PREVIOUS: Over-Feelers (#2)
REVIEW: Pre-FoO work, ACoAs are run mainly by 2 internal ego states – the WIC, who is listening to the PP. One of the signs of this is the unrealistic way many of us deal with time, and timing.
The Inner Child:
☆ IS still confused by not having been taught process, nor given age-appropriate limits by neglectful parents, which resulted in not knowing how long things take.
Now, depending on the size of a project, there may be many steps between setting a goal & achieving it, yet we don’t allow for the realistic stages of the process.
☆ IS reacting to too many constraints imposed by controlling parents who interfered with our natural internal rhythms & time sense.
Now, we either follow the training & become rigidly time conscious, OR rebel by taking our own sweet time, OR do nothing as often as possible
1. LOST TIME
a. To our damage – years spent in S-H, with the wrong lovers, friends, jobs, apartments, the wrong neighborhood or city for us, still involved with abusive &/or uncaring family members….
In Recovery, we need to mourn the loss of time stolen by living in our False Self
♢ from anxiety. ACoAs are fear-based, which is backlogged from childhood. When faced with any situation that pushes a button or bumps an old wound, we may temporarily ‘go blank‘ & lose track of time, for a few minutes, or much longer.
EXP: Janie desperately wanted to study fine art, but couldn’t afford it. She had to work in an office, which didn’t suit her temperament & where she was not liked. At some point she was reprimanded for always being late. Trying to change that, the next day she got up 30 minutes earlier & started her ‘automatic’ morning routine BUT found herself standing in the middle of her room – completely blank – not knowing what to do next. Eventually she snapped out of it & finished getting ready, but by then knew she’d be late – again! Her unconscious had sandbagged her – she clearly didn’t want to be going to that job.
♢ lost time from ADD, dyslexia…. Many ACoAs have learning disabilities. This does NOT indicate intellectual deficiency – on the contrary, it usually correlates with high intelligence, but creates varying degrees of difficulty in learning, communicating, & dealing with time accurately
• Keep in mind that many ACoA characteristics mimic ADD symptoms in adults. They’re both caused by stress & affect the brain, but ADD is genetic, so treatment is different for the 2 problems. The healthier we get emotionally, the more we can tell the difference. In recovery, the ACoA symptoms will diminish or disappear, while the ADD ones will not, which need the right medication & some behavior-mod training
2. WASTED TIME
Many ACoAs don’t know what to do with chunks of free time:
• too much anxiety – from perfectionism, toxic rules, fear of commitment & decision-making, avoiding disappointment, fear of risk…
• not self-motivated (Autonomy & Attachment, Part 2)
• wanting to do too many things at once, so don’t choose anything, puttering around, not accomplishing much
• too tired from all the daily stress we put ourselves under so need to veg out but then feel gypped, frustrated, angry at ourselves…
▪️ REQUIREMENTs for growth : a willingness to break some Toxic Rules, like the ones listed in “Part 1, 2a”
• Plan ahead, write on a monthly or weekly calendar things you can schedule ahead.
Stick to your plans, whenever possible, & notice how it feels afterwards. When things don’t work out, try something different
• Make a list of activities you’d like to do or might like to try – during ‘free time’, & when the time comes (weekends?) look at it when you can’t think of anything to do OR you have too many options
• Fun time is NOT about priorities. You don’t have to know what to do FIRST! Just pick something you know you like & focus on enjoying it.
NEXT: ACoAs & TIME (Part 2)