Jack and Jill are at it again
Fights where inner matriarchs and inner patriarchs take over
Have you recently had a really unpleasant fight with a close friend or your partner? How bad was it? Did it end with one or both of you feeling overwhelmingly devastated, powerless, totally alone or abandoned?
Or did one of you choose to leave the battlefield by departing or disappearing?
Did you feel "demolished" that is feeling as though you had absolutely nothing left in the way of resources to keep the battle going?
Or as you watched the other person going through the experience of devastation, helplessness, pain and abandonment, did you feel a sense of guilt, believing that you were responsible for this?
If you already understand something about the part of you inside that is often described as your "inner child" you may have been able to recognise that many of these feelings were coming directly from that young and very vulnerable part of you.
If you answered "yes" to even a few of these questions that suggests that what was going on was almost certainly a particular kind of destructive battle. These are not just another of the everyday struggles between ordinary inner protector characters (or inner villagers) who get into conflict because they have opposite points of view.
This kind of battle (no, it's more like a fight to the death) is more common when a man and woman find themselves in a close connected relationship. However, everything that I describe below can apply to a battle between a man and woman, or just as much between any male energies and female energies locked in battle.. If the outcomes of any fight are serious, painful and similar to those described above then you can suspect that four very powerful and very complex characters who live in our inner villages will be involved, two of them from each person's inner village.
Men have two in their village, an inner matriarch and an inner patriarch.
Women have two in their village, an inner patriarch and an inner matriarch.
For a start it's important to know a bit about these particular characters. They differ in a number of ways from the usual characters who live and work in our inner village.
Characteristics of the inner matriarch.
The overriding characteristics of the inner matriarch is that even when she sets up her house inside a man’s inner village, she remains scornful of men, all men, the way they think and act and feel. Her overriding loyalty is towards women. Typically, an inner matriarch will take the side of another inner matriarch living nearby in another person's inner village, in preference to the male in whose village she has set up her house.
So, she is unlike other Inner Protector characters in the Inner, because she does not seem to be concerned with the well-being of the wounded male inner child in her own village. Nor is she concerned with helping the other male protector characters in the Inner who live there.
In a way it's as though she is carrying within her the resentment of 40,000 years of male domination. Typically her attitude is one of justifiable resentment against all men including even the most vulnerable inner male child.
Punishing the male inner child
To punish a male, any male is her way of avenging this. By itself, the fact that an inner child is a male is sufficient reason to apply pain or punishment. The matriarch also specialises in punishing male inner children in nearby villages. However, as this article explains, her worst punishments are applied the wounded inner child who lives in her own inner village. Perhaps this is because she has a precise knowledge of that individual child, what aspects about him of are the most wounded and therefore the most likely to feel the punishment.
She knows just where to stick her dagger
One of the most easily identifiable characteristics of the Inner Matriarch is the way she knows exactly where the stick her dagger to inflict the greatest pain. She will study the males around her, noticing their weakest points, the things that irritate them the most, what words create the strongest sense of vulnerability in the male. She is an expert at identifying an exiled or disowned character in a male and taking on that same characteristic, something that is guaranteed to cause disharmony in a relationship. Example: Jill’s new partner Jack is very non-judgemental and proud of it. Jill likes this side of Jack. He is particularly irritated by people who make unfounded judgements about him. Suddenly one day when Jill is in a bad mood she says to Jack “You are so fixed in your ways, I don’t think we are well suited.” Jack is unable to stop himself reacting negatively, in fact the usual reaction is for his inner patriarch to leap in and increase the intensity of the battle by explaining to Jill just how foolish she is to make such an unfounded judgement.
The scene is now set for a full on fight. Jack and Jill think they are fighting but in fact it’s the inner matriarch and patriarch who are running the show. The outcome may well be the destruction of what was shaping as a good relationship.
Keep in mind that one of the core goals of both the inner patriarch and the inner matriarch is the prevent men and women from having close, grown-up, intimate and peaceful relationships.
In this example the relationship is headed for the wrecker’s yard unless Jack and Jill know about their inner patriarchs and inner matriarchs and can step back and notice who has taken over. If both Jack and Jill can just move into self-awareness they will be able to separate themselves from the four toxic battlers and get back to the point where grown-up Jill and Jack are looking after the relationship again.
Characteristics of the inner patriarch
The overriding characteristic of the inner patriarch is that when he sets up his house inside a woman's inner village his overriding loyalty is not to her but to the men around her and to maintaining their power and control over all women, including the way they think and feel and what they make of their lives. He unconditionally supports the dominance of the male hierarchy and the patriarchal lifestyle. Typically, when you listen to the inner patriarch you will notice him taking the side of another man or another patriarch living nearby in another person's inner village, in preference to the woman in whose village he has set up his house.
