Day 20 – Parenting Ourselves

I’ve been thinking about anger and how it can be used constructively. I think if we can make use of it then let it go, a little anger is a good thing.

My day of rage was actually helpful. It allowed me to stop idealising him, and gave me the strength to accept that he hasn’t been good for me. In typical borderline fashion, for that one day I did see him as all bad. It completely skewed my view of him in the opposite direction to how I normally perceived him. However, once the anger died down, my view of him has settled at a much more balanced and rational perception of him. I can now see that neither of us is completely innocent or completely to blame. I see both him and myself as imperfect humans, and that we both have worth. And we both have work to do on ourselves.

My thoughts are like a piece of cardboard that was rolled up tightly; to get it to sit evenly I needed to roll ot the other way and then let it go.

I’ve also been learning about the three facets of ourselves from The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson; the inner child, the outer child, and the adult. I’ve always hated the idea of an inner child, it seemed like such an airy fairy concept. And I had never even heard of an outer child.

The inner child is generally associated with our emotions. She is the one who feels hurt, sad, scared or happy depending on whether her needs are being met. She can’t meet her own needs, so it is up to the adult in us to communicate with her and find out what those needs are and do our best to meet them.

The outer child is the part of us that fucks things up. She is selfish, impulsive and thoughtless, and the reason we cannot control our emotions. She claims to be acting in the interests of the inner child, but really she just wants to get her way. It is our job as an adult to keep her in line, and override her desires. She is unable to think through the consequences of her actions, which are almost always negative.

Whether this seems like a silly concept or not, it’s been helpful for me to stop and question my thoughts before I act. Just who is in control here? Will this action work out in the best interests for my inner child? Is this my outer child trying to manipulate the situation for her own selfish desires? Will this help or hurt? The adult needs to make some tough decisions; the right action is not always comfortable and the outer child will protest, loudly. With discipline, she will fall into line.

We need to parent ourselves; our inner child needs kindness and understanding, and our outer child needs a firm hand.

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