When the inner critic/persecutor steps in

I had a major insight in therapy today while reading a post to Kat that when we are not cared for the inner critic steps in to take care of us by shaming us to keep us safe.. Kat said today that she feels I never felt safe in childhood at all.. My body mirrored that today by having all kinds of storms going on as I was sharing recent posts.. Also if I start to read a poem about self care or love I just start to weep, hearing those tender, caring words that I needed to hear and that both my parents needed to hear in childhood just opens up a lot of pain and longing..

While sharing I had an image in my mind from the scene in the fairytale about the Handless Maiden that Clarissa Pinkola Estes covers in depth in her book Women Who Run With The Wolves of when the devil comes to take the daughter of the miller as he promised him what was standing behind the mill thinking it was a tree and not his daughter that it is when the daughter draws a circle around herself and cries that she is kept safe, but she does lose both hands in the process.. This according to Clarissa is a metaphorical depiction of how many of us traumatized in childhood end up feeling so helpless and powerless in the face of larger more threatening forces that prevent us embodying our own inner sense of power and agency in the world. .

Estes says this : tears soften the soul and keep away the predator and this evidence that hard core narcissists cannot cry at all or even feel any kind of remorse for other people’s tender or vulnerable feelings..

Sadly the critic may see vulnerability as dangerous so it tries to keep us safe by turning against us and persecuting us as an inner introjected voice, even more so if we were led to feel bad for having self informing feelings like anger which is a primal gut response to what is wrong.. We may be made to feel wrong and bad for protesting when that is the only thing that show us what is important or necessary for us… To be so devalued leaves us handless in all kinds of ways.

I wanted to share about this immediately after my session today.. I was in a lot of body pain around the root of my mouth, my denture and the crown of my head. during it. Ever since my work on my repressed anger began in force over the last few months my hair has gone all short and frizzy on the left side, this is also down to the pressure for ‘help’ from Scott I have been having to set boundaries on.. Its not easy for me to say I am angry and I want you to stop X.. I was NEVER ALLOWED THAT LUXURY IN CHILDHOOD. so in the post on emotional neglect I wrote earlier in the week I spoke of having a porous ego or a collapsed/fawn ego.. that is no fun it is not a way to live that can ever fully bring us alive.. Instead we are soul murdered until the pain over the killing off gets just too too much.. Hopefully some of us do not need to go psychotic as a result when we begin to have to face the tough truth.. sometimes I feel myself on that edge which is why I am grateful for therapy.. My sessions always give me clarity even if at time it comes with a shit load of pain. And getting more insights into how cruel the inner critic can be and why does help me to try to withstand some of its (at times) frenzied attacks.

Related posts from Emerging From The Dark Night

5 thoughts on “When the inner critic/persecutor steps in

    1. Fear should not stop us but fear of unleashing it on a vulnerable person should inform us.. As a good friend of mine in AA often says he would rather not follow a foolhardy ‘hero’ into a battle that is not clever.

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