PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Boundaries – #4
REVIEW: “How ACoAs ABANDON Others”
QUOTEs : 👩❤️💋👨 ” If a person loves only one other person, & is indifferent to his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism” — Erich Fromm
REMINDER: All forms of Boundary invasion are expressions of narcissism
• It’s only natural that IF our parents —-> invaded us, then we never learned good Bs, so we in turn —> boundary invade others.
We unconsciously assume this is a form of expressing love & don’t see anything wrong with it. In fact, to many ACoAs it’s not boundary invasion but ‘connection’. The deep-seated reasons for continuing this pattern are familiar:
to follow our family training, stave off our fear of abandonment, deal with loneliness, feel needed & desired, have a sense of purpose (for Rescuers)….
• SO – when we’re told to back off (even in a nice way) or anytime someone won’t let us be symbiotic – we feel hurt, ashamed & ostracized.
It doesn’t matter that we may feel uncomfortable, even angry, when others violate our Bs. As long as the WIC is running our lives, we still want to have that familiar “feeling” of attachment – even when we don’t actually like someone!
• It’s true that some ACoAs, particularly Introverts, find it hard to be in large groups – like shopping, special events or the subway – they can’t handle being ‘space invaded’, while Extroverts are much less bothered, if at all.
However, all humans & even many animals become physically & psychologically stressed when personal Bs are violated, whether they’re aware of it or not – especially over long periods of time.
In his work on Personal Space, Robert Sommer says “The violation of personal space increases tension levels enormously.” He conducted experiments in public places by getting much too close to strangers & observed that it provoked tension-releasing responses — they started tapping their toes, pulling at their hair & getting completely rigid.
• In general, people either shut down (to be polite) or get aggressive (react angrily) when someone is invasive. For those of us with WEAK Bs this is important to notice when we insist on being the perpetrator, whether intentionally or not. We many think we’re just being ‘friendly’.
We may not like to see ourselves in that light, but need to admit the truth about ways we act out our damage.
• It’s also important to have as much info as possible that will help us change ingrained patterns (counter the Bad Introject voice),if we’re willing. It’s so hard to convince the WIC that what he/she feels most comfortable doing is actually not a good thing for ourselves or for others.
EXPL: A attractive, intelligent but terribly insecure 23-year-old has finally found a charming, handsome boyfriend with a good job & a great motorcycle. She can’t believe her luck! Because he lives in another city she doesn’t get to see him very often, so every minute with him is precious. She’s waited her whole life for someone to love her & now she’s ecstatic to spend an occasional weekend in his big apartment.
• On her first visit, that Saturday morning is wonderful – making love, snuggling, listening to the birds chirping & the Country Music station playing. Desperate to not lose that warm feeling, she follows him into the bathroom, & as he’s sitting on the john she perches on the edge of the tub to talk to him, their knees touching.
It doesn’t take long for him feel uncomfortable being watched, & shoos her out. Over the next few months they go on fun road trips, go dancing & have great sex. But her insecurity, clinging & boundary invasions overshadows all the good times & eventually he has enough. She’s devastated but doesn’t understand what really happened!
NEXT: Boundary Distortions – #1