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Become My Own Loving Parent

(by Pamela M.)

I wasn’t always doing a great job of being a loving parent to my Inner Child.  Heck, I didn’t even know I had been emotionally broken into pieces.  And when I grew up, I realized I had an ever-present internal conflict between good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral, and insane urges that drove me to self-medicate that I now see as my addiction.  You know, that self-will run riot was a part of me (the angry, vindictive, massively abused Inner Child) that always showed up to destroy all the good things I had methodically done to get to be an adult that others respected.

Hard to be my own loving parent when I didn’t have a model to follow.  Thanksgiving in my childhood home inevitably ended in the Thanksgiving turkey taking a final flight (yes, turkeys do fly, at least into the tops of trees), only this time it was across the dinning room, leaving gravy stains on the walls, looking a lot like blood splatter from an old television movie.

In ACA, I finally got the message in the meeting readings, the one that begins, “The solution is to become your own loving parent.”  It was then I gave myself permission to construct my own theoretical loving parent.  What do you suppose one of those would look like?  Huh?  What would a loving parent do?  So I create my vision of my preferred parent, the one I would have sold my soul to have had – what that parent did, what that parent said, how that parent treated me.

Then I actually had to morph into that ideal parent for my Inner Child who had been abused by others and by me, too.  I did a guided imagery exercise, and that’s where I first met Little Bear.  Little Bear was wary.  I couldn’t blame her.  I had to be the adult and reach out, apologize to her, promise to love, protect, and listen, talk, and provide for her needs and wants within reason.  I had to promise to hug her each day for the rest of our lives.  I had to promise I would heal her by guiding her through the grieving of her childhood losses and traumas to finish p each emotional life-stage that she had not yet completed.

When I asked Little Bear what she wanted from me, she looked up at me eye to eye.  She said, “This is all I want from you:  Love me.  Protect me.  Hear me.  Hug me.  Heal me.”

(This article was reprinted from the 2nd Quarter 2018 ComLINE, where members share Experience, Strength, and Hope.)

In our fellowship text, the Big Red Book, chapter 8 is entitled, “The Solution:  Becoming Your Own Loving Parent.”. However, the concepts of loving parent and inner child are interwoven throughout the ACA program and literature.  We welcome you to attend an ACA meeting in your area to learn more.