Thursday, September 22, 2016

I read a poem online - I need to share this with you - I thought ...... The Shadow Me

Chris Redfern (Christine) Psychotherapist, singer/songwriter and Published Poet

I'm Chris Redfern. I was a teacher for many years working with students  from the age of 5-18 years of age. I also did a project working with young offenders and worked for 14 years with young people who became permanently excluded from school.
I trained to be a psychotherapist 12 years ago and now work independently as a therapist in schools and believe whole-heartedly that people can change.

It's a great truism that many therapists and people involved in supporting others are ‘wounded healers’. They have travelled a path where they have learned to heal their wounds and have a desire to aid others on their journey. I experienced depression many years ago, way before I knew anything about therapy and I discovered through my journey of therapy and the psychotherapy training that I had shut down many parts of who I am  in order to survive emotionally.

As I did my psychotherapy training, poetry and songs poured out of me, describing my history, my struggles, my healing, my therapy and my growth. In 2013 I sang three songs at an International Psychotherapy Conference that I thought  I had written about students I had worked with. Little did I realise  at the time that my story lay within the lyrics too. I was both overwhelmed and touched by the response from an audience of 150-200 therapists but feeling encouraged by their support I recorded an album called ‘Your Life –Making Contact through Songs’ and sold copies at the next International conference in Bilbao in 2015.

Throughout my journey of personal development as well as writing songs I started to write poetry so I decided to publish some of my poems in a book that was published in 2015 called ‘Shades of Self – Poetic Integration’ with a Foreword written by renowned Psychotherapist Richard G Erskine.
The book and CD are available from in the United Kingdom. I have a YouTube account, 60 Tilley, where you can view some of the songs I've written and some poetry I read from my book. I'm also on Twitter.

I hope readers will identify with the words. Look me up on my website:

Pip saw one of my poems ‘The Shadow Me’ from my book on the Manchester Institute of Psychotherapy site and asked me to write something for his website. Thank you Pip for your invitation. Pip says on his site that he didn't become an Adult until he was 40! I didn't become an Adult until my 50’s so there's hope for us all 👍!!!

We all have parts of ourselves we disown because we don't like certain aspects.
We also learn to adopt certain behaviours for various reasons – my reasons were to keep out of trouble, to be ‘good’ and to avoid being hit. We learn to stay quiet although inside we probably want to scream and shout! In staying quiet we adapt to please those around us but in doing so we lose parts of who we really are are and stay in what TA theory calls a Child ego state where we can often feel just like we have travelled back in time and we’re 6 years old!

This poem writes about my learned behaviour and shows me recognising that I wanted and needed to change.

The Shadow Me

I've always thought there are two of me
Walking side by side
One is there for the world to see
While the other one tries to hide

One is kind and loving
Staying calm and in control
Being polite and smiling
Playing the perfect role

The shadow side is darker
And wants to swear and shout
Is sometimes having a tug-of-war
To let her anger out 

The two sides have a battle
Almost every day
But my Inner Child behaves herself
And doesn't have her say

For my Inner Child was conditioned
To be seen and not be heard
Not to think and not to feel
And not to breathe a word

My shadow's getting restless
And wants to play her part
She's really tired of hiding and
She knows it's time to start

She's tired of being a shadow
Locked up out of view
She wants to share her feelings
She thinks they're overdue

My shadow side is standing
And showing me the way
My Inner Child now needs to grow
Speak out and have her say

My shadow side is merging 
She's standing side by side 
She wants to help my other part
The part that's been denied

When the two parts integrate
I will feel much more together
A healthier combination
Facing any kind of weather