My “Ego” is Stealthy, Adolescent and Manipulative!

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Awareness brings my manipulative “Ego” into focus. I believe some of this is hard-wired from my abusive, critical, and violent childhood. My “Ego” has never felt equal to another “Ego” (yours either).

 

The need for approval, for being appreciated, runs deep in my unworthy inner child. That critic, that resentful little voice, tears at my wellbeing.

 

Take this blog,:  I have to admit, I want relevance, approval for my knowledge, my blog.   Yes, having a 100,000 avid followers would stroke my “ego” and brings a feeling of relevance.   I see this as shallow and impermanent but it has power at times.

 

 

Does having more followers equal happiness?   Ask yourself if 90,000 left one day, how would that feel?  The crowd is very fickle and can turn against you.

 

This attachment makes me vulnerable to external forces, a path to suffering and anxiety.

 

Following this unworthy dialogue backwards, it is a perceived need that leads me to suffer. My “Ego” has felt unworthy, not good enough, almost shameful when PTSD is active. My “Ego” feels threatened as an adolescent at times.


When I meditate and examine this dilemma, approval or criticism is external. Also criticism or approval can change outside my influence. My life suffers when I buy into this belief. It is a mirage!


I am aware when my “Ego” feels insulted or damaged. He wants to retaliate against a perceived threat. He thinks retaliation can change my unworthiness.

 

It is such a subconscious, complex mechanism from childhood abuse. Life activates this difficulty from time to time.


I thought healing, emptying my amygdala of all the stored trauma would last forever. Now I know somethings will always be below the surface, capable of bringing that hell back into my life.

 

Knowing approval, respect or criticism has nothing to do with my wellbeing does not quell its massive need to protect itself.


I have learned to be intensely aware of my “Egos” need to be resentful, childish, reactive and destructive.

 

For some of us, a constant vigil of awareness is needed.
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4 responses to this post.

  1. Wow, this post was timely. I’m right in the thick of my “unworthy, inner child” attack. it really helps to hear someone else lay it all out. It sure is weighing heavy on my soul!!

  2. “My belief is that the “inner child” (named exile in IFS) carries our core wound, the trauma that we brought into adulthood and forms our core beliefs about the world and our place in it. Often statements like “I’m not good enough”, “I’m unlovable” come straight from this. These core beliefs are on a very deep psychological level and are hard to shift.”

    Know that you are perfect as your true self and that ego is a created identity figure

    Sit and focus, let thought go and feel that you are fine

    Explore your inner world in this safe environment

    It is a mirage and it wants control of us

    Resist and stay present

  3. Here is an explanation of our inner child

    Destructive behavior takes various forms: from subtle self-sabotage and self-defeating patterns to passive hostility to severe self-destructive symptoms, violent aggression and, sometimes, evil deeds. Commonly, destructive behavior in adults bears the impetuous, impulsive quality of childish petulance or narcissistic temper tantrums. Or an infantile neediness, dependency, and dread of abandonment. Or an irresponsibility and angry refusal to be an adult: the “Peter Pan syndrome,” or what Jungians refer to as a puer or puella complex. The archetypal Jungian notion of the puer aeternus (male) or (female) puella aeterna–the eternal child–provides the basis for what has come in pop psychology and self-help movements (see, for example, the writings of Dr. Eric Berne, Dr. Alice Miller, or John Bradshaw) to be known as the “inner child.” What exactly is this so-called inner child? Does it truly exist? And why should we care?

    To begin with, the inner child is real. Not literally. Nor physically. But figuratively, metaphorically real. It is–like complexes in general–a psychological or phenomenological reality, and an extraordinarily powerful one at that. Indeed, most mental disorders and destructive behavior patterns are, as Freud first intimated, more or less related to this unconscious part of ourselves. We were all once children, and still have that child dwelling within us. But most adults are quite unaware of this. And this lack of conscious relatedness to our own inner child is precisely where so many behavioral, emotional and relationship difficulties stem from.

    The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older. Anyone, with a little luck, can do that. But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to “grow up,” putting childish things aside. To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child–representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness–must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers. “Grown-ups” are convinced they have successfully outgrown, jettisoned, and left this child–and its emotional baggage–long behind. But this is far from the truth.

    In fact, these so-called grown-ups or adults are unwittingly being constantly influenced or covertly controlled by this unconscious inner child. For many, it is not an adult self directing their lives, but rather an emotionally wounded inner child inhabiting an adult body. A five-year-old running around in a forty-year-old frame. It is a hurt, angry, fearful little boy or girl calling the shots, making adult decisions. A boy or girl being sent out into the world to do a man’s or woman’s job. A five or ten-year old (or two of them!) trying to engage in grown-up relationships. Can a child have a mature relationship? A career? An independent life? Yet this is precisely what’s happening with us all everyday to some degree or another. And then we wonder why our relationships fall apart. Why we feel so anxious. Afraid. Insecure. Inferior. Small. Lost. Lonely. But think about it: How else would any child feel having to fend for themselves in an apparently adult world? Without proper parental supervision, protection, structure or support?

    This is the confusing state of affairs we so frequently see in seekers of psychotherapy. It is not dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality), but rather a far more common, pervasive and insidious sort of socially sanctioned dissociation. But if we can recognize this problem for what it is, we can begin dealing with it, by choosing to become psychological–not just chronological–adults. How is this accomplished?

