It could be said that to some degree all mothers are controlling and that they have to be. From the very beginning a child has to have the right discipline and guidance to develop.
However, what happens when this control is taken to the extreme and the child is taken advantage of?
A Special Relationship
The relationship a child has with its mother is usually the most important relationship. And this relationship not only plays a massive role in the Childs development; it also goes a long way in defining what kind of adult the child will later become.
An adult's sense of self, self worth and idea of what love is and many other things, are largely the consequence of the relationship they had with their mother when they were a child. And as the child has come from (through) the mother; it is only natural for this relationship to be unlike any other. This is why there can be serious problems for one's life if this relationship is dysfunctional and abusive.
So above I mentioned how it is normal for there to be some control; but what is happening when the mother goes to the extreme and controls the child?
First of all, we can see that there is a boundary issue here. The mother has no idea where she begins and ends and where the child begins and ends. And so the child is then perceived as being an extension of the mother.
And if the child is an extension of the mother and not separate; it is only natural for the Childs own needs to be ignored and dismissed.
The Child's Needs
What also happens as a result of this is the child ends up being enmeshed to the mother. Here the child is then used to fulfil the needs of the mother. What is important to the Childs own development is then overlooked so that the mothers own needs are taken care of.
The psychological development of the mother does not match her chronological age. This is what is called the adult child and although the child is clearly a lot younger; when it comes to what is going on at an emotional and mental level, there might not be much difference.
How Does This Look?
There are certain patterns of behaviour involved here. What usually occurs from this behaviour is that the child is being invalidated and compromised.
The child will usually be treated in a way that says: do what I want and you will be accepted; don't do what I say and you will be rejected. The whole idea of unconditional love is nowhere to be found; what is found is obligation love.
Life And Death
At such a young age the child whole survival rests in the hands of the mother. And should the child go against the wishes of the mother it would be tantamount to death. The mere suggestion of rejection will be more than enough to control the child.
And during this time, it is not possible for the child to question what is going on, this ability has not yet been developed.
After the child has undergone many years and experiences of being invalidated, what is then likely to occur is an inner disconnection. This is the connection the child has with their own inner world. This consists of: needs, wants, feelings, thoughts, emotions, intuitions and other important and sacred aspects.
And because of this disconnection the child is then likely to grow up feeling dependent on the mother. The Childs identity will then not reflect what is true for the child; it will reflect what the mother has projected onto the child and what leads to approval.
When the child grows up it is then likely to have trouble understanding what is going on inside. It will be highly likely that this adult child will end up looking outside itself and to others; to know what to do, what to feel and how to think.
Why Does The Mother Control The Child?
I believe that there are four possible causes here. The mother feels powerless; does not know how to take care of her needs in a functional way; has poor boundaries and feels alone. I would also add that all this behaviour and any kind of abuse is only possible through lack of awareness. And that no one consciously abuses or takes advantage of another.
The mother controls the child because she feels that she has no control herself. And because she feels no inner control she has to control others to feel control. Due to the child being weaker and dependent; it cannot defend itself against such behaviour.
As well as feeling powerless the mother probably feels that she has no way of taking care of her own needs. It is probable that her mother/caregivers used her to do the same. This meant that her needs were denied and neglected. And because she was unaware of this and didn't learn how to take care of these needs; she carried out the same behaviour to her child.
As I have mentioned above; because the mother has no idea of where she starts and where she ends; it is not possible for her to notice this in another. And since she cannot see that her child is separate from her; it then becomes normal and natural to see the child as an extension of herself.
Out of the mothers feelings of emptiness and aloneness she controls the child. This means that the child can be used to fill her emptiness. And by the child becoming depended on the mother; the child will be unlikely to leave the mother. The child will also be used to regulate the mothers feeling of aloneness.
The Ego Mind
The negative ego mind interprets and views life through dysfunctional conditioning and trauma. What are then created are perceptions. And even though the experiences that have led to seeing life in this way are not empowering; the ego mind will hold on.
This is because they are classed as familiar to the ego mind and are therefore safe. So unless the association of what is safe changes; one will continue to carry out the same behavioural patterns and to perceive life in the same way.
Where Did It Begin?
