PREVIOUS: Mind-Reading (Part 1a)
1. MIND-READING (M-R) – cont.
a . Official meaning
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: Once we clearly know an un-recovered person’s toxic pattern from many painful encounters, it’s time to stop giving them the ‘benefit of the doubt’! How many more times do we need to be hit over the head?
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 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 LIE 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 became another version of the familiar ACoA Dilemma :
✓ As kids – we had to take care of ourselves – 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, from lack of appropriate help and lack of permission
i. The 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 wants of us too
• Also, 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 great deal of anxiety – fearful that we’d get it wrong but not knowing what to do or how to be
ii. 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 them, 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