I WORK SO HARD TO BE GOOD – why isn’t my life any better?
PREVIOUS: Over-controlling Ourselves #5
SITE: The Truth about Power
CONSEQUENCES of OVER-CONTROL (cont)
3. Always the Outsider – it’s ironic that even when attending 12-step meeting of ‘like-minded’ people, we still feel like we don’t belong! When we’re emotionally over-controlled (O-C) :
• it keeps a wall up between us & others, especially against those who already have a genuine capacity to ‘see’ & accept us
• we gravitate toward ‘people, places & things’ (PPT) which simply don’t suit our needs, goals, or personality. We stay even when we’re angry & unhappy there – insuring that we don’t fit in or feel a part of things
• we don’t stay long enough or go deep enough with others so they can get to know us & show us the good things they’re able to provide
• we do & say inappropriate or obnoxious things that are likely to put people off & make them withdraw, especially if things are going too well with them, for too long (even a week or month!)
4. Envy & Jealousy – emotions considered ‘negative’ that have to be O-C :
Envy is about 2 people : “I envy you for having such great hair, an advanced degree….”, ie. wanting something we don’t have
Jealousy involves 3 or more : “I’m jealous that he has so many friends”, ie. wanting a relationship someone else has
“She pays more attention to her friends than to me”, ie. trying to hang on to someone or something we don’t want to lose.
BOTH emotions come from believing we are powerless to get what we want & need in life, not necessarily the thing others have, exactly – just that they have the right to get their need me, like good things, & we don’t
• We may deny being O-C, yet often covet what others are or have. What gives it away is the rage we feel at certain kinds of people or situations! We say ‘those people’ are ‘entitled’, with a sneer in our voice because:
— we think they’re unfairly lucky – having a family, a decent relationship, a good job, lots of friends… & hate them for what we don’t have permission to get for ourselves
— OR we call them brats, selfish, arrogant …. because they don’t hold back the way we do. Perhaps they are, and/or we just wish we had some of that confidence to do & say what we’ve always wanted to, but aren’t allowed!
ACoA deprivation is always about the BIG A – abandonment. Family taught us we couldn’t have our needs, so we won’t let ourselves either. The WIC says it’s so-o unfair, but we keep on ‘following the rules” & depriving ourself!
5. Isolation – Without boundaries our WIC uses isolation to protect itself. Being O-C can cut us off :
— from various emotions (anger, sorrow, sexuality, competitiveness… )
— from many of our good qualities or potential talents (artistic abilities, generosity, patience….)
— prevents others from benefiting from these valuable parts of ourselves, because:
• we’re afraid of getting stepped on, manipulated, used, boundary invaded, left…. if we’re open & available
• we’re afraid of getting sucked into taking care of others, or not being able to get away from someone we don’t like because of our co-dependence or passivity, so we’d rather not engage at all
• we don’t want anyone to find out how weak, damaged, vulnerable, dumb, needy … we really are (everything S-H tells us) — AND
• we’re sure we’re doing the world a service by withdrawing, to protect them from our rage! We may not admit to that feeling, but isolation is a sure sign we’re worried about it at some deep level & are trying to keep the lid on.
BOOK: “BARGAINS with FATE”, taken from Shakespeare’s plays. Dr. Bernard I. Paris describes the Detached / Resigned character, whose only goal is safety via total ‘freedom’.
BARGIN: “If I ask nothing of others, try for nothing, expect nothing …. then no one will bother me & I won’t fail or get disappointed” – their Reward. What’s suppressed is their aggressive side. (SEE all 5 on the ACoA website)
NEXT: Price for ever-control #1