PREVIOUS: ACoAs: Early Trust Betrayal (Part 1)
SITE: 5 Quick Lessons About Betrayal & Trust
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
🙇🏻♂️ BETRAYAL ways (cont)
a. Programing (Part 1)
b. Our caretakers were disappointing, undependable, untrustworthy, even sadistic – understandably leaving us feeling unsafe, terrified & frustrated beyond words!
We were subjected to:
• all forms of neglect, lies, sexual abuse, physical / mental / emotions torture, mind-f–ing, constant unavailability, never telling us what to expect in new & scary situations, taking us to places not suitable to young emotions or the capacity to process….
AND never underestimate the effect of inconsistency on a child, whether from broken promises, constant moving, conflicting messages, drunkenness, rotating caretakers, parents’ new mates, or just plain carelessness
EXP: A 5 yr old boy is standing at the edge of the pool, hesitating to make the leap. The father, already in the pool says: ”Jump in & I’ll catch you”. The little boy, needing the reassurance, jumps towards his dad – who smirks & steps back, not catching his son!
EXP: Equally devastating is the controlling, insensitive mother. One evening after being put to bed a young daughter hears the laughter of company downstairs & wanders into the living room to see what the fun is about.
The mother in a rage at being embarrassed by her child’s desire for attention (in he PJs) drags her off to bed, promising to punish her – later. But in the busyness of being a hostess, she forgets her threat.
While the adults go on partying the terrified child curls up in a ball for agonizing hours in anticipations of a beating – which never comes.
That may seem like a good thing – but her little nervous system is being overloaded by prolonged terror, with no outlet & no one to comfort. The threat of is torture enough, while the mother is unaware of the long-term harm she’s done. That & other such events become anticipatory anxiety.
c. Higher Power also became untrustworthy. John Bradshaw’s stated:
“Until the age of 7 we deify our parents (our gods). After age 7 we parentalize our deity”.
So if all children model their idea of God on their parents – & our parents were unloving & unsafe, then we concluded, at a profound level, that God (as we understand Him) is also unloving & unsafe!
• Some ACoAs whose father was an abusive drunk &/or rage-aholic have trouble with a ‘male’ God, & feel more of an affinity with the idea of God as female. In reality, God is Spirit, & can be connected with in Spirit.
In ACoA meetings we say “God is not an alcoholic parent”.
• Other ACoAs may have been raised in a conservative religion, with no room for questioning, so we blame God for all our suffering (instead of our parents) & turn away from faith completely, or find a metaphysical path in another form. Eventually we have to face the actual source of our pain.
EXP: Some children pray fervently for years that their suffering end, but as long as they’re trapped with damaging parents – it never does. This leaves them with the conviction that God is not listening, or that God is punishing them because they’re soooo evil. Since kids can’t really face that their parents are responsible for their suffering, they usually conclude God had abandoned them & therefore is not to be trusted!
HEALTH : Denying our need for a faith-based life of any kind is a tragedy, because people are made up of Mental, Physical, Emotional & Spiritual aspects (PMES). We need a spiritual connection to be complete.
• Also, recovering from deep childhood wounds is such a difficult undertaking that we need help from “a power greater than ourselves” to heal at the deepest levels of our being. Anyone who has a regular spiritual practice can attest to the fact that it soothes the emotions, help us think more clearly & makes us better able to cope with life’s stresses.
NEXT: Trust –