Wounded People
By Diane Vanas on August 24th, 2008(viewed 1956 times).

About Your Personality (Inner Family)

"Oh what a tangled web we weave."

Your personality was woven as a tapestry of beliefs, values, talents, limitations, memories, reflexes, priorities, fears, perceptions, and habits that make you different and unique from any person who has ever lived. Your personality results from a group of sub-selves similar to the members of a sports team. Each sub-self is semi-independent, has its own goals, gifts, and limits, and experiences the world uniquely. 

Many psychologically-wounded people have rarely or never experienced a clear-minded period of time when their real Self was solidly in charge. Young children deprived of adequate psychological and spiritual nurturance automatically develop a "false self" (leaderless personality) to survive. An adult who survived a low-nurturance childhood may be unaware of up to six significant false-self wounds, choose wounded partners, and unintentionally pass on false-self wounds to their children as their ancestors did.

It seems that we're born with the neural capacity to develop sub-selves or parts, like seeds. These are during the times we felt agonizingly hurt, shamed, confused, stressed, or terrified by caregivers, teachers, strangers, animals, and/or nature. Often these traumas are so shocking and painful [ie: abandonments (neglect) and sexual abuse] that protective sub-selves cause us to "forget" they happened. The personality fragments (parts) that appear after these events seem to never forget, tirelessly guarding us against similar wounding and harm long after any real threat is gone. When feeling safe, sub-selves will usually tell or show what "started" them, and when, through thoughts, memories, and/or flashbacks.

Each sub-self can ally with, ignore, distrust, respect, scorn, or conflict with every other sub-self. Your inner family of sub-selves can range between harmonious and purposeful to chaotic and unfocused, depending on who leads it locally and over time. Survivors of low-nurturance childhoods tend to have personalities ruled by excessively shamed, guilty, fearful, confused, and angry sub-selves and protective Guardians - a "false self" - until the person decides to meet and harmonize their team under the expert guidance of their resident true Self.

Common Psychological (false-self) Wounds - Growing up in a low-nurturance childhood seems to promote two or more of these:

  • False-self  control - distrustful sub-selves disable your true Self. This causes a mix of...
  • Excessive shame and guilt, and...
  • Excessive fears; and significant...
  • Reality distortions; and...
  • Trusting too easily or distrusting "everyone." These five wounds can combine to cause...
  • Difficulty feeling and bonding (attaching to / caring about / loving) other living things.

To survive low-nurturance environments, typical young kids develop a fragmented personality ruled by a "false self." One group of sub-selves is vulnerable inner kids (developmentally young, emotional, reactive, and naive about the world - so they're vulnerable to harming themselves and/or other people.) Other sub-selves try to protect them.

Common Vulnerable "Inner Kids" sub-selves include a...

  • scared child
  • lonely child
  • little adult
  • shamed child
  • sad child
  • playful child
  • defiant child 
  • lost child
  • selfish child
  • jealous child
  • rageful child
  • awed child
  • needy child
  • guilty child 
  • hurt child
  • loving child
  • creative child
  • good child
  • lusty child
  • aggressive child
  • infant / fetus 

Another group is their ever-watchful "Guardians" like these:

  • Procrastinator
  • Perfectionist
  • Fantasizer / Dreamer
  • Addict (Distracter)
  • People-Pleaser
  • Deceiver / Liar / Con
  • Whore / Stud / Flirt
  • Clown / Joker / Entertainer
  • Pusher / Driver / Achiever
  • Warrior / Amazon
  • Abuser  /  Rager
  • Impatient / Hyper One
  • Inner Critic (Shamer)
  • Magician (Distorter)
  • Controller / Manipulator
  • Blocker / Numb-er
  • Worrier / Catastrophizer
  • Rebel / Aggressor
  • Loner / Hermit / Recluse
  • Saboteur / Screw Up
  • Survivor
  • Loser / Victim / Martyr 
  • Idealist / Optimist
  • Fanatic / Zealot

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