Original Child’s Split Personality

The Original Child’s Split Personality:

The Survival Child and the Phantom Twin

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Albert Einstein

The Original Child


Each person is born with instinctive, independent and wild behavior. This is short lived when the caregiver begins to put limits on the infant’s boundaries. Throughout early childhood and adolescence the child learns to survive by yielding to the caregiver’s ‘normal’ – their dominating beliefs and behaviors. There is little choice if the child wants to survive in the family.

This early conditioning is natural to all species.  It teaches us how to get along with others and how to be in relationship. Each culture and caregiver teaches conditioning in it’s own ‘normal’ way.  However, conditioning has both a powerful constructive and destructive effect on the future interrelationships of the young child. We will use the word ‘hardwiring’ to represent all conditioning that takes place in this way.  Hardwiring is like the hard copper wire used to carry electrical current to plugs and light switches in a house.  Likewise our nervous system carries electrical pulses to all parts of the body while learning patterns and short cuts to be efficient.

Hardwiring and Wounding

When children and adults engage, a process of being wired into the family’s ‘normal’ beliefs and behaviors brings both:

  • The child’s independent psyche and small physical body, and
  • The caregiver’s dominate psyche and large physical body.  

When the wiring processes take place we will call “wounding”.  Like actual wounds, these psychic and physical scars remain with the child for life.  And of coarse, they are mirrors of the caregiver’s scars received during their childhood wiring. 

  1. Natural Wounding.  In this hardwiring process the caregiver teaches the child right from wrong, and good from bad - natural things that help him/her get along in the world. This may includes what to eat and drink; about hygiene and basic care of clothes and belongings; how to ask and what not to say; and many other useful tools and techniques to live by. The natural wounding results in physical and emotional scars that lead the child to say, “I am not OK the way I am.  I must do what my caregiver says is right, even if it is different from how I feel or what I desire.”  This is not a unhealthy wounding outright, but part of a natural or necessary wounding to integrate the child into society and to tone down complete independence.  Never the less, scars will result do to learning new behaviors that are contrary to the wild, instinctual part of the child’s psyche.  These scars remain in adults for a lifetime.

  2. Normal Wounding.  The second process of hardwiring is usually misunderstood.  Normal wounds seem the same as natural wound, accept that the impact they have on the child’s future relationships is massive.  Normal wounds are the beliefs and behaviors we deem ‘right,’ regardless of whether they give the results expected.  They involve the direct impact of constructive or destructive ‘right’ beliefs and ‘right’ behaviors of the caregiver on the child’s psyche.  

Normal wounds have a life long impact on character, aspirations, relationships, career, morals, ethics, goals, educational opportunities, our hopes and dreams for the future.  The scars often feel like open wounds when disappointed.  When the child becomes an adult, he/she may repeat the same explanation for the outcome of their failures or for the way their life has turned out.  Most middle age adults have said more than once, 

  • “I thought I would be further along in my career by now;” 
  • “I expected to receive more recognition for my contribution at this point in my life;” or 
  • “I was sure my husband and son would have healed their misunderstandings before he died.”

The normal beliefs and behaviors are passed down from generation to generation.  They are seen in our preferences, partialities, fondness’, inclinations, attachments, habits and choices.  They seem ‘right’ and have worked relatively well.  The RIGHT beliefs and behaviors, contrasted by their opposites, might include some of the following:

  • Eating steak and eggs for breakfast, instead of grubs and corn.
  • Being a Republican, and not a Democrat, Green, Independent or Rainbow.
  • Believing all people who are not like you are inferior, rather than valuing diversity.
  • Wearing a T-shirt and shorts to church, instead of a suit.
  • You know the proper way to drive and others are idiots.
  • Right is right, regardless of the hurt to others, versus seeing value in many viewpoints.
  • Avoiding expletives at all cost, instead of using them freely when upset.
  • Selling and object for a commonly accepted price, instead of fleecing a customer.
  • Feeling open to marry the person you love, rather than being class or race specific.
  • Protecting your own children, instead of feeling protective of all children.
  • Defending your child’s violent behavior, instead of apologizing for it.
  • Giving birth at home, rather than at a hospital.
  • Saving sex for marriage, rather than as means of exploration or recreation.
  • Spending money as you earn it, instead of saving it for retirement.
  • Feeling your way is always right, instead of seeking out other opinions.



