IF I DON’T KEEP A TIGHT LID ON
I’ll do all kinds of bad things!
PREVIOUS: Over-controlling ourselves (Part 2)
DEF: Over-controlling (O-C) ourselves is not so much about our actions – although it also affects them as a consequence – but mainly means :
✒︎ rejecting our emotions, needs & observations to such an extent that we go thru life in a state of constant ‘under-nourishment’ (deprivation) & bewilderment. Those discarded parts, which we’re terrified to face & own, then become our shadow side
• Instead, we are run by a False Self (FS), that protective identity formed so early we actually think it’s the real us. It’s made up of various aspects of the WIC (scared, angry, apathetic, suicidal…) & the PP disguised as a ‘guardian’ in the form of a know-it-all cattle-prod. The FS is comfort-seeking & therefore short-sighted, making unwise, unhealthy decisions – a kindergartener trying to do college level work
• Peter K. Gerlach, MSW, writes that unhealthy will-power occurs when a person is controlled by a fierce Guardian hardened into sub-selves such as Addict, Fanatic, Martyr, Perfectionist, Preacher, Survivor, Zealot….
Its determination to protect the WIC at all costs can cause rigid self-discipline which is toxic to the host person & also other people.
EXP: the talented Magician sub-self can distort reality to justify or excuse self-destructive attitudes & behaviors
☛ Of course some ACoAs will react to the controlling inner voice by
— doing very little with our life, from confusion & terror
— OR nothing positive – from misdirected rage.
Over all, these limiting sub-personae produce distorted beliefs (CDs) & intenseEs such as shame, guilt, fears, trust imbalances = which make it hard to bond to others
EXP: A perceptive & bright daughter was a threat to her incestuous father because she would not have been easy to silence if he molested her. So instead he turned her into the family scapegoat, verbally & physically beating her. This succeeded in convinced her that she was stupid & unable to trust her observations & intuition. Even though she resented him, she still gave him the benefit of the doubt & spent much of her life hopelessly trying to win his approval! SIGH, UGH!
ACoA Damage – Any form of prolonged & intense control is painful & debilitating, especially for children, who are powerless to escape it. Being over-coerced &/or under-attended (in Part 1) are both abusive parenting styles.
Deliberately or not, our family gave us the message:
“Search & Destroy any signs of personal identity. Be ‘good‘ (don’t think, don’t feel) or you’re not part of this family. If you try we’ll destroy you! ”
And we know that every kid obeys the Family party line – whether by giving in or rebelling.
• In reaction to the restrictions & neglect, this harmful message forced us to gradually over-control ourselves (O-C), a basic component of S-H, & a familiar way ACoAs relate to self & others.
These early experiences became our Toxic rules which now act like a virus in our psychological operating system, invisible while corrupting, and needs to be de-bugged!
Before FoO Recovery
✏︎ much of the time we act as badly as our family did, OR
✏︎ put ourselves in positions to get punished for trying to be ourselves.
We’ve been so brainwashed that we’re desperately afraid to let go of familiar patterns, which the WIC believes would cause us to fall into a black hole we’d never get out of
‣ Faced with a scary new experience, the WIC comes up with the usual reasons why it won’t work out
‣ If we even consider going after something we really want, the PP says: “Who do you think you are – anyway?”!
NOTE: Some ACoAs raised without more obvious physical abuse & chaos – but just as mentally, emotionally & Spiritually (PMES) unhealthy –
will act out all the hidden family damage by being the one sibling in trouble, socially or legally, using addictions promiscuity & dangerous ‘excitement’.
▶︎ These ACoAs are the living “Portrait of Dorian Gray”, which shock & appall the perfect-looking family!
— EXCEPT WE don’t have to die, we can Heal & Grow!
NEXT: O-C Ourselves – Part 3