Inga Larson

I Help Adult Children of the Emotionally Immature Shed Poor Boundaries, People-Pleasing and Perfectionism and Stand Their Ground...without Pissing People Off!

I know what it’s like not to be seen. To be invisible. I was born to two deeply damaged people. My mother needed me to make her feel better, to organize her chaotic life. My father rarely noticed me, and when he did, found me wanting because I couldn’t live up to his image of what he wanted me to be. Throughout my early adulthood, I carried with me both the need to take responsibility for the reactions of everyone around me, and the “confidence” that I would never truly succeed.

So as an expert on immature parents, I found clients with the same issues coming in to see me, year after year, struggling with neglect and abuse, with parents who fed off of them, who didn’t allow emotions or interests or qualities that didn’t jibe with their expectations. Like me, they were exhausted. Numb. Constantly in crisis, or trying to control every facet of their existence. And then they asked, I need to hear from others who know what this is like! My group was born.

We are finding our way out of invisibility, out of the sense we must always be managing relationships, rather than stepping inside them and truly connecting. If we can be perfect enough, how we present ourselves and how out parents see us can at last align –even if our parents are dead. We can feel the terror and the power of a discreet self. The responsibility and the actions of an add-value human being.

This is a love letter to all of those not seen, to all of those given the impossible task of being the parent to their parent. Of being the unwilling recipient of their parents often bizarre expectations, including that of the Golden Child, or of the black sheep. Of not being seen at all, for the wonderfully complex, unique beings you were meant to be.

You are not whom your parents wanted you to be. Not really. And in your spirits you can feel a daily death, a surrender…to be perfect, to have no boundaries or walls so thick no one can reach you. To not know the simple joy of true intimacy with another, your thoughts and feelings joining with theirs to rejoice in commonality and be energized by difference.

To know that you are inherently worthy, to let in the preciousness of another’s worth.

See, for yourself, my story…I arrived at the age of adulthood without the first clue of how to actually, well, “adult.” I was lucky, and still, the training hurt. To be able to look inside myself and see the ugliness, rinse it off, and unearth the beauty underneath.

Now I savor every day. And I struggle, each day, to be the unique self that I give to the world. I’m a fighter: part of the security force at Take Back the Night marches, protesting at Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, forming a GLBTQIA group in the ‘80’s in a small Colorado town, then fighting Amendment 2 opposing those rights, finally facilitating a group for abusive parents for Parents Anonymous, and another for parents and children to prevent child abuse through the Child Assault Prevention Program.

And over the last 20 plus years, I’ve had the profound privilege of fighting alongside my clients as they pulled the damaging lessons of their immature parents out by the root. Going to the intellect, then past the intellect, to the body. The body that shrinks, just at the moment you know you’d be better served by standing tall. That surrenders when you need to assert, or shuts others out when you most need to lean into their comfort.

It is not enough to know intellectually that you are worthy. You must feel it in your bones. That your greatest gift to the world, the gift that underlies all others, is the next breath you take.

Let’s take it together.