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
2. ACoA DAMAGE (cont.)
In many unhealthy families, kids got the message that we had to earn our parent’s love & approval – yet we never succeeded, because nothing we did was ever good enough for them. 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.
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. 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!
SHAME is 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.
✳️ NEEDS are absolutely fundamental & normal human requirements – not arbitrary childish demands.
✅ WANTS are the ways we try to get those needs met.
SEE list of rights at Break the Cycle! & post “My Rights – Qs”
ACoAs : As adults we – wrongly – believe we only can have things (sort of) if we follow the Toxic Rules.
On the one hand, obeying them leaves us convinced 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, don’t want to do what someone else wants, lets others invade our boundaries, never object to abuse …..
• 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:
• deeply believe we don’t deserve it (S-H), since we didn’t earn it (the PP voice)
• 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 tells us to give it away instead of valuing the gift & using it wisely
So these ACoAs try anything to fill the hole in our soul by vacuuming up as much as possible (attention, info, objects, power, variety…. ) = sexually promiscuous / over-eat / over-spend / over-learn / out-earn….
REALITY – being human is to be IMPERFECT. Even so it means TO:
• be healthy, clear thinking, emotionally sane, sober
• have fun, relaxation, vacations, ‘veg time’
• object to all forms of mistreatment
• maintain our boundaries, & say ‘no!’….
• make mistakes, not know or be good at everything
• not have to rescue or people-please
• not like everything & even hate some things
• take care of our needs, be self-motivating
CONTRAST : Healthy parents teach & encourage these things & don’t demand / expect their children to earn them.
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….)
Healthy parents show LOVE when they:
– provide physical basics (food, shelter, clothes….)
– sometimes make sacrifices of their own needs, without guilting their children for it!
– make changes & adapt as needed because of the children & circumstances
– willing to listen patiently, interested in kids’ lives
– 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)