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The first subtype of the vulnerable child is the lonely child. S/he usually feels empty, alone, socially unacceptable, undeserving of love, unloved, and unlovable. The only value of the lonely child is what can be extracted from stronger figures. Her or his emotional needs have generally not been met.

The second subtype of the vulnerable child is the abandoned and abused child. S/he is extremely fearful and pained by the possibility of abandonment. They act fragile and helpless and need a parent figure to take care of them. They have been abused or humiliated as a child, which made them feel sad, frightened, vulnerable, defenseless, hopeless, needy, victimized, worthless and lost.

The third subtype of the vulnerable child is the dependent child. S/he feels incapable and overwhelmed by adult responsibilities. They need to be taken care of, which often comes from a lack of development of autonomy and self-reliance that is present in an authoritarian childhood home.

Schema beliefs of the vulnerable child

The following are the most common schema beliefs present in the Vulnerable Child Mode. Read through each and consider whether they apply to you.

  • I feel fundamentally inadequate, flawed, or defective.
  • I feel lost.
  • I feel desperate.
  • I feel lonely.
  • I feel humiliated.
  • Even if there are people around me, I feel lonely.
  • I often feel alone in the world.
  • I feel weak and helpless.
  • I feel left out or excluded.
  • I feel that nobody loves me.

Next, we look at how to heal the vulnerable child.

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