I WANT SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF ME – rather that “grow up”!
PREVIOUS: S & I – #2
• The normal (un-damaged) process of Individuation, which gradually occurs as a result of childhood Separation, is the long transition from the family’s ways of defining us as a person, and their of viewing the world —-> TO becoming an individual with our own emotions, thoughts & values.
In healthy families children are encouraged to gradually find their True Self, so that by the time they’re in their 20’s they have general sense of their essence.
It is the process of learning what we want to say YES or NO to – from intuition as well as experience. The result of this awareness is expressed by easily taking actions in the world based on what we know about ourselves – making a statement about who we are (ME) and who we are not (NOT ME) – without isolating or feeling superior
INCOMPLETE / DAMAGED
Even though Individuation is ever completely achieved, it’s important that none of its phases be skipped, since it’s much harder, later in life, to fix the problems which that causes
• Unhealthy parents interfere with the Individuation process in many ways,
ing not allowing us to have all our emotions – when only one or two are acceptable (only happy, only scared…) OR when any expression of E. is ignored or punished.
Result: We have to shut down our Es – which would normally give us subtle but definite internal info about what’s right or wrong for us. Without this input we end up not being able to trust ourselves, because we’re cut of from the cues Es would normally provide. Then it curtails most of the ability to reflect on our internal process, so that decision-making becomes very difficult or distorted
a. One extreme is when a child is forced to experience a later stage of individuation – prematurely, out of order, like ACoAs who as kids had to be ‘little adults’: a parent’s confidant or rescuer, or someone’s object of sexual attention). This can turns a child INTO:
i. an arrogant ACoA adult with an over-developed, inflated False Persona, preventing or severely slowing down self-examination & emotional growth
They can function quite well as long as they’re in familiar settings, but miss genuine spontaneity, the ability to let go of controls, even to the point of being unnaturally rigid, lacking zest or authenticity
Others people can be taken in by their ‘so together’ exterior. But there is a lack of personal development hidden under the surface, in the very unhealthy WIC, which mainly shows up in private, as unavailable & harmful spouses & parents
ii. an isolated ACoA adult, going to work every day, maybe even being in the helping professions, such as nurse, social worker…. or trapped with an addict spouse , Beverly disabled child…. to take care of. They continue playing out the Hero-rescuer role, but are plagued by constantly second-guessing themself & the accompanying anxiety
b. At the other end of the spectrum are the children who were bullied, browbeaten & brainwashed into buying every aspect of their family & social culture – with no room to breathe. They conformed to the dysfunction from a combination of their natural personality (more compliant OR most like the parents), and from a deep terror of punishment for disagreement
• They too grow up without knowing who they are as individuals apart from their training, so they’re out of touch with even their most basic tendencies, dreams, wishes. Many will continually react to everything & everyone like a child, emotionally & mentally, without realizing it
However, people in this category are more likely to seek out therapy & recovery, because they know they’re incomplete, feeling lost, stuck & unhappy. Unfortunately they blame themselves (S-H) rather than correctly identifying the source of their lack!
NEXT: S & I – Individuation #1