ACoAs abandoning others #4a
7. UNDER-VALUING (cont.)
b. As a ‘life-style’(cont.)
c. Finding Fault (F.F.) in relationships – always looking for their flaws, no matter how unimportant, which will be a deal breaker for us – & we’ll always find some! This is especially true if someone gets too close, whether the relationship is short or long-term. We may like a person at first, but there’s no leeway for them to be human – imperfect or occasionally disappointing.
✶ This is a common ACoA ‘back-door’ defense in relationships – always having one foot in & one OUT, ready to bolt. We assume all of them will end in abandonment anyway, so don’t get too invested! It feels safer than admitting we need anything (company, fun, live, respect, validation, being seen….), or to admit we’re needy & vulnerable under all our bluster.
Growing up in an emotionally & physically dangerous environments (at home & outside) left us with an inability to trust anyone – even people who are kind or neutral. We’re terrified of being trapped, controlled, abused, abandoned – the way we truly were as kids. This is not our imagination or just our interpretation!
We found all those experiences so unbearable, so:
• Early on, some of us created a fantasy world & retreated into it, turning everyone & everything into a fairy story, to make them safe (idealize)
• OR we decide as kids that we’ll be permanently skeptical, so that:
— no one is safe (under-value), BUT —
— anyone who’s kind, fair or appropriate is simply not in our line of sight
— or we think they’re faking it, & want something
— and once they really get to know us they’ll stop being so nice.
• No Love: Undervaluing everyone & everything (“Life sucks!”) may seem like a protection against more hurt & punishment, according to the WIC.
Bur it actually prevents us from taking in any available attention, kindness & love we’re so desperate for. This insures that we don’t heal from our wounds, keeping us forever needy.
• Poor Relationships: Fear of Intimacy is a core issue for ACoAs, which comes from both fear of being engulfed (weak boundaries) & fear of abandonment (self-hate). Our default position is that we’re unworthy of being loved or valued, while everyone else is allowed (like a preferred sibling).
• In childhood the people who were our mainstay for survival & who tied us symbiotically to them because of their FoA, were dangerous or cold or gone. That was too painful to bear but it’s the only form of intimacy our WIC knows, & we assume it’s all we can hope for.
Most ACoAs then project our parents’ toxic way of treating us onto others. Then everyone else in the world is untrustworthy & cruel – so we’d rather do without, thank you very much! At its most severe, some ACoAs suffer from Adult Attachment Disorder
DAMAGE: There are good, kind people somewhere in the world, but we’re blind to them. They may in fact be right behind us & we’re not using our rear-view mirror. Or if we do stumble across one, we push them away because we’re sure they’d never want to be with us !
Most of us gravitate to those who will prove our negative generalizations (Toxic Rules), as a way to rationalize our rage & rebellion.
Once in a while an ACoA will actually marry a kind, loving person – good for us! – without really understanding what they see in us.
HEALTH – We need to be able to:
• evaluate others realistically – to acknowledge their plusses & minuses
• choose people whose plusses outweigh their damage
• tolerate healthy people’s imperfections
• stop projecting our parent’s flaws on to everyone & everything
• OWN our own damage, so when someone pushes our buttons – we can take responsibility for our reactions & not make everything someone else’s fault!
LOVE HEALS. Not just the exciting, sexually charged love of a mate, but everyday kindnesses, whether from a pet, the store clerk, a passing stranger, a good friend or the daily protection of our H.P.
NEXT: Abandonment #4a