The feeling of being powerless; of not knowing how to take care of one's needs; having poor boundaries and the feelings of aloneness do not belong to the child or even the mother; they have probably been carried from one generation to the other. For change to occur awareness has to enter. The mind has to be observed and the identification to the mind has to end.
There is said to be two types of shame. One is described as normal and healthy and the other is said to be abnormal and dysfunctional.
This shame is part of having a healthy conscience; with certain behaviours and actions being kept in check by this feeling. And when ones behaviour is out of place or inappropriate one will feel healthy shame. However, this shame will usually only last so long and it will be felt as a consequence of one’s actions.
This could be classed as socially conditioned shame. For example if one was to cheat on ones partner or to steal from a shop; it would be normal to feel shame.
Toxic shame is a completely different experience. Healthy shame is felt for ones actions and toxic shame is felt as an identity. It is then no longer felt for ones actions; it is felt as being who one is. Toxic shame means that not only are ones actions defective, but that they as a person are defective.
What Does This Mean?
So where as healthy shame will usually only last for a short while; the feeling that comes with toxic shame never lessens or ends. This is a feeling that can be triggered through one’s own thoughts and/or by external factors.
When this toxic shame is triggered it is likely to create an extremely unpleasant experience for the individual. Thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations will consume the mind and body. And these will be far from empowering or reflect ones true self.
These can consist of feeling: worthless, useless, humiliated, embarrassed, empty and hopeless. The following emotions can also be experienced; anger, frustration, and rage. And this can also lead to withdrawal, suicidal tendencies, depression and isolation.
And although this can be an experience that comes and goes, one can also be in this place or experience constantly. This means through the identification to it, it can be seen as normal and how life is and therefore not even questioned.
Where Is This All Coming From?
Above I have mentioned about toxic shame coming from both external and internal factors. It can often appear that this whole experience is coming from external situations and events and that one is at the whim of others views and behaviours. With these people having power over how one feels and behaves.
Does an individual have the power to control how another person feels or does one have to already feel that way inside?
In my experience and study I found that in order for one to feel something, one needs to already have these feelings inside. And that all another can be is a trigger for that which already exists.
And if one feels toxic shame, is it who one is or is it the result of something else?
Just like above, I have come to understand toxic shame as a consequence of being in an environment with another or others who have toxic shame. It has nothing to do with the individuals involved; it is usually carried from one generation to the other. And it will stay this way unless something changes.
The individual that feels toxic shame is highly likely to have been in childhood environment that included individuals who had toxic shame themselves.
This toxic shame gets past from the caregivers and onto the child through lack of awareness. Through the identification with this toxic shame the caregivers have come to embody it. And then as a way to deal with these internal processes (mentioned above) they will act out this pain towards others. The child is weaker than the caregivers and is therefore the perfect target.
This is also called projection; with the parts that the caregivers don’t like about themselves, being put onto the child. So although the child has nothing to do with these projections, the child forms an identity based on what the caregiver is not willing to deal with and take responsibility for.
The child is like a sponge at this age and does not have the ability to question what it is being told. The toxic shame has taken over the caregivers mind and body and has become like a parasite; with their true self hidden underneath the trauma.
How Is Toxic Shame Created?
Toxic shame is like any form of abuse in as much as it usually occurs through repetition. So over a period of time, the child could be constantly emotionally and/or physically abused.
In a functional environment when the child has made a mistake it will generally be treated in a way that says: your actions are bad, but that doesn’t make you bad. In a dysfunctional environment the child will more or less be treated in a way that says; not only are your actions bad, but you’re also bad.
How Can This Play Out?
Left unnoticed and out of one’s awareness this can lead to two scenarios. These are: the high achiever and the low achiever. The high achiever could be described as a consequence of resisting the toxic shame and the low achiever a consequence of reacting to it; both of which are two sides of the same coin.
This is not to say that every person who is a high achiever has toxic shame. Or that everyone who is low achiever has toxic shame.
This individual is resisting the toxic shame and may well achieve all that society associates as being successful. By being successful, ones false self or ego will be able to feel a sense of revenge and power over the caregivers. However, the individual is still reacting to this toxic shame and therefore looking for the approval and acceptance of the caregivers.
And no matter how much this person achieves in the external world or how much approval they receive from others, it will never be enough. Because of the toxic shame that is felt deep within, it will be practically impossible to internalize and accept this alternate identity.
