PREVIOUS: Book-ending, Part 1
See ACRONYM Page for abbrev.
TRYING to PROTECT ourselves (cont)
a. RULES & ROLES
b. CDs – Another strategy evolved into using Cognitive Distortions (CDs), B & W thinking being the most common – trying to have some predictive ability amid alcoholic chaos. We pickup them up from family, school & religion – as well as our own immature thinking. Ad now they’re entrenched in the WIC.
CDs were a way to project what we assumed would happen in any given situation, so we could either be prepared or avoid it altogether. In terms of T.E.A., they’re forms of incorrect Thinking. But they’re too limited in scope to deal with most of reality, deep-rooted beliefs that leave out important info & lead to incorrect conclusions.
✶ Unfortunately this strategy also backfired, just like many others the WIC (understandably) absorbed. This is mainly because we were / are still trying to do the impossible: getting unhealthy people to love us & stop being abusive.
CDs are so harmful because:
• they’re the twisted ‘logic’ behind much of our un-healed habitual actions & emotional reactions, which are inevitably self-defeating & painful – even torturous!
• it makes us think we’re crazy when other people use them on us – unless we’re familiar with the distortions & can counter them accurately.
However, once you know the various CDs & Logical Fallacies well, you’ll never again think you’re nuts. Never again! Hurray!
Negative USES of Bookending
a. overblown unrealistic ‘hopeful’ expectations
• Both types of expectations (over & under-realistic) are based on the WIC’s narcissism – ‘everything that others do (to me) is about me’, but this one comes from the aspect of ACoAs that is grandiose, symbiotic & unrealistic about people & events
Again, this is the WIC who desperately needs & want something, but is not using real-world criteria to evaluate what’s actually possible is any particular situation. Because the imagined outcomes are not possible, we are inevitably disappointed.
This reinforces our original CD – that we don’t deserve anything good & that the universe is against us/
Some of these CDs are: • over-estimating • mind-reading • wishful thinking • externalizing self-worth • always being right …..
b. totally negative beliefs about how , hopelessly things will always turn out.
Some of these CDs are: • all or nothing • only noticing the negative • making everything about oneself • jumping to conclusions • under-estimating …..
ALSO, we use idealization / fantasy to mask how scared we really are
• because we’re not actually allowed to get our needs met, AND
• when we already know the person or situation is unsuitable, even damaging, but don’t want to leave & have to start over – after all, if it’s hopeless anyway, why bother!
✶ This defensive way of thinking is NOT the same as being Appropriately Positive and Realistically Hopeful – about what we are actually capable of accomplishing or ways we can be nourished by healthy environments. ACoAs are so steeped in the fantasy, we have trouble imagining wonderful, happy circumstances – for ourselves!
However, as we heal and DO get good things in our life – we will know & feel the contrast with our upbringing : THIS is the way it should have / could have been, but never was. We need to mourn that loss but stop looking back for something that was not possible.
NOW it’s time we give ourselves the happiness we never had as kids!
NEXT: Bookending- #3