I’M ALLOWED, I’M NOT ALLOWED
– if only I could be sure!
PREVIOUS: Deserving Vs. Rights (#1)
Post : “Not Enough Love?”
1. NOT Deserving (cont.)
ACoA DAMAGE (cont.)
We were given the message that we had to earn our parent’s love & approval – yet we never succeeded, because nothing we did was ever good enough. The ‘approval’ was conditional AND was only tentatively given if the child completely submerged their own identity to conform to the alcoholic, narcissistic agenda of the family.
This has kept us from developing self-esteem, which can only come from being loved Unconditionally! The resulting sense of unworthiness is so deeply ingrained in ACoAs that it prevents many of us from even imagining possibilities, much less allowing ourselves to actively pursue normal goals, expressing our natural talents or following our dreams!
As adults we believe – wrongly – that we only deserve things (sort of) if we follow the Toxic Rules.
On the one hand, deprived ACoAs who follow them end up believing that TO:
• be loved – we have to eliminate our natural tendencies, please everyone else, not have needs, shut off many of our emotions, never object to other people abuse or selfishness…..
• get affection, attention / sex … we have to give in to whoever want us – even when we can’t stand them, deny having boundaries, focus on the needs & desires of the other person instead of ourselves …..
• be respected &/or admired – we have to be perfect, out-achieve everyone else, have all the answers, ‘religiously’ follow our training …..
On the other hand – some ACoAs who are ALSO not allowed to have their needs – become rebellious & try to grab everything they can.
EXPs: When ACoAs inherit money, we quickly squander it all because:
• we’re emotionally & mentally immature – being run by the WIC
• have been so poor & deprived that we’re trying to make up for all our suffering
• feel guilty for having more than others, & our co-dependence tell us to give away instead of valuing the gift & using it wisely
• deeply believe we don’t deserve it (S-H), convince we shouldn’t have the money since we didn’t earn it (the PP voice)
YET – we’ll try anything to fill the hole in our soul by vacuuming up as much as possible (attention, info, objects, power, variety…. ): Be sexually promiscuous / over-eat / over-spend / over-learn / out-earn….
REALITY – being human is to be IMPERFECT. It also means TO:
• be healthy, clear thinking, emotionally sane, sober
• have fun, relaxation, vacations, ‘veg time’
• object to all forms of mistreatment
• not like everything & even hate some things
• not rescue or people-please
• maintain our boundaries, say ‘no!’….
• make mistakes, not know or be good at everything
• take care of our needs, be self motivating
REVIEW: Healthy parents teach & encourage these things & don’t demand / expect their children to somehow earn them. But we did not receive that kind of nurturing, & only grudgingly given ‘love’ conditionally, if at all. Instead our family stated or implied :
“Do what we want, be what we want – then we’ll let you live…..OR ELSE” (ARTICLE….)
But no matter how hard we tired to please, we could never fully get what is every child’s birthright – just for being here! This left us in a double bind & ultimately hopeless.
SHAME: the emotion (E) associated with any need we were NOT allowed to have, was made fun of, restricted or punished, & so became ashamed of having, as adults.
NEEDS are not wants or demands, but are absolutely fundamental & normal
List of rights at Break the Cycle! & post “My Rights – Qs”
CONTRAST – Healthy parents show LOVE when they:
– provide physical basics (food, shelter, clothes….)
– make sacrifices (without guilting their children for it)
– make changes & adapt as needed by children & circumstances
– willing to listen patiently, interested in their life
– teach them life skills & be good examples
– support child’s interests & dreams, & be their biggest cheerleader, positive but realistic, always having the child’s best interest at heart.
NEXT: Deserving vs. Rights (Part 3)