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FoO – Family of Origin
BOOKENDING with the Inner Child
This is a MENTAL tool borrowed from the practical D.A. version (Debtor’s Anonymous), used to Cognitively Restructure our thinking (T) – to free ourselves of suffering & confusion! Once we learn the technique & get used to it, we’ll find it comes in handy not only for ourselves, but helps us hear when others are using CDs on us!
The NEED for Bookending: to correct CDs
Communicating with our precious Inner Child is something we need to be doing 24/7 – at least while we’re awake! 🙂 This included both our Wounded Child & the Healthy Child ego states. However, book-ending is a specific tool to deal with the distorted beliefs we grew up with.
For many ACoAs, no matter how smart, talented & even accomplished, our WIC is still living in the past, mentally & emotionally – still using our childhood experiences (based on the PP voice) as a model for how things functions & what we to expect.
This is in spite of the many other experiences & information we’ve gathered throughout our life that give us different viewpoints, and disagree with our family’s messages
✶ It’s truly amazing how good we are at ignoring or negating all the positive people & situations we’ve come across, which could be incorporated into & greatly enhance our world view – if only we would!
PRE-FoO Recovery: Growing up constantly disappointed, not allowed to have our thoughts & emotions, never comforted, and ignored, made fun of, put in double binds, tortured, scapegoated, neglected, controlled ….
…. we became thoroughly convinced these things will continue – they’ll always happen with everyone else, in every situation – for the rest of our lives, no matter how hard we try to change our ‘fate’. Toxic Rule : “Life is suffering”
✶ Naturally, if we spend most of our time in relationships, locations & jobs that are UNhealthy, then we will indeed keep re-traumatizing ourselves. Compulsively following our earliest training always leaves us frustrated & hopeless.
So – It’s important to know that we can change these patterns!
GOAL of Bookending
The fundamental purpose is to bring the WIC into the present (sometimes kicking & screaming) via the ÚNIT”. That way we’ll consistently be able to see the world correctly – that there are other kinds of people & options which are not like our family!
• To do that we have to be aware of our negative & distorted beliefs, and then work on correcting them. It’s the only way we can truly be safe! Book-ending is a valuable tool in changing our Cognitive Distortions (CDs)
This is a tool to prove to the WIC that the way things were in our family is not how it is everywhere else in the world. Some place Yes, but Not everywhere! We need to create new pathways in the brain to counter the old deep grooves, & the main way to do that is repetition. You know: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice!
TRYING to PROTECT ourselves
a. RULES & ROLES – Because our childhood was chaotic & frightening, as children we tried to find any possible way to protect ourselves. This included incorporating a series of Toxic Rules to live by & fitting ourselves into the Toxic Roles forced on us
In dealing with our parents, we tried to :
• figure out what they wanted from us & then twist ourselves into that
• help them, cajole, protect, educate, rescue…to fix them
• identify what we did wrong & try to be as good as possible
• hide anything about ourselves that would upset the family ‘mobile’
NEXT: Bookending, Part 2