  • The natural and normal wounds of the caregiver were hardwired into them by their caregivers (Grandparents).  
  • The purpose of the wounds is to help children get along socially and to keep the family beliefs and behaviors intact.  They can be life affirming or life damaging to the child’s relationship model

But, there is one more reason for wounding.  It is to cover up deeper wounds, below the natural and normal one’s mentioned above.  Wounds so painful, they are masked even to our closest friends. Great lengths are taken to avoid even the slightest chance of these wounds being awakened within our psyches.  This is where the Mother of all wounds lives in her underwater den in the deep unconscious.  The core of our being, where we were hurt, abused, abandoned, neglected and deprived of being seen, understood, chosen and valued by caregivers who suffered the same wounds by their caregivers.  These are the core wounds or Family Secrets.

When False Threats Are Encountered

With some training, normal and natural wounds (insistence on what is ‘right’ and ‘normal’ for our family) are relatively easy to spot in the highs and lows of everyday behavior and specifically in personal preferences.  As mentioned above, underneath the normal and natural wounds lies the “Mother” of these two hardwired wounds, keeping her and our family secrets hidden far away from consciousness. Family secrets are the underlying cause of why we act out in ways like rage, divorce, illness, high risk, etc., that do not give us the results desired, i.e., love, acceptance, respect, etc.  Instead of learning how to get seen, understood, chosen and valued from our caregivers, we feel ashamed that we have no idea where to start.

Family secrets can be seen in many of our behaviors and statements.  When we ask ourselves the question, “What’s Missing?”  When we are discouraged and sense emptiness in our life, thoughts come up that say, “I’m feeling out of control, what’s missing?”  Another way Family secrets can be glimpsed is when the natural wound statement, “I’m not OK the way I am” is heard in a thought or verbally. Asking these types of inquiry questions will often result in a sinking feeling at the center of our being.  


The sinking feeling reminds and warns us of a possible danger when we are caught off guard by a demand or inappropriate tone of voice.  For example, a man picks up the telephone at work and the boss says, “I do not care what you are doing, get into my office, now!”  Caught off guard, the sinking feeling instantly forms in his belly.  He feels an underlying shame that he might have done something wrong or that he is about to be caught unprepared.  His family secrets are vulnerable.  Momentarily he has lost control, but is unable to identify the source.  

There are many ways we verbalize this loss of control.  Let’s look at a few examples.

Indicators of Family Secrets

When we say:

  • “Something is wrong.  I can sense it.  Can’t seem to put my finger on it.”
  • “I don’t like her looking at me that way.  It scares me.”  
  • “Why do I feel so out of place here?  I feel like a duck among swans.”
  • “I hope he doesn’t ask me a question.  I’ll freeze up.”
  • “That conversation did not go well.  She sees right through me.”
  • “I feel transparent when my husband asks me accusatory questions.  I retreat inside myself.”

The psyche is indicating a possible loss of control and steps are taken to protect us through family, acceptable, chronic behavior.

Manifestations of the Family Secrets 

Hidden just below this sinking feeling, deeper in the unconscious, is where the core wounds or Family Secrets reside.  Below is a list of a few manifestations of chronic behavior acted out in daily life to hide the Family Secrets.  However, these are not the actual ‘root’ causes, just yet.  

When we need an excuse for being or feeling dumb, unacceptable, or less than a whole human being we may develop chronic:

  • Depression, Alienation, Self-Doubt or Isolating Loneliness
  • Thrill Seeking, Death Defying Hobbies or Sports
  • Racism, Bigotry, & Hatred
  • Inferiority, Inadequacy, Worthlessness & Failure
  • Negativity, Moodiness or Blaming
  • Colds or Flu’s
  • Accident Proneness
  • Conspiracy, Argument, Fear or Propaganda Targets
  • Unemployment or Being Fired Patterns
  • Multiple Marriages & Divorces Patterns
  • Compulsive Disorders, Perfectionism or Narcissism
  • Pattern’s of Never Completing School, Projects, Plans or Promises
  • Paranoid & Schizoid Behavior
  • Jealousy, Rage, Suspiciousness and Doubt

When someone says to me, “I’m sick,” I ask, “Sick of what?”  The question asks the person a deeper question than do you have a stomachache, the flu or some chronic disease.  The deeper inquiry is asking the person, “Do you know the answer to why you are manifesting sickness as a pattern?  Do you know the underlying cause of the pattern?  Do you know that when you finally find the true cause of the sickness pattern, the answer will reverse the syndrome and return you to good physical, mental and emotional health?”  So, why do we avoid a healing solution?

