Your superego is built up out of the spoken, or unspoken, internalized critical voices of your parents or direct caretakers.
When your superego or inner critic is in action, you are likely to be confronted with feelings of self-sabotage, self-violence, guilt, shame, inferiority, superiority, self-hatred, self-blame–the list is long.
In addition to trying not feel this painful inner turmoil, we have a huge tendency to act out in our addictions, which in turn, keeps us going round and round in the same circle of punishment and reward.
This same technique of punishment and reward has been used by our caregivers in the past to make us believe that if we did not do, act, behaved, as we were told to, we would not be loved, be ignored, be excluded, be left behind, resulting in us feeling abandoned and deprived of love.
Because as little children we cannot live without our parents or vital caretakers, the impact of not being loved, ignored, excluded, left behind, and abandonment on the psyche of the little child is beyond imagination for an adult person; however, for this little child it feels like and equals a threat of dying.
Helpless as we are as children, we cannot do anything else than compromising our authentic self; stronger even, we make it go into hiding, so deeply, that we ourselves cannot remember it anymore.
We become that what our parents or direct caretakers tell us who we are or want us to be. In this process the ego is created and from then onwards we as children start to believe that we ARE what is told to us and expected from us. Later in life we collect more voices, mostly based on, and connected to the earlier internalized voices, we tend to take on critical remarks from our siblings, extended family, priests, teachers, bosses, and lovers to name a few. You can say that your ego takes the latter as confirmations of what you have received before from our direct caregivers.
We “become” the critical remarks that were given to us: Being ugly, stupid, unworthy of love, fat, too skinny; not allowed to exist we act all this out in our day-to-day life.
Yes, this hiding our authentic self was an immensely intelligent act at the time we were children, because we were just not equipped to fight against the grown-ups taking care of us.
However, in our adult life, this “defense mechanism” starts to work against us: Causing us a deep pain of not feeling good enough, unworthy of love, insignificant, bad, feeling lost, deprived of purpose, or feeling that we do not belong, and so on.
These feelings mostly come up very strongly in the moments we come “out of the box”. Meaning moving into unknown territory, often related to becoming visible, and again becoming more real and authentic.
In a primal process we work through the layers of our wounded child, the ego, and superego to bring acknowledgement, healing, understanding and love to these parts that had to come into existence after we had to leave our authentic self. We start to remember again who we were at the beginning of our lives: An innocent child full of love, light, and purity.