I THINK I GOT BLINDSIDED –
but I don’t know how or why!
PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Listening (#3)
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
In the AFTERMATH of a difficult / painful / scary experience (A)
Whenever ACoAs have a run-in with another person, our most common T.E.A. reactions afterward are:
(T) MENTAL – confused about what happened, how we got in that situation, what we should have said or done, wish we’d said, about what they actually ‘did’ to us….
(E) EMOTIONAL – ‘freaked’ out, but maybe not clear just what we’re actually feeling, not sure if we should be upset or what’s really bothering us, not wanting to be so aggravated or anxious, not feeling like oneself….
✶ If we’re upset AND don’t understand what happened, we automatically slide into:
(T) blaming ourselves, feeling guilty for our reaction, feeling weak & stupid for not handling it better… (this is S-H, to mask our feeling of abandonment, which we’re not conscious of)
(A) ACTIONS – ‘dealing’ with it by hiding from the other person, ranting to everyone about the event, being overly solicitous (people-pleasing), stop functioning at all…. OR call / text the other person & blow them up, which usually adds to our S-H, guilt & shame.
• Talk oven the painful event with a trusted person.
• We can also do a lot of work on our own, & feel good about that. It will help to eventually be more ‘present’ in the moment, to help us feel less like a victim, less scared, vulnerable…
• To that end, it’s useful to identify which ego state we were in when things ‘went wrong’.
• We can also ask ourselves what we observed or already know about the other person (but ignored).
SO: ‘who’ – inside each participant – was in charge at the time of the incident?
• our Wounded Inner Child was in the foreground, or their WIC was
• our Pig Parent (Negative Introject) was acting up, or theirs was
🔹 It’s usually some combination:
– our IC reacting to their PP
– our IC provoking their IC
– their IC bringing out our PP
– their PP stomping on us – leaving our IC mute… (follow the arrows ➡️)
NOTE: It’s a good bet that neither person’s Healthy Adult was available & functioning, or it would have turned out differently. (See ‘EGO STATES’ posts)
HEALTHY PEOPLE (HPs) evaluate themselves & monitor their interactions, and when confronted with an objection or complaint, a question about their behavior &/or hurt feelings they :
• catch it when their side of the street is not as ‘clean’ as it could be. They’re more likely to acknowledge it & make a correction or give an apology
• are able to hear the other person out, evaluate their part in it & make whatever adjustments are possible, especially if the other person misunderstood or misread an interchange
• won’t accept blame when it’s not warranted
In PART 4 there are a series of 30 Qs to ask yourself, to encourage clarity.
This set of posts is mainly about our Thoughts (Ts) & Emotions (Es). For suggestions re. Actions (As), review post: “What to DO when confused” & “Noticing Painful Events.”
The inventory can offer a way to break thru both our ignorance of what we’re thinking & feeling (Ts & Es), as well as putting a dent in our blindness about others, especially non-recovering people we’ve been dealing with for a long time.
Since everyone tells us about themselves all the time, it is up to us to pay attention to what we experience & admit “I KNOW WHAT I KNOW”
NEXT: “What just happened” (#2)