NOTHING SCARES ME!
as long as I’m defended
PREVIOUS: Conclusions (Part 2a)
2. CONCLUSIONS – OUR THINKING (cont)
🔩 IT’S ALL THEM
THEY are crazy, mean, unfair, stupid, stupid, stupid!
▶ Alternative negative approach (Ts)
🦠 Combine emotions of Fear & Anger
ii. PARANOIA: many ACoAs have at least some tendency to be paranoid. Just as we have a PP camera over our shoulder always judging ourselves, we also constantly scan the world for danger (mostly unconscious), assuming everyone’s a potential monster – ie. everyone will definitely abandon / harm us sooner or later!
We apply this ‘rule’ even to situations that are neutral or not about us. True paranoids (PPD) see danger everywhere, where there’s none at all, whereas most ACoAs with a touch of it can still correctly identify reality – it’s just that our CONCLUSIONS are likely to be off – but not always
• Paranoia, even in relatively mild form, comes from legitimately being traumatized (in danger) much of the time growing up. That’s not being crazy or just our ‘perception’, because unfortunately most of the danger came from our own family! It has left us constantly terrified, but it’s hard to admit how deeply vulnerable we still feel
• If our family was unsafe, how much more so are strangers? With such a background & our symbiotic attachment to our parents, we project that original danger onto the whole world, regardless of present reality.
The awful irony is that while we believe we’re trying to sidestep all the hidden landmines we assume are in our world, paranoia mainly draws us to those people, places & things (PPT) —-> which actually are harmful,
— those we experience as harmful, or
— those we project danger onto that are safe or irrelevant.
This compulsion reproduces & adds to, the original abandonment we so desperately want to avoid!
• ALSO – we automatically reject genuinely neutral or beneficial people & opportunities! Yes – deliberately, because we’re not only repeating what’s familiar, we’re also looking to validate the ‘rightness’ of our family, so we don’t have to face the pain of who they really were, & still are.
Twisted thinking about anything POSITIVE says :
• it was just a fluke, an accident, a coincidence
• people don’t really mean the nice thing they say – they’re being polite
• they’re only saying that because they wants something
• it can’t possibly last, so why bother believing it
• it’ll be taken away, anyway, & then I’ll feel even worse than before
• good things don’t even register: “What compliment? I didn’t notice” …
Distorted THINKING cancels out the very things around us that would nurture & heal us, if we were to let them in! Some (CDs) paranoids use: ‘Awful-izing, Jumping to Conclusions, Maximizing, Mind Reading, Unrealistic Comparisons
▶ Another negative approach (Ts)
iii. COUNTER-PHOBIA (“against fear”): At the other extreme, some ACoAs have hidden our childhood terror behind a defensive wall of brains & bravado. It’s become so dense that we don’t know there’s a WIC hiding back there, who’s still afraid for its life.
This group of ACoAs were subjected to the same chaos, cruelty & neglect in childhood as Paranoids & Victims, but our native personality found a different way to survive. Even though we don’t stop to think about what we’re doing – that would be too painful – underneath are all the same core issues
✶ Counter-phobia is driven by so much terror & rage which never found an outlet that we became insured to danger. We thumb our noses at everything in the world that might ‘get us’. We couldn’t protect ourselves as kids but now we’re determined to slay & triumph, not just passively accept
• We pushed the anxiety so far down that we’ve become the complete opposite. NOW nothing scares us! We joyfully chase all that’s unpredictable & treacherous, calling it exciting. We’ve become addicted to the adrenalin. When something does bother a counter-phobic – we stuff it, laugh it off, stay very busy – & find new ways to keep the drama going. ACoA Laundry List : “We’re addicted to excitement” .
NEXT: COUNTER-PHOBIA cont. (Part 2c)