Written by Mary D.
The following is written by my friend, Mary D. She is a member of various forums in CompuServe. I've had the pleasure of meeting her and have shared time with her on the cyber stump, a place for silent thoughts and warm friendship. Knowing of her great insight, I asked her to write some words about child alters and inner children. I'm now very happy to share this with you, in her own words...
"I offer these thoughts and feelings to anyone who comes here. They are my own and come from my own experiences. If they help someone else in some small or large way, then I am glad I have shared them.
Every human being who lives to adulthood carries within them the memories of being the stages and ages of their childhood. These memories can be cellular (body memories), emotional memories (feeling memories) or mental memories (thinking memories). The stages of childhood begin at conception where we are dependent beings needing nurture and structure and end when we move into the world as our own person and make our own way. Unfortunately for those human beings who were abused as children, the nurture and structure that is necessary to help them become who they are contains lacks during one developmental stage or another.
Carrying the memories of our lives is not peculiar to survivors of childhood abuse or neglect only; all human beings have the capacity to do this. So, the severity of one's experience has little or nothing to do with the memories that we carry into our adult lives. It is the quantity and quality of memories that we carry from our childhood experiences that influence how we decide to walk in the world as adults.
Our inner children are those litul ones inside of our adult bodies who speak for us from that particular ego state......the child ego state. These litul ones can carry all the memories of our childhood experiences and although they believe they are still back in that age and time, it is more like a state of mind, a way of being in the world and as adults we are responsible for finding ways to get what we need in healthy ways to nurture and give structure to our inner children.
For some people creating a complex structure of child alters is what is needed to survive their own childhood experiences. The child alters are the personalities that come as a result of a need to separate oneself from the experiences of that childhood in order to survive. These litul ones each carry the parts of the childhood experiences that they were created for and they have the unique ability to control the feelings, thoughts and actions of the adult body in which they live and sometimes without the knowledge of that adult.
I think it is a vital part of supporting all adults to find positive ways of managing the structures that we have created to make our way through our own experiences.
My own experience is one of 18 years of childhood abuse followed by 22 years of trying to manage those experiences by hiding them deep within. And for the past 7 years, I have been uncovering those experiences and coming to understand the complex way in which I have attempted to manage the structures I created in order to survive. Today, I like to think of myself as a thriver who has done all the surviving I will ever have to do and now is my time to LIVE.
Warm loving hugggggs, Mary (and all of her inner children and child alters)"