The low achiever on the other hand is not resisting the toxic shame. This person acts in alignment with how the toxic shame dictates.
Their level of success and achievement will be extremely low. And this is partly because of the feelings of worthlessness that are created from the toxic shame.
Toxic shame then is a not a true reflection of who one is; a more appropriate description would be that of a parasite and as something that doesn’t belong where it is.
The ego mind holds onto the toxic shame because it is familiar and therefore safe. Through the earliest experiences and the years that have passed it has come to know itself based on this toxic shame; its whole identity has been formed as a consequence. So although this toxic shame has no benefits, the mind will still hold onto it.
We are not the mind; we are the observers of the mind. And it is through this gradual awareness that one can see who they truly are. This can be achieved through the assistance of a trusted friend, therapist or support group.
For some time I have been reflecting on and thinking about what causes the obsession with celebrities. So here is my current outlook on what I believe is going on.
In today's society celebrities are often worshiped and are objects of obsession for many people. And it doesn't matter what these celebrity's do; for in today's world they don't need to have achieved or done anything. Just by the mere fact of being famous is more than enough for some people.
Healthy Role Models
There is of course healthy role models. These are people that one can look to for inspiration for what is possible and for strength during moments of despair. People that have exceptional talents and abilities can be great examples for many people.
They could also be described as individuals that display important characteristics. And by being exposed to these individuals one can begin to embody and internalise that which they have not yet realised within themselves.
However, these celebrities are often perceived as perfect and god like figures. They are put on a pedestal and are portrayed as being above normal people; with these normal people being the ones that are not usually famous.
A common occurrence here is that although they are initially put on a pedestal and looked up to, they are often brought down again shortly afterwards.
The problems arise when these celebrities are perceived as being superior to 'normal' people, there is then only one position these people can take. And this position is one of inferiority.
And this superiority/inferiority dynamic is not always displayed in a direct way. It is displayed in a way that says 'this is how life is and you better get used to it'. I would describe it as an unspoken rule. And it is not dissimilar to the carrot on the stick scenario. They are said to have everything and to lead the perfect lives and the rest of the population have to settle for a life of mediocrity and voyeurism.
The Perception Of Celebrities
All that is usually known about these celebrities is a perception. And this perception has typically come about through the Medias perception of that person.
And the ideas we have about these celebrities is also a consequence of our own perceptions and ways of looking at what the media says. This makes it hard to really know who these celebrities really are. It is one perception on top of another.
Who Are These Celebrities?
The question: Are these people really any different from the people that are not celebrities? And are their lives really as perfect as is made out?
Although it is easy to see these celebrities as being different to normal people, they have ultimately come from the same place and will go to the same place. They all have problems and challenges like everyone else.
The Ego Mind
This brings our attention to the ego mind and how it functions. The ego mind sees everything in polarities; good and bad, superior and inferior, right and wrong, outside and inside, connected and disconnected and so on.
It sees life this way because of the experiences one has had during their childhood and later life. And these experiences are likely to have included trauma and neglected needs.
An Inner Emptiness
A consequence of this childhood trauma is that one's true self is covered up and denied. It creates a disconnection from what is actually true and real.
This trauma could be experienced through: rejection, abandonment, invalidation, abuse, neglect and other ways.
And when this happens important emotional needs are likely to have been ignored and undeveloped.
If one feels that something is missing inside; the natural thing to do is to look outside for fulfilment. This is not because one is lacking or is actually empty inside. What has happened is through trauma and unmet needs the illusion is created that something is missing.
The mind will then use defence mechanisms such as projection. This means that all that has yet to be realised on the inside will then be projected externally and onto other people. And one will then have a tendency to look up to people that display the characteristics that they have yet to realise themselves.
As I have stated above, when this is done in a conscious way it is healthy and part of our growth as human beings. However this process often occurs unconsciously and leads to dysfunctional behaviours and ideas.
When we don't understand that the reason we look up to another is because they are displaying what we want to integrate within and see it as something only they have; one can only end up feeling disempowered.
One's own growth has then been momentarily stopped. Seeing these celebrities as having something they cannot have or achieve.
This where the inner child comes into the equation; our inner child is constantly calling out for acknowledgment and validation. All of the needs that were not taken care of all those years ago are still waiting to be met. And all of the pain that the child went through many years ago is also still there.