The truth is, we have a powerful, vested interest in our chronic manifestations to protect us from worse pain, even if they are hurting others or killing us.  We are willing to loose relationships, jobs, money, love, opportunity and many other valuable gifts of life, because of these deep unconscious, seemingly irreversible, chronic patterns.  The deep vested interest in our chronic patterns has worked so far, why look for something more?

Each of us has a set of chronic patterns that appear when we are under attack, stressed out or facing a perceived threat of which we are unable to cope.  This personal and family set of chronic behaviors is the acceptable, ‘normal’ path we learned in order to stay safe, in a some times unsafe family situation.  This is our reasoning and our excuse for not going deeper into the family’s secrets.  

I am not suggesting here that there are no techniques available and we just choose not to use them.  But, I will make a rigorous point that most practitioners of the techniques are using a shotgun approach instead of a rifle.  These are good people with committed intentions to help us integrate our chronic patterns.  I have experienced physical, mental, emotional as well as spiritual therapies, and alternative healing modalities, over the past 35 years.  The conclusion I’ve reached, in my early fifties, is hard core and relatively unique.  It is the very standard I have used in my professional practice for almost two decades.  

“A therapy or helpfulness is no deeper, no more effective in reaching the core patterns of ineffective behavior in relationships, than the therapist’s personal relationship health with their spouse, children, boss, co-workers, waitresses, panhandlers, angry teenagers, mental patients, stranger or any other acquaintance they might interact with in the world.”  

To sum up, we can only give to others what health we have in relationships with ALL others!

Sustaining And Nurturing Unproductive, Chronic Patterns  

So, what is behind our vested interest in keeping chronic behavior patterns?

A metaphor, in the form of the story “Beowulf,” gives us a symbolic description of the misunderstanding surrounding a resolving of chronic patterns of behavior.  When our psychology only works with the ‘natural’ and ‘normal wounds, we often mistakenly awaken the ‘Mother’ of those wounds.  She is only waiting patiently for the right opening to seek her revenge.  If there is no next step beyond “feeling better,” more than likely the person will retreat and avoid further probing into their pain.  

What it takes to dive down to those root causes of pain and resolve them for good are heroic measures.  By resolve, I am suggestion not an ending, but the integration of the root cause of pain into our conscious awareness, instead of it being hidden where it continues to act out.  In the psyche, nothing dies.  It is, either brought to the surface and integrated into consciousness, or it slips away into the unconscious waters, to return unexpectedly to avenge it’s lessor rival – US!

The Story of Beowulf

Grendel, a monster from the deep, has repeatedly come ashore to slaughter the counselors & warriors of the Kings court.  

Grendel is like next sickness, depression, adrenaline rush, promotion, marriage, job, compulsion, vacation or jealousy that returns whenever we need to hide the family secrets.  Grendel is a distraction.

The King was disparate to stop the bloodshed of his people.  Finally, Beowulf shows up and gives Grendel a mortal wound by cutting off his arm.  Grendel then slithers back into the water and fades away into the watery depths.

This is the business as ‘normal’ mode.  When a major threat to our ‘normal’ raises its ugly head, like Beowulf’s habit of cut and slice first, ask questions later, our chronic behavior is used at the first sign of fear to cover up the problem.  Yet, this chronic behavior, “our drug of choice,” always fails to solve the problem it for good.  The fix is short lived and the shadowy Grendel returns over and over again.

For example, let’s say the primary stressor in a family is Mary’s career.  Mary works 12 to 16 hours a day at the company.  With a husband and two kids, Mary is always stretched to the breaking point. Mary uses the family priorities as the excuse for why she must work so many hours – the kid’s college, their lifestyle and retirement.  A monster (Grendel) shows up repeatedly in the form of an exhausted immune system, requiring several weeks of bed rest.  She is abandoning the family while working and while recovering.

