Below is the second in our series of letters in discussion with Alan.
We continue our limited series of letters and responses between adult replacement child, Alan, and Replacement Child Forum co-founder and psychoanalyst Kristina Schellinski.
We thought our readers would be interested in this ongoing exchange about some specific issues facing Alan as a replacement child. These letter exchanges are not therapy sessions, or meant to replace professional counselling, but with Alan’s permission, we felt the insights expressed may be of help to others who may share some of the same concerns.
**If you are a professional therapist your additional insights concerning these letters would be greatly appreciated by our readers. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.**
Letter #2 from Alan
How do I overcome inferiority?
How do I overcome feelings of inferiority, and have a better positive outlook for the future?
Are there support groups for Child Replacement Syndrome? That would be very helpful!
Right now, I am literally struggling to survive day to day.
The short answer to your question of how to overcome feelings of inferiority due to the replacement child condition, is by accepting and getting to the bottom of them. And by loving the boy that you were and who is still there as an inner child within you.
With respect to your request for a support: participating in a group and sharing on this issue without being held, at the same time, in a therapeutic setting may not be so helpful. One needs to be able to go to one person afterwards, when the group meeting has stirred up issues and emotions. A support group cannot be instead of personal work, so if you can find a good match with a therapist, please start that work, that would be most helpful in your situation. I will be thinking about a support group for adult replacement children who are accompanied.
I think the first step is to identify the condition.
A second step is to see where issues related to attachment, grief, guilt, relational and shadow aspects have affected you.
The challenge is to try and get in touch with the kernel that is you. Uncover your sense of authenticity, your identity: who you are… even if at first you might find there an abandoned child. Don’t be discouraged if you get uncomfortable feelings of rage or hate, or simply feel depressed, unfulfilled and at a loss. That is what your mother may have felt after the loss of her child and that is the family atmosphere you were born into, and that is what you got to feel – but you can realize this and slowly start to differentiate yourself from these introjected feelings.
Consciousness is of central importance and – of great help.
Then it is about your adult responsibility, to recognize what you might do in your relations and in your life, given that you know that such were the early circumstances in your life.
And to try and get to the creative spark, which despite all suffering and all destruction, is within us all.
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