PREVIOUS: Over-Controlling Ourselves -#4
SITE: So What Is “Self Care”?
HOW we Over-Control (O-C) ourselves (cont)
a. DEFENSES (Part 4)
b. SELF-HATE – controls us, also as a defense mechanism, TO:
• keep ourself in line (harsh discipline), instead of taking charge of our thoughts & actions (healthy control) via a mature ego state
— Young man: “I’m not supposed to look at or covet other women because I’m married – but I do anyway – which means I’m bad.
I figure that if I’m strict about beating myself up, I’ll stop being bad”. It many work temporarily but doesn’t last, creating a vicious cycle
• stave off (assumed) inevitable abandonment
— Young woman: “I just met a potential partner / boss / friend… & I’m already thinking – I know I’m going to fuck it up”. So she won’t let anyone get too close, depriving herself of new experiences & possible benefits
• stay symbiotically attached to the Introjects (no S & I)
— Teen: “I don’t care about keeping my room neat, even though I’d like it, because Mom is horrified that I’m not compulsively clean like her.
She calls me a pig, saying: ‘You could lay down next to dirt and sleep!’- which to her is the greatest possible insult. So if I’m a pig, I might as well act like one!”
IRONY: As much as the teen (or Adult-Child) is rebellious or hates the family, we stubbornly hang on, because to let go would mean facing the world unprepared!
CONSEQUENCES of OVER-CONTROL
By O-C ourselves, we’re always suspicious of anyone wanting to be kind, encouraging & helpful, so WE:
• isolate from the mainstream of society, which keeps us from finding out what kind of support systems are available, OR refuse to make use of them when we do know
• unconsciously prevent ourselves from attracting people who have the capacity to be nurturing &/or nourishing. Instead we choose or let ourselves be chosen by narcissists & abusers, wolves that are sometimes disguised in sheep’s clothing
• reject legitimate offers of nurturing or help, finding it painful when complemented or lauded. This is predictable as long as the WIC is allowed to make our relationship choices – which will inevitably duplicate our family
We were greatly disappointment in our parents when we were too young to handle it. Being in constant emotional pain, as kid we create an inner world of fantasy – having an ideal life, with a loving family & never any frustrations!
• As adults this fantasy life can turn INTO various illusions, such as:
— looking for the ideal partner, friend, teacher, boss…. so we’ll finally feel safe & get our needs met. Anything less than that is unthinkable. When we are inevitably let down, we get very angry that they don’t live up to our expectations – which leaves us feeling hopeless!
— being convinced that everyone else is having the happy life we’re not, even strangers on the street, especially if we see them with a partner, children, clothes, cars…. that we wish we had.
We know how bad we feel inside, & assume everyone can actually see how worthless we are – & that’s why they ‘stay away from us’.
We look at the glossy surface & think that’s the whole story, O-C (repressing) our ability to see ourselves & others as having several dimensions. BUT everyone has problems, no matter how their outsides look!
• ACoAs are encouraged to maintain illusions because:
— media & culture pushes surface images as reality, when they’re not
— emotionally we’re in child-mode, & little kids are very literal, concrete (what you see is what you get)
— our family taught us to deny & ignore what’s inside – the deeper truths of intuition, whether emotional, mental or Spiritual.
In many dysfunctional homes what mattered was how good everything looked on the outside.
👺So we created a facade too, a False Self, the only option we had at the time – BY rejecting or over-controlling our basic human needs!
NEXT: Over-controlling Ourselves (Part 5)