After much ceremony, gift giving to Beowulf (an ancient, magic, golden sword and armor) and grand speech making, life goes on as before with one difference.  A heavy price has been paid for Grendel’s destructive episodes.

Everyone is so happy that Mary is recovered and back to her old self.  After all, it is what the family feels is ‘normal’ behavior.  The heavy price Mary’s body pays for each burn-out will over time add up to flame out, or the complete inability to function.

More victories over the King’s enemies are fought, and peace finally returns to the Kingdom. With Grendel gravely injured or possibly even dead, the warriors and members of the court laid down to a well deserved sleep in the great hall. 

As Mary continues to add success to success at work, and the family accepts her absence for the safety created by her income.  They are relieved that she is well again.  Friends, family and co-workers take their rest after the crisis and dream of more happy times.

However, the court is unaware that the Mother of Grendel, armed with the power of the past deeds of her son, is stealthily approaching to seek revenge for his wounds inflicted by Beowulf.  Savage in her grief, the monstrous ogress lays waste to the court as the men scrambled to fetch their swords.  Once the Mother has felt avenged, she grabs a man, who was deeply loved by the King, and returns to the watery escape.

Mary’s body begins its silent revenge.  Because everyone has become complacent they don’t see the signs of weakness becoming worse each day. Mary is unable to change her chronic behavior.  Her false notion that if she tries to bring moderation into her days, things will turn from bad to worse.  She leaves her guard down.  Following many bouts with her compromised immune system, Mary suffers with a sever case of pneumonia. Mary’s life force is draining back into the watery depths of the unconscious.  This may be the initiation required for her to begin understanding the core wound that drove her to neglect her health.  The part of her represented by the “man, who was deeply loved by the King’” is the Original Child she lost when she was conditioned as a child.  If she survives the pneumonia, it is possible she will bring to surface the Family Secret – Why she had to go away and become her parents ‘normal’ belief of success.

Beowulf, who slept in separate quarters, was summoned.  After being told of the destruction by the Mother of Grendel, Beowulf heads out to find the monsters den.  At the place where the waters swirled with blood, Beowulf dons the magic armor and sword and plunges into the water.  The monster Mother grabs Beowulf and brings him into her underwater cave.  Beowulf draws his sword, but his best attempt fails to penetrate the monster’s flesh.  She pins him and is about to strike a death-blow to Beowulf to avenge her son Grendel, when Beowulf sees a sword within reach more ancient than his own.  Beowulf reaches the sword and with a true blow opens her neck. 

Now, deep in her illness, Mary’s higher Self comes to the rescue.

People make all kinds of crazy repetitious statements to protect the family secrets from being revealed.  

We can hear them in the standard, repetitious spoken by others.  Our own are much more difficult to hear. When a caregiver says something, to a child or another adult, that does not solve the problem we can 

Family secrets are shame-based, hardwired wounds passed on in families from generation to generation. Examples may be:


  • “You’ll do it because I’m your Father.”  

SECRET:  The Father does not have a model for finding out what the child really needs, he is ashamed, so he repeats this statement when his options run out.  His parents were also without a model.  No caregiver is holding back a better model.  Their best is always used, even if it does not work. 

  •       “It was good enough for me, it is good enough for you.” 

SECRET:  The Phantom Twin is ingrained with the family ‘normal’ and cannot step beyond the boundaries of what was learned.  During stressful times caregivers make obvious their limited boundaries.  Unconscious shame is acted out by putting down the child’s new idea or need.

  • “You’ll do it because I said so.”  

SECRET:  Again, this shows that the Mother or Father does not know what to do next.  There is no reasoning used, just a power play that frustrates both caregiver and child.  So that the caregiver does not feel the family shame, it is projected onto the child.  The child then carries the same shame based reaction to their children and the cycle continues.

  • “I give you a roof over your head and food in your belly, what else could you want from me?” 

SECRET:  The caregiver is unable to feel what’s missing in themselves, the need to be seen, touched, reassured, and verbally & physically loved.  Dad or mom is unaware of the child’s simple need to be loved.  Their shamed-based Survival Children divert the feelings of shame to the offspring, unaware of the consequences.

  • “We don’t have money for you to keep up with your friend.  They’re a bunch of jerks anyway.” 

