mainly the domain of the ‘felt’ – the Right brain. Before we were able to talk (Left), our whole world was about feelings & sensations!
So most, but notbrain sides all, of our emotions (Es) – including all the old stored up ones – reside in the C.Intima

Pleasurable / Positive
🥁 This part of us contains all the impulses that come naturally to a child – the source of our adventurousness, connection, creation, curiosity, emotions, fun & intimacy*. The Child is filled with desire – to be seen, challenge, explore, grow, learn. It can be creative, imaginative & spontaneous.

Intimacy*: game-free exchanges of emotional expression between people, without manipulating or exploiting (“Games People Play”)

• The CES holds all the caring, enjoyable, helpful &  loving things we received growing up.  It’s the part that loves to giggle, laugh, have fun & enjoy the simple things in life – at any age, like the The 70-year-old man sitting in the park enjoying an ice cream cone, or the couple dancing ‘like no one else exists’ – are in their Child state – in positive ways

Painful / Negative
The CES can be fearful, intimidated, needy & selfish – showing up as a brat, be whiny or demanding when we don’t get our way. It also houses all the experiences that caused us anxiety, sadness, rage, shame, terror…

And when we neglect ourselves, hurt others with our damage, refuse to be responsible for our feelings & actions…. we too are in the Child, but in a negative way

⚙️Childhood pleasant or painful Es can be triggered when a current event copies or reminds of past events – especially if it was something that happened over & over (ignored, scolded… or being praised, comforted….)

Unfinished business any given developmental stage creates defense mechanisms, with echoes of actions, feelings, perceptions & thought processes – all of which are tucked away in this ego state, as a fixation, that has to be worked out in order to grow

EXP: The Child gets activated when we smell a favorite childhood food & we feel happy, nostalgic & hungry. But when rage, terror or despair dominates reason, the Child has taken over.

NEXT: CHILD E.S. (Part 2)