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    First, one becomes conscious of his or her own inner child. Remaining unconscious is what empowers the dissociated inner child to take possession of the personality at times, to overpower the will of the adult. Next, we learn to take our inner child seriously, and to consciously communicate with that little girl or boy within: to listen to how he or she feels and what he or she needs from us here and now. The often frustrated primal needs of that perennial inner child–for love, acceptance, protection, nurturance, understanding–remain the same today as when we were children. As pseudo-adults, we futilely attempt to force others into fulfilling these infantile needs for us. But this is doomed to failure. What we didn’t sufficiently receive in the past from our parents as children must be confronted in the present, painful though it may be. The past traumas, sadness, disappointments and depression cannot be changed and must be accepted. Becoming an adult means swallowing this “bitter pill,” as I call it: that, unfortunately for most of us, certain infantile needs were, maliciously or not, unmet by our imperfect parents or caretakers. And they never will be, no matter how good or smart or attractive or spiritual or loving we become. Those days are over. What was done cannot be undone. We should not as adults now expect others to meet all of these unfulfilled childhood needs. They cannot. Authentic adulthood requires both accepting the painful past and the primary responsibility for taking care of that inner child’s needs, for being a “good enough” parent to him or her now–and in the future.

    At least in the sort of psychotherapy I practice, the adult part of the personality learns (and this, like much of therapy, is a learning process) to relate to the inner child exactly as a good parent relates to a flesh-and-blood child, providing discipline, limits, boundaries and structure. These are all–along with support, nurturance, and acceptance–indispensable elements of loving and living with any child, whether metaphorical or actual. By initiating and maintaining an ongoing dialogue between the two, a reconciliation between inner child and mature adult can be reached. A new, mutually beneficial, cooperative, symbiotic relationship can be created in which the sometimes conflicting needs of both the adult self and inner child can be creatively satisfied.

    Has your adult self spent time with your inner child today?

    This is an excerpt from Dr. Diamond’s forthcoming book Psychotherapy for the Soul: Thirty=Three Essential Secrets for Emotional and Spiritual Self-Healing

  4. I like this explanation

    Deep Secrets and Inner Child Healing
    Research shows that being in touch with your inner child is healing.
    Posted Aug 06, 2018

    Two facts: We all have secrets, and most of us have had some wounding tied to our inner child. Perhaps our vulnerable and sensitive inner child needs healing. Whether our wounding was a result of a childhood friend moving away, physical or psychological abuse, or a broken family, the resulting pain will live with us for the rest of our lives; and we may be reminded of the pain unexpectedly. If we do inner-child work by connecting to the little boy or girl within us, we can reconnect with some of the reasons for our adult fears, phobias. and life patterns. When we begin to understand them, then magic, healing, and transformation can occur.

    When pondering how the inner child gets wounded, author Alice Miller suggested that German philosophers believed in stamping out a child’s exuberance so that adults could control them. In my own European family, the philosophy was definitely that children should be seen and not heard, and I only realized in my adult years how wounding this was.

    When putting the finishing touches on my most recent book, Writing for Bliss, I decided to include a section on inner-child healing. It wasn’t in my original draft, but I noticed that many friends and colleagues inquired about it, reminding me how healing and transformative it would be to write about and access the wounded child.

    Around the same time, I’d just read Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Reconciliation, where the wise Buddhist said that inside each of us is a young, suffering child; and that to protect ourselves from future suffering, we all try to forget the pain. Most often, when we feel pain from a deep place within, it’s our inner wounded child who’s calling. Forgetting the pain results in more pain.

    Writing about this pain can be one way to heal our inner child and help heal any negative emotions we might be holding on to. Research has shown that the body holds both emotional and physical pain, and even if we try to ignore that pain and forge ahead with our lives, chances are that it will always be there. It might also emerge at the most unlikely times, or during meditation or writing.

    Often, the baggage we carry from our childhoods can be very difficult to shake, especially when we’ve been exposed to deep trauma. In my writing classes, I tell participants that it’s difficult to walk around a dark room all the time, and that it’s much easier when there’s light streaming in.

    Thich Nhat Hanh suggests breathing in and saying, “I go back to my inner child,” and breathing out and saying, “I take care of my inner child.” You can take care of your inner child by writing some dialogue from your inner child’s point of view. This gives a voice to your pain. Sometimes that’s all the pain needs. Other times, it might need to be addressed through deeper psychological work. Acknowledging the inner child means treating him or her with respect and love. You can do so by saying, “I love you,” “I hear you,” “I’m sorry you feel this way,” and “Thank you for being you.”

    In his article “Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy: The Inner Child,” Stephen Diamond (2008) advocates acknowledging our inner child and taking him or her seriously. Listening to and communicating with the inner child, whether on paper or during psychotherapy, is also crucial for transformation to occur. If, for example, you’re considering writing a letter, tell your inner child that you recognize him or her and that your intention is to do everything in your power to heal his or her wounds. Some people say that after they’ve written a few letters to their inner child, they find that the child writes back. Sometimes many answers can emerge. In letters or verbal communication, it’s important to ask the inner child what he or she is feeling and what is needed right now. By maintaining a dialogue, healing and transformation can more effectively occur.

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    Only by loving and healing our inner child can we begin to love ourselves and then, consequently, others. It’s also a way to empower ourselves and focus on mindfulness and the present…and not the past.

    How to connect with your inner child:

    Formulate a dialogue.
    Write a letter to him or her.
    Say nurturing things (I love you, I hear you, Thank you, I’m sorry).
    Look at photos of yourself as a child.
    Think and write about what you loved doing when you were young.
    Engage in meditation and creative visualization.

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