Knowing how to handle emotional reactions

by Angie Carter
(Holts Summit, MO)

Hi! My name is Angie Carter and yes, I am related to Don ~ I'm his wife :)

I just wanted to contribute my own experience to this forum in connection to Inner Child issues. I have been working on my own Inner Child issues off and on for quite a few years now. At first the work was very intense and many times very painful.

There were times, when another part of me would have me believe that it was pointless or just too difficult, but I would push forward. Developing a working relationship with the various parts of myself has been a very necessary and rewarding endeavor. Necessary in the sense that as a professional in the field of substance abuse issues I know that you either "grow or go" when it comes to recovery.

It has been my desire from the beginning of my recovery journey to become, as well as possible, and to be of maximum service to God and those around me. For me, after getting into stable recovery from drugs and alcohol, doing Inner Child work and dealing with original abandonment issues was the next level. It took starting out with a therapist, one that I felt I could trust.

I started counseling with a female therapist who had the wonderful ability to dismantle my "wall" of denial brick by brick. We explored childhood of origin issues and how they triggered many of my emotional reactions to present day situations. She was someone I developed trust with and was eventually able to allow my vulnerable self to surface (somewhat!)

After a while I was able to begin the process of self-nurturing as I continue to explore my inner landscape. I started reading more Inner Child workbooks and began attending an Adult Child of Dysfunctional Families group (ACDF). This group is vitally important to my ongoing recovery as it a safe place to share my experience, strength and hope with other individuals with whom I can identify with and gain perspective from.

I have picked up many good points and tips from my husband who is very skilled in Inner Child issues. I also have a sponsor who encourages me to look at things from a different view and practice not taking everything so personal.

Today when I have a situation where I am triggered emotionally I don't automatically look to where and why the other person is either "wrong or bad", but instead can turn my focus inward and find out which part of me is having the emotional response and why I got triggered. I can tend to that part of me and work towards staying in the 'adult self' to try and handle the situation. I can practice setting a boundary or expressing my feelings in a healthy way. I can assure you that this was not the case before.

In the past I would always have knee jerk responses to anything that triggered me and my initial reactions were always hostile, aggressive and defensive. I was verbally abusive much of the time and had a pretty negative attitude about things that did not set well with me.

It feels really great these days not to be giving in to anger or blame when it comes to dealing with other people or things that happen out of my control. I have learned that other people are on their journey, as I am, and that they have their own backgrounds and issues as well. Over time a certain amount of maturity has happened for me and it feels great!

I encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about themselves to start the journey of Inner Child work. The rewards definitely out-weigh the work and even though it can be painful at times it is still very much worth the effort. I really believe that I would not be married today or have the level of serenity that I enjoy so much without having done this work.

Good luck and please feel free to leave comments!! Angie Carter

Comments for Knowing how to handle emotional reactions

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 26, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Handling triggers
by: Pat

Hi,
Wow I related to your post to as it is just where my issues are. I have been triggered into emotions that are very intense and they are because of getting out of a comfort zone an wanting to begin dating again after a long time.

I like what you way about looking inside at what is really going on! And I think this site is great it is helping me to understand my long term issues. I thought I had dealt with them but, more to come. I am very grateful for all the info we find here that help me clarify what is going on with me. It clarify and helps me, I see that I have abandonment and adult child issues and codependence issues that seem to raise their ugly head right now, but that means to me that the frozen feeling I have stuffed are defrosting and that is good, I can now make choices instead of reacting. Thanks for all your wisdom.

Pat

Jun 03, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Help re emotional reactions
by: Claire

I'd like to know please the best way of dealing with a situation where your partner is verbally explosive towards you? I've tried walking out the room but my husband views it as rejection and abandonment!! In the heat of it, what do I do? I'm also told I'm cock sure because I remain calm. My husband knows it is damaging. I'm at a loss.

Jun 03, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Emotional reactions
by: Claire

Hi I have just read all your inspiring posts. I would like to know though, the best way to deal with someone who is working on their inner child issues, (so that fuel us not added to fire!)
My husband has many triggers that result in him being verbally explosive. We have been married 21 years and after seeing many therapists for an average of about 2 weeks each, has discovered TA. He seems to relate to this entirely but has not had any sessions recently! I realize I am enabling his behavior by still being with him. If I walk out of the room when he is being aggressive, he views it as rejection and abandonment. Yet I can't put myself in a position where I can stand and take it anymore. What is going to stop it? I've tried explaining that If we talk about his frustrations things will be dealt with quicker and less damaging. He sees me as being cock sure and above him, if I suggest another way...any thoughts please? Claire

Nov 15, 2011
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
C of U
by: andym

Very pleased to find your site.
From my educational background and digging around, what I have found for myself is: all this mention about dysfunctional family, child rearing and victimization only creat a super codependent person.
Not cut in stone but, I firmly believe having lost everything to my selfish addiction more than once was the only way I could have been shaken to the core and jolted back into reality.
O yes, GOD could and would if he were sought!
See you at Circle of Unity.

