The eternal war of hurt children


Recently, a young part inside of me was revived through interactions with someone whose own young part was just as hurt and tormented as mine. With awareness, this could lead to mutual working through a difficult past, remaining respectful of each other, mindful to keep separating the hurt child from the adult. Without awareness, it creates war.

Parts that are cut off from consciousness will magnetically be drawn to connect to others whose past experiences are emotionally similar. Through each other’s energetic aura, these parts blindly seek their way to healing.

Since these parts are not inside one’s conscious awareness, they require:

1. Self-inquiry

2. Mindfulness of the other’s feelings

3. Self-discipline to take the charge away from the other person and focus on the part inside.

The young child within needs us to become the safe parent they never had. These parts easily get lost inside the dynamic with the other because they are not as of yet healed and integrated into the psyche.

In the power struggle that ensues between parts emotionally stuck in past trauma, there are only two choices: to repeat the trauma from the abuser’s viewpoint and gain momentary relief and release, or to repeat the trauma from the child’s viewpoint and suffer.

The adult way is to look at oneself and stay respectful of each other. In the emotional space of traumatized parts, people may do things that no one would perceive as hurtful except the other party in that particular trauma dance. Primal feelings of jealousy and rage are easily provoked, cut off from the abusive parents and redirected onto the object. While these parts are not integrated, they are intensely attuned to the minutiae of the other person’s actions. It is easy to become completely identified with one’s young part and perceive the actions of the other as intentionally hurtful. This is where discrimination comes in: If another person were to do or say the same things, would we care? Are this person’s actions - or inaction where we expect actions - inherently abusive?

Having been celibate for many years, it took a while to accept that even without physical intimacy, this person was arousing my younger parts and caused me to have to take a deep and hard look at myself.

The question is: do we remain aware and mindful of our parts and have ways to bring the adult back online? Or do we transgress and allow the young parts to lash out? Can we remain respectful? Or will that line get crossed - and if so - can we get back to a place of respect?

I care for the person with whom I was connecting in this difficult way. The unintentional provocations became harder to bear. Their actions became more disruptive and my young part reacted by feeling tortured, emotionally reliving the sadism and abuse of my childhood. Our parts were perilously rubbing off each other’s pain. We really needed our adult selves’ vigilance and compassion.

When this person provoked jealousy in my young girl, their surface actions were passive aggressive, but by no means horrendous. It means little to post praise about a beautiful friend, even if it is a historical first. It means little to anyone but my young part that such praise and photos were posted right after I publicized a photo of us together, because they had expressed jealousy over my posts with other friends. In them doing exactly what I had stopped doing to spare their feelings, they experienced relief and release, and they expressed this in every communication with me. Having found a new object after the self-probing journey with me of being made to look at their young part’s questionable or insensitive behavior, the relief was understandable. Their need to have me know about it, came from their young part getting revenge. And my young part, who had been made to feel she was special by this person, felt betrayed.

It is hard work to be my friend and be inside this dynamic with me. It could lead to spiritual gold, but before reaching the gold, we are digging through the dirt and it may seem like it’s just getting grimier and the darkness will never end.

Canceling a planned event, I started to receive backlash. I know very well that this person is nothing like my perpetrator. Unfortunately, they lost sight of me. A boundary was crossed. As an empath, I do understand their young part. I fight the temptation of the young girl inside of me who is dying to communicate with this person. This inner part really is dying to communicate with her past perpetrator so that he would change his mind, so he would not project this darkness onto her and leave her all alone, only good for his secret passion and rage while showing me others who are easier, prettier, and better for him. This little girl had no choice. The adult woman I am today has choices. She is no one’s victim.

The power game only leaves winners and losers.

The language of winning and losing is the language of power dynamics rooted in unresolved trauma.

My young girl, eleven years old, was brutalized, manipulated and hurt by a perpetrator whom she loved more than her parents. The man was barely adult himself, yet presented as the better alternative for a sadistic mother who trafficked her own young daughter.

“Your mother is no good,” he had said, matter-of-factly.

My mother had been the adult to whom I had been attached. No matter what she did, I had to protect her. My life depended on her.

I started to cry, angry at him for challenging my belief in her. I had to admit that he had done better by me than she had, keeping me safe from rapes for six whole months. No one had been allowed to touch me. If I was taken to any orgies where he was not present, I had to sit to the side. Men who came near me were told to go elsewhere - I was off-limits - he had made sure of it. Once he came to get me from an orgy where I was sitting in a corner and threatened to kill someone who jokingly challenged my untouchable status. Afterwards he had proudly shown me his Browning handgun, which explained why, at his young age, he managed to get as much respect as he did in the network.

All this had also communicated to me that he was dangerous. And being protected by a perpetrator was always dangerous. Girls who were dropped after being someone’s favorite were often killed. Once their deepest, most innocent love was sucked out of them, they were shells, lacking that most prized thing that gets stolen from children through abuse.

I admitted that my mother was no good and allowed the handsome young stranger, who had listened to me as I had cried about past abuses in the network, who had shown me respect that no one ever had, become my primary attachment figure.

Once my loyalty was transferred to him, the abuse began. In the next six months, he took me through a whirlwind of passion - love of the desperate - with jealous rages that justified untold violence and exacted lives. I tried to love him through it all, holding his unbearable pain for him, believing that was what he wanted and believing he would have a change of heart and I would see once again the young man who had protected me and shown me respect like no one else.

My belief sent me straight to what would have been a certain death. Only in the moment my attachment loosened and I drew strength straight from the great universe to tell him off in a most dramatic moment, did he step out of his insane cycle and his own tortured young boy part stopped the unconscious revenge meant for the parents who made him suffer, who would never receive his negative emotions. Another part awoke in him, one in alignment with the great universe, that felt deep connection to the little girl before him and could not let her die.

My little girl learned that to love in romance means to suffer. My adult self is not a masochist and respects boundaries. My adult self has compassion for the little girl inside who is so attached to a man that she could not fathom that I, an adult woman, could even exist, let alone be present for her.

I’ve gotten in touch with her and found some of her answers surprising, funny even. I’m getting to know her. She is starting to trust me as I stop putting her in harm’s way. I don’t let her just go off into the ether to get into wars with other people’s cut off parts.

Have you ever been around powerful people? The environment of power is this: cut off, emotionally immature parts floating through the ether, looking to get on the other side of the pain that their adult selves are not capable of feeling. Powerful people have awareness of these unseen forces, but no understanding of their origin.

We can better understand power addicts by looking at our own sexual and intimate relationships in which young parts are triggered, when we give our power away and then try to recapture it, seeking to get the upper hand somehow.

Young parts play power games. Young parts form the power structure. Young parts create wars. Young parts need to win so others can lose. Young parts seek to rise through the power structure to be on top. Young parts protect the lie that we need this hierarchy.

Adults seek to heal trauma and have compassion for all those who are in need of healing, no matter the offense. Adults have clear boundaries. Adults make choices and hold themselves accountable. Adults have emotional room for others and can manage an egalitarian structure. Adults can bring peace. Let us not lose sight of each other.

Anneke Lucas