I feel like I’m just learning to find healthy boundaries within myself. Recognizing the inner critical voice was pretty straightforward. It has been loud for a very long time. At first, when I heard it, I would try to demand it be silent or go away. Now I have come to recognize that at least part of it is one of my protectors. When she needs to speak, I need to let her be heard. I find I can give her four minutes, just like I would anyone at a meeting. Then I tell her that her time is up and everyone else gets a chance to be heard now.
The harsh, mean voice has gotten much quieter. My protector, who at first felt much more like a bully, now feels heard. I think she just got in a habit of yelling and being mean because those were the only ways that I was able to listen. Now that I have some time in ACA and have been through the yellow 12 step workbook, I am better at listening to her and the other voices within. As I get more comfortable with them, it feels like we grow more attuned to each other. I have also begun to nurture that inner loving voice and to seek her guidance like I would a trusted elder.
I recognize that most of the adults in my family of origin were incapable of being present for me, or anyone else, in a healthy way. Most of the abandonment I experienced as a child and young adult was emotional. I had no one capable of helping me to identify and process feelings because they hadn’t received either for themselves. I’m now seeking that loving and gentle support and being it for myself in ways that I never knew were possible. I am looking forward to exploring the new Loving Parent Guidebook and learning even more as I continue to grow and heal.