And unless this inner child has received any kind of healing or acknowledgment it will continue to affect our present day life. It will be easy for one to merge with this inner child and lose all conscious awareness. One will then act like this inner child and their life will be motivated by the inner Childs needs.
What Does This Mean?
Whether it is classed as the inner child or just as unmet childhood needs is not important. This is just to show what I believe is going on at a deeper level. What this could show is that if one is identified with their inner child and feels this sense of lack; it is only natural for one to look up to another.
This is a child that is powerless and has no power itself, all of the power rests with the caregivers. And at such an age these caregivers are seen as gods and goddesses. As larger than life figures; that posses such power and control.
So Why Are Some People Obsessed With Celebrities?
So, could it be that reason so many people are obsessed with celebrities is because they have identified with their inner child and that this inner child is seeing these celebrities as mother and fathers figures? Possessing far more power and control than they have.
And that the more one takes care of these needs and begins to be the observers of their inner child as opposed to merging with it, they will begin to see these celebrities in a functional away and as being simply human. To be seen as examples of what is possible and not as being any better or worse than anyone else.
As human beings that have developed certain skills and abilities, but that also have problems and challenges like normal people.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that as a society we are emotionally undeveloped and are cut off from our true selves. And because of this, the average person knows more about celebrities than they do about themselves.
The celebrity worship is a direct reflection of one's own ignorance. The more cut off one is from themselves the more one will then look outside.
If for the majority of life one is told what they should do and also what they should believe; it is then only natural for a disconnection to take place. And once one feels disconnected from their own purpose and what matters; it is only normal to then look up to and worship others who have found theirs.
In today’s relationships what is often classed as love is nothing more than control. The desire to control another person and their behaviour then becomes more important than it is to love and honour the other person.
The question is: what would make a person want to control another? If they truly loved them wouldn’t they want them to be free and to do what was best for them?
The love I am talking about here can be what one expresses to family and friends for example. Although it can be based on a sexual attraction to another person, it doesn’t have to be. I would describe it as a respect for another’s boundaries, needs and wants.
This involves honouring the other person as much as one would honour themselves and to recognise that they are separate.
Control on the other hand is about using another person to fulfil ones needs. Having other people fulfil ones needs is not dysfunctional per se; it is part of life. What is dysfunctional is having another person fulfil ones needs in a way that compromises the other person and goes against their wishes.
This means that the other person is not in agreement with what is happening and they are being taken advantage of. The other person is then being abused.
Where Does This Come From?
As we look at these scenarios, we can see that it is a dysfunctional way of being. However, this behaviour doesn’t just occur, it had to be learnt from somewhere and someone.
This takes our attention back to the childhood environment. What happens during this time goes a long way to defining how one will perceive love and their level of psychological health.
When we are growing up we all have needs that need to be taken care of. Included in these needs are: food, shelter, clothing and nurturing. Some people will have their physical needs taken care of and wont have there emotional needs met. While others will have their emotional needs met, but won’t have their physical needs met. And very few people will have both of these aspects taken care of.
Both of these are important to ones survival and development. These emotional needs are important in forming a functional human being.
What Are These Needs?
What makes up these needs is: acceptance, mirroring, validation and attention. Through having these need met the child then learns that it is important and has value. It also helps the child to form a connection with their needs and feelings; which happens because their caregivers have mirrored these back to them.
Without this mirroring the child wouldn’t know that it exists, it also wouldn’t be able to recognise its own feelings and needs. They would be foreign to the child and the child would be completely out of touch with their inner life.
And as this happens the child has an understanding of its own needs, through the process of its caregivers mirroring and validating the child. The child can then grow into an adult that can recognise and fulfil these needs; either themselves or by asking another.
The child will also have the ability to emotional regulate and to sooth itself as an adult. This is possible through having the caregivers doing this to the child, the child can then internalise these ability’s.
When This Doesn’t Happen
The problem is that this process does not always happen and the child is then not mirrored or validated or it might receive these inconsistently. What then happens is the child is invalidated and is not given the mirroring it needs to form a sense of self.
A sense of self can only be formed if the child is brought up with the right mirroring and validation. This allows the child to know it’s self as a person and as being worthy of life.
