ACCEPTANCE – BAH!
I don’t like it, so I’ll ignore it
PREVIOUS: Healthy Give & Take
QUOTE: “Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.”
― Game of Thrones
😁 Calvin: “Now what state do you live in?”
Hobbes: Denial.” ―
1. The ‘PROBLEM’
ACCEPTANCE is the middle ‘A’ of Al-Anon’s 3 As (2. Awareness — 3. Action). Correctly understanding & using this concept 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 of thinking that “I can’t accept anything I don’t like or is too painful”, which is a CD – cognitive distortion
DEF : 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’s bad voice
• sitting around waiting for things to happen or for someone to rescue us
Parts 2 & 3 will explain what it IS. Sadly, as in other areas of life, ACoAs will turn almost anything against themself, even good things. But first let’s see how we do use the 3 As, in the service of our dis-ease, a shorthand for all of our toxic thinking.
Negative MEANING of the 3 As
To put Acceptance in context, the alcoholic / narcissistic family message given children is —
“You are Bad, We are Good, the World is Bad”.
And the WIC understands this triple threat to 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”
These 3 became the foundation of our world view – being stuck with this awful protocol without any possibility of escape. Negatives EXPANDED :
A1 = Awareness re. US – the deep-seated belief of the WIC that we’re unworthy, not entitled, beyond redemption! (S-H)
A2 = Acceptance re. THEM – that our family was right about everything, which we 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 (“How we Learn“)
• AND ‘they’ constantly made it clear that we were un-acceptable. Some parents even used God, spirituality & religion to convince us of their beliefs!
As a result we were trained to accepted all sorts of terrible things as normal & inevitable for the rest of our life, in obedience to our family & community’s lessons
A3 = Action re. the WORLD – everything & everyone who’s not part of our distorted & insulated family mobile is considered dangerous, unhelpful, unwelcoming, indifferent…. since our family (& community) forced on us their narrow, alcoholic, bigoted view of the world. Our actions reflects this.
Unhealed ACoAs deal with the ‘A3‘ BY:
• Defiance of all authority & systems, which have become substitutes for our parents.
We can hate outside forces 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!
NEXT: Acceptance & ACoAs (#2)
6 thoughts on “ACCEPTANCE & ACoAs (Part 1)”
This is fascinating Donna. Some parts that stand out to me are….
“all humans are intensely loyal to their upbringing – it’s our most basic connection to others” and
“every experience created the neural pathways which formed our understanding of life”.
Wow…. these are profound. And the big daddy-o…
“It (acceptance) is ONLY about what actually IS or WAS! It’s about reality, not what we wish things were like, what we think they should be, what others say things are like, or even what could potentially be”.
You have a great way of putting into clear, concise words many things that I have a misty awareness of.
Thanks for this.
Thank you for taking the time to read & comment. It helps me. These things all seem so evident to me now (35 yrs later – of course) that after a while I wonder if I’m not just stating the obvious. So I ‘m glad for the feedback. D
I have found we can never second-guess or fore-guess God or the path he leads us on. We never know where the next answser or bit of enlightenment will come from.
I shared the quotes from your post with my wife at the end of a very long day yesterday. Which in fact ended with a burst pipe in a newly renovated part of our basement which resulted in a flood restoration company and I ripping up the floor and putting in two mega-dehumidifyers at 1 am.
Both of us were drawn to react based on our deep programming. My wife immediately felt betrayed (one of her parents is quite paranoid of any and everyone) and I felt the same coffee pot rage trying to talk to me.
This is such an outworking of our loyalties to our upribing. Gladly for both of us, good parent voices are becoming more and more familiar and more and more trusted.
A number of very positive things have been accomplished alread in this little crisis. The bad parent only seemed to get us to throw buckets of gas on the fire and change the small c crisis to a big C Crisis. And to what practical end? To validate the bad parent? To keep us sick and needy so the bad parent continue to have purpose?
Ain’t happenin! Today is a new day. We are limiting drama and focusing on solutions. (aka: Thats what my good parent is suggesting… or to relate it to your post… “It’s about reality, not what we wish things were like, what we think they should be, what others say things are like, or even what could potentially be”).
Maybe you can comment on this…. why does the bad parent want to throw gas on the fire so often?
Anyway… we are getting through it.
PS, you inspired me to add a section to the INTROJECT post to cover your Q re ‘gas on fire” Thanks. D
I’d like to give some feedback. Your comment above scared the heck out of me: “Thank you for taking the time to read & comment. It helps me. These things all seem so evident to me now (35 yrs later – of course) that after a while I wonder if I’m not just stating the obvious. So I ‘m glad for the feedback. D”
I can’t express strongly enough that you are NOT stating the obvious. We NEED to have basic things explained to us. It’s the first time I’ve heard so many of these fundamental truths. And without them, healing is practically stalled. None of what you write is evident to me and it is all so helpful and eye-opening – more accurately put, it is all critically essential to growth. Please don’t assume that any of the basic stuff is obvious. It’s only obvious to you. To us, it is priceless information that is integral to growth. Thank you! God bless you!
Shana, Thanks for the feedback. If you notice the date, I wrote that 3 yrs ago but
I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement since then. All comments are helpful & valued.