SECRET:  This caregiver lives in a scarcity consciousness.  This is another example of shame projection, i.e. onto the child’s friends.  In Mom and dad’s model there is never enough money, time, love, value to give it away.  The issue is never about physical things, but always about being seen, understood and valued.

Core Needs: To be seen, understood, chosen and valued.

Why are shame based, hardwired wounds so destructive?  When the core needs (to be seen, understood, chosen and valued, through verbal, emotional and physical means) are being asked for from the child, the caregiver either reacts or responds.  When the caregiver has a hardwired model that know how to get be seen, etc., the child will be taught how to get their core needs met.  If the caregiver never learned how to get it’s core needs fulfilled, the child will continue to act out in ways that upset the caregiver.  In a stressful  interaction with a child, the caregiver’s Phantom Twin steps in and lays down the family law.

The caregiver’s avoids feeling the shame-based pain locked away in it’s unconscious.  This is what is meant by shame based families.


It is obvious that all children will develop negative complexes from projection of the family shame.  Yet, the focus of most therapy is on the client’s complex, rather than the fact that the caregiver could not give something that was never learned. 

Instead, therapists’ need to focus on the fact that the core needs were never learned and will never be available from the caregiver to give to the child.  When the child grows to adulthood it needs to understand the truth, that the caregiver did not hold back love, caring, understanding or patience. The caregiver never received a model for it from their parents. Everyone needs to accept the fact that hardwiring, and the wounds received along the way, are part of life.  It was the way each family is wired, and there is no changing this reality.  However, the good and bad news is, that in every wound there is a gift, and in every gift there is a wound.

Wounds Become Gifts

Here are some examples of gifts and wounds that are easy to see, yet distressing if it is understood how these wounds were received.

  • A boy is repeatedly told that he would never amount to anything.  Overcomes all odds and becomes a superstar on the basketball court; the President of a large corporation; an engineer who builds space craft; or he may become President of the United States of America.

The energy contained in the wound is often used as the motivating influence to excel some young men beyond any preconceived idea of success they held as children.  The world around him says that it was his talent, good luck or fate that allowed him to succeed.  The process of hardwired wounding says that he turned his rage into productive use.

  • A young girl repeatedly held back from expanding her horizons, because she was told her career was to get married, create a home and raise her children.  Late at night many years later, when she is closing the books for the day on her multi-million dollar software company, she feels the pain of not being seen, understood and valued by her family.  She also bothered by her collage-aged daughter dating men who only see her as a housekeeper. What really distresses her is her daughter’s complete acceptance of this role.

Here the motivating influence of the wound has helped her expand beyond her family wiring to build a successful corporation.  She is out of the stereotype for women held by her family and culture.  However, she is perplexed by the daughters attitude, so opposite from hers.  She is unaware of the Phantom Twin’s ability to project hardwiring into the next generation.  This is a very common story for successful people today.  What is meant by “success” in the world is not the same as “success” in a life of relationships.  They can both be achieved with a deeper understanding of the Original Child’s split psyche into the Survival Child and the Phantom Twin.

  • In a household of wealth, old money, a boy is given everything he desires.  The caregivers have no limits to the point of bailing him out whenever he is in trouble.  They are frustrated by their son’s lack of stability and direction.  When the boy leaves home and marries, he is abusive to his wife and children.  Never able to find peace, he is often traveling to distant places, getting into trouble and calling his parents for money. 

When he hits bottom, a light turns on when he sees the need of an inner city gang.  It occurs to him why they act the way they do, even if it causes heartache for their families.  The gang members are just trying to be seen as people, understood from their point of view and valued as potential contributors to their families and society.  This is exactly what he was doing over the past decade.  Starting from the bottom, he is able to get the community leaders to come together and begin building a youth center.  He has never been so busy, nor has he ever been happier.  

The obvious question is, “Would he have been sensitive to the gift of seeing what was missing in the gang members, if he did not receive his family wounds many years earlier?”  Yes and maybe.  Yes, it is logical to see the path of his life leading to helping the gang members, after the fact.  Maybe, in that he could have died trying to find what was missing in himself, and on the other hand, he could have discovered the answer to his emptiness on a thousand other paths.  

Wounds Don’t Turn Into Gifts?