If the child is exposed to caregivers that cannot offer these things, its own needs will be neglected and it will end up being disconnected from its own feelings and needs.
The child will then grow up to be an adult that has difficulty emotional regulating and soothing itself. This is likely because the caregivers had no way of doing these things themselves and therefore could not offer this to the child.
As the child grows up it will have trouble knowing what its needs are and even what it is feeling. It would be natural for them to feel like a stranger to themselves.
So as well as creating frustration and anger at feeling this disconnection, one will also feel incredibly needy and dependent on others. This is because one is coming from a place of emptiness.
One might look like and adult on the outside, but emotionally they could be a child; with their emotions being frozen at a certain age because of trauma.
How Does This Lead To Control?
When one has not had their needs taken care of they will be more reliant on another to do this for them. And if one has no way of emotional regulating themselves of self soothing, they will also be more dependent on others.
How this will play out will depend on how conscious the person is. If their awareness is strong they will be able to seek assistance with becoming more self reliant and to take care of their needs in more functional ways. This could be through a friend or therapist for example.
If they have little to know awareness they will have no choice but to use and take advantage of another for their own needs. And these needs will be so strong, that it will be hard for them to control them.
There behaviour will then be reactive and unconscious. The ability to be aware and to be conscious will not be possible. What will be on their mind is taking care of themselves, and regardless of what affect it will have on another.
A child can only think about itself, it is not possible for this child to do much without the help of a caregiver. And when one regresses back to this needy child the last thing one will be thinking about is if the other person is being compromised.
So it could be said that the act of controlling another is not conscious. And that it can only happen while one is unaware and unconscious.
I believe the best way to not control another or to avoid being controlled by another is to take care of our own needs and to emotionally regulate and self sooth ourselves.
As one gets back in touch with their needs, they will be able to form relationships that are more functional. Relationships will be formed where ones needs are being met out of choice and not obligation or fear. And where one can help to fulfil another’s needs out of choice and not force.
One will also become aware of what needs can be fulfilled by another and what needs can only be fulfilled by oneself.
Body And Heart
These needs are of the body and are related to ones survival. And in order to love and to honour another person ones awareness has to include the heart.
And if one hasn’t taken care of these basic needs there will always be the pull of the body and this will make it more or less impossible to consistently express the heart. However, as these two intelligences begin to merge, ones relationships with others and oneself will also change and reflect this inner harmony.
To the body all that matters are the needs that it has. When it comes to the heart; it is a completely different experience.
Chronicle - My Interpretation of the Metaphors
After hearing about this film through a friend, I thought it sounded similar to a number of other films that have been released in recent years. The films Push and Jumper came to mind.
Now that I have seen the film I believe that it is a metaphor for intention and how intention is what shapes life. It is also about abuse and the consequences that abuse can have. Something it also demonstrates is that in order to have power, one must also exercise responsibility. And perhaps it shows what humane potential is; albeit in an exaggerated form.
These psychological aspects and metaphors of the film are my personal view and are based on my own interpretation of what these metaphors and psychological aspects are and there meaning. They are in no way the right or only interpretation, they are just my view.
This will mean that I will miss out certain parts and only describe what stood out for me and what I felt was significant. There will also be parts that I don’t understand and that will also be a reason as to why it has not been mentioned. This will also mean that it will not be like a story board and that I won’t be describing the whole story.
So with the disclaimer of sorts out of the way, let’s begin.
The film begins with Andrew (Dane DeHaan) filming his daily experiences. This gives the film a low budget impression, at least at first. Once he is back at home we soon get the first insight into his family life.
His mother has ill health and his father (Michael Kelly) also suffers with his own health, due to an incident at work. This must create an incredible amount of pressure on Andrew. His level of responsibility is also likely to be a lot higher than is appropriate for his age.
The First Sign
Soon after he has sat down to his desk; his father comes in. He complains about the door being locked and that he should not do it again. It is not long until his father comes over and knocks him off his chair.
This is a clear example of physical abuse and probably something he has had to deal with for many years. And with his father being a lot stronger, there is very little he can do.
As his father is inured and unable to work he is incredibly frustrated and angry with his life. And instead of processing and dealing with this pain, he is taking it out on his son. His son is weaker than he is and therefore can’t fight back.
