PREVIOUS: Fam. Inventory – Purpose (#3)
See ACRONYM Page for abbrev.
Early impressions (cont)
a. Not enough stimulus – (Part 3) Dysfunctional homes force on us too little or too much
b. Too much stimulus, without emotional & physical relief (down time).
An overload of stress & tension – day in & day out, for years – is typical for children in alcoholic & narcissistic families, generating fear, fear, fear! from:
— too much noise, rage, fights, yelling, bickering, cruelty, teasing
— constant DO-ing, moving, losing, high expectation….
— mental & physical illness, drunkenness, suicides, hospitalizations, crippling poverty…..
This left us with a lifetime of anxiety & low resilience, making it hard to bounce back from the normal difficulties of daily adult existence
• Being in hi-stress environments is then the life-pattern for many ACoAs, & eventually several things can happen to us:
— the frontal cortex chemicals responsible for good feelings burn out, leaving only the neural pathways related to pain & unhappiness, which shows up as numbness, depression, difficulty learning & thinking clearly….
— become ‘addicted to excitement – “adrenalin junkies, drama queens” – keeping the pot stirred, causing problems unnecessarily, always looking for the next high (not always chemical), most often in bad relationships
— slowly shut down on our emotions (pleasant and painful ones), which can eventually manifest as nervous breakdowns, recurring suicide fantasies, immune deficiency diseases, insomnia, panic attacks, & the ever-present depression
EXP: If we started out talkative, lively, smart, friendly, doing well in school…. but by age 13, & often much earlier, we became withdrawn, sullen, difficult, hiding, staring into space…. (not counting injury, illness of birth defects), this ‘unexplained’ shift is a blatant sign that something was very wrong with our home life – rather that with us!
PRESENT PARALYSIS : Whenever we’re triggered — so emotionally overwhelmed, hysterical or panic-stricken, AND stuck in a CD loop – that we can’t function – it means we’re completely in WIC mode – & the Healthy Adult / Good Parent has been silenced!
Something in the present has freaked us out & we’ve slipped back into a mental & emotional state we genuinely did live in as kids. It may FEEL real to the WIC, but is not about current reality – because we’re no longer a child & do have choices we didn’t back then.
The sooner we can catch this regression & see it for what it is, the sooner we can do something to pull ourselves out of it – journal, call someone, pray, do a gratitude inventory, go the 12-Step meeting …. and comfort the WIC. It’s imperative to bring your Good Parent back online
• When we get into a regressed state – and done extensive Family Inventory work – we can more quickly figure out what old painful button just got pushed, & what toxic rule is operating.
This can short-circuit the downward spiral into S-H & depression.
Even if we’re currently living in difficult circumstances that we can’t get out of easily or quickly, we can work on developing the UNIT (Loving Parent & Healthy Adult) every day. Eventually we’ll begin to see new options & then try them out, leading to improvements in self-esteem & sometimes even to a better environment
SO: How can everything we have ‘messed up’ in our life be our fault (S-H), when we were pre-programmed to be dysfunctional? Without deep FoO work we’re just following our training. We are not stupid, f–ups, idiots or crazy!
You decide: Either you’re born permanently defective – OR you were wounded & can Heal & Grow. One or the other- it can’t be both. It’s up to you to choose!
🖤 IF you’re convinced you’re hopelessly defective, there’s absolutely no point in therapy, Program, books, spiritual disciplines…. It’s a waste of time
💖 BUT if your background twisted, suppressed & wounded your True Self, then you can use that knowledge to very carefully crawl back from the far edge of the self-destructive limb you’re about to fall OFF of, back to the fork in your Tree of Life, & this time consciously chose a stronger life-giving branch to climb UP.
To Recover we have to stay on the path, no matter how long painful & frustrating. LOVE HEALS!
NEXT: Inventory overview