Negative INTROJECT (Part 4)


PP 3 

IF I LISTEN CAREFULLY
I’ll be able to catch the NI’s lies

PREVIOUS: Negative Introject (Part 3)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 

INVENTORY
A starting point to free ourselves of this self-destructive attachment is to clearly hear what’s being whispered in our inner ear. We may never completely rid ourselves of the bad voice, but we can go a long way to setting it aside by no longer believing it & so not obeying it.

• Take each phrase that applies & write how it makes you feel emotionally (Es), & what negative patterns you’ve developed in response to it (As).  Add any phrases of your own. Then for each one, find a loving & logical counter you can tell your Inner Child.

The NI / PP may be saying:
• “I’m JUST TRYING TO HELP YOU” – but everything the NI says is actually cruel, discouraging, fear-based & inaccurate/ distortedinner talk
• “I want to be proud of you, isn’t that normal?” – unfortunately it’s ONLY about how we reflect on IT, not what’s truly good for us

• “You can do anything you want”- but only as long as the NI approves
• ”You’re such a Good Boy / Good Girl” – as long as you do what I want!

• “I just want to stop you from making a big mistake” – It’s projecting:
— its own fear of taking any risks, much less positive ones
— mistakes it has made, without owning them or explaining to us
— its inability or unwillingness to see US for who we are – our abilities & personality. Can it image us a separate being, who may know what we want? who can take care of ourselves? who want something different out of life?

OR the NI may be saying:
About youinner-critic
• You’re a looser, so don’t bother, you never do anything right anyway
• you’re ugly, stupid, selfish… no one will ever want / love you
• no matter what you do, you’ll never get anywhere ….
….NONE of which is true about US, since when we first heard those awful things we were TOO YOUNG to have made a mess of OUR life yet!

About the world
“Sure, you can leave home (us) but just remember:
• the world is a dog-eat-dog place, don’t trust anyone
• no one will help you, you’re on your owndog-eat-dog
• everyone’s out to get you, so always watch your back….”
…..is what our parents really did experience, but in the larger sense it’s only somewhat true about the outside world, but for US, very true about our home life!
That’s how we know that what they told us was their dis-owned projections & which is now incorporated into our Negative Introject.

The Negative Introject is ONLY interested in itself, NOT us, no matter what it’s saying.  We need to get this on a cellular level – in spite of the fact that it may say it “only wants to be helpful / only wants our best” – it’s really talking about its own survival, focused only on its own loneliness, fear of abandonment & self-hate, NOT ours.

• To the degree that it represent one or both damaged parents, the NI (they) wants to be taken care of, & not take care of us, in any way. Keep in mind that those original adults were also run by their WIC’s pain. They were narcissists (or worse) – emotional children who wanted to be rescued, to vent their rage & frustrations, using us to dump that on. Only their needs counted!

For many of our caretakers, the only POWER they had in the world came from controlling weaker beings (us) who wouldn’t defy them or leave – sometimes employees or friends, often a spouse, always the kids.
THIS IS CRUCIAL to understand, because the WIC is still trying to get their attention & love. THIS IS not possible!

YES, our external parents may say / have said they love us, but even if they felt an attachment it is/was in a selfish way – as an extension of themselves, not for who we are inherently. We can tell this by:
• the fact that we never felt safe, seen or loved by them AND feel rage, depressed, judgmentalincompetent, even suicidal after spending time with them, now!
AND BY —
• paying attention to all they ways they disapprove(d) of us – not just some of our behavior & choices in order to teach & correct, as would be normal for loving parents, BUT of our Natural self – our very essence!

NEXT: Positive Introject – Healing

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7 thoughts on “Negative INTROJECT (Part 4)

  1. Interesting points.

    I have a kinder view of the negative introject. I believe it really is trying to help us–the introject is us, after all. But it has learned to parent from a harmful parent. It really doesn’t know how to look after us or how to help us. It wasn’t taught that. It was taught how to hurt and control.

    I don’t think we ever get rid of this introject–the parental figure. People with good parents internalize a nurturing parent, a responsible, goal-oriented self that bolster us after setbacks and help us plan for success. We had destructive parents, and internalized criticism and blame instead.

    I think the solution is to teach the introject how to be a good parent instead of a harmful one. I also think the negative introject needs our compassion. All our lives, it has tried to keep us safe, out of trouble, away from the rejection and criticism of what it perceives as a hostile world–because it was hostile. It has tried to keep us in line so that those in the outside world wouldn’t hurt us more than the NI’s voice. The NI has done its best. But it never learned how to nurture. Instead, it learned how to criticize and tear down.

    • Thanks for you comments. Did you also read the following one – ‘Replacing the NI’? In the ‘distancing’ section – I suggest something similar. I appreciate that you are speaking about your own pt. of view & experience.

      However, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the last 30 yrs – listening to their NI. Its intention is not out to protect us – that’s the lie it tells us. Its only interest is self-preservation.
      It’s just plain sadistic (regardless of the reasons, which we understand) but since ACoAs find it extremely hard to get that truth, we need reality before we can have compassion for it, which is only valid once we no longer believe the voice’s messages of destruction. Otherwise we’re just white-washing it.

      • I don’t have your experience, so perhaps you’re right. I do find working from a perspective of compassion for myself and what I think–even when my thoughts are demonstrably incorrect–works toward healing.

