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Daphne Whitehouse - Holistic London, Paradigm Shift and More To Life Magazine
The Inner Child
We all have an inner child and for a lot of us that child feels lost, lonely, rejected, unloved and very frightened. Most of us have spent our lives criticising and berating that little child – when all that child wants is to be loved unconditionally.
Most of us learnt as children not to express our true feelings. We were constantly told things like ‘don’t be sad’, ‘oh please don’t cry’, ‘calm down’, ‘cheer up’, ‘don’t be angry’, ‘take that smile off your face’, ‘be quite’, ‘you keep your mouth shut’, ‘speak when your spoken to’, ‘don’t be afraid’, ‘if you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about’, etc. And when verbal, physical or sexual abuse were inflicted upon us, a lot of us coped by cutting off from our feelings completely. Consequently a lot of adults find it hard to cope with feelings – their own and other peoples’.
As children, all we want is to love and be loved. To be accepted exactly as we are. However very few of us were given unconditional love and to try and get the love and attention we wanted, we learnt to play games to get it. Typical games with roles such as:
For a lot of us, when we tried everything and still felt unsafe and unloved, we then built a large wall around ourselves to protect our hurt inner child. Then as adults we wonder why our lives don’t work.
The inner child can cause havoc in our lives and we need to learn what games that inner child is playing and to learn to love that inner child. When we didn’t express our true emotions those emotions are still being held in the body. We need to find out what feelings we have buried from the past and release them. The more we learn to love ourselves and that inner child the more we can allow ourselves to get in touch with these blocked feelings. Once we release these blocked emotions we find we become our true selves, we get in touch with the power within, the great potential within each of us. We have learnt these behaviours so well as children that as adults we carry on these behaviours on an unconscious level unaware of how we are causing the havoc in our own lives.
It is just like when you are first learning to type. You are very aware of the home keys and which finger you use to press which key. However, when you have learnt to type, you do it unconsciously without thinking about it. In fact, if someone were to ask you which finger you use to press the letter C, you would have to stop and look before you could tell them, yet you do it all the time without thinking. You have learnt it so well you do it unconsciously. So it is with the games we learnt as children.
The Rebel decides the best way to get attention is to go against the norm. To stand out in the crowd. Although this gets them attention it is usually not ‘good’ attention, however even bad attention is better than no attention.
The Pleaser learns to do just that – to please everyone but not themselves. They say ‘yes’ when they really want to say ‘no’ because they are afraid they will upset the other person and that person won’t like they anymore. They continuously do things that they don’t really want to do just to please the other person. They get their needs met by other people liking them. However after years of this type of behaviour they can lose their own identity and end up not knowing what they want from life.
The Driver grows up feeling not good enough and is always seeking that love and attention mainly from their parents. They are striving to achieve more and more. Better qualifications, better job, better home, better car, etc. There is nothing wrong with this if that is what people want and let’s face it most people do. However with the driver, they are doing it just to prove to others that they are good enough. When people who are drivers realise the game they are playing they often admit that they didn’t really want all those qualifications; that they were just trying to prove themselves to others especially their parents. The ‘I’ll show them’ syndrome.
The Layabout or sometimes known as the lazy layabout. This person has usually tried all the other behaviours and didn’t get the love or attention that they needed. So they decide ‘what’s the use’ and give up on life. They drop out of school or college, become unemployed. The ones who lay about on the settee all day watching TV and forever saying that they are bored.
The Victim – Many children learn to become a victim. They get their needs met by other people taking care of them. They feel they can’t take responsibility for themselves. It’s the ‘poor me’ syndrome. They feel helpless and look to blame others for everything that goes wrong in their lives. When other people try to help them, they always come up with excuses for not taking responsibility, such as, ‘yes but’ and ‘I can’t do that’.
The Rescuer gets their needs met by taking care of others. They rush in to try and solve others problems and look after them. This keeps them from looking at their own problems. They do things for the other person rather than show the person how to do them for themselves. This keeps the other person stuck so they can keep looking after them. The rescuer is actually a victim in disguise.
The Rationaliser learnt at an early age to cut off from their feelings and go into their head to figure things out. This is their protection from feeling emotions. However, they are likely to attract people to them that display the emotions that they are holding onto. These people will press their buttons to get them in touch with their buried emotions. When they allow themselves to express those emotions they won’t have the need to attract these people into their lives.
The Manipulator gets what they want by manipulating the situation to their own advantage. They don’t ask for what they want directly. They can get very upset when the other person doesn’t fall into the trap and they then accuse the other person of being selfish.
The Persecutor/Blamer says nothing is ever their fault. They always pass the blame onto another person or thing. It is much easier for them to do this than to take responsibility for their own actions.
The game that is played most of all in any type of relationship is the victim, rescuer, persecutor/blamer and this is how it works.
