Focusing Tip #755 – “I can’t accept this emotionally abusive part of me.”

Focusing Tip #755 – “I can’t accept this emotionally abusive part of me.”
June 2, 2021 Ann Weiser Cornell
Focusing Tip Abusive Stepmother

Focusing Tip #755 – “I can’t accept this emotionally abusive part of me.”

Do you have an emotionally abusive part in you that you don’t want to accept? Read on…


Susie writes:

I have recently acknowledged a part of me that is very mean and very emotionally abusive. This part is essentially a mirror of my stepmother who abused me horribly. I am so angry that this “abusive stepmother” part even exists inside of me.

I understand that part of Focusing is allowing all parts of us to be the way they are, for as long as they need to be. But I can’t find anything in me that is OK allowing this abusive stepmom voice to be present.

Dear Susie:

It is true that we teach people say to a part that it can be the way it is as long as it needs to be.

But not every type of part!

A part that is critical, judgmental, mean, and even abusive is not helped by being told it can be the way it is. (Whew, your instinct was right!)

What that type of part needs is for you to say to it, “Hello. Might you be worried about something?”

When a part of us is being attacking, mean, critical, etc., it needs our help to get in touch with the worry underneath its attack.

So rather than putting up with the attack “as long as it needs to be,” we need to do the opposite — go underneath the attack to the deeper motivation of worry and concern.

And by the way, this part inside you may sound like your stepmother, but it isn’t your stepmother, and doesn’t have the same motivations that your stepmother had. She pretty clearly didn’t care about you — but this part does.

The part might even be trying to protect you FROM the stepmother by making sure you are alert to guarding against her potential attacks.

I know that might be hard to believe… but this much I can assure you: even though your stepmother never changed, THIS part can change.

But until you feel ready to deal with the emotionally abusive part of you (an Inner Critic), it’s just fine to spend time with the other part of you, the one who is angry at all that happened, and doesn’t want to be treated that way. And say to that one, “Uh-huh! No wonder you feel that way!”

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