WHAT JUST HAPPENED? – Intro (Part 2)

caught in their mess


in these messes with people!

PREVIOUS: “What just happened” (#1)


See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


PURPOSE of the INVENTORY (in Part 4)Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 5.32.57 AM
We can use the Qs to strengthen our HEALTHY ADULT to be more in charge in the future, whatever the circumstances.
We can LEARN about:
1. OURSELVES – strengths, weaknesses, style, beliefs, needs, wishes…
a. conscious parts we ignore, don’t accept or deal with, parts we’re working on, need to pay more attention to, are OK with…
b. aspects that are hidden in the shadows which ‘force’ us to act out old fears & beliefs AND prevent us from shining our inner light

2. WHAT to expect – so we’re not shocked & reactive, every time.
ACoAs have a built-in ‘forgetter’ after experiencing a run-in with painful people & situations which mirror of our childhood trauma
a. In the present we bury the knowledge we could have gained from this encounter, & are then “taken by Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 5.27.10 AMsurprise” for the umpteenth time when dealing with the same situation – again! as if it had never happened before

b. Even when encountering an unpleasant stranger, the interchange with them is often similar to others of that type, but we’re still surprised, not able to assert ourselves, shocked into muteness… OR over-react from the WIC’s old rage.

INTERCHANGES that hurt — 
a. but are not even remotely about us
EXP: Mona is an acupuncturist & is at a banquet honoring a prominent friend of hers. She starts talking to a man at her table & eventually they exchange business cards. He’s relatively friendly at first, but looking at her card, he becomes quite hostile, bad-mouthing her profession. She’s shocked & hurt.

Excusing herself, Mona moves to a distant table. After mulling it over for a while she goes back & asks him “What just happened?”. Slightly calmer, he tells about a very bad experience the only time he ever went to get acupuncture – when he almost became paralyzed from a cramp in his back & could hardly breathe. He didn’t apologize, but Mona was satisfied.

b. occur when we accidentally step on someone toes
EXP: Sandi gives Joe a CD of Edith Piaf for his B/day, knowing how much he loves her Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 5.53.00 AMmusic. He’s thrilled & puts it on speaker. Sandi ‘hates’ Piaf (which he doesn’t know) & asks him to play it later. He wants to know why & she admits Piaf doesn’t suit her.

He feels hurt – as if it’s as an attack on his taste (taking things personally & being ‘over-sensitive’). Then he gets angry & attacks her for being insensitive & having no taste in music!
Sandi explains that Piaf’s voice & music are too painful to listen to, which has nothing to do with him or his taste! This only moderately mollifies him.

c. are actually meant as a positive, but are said ‘wrong’Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 5.42.57 AM
EXP: While visiting a friend, Pat mentioned that she goes to her dentist on Sundays, since he didn’t work on the Sabbath. Her friend said “Only you could have found a dentist to see on Sundays!”  Pat was hurt & angry, but didn’t say anything for a week. It reminded her of being teased at home & in school.

After going thru the 30 Qs (Part 4), she called her friend. “Bobby, remember what you said last week about my dentist?”
-pause- “No”.
“You said…. & what I heard was that you were making fun of me, like – I’m so weird…”
-pause- “No, what I was saying was that I admired you for your cleverness…”
-pause-  “OH!. Well, thanks. But it would have been clearer if you’d said that!”

NEXT: “What Just Happened?” #3

One thought on “WHAT JUST HAPPENED? – Intro (Part 2)

  1. […] .When we do over-react emotionally to a person or event, the tricky part is being able to separate what just happened in the present from the accumulated suffering of past abuse. Often it IS a combination of the two, […]


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