Growing Yourself Back Up, by John Lee

What’s great about this little book is that it identifies all kinds of situations where people spontaneously regress into childish behaviors. Maybe a guy in the car behind me at a red light blows his horn and nudges forward as soon as the light turns green. His behavior makes me feel ridiculously helpless, because he mimics my father’s arbitrary anger. Or a friend calls to cancel a date and I spiral into fear that no one loves me. These out-of-control feelings are typical of regression.

The book distinguishes between “trance regression” and “conscious regression.” “Trance regression” is the kind that happens when we are triggered into an unconscious replaying of old roles—or you might say, our Inner Children come forth and start acting out.

“Conscious regression” happens when we decide to go back to some old hurts and see what it’s like to be that wounded child again. This can be very useful for getting in touch with feelings and for healing, as I discuss in my booklet “Caring for the Child Within—A Manual for Grownups.”

Why do we regress unconsciously? It has a lot to do with fear. In a chapter on responses to fear, the author illustrates the basic responses of fight, flight, and freezing in vivid and useful examples. (There’s part I don’t agree with. When he illustrates freezing, he cites calm, quiet states like being at peace in nature. I think that’s plain wrong—the freezing response is not a peaceful one but more like a catatonic one.)

I think that Lee’s simplifications tend to make it look like we can snap out of regressions quicker than we can in real life. Nonetheless, I found this a helpful and unique book that shows how often people regress and how to cope with it.

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2 comments:

MICKY said...

Dear Jane,
About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell.

I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process].

I was released from hospital 16th September 2004, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins.

Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing.

I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages.

God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17]. I was saved, I am saved, and I am being saved. Yes, but only God knows who they are.

I, MICKY, AM A GIFT TO ALL PEOPLE

Mama Bear said...

great posts here jane. thanks. ;)