As I said before, the Victim needs someone to look after them and the Rescuer needs someone to look after. This way they both get their needs met. So the victim invariably attracts a Rescuer to them. This arrangement works well for a certain length of time and then the Rescuer gets pissed off with putting their own life on hold all the time and they move down into the position of Persecutor/Blamer and start blaming the Victim for everything going wrong in their life. The Victim then becomes very uncomfortable with this as they don’t want to loose the Rescuer so they then move into the position of Rescuer themselves. This makes the Persecutor/Blamer feel better and they then move into the position of Victim. So now the roles have been completely reversed. The one who started off as the Victim is now the Rescuer and the Rescuer has now become the Victim. This strange triangle continues endlessly until one person wakes up to the fact of what is going on (sometimes they never wake up). This person will then either decide to leave the relationship or will decide to stay in the relationship and break the chain anyway. If they decide to stay in the relationship it can take all of their strength and courage to change this situation, however it can be done.
This is why it is so important to learn to communicate with the inner child and discover what games we are playing and learn more healthy ways of getting the love and attention that we want and getting our needs met. A healthy emotional inner child creates a healthy emotional adult. We find as we learn to love ourselves and the inner child, others treat us with love and respect. We start to take responsibility for our lives and we start to create the life we have always wanted for ourselves. And the most miraculous thing is… IT WORKS!
© Daphne Whitehouse 2002
Daphne Whitehouse - More to Life Magazine
Anger by Daphne Whitehouse
Anger is one of the most misunderstood human emotions. When you mention the word anger, most people think of it in a negative way. What most of us seem to forget is that there is a positive side to anger. When we feel angry about the way something is being done, it can give us the motivation to do something about it, and change it.
Where does anger come from?We are not born with anger. Anger is an emotion we learn from those around us. We come into this world wanting to be ourselves, however our parents, siblings, teachers, church etc. have their own idea of what we should do and how we should behave. They try to force their beliefs onto us. It is of course done, as far as they are aware, for our own good. However what they fail to realise, is that what is good for them is not necessarily good for us. We are all unique human beings. We all have our own unique abilities and talents. We all, at a deeper level, know what we want to do for our highest good. So, when others try to control us and make us do things the way they think we should do them, and we do what they want, then we are kicking and fighting against our true nature and abilities. We are then in turn suppressing our true selves. This suppression eventually becomes resentment towards those who won’t accept us as we really are. Eventually the resentment turns to anger.
What causes anger?
Non – acceptance
Expectations not being met
I grew up being very frightened of anger - other peoples anger and of course my own. I only saw anger being expressed in destructive ways. I was so frightened of anger that I would do anything to avoid people throwing their anger at me. If I could walk a mile to reach my destination and have to face anger on the way, or walk 100 miles and not face anger, I would opt for the latter every time. When anyone threw their anger at me, it was as if my brain would freeze with fear. I would find it hard afterwards to remember what had been said.
I always denied that I had any anger. I was working on my own self-development for about 5 years before I got in touch with my anger. Even then I was in denial right up until the end. I just woke up one morning and as soon as I put my feet to the ground I just went berserk. I picked up a pair of trainers and nearly throw them through the window. Common sense prevailed however, and instead I beat shit out of the wardrobes with the trainers. My husband and daughter may have thought I had finally flipped but I can assure you no one was more surprised than I. It was very interesting as well, to hear what I was saying. Things such as: “Why does every one keep telling me what to f****** do all the time?”, “Whey can’t they just leave me alone and f****** let me do what I want to do?”, “Why do they keep making me do f****** things I don’t want to do?”
I think it was probably the release of this anger which finely gave me the courage to be able to stand up for myself against others peoples anger, instead of just freezing. The first time I did, I remember my body was shaking and my face went quite pale as well.
Just a few days after this - on Christmas Eve, something happened. My husband was at work and my daughter was out playing with friends. I had put the Christmas tree up but had not put any decorations on it as yet. Then I went out shopping. Upon my return I walked into the front room and to my utter amazement, saw a red feather lying under the Christmas tree. It wasn’t there when I went out, nobody had been in the house and it seemed it had just appeared from nowhere. Some time later, I happened to be speaking to a medium and asked him about the feather. He said that it was a sign from spirit that they were pleased with me and that I had achieved something. Until this time, I hadn’t connected the feather with my standing up to anger. However, when he explained this to me, it made perfect sense. He said that the Native American Indians had to work to obtain each feather in their head-dress. Later on, over several years, I had other feathers mysteriously appear. The colours I got were pink, blue, green and white. The astounding thing about these feathers was that they were all exactly the same size and shape even thought they came one by one over many years. I was informed that you never saw an Native American Indian head-dress with different shaped feathers in it. I have to agree with that.
So, from being so scared of anger, now the Anger Releasing is my favourite part of the workshops I run. I am so pleased when people start to release anger at these workshops because I know that they will feel much better for it. They will release blocked energy It allows them to move forward in life and they will not have to create an illness to release their anger from their bodies. Anger can cause us lots of problems.
