• Tobach Nigh

To Be the Loving Parent or Yada Yada Yada...

I had a day of reaching out to people and some inner child work I did, reassuring my inner child that he was okay to feel his painful feelings and that it was safe to let them out. I grieved. It was a memory from when i was young: more loss and sadness of how alone I had felt back then. The memory was vague and feint, not really recognizable, but I could tell it came from a young place. I am thinking it came from my youth. I think most of my painful feelings come from my youth. When all of the abuse was going on. Sometimes though it had come during times when I was younger in my 20's. But the times when this pain came it was usually in huge waves, like mountains of lava pouring out of me. Bursting fourth in big gushes of mourning, grief, and sobbing.

But again today I reached out a lot. I talked a lot to some people I had become acquainted to in ACA. We talked a lot about recovery and it was very cathartic and somewhat healing for me. I talked to a guy I know who I had been parenting and enabling by parenting him (meeting his needs). I basically did this by staying on the telephone with him talking about mindless stuff like movies, what we had for dinner, and what he or I did during the day. But my inner children really started to feel abandoned. This was the feeling I started to become more attuned with as I have been working the ACA program. This feeling of abandonment inside of me. It is a terrible feeling. One of fear and separation, followed by anger toward me and a lot of tension and then more fear. It can build on itself if not caught early enough and dealt with properly. So this had been going on with this man for quite some time and then this feeling of abandonment, after one day, I realized that as an inner loving parent to my inner child wanted to protect him at all costs and decided that it became to painful for me to want to talk to him. I didn't know what was going on. Until later the next day after not returning his call I talked with David my sponsor. He told me that I was abandoning my inner child to him by becoming his parent and meeting his needs before meeting my inner child's needs. So I was feeling this abandonment inside, had been for so long, and I had had this resentment feeling too toward myself because I felt like I was not honoring myself by allowing these conversations to go on as long as they did. For example: not talking about any recovery, and being afraid to speak my truth and get off of the phone with him when I was afraid to not to get off the phone, for fear of feeling the painful abandonment feelings from my childhood. I was taking care of his feelings, wanting to talk with him first of all when there was no recovery being spoken in the conversation. Which now that I think about it was something I really needed at the time and I also resented him for not having any to give to me also. Which wasn't his fault either to be fair. I didn't have any friends in recovery at all either during this time too, so this was a problem while I was in AA when we first started talking and subsequently afterward going into ACA when we continued talking. So I had to lay the ground rules for him. That basically, I wasn't there to fix him or save him or parent him. Because recently this happened where he reached out to me for help or to be saved to be more precise. He had asked me to be his sponsor in ACA and I accepted without thinking about it which was normal. I had been taught in AA that one can sponsor anyone if they were further ahead into the steps than another. I felt honored to have been asked and wanted to fix him in a way and I started to meet his needs right away. Shortly afterward the next morning I felt like he had become in place of my Higher Power.....I DID NOT like this feeling. I called my sponsor and talked it over with him and he told me that in his opinion I was not ready to sponsor anyone. That I needed to have a much more integrated inner child , a stronger relationship between my inner child and loving parent, and also have gone through the steps. I felt relieved…So I prayed about it shortly afterward for guidance and called him up and told him the news. He was of coarse fine with it. I know him. I used to be him minus his mental illness. Mine is different from his. I used to want people to save me but I had no clue how to meet my inner child's needs, feel my feelings, and allow my inner child parts to grieve and handle their intense emotions. There were just so many things. I would abandon myself to the first person who complimented me or showed kindness to me thus making them my parental figure without their permission. This lead to a ton of resentment, disappointment, fear, panic attacks, regressions, and even more isolation. I had a shit tone of buried memories and painful feelings from my abusive childhood that had never come to light. Unprocessed trauma is what it is called also.

I am better now for the recovery work I have done in ACA and am on step one which is really in depth. I work with my sponsor on becoming a better inner loving parent to my adolescent and inner child too. So today I have to write a letter to my inner adolecent for example. Telling him that I see how he has been trying to be the adult in my life and that now I as the inner loving parent need to take over. I need to be loving and reasuring to him. There is a lot of hesitancy and resistance here to him wanting to let go of this position. But all I can do is say a prayer and ask for help from God and move forward when the I feel the time is right.

Please leave a comment if you like. Thanks for reading!

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