Andrew is also isolated and doesn’t have the support of his mother. She is probably oblivious to what is happening. This could be because she is too ill to notice it or that she is in denial and doesn’t want to notice it. There is a term called the enabler; this person is not violent per se, however because of their passivity they are just as dangerous. They watch what happens and know what happens, but they chose to do nothing. So they offer little support to the person being abused.
Finding The Cave
It is here that Steve (Michael B. Jordan) Andrew (Dane DeHaan) and Matt (Alex Russell) come across the cave. Shortly after being inside they see a bright light. It is a strange shaped object that is pulsating with light.
After a short while the camera goes off and the screen goes blank.
This light could be a metaphor for ones true nature or true self. It caused them to tap into real power and strength. What they knew about themselves and what was possible came to an end. The power is exaggerated to create a bigger impact and to catch people’s attention.
If the power was the ability control ones thoughts and emotions or the merging of one’s mind, body and heart it probably wouldn’t be very spectacular to watch. It would also be difficult to express this on film; as it is a process that is more internal than external.
Each of them can now move objects with the power of their mind.
This must be an incredible experience; to have such power. Out of the three main characters, Andrew is the one we know the most about. We know that his family life is not very supportive or functional and that he is being made to feel powerless by his father.
So after having experienced so little power, it must be a real shock to him. The trouble is that after being exposed to dysfunctional power for so long, his association of power is unlikely to be functional or balanced.
Into The Water
Whilst they are driving, Andrews mind gets out of control and he ends up moving a car from the road into the water. Fortunately, the man that was driving the vehicle is soon rescued and survives.
From all of the abuse that Andrew has been receiving from his father, it is not much of a surprise that he is angry. This anger shows that his boundaries are being crossed. Around his father he has to repress his feelings and to do what his father says. And now the outside world is being directly influenced by these repressed emotions.
And Andrews’s lack of emotional intelligence and awareness can only cause him problems.
We see that the problem is not that Andrew has more power; it is that his intentions are not always constructive. His intentions are a consequence of the abuse he has experienced and the anger that this has created in him. He carries a lot of pain and trauma and this is creating destructive intentions.
In this example we see that his emotional state is influencing his environment in a massive way. Expressed in such an extreme way it seems hard to relate to, however there is numerous examples of how our emotions are affecting our reality.
Flying In The Air
The next power that they have is the ability to fly. For Andrew this might be like going from one extreme to the other. He now has more freedom and power that he could ever have imagined.
School Talent Show
They do not appear to be the popular students of the school and as a result there are not high expectations for their performance.
With their new found ability they soon capture the attention of the audience.
Here we see how the other students are behaving differently towards them. And this is of course because they now have these incredible abilities and are now behaving differently. Now, in the real world it is clear that people do not have such skills, (or do they?) however it is possible to change ones behaviour. And this will lead to others treating one differently.
Confrontation With His Father
His father begins to question how his son is getting to school. Andrew says he is getting picked up and his Father dismisses what he says. He seems to think that his son is not longer going to school. He also says that Andrew has no friends and that no one likes him.
The usual pattern of violence starts, but the reaction is different this time and the pattern plays out differently.
Andrew is now a lot stronger; both mentally and physically. The roles have changed and Andrew is now the perpetrator. For many years he has had to deny and repressed how he felt and now he has the ability to express it. It is not much of surprise that Andrew explodes.
And through the rejection of his father and his constant abuse, he doesn’t feel accepted or connected to his father. This is also the perception Andrew has of the outside world. Because he has not been made to feel that he belongs in his house, he doesn’t feel that he belongs in the world either.
Death of Steve
Andrew and Steve fly up to the clouds once more and it happens to be when there is a storm and Steve is struck by lightning.
This could be seen as a warning. They have been given great power and that by having such power they are required to have equal responsibility.
The power affected each of them in different ways. Andrew has been overwhelmed and this has led to careless behaviour. Matt (Alex Russell) on the other hand has been more reserved and discerning with his use of his new power.
I believe that this power is a metaphor for how ones intention is what defines whether something is good or bad. The powers that they have gained are neither good nor bad; they are neutral.
What has influenced their behaviour is not solely the power; it is the psychological disposition that these individuals had before they gained the power.