So many of us only saw anger expressed in a destructive way when we were children, if it was ever expressed at all. We were more than likely told to “shut up and stay quiet”, if we tried to express our anger. Maybe those adults around us that didn’t express their anger kept it inside and it came out instead in insults, snide remarks or resentment. After they had suppressed their anger for so long, it was like a pressure cooker; the lid couldn’t be kept on any longer and they suddenly exploded. Their anger was released at some poor person who just happened to be close by. If we hold anger in our bodies and don’t let it out, it will probably come out in some form of illness, and anger turned inwards can also cause cancer and depression.
When we grow up in a family environment where either anger is suppressed, or anger is expressed in a destructive way, we are likely to learn at a very early age not to express our anger. We become frightened and scared of anger, other peoples and then our own. We become frightened to express our own anger because we are afraid we will let it out in a destructive way as well. We probably would, because that’s what we have learnt from those around us. When we become frightened of anger, it can cause us to suppress other emotions as well. We become so afraid that people will throw their anger at us, that we learn to play safe around these people. We learn what we can say and can’t say that will get an angry reaction or not. Things can become so ingrained in us. We are carrying on doing them as adults and are not really aware of why we are doing them.
When I was a child, my parents were always arguing in the middle of the night. My mother would get up and shout that she was leaving and never coming back. Sometimes she would just go down to the kitchen and make a lot of noise, other times she would actually get the bike out and be leaving. I would lie in bed straining to hear so I would know what she was doing. In my head I would be saying “please, please make it up”. As soon as I would know that she had got the bike out and I heard her pass the bedroom window, I would jump out of bed and run down the avenue after her shouting and screaming at her to please not go. She would always come back with me and say that she would never leave me. However, it would be the same thing all over again the next night or the night after. This was all so ingrained into my sub-conscious mind, that even as an adult, when I would hear people arguing in the street, I would freeze on the spot and would have to listen to see what the outcome would be. I would catch myself saying the same thing in my head, wanting them to make up. Even at night time, if people coming home late from a disco or pub started arguing coming up our street and I woke up and heard them, I would be straining to hear if they would make up or not. And, if my husband started to snore and I couldn’t hear what they were saying, I felt like f****** killing him.
It wasn’t until I started working with my inner child, that I realised I was doing all this and where it stemmed from. When I did the healing work with my inner child, I was able to let this go. Now, if I hear people arguing, it doesn’t bother me at all. Whatever happens in our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. All the time we are holding onto unexpressed anger, we will attract anger to us. We will attract people to us who express anger in a destructive way, or we will find ourselves in an environment where anger is being expressed. Why? - Because they are reflecting the anger inside ourselves. When we start to deal with our anger, we will find these angry people and situations will stop appearing in our life.
Many people can be in denial of having any anger. I have done many workshops where people have said they didn’t have any anger. Yet during the anger releasing exercise they either sat crying all the time or they couldn’t stay in the room with other peoples’ anger. Crying during anger releasing; this to me is always a good indication that people are holding onto anger. Under the tears they will find anger. We often learnt as children that it was more acceptable to cry, than it was to show or express our anger. Not being able to stay in a room while others are letting their anger out is a good indication that people are holding onto anger. The reason they feel so uncomfortable with someone else’s anger, is that it is triggering off the suppressed anger within themselves, and on a sub-conscious level they are really frightened that their anger may start to come out. So they try to get away from the situations as quickly as possible. When I have said this to some people who have had to leave the room, they denied they had any anger and said they had dealt with it in the past. Some of these people have been back to me since, saying they were now getting in touch with their anger. It took some people weeks, others took months and some even a year or two. They have come back and said they were quite surprised that they were now starting to get in touch with their anger. They realised they were holding onto anger but were in denial. Sometimes we can be in denial of being in denial. I myself was in complete denial until the very moment I just exploded. Then no-one was more surprised than I was. My fear of anger had made me bury my own anger so deeply, that I was working on myself for almost 5 years before the great explosion.
I believe it is very important for people to learn assertiveness. With assertiveness we can deal with a problem on the spot and not walk away from a situation feeling as if we haven’t been heard, or we were treated unjustly - which can lead to feelings of anger later on. I feel that assertiveness can be wonderful for dealing with current situations. However, it can’t deal with the past. And no matter how assertive we are, if we are still holding onto OLD anger it will keep trying to raise its ugly head and come out. So along with being assertive, we really do need to release and deal with the anger we may be holding onto from our past. Some people, in anger releasing sessions, find it very difficult at first; they are afraid to express their anger and can feel that if they start to let it out they will never stop, or they will destroy themselves and others. It is important to remember that anger needs to be let out in a controlled and safe environment.
If you feel you have difficulty in releasing your anger you should seek professional advice.
© Daphne Whitehouse 2007