ACoAs & RIGID Boundaries (Part 2)

at all costs

PREVIOUS:  Rigid Bs (Part 1)

SITEFamilies & Groups with Rigid Boundaries

BOOK:  Boundaries & Relationships,
— Charles Whitfield

:  As a result of boundary invasion throughout childhood, ACoAs didn’t develop our own. So our options are:
Thick walls, when both inner & outer Self are barricaded
No Bs, where we let everyone tramp in & out of our head & heart
Partial Bs, protecting only some parts, such as the inner but not the outer Self – usually based on previous bad experiences in similar situations

Rigid Bs effect us & everyone we interact with, BY:
• ‘Abandoning’ ourselves – we ignore or eliminate so many available options that we can’t properly do self-care. Spiritually, we don’t take personal responsibility for our values….
•’Abandoning’ others – we withdraw, sulk, shut down & hide behind our wall, making it almost impossible for anyone to love, help or appreciate us

Safety from stability is very important to us, so all activities have to be predictable – no room for spontaneity or fun, last-minute opportunities, trying new things….  WE:
• are stoic, have stiff body posture, often “stone faced”, trouble giving or receiving physical affection (afraid to let stay awaygo), don’t like to be touched or hugged….
• are sexually cold or just disinterested, have perfunctory or pity-sex, OR are promiscuous without deep enjoyment, don’t use protection
• under-react to personal or external events, whether pleasant or unpleasant, or not at all

• are aloof & disinterested, insensitive to anyone else’s feelings
• don’t seem to identify with other people’s problems, do not want to hear their troubles, especially when very upset or crying
• don’t trust anyone, generally suspicious of other’s motives, can be somewhat paranoid
• fear abandonment and engulfment. No one can get close (we stay too busy, pick fights, often make plans & then cancel or just not show up…), to avoid being disaisolatedppointed, hurt, or taken advantage of
• have few or no close relationships. If we do have a partner, it’s usually in separate places with little shared social life
• seem emotionally numb, don’t show or talk about our feelings, rarely share personal info
• struggle with loneliness, self-disgust, anger & self-control, but cover it well
• are more likely to lie, even about unimportant thing OR omit important facts
• don’t know how to make small talk. Are afraid to say the wrong thing
• don’t like giving anything to anyone. Refuse social invitations
• have trouble identifying needs, wants & dreams
• ignore all feedback. If it’s criticism, it validates our belief that everyone’s against us. If it’s positive we assume it’s not real
• ‘listen’ to others without responding, in our own little world
• stick to pre-conceived ideas (from childhood), with no room for anything nereject helpw
• feel like no one really knows or understands “the real me”
• generally – unconcerned with the world outside of own borders
• have trouble receiving from others. If someone offers we get mad or defensive
• won’t ask for help when needed, don’t know who to ask, believe no one will help anyway, so why try?
• make an effort to go for some goal – BUT all alone, & if we can’t achieve it right away, or fail, we stop trying & do without

Love requires Trust, & trust requires (appropriate) vulnerability.
ACoAs with rigid Bs sabotage any shot at healthy love by shutting out anything unfamiliar…. We keep everyone at arm’s length, pick the wrong people to trust, mistakenly associate all humans with the painful events of the past, assuming everyone is as dangerous as our family was / still is

Unrecovered, all wounded ACoA fear being vulnerable, because it means :
• our WIC will be exposed without protection from a Loving, capable Inner Parent
• we don’t have access to our human rights, not allowed to exercise boundaries, so are easy prey

BOTTOM LINE: Rigid boundaries are walls built around us as a substitute for real ones. (See Healthy Bs.) They’re meant to keep us from getting hurt again, & to get our needs met, by insisting everything be OUR way
UNFORTUNATELY they don’t work to our benefit. We just end up starving !

NEXT:  Healthy Boundaries – INFO (#1)

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