We don’t know much about Matt’s upbringing; all we have to go by is his behaviour around Andrew and Steve. He could be described as the sensible one, his temperament is fairly balanced and he comes across as reasonably adjusted. And because of this Matt is able to use these powers with restraint.
Andrew on the other hand is completely different. He understandably comes across as awkward and unbalanced. Everything that Andrew has felt for so long is now being expressed. It is not that this power is turning Andrew into something else; it is just magnifying what is already there.
Andrew loses Control
Andrew goes on a mission of getting revenge on the people who took advantage of him and he also steals money at a gas station.
He is now using power in the way he has been brought up to associate power. This is to take advantage and to control another. He has no idea of how to use his power in a functional way. He still has the perception of a child; with a child being powerless and if the child is powerless it can’t have any responsibility. This will naturally lead to carelessness.
For so long he has been victimized and taken advantage of by his father and other people. And now he no longer has to put up with this behaviour.
The wounded inner child has now consumed him and taken over. Before he had to repress and deny this side. To the people that know him, he now seems to have completely changed. When in reality all that is happening is his true feelings are being revealed.
And as he has not been made to feel that he belongs in this world by his father; he sees people as opposition and as antagonists. This makes it easy for him to violate other people’s boundaries. But this is only possible because he has never been allowed to develop functional boundaries himself.
Andrew has completely identified with his inner child or past trauma and has lost the ability to be conscious and to be observer.
But then it is highly unlikely he has ever opened up about his experiences with his father. This could be out of the fear of what others would say or about what his father would do to him. If he had received the support of another; someone that could validate and acknowledge what has happened to him and most importantly stop his father’s abusive behaviour, he might have turned out differently
While Andrew is on the hospital bed his father is soon there to visit him. Although just as it seems he is sorry to see what has happened, we find out that it has nothing to do with his son. And that he is upset due to selfish reasons and is mad at what Andrew has put them through.
This shows the narcissistic nature of his father and that his father has not developed enough to be able think about another. This triggers Andrews’s pain and he throws his father out of the window. Perhaps this is an exaggerated example of what the abused imagine doing to their abusers.
Matt soon senses what Andrew has been doing and rushes back to stop him. This does little to stop what is happening.
Andrew causes endless destruction and Matt makes the decision to end his life.
This could be seen as a metaphor for good vs. evil; with Andrew being possessed by evil and matt being the saviour.
The question is: was Andrew evil or was he just brought up in an environment that was dysfunctional? That is not to say that Andrew was not responsible for his actions.
After experiencing so much destruction, Matt decides to go to Tibet and fulfil Andrews’s dream of meeting the enlightened monks.
These monks have had to spend years developing their skills. These three individuals did not have that time. Their ability’s just happened and they didn’t have the time to understand and respect what they had.
Films often display things in a metaphorical or symbolic way. And these films then take on the identity of being classed as sci-fi.
These kinds of films also allow certain messages and outlooks to be filtered into the collective consciousness; triggering yet more intrigue and fascination around these topics. Are they completely fictional or is there an element of truth to them?
Either way, by people being aware of such possibilities it creates questions and the search for answers. The imagination is also fuelled by viewing sci-fi and this can only be good for ones creativity. It is said that creativity is what allows one to be an individual; as it’s unique to that person.
This film also shows us that power per se is not bad or dangerous. What makes the difference is the mind of the person using it and what their intention is. We also see the importance of being responsible when it comes to the handling of power. And in realising that everything we do has a consequence.
If we see the world through the eyes of a child we will not believe we have any power and therefore we can’t have any responsibility. Our mind will then perceive life as something that just happens and will not notice that it is having an influence
Abuse is shown on a magnified scale. If for example Andrew had not had such power he wouldn’t have been able to cause such destruction. The film might not have been as enjoyable either. He could have taken numerous routes; this could be self harm, suicide, depression, social isolation, or criminality for example. Or he could go on to change his life and be an example to others. And through his actions and behaviour he could be a role model to others who find themselves in similar positions.
I wasn’t expecting anything from this film and I am amazed at how deep and meaningful this film is.
The term ‘inner child’ is not something that can be easily understood. It is somewhat hard to relate to and even harder to be taken seriously.
So then; what is the inner child? I see the inner child as a combination of childhood memories and these appear to primarily exist just above the stomach. And like any childhood, these will be a combination of happy and unhappy memories.
