PREVIOUS: Not allowed to Receive – #2
1. ABOUT US (cont)
c. Backlash – Most ACoAs believe that if we ever got the good things we long for – we would be SOOO happy (right away) & all our problems would vanish. It’s true that over time being with healthier people, pursuing our dreams, being loved… is healing, but not always right away!
Of course there may be some negative or mistrustful reactions from other people (bosses, friends, family, spouse, even adult-children). But since we assume everyone will reject us for changing, we’re surprised when some respond positively
IRONY: We need to keep in mind that when we first start receiving emotional & practical benefits of Recovery, we may actually feel worse – for a while! This seems counter-intuitive, until we understand what’s at work, & can prepare ourselves to manage the discomfort, until it fades.
• Moving toward positive things in our life – going on vacation, going into Recovery / therapy, finding a loving friend or mate, getting compliments & validation …. can produce internal backlash – from ourself.
Our discomfort is confusing & unexpected, especially when nothing seems to be wrong on the outside (it’s actually tooo good). It makes us think we’ve done something wrong because:
• the PigP’s voice will get louder “Who do you think you are…”
• we feel depressed, fearful, unsettled…. which is so ‘normal’, we don’t make the connection
• we may feel angry at the person who has been helpful, complimentary….
Actually, the ANXIETY comes from: • breaking the Toxic Rules
• feeling disloyal to our parents, even though they were neglectful & cruel, because the WIC thinks they were right! so we feel unworthy of receiving
• the contrast HURTS – compared to all we’ve suffered as kids & since then – at the hands of family, teachers, mates, sometimes even healers
• rage at being duped by our ‘disease’, when we “Could’a had a V8” (Love) all this time!
Unfortunately those of us who experienced abuse & trauma as kids have a toxic programming deep in our bones. So, being conditioned to believe we’re unworthy of receiving, we can’t properly nourish ourselves or let others help us. To ‘let go’, we need the right info! To heal takes courage & time
2. Assumptions ABOUT OTHERS
• ACoAs project onto others all the overt & covert experiences we had with our dysfunctional parents (see list in Part 1). Since they were absent, careless, crazy, controlling, depressed, incompetent, demanding, violent, incompetent….
we unconsciously assume everyone else in the whole world is like that too, even though, as adult, we have definitely seen, heard of or met capable, functional people.
Emotionally, we simply ignore this knowledge & automatically react to everyone as if they’re a carbon copy our family
a. Actually, many people we run across will not be like our family, yet we treat them unfairly. Such people will be confused by the way we act & react to them. They inwardly just shake their heads & stay away!
They have little or nothing to offer – but all the while we’re wanting, expecting, even demanding to have a different kind of interaction with them – better, more satisfying!
• We try to create a different outcome because we think it was somehow our fault that family relationships didn’t work out – & therefore we can change it, fix it, even if it has to be with substitutes! This is clearly impossible, but we keep trying – until we ‘get it’ that we didn’t cause the original problems and that we’re powerless to change other people.
NEXT: Not Allowed to Receive #4