I CAN FILL THE HOLE IN MY HEART
by developing a Loving, Healthy Parent
PREVIOUS: Parent Ego State (PES), Part 2
EGO STATE MODES
This chart shows the Parent aspect of the Wagner, Joines and Mountain 9-element model, developed during the 1980′s. While the A. is the Executive branch of a person, & in general it’s best as a person’s guiding force, it’s helpful to remember that all 3 ego states can operate from a healthy or unhealthy side of a person, with good or bad motives, and with good or bad consequences.
EXP: The Adult ego-state can be applied to planning a new town on a drawing board, or planning to rob a bank. Both activities require logic, reason, critical thinking faculties, planning skills, etc. (More on ‘CENT’). Review chart of the ‘OK Corral’ (Adult E.S., Part 3)
The following 2 PES modes say: “You’re Not OK” to self & others
Negative CRITICAL / Controlling P. is punitive & insensitive. Gives negative and degrading criticism to overemphasize being in control, using fear, suspicion, or distrust: “How stupid can you be”…. For ACoAs –
– Outwardly it’s often expressed towards others as prejudice & disapproval
– Inwardly it continues to influence the Inner Child, in the form of S-H
EXP: the person who sees an injured dog in the street, & says: ‘all dogs should be kept on leads, not allowed to roam free’ – so does nothing to help
Negative NURTURING P. is over-protective & may be engulfing, giving physical attention in order to control or manipulate others. May smother with concern, denying people the opportunity to develop their own skills.
Help is given from a position which discounts the other person’s actual needs, or their autonomy & competence
HINTS the Negative Parent (PP) is ‘on’
Neg. Physical – frowning, crossed arms, finger-pointing, angry or impatient body-language and expressions, finger-pointing, patronizing gestures…
Neg. Verbal – Use condescending tone, judgmental & critical words, patronizing or posturing language : “this is how you, under no circumstances, you should always, never forget to, don’t lie, cheat, steal… never do, for once in your life, you shouldn’t, how dare you, don’t do as I do, do as I say…” (Keep in mind cultural differences in body-language or emphases that appear ‘Parental’ but may not be)
● Re. the POSITIVE SIDE: Since both of these aspects are either missing or weak in most ACoAs – especially toward ourselves – developing & safe-guarding the Good Parent voice is a critical (no pun intended) & fundamental requirement for our growth.
These 2 aspects say: “You’re OK” to self & others
Positive NURTURING P.
For US: It’s used to self-sooth, help the WIC with any form of emotional distress, letting the C. know it’s never alone. It is also the part that encourages, cheers & champions the Healthy Child to be ‘all you were meant to be”! It draws from our own native capacity for kindness as well as all our experiences of being cared for, especially in childhood. (The Positive Introject)
For OTHERS: It’s the source of kindness, respect & help we afford others, coming from a genuine regard for them as fellow-travelers on this earth. It can give & take in appropriate physical affection, such a gentle hug or touch
EXP: This aspect can be seen in the person who lovingly takes care of that dog who got injured by a car while crossing the road
Positive CRITICAL / Controlling P.
For US: It’s used to set boundaries for oneself, allowing for self-control – limiting the Child’s excessive wants, demands, distorted thinking, inappropriate behavior…. The way a parent would hold a child back from running across the street, the Pos. Controlling P. helps us stay out of or leave unhealthy or unsuitable people / situations…..
For OTHERS: instructions & commands are aimed at genuinely promoting someone’s well-being. Constructive criticism is used to protect & direct away from harm / danger : “you might want to consider –, stay away from the –, be careful when you –,….
DISTORTED or MISSING Parent or Adult ego states means the WIC is in charge, so its excessive needs & wants are not limited or controlled.
EXP: Active addicts have chaotic lives – such a person will look for substances, people, organization &/or belief systems to be their missing P or A, symbiosing with it as a way to sooth the pain & anxiety of inner aloneness. (See ‘Contamination’)
PARENT E.S. – Someone with a strong (P) persona tends to focus on:
• the ‘right way’ of doing things based on the rules they believe in
• how they can have an effect on others (controlling or helpful…)
• not showing too much emotion, more self-contained
• strong importance on how things are done (specific steps)
➼ When ACoAs function too much out of the PES, we will be either judgmental & finger-pointing, OR patronizing & overly solicitous
NEXT: Parent E.S. (Part 4)