PREVIOUS: Mind-Reading (Part 1a)
1. MIND-READING (M-R)
a . Meanings (cont)
CONTINUING this kind of M-R keeps us:
• Internally – attached to our dangerous family // anxious & needing to isolate
• Externally – suspicious of everyone’s motives // missing out on all the good people & opportunities that present themselves
Reality: Instead of making up someone with our mind-reading ‘talent’= our fantasy, we need to stay awake for who is healthy & who isn’t.
Once we clearly see an un-recovered person’s toxic pattern – from having many painful encounters with them – it’s time to stop giving them the ‘benefit of the doubt’!
EXP of NOT mind-reading:
I taught my 12-week ACoA course “Knowledge is Power” over 10 years. Reaction from students varied widely in every class. Some listened intently, taking notes & asking questions. Others seem disinterested – they fidgeted, yawned, fell asleep, got mad, or stopped coming.
Regarding the latter group – IF I had been prone to mind-reading, I would have assumed the ‘disinterested’ people indicated the ‘truth’ – that I was a boring speaker, gave complicated or worthless info & generally wasted their time – the LIEs that the bad voice whispers!
➼ However, I know I’m a good teacher, that my material is important & useful, & have been told by many students that the course greatly improved their lives.
I also know that some people were very tired (especially being an evening class), some had ADD & so usually have trouble sitting still for 2-3 hours, but most of all – the class material brought up a lot of difficult awarenesses & intense pain, so that some people just wanted to opt out.
Actually – their seeming lack of interest was ALSO a validation of my work! So there – PP! See – Little One??
b. A Variation
Another way mind-reading can show up is projecting our wishes, needs & tastes onto others. It’s not a strict interpretation of the definition, but is the same aspect of the child’s narcissism – ‘I am you & you are me.’ It’s still based on OUR personality, not on who the other person is.
INSTEAD OF nurturing us, our family:
• over-controlled us • expected us to be little adults
• demanded we be perfect and without needs – so they wouldn’t have to deal with us
• didn’t guide us, so we had to fend of ourselves, without much training!
This background formed another version of the familiar ACoA Dilemma :
✓ As kids – we had to take care of ourself – not always in material ways, but definitely emotional & often mental, which gave us the message we weren’t worthy of being taken care of – SO
✓ As Adults – we believe we should not / cannot care for ourselves, copying their lack of care, which became lack of permission to focus on ourself
i. Their CONTROL – WIC projects that everyone is like our parents, who were totally wrapped up in their own worries & addictions. They expected us to figure out what they needed & then provide it. This was either said or implied, but we got the message.
☁︎ So we assume everyone else also wants / needs us to do that
• And we were punished for not getting it right! Either directly, by them berating or hitting us, or just by continuing to be drunk, crazy, mean, depressed….
This left us with a deep well of anxiety – fearful that we’ll always “get it wrong” but not knowing what to do or how to be to please them
ii. Our CONTROL – now we’re the ones being controlling – trying to make everyone & everything around us SAFE so we can feel less terrified, by making sure they have all their needs met – by us. The assumption is that everyone is as weak, needy, incompetent, scared, sick…… as our parents were
The WIC is convinced that when we fix whoever we’re with, they will : protect us, never leave us, take care of us, love us …. if only we work hard enough to get it right. Unfortunately, as long as we let our Adapted Child pick relationships, they’re going to be unhealthy, just like our family!
NEXT: Mind-reading #1c