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 & 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 EXP– It’s the norm for :
▫️people in a bar to drink a lot
▫️men in prison to be raped.
▫️children of addicts to be scarred.
OR It’s the norm for :
▫️country air to be healthier than city air.
▫️money to make life easier.
▫️great teachers to produce some excellent students.
b. Normal can also mean anything that is the opposite of unhealthy, & is only positive. NORMAL is being:
▫️a whole human being, & to care for ourselves.
▫️part of a community & helping others.
▫️happy & productive, with satisfying relationships.
Normal is for love to heal broken hearts & minds…..
✶ ACoAs desperately want to be ‘normal’, as in ‘b’, while not wanting to admit being damaged / wounded (NOT defective), with all it’s weaknesses, & so not 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 reminds us that “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 local mountains. She went to the doctor in the am – alone, & that afternoon drove up to the resort 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. To her it was all normal !
2. GRANDIOSITY – at it’s simplest, it’s how a person sees themselves, bigger, better, more capable than they really are. It often leads to putting oneself in jeopardy, as big as extreme physical activities, taking unprotected financial or sexual risks, or as ‘small’ as always crossing the street just as the cars start moving forward, smoking for years….
They act as if they’re invincible, magically untouched by the laws of nature or common sense.
BTW : ‘Normal’ grandiosity does include the person having a degree of insight into their overblown ideas – aware their behavior is unusual or unrealistic – but not crazy. But those with grandiose delusions lack this capability for reality-testing.
IRONY: It’s typical of many ACoAs, using it as defense to hide intense unworthiness. Gs:
1. believe they don’t need other people
2. don’t recognize normal human limitations, nor their own
3. exaggerate talents, capacity & achievements, are boastful or pretentious
4. feel unique, special or superior, compared to others. May not admit it even to themself, because it’s not part of S-H
5. live in grand fantasies, without taking realistic actions
6. look down on others who won’t take the same chances – as weak or cowards
7. generally criticize, nit-pick & downgrade other people’s projects, achievements, ideas & dreams – as ‘small’
IMP: Grandiosity hurts ourselves AND is abusive to others
NEXT: Grandiosity #2 –