Your Disowned Sub-personalities

  Rediscovering the lost parts of your personality
Returning exiled parts of your personality that were “sent away”

Homecoming - Restoring missing parts of your “real me

What is a Disowned Inner self or sub-personality?    What is  Disowning?

When one sub-personality, part or inner self sends another sub-personality, self (or a natural part) into exile.

NOTE: For Voice Dialogue Practitioners and trainees.

Some Voice Dialogue practitioners still adhere to an earlier definition where the Inner self world was made up of “Primary” inner selves with all the rest including energetic opposites, shadow selves and truly disowned selves all lumped together as “disowned”. We have learned much more since then about the various kinds of selves that are not Primary.

For example:

1. Some highly significant selves are energetic opposite “twins” which pair with primary selves and are powerful protectors in their own way. They are certainly far from disowned, in fact they often switch places with their primary twin to provide an opposite kind of protection. They play a major role in energetic balancing or as I call it “emotional gym” activities.

2. Secondary selves that have less energy but remain in awareness and occasionally can and do take over temporarily when a primary self appears to be failing as a protector. For this reason they do not fit the idea of a disowned self.

3. Very young protector selves which are closely connected to our deepest vulnerability and our inner child. They may or may not be primary selves but they are active.

This website looks at the truly disowned sub-personalities as defined below.

4. Truly exiled or missing selves that can play no active part as protectors. They still exert subtle influences as I explain on this website and in my Free book on Disowned Selves, Disowning and Reclaiming Exiled Inner Selves which will be available later in 2018.

E-mail me using if you would like to be one of the first to read this free book.

What is Disowning ?

Disowning happens when one part of us makes a judgemental decision that another part, pattern or sub-personality (or inner self) is causing too much vulnerability. Rather than having to deal repeatedly with the resulting hurt, fear, pain or  conflict, the stronger or ‘fixer’ part forces the ‘problem’ one to go into permanent exile in the hope that everyone will forget it was ever a member of the inner self family. This is a dynamic not a passive process.

Disowning - sub-personalities are buried, exiled, sent into the forest or just ‘got rid of’

It’s a bit like the plot of a bedtime story. First  the decision is made that the best thing for all concerned is for the ‘problem’ part (for example, the part of you that is too sensitive emotionally) to be exiled or  ‘got rid of’.

A stronger inner protector self sends the ‘problem’ self deep into the forest or to another land far away, it is described as having been ‘disowned’. Its exile is intended to be permanent and the intention is that the self will be totally forgotten. With it out of the way it seems the rest of the inner self family can relax and feel less at risk.

Like most exiles, disowned parts may appear to no longer have any influence but they still hold the opposite energy to the self that disowned them and this gives them some unusual powers. An example is the ability of your disowned sub-personalities to attract other people with energies like theirs.

Sometimes disowning makes sense

It’s beneficial, if early in your life you disown some sub-personalities like the more violent ones who preferred brute force as their chosen way to control other people. Your dishonest and cheating sub-personalities are also better out of the picture.

Disowning as part of adapting

However, what usually happens is that (as explained in Book G-1) the primary sub-personalities get rid of not only the ‘unacceptable’ parts of your childhood personality but also other parts that should have been retained (but which people around you didn’t like). For example you need some healthy anger to define the real and authentic ‘you’, the balanced personality you are actually meant to grow into, but this often gets disowned along with unhealthy aggression.

Identifying disowned sub-personalities within you

At the start, you, your friends, your partner, even your facilitator may be totally unaware of the existence of disowned parts within you, but here are some ways to spot a disowned self:

1. When a sub-personality you see or hear in another person, gives you a bad (emotional) taste in the mouth, without any obvious reason. One of your sub-personalities is obviously reacting strongly about this, but why? Because when the sub-personalities in you, who got rid of your ‘problem’ self, see a similar one alive and active in someone else they start to worry. What if your disowned self starts thinking about returning from exile and joining the family again?

