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 ‘undernourishment’ & bewilderment. Those discarded parts, which we’re terrified to face, 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 possible sub-selves such as Addict, Zealot, Fanatic, Perfectionist, Preacher, Survivor, Martyr….
Its determination to protect the WIC at all costs can cause rigid self-discipline toxic to the host person & others.
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 cause intense shame, guilt, fears, distorted beliefs (CDs) & trust imbalances, which cause trouble bonding 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 tho she resented him, she still gave him the benefit of the doubt & spent much of her life hopelessly trying to win his approval!
ACoA Damage – Being over-coerced &/or under-attended are abusive & abandoning styles of upbringing. Any form of prolonged & intense control is painful & debilitating, especially for children, who are powerless to escape it.
Deliberately or not, our family gave us the message: “Search & Destroy any signs of personal identity. Be ‘good‘ (emotionally O-C) or you’re not part of this family!”
And we know that every kid obeys the Family Rules – whether by giving in or rebelling. Toxic rules are like a virus in our operating system, invisible while corrupting, which needs to be de-bugged!
• This harmful treatment forced us to gradually over-control ourselves (O-C) in reaction to the restrictions & neglect. It’s become the most familiar way ACoAs have of relating to self & others.
Before FoO Recovery, most of the time we act as badly as our family, 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 family 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 in less obvious physical abuse & chaos – but just as real mentally, emotionally & Spiritually (PMES) – 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 will shock & appall the perfect-looking family!
— EXCEPT they don’t have to die, they can Recover!
NEXT: O-C Ourselves – Part 3