ACoAs & Boundary Distortion (Part 1)

Then why do I feel so alone?

PREVIOUS: How ACoAs B. Invade #2

SITES: Balance Theory – Wikipedia
Balancing points (Mobile exercises for students)
• re. Family Systems Theory,  M Dombeck & J Wells-Moran


Unhealthy parents with rigid or weak boundaries automatically invade the PMES space of their children – they can’t help it! As a result ACoAs grow up co-dependently enmeshed, not just with a specific parent but the whole toxic family system.
From that early model, we recreate our work & personal relationships in similar ways – invading & being invaded or keeping everyone at bay, because we don’t have the ability to enforce our personal space.

• For ACoAs, developing healthy Bs is a long, arduous & imperfect journey.  However, as long as we’re consistently reacting to people, places & things from damage (lack of Bs), we’re in the Child ego state – still not emotionally mature.

For those of us well on our way to a Whole Self, whenever we too react without Bs, we’ve regressed to an earlier stage of childhood, but are able to come back to the present more easily & quickly

• A sure sign of not having healthy Bs is when we habitually, compulsively consider ourselves only in relation to others (co-dependence).  ACoAs are enmeshed with everyone – not just people we love, or even know. It’s so much a part of how we relate, we don’t recognize it as damage.

• One way it shows up is when we disagree with or disapprove of anything another person says or wants. We get really scared – especially if they don’t like our opinion. We’re confused, talk ourselves out of dealing with it, OR we rant about it to others, obsessing about what we should have said or what we will – next time, but never do! The focus is on the other person, rather than ourselves.
✓ “I want to tell her I didn’t like what she said last week, so she’ll understand (get it) & not talk to me that way again…..”
✓ “I can’t tell her I don’t want to go there anymore because she will be upset”
✓ “I’d like to tell him what I think about what’s going on between
use othersus, but he won’t get it, so why bother”….

BUT, we’re not allowed to know what we need, so we use others:
— to complete us (review ACoAs & symbiosis) AND
— to set limits for us, as if we were still infants!
Their agendas & desires become our blueprint for responses & activities. Without boundaries we’re at everyone else’s whim.
OR :
— to have someone to copy (symbiose with). Once we figure out what they want or what they’re doing, we mold ourselves to that, even though very often it’s not what suits us nor that we actually want!

• Since the WIC is looking for a definitive outline of what’s expected of it, in a desperate (usually unconscious) desire to stay connected, to avoid feeling abandoned, to be taken care of – we will do anything to please others, usually at our expense, so they won’t be angry or be hurt, & then go away!

Therefore, ACoAs can get very upset when ‘significant’ people:
— expect us to “just know” what they want
— are unclear about that they expect from us
— change their minds a lot, are undependable, unpredictable
— lie, are chaotic, hard to read, drugged, crazy…..
Without Recovery, we then freeze, run around in circles, get angry or depressed…. because we don’t have our own core to guide us.

One of the important thing for ACoAs to doin a regular basis is to speak up on behalf of our Inner Child – because the WIC can’t.

With good Bs we can practice saying what’s truly on our mind – — we do not need everyone to validate our thoughts, feelings or existence!  and
— it is not necessary for the other person to see us, understand, or change their behavior. Some will & some won’t.
And when dealing with self-centered controllers, we can be sure they will NOT get it. An Al-Anon saying is: “Take the action & let go of the result!”

NEXT: B. Distortions (Part 2)

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