So, like the inner matriarch he is different from other Inner Protector characters in the Inner, Village in that he does not seem to be concerned with the well-being of the female selves and the wounded female inner child in the village. He will do nothing to assist in empowering other female villagers who live there. Rather he will do everything he can to keep them from feeling any sense of power, awareness or ability.
In a way it's as though he is carrying within him a deep-seated almost cellular fear, a fear that goes back more than 60,000 years to the earliest days of civilisation when females were regarded as having more power than males. (Because of their perceived superior ability to connect spiritually to the sky and the earth and their ability to bear children.) Typically his attitude is that his fear is justifiable and provides a reason to continuing to disempower all women and to maintain control over females and ensure that all their lives women will continue to adhere to male rules and male systems. This is the inner patriarch's way of reducing his fear. The fact that a wounded inner child is a female is sufficient reason to stir the fear of her innate power and this is spurs the inner patriarch into action.
He knows just where to apply his sword
The Inner Patriarch is also an expert in knowing where to apply his sword to inflict the worst pain and create the most destructive disharmony intended to wreck a relationship. Example: Jack’s response to Jill’s matriarch is not to address the matriarch herself but to attack Jill (who until a minute before he cared about very deeply). That’s how you know it’s his inner Patriarch who has jumped into the fight. The patriarch replies, “That’s insulting! How can you make a judgement about me without any evidence?”.
Jill’s inner child will feel the pain of Jack’s remark, but in fact something a bit more complex will be going on as we will explain later. It’s actually Jill’s inner patriarch who will apply the most hurtful slash of his sword to hurt her already wounded inner child, “Little Jill”
Beware! These characters are different
All this suggests that the inner matriarchs inside men and women the inner patriarchs inside women and men are very different from other inner protector characters (inner selves). Ordinary protector characters in inner villages are all trying in some way to protect the inner child. The inner matriarch and Inner patriarch are not.
They have a different nature similar to the characteristics we have identified previously, they are refugees or "carried villagers". There are many different kinds of carried villagers. The inner matriarch and inner patriarch are only two such characters. Carried villagers really belong in another village, that is inside another person. How they get into the wrong village and what they are doing there is explained in more detail on Page xx.(to come)
Common characteristics of Both Inner Patriarch and Matriarch
Wherever they live or work, inside men or women each individual inner matriarch or inner patriarch possesses three common characteristics:
1. They do not support personal growth, self-awareness or self empowerment of the individual whose village they live in.
2. They will try to prevent people from developing a balanced, integrated and grown-up lifestyle.
3. They are against anything that will help the individual whose village they live in, to develop closer grown-up friendships or relationships.
In a way that’s understandable. Once these things happen, the inner matriarch and Inner patriarch are going to lose most of their power in the village.
Inner patriarchs and matriarchs can also get involved in relationships between parents and children. In a typical scenario one of the children, usually the eldest child, has a strong inner matriarch or inner patriarch who tries to undermine the power and self-esteem in one of the parents.
Inner matriarchs and Inner patriarchs try to prevent the individual whose village they live in from developing a balanced, integrated and grown-up lifestyle.
Ted explained to me how he had grown up living with a mother who had three different husbands. None of his step-fathers were grown up emotionally and neither was his mother. So, quite quickly Ted became the "little grown up" in the family. In time it got to the stage where he was literally parenting his mother each time she went through to another relationship break-up. Deep down inside Ted resented having to do this, particularly as he had no choice. And this meant that inside him his inner patriarch was growing stronger and stronger, and in its typical pattern was trying to set up fixed rules that would force his mother to "grow up" and relieve Little Ted of his burden.
Ted did not have any success getting his mother to change, but the efforts by his inner patriarch completely destroyed the friendship between him as an adult man and his mother. Again, there is a happy ending to the story. Once Ted and his mother became aware of what both these characters inside them were doing, they were able to take all four of them off the job. And of course it was only after this, that his mother for the first time was actually able to start doing some serious growing up.
Inner matriarchs and Inner patriarchs do not want to see people developing closer grown-up friendships or relationships
If it’s a man and a woman, these protector characters in their inner villages don’t want them to get close enough to share love and trust and intimacy On the other hand they may support same sex friendships (as long as people don’t get too close) particularly if one of the outcomes is to help isolate males from females.
For example, it's the inner matriarch in women and the inner patriarch in males who like to organise pre-wedding male-only and female-only parties of the kind that are likely to harm intimacy and trust between the couple before they marry.
Jane told me about just how much damage had occurred as a result of a pre-wedding party given by her girlfriends, where she had, as she put it, "gone too far" with a male stripper, hired for the occasion. When she discovered that her husband Paul had also "gone too far" with a female stripper at his pre-wedding "bucks" party the scene was set for an extremely destructive flight in which the inner patriarch and matriarch were major players. The outcome was almost a cancelled wedding, but fortunately once the four real villains of the piece were identified, things got back to normal again. Jane and Paul learned a very valuable lesson about what these four characters inside them were like.