HOW CAN A BENEFIT BE NEGATIVE?
I think you’re just messing with me!
PREVIOUS: Negative Benefits (Part 1)
EXP: How NEGATIVE BENEFITs (N.B.) keep us from healing:
a. NOT have to GROW UP, be responsible
PATTERN: Many ACoAs stay isolated, severely under-earning, unloved, unproductive, living in dirty, cluttered environments, joy-less, suicidal…
OR focus all their attention on taking care of others, so they can look ok, the good guy/gal – but are also depressed, full of shame, self-hate & hidden anger
N.B. … STAY SICK rather than develop S & I, letting go of the symbiotic attachment to their cruel upbringing & becoming one’s True Self
b. NOT have to face OLD PAIN (life & death)
PATTERN: A woman was forced to take care of her filthy, violent, mentally ill mother from age 10, when her father abandoned them. At age 45 she finally put her mother in a home & promptly developed Scleroderma as a guilt/ stress reaction. She became bed-ridden, with excruciating migraines, barely able to make logical sense – although she’d been an intelligent & talented artist.
She spent her last 25 yrs isolated, depressed, with almost no practical self-care, filled with shame about every aspect of her life.
Occasionally she was in contact with her father who had remarried another cruel woman. When he died at age 96 – the daughter went into a rapid decline & died alone, in less than a year…
N.B. … rather than emotionally re-experience & process the horrors of being an only child of a passive, depressed father and a cruel, psychotic mother (left the infant with souring baby bottles & soiled diapers…..)
Therapy helped diminish her self-hate, but she was never able to go deep enough to heal the rage, sorrow & loneliness held in her body
c. NOT have to feel LONELINESS
PATTERN: Many ACoAs over-work, care-take, self-medicate with sex / social media / addictions, hanging on to bad relationships no matter how harmful….. One woman stayed with her very abusive husband for 35 yrs, until he died. Instead of creating a life for herself (at 62) – she too died – 8 months later!
N.B. … rather than face the emotional & practical stresses of being alone, having to feel the emptiness of loss and old abandonment, & having to care for herself, deal with finances……
d. NOT have to TAKE CARE of oneself
PATTERN: A woman in her 50‘s developed chronic pain from an auto-immune illness.
Q. put to her: “Are you willing to give this pain up?” Inner Child answered ‘NO’ – because = being disabled was getting taken care of, ‘legitimately’. She was tired of doing it all on her own – carrying the burden of the Hero Role. Kid wasn’t allowed to be nurtured, but this way she could get practical help, be felt sorry for, lauded for soldiering on….
N.B. … rather than having to continue taking care of herself, which she’d been doing her whole life as an only child of a cruel narcissistic mother & distant, depressed father
e. NOT have to DISOBEY toxic FAMILY RULES
PATTERN 1: A beautiful, bright young woman in the big city, was put under an unbearable family demand to continue rescuing her “poor, suffering mother & sisters” (who had always treated her cruelly) – by regularly sending them all her earning. So, she made sure to only work at menial jobs she hated (under-earning) & to live on as little as possible so she could ‘honestly’ say she didn’t have any $$ to send!
PATTERN 2: In his culture, a Native American man was taught that to be an active artist, one must drink. No alcohol – no creativity! No argument! He always wanted to write plays & get them published, but got deep into alcoholism. Before it could kill him, he got sober. 5 yrs later he still hadn’t ‘picked up a pen’. He was stuck, & miserable.
N.B. … rather than go against (separate from) a national culture, not just his family – but the whole tribe! Talk about abandonment!
NEXT: Negative Benefits (Part 3)