The following video is a humorous illustration of the Judgmental Parent/Wounded Child dynamic. This now famous Geico commercial features a vulnerable client trying to express his inner pain to an unsympathetic therapist.
Many adult children of alcoholics find themselves locked into one or both sides of this equation at different times. They even hold both perspectives internally at the same time (beating up on ourselves).
The Judgmental Parent often appears in times of fear and lack of control. We can see it all around us in people we come into contact with in our daily lives, at the mall, at work, during rush hour traffic on the freeway and in our own families. Two Judgmental Parents colliding or one or more beating up on a Wounded Child is the basis for the drama of many reality TV shows.
These two have their opposites- The Nurturing Parent and the Free Child. The Nurturing Parent encourages and indulges the Child, Free or Wounded, to share their feelings and thoughts without threat of backlash or judgement. The Nurturing Parent makes it ok and safe to express what's really inside, good, bad or ugly. With this support, the Child grows into connection, love and freedom. The good news is, no matter how old you are, your Inner Child is still there, ready for acceptance, love and grace.
The question is, when you are feeling hurt, anxious, angry, depressed, guilty, shamed or sad, does your inner Nurturing Parent come to the rescue with an eager ear and soothing hug? Or are you more likely to treat yourself as a cruel taskmaster would (Judgmental Parent), belittling, berating yourself for being "stupid", demanding perfection and that you stifle your "insignificant" feelings?
The answer to that question should help you determine how far along you are to becoming "your own loving Parent". The more you can be a Nurturing Parent to yourself, the FREER and less wounded your Inner Child will be. This is the power of healing.
If you never had good examples of Loving/Nurturing Parents, find a good Support Group, 12 Step Meeting, Therapist and/or Sponsor or Co-Sponsor. And next time you start to get mad at yourself for something, give yourself the option to choose nurturing instead!
Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children