ACoAs: Getting to our EMOTIONS (Under)

feelings hurt
I won’t let anyone get to me

PREVIOUS: Feelings Aren’t Facts – #2

POSTs:  Emotional Maturity

ACoAs were trained to ignore our Es, often with tragic consequences. It prevents us from being able to identify what is:
• suitable or not for us          • mentally sane & logical
• psychologically healthy       • genuinely pleasurable
• At its simplest: The Right brain governs our emotions & the Left brain our thinking (among many other things).
Connecting the 2 sides is a thick mass of nerves, the Corpus Callosum, allowing the halves to communicate, like being able to verbalize (T)<—> feelings (E).  (see posts re. M & F Brains)

• Everyone is born with a unique personality which then interacts with their  environment & training.  Growing up in constant stress, the 2 sides can stop communicating, for protection. Then some people function too much from the L & others too much from the R. We can see this in the way we react to physical or mental hurt.

1. UNDER-FEELING – L brain
Under-Feelers (U-F) “live in our head” to avoid painful Es, cut off from a vital part of our being, & need ways to re-connect the ‘wiring’.
a. GOAL – TO:all Es
• feel all our emotions without judgment
• learn names of a wide range of emotion & be able to associate them with sensations the body generated in the limbic system
• use available tools to help us get in touch with repressed emotions
• learn how to manage painful emotions when they surface
• nurture the Inner Child so that our Abandonment pain diminishes – making us less afraid of Es!

• The exact order & stages (process) needed break thru layers of emotional denial is different for every person & can’t be predicted. Each of us is born unique & therefore is at a different mile marker on the road to Recovery. So the effectiveness & timing of these activities will vary

• Any one, or a combination of the following methods can bring up Es we had to push into the unconscious.  It takes patience & perseverance. Try as many as you can & never give up

BODY WORK — ANY available in your area, like:
acupuncture, to re-align meridians so energy can flow freely (Es are energy)
Brain Gym (re-patterning), to reconnect the 2 brain halves
• core energetics, a safe way to clean rage out
• craneo-sacral therapy, to get trapped cerebro-spinal fluid moving …..
massage, to release holding Es in muscles
◉  If none of these are available, go to a gym, find a place to run, get a punching bag, hit pillows, get a plastic bat & use it on the bed or couch
• 12-step literature          • Personal-growth articles & books
• Spiritual works         • any other writing that ‘touches’ you
SEEING / LISTENINGspiritural practice
• movies, plays, classical & modern music, choirs
• old family photos, diaries, letters….
• religious services, spiritual gatherings
• meditation, prayer….

• 12-Step Meetings – Al-Anon,  ACoA, SIA (Survivors of Incest)….
• any form of therapy – individual, group, experiential, primal….sharing
• loving friends, getting family info from anyone willing to talk
• Inner Child visualizations & guided imagery
• ‘hypnosis’ – with a trained therapist or self-administered (fully awake but with focused concentration on a topic)
Dreams – write them out using the Gestalt Method
Evening Inventory – Brief Journaling OR a positive 10th Step4th-Step inventory: list of character defects, childhood traumas & losses – but NOT used for self-abuse!
2-handed IC dialogues – learning to listen to the Inner Child AND how to respond lovingly

 Lists of positive qualities – 5 or 6 categories (PMES, Natural abilities, Learned Skills, Talents, Interests, Personality traits… ). Use POST: “Our Timeline inventory”
–> Add to each category as often as you think of : things you do automatically, what you’ve learned in school or on your own, natural tendencies, tastes, interests…, whatever you’re good at, AND anything positive that other people say about youjournaling
Morning pages – stream of consciousness – first thing in the a.m. we’re less ‘defended’ against our inner truth (POSTs “Writing for Personal Growth

• keep a separate list of self-hating beliefs every day to ’hear’ how ugly & untrue they are.  ASK: “Would I say these things to someone I love?” If not, then why let the Pig Parent say them or let the kid agree with them? You can change that!

NEXT: ‘Getting to our Feelings’ – OVER – #1

7 thoughts on “ACoAs: Getting to our EMOTIONS (Under)

  1. I enjoyed this because I had no idea that there was a physical change in my brain’s left and right side! I simply thought my stuffed feelings were only psychological and I thought men couldn’t share their feelings due to the way they were bought up!
    I would definately say I’m an under feeler as I’ve problems getting out of my head in times of great stress but I’m looking forward to part 2 and reading about the over feeler!


  2. I am looking forward to reading the next post, I believe I am an under feeler but also very sensitive to what I perceive as “slights” almost as if I am very sensitive under the armor.

    It is helpful to read what the detriments are to ignoring emotions, I learned a hard lesson in that I tolerated an unhealthy work environment, I genuinely thought it was “normal”.

    I see now that it wasn’t, and my concerns over the years had been so very valid. How I let myself be subjected to that is startling for me. My life has been really good post-family but I am now seeing some cracks in the veneer looking back. Most of my choices were/are good, but my underlying reasons for them were shaped by some deep misconceptions.

    I guess its safe to say there is always something to be learned in life 🙂 Thanks for sharing your work/posts, I really appreciate it. Best, Kira


  3. Yes, being in denial (unaware) we can’t make the best choices to protect ourselves. One of the main benefits of having access to all our emotions, minus the S-H beliefs, is that they tell us what’s good & bad for us.

    “AS IF I am very sensitive…” ?? Yes, there’s a lot of pain under the armor – otherwise we wouldn’t need it! Shedding the armor is very scary – the kid thinks it’ll kill us, but not shedding it keeps the poisons in our system.

    Thanks for the feedback – I’m so glad what I write is helpful.


  4. Every time I get a massage, I cry and cry during the massage and the therapist gets uncomfortable. 😦 A message feels very loving and it makes me cry. I’ve only had a couple but I lose it every time.


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