PREVIOUS: Healthy Give & Take
QUOTE: “Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.”
😁 Calvin: “Now what state do you live in?”
Hobbes: Denial.” ―
ACCEPTANCE is the middle ‘A’ of Al-Anon’s 3 As (Awareness — Action). Correctly understanding & using this tool will make our life much clearer & saner.
For ACoAs this pesky A2 is the most misunderstood & the one many ACoAs HATE! We don’t even want to acknowledge it’s something we need to deal with, because thinking that “I can’t accept anything I don’t like or is too painful”, which is a CD – cognitive distortion
A2 does NOT mean:
• liking or not liking something! – a MAJOR misconception
• staying a victim, accepting our lot in life, being resigned
• giving up, not trying, not looking for a way up & out
• putting up with ‘crap’ from people, including our Introject ‘bad voice’
• sitting around waiting for things to happen or someone to rescue us
Part 2 & 3 will explain what it IS. However, as in other areas, ACoAs will turn almost anything against themselves, even good things. In this case we do use the 3 As, but only in the service of our dis-ease, a shorthand for all of our toxic thinking.
The alcoholic / narcissistic message “You’re Bad, We’re Good, the World is Bad” can mean:
Neg. A-1 = “I’m so bad, no one will ever love me”, &
Neg. A-2 = “I try to ignore it, but believe it absolutely”
Neg. A-3 = so – “I must be perfect, (or dead!), to make up for it”
We’re assume we’re stuck with this awful protocol that we can’t escape :
A1 = re. US – the deep-seated belief of the WIC that we’re unworthy, not entitled, beyond redemption! (S-H)
A2 = re. THEM – that our family was right about everything absorbed from their overt / covert brain-washing. Guess whose opinions we still hold on to!? We believed them because :
• all humans are intensely loyal to their upbringing – it’s our most basic connection to others
• it’s the way our brain got programmed – every experience created the neural pathways which formed our understanding of life
• AND ‘they’ constantly made it clear that we were un-acceptable. Some parents even used God, spirituality & religion to convince us of their beliefs!
A3 = re. the WORLD – everything & everyone who’s not part of our out-of-balance & insulated family mobile is considered dangerous, unhelpful, unwelcoming, indifferent…. Our family (& community) forced on us their narrow, alcoholic, bigoted view of the world
Unhealed ACoAs deal with ‘A3‘ BY:
• Defiance of all authority & systems, which have become substitutes for our parents. We can hate them instead of admitting our rage at the family.
AND since the world is SO-O-O dangerous – we’re NOT going to give in or let them get us! or —
• Compliance – we have to give in, keep our head down, hide in the shadows, so no one will get us!
✶✶ IRONY: these are the very messages we have accepted! – accept all sorts of terrible things as normal & inevitable for the rest of our lives, in obedience to our family & community’s lessons, which is why we always want to skip the middle A.
🏵 The fact that our suffering was endless & hopeless back then does not have to apply now.
NEXT: Acceptance & ACoAs (#2)