GRANDIOSITY and ‘NORMAL’ (Part 2)


 

PREVIOUS: GRANDIOSITY and ‘NORMAL’ (# 1)

 

REMINDER:  All posts on ABUSE will have a lot of repetition.

 

2. GRANDIOSITY ( G )(cont)
a. KIDS: This is a normal characteristic of small children, all the way thru the teens – thinking they can do much more than they actually can (fly – with their arms, keep playing without having to eat or sleep, get kid flyingaway with misbehaving, doing something big – like driving or having sex – without guidance or training, not needing help “I can do it my-self!”….). It’s a self-focused survival mechanism – preventing children from being crushed by fully realizing the extent of their vulnerability.

b. ADULTS ( a G / Gs = people who act grandiose)
Being grandiose refers to someone who has a sense of uniqueness, superiority (not a ‘puny human’) – the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself, & that they can only be understood by a few or very special people’.
Sound familiar?  This is a form of narcissism which is normal in children but is supposed to be outgrown by adulthood.

For ACoAs it’s a continuation of that early psychological defense, not having yet developed a healthy Adult Ego State. As long as our WIC runs the show we use that same protection to hide our sense of vulnerability – which now comes from being stuck in our frightening past.  EXPs:

Self-Hate : All of S-H is a form of grandiosity – in negative terms: “I am the ‘worst’, the most hopeless, I don’t have the capacity to love, I’ll never get better, I have to give up the hope of finding someone right for me….”
EXP :  Always feeling separate – “I never fit anywhere”, different – but negatively or superior – “I don’t have any problems”, while acting out Victim role. “You just don’t undersoverlappingtand!”

No Limits : Not having boundaries – “I’m the same as you, you are me, we feel & think alike…” the state of an infant that we need to outgrow.
EXP:  Pushing ourself until we collapse. or going beyond normal limits – especially when in a weakened condition. (Run on an injured leg, over-use hands, over-do exercise, go to work when very sick, trying to rescue our Perps or other Victims, mind other peoples’ business ….)

Perfectionism : Yes it shows up everywhere!
This is an impossible goal, regardless of some spiritual teachings. Yet we try to compensate for the continual inner & outer sense of danger by trying to know everything & never make a mistake – instead of healing the wounds that cause our fear.

We’re convinced that anything about us or our actions that’s not 100% ideal (distorted, unrealistic standards) IS:
• our failure to make up for our ‘unwillingness to be good’ (please our parents), which we use to beat ourselves up – & then try again to be inhuman
• proof of operfectionismur inherent & permanently flawed identity, making us unworthy of anything positive in life. Since we believe we’re defective, we can easily be thrown away. Our imperfect-ness is assumed to be our fatal flaw.

As the WIC says:
“No one loves or takes care of me, so I might as well die”!  PS: This is not being dramatic – to a small child. AND it’s:
• the reason why we don’t even bother trying many things we’re actually capable of doing, lest we ‘fail’ (to be perfect).
What an illusion. What a waste of possibilities!

Finished with an Issue
This is the extreme opposite of “I’ll never get better”. Most common in early Recovery – we think we’re DONE with a character defect or childhood pattern that we worked on for a little while.
OR – we think we should have gotten over our ‘issues’ by now (in Recovery, at our age, with so much therapy….)

Problem : When that same old (“cleaned up”) emotional reaction or unhealthy behavior inevitably resurfaces, usually under stress – we feel defeated, full of S-H & fall back into : “I’m hopeless at this growth stuff. I might as well not even try!”
Reality : Repetition & Process lead to improvement – NOT perfection!

GIVING UP Grandiosity?
To let go of this defense we need to know all our needs & rights, as well as our limitations.  It’s finding a healthy balance between :
🏵 realistic optimism based on acknowledging all examples of our progress ➕
💔 a realistic understanding of the depth of our wounds & the ongoing nature of process.
Healing & growth will take the rest of our life – no matter how successful we become. That’s what it means to be human.  Al-anon slogan: “Progress, not perfection”!

NEXT: What is Emotional Abuse? #1

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