ACoAs Being Controlled (Part 2)

whisper control

she didn’t even look at me today

PREVIOUS: Controlling & Abandonment (#2)

REVIEW posts: “Noticing Painful Events

SITE: Over-controlling Parents Irritate Adult Children

Our PARENTS still control our thought & emotions now IF we:
• want to reduce contact with them or sever it all together – but feel guilty & afraid
• spend time or talk to them more from obligation than choice

• find it hard to be emotionally separate from them (feel their Es for them, care too much, assume you know what they need…)

• FEEL intimidated or belittled by how they treat us:
— afraid to express our true E. & opinions to them
— get tense even thinking about being around them
— confused by their mixed messages & double binds
— feel disloyal when we act or feel differently than what they wantscared
— easily annoyed or impatient with them without knowing why

RESULTS of being over-controlled as a child, we:
• expect everyone to hurt, judge or take advantage of us
• feel chronically empty or numb inside, easily bored, restless
• frantically try to avoid real or imagined abandonment – by clinging, people-pleasing, being invisible….
• are intimidated by or feel enraged at controlling people
• experience temporary dissociation (splitting), disconnecting from self or others

Mentally / Socially
• feel like we’re always under scrutiny – even when alone
• perfectionist, driven, rarely satisfied – especially with ourself
• keep isolated from shame & so ‘no one can hurt or leave’ us
• lose ourselves in relationships by only considering others’ needs
• over- & then under-value people we get too close to
• find it hard to relax, laugh or be spontaneous

Emotionally / Spiritually
• mood swings not caused by bipolar disease
• inappropriate & intense anger; difficulty controlling temper
• trouble asserting ourselves or feeling proud of our accomplishments
• trouble finding a spiritual belief, or one that feels right

Mentally / Behaviorally
• chronic obsessive thoughts, without trying solutions
• confused or distorted self-image: “Who am I really?” , “What do I really look like?” (ugly, fat, too thin too short….)
• paranoid thinking – as a regular way of experiencing others
• harsh “inner critics” that torture you, especially after a loss
• impulsivity – can’t control your choices & reactions
• compulsive self-damaging behaviors in 2 or more areas of life (eating disorder, addictions, fights, under-achieving….)
• recurring suicidal thoughts or tries

Present-day CAUSES of ‘Abandonment’** PAIN 

• Abusive mate, adult-child, boss, friend, elderly parent
• Loss of a real or imagined beloved person, animal, thing or place
• Unkind or threatening communications (in any form)
• Unfair or abusive political & social laws, policies, rules
• Inaccurate, harsh, judgmental & prejudicial religious beliefs & leaders….
** Technically, adults cannot be abandoned, unless they’re physically or mentally incapacitated, so the term mainly applies to children.
Men who are unconsciously ruled by their unresolved Abandonment (A.) issues are fearful & insecure. They often use rage as a way to cover this up, since they know something’s wrong inside, but don’t know how to or refuse to uncover & deal with it.
In many cultures men are ‘allowed’ to be angry rather than sad, hurt & vulnerable.
Using the male stereotype of maintaining power, they may:
• be charming & clever, but manipulative & self-centered
• withdraw from everyone, to control themselves
• control others by verbal, physical, sexual or psychological abuse …. to transfer their emotional pain onto others.

Woman usually have a greater capacity for awareness of their emotional states than men (see post on DIFFERENCE between M & F brains), but still need to learn how to handle them appropriately.  When unresolved A. issues overwhelm, women who haven’t learned to be in charge of their inner turmoil will instead turn to the external world for things they CAN control :
• themselves – weight, clothes, shopping, obsessions, self-harm, chemicals…..
• others – jealousy, over-protectiveness, bossiness & nagging, fixing…..
Also, to ‘manage’ their pain they’re more likely to find others to hurt them. But while playing the victim role they can still do a lot of damage, to other adults & especially to their children.

BOOKs by J. Ray Rice:  “Thank You for Loving Me…” (originally for teens in treatment for Abandonment) and “What I Must Give Myself – First!”

NEXT: ACoAs Getting Controlled (Part 1)

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