PREVIOUS : ACoAs Abandoning others #3a
QUOTE: “Disrespect also can take the form of idealizing you as a perfect woman or goddess, because he’s only seeing his fantasy, & when you fail to live up to that image he may turn nasty. It’s a failure to respect you as a real human being.”
6. IDEALIZING (cont.)
EFFECT – In fantasy relationships we (both men & women):
• desperately need others to live up to our ideal. What we’re really doing is using them
• we’re saying that THIS person is ‘perfect’ (unlike our family), is going to fill our unmet childhood needs, will never disappoint us, will love us unconditionally & never leave!
• we’re completely negating who they are, what they need or want, by laying on them a preconceived role created by our Wounded Inner Child, thus abandoning them.
What a terrible, impossible burden to put on someone. Maybe you’ve been the object of such an idealization – how did it feel? How did it end?
IDEALIZING re-enforces our self-hate, because:
a. we can never do the impossible, such as —
* fix someone else (so they can be there for us)
* resolve our family issues thru another person
* manipulate someone into genuinely loving us
b. AND because:
* we know at some level that we’re hurting others
* we get rejected, attacked, misunderstood
* it never deals with the source of our loneliness & pain, so we can’t grow, recover or gain peace of mind
✶ we never have the joy of interacting with others as equals – adult to adult (have a healthy peer relationship with a variety of people)
FANTASY may feel good, but actually it keeps us suspended in a false universe which always backfires!
✶ Use any suitable Recovery process – work at healing the original abandonment pain & give up (greatly reduce) self-hate
✶ Take it slow with any new relationship. WAIT to form a definitive opinion about someone. It takes time to get to know people. GO SLOW!
✶ Every time you interact with someone, evaluate what you’ve learned about them – in reality. What did they tell you about themselves?
✶ Write it all out, plusses & minuses. This is NOT about taking someone’s inventory – which is a form of being judgmental. This is a way to prevent idealizing others, by being realistic about them & honest with ourselves.
When you notice yourself idealizing someone, you can be sure there will come a time when you’ll want to turn against them & tear them down – if only in thoughts & emotions.
This is the B & W swing from idealism to devaluation (see Parts 4a/b), because something they did or said made your WIC’s fantasy program crash. If you desperately need to hang on to your illusion, you’ll have to dump this person (discard) & find the next one to ‘elevate’.
CHART from “Thrive After Abuse“
• Accept that we don’t have to be there for anyone, at all, but especially if or when we can’t
• We can keep working on our own damage, connect with our hidden pain & learn new ways to express it safely & appropriately
• We can learn that feeling our emotions will not kill us, but rather frees us to heal & grow, & the same is true for everyone else who wants to
• Accept that we can’t fix other people’s mental or emotional distress, but we can be available to support them on their journey (see ‘Healthy Helping’)
• We can be more honest & respectful, to ourselves & others, when something is too much for us.
It’s much more appropriate to say: “I really can’t hear about this now/ any more..” / “This is too painful for me to listen to” / ‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you with this’…
• If we set a gentle but firm boundary, & someone gets very upset with us / acts devastated / becomes enraged – that’s a clear indication they want to be taken care of, & WE cannot do that!
NO judgement, no abuse, no dishonesty.
➼ THE GOAL is to take care of ourselves, first – others second, & ONLY within appropriate limits! The more we do that, the less harm we do, to self & others.
NEXT: Abandoning others #4a