Family INVENTORIES – Purpose (Part 1)

LOOKING AT HOW IT ALL STARTED is not always easy!

PREVIOUS: Personal Responsibility-#1

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

QUOTE re. the need for S & I
“It is not possible to live too long amid infantile surroundings, or in the bosom of the family = without endangering one’s psychic health. Life calls us forth to independence, & anyone who does not heed this call because of childish laziness or timidity is threatened with neurosis.” Carl Jung
DEF: INVENTORY – To evaluate & make an itemized report of abilities, assets, or resources. To take stock of one’s life and accomplishments.

1. IN 12-Step TERMS
a. Doing our 4th Step – to write out as many of our qualities as we can – both positive (gifts) & negative (defects), as well as a list of all actions throughout life (to identify our Being and our Doing)

b. Taking someone else’s inventorya big no-no, & for good reason, when understood correctly, is an unhealthy defense mechanism. This can mean recounting someone’s faults to all who will listen, or using a sharp tongue to tell someone off who we’re angry at.

NOT doing this is a valid rule in general for everyone, & specifically – geared toward addicts & co-dependents, because:
• we copy our parents’ habit of always finding fault with everyone & everything else, instead of owning our own thought & emotions (likes & dislikes….)
• of the compulsion to blame others for all our woes, instead of taking responsibility for our part in any situation (but not in the form of S-H)
•  our character defect of using any upset as an excuse to gossip
•  our fearful avoidance of dealing clearly & honestly with anyone we’re currently having a problem with, using the Adult ego state
• the fear-driven habit of avoiding very hard decisions, making small or major changes, leaving toxic people, standing up for ourselves …..

a. Re. Safe People: To identify the healthy characteristics we find in positive role models, which we then can look for in everyone we associate with, so we can ‘Go where it’s warm’ – toward people who are reasonable (T), kind (E) & functional (A)

b. Re. Unsafe People: to break thru our denial.
ignoringACoAs deal with abusers – either :
• by having thick blinders on, denying the character defects & emotional damage of unhealthy people, while only see our own flaws – even where they don’t exist. OR
• by being terribly judgmental & critical of everyone – including ourselves (S-H), while not trusting anyone with genuinely good qualities. BOTH types tend to shy away from healthy people!

That way we can be angry at anyone for not giving us what we want & need, just like our parents, but stay with them so we don’t have to notice of the many ways they abandon us, & then face having to do something about it (leave?)
AND we can stay loyal to the dysfunction, continuing to long for but never receive the love & acceptance we believe we’re not allowed.

✳️ As we know, people tell us something about themselves all the time – their pluses & minuses – which we miss all together & could see if we paid attention, knew what to look for, & be willing to respond appropriately
OR we do notice but ignore or excuse. Then it bites us in the butt later!

Sadly, as kids ACoAs were brainwashed to deny much or all of our experiences, intuition & perceptions, so it’s particularly necessary to do this type of inventory for all of us who:
• are genuinely ignorant of, or in deep denial about, the harmful effects that addicts & other damaging people we spend time with (family, lovers, bosses, friends…) have / have had on us

• are surrounded by unhealthy communities (family, religious, social, work….) where everyone is continually bombarding us with a distorted reality about us, themselves & the ‘right way’ to do things

• are by nature so idealistic that we only want to see the good in others, as a defense against the dangers of life, to our great detriment
• know there’s something wrong with certain people & situations in our life, but are not allowed to believe our intuition & knowledge.

NEXT:  Family Inventory – Purpose

2 thoughts on “Family INVENTORIES – Purpose (Part 1)

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