YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY!
Is it the Pig Parent or the damaged kid?
PREVIOUS: Negative Introject (Part 1)
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
HOW CAN WE TELL when the ‘NI’ is talking?
a. The ‘YOU’ form – when talking to ourselves in a negative, harsh way. THAT is the bad parent voice: “You should have know better…”, “See, everyone thinks you’re stupid”, “You could have done better than that!” ….
In this form, our original caretakers still have to keep us terrified, dependent, dis-empowered – or they’ll loose their grip & fade away. If that were to happen they wouldn’t get their needs met (thru us), since they never wanted to do that for themselves. That’s what they need us for! OR we may only hear:
b. The ‘I’ form – which is the Inner Child (WIC) expressing its S-H in response to & fully believing the Negative Introject, who is off stage – but definitely not absent – spewing it’s poison from the wings.
In this case we can only hear the NI by implication, as puppet master. whenever we self-talk in the same judgmental, impatient way as they did to us. Now it’s in the first person, the IC mimicking the bad parent: “I’m such a looser’, “I never do anything right”, “I don’t know how to do things”, “No one could ever love me”…..
This version is much sneakier:
THEM: By being far in the background it cannot be held accountable. The NI gets to stay off the hot seat, harder to catch as the source of the abuse, which the Introject will never admit to anyway, even when confronted!
US: We collude (unconsciously) in keeping it hidden from ourselves because we can’t bear to admit how dangerous our ‘loved ones’ were. Now that they’re ‘inside’ us we don’t know how to get rid of them. SOME UNHEALTHY attempts at shutting the PP voice up:
• heavy drinking & drug use, & all other addictions (sex, food, spending, exercise, internet….)
• overworking, endless schooling, career we hate…
• suicide attempts or suicidal behavior (dangerous people & activities)
BTW – each of us refers to our personal ‘NI’ by a name & image which suits its character & our imagination: The ‘Bat’ we hit ourselves with; the ‘Bats’ – the parent’s who only call at night when they’re drunk; the vampire; the Gorn – from Star Trek; the monster; Mom, or Dad; the Shadow…. Eric Berne, in Games People Play, calls it “The Pig Parent”. What’s yours?
PURPOSE of the ‘NI’
a. The WIC hangs on to the bad voice with a fanatic devotion because it’s the only parent it has ever known. It’s afraid to let go because – as one ACoA’s Inner Child screamed in a therapy session – “What will I do without them?”. As we replace the bad voice by consistently, lovingly parenting ourselves, the WIC will let go, but not quickly or easily!
b. The NI uses it’s convoluted, sadistic power to pour gas on the flame of life’s stresses TO:
• validate its beliefs (T) & actions (A), so it never has to take responsibility or be held accountable, & therefore never risk change!
• to keep us symbiotically attached by feeding our S-H. If we’re convinced the abuse was our fault, we’ll never expel it & then it won’t have to face its own abandonment wounds
POWER of the ‘NI’
i. Technically – it is wired into our brain in very deep pathways, by virtue of repetition & emotional bonds (the limbic system & the frontal cortex). Each groove forms the easiest way for electrical energy to travel
(strongest chemical trace) so it becomes out default reaction. AA-ers say “Alcoholics dig their own ruts, & then decorate them – making them so comfortable they never want to move out!”
From the I.C.
• all children are completely loyal to their parents & their zeitgeist. ACoAs can’t afford to know how toxic they were for us. We love & need them, even when we hate them. So we protect them – at our own peril!
• Those original adults taught us to be afraid of the world AND that we are unlovable. So even now we don’t dare ‘leave home’. Our connection to them is painful, but we believe the world is even worse. We’re convinced no one else will want us &/or they’ll trample us. So we stay connected to ‘NI’ rather than risk the ‘horror’ of the outside. (See: Acceptance, #1)
From the NI – Internalized voices have a life of their own (ego states)
• The NI is composed of all the painful emotions they never dealt with – their self-hate, fear, rage, shame, guilt, loneliness, hopelessness…
• AND their destructive thoughts, rigid beliefs, irrational opinions (their ‘stinking thinking’) & occasionally something useful, positive, knowledgeable… which we heard over & over
NEXT: Negative Introject (Part 3)