Jul 11, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Recovery
by: Anonymous

Recovery feels like forever. I'm only 25, and although I saw counsellors and pyschiatrist since I was 21 I only really began healing since 23. Two years have passed and it feels like im waiting to feel good enough to walk outside. It's tough that life is like this but we have to deal with what we have. I miss the fact that I failed at university, school and everything at life, when other people had some joy but I try not to blame myself for that. We can only do the best we can do. But for a long time I asked 'why me? why me?'.

Jun 14, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
knowing how to handle emotional reactions
by: Anonymous

It was so good to read this article and hear from someone who has been there. I am 67 years old and have been working on my "inner child" for many years. My emotional reactions were forever over the top at times and caused me much heartache and emotional pain.

Today I seem to be better equipped to handle them although they can trip me up at times. For a long time I couldn't see the alcoholism within my extended family system but one by one the figures started to make themselves known. I found that due to historical factor's my family of origin were extremely dysfunctional thus setting me up as a prime target for marrying an alcoholic who is now in recovery. (26 years)

However along the recovery pathway I had to learn that I to played a part in this "drama" and that my responses were my responsibility not what "someone else had done to me". With loving care from a great therapist she helped me to look "inwards" to what was happening with me and gave me time and space to sit with my feelings once they "woke up"...this allowed me to really grow (up)

It hasn't been easy as I am also married to an ACOA who finds his recovery in AA however at times we do clash. I am thankful that the work that I have done has allowed me to - most times - stand back from his reactions knowing that it isn't about me. I now have a "knowing" that prompts me to keep myself honest about myself not blame others.

My memories are more mellowed today, no extreme anger and blame or feelings of abandonment. I have grieved and continue to grieve for losses that now are tempered in acceptance of what I cant change (the past) My inner child is still a little shy, can be at times fearful however she carries much more courage and peace in her heart today - god bless all those out there who are on this journey

Valerie - New Zealand.

Nov 12, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
re: Dorothy
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for the kind words and positive remarks! I am glad you have begun your journey and have the willingness that it takes to keep moving forward on this journey. I have said it many times to many different people, "This is the most important work you will do while you are experiencing this thing called LIFE" Good luck to you Dorothy.

Angie C.

Nov 12, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
re: therapist info
by: Anonymous

I apologize for me delay in answering your request. If you will e-mail me at angie@internet-of-the-mind.com I would be happy to give you that information.

thanks!
Angie C.

Nov 07, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Therapist
by: Anonymous

I am curious about the woman who was your counselor? Can you give her name, address, and phone number?

Nov 04, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Knowing how to handle emotional reactions
by: Dorothy

Thank you for the perfect Bedtime Story before I retire for the night!

I want what you have!!!!! Someday I hope to have this very emotional renewal and then share my life with someone whom I can cherish and love forever and always. I am alone but not always lonely, just sometimes. I yearn for the completeness in bonding with the perfect match.

But just as I wrote that sentence I became scared of being careful for what I wish for. Of course that tells me I am certainly not ready for more at this time. I know I have lots of work to do and the journey could be treacherous, but I plan to give it all I have.

I feel confident that Don and Angie will pick me up if I fall, so that is very invigorating. I feel empowered for the first time. I want to shed the abandonment, isolation and rejection I continue to experience since childhood from my siblings. I appreciate you so much because this is a fearful little girl speaking. I know I will be freed from this bondage one day and I am so ready to be vindicated.


Nov 03, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Knowing how to handle emotional reactions
by: Dorothy

Goodness...... Angie has written my emotional feelings straight from my Diary!!! I wish I could piggyback and be as healthy, happy and serene as she enjoys today. As I was reading this testimony I thought I can copy this and sign my name to this.

It does give me strength and hope that I too can become that complete person and be happy. I hope I have been through the worst phase in my life. With perseverance I will enjoy the victory that will eventually come into my life as Angie so eloquently shared. I want this dream to become a reality. It makes me want to work real hard to step into this destiny of the goodness that is on the other side.

Angie and Don have been very inspirational to me and I appreciate all that they do for me and everyone. I see light at the end of the tunnel!!

Nov 03, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
The Primary Benefit of Adult/Child Recovery!
by: Don

Great post Ang! I really like the quote below because, to me, it's the essence of how Adult/Child recovery, Inner Child work, and working with Ego-States can help us in our present-day life.

..."Today when I have a situation where I am triggered emotionally I don't automatically look to where and why the other person is either "wrong or bad", but instead can turn my focus inward and find out which part of me is having the emotional response and why I got triggered. I can tend to that part of me and work towards staying in the 'adult self' to try and handle the situation. I can practice setting a boundary or expressing my feelings in a healthy way..."

Personally, I've found that I now have the ability to stay "Ok" even when other people are not. And when I'm the one to get triggered emotionally I too can do what you have so eloquently described above.

It's been a wonderful thing to be in a marriage with someone who is just as serious about recovery and personal growth as I am. It is because of this, and putting God in the center of our marriage, that we have been allowed the opportunity to grow in these ways.

It is my deepest hope that others get to discover & experience the wonderful gifts that recovery has to offer.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Adult/Child Syndrome Recovery Forum.