ACoAs & Boundary INVASIONS (Part 2)


no limits

 

PREVIOUS: B. INVASIONS (Part 1)

ARTICLES: ‘Sexual Abuse / Trauma’
The Incestuous Family” – Roles re sexual abuse

 

BOUNDARY INVASION  (cont)
3. Family System SYMBIOSIS

a. Insecure parents:
push for an ‘us against the world’ attitude hoping to increase family solidarity, powered by an unbearable threat to their sense of Self
can be over-protective. On the surface it looks like love, but is only trying to keep us attached by dis-empowering us. The real message is that we’re incompetent, weak & should be afraid of everything

• may attribute the wrong motive to outsider’s unpleasant/ abusive treatment of us, no matter what we actually did (friendly or withdrawn….), to make the family look better, saying things like: “Those kids are just jealous of you because you’re so much better than everyone else in the class” , “The boss doesn’t like me because I’m smarter than her”….

b. Distortions :  These & other CDs cause many problems for children:distortion
• prevents them from – becoming fully socialize, taking normal risks & learning about the many options available in the world
• gives them a distorted view of how the world functions, making it hard for them to take responsibility for their motives & action
• severely increases their inappropriate social behavior, making it easy to become a target for bullying, insuring their isolation from peers, & staying dependent on the family

Familiar phrases: Blood is thicker than water ~ We’ve got to stick together  Never air our dirty laundry in public  We’re better than everyone ~  No one else will love you like we do  ~ You’ll never make it on your own ~~ Which reminds us of a childhood taunt:  “You have a face only a mother could love, & she died”!

c. Family Insularity is built on fear-based rules that inevitably lead to constriction, intolerance & hopelessness about collaborate well with others.  Ironically it also creates isolation, scapegoating, splits & alliances inside the family, which then get repeated in adulthood.
EXP: Being in a toxic Role, (Scapegoat. Lost Child….), had “negative benefits.” in the dysfunctional family mobile – feeling useful by ‘protecting’ a parent from the consequences of their addictions & emotional problems.
Then we look for the same kind of payoff when playing out our Role in the larger world (protect a spouse, boss….), but it rarely works & only reinforces our sense of failure

4. Parental NARCISSISM (N)
This has been covered in many other posts. As it relates to B. invasion:
• Ns require that everyone be their carbon copy, with no room for children to develop their own individuality
• children need be like memirroring (reflecting back who the other person is, without adding anything of oneself), & Ns can’t do that since they’re only projecting themselves, not who the child is

Narcissists don’t recognize there are such things as Bs, that others are separate & not extensions of themselves. People either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Anyone who provides narcissistic supply will be treated as if they’re part of the controller, who demands the victim live up to their expectations (think: spider & fly). 
• Some N. phrases:
“What’s yours is mine & what’s mine is nobody’s business”
“Do as I say not as I do”, “Put a sweater on, I’m cold”
“No son of mine is ever going to…..”
“This is the thanks I get – after all I’ve done for you”
“Do that in the morning when you’re fresh” said by a mother always raring to go at 6 am, to her child who was born a dyed-in-the-wool night person!
Watch ‘Angry-martyr Narcissist” on YouTube

NOTE: If you have firm boundaries in the face of a narcissist, the relationship won’t last! Good!
• Role Ambiguity – Parental N. spawns much identity confusion  – since only their needs count, the children take on a parent role – “I am them”, & many a parent acts like a needy kid – “They are me”.  Family members aren’t sure who’s in or out of the clan, who’s performing what tasks or legitimate roles : Dad acts like a ‘girl’ , Sis is the ‘mom’, little Brother is the family shrink…..

Al-Anon IMAGE: A co-dependent decides to kill himself by jumping off the roof of a tall building.  As he’s falling, someone else’s life flashes before his eyes!

NEXT: B. Invasions (Part 3)

4 thoughts on “ACoAs & Boundary INVASIONS (Part 2)

  1. Blech. This post hit on all too many “scenarios” growing up. Some things we experienced….to this day don’t make any sense, just strange behavior on their part and resultant mistreatment of us.

    I have been grateful in that I have always felt (hoped?:) I had emerged relatively unscathed. But now I realize that those early days did have an effect on me, if only in my private thoughts… but then that is how I view the world. Erg. I detest that admission, that they had that power. Today, I grudgingly tease out those thoughts and try to work with them. It has been to some benefit, but I wonder what ELSE I may be missing, and yet I do not want to waste my precious life digging around in that filth. My day to day is really good but then I read something or get flooded with memories…..yuck. I have been told just to “put it behind me” on the rare occasions I even discuss it! What a treat it would be just to flush all of it from my mind. If that trick is out there, teach me! LOL

    Cheers, Kira

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    • Hi Kira,
      Anything positive in your life comes from the ‘real’ you & is to be valued & celebrated.
      But all children are programmed by their upbringing, not just you, so it’s ok to admit their original power over us. It’s normal. All my posts talk about this – “The Introject”, “CDs: Info & the Brain”, “Self-Hate”, etc.

      The “filth” you mention is what you lived in as a kid – which you did not deserve! Now you can save the little girl in you by acknowledging what happened, clean it out & love that part of yourself like your parents couldn’t!

      Only sick people in denial will tell you to put it all behind you! That’s a negation of what you went thru & is not acceptable. To get free of them comes from ‘going thru’, NOT around! I’ve done it & it has paid off.

      Thanks for reading & commenting.
      Donna Marie

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  2. Cannot tell you how much I felt…I don’t know if “vindicated” is the right word. I certainly didn’t like the content of this, but I like the relief I felt that there is a name to what I experience. I certainly grew up with the covert abuse…it was THE most maddening thing ever. I could never “prove” anything and felt absolutely crazy. Today I live with a woman that has the same kind of behavior and she can’t understand why I get nuts when she does it! I am drawing my line in the sand here. I am dealing with this so that it no longer creates the havoc in my life that it has. i will continue reading your great blog. thanks for all the info.

    Like

    • Thanks Steve. I identify with feeling crazy growing up – outwardly nothing was wrong – but…. If your lady-friend would be willing to read some of the blog – then she might understand!

      Like

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