I CAN HANDLE EVERYTHING –
I’m not weak or wounded!
PREVIOUS: Victim or not? #2
DISTORTED COPING (P = Perp / V = Victim)
As long as ACoAs have trouble facing the trauma of being a Victim IN our childhood, we can’t outgrow that state because it lives in our WIC & keeps getting acted out all over our lives. Another ‘backwards’ ACoA pattern: while we do many destructive victim-y things to ourselves and let others do them to us, we also are masters at trying to cover up the inner wounds, the same way battered people try to hide broken bones & external bruising.
a. Normal can mean what is average for any location or situation, but may be positive or negative & is never absolute : It’s the norm for people in a bar to drink a lot. It’s the norm for men in prison to be raped. It’s the norm for children of addicts to be scarred. OR It’s the norm for great teachers to produce some excellent students. It’s the norm for country air to be healthier than city air. It’s the norm for money to make life easier
b. Normal can also mean anything that is the opposite of unhealthy, & is only positive: Normal is to be a whole human being. Normal is being happy & productive, with satisfying relationships. Normal is to care for ourselves. Normal is being part of a community & helping others. Normal is for love to heal …..
✶ ACoAs desperately want to be ‘normal’, as in ‘b’, while not wanting to admit being damaged / wounded (NOT defective), with all it’s weaknesses, nor having to do the hard work of Recovery to become healthy. This false-normal is a facade to cover our lack of self-esteem & to quiet the bad voice (the PP), rather than being genuinely OK at our core.
Many of us don’t want to ask for any kind of help, or be in groups that focus on healing, because “They’re all crazy & I’m not like them!” But Al-anon teaches us: “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” It’s one thing to feel empowered & be able to face life’s difficulties with equanimity & guts. It’s another to over-compensate for our un-acknowledged & unhealed history with grandiosity.
EXP: Trish was never taken care of as a child, even in basic ways, & was eventually left by her weak father to take care of her violent, mentally ill mother. In spite of not having any self-esteem or knowledge about self-care, in her early 20’s her talent as a performer got her periodic jobs in small venues.
One day she found out she was pregnant, but wasn’t ready for motherhood & scheduled an abortion – for the same day that she had a gig in the Catskills. She went to the doctor in the am – alone, & that afternoon drove up to the mountains to sing – alone & in pain! It never occurred to her to have the operation on a different day, to have someone go with her, or that there was anything amiss about combining the 2 events – until pointed out to her by a therapist 20 yrs later!
MAIN CHARACTERISTICS (Wikipedia)
A distinction is made between individuals exhibiting grandiosity, which does include a degree of insight into their unrealistic thoughts (aware their behavior is unusual or unrealistic – but not crazy), compared to those experiencing grandiose delusions, who lack this capability for reality-testing.
IMP: Grandiosity hurts ourselves AND is abusive to others
IRONY: Typical of many ACoAs, hiding a deep sense of unworthiness :
1. don’t recognize limitations, believe they’re invulnerable
2. lives in grandiose fantasies, without taking realistic actions
3. exaggerate talents, capacity & achievements, are boastful or pretentious
4. believe they don’t need other people
5. feel unique, special or superior compared to others. May not admit it even to self, because it goes against S-H
6. nit-picks, criticizes & downgrades other people, projects, statements, or dreams
NEXT: Grandiosity #2 –