“making a choice YOU can live with, living with the choice you have made”

Child In Charge

INDICATIONS THAT YOU HAVE PUT A CHILD IN CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE:
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1. You are overwhelmed (the adult feelings are TOO BIG for this little part of you to handle).

2. You are feeling/acting in extremes.

3. You have no boundaries (you are taking everything personally).

4. You are REACTING to triggers, rather than responding. You have no ability to pause/breathe/choose your response.

5. Reality is intolerable (see #1) so you have to MEDICATE/NUMB OUT  by drinking, drugs, sex, romance, work, being busy, or whatever your method.

6. You are lying about or hiding your honest thoughts and feelings (trying to adapt--to make someone else feel comfortable in order to protect yourself.)

7. You have rules that apply only to you.

8. Your reactions are out of proportion.

9. You are unconscious—acting on impulse

PUTTING AN ADULT IN CHARGE:

How would you be with a real child this age who was having these feelings?

1. Ask yourself how old this little part of you might be? a baby? 3? 5? 13?

2. Bring to mind what you were like at that age.

3. What is this child part feeling? (Happy, sad, angry, scared, ashamed)

4. What does she need? To be listened to? To be held?

5. Apologize to the child for putting her in an adult situation. Let her know (in terms she can understand) it’s not her job to handle your adult life, that she is safe, that you are capable of taking care of yourself, getting help when you need it, and keeping her safe.

6. Imagine a place the child would love to be and a caretaker she would love to be with (could be a real person, living or dead, a fictional character, or a spiritual being like Jesus or an angel.)

7. In your mind’s eye, put the child and the caretaker in the safe and fun place.

8. Handle whatever issues have come up.