PREVIOUS: O-C ourselves #7
CONSEQUENCES of OVER-CONTROL (cont)
6. Over-Dependence – BY cutting off (over-controlling) important parts of ourselves – our intuition, observations, intelligence, psychological growth… – keeps us in emotional child-mode, even tho we’re physically adults.
This creates a desperate need for others to take care of us as replacement parents, giving them the right & the power to run our lives. Arranging this ‘deal’ with someone is not that hard, since there are plenty of other damaged people in the world to choose from who are control freaks
• To establish an unhealthy bond with a caretaker type –
WE need to be willing to give up most or all of our autonomy, which may be our usual style (Victim, Lost Child), OR “only” abandon ourselves in romantic relationships. What we’re really asking for is permission to animate the very part we’ve buried!
‘THEY’ can be a taker/user or rescuer, but some degree of narcissist – or else they wouldn’t want to take on the parental or bully role with us. Instead of ‘giving us life”, most of the time they will reinforce our self-destruction.
7. Perfectionism – Just as Illusion is about others (in Part 6), P. is about ourselves. We O-C to compensate for never feeling good enough to be loved unconditionally. We figured that we should always be perfect, in every way, otherwise we deserve to be dead – or definitely thrown away.
If we actually were flaw-less, knowing everything & never making a mistake – we’d never have to face the pain of rejection, because everyone would always accept & love us, starting with our parents.
That’s the WIC’s delusional tactic, geared at getting approval from our rejecting, controlling family.
• P is definitely a form of S-H, & a sneaky version of EOC, which forces us to deny our soft side, our human limitations, needs & vulnerability. Since no one can be perfect, we waste our efforts & prevent actually being valued & wanted (even when we are liked!), but we foolishly keep trying – which adds to our desperation & depression
• This compulsion keeps us from trusting, taking appropriate risks, challenging & empowering ourselves to grow, OR from helping others develop themselves when we’re in positions of authority, like a parent, boss, group leader….
8. Spirituality: Our trouble letting go of over-controlling ourselves makes it hard for many addicts & other ACoAs to benefit from the spiritual connection provided by the 12 steps of AA, especially:
Step #1: “We admitted we were powerless over (alcohol / our family / our damage / our resistance / our fears…) — that our lives had become unmanageable”, and
Step #3: “Made a decision to turn our will & our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him”.
• According to our WIC, to actively accept & use either Step feels like surrendering – again – to an abusive authority, like the ones we grew up with. John Bradshaw reminds us that: “Until the age of 7 children deify their parents, & after age 7 they parentalize their Deity’. With that in mind, a saying was created in ACoAs meetings: “God is NOT an alcoholic parent”.
Instead, we can gradually learn that the God-of-our-understanding is a loving Higher Power who we can rely on, available for healing & strength. Trust comes from actual experience, & doesn’t come easily for ACoAs. When we ‘let go’ of having to control our inner world & start finding the lost parts by listening to our healthy intuition, hard-won knowledge & experience, we can comfortably participate in the world on our own terms.
• If we connect to healthy people, growing our own Loving Parent & getting into the healing flow of the universe, we will be truly taken care of, at a deeper level. Then it becomes safer to let go of O-C (AA calls it destructive ‘self-will run riot’), through emotional growth & mental clarity!
• Also, we’ll be able to tell who’s safe & who’s not. There’s a big difference between being cynical or paranoid and realistically cautious. People always tell a lot about themselves right from the very beginning. Pay attention!
NEXT: Price for over-control