Returning to the Internal Family System model it is important to recall how parts/disowned selves/roles, their development is always specific to an individual’s temperament and interpretation of their personal experience.
For example, exile parts digest negative messages which began to form in our earliest thoughts about ourselves and the world around us. These wounds or burdens then form parts of our core personalities.
We are not always aware of these core aspects. This lack of awareness can cause major problems for us when the formation of these “first” parts becomes isolated from the rest of the internal system.
When these parts “go underground” in order to protect the individual from feelings of inadequacies or vulnerabilities, these parts will manifest or act out these isolated parts in ways that are problematic; for example, indirect neediness, which inadvertently pushes others away from us and/or excessive care-giving. We engage both behaviors hoping to maintain an external status quo in order to create an internal feeling of safety for our scared parts (exiles).
It is important to understand that while parts/roles act and react in both positive and negative manners, we are at their mercy until we become consciously aware of these aspects of ourselves, (referred to in the IFS model as unblending). Some traditions refer to this process as waking up, we refer to the process as becoming aware. Be assured that we do not have the freedom to CHOOSE to use these roles in ways that serve us prior to the awareness of our parts.
“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds”. [i]
[i] R.D. Laing #34029 Classic Quotes, 1994-2007 Michael Moncur. Quotationspage.com