Why RESIST talking to the Inner Child? (Part 1)

many voices
many conflicting points of view

PREVIOUS: Acceptance #2

POST:“Ego States – Basics(Adult, Parent, Child)

TOPIC: Loving Parent <–> Inner Child dialoguing, as a TOOL for Recovery/ healing.

For ACoAs, the GOAL of this process is to shift the WIC’s focus away from believing all the harmful, distorted & untrue things it hears from the Introject – to stop the Child from relying on that voice for it’s identity & way to function in the world. We need to woo the WIC away from the PP & redirect it’s attention to our Healthy Adult & the new Loving PARENT. To do that we use written & verbal dialogues, gradually replacing the harsh voice which originally created our self-hate.

EVERYONE has inner dialogues all the time – it’s called self-talk. We argue pros & cons, debating: “Should I or shouldn’t I?”, we obsessively argue with a ‘real’ person about something that bothers us – but only in our head, we hear the ‘voice’ of our parents or a religious figure scolding or lecturing…. AND no one thinks that’s crazy. SO – why not conversations with our younger self??

A common Q about talking with the Inner Child: “Is it supposed to grow up, go away or what?”
ANS: We want to heal the wounded child & bring forward the Natural one, which is our essence. Then they get ‘folded into’ the other 2 E.S. to make a whole person. (Review: Ego states – ADULT Part 2)

a. Most of the time we think in the ‘I’ form, which is either the Adult ego state
or the Inner Child, positively or negatively.
● If the statements are positive “I’d rather not do that – thanks all the same, I need more sleep, I’ll study for that exam today…” that’s the Healthy Adult, OR “I want to see that movie, I looove my cat, give me some more ice cream, I don’t want to be around that —, it doesn’t feel good….” you’re hearing the healthy Child

● If the statements in the “I” form are negative, harsh, painful…. then we know it’s the Wounded Inner Child (WIC) who is in self-hate or hopeless mode: “I can’t do anything right, no one likes me, I can’t stand being ignored!, I’ll never get anywhere – I might as well give up….”

b. However, when we talk to ourselves in the “You” form our Inner Parent is talking to the Inner Child, probably without realizing it.
● If the statements are positive, then our Loving / Nurturing Parent may say: “You can do it, you’re so smart – I’m proud of you, I know you’re in pain & I’m here with you, you’ll do better next time….”

● If the ‘You’ statements are mean, discouraging, judgmental… we know it’s the Introject (PP / Bad Parent) talking to the Child part of us: ”You should have known better than to —, You could have done that if you’d tried harder, You blew it, you — !, You’re in trouble now! You’re so stupid, No one’s ever going to like you” ….

ACoAs: Notice that our self-talk is rarely if ever positive*, supportive, congratulatory…. Instead, ACoAs have perpetual internal toxic voices, with either the PP haranguing the WIC or the WIC attacking itself, in agreement with the PP. Some of us have a fairly well-developed Adult (from life experience & native intelligence) but only use it at work &/or to benefit others. Most of us are skating by on the WIC’s version of an Adult – which is very limited & full of CDs (cognitive distortions).
Even when we have a competent Adult ego state, we are still missing the Good Parent – the main thing we’re trying to create with this tool.

*POSITIVE: only thoughts or actions (T.E.A.) are positive OR negative – helpful or harmful, encouraging or discouraging, useful or wasteful, valuable or worthless, producing growth or stagnation….

● However, EMOTIONS (Es) are neither + nor –, they just exist as energy.many Es
When Es are labeled as negative it automatically implies they are to be gotten rid of, or at least suppressed. This is a very harmful message, since the Inner Child houses most of our Es (with the Parent holding the rest – love, patience, positive pride, compassion, pleasure….). If we say some Es are bad then we’re saying a fundamental part of our Inner Child is bad! This point of view is Self-Hate, a form of child abuse we learned in our family
It tells us we:
— were never comforted as kids when in pain, so those emotions were unbearable because we were left alone with our suffering
— were blatantly taught that Es are bad, weak, crazy, stupid, to be made fun of….
— never learned that there are appropriate ways to deal with & express Es, so that we can have our feelings without hurting ourselves or others

CHALLENGE – To overcome our resistance to caring for our WIC. The gradual willingness to use this tool comes from :
● being sick & tired of being sick & tired – especially of the PP voice – when it becomes more painful to do things the old dysfunctional way
● having enough Recovery to FEEL love & compassion for our younger self, especially considering what we’ve been thruIC's emotions
● learning how to talk to the Child correctly & wisely
● having enough growth to tolerate whatever memories & emotions come up
● giving up – at least somewhat – the demand that others take care of us! & admit we really are capable, AND can ask for support when needed.

NEXT: Resist Talking to the Inner Child (#2)


4 thoughts on “Why RESIST talking to the Inner Child? (Part 1)

  1. thanks for this article …I have been trying to work on the inner child..but find it very difficult…I have no compassion for her seemingly weak emotions.
    I know its because thats how I was treated growing up.
    I gave my own children freedom to express their emotions and validated there feelings ….but cant seem to give myself the same.


    • Emotion are never weak or strong, just painful or joyful. If you WIC is in pain, she needs comfort & validation. I know you’re capable of doing that.


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