        I do know that the part of myself that would best be understood as the NI is very sad and very tired and that she has worked very hard for a long time.

  2. I agree with always being kind toward ourselves. I say that everywhere on the blog.

    I can’t be sure of course, but the tired & sad part of you may be a version of your inner child rather than the NI.

    Usually an older IC has been carrying the burden of being in charge, since it didn’t have a healthy inner voice to rely on. Only as we develop the “UNIT’ can that part relax & let go of the controls – once we prove ourselves reliable & loving.

    The NI is not a part of us – it’s only the part of others that we carry – like a virus.
    I do encourage people to understand it, but ask it to step aside. It is no longer needed, as the Loving Parent is much more capable of self-care & the Healthy Adult is quite competent.

  3. I understand the Negative Introject as the part repeating abusive behaviors of others towards us–the one who continues to criticize and belittle us for example. So that’s why I assume it is the NI.

    We typically identify with abusive others partly because that is just how people are, we identify with those around us,but also partly because identifying with people we perceive as more powerful and in control protects us from our overwhelming sense of helplessness and vulnerability. The repeated abusiveness of the NI and the pain of being hurt by people we trusted are two sides of the same coin. But the identification served a purpose that was important in surviving and making it through.

  4. I realize this thread is now a couple of years old, but this topic–the negative intro ject– is what I’m currently focused on because it not only hurts me, my child has come to me, bravely, to let me know that on those occasions–rare but real–when that NI comes out, she has felt very very very bad. And I mean bad, as in, she says it is affecting her self esteem. How horrifying.

    Because my child is so important to me, I was devastated when she came to me in tears to tell me how much she has been hurt by my own NI. And I’ll add that I think she is probably developing her own NI because of what mine has done.

    I know exactly the cause of mine–I had a terribly abusive, neglectful, sadistic mother, and my NI is her ugly voice still screeching such hatred at me all these years later.

    So to me, the question is similar to the question of which came first–the chicken or the egg?

    My own personal, familial experience seems to indicate a family trait–and I’m part of that family (100% estranged from ALL of them, but related nonetheless).

    This is a learned behavior (thoughts being behavior for my purposes). It is taught from one generation to the next, and it is internalized. Much as I would feel relieved to know that my NI is not really part of me, my gut tells me it is. I’m not sadistic like my own mother–I’ll almost always calm the heck down quickly during an outburst and apologize profusely to my child, explaining that MY bad behavior is about ME and my inability (so far) to get it completely under control. And my incidents are nowhere as intense and personal as my mother’s, but that does not mean I’m not passing down this trait to my child.

    I’m ashamed of this. I’ve spent years in therapy but I finally fired my therapist because she was not even the one who identified this behavior of mine as an intriject– I found that info on my own and told her. She did not know what she was doing and therapy was very disorganized despite my telling her so many times that I needed help with THAT. When I realized I had caught her in a lie, a gratuitous lie too, that was my last session with her. I’m a very cooperative client. I’m honest. I admit my short comings. I was always willing to consider whatever she told me, even if it was painful. I now suspect that this therapist–whom I saw for five years–didn’t really know what she was doing with this type of problem and she was angry that I seemed better informed–and then …she abused me too, by telling me an outright lie. She a used her authority to lash out at me. I recignized abuse, and I said goodbye.

    I realize now that I’d seen some signs of not-good intentions with her before, but because I had always feared authority–I wanted to believe she was “nice,” and that it was my fault that she herself abused me. I’m glad that I walked out if her office that day, and I do not at all feel guilty. This is huge for me.

    I am however angry that I spent so much time and so much money on her, and I’m the one who was reading and researching my own issues. I can’t get those years or money back, so here I am, still searching.

    I’ve GOT to get this NI under control for my own child’s sake. I do believe at that age ten, she’s still young enough to be spared but only if I can make even more improvements. So while my gut tells me this IS a part of me, the logical, mature, calm part of me says, “Who cares? Cure it. Exorcise it. Fix it. Just don’t pass this trait onto the next generation.”

    I also know that my maternal grandmother was quite cruel too, so I figure my own mother is a pretty badly wounded creature but that doesn’t mean I can let her back in my life. She’s elderly now, and as recently as six months ago, she flipped out and let me have it, going way overboard, leaving me–literally–with ringing ears for days after she lashed out at me. That was the end for me. She continues to call, and I continue to ignore her. I feel sorry for her, but I have to care more about my child–AND myself.

    This is a perplexing, bewildering topic, but I’m convinced I can heal this badly damaged part of me that my mother left inside my psyche. I’m grateful that my father loved me, because if not, I wouid have had no parental figure to mirror. For my child’s sake and my own, I’m grateful.

    But I have got to silence thus hideous monster that lives inside me and erupts, taking control sometimes, displaying behavior that is completely opposite of who I am in my heart.

    Child abuse stinks. And I’m so ashamed that I’ve done it even if it is to a much lesser extent than my own mother did to me. I want it to end. My child needs it to end.

    • Hi DF,
      Thank you for sharing your deep aguish as well as your courage in facing a tough issue.
      There are many tools to help with this, which you’ll see as you era thru other posts. Doing the 2-handed writing with the Inner Child and well as wight he Introject – separately – can help identify the buttons that get pushed.

      Your outbursts are only the method of expressing hurt, but don’t address what caused the flareup in the first place. If you interested in having some sessions (by phone or Skype?), feel free to email at acoarecovery@yahoo.com.

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