ACoAs & Emotions (Part 3)

clean out old Es 

but first I have to clean out the damage

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Emotions #2

SITE: Help for Emotional Reactivity


WHY DO WE HATE having emotions so-o-o much? (cont)
🦠 This is 
not self-indulgence or being manipulative, but rather:
1. Sensitivity = too strongly wired to react to external cues, & then reacting to those Es (knowing they’re out of control). Nerve endings are exposed & raw, acutely affected by:
— the threat of or proof that a relationship is about to dissolve
— being told they can’t have something they badly want or are convinced they need

. Reactivity = having a ‘higher baseline”, 0-20 vs a continual 80 out of 100 – so sadness is experienced as overwhelming despair, anger becomes rage….. and behavior is also intense & doesn’t fit the actual present situation
3. SLOW return to baseline = having a hard time calming down & stay upset longer than someone with a safer upbringing (
emotion fires in the brain for around 12 sec. vs 20% longer)

EXP: You’re in the middle of working on a project & someone keeps trying to control how you’re doing it. You get angrier & angrier**, since you interpret their ‘directions’ as proof you’re not doing it right & so aren’t good enough – not just your work but as a person!
✶* This anger is caused by S-H.

• Instead of just raging at the other person (in your head) & wanting to smash their face in, Ask: “What does this reaction tell me about my damage?”
Ans: Some deep part still believes I’m so bad that I have to be perfect, to compensate, BUT since I can’t be, I hate you for exposing me, & means I’ll never be loved!

• Yes, we are responnot mesible for our behavior & attitudes.  But we also need to remember that HOW people treat us is ALWAYS telling us about them. When it’s insensitive or mean it’s coming from their inner PP &/or WIC (very few have a L.P. even when they have a functioning H.A. in the UNIT)

Their behavior tells us about their inner world, even if we made a mistake. So we don’t have to take responsibility for or try to fix our personality, only our actions – IF appropriate or possible!
In any case – OUR WIC desperately needs a hug & a mental course correction – modifying the CD of Perfectionism. If we do that every time – much of the anger will dissipate, even if the other person is still being a big pain!

ACoAs are often CONFUSED, because
• of our conflicting Es: old vs. current, WIC vs Adult, PP vs Adult…
• we confuse Es with thoughts/ beliefs, usually Toxic one, because we use the word “feel” to mean both (“Use THINK instead of FEEL posts)
• mix up Es with normal human needs, which we’re deeply ashamed of
• don’t know our RIGHTS or what ‘normal’ is, much less have permission to act on them

1. Which Toxic Rule is in play? (all have become self-destructive toxic rules
patterns, also called character defects)
Exp: “If I don’t like it, I have to stay” becomes passivity
2. Which of my WIC’s unmet needs am I re-experiencing?
Exp: Constantly ignored or punished for trying to get attention

3. What am I thinking about this situation?
Exp: “They’re never going to call / write back / I’m unlovable…..”
4. Which of my old buttons is getting activated? — an emotional sore spot from things your family & others consistently did to you &/or to each other – that hurt you  Exp: Being accused wrongly / being shushed

5. Which ego state is likely in charge at the moment (WIC or PP) ?
6. If I’m acting out, which parent am I copying & how?
7. What am I most afraid of in this situation? (FoA, punishment, isolation, not being heard…)
➼ Use the info in other posts to help you answer.

NEXT: ACoAS &  Emotions #4

4 thoughts on “ACoAs & Emotions (Part 3)

  1. Great post, I’ll be reading this one a few times. I like that you pointed out the “fake it until you make it” strategy doesn’t deal with the “rotten fruit”.



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