So, what about the majority of people who are not able to turn their wounds into gifts?  If a path works to turn a wound into a gift for one, why does it not apply to another who tries a similar path?  This can only be understood in the sheer complexity and diversity of the hardwired, wounding process.  Seen from the collective ‘normal’ viewpoint, people are the result of their thinking and behavior.  It is the luck of the draw.  People have free will to choose their life.  Theoretically, I would agree that there is a component in us that says we can choose to change circumstances anytime.  However, seen from the perspective presented here, we are our ‘adult’ thoughts and behavior only a small portion of each day, if at all.  For the majority of the time we are awake, we react to the environment and people around us from a limited model.  This model is the model given to us from our caregivers.  

This problem has consumed be since puberty when I began to explore the world of relationships around me.  One example can be found to the question “Why wounds don’t turn into gifts,”  in the reason this book was written.  I have interacted with families, friends, clients, and countless people around the world who struggle with their wounds.  This also includes the masses, seen on television and read about in periodicals, people who desire to be valued for who they are as people.  I observed them acting out in ways that brought momentary attention, then just as quickly their bubble burst and they feel worst than before.  In my own life I struggled with inner feelings, that when expressed, were misunderstood and often rejected.  I could not understand why people attractive to me, looked at me as a threat or a nuisance.  Why was I was unable to find someone who could understand me and my need to be chosen, selected as someone worthy of their love, respect or attention?  

I observed this same struggle in my parents & their friends, in siblings & their friends, in classmates, Army buddies, collage friends and professors.  In my professional career as an Executive Developer, I have worked with thousands of top business people and their families.  Success was measured at work, not in the home.  Work relationships were often difficult, but a piece of cake compared to miscommunications going on with spouses and children. 

It’s not that we are without successful relationships and friendships some of the time.  What became clear was that people were unable to articulate a formula that brought them healthy relationships all of the time.  We are just too willing to write difficult people off as unacceptable.  People readily accept the collective idea that relationships are iffy at best. You do what seem ‘normal.’ If it turns sour, move on to the next one. 

Today, with the healthy relationship models developed from my quest. I have a worldwide network of acquaintances, co-workers, mentors, friends and a wonderful marriage.  In my fifties, I can look back and see that the wounds I received in childhood were behind the powerful inner drives to find out why relationship communications were so problematical for most people.  As Albert Einstein said, when asked about his achievements, “It's not that I'm so smart , it's just that I stay with problems longer.”  Like Albert, who during his remarkable life was obsessed with finding a simple explanation for how the Universe works, I have been attached to the question of, “Why are relationships so difficult.”  My early childhood wounds, which left unfulfilled desire to be seen, understood, chosen and valued, turned into an obsessed odyssey to  find the answer why this happens.

Daily experience showed me that it was not a common desire of adults to be in conflict.  In fact all one needed to do was read romance novels, watch TV sitcoms, documentaries & movies, and listen to the thousands of song about the desire to make love work, to see there is a deep longing for core needs to be received.  People long for connection to other people.  On the other side of the coin, to assure the psyche of the need to be cautious, books, movies and songs are made and published daily that reveal the impossibility of healthy relationship.  So, we are left a bi-polar psyche that says, “I need to be seen, understood, chosen and valued, yet this is impossible.”

I will make a case that the bi-polar coin is a gift to humankind as will as a wound.  

Child and Caregiver Conflict

When child-caregiver interactions are going smoothly, the child learns about the family belief and behavior systems.  However, when conflict arises, between:

  1. The independent feelings and desires of the Original Child, and 
  2. The caregiver’s hardwired will of the Phantom Twin

the Phantom Twin assaults the child’s psyche until the child submits.  

Once again we would agree that in many situations the caregiver has a responsibility to teach the child the family beliefs.  The important point here, which is often absent from peoples relationship model, is that a conflict arises because the Phantom Twin of the caregiver must protect the Survival Twin from the offspring’s behavior.  It protects itself because the core need is missing and does not want to go down into the feeling of it missing.  This core feeling seems overwhelming to the caregiver’s Survival Child.  In fact, the feeling is directly relate to the feeling of the caregiver that was unexpressed when they were a child and could not express it because of the projection of their caregiver.

