Do you have any experience with your traumatized inner PARENT?
I know that dealing with the ‘inner child’ is really popular in the self help/self love world right now - and this is SO AMAZING. We all have that pained inner child that needs love, support and re-parenting. That need to get the support so that they can grow into the mature aspects they truly are. This work of learning to revisit the times in our childhood where we were abandoned, abused or otherwise rejected and not helped in our learning process is HUGE work. So much of what we struggle with as adults comes down to these innocent parts of self driving our life bus when they don't yet have the actual capacity to do so. So much of what triggers us, what drives us to repeat patterns of self abuse and destruction, so much of what drags us into cycles of drama in our lives ISN'T 'bad parts' of us - but rather these immature and scared parts.
That's why we do inner child work and why it's s profound. It allows us to grow - and as we grow we naturally find better and more mature/harmonious ways of getting our needs met. We work with these parts that are currently meeting their needs in the only ways they know how - through child reasoning - and as we discover the needs behind our behaviors and then empower ourselves to meet those needs in ways that weren't available to us as children - we have less and less pain and drama.
But What About The Inner PARENT?
At the same time, we all have a traumatized inner parent that is also running the show in our lives from PAIN rather than from clarity.
You know that part of you that you call your ‘inner critic?’
- The part that is constantly berating, shaming and pushing you?
- That part of you that wants to be FULLY independent?
- That part of you that is constantly checking in on you, looking to how you’re failing, not doing good enough?
- That part of you that’s super negative and assumes the worst about anything we aren’t familiar with?
- The part of you that tells you that your dreams aren’t possible?
- The part that always comes to you with how everything new is not worth the effort because it’s going to be a failure?
- The part of you that is constantly looking at others and finding fault with them?
- That part of you that blames you for your pain?
- That shames you?
- That is constantly looking to fix you or HIDE you from the world?
- Telling you how stupid, dumb, unimportant, ungrateful, unaware, spoiled, selfish and needy you are?
THAT is your traumatized INNER PARENT.
That is you responding to yourself, that inner child part of you, the way your caregivers responded to you.
That is the part of you that is responding to you the way your childhood self assumed as reality.
Your traumatized inner parent gave REASONS to why your caregivers were responding to you in painful ways - pushing you to do things that hurt you, rejecting you in your pain and shame, abandoning you - that made those reactions seem GOOD. Your traumatized inner parent came up with the idea that being independent is GOOD for you and that your caregivers were resenting your neediness for a good reason. Your traumatized inner parent created the reason that ‘working hard even when it hurts’ builds character even what it actually just tears your character down. Your traumatized inner parent assumed your real parents were RIGHT in their abandonment and rejection of you - because if they were WRONG you were totally SCREWED because they were your SOURCE FOR EVERYTHING - and you have carried on that childhood reasoning and logic into your adulthood.
Your traumatized inner parent thinks your caregivers were right when they abandoned and rejected you. They have come up with ‘good reasons’ for this abandonment and rejection - and are now trying to get you to be what you thought you had to be to be approved of by your REAL parents.
Because your traumatized inner parent is still actually a child. Not mature. Not seeing life for how it is. It’s there applying childhood logic and reasoning to your caregivers out of alignment actions - and now you are living in a world where you are still striving to be what they wanted you to be - but with reasons and logic for why that is GOOD that may have NOTHING to do with why your parents were responding to you how they were, and nothing to do with REALITY and how it actually works.
Your traumatized inner parent has all the reasons in the world to hate you, shame you, berate you and be negative.
Your Traumatized Inner Parent Is Trying To PROTECT You Via Shaming You:
Your traumatized inner parent abandons you when you’re sad. Blames you for your pain. Looks to you to fix yourself and be better.
This part of you needs just as much love and care as the traumatized inner child parts of you.
This can be a lot harder than loving the inner child. Because the inner child comes to us innocent. We can often connect with these child parts easier as we can more effectively recognize them as ‘child like’.
The traumatized inner parent just sounds like our adult voice. Like reality. Like the TRUTH of who and what we are, and why we have to be the ways we think we need to be. The traumatized inner parent that shames, criticizes and abandons us has what are to us, totally LEGITIMATE reasons for doing these things. The traumatized inner parent sounds SO MUCH MORE LEGITIMATE than the traumatized inner child.
The traumatized parent needs love and safety. Needs to be re-parented just as much as the inner child does. The traumatized inner parents with all their explanations for why you need to push, grow, do better, be better, who fears you not living up to your potential, who criticizes you and judges you - they need support too.
But you have to be able to recognize the traumatized inner parent as such - rather than seeing them as YOU and as RIGHT.
ANY part of you that shames, blames, abandons, criticizes and outright tears you down is the traumatized inner parent.
ANY part of you that automatically fears/shuts down new ideas and the unknown is that traumatized inner parent.
ANY part of you that abandons you in your pain or abandons you when OTHERS judge or reject you is the traumatized inner parent.
ANY part of you that drives you to fierce independence or codependency with others is the traumatized inner parent.
ANY part of you that pushes you past your limits and tells you that hard work and sacrifice are good for you is the traumatized inner parent.
There are many other expressions of this part - but for now, take some time to reflect on this.
Where are you mistaking your traumatized inner parent for the ‘adult’ part of YOU that knows how to push you to be better?
Because your TRUE higher self/adult self LOVES you unconditionally, and is only interested in your expansion and expression. Is able to love you, hold you and validate you. Is there to help you explore new things knowing it’s ok to fail and mess up.
The true adult part of you will hold the hand of your ever evolving inner self through all the explorations of life, being there with you and being excited with you. The real adult you can be there for you even when others reject you. The real adult you knows that it’s ok to be needy sometimes. The real adult you has no expectation of your perfection and is happy to walk your growth path with you - knowing you can figure out what you need to figure out along your path.
If it doesn’t feel like that - it’s not the real you.
It’s not really mature.
It's traumatized parent.
Love that parent safe.