Evolving marriage
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2022-12-06 14:09:10 (UTC)

Inner and Adaptive Child

Dear Diary,
Working on an exercise and some videos I was watching. Found Terry Real via some Esther Perel videos and I loved what he has to say. So I did a writing assignment he suggested on a video. A letter to my Adaptive Child.. (will explain below)

Terry Real 12/5/22

Adaptive and Inner Child
Your inner child is from around birth to age 5
Adaptive Child is around 5 to age 18
A Trigger is the inner child feeling abandoned. Your not abandoned once you’re an adult, you are Left.
Beware of people with bad faith, they will kill you(your soul, emotions, etc)
People of good faith, look things in the eye and deal with it

Write a letter to that angry girl your Adaptive child, that’s the one that stepped in on your behalf and got angry and said things like “ You wont be hurt anymore! You wont have to tolerate this, yell back! Hurt someone the way they hurt you!”

What do I feel when Im triggered? (that takes me back to the young inner child, whats the wound?)
When triggered its like I feel this sense of Panic, that everything I have wanted is slipping away from me in an instant, the person that says they Love me, can flip and express the complete opposite and its as if Im losing that for good. They have forgotten any good about me and in that instant Im something not worthy of that love any longer. I do feel abandoned. Like every bit of Love I have given has been taken away and doesn’t matter.

How do I react when I get wounded? (Your reaction will take you back to the Adaptive Child, the age)

When I get wounded I have several reactions. My main one at the moment is to get angry, like inside me Im saying “Hell no, we are not doing this, you are not going to turn on me, talk to me like Im the enemy, Ive put in too much work and effort to lose it in an instant. So I will follow, I will demand that something be dealt with. I was will not back off. Its as if my life depends on it, that I fight to maintain some civility. Im reminded of being in high school and my Dad yelling at my gf Amy and turning on her, yelling at her, telling her “Maybe I cant get to you but I can get to your Dad” and then point at her and demanding she leave our home. Me sobbing, her crying and us both confused. Mom coming in the hallway trying to see what on earth is happening and confused also. I have no idea why my Dad flipped a switch on Amy or what that was about and I think she and I have to have a convo about this, there maybe something there I don’t know that happened. I remember Amy walking down the driveway and her reaching out her arm and me back and us crying as my Dad is telling her to get off our property. It was traumatic for me and I cant even imagine how she felt. And it was all because I wanted to take her on family vacation with us and I was told yes she could go, and then I asked if we could wait a day as she was on vacation with her Dad, and that is when my Dad lost it.

I later went in the backyard, he was BBQing, and I was saying “Dad why? What did she do?” And he said “Shes manipulating you! You just don’t see it!” I said “Tell me what Im not seeing?” and over and over again I pleaded for a good hour for some answers, and my Dad kept repeating “Shes manipulating you, you don’t see it!” and It was like talking to a brick wall. Nothing made sense, nothing was explained. Mom came to my room that night and said “Im thinking about a divorce, now its affecting you” but that was really all she said,,, we never spoke about it all again. So this would be me around age 14?

Thank you to that 14 yr old me(you saved my ass, got angry) Thank you to that girl. She went out there and confronted my Dad. She didn’t back down, she demanded answers, she wanted so badly to understand what was happening and didn’t want to accept what was being said. She wanted more. She still saw her friend, she even had her over when Dad was away hunting. She stuck it to him behind his back, He wasn’t going to control who she was friends with. She also confronted Dad another time about his drinking. Saying “Don’t you love Mom?” and saying how the alcohol was harming that. That time my Dad was upstairs in his chair and had been drinking, he was mellow and contemplative and quiet to my words. I wasn’t attacking as much as asking him WHY? He didn’t really have anything to say that I can recall.

These are the Gifts you have Given Me (you helped me be curious and have a voice)

That adaptive teen, yeah she did give me a voice, she caused me to not accept the status quo, to not shut up and take it and be a good girl. She didn’t freeze or go away and just sit there and feel tense inside and walk on eggshells. She went head on and faced it.

This is what you cost me

That girl, what cost me? That abandoned girl? She just wanted to be loved so badly that she was chasing after love all her life, not knowing what it was or what it looked like. She just so badly wanted it. And I remember in my mind, it was someone to hold my hand and tell me they loved me. I didn’t think beyond that much, that was what having a boyfriend meant to me. But instead that desperate for love girl was ripe to be exploited by the first person to come along and say those words. She was so hungry for it, she allowed it from unhealthy people. That created an emotionally needy and dependent young girl when it came to a relationship. It caused me a lot of internal conflict. A lot of self doubt and questioning of myself when things didn’t feel good or right, because that girl had no gauge of what love looked like. As it wasn’t modeled by my parents. I was a girl with no boundaries, other then I said No alcohol as I thought if I eliminated that evil, life would be good, And that is what caused the problems with my Dad, so I was adamant and legalistic about alcohol with my first boyfriend and we did not drink and or have It around after I brought that topic up. I felt I was stopping the cycle, but didn’t realize all the other components. I have spent way too much time in relationships that were violating my boundaries or didn’t offer me the kindness and love I deserved. Instead I was busy fighting for it, demanding it, grasping at crumbs for it.

Im here now, the Wise adult. I can take care of both of us.

I can help that girl. She doesn’t have to panic anymore and run in after my partner demanding that they talk to her. I can hold her and tell her she is okay all by herself. She doesn’t have to run after something harsh and demand that love and try to teach and fix to get it. I can just hold her, here and now, and tell her she is okay. I can soothe her and tell her this isn’t her life being taken from her, that its just a disagreement, and that she doesn’t have to go do anything for her partner. That she can sit with herself and know that when she speaks up for what she wants, that is perfectly okay. And she doesn’t have to accept anything less, that Im here to guard her from that pain. Im here to take it on. My Wise Adult. She knows she is valuable and worthy.