However the reaction is not always repulsion, it can be an irresistible attraction. You can be overpowered, enmeshed (or both) by the other person’s behaviour.

For example, if a hard, stronger or(+1) ‘cold and logical’ self has successfully got rid of all the emotional sub-personalities in Gary, he may at first be drawn to those parts in Gina. Her emotional side looks ‘interesting’ because it seems so unlike his own personality.

Later on, Gary’s cold, logical sub-personalities begin to judge and criticise Gina’s feeling sub-personalities as ‘too soft’ and this leads to the break up of that relationship.

So noticing whatever it is you keep attracting into your life (and when it comes, you react strongly to it) helps identify the parts you have disowned.

2. Whatever you disown seems to attract, towards you, people who are carrying or ‘holding’ similar energy to your disowned parts. It may turn up in a partner, but just as often in your children, friends, people at work, a bank manager or shop assistants. Even your pets may have sub-personalities similar to those you have disowned.

3. People with disowned sub-personalities that are the opposite of yours will be drawn to you. Gary’s girl friends will be attracted to him by his hard strong ‘logical’ side (which they have disowned). This gives Gary another way to see that he has disowned his feelings.

Other pointers to a disowned self in you:

4. If one character, animal or object in a particular dream has a major impact on you, it usually represents one of your disowned sub-personalities. Similarly if you often experience an emotion such as fear, sexual energy, anger or dishonesty in your dreams yet seldom when awake, this suggests that this emotion is disowned in you. So do dreams where you lead a life opposite to daytime reality. If a clean cut, BMW driving, lawyer dreams he is a long-haired surfer, that’s the side he’s disowned.

5. Disowned sub-personalities can also reappear temporarily, when you are very tired, sick, stressed or under the influence of any kind of primary self blocking substance particularly alcohol.

Mid-life crisis or disowned self fighting back?

If you are facing extreme pain or danger, a major life crisis or some other critical event and flip into an opposite personality state, it may well be that one of your disowned sub-personalities is returning from exile. It’s as though it is saying to the hard primary self that sent it away, ‘You can’t protect us any longer, it’s my turn to have a try again’!

Faced with a major problem in mid-life, a scrupulously honest banker may suddenly start embezzling funds. A morally upright pastor may start cheating on his wife, a therapist working with addicts becomes locked in an addictive cycle of his own. This can be a sign that some of their disowned sub-personalities are staging a last ditch comeback and explains what is often labelled a ‘mid-life’ crisis.

If the newly returned self turns out to be a great deal better at protecting them and the returning and now stronger sub-personality disowns the previously powerful one the change becomes permanent. The doormat who flips into their disowned rebel seldom goes back to being a doormat.

In less serious examples a disowned rebel self can come out and enable a middle-aged conservative lecturer to buy a red sports car, while a shy introverted accountant takes up belly dancing and a morally upright mother goes to a costume party dressed as a prostitute.

Reconnecting with disowned sub-personalities

Adaption and disowning may be what you needed to do as a small child, to fit in with your family, but it usually involved the loss of some quite lovable but too fragile parts of your personality. If this was the case then reconnecting with those exiled ‘soft’ disowned parts, such as ‘unconditional loving’, is always worthwhile but it takes some time to organise a successful homecoming.

If you identify a ‘good’ disowned self and want to reconnect with it, it’s best to work with a trained facilitator or therapist until you learn more about using your Aware Grown Up Self to re-embrace and balance it with the more powerful one who sent it away.

Reconnecting with a less ‘worthy’ disowned self such as the ‘cheater’ or a ‘lying self’ is more controversial. At best you might want to consider re-embracing only those parts of its energy that have a useful and positive place in your life.

An example of this might be becoming more aware of the ways in which a business partner you trusted is actually cheating you. At this point you might also become aware of which sub-personalities in you blocked you (until now) from seeing you were being ripped off and also how your disowned cheating self may have attracted you into that partnership and drawn the cheating person towards you as well! This is illustrated in the case studies on disowning.

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