This will include certain needs that were not fulfilled and there is also likely to be certain traumas that were experienced. These two factors will affect how the inner child behaves in the present day.
In Present Day
When the needs and the traumas of the inner child have not been looked at or processed; ones present day life will be affected.
This can create ones behaviour and what one desires from life. The kind of relationships one will attract and the type of relationships one will settle for. It will also affect ones emotional state and the level of emotional intelligence one has. Ones relationship to their own body will also be influenced by the inner child.
Why Does This Happen?
So the question is: if this inner child or the memories that are creating the inner child are so old, why does it still have such power over how one is today?
This is because of the original trauma that occurred when these needs were not met still exists within the body. It has become frozen in the body and will remain that way until it is processed.
These needs are to do with basic emotional nurturing. And how strong these needs are will depend on whether or not they were met during ones childhood years .These make up ones psychological wellbeing.
From my own experience I would say that the ego mind is also conditioned by the inner child. Perhaps they are one and the same.
Through the identification to the inner child, one will see life through the eyes of the inner child. This can cause one to; feel, think, emote and behave just like this inner child.
What this means is that present situations will be interpreted through how the past was and the new situations will be attracted that mirror the past. This will also cause reactive and impulsive behaviour to occur.
Through the identification and merging with the inner child; relationships will be formed that don’t necessarily honour who one is today. These relationships will fulfil the unmet needs of the inner child. They will also reflect how the inner child was treated by its caregivers. And this of course might not always have been functional.
It can cause one to see the opposite sex as mother or father figures and as people that can offer more than is truly possible.
Present day needs will be overlooked by these original needs. There will be little room for conscious choices to be made. This is because these needs are so strong and powerful.
And when one becomes the inner child there will also be the likelihood of regression occurring. By this I mean that one will revert back to the behaviour of their childhood.
This will usually be during situations and experiences that retrigger childhood wounds; causing one to act in disempowering and dysfunctional ways.
The inner child is acting out and playing the old roles. And as these are behaviours that worked all those years ago, it will continue to use them.
The inner child has no way of supporting or caring for itself. It is reliant on its caregiver for everything. This means is that if one is identified with their inner child they will have a tendency to feel dependent on others.
This could be dependence on the approval of others, the acceptance of others or the attention of others. The inner child has no way of accepting, approving or giving itself the attention that it craves.
The inner child is still calling out for all of the validation and acknowledgment that it didn’t receive all those years ago. It carries this grief with it wherever it goes; with the constant hope that one day it will be recognised and heard by someone.
This might be why there is such a strong desire to be famous in today’s culture. Perhaps these peoples inner child just wants to be loved and noticed and to receive all of the attention it didn’t receive. However, to give the inner child what it needs directly, will only last so long, until it desires more. These needs are insatiable and can never be filled.
Being a child and not being able to do anything means that it only thinks about itself. This means that it is incredibly self centred. This is only natural and has to be recognised for what it is.
However if one was to identify with the inner child it could create the tendency to feel entitled. And if one has indentified to the inner child and feels powerless it is only natural to feel a sense of entitlement.
This has potential of creating a lot of conflict in one’s life. The inner child will need and want things that are not necessarily important to the person one is today.
It is like having two selves; one part wants one thing and another wants something completely different. This not only creates an incredible amount of conflict; it also requires a lot of energy.
Being The Observer
So if one is not the inner child, then who are we? We are the observers of the inner child and are not the inner child itself.
What this means is that as we can harmonize the inner child and give it all of the acknowledgement and validation that it didn’t receive all those years ago. This will cause the original needs can be integrated within the child.
It is not that the past is being changed, what is being changed is the emotional power and charge. Through this, the inner child will begin to change and will be on road to becoming who it might have been after a ‘perfect’ childhood; a childhood free from trauma and neglect.
At first this will probably involve external support in the form of a therapist, mentor or close friend for example.
Whether one can relate to the idea of the inner child or not is unimportant; what is important is for the development of ones emotional intelligence. This will allow one to make conscious choices and not choices that have come about through the reaction to ones emotions and past
And if one is completely identified to their inner child or have moments when they are, this will limit the ability to be conscious. It will also stop one from realising the true power that they have.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant - With Over 2,000,000 Article Views Online.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.