Not dealing with the pain of our past sets us up for a great deal of loneliness. I am seeing this more and more lately as both the grief I suppressed as well as the anger at my own self blame and shame (turned back upon myself due to parental unavailability and unsafety) and feelings of fear that stopped me reaching out is becoming available to me. There is a lot to grieve when we recognize finally that we may have been standing in our own way for many many years and even justifying our isolation based on old pain and hurt we buried. Many of the feelings some of us deal with may be buried deep inside the limbic system and not available to our conscious mind.
The following piece of writing again comes from Pete Walker’s book Complex PTSD it is about the outer critic that we use to defend against closeness now, something the voice dialogue therapist Robert Firestone has also dealt with a great deal in his own work in books like Fear of Intimacy.
As a baby thrives on love, so does the outer critic thrive on anger. Like a parasite, the outer critic gorges on repressed anger, and then erroneously assigns it to present day disappointments
The most common transferrational dynamic that I witness occurs when left over hurt about a parent gets displaced onto someone we perceive as hurting us in the present. When this occurs, we respond to them with magnified anger or anguish that is out of proportion to what they did.
Transference can also grossly distort our perceptions, and sometimes we can misperceive a harmless person as being hurtful. Transference can fire up the critic to imagine slights that do not actually occur. Transference typically runs wild when the outer critic is on the rampage.
Just as the inner critic transmutes unreleased anger into self hate, the outer critic uses it to control and/or push others away. Unexpressed and unworked through anger about childhood hurt is a hidden reserve that the critic can always tap into. The anger work of grieving the losses of childhood is so essential because it breaks the critic’s supply to this anger.
Grieving our old unexpressed pain about our poor parenting gradually deconstructs the process of transferring it unfairly onto others. This is crucial because love and intimacy are murdered when the critic habitually projects old anger out at an intimate.
(it is to be noted that often the outer critic’s judgements and angry feelings have value and it’s perspective is healthy since we actually are attracting abuse.. in this case Walker states we need to self protect and also to do the grief work about what such treatment brings up for us about how we were treated as kids.)