To survive, the child psyche must split into two personalities. One, the Survival Child, is constantly desiring to be recognized and valued.  The other, the Phantom Twin, counters the Survival Child’s desires by forcing repetition of the family behavior.  This is the same conflict that exists in the caregiver.

The Survival Child   

 The first, is the Survival Child, the one that hides to survive. Its’ independent and wild nature can not assert itself with out creating conflict with the caregiver. The Survival Child wants the world to see itself as good, talented, the best, the chosen one, and the hero or the heroine.  The caregiver asserts 

This Survival Child lives in fear of being found out, of being accused of wrong behavior, of making poor choices or of being disconnected from it’s perceived source of safety - the caregiver.  When this safety is threatened, it survives by adopting the learned feeling of the caregiver's expectation.

The Phantom Twin

 Phantom means something apparent to senses, but with no substantial existence - as a specter - something that haunts or perturbs the mind.

The Phantom Twin is the one who was psychically split off by the original child.  This occurred when the adult’s behavior and language created confusion and emotional distress around the child’s lifeline or connection to the caregiver.  The “Original Child” splits off and creates a sub-personality to automatically and robotically behaves in a way that duplicates the family ‘normal’ in any situation that threatens the statuesque.  The “Phantom Child” exists to protect the child’s “Original Child” from emotional & physical pain and loss experienced when the child acts out its own intrinsic feeling by supplementing the family’s ‘normal’ feeling.

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."  Albert Einstein

The Genesis of Control

The origins of relationship & communication patterns

This model represents what happens to all children during the ages of 0 to 13 years of age.





  1. Survival of Family Beliefs & Behaviors
  2. Childhood Pressure & Stress
  3. Hardwiring Becomes Fixed
  4. 100% Responsible for Feelings
  5. No Blame Rule - But Responsible as Adults
  6. Life is About Relationships

We all have: Ancestors (A’s), Mothers (M) and Fathers (F).

The Original Child is the vehicle we use to get the attention of others.  The interface between the world and the Survival Child’s world.

The Survival Child, part of the split, tries to get attention, wants to be chosen, be seen, understood and valued. When you say “Others don’t understand who I really am and how I really feel,” that’s the part referred too.

 The Phantom Twin, part of the split, is the one who makes sure we react ‘normally’ to other’s behavior.  It has tremendous power – to the degree that we will repeat behavior that is contrary to our Original Child’s survival.

         Natural Wounds are the normalization or socialization we all receive in order to get along in the civilized world.  “Share your toy’s” and "Don’t hit your sister.”  These correcting wounds leave every child, and then the adult, with physical and emotional scars that say, “I am not ok the way I am.”

          Normal Wounds were created when we felt strongly one way and our parents insisted that the way they felt was correct - “My feelings are not the right feelings.  I must bury my feelings and pretend to feel like my parents to survive.”  They learned this from their parents, and their parents from their parents, etc.  We become our parent’s feelings and except their view of the world as ‘normal.’


People act out to get attention – 

to be seen, understood, chosen and valued.

We all have many ideas on how other people should change or what they are not doing right regarding their behavior.  However, if asked how to actually help the person change, a blank look appears on their face.  The only response is to repeat what’s wrong.  The real reason we do not know what to do is because of a part of our psyche called the Phantom Twin.  Below is an example of how the Phantom Twin makes us react to other’s behavior and why we are unable to help others communicate their true feelings. 

 Jack acts out to get the attention of Mary.  What Jack is trying to do is be seen, understood, chosen and valued (His Original Child) by Mary.  However, because Jack’s ‘Phantom Twin’ was created to act out his “normal” family reactions when under stress, he is unable to make Mary understand.  Jack’s options, his communication skills, have run out.  Mary misunderstands the real reason Jack is acting out and she begins to act out to get his attention.

This activates Mary’s ‘Phantom Twin’ which reacts to the ‘Phantom Twin’ behavior of Jack.  Mary gets defensive and accuses Jack of being pig headed.  Jack claims that Mary does not listen to what he is really trying to say.

They continue to cycle back and forth as their limited options are repeated and accelerate unproductive behavior, making things worse.  Neither Jack nor Mary feels seen, understood, chosen or valued.  Both have run out of options.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Taylor Consulting  All Rights Reserved.



© Scott Taylor 2016