ACoAs & PLAYING (Part 2)
ACoA LAUNDRY LIST’s False Self characteristics (cont)
e. ACoAs feel ‘different’, creating a wall that isolates us
This prevents many of us from making the effort to reach out to others, search for appropriate venues that can provide relaxation, or for opportunities to play & have fun, whether recreational or educational. If we do try, we often end up picking controlling narcissists, reinforcing the need to withdraw
f. ACoAs are afraid to relax, let go & have fun
As much as we may take pride in being the good, responsible one, we’re internally at war. We may frown on others we label as silly, childish or lazy, but are deeply envious of them for having a freedom we don’t allow ourselves
g. ACoAs are impulsive
The opposite of spontaneity. Impulsive is when we do or say things it seems we have no control over, & can’t stop even if we say we ‘want’ to. It comes from the WIC’s intense anxiety caused :
• by a constant push to get a huge backlog of unfulfilled needs met – the only way the child knows how, without boundaries or guidance
• but misdirected or short-circuited by toxic unconscious beliefs – nit allowed to actually have needs, because we’re just to-o-o much (for our parents to manage!).
This impulsivity includes any type of ‘recreation’ that ultimately harms us in PMES ways. We act out & then feel ashamed, OR are convinced we’re ‘free’ to do whatever we want
It’s about looking for immediate rather than deferred gratification: “I want it NOW!” because to the WIC any delay absolutely, unequivocally means “NO, you can’t have it & never will!”
Suggested Affirmation: “Delay is OK”. If we’re brave enough to ask for something realistic we want, most of the time it turn out well enough.
💠 REACTION to growing up in a dysfunctional environment
a. Many of us turned out to be compulsive, over-responsible worker bees, doing something we hate or are bored with, trudging thru life trying to be perfect, but never quite making it. No time for play, unless we consider participating in addictions as a way to relax. Obviously not real fun.
b. Some of us decided early on to give up & not really try at all. Hide & be safe, don’t rock the boat, don’t stick your neck out. No fun here.
c. And then there are those of us who are openly rebellious – “addicted to excitement” but not actual fun – the flamboyant addicts, promiscuous, belligerent, running wild, never finishing our education, never sticking to anything long enough to become accomplished, terrified of being trapped, controlled, of even committing to a book – much less a satisfying job or relationship….
• To the rest of the world this third group may seem to be living it up. They do whatever they want, get away with ‘murder’ & play all the time. NOT SO. Sometimes even this type of ACoA may think so too while in the middle of it, but it wears thin over the years. The internal foundation is built with inferior material – not ours but what was given to us by our limited family & community. It’s cracked & crumbling. This is not fun.
BTW, If you identify with any one of these 3 group, & are reading this, presumably you’re in the process of healing your wounds & working to outgrow the category. You deserve a lot of respect & encouragement!
• However, some of you may say – “I’m an ACoA & don’t fit into a. b. or c. I have a decent life I’ve carved out for myself – family, career, some accomplishments, some travel…. & I know how to have fun & play.”
Response: “GOOD! You’ve used your own native skill & drive to achieve these things, & have a lot to show for it. Have you built it all on your Tue Self? Are you content & relaxed?
Are you free of addictions, perfectionism & S-H? Or do you over-do for others & under-feel – for yourself? How’s your sleep & anxiety level?
NEXT: ACoAs & Playing (Part 5)