ACoAs: PATTERNS of Mistrust (Part 2)

so I might as well end it

PREVIOUS: Patterns of Mistrust (Part 1)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


We’re always trying to figure out:
• WHY someone did or didn’t do what we wanted (“Why hasn’t he called me back?”, “Why did thmindreadingey leave?”…). We think that if we can figure it out, we can fix ourself so they won’t leave us, or so they’ll come back

• WHAT they’re thinking in general, & specifically about us, so we know where we stand, what they want from us, how we should behave ……
Our co-dependence makes us assume that if they like us we‘re allowed to live, but if they disapprove or are angry at us we should be dead! & this happens over & over with each person, so we’re emotional yo-yos

At the same time we build-in a defense strategy in relationships to manage our FoA by automatically looking for flaws in others, which we can use as an excuse to escape the minute we feel disappointed. back doorThey’re bound to fail our tests by — not reading our mind, not rescuing us, not symbiosing with us….
It’s our ‘fear of commitment’, so we never quite have both feet firmly in the relationship, BUT then complain that we can’t connect / don’t feel close / aren’t valued….

• An extreme version of this is when we really do want to get out of a relationship but don’t have the right or the courage to do it directly — we create drama (fights, an affair, constantly pressuring them….), pushing the other person away in order to force them into doing the leaving. BUT then we feel abandoned, unloved – & angry!

On the one hand we have created a set of rules for others to follow (no matter what kind of relationship), often unconsciously AND which we don’t tell the other person about.  Our rules are THAT OTHERS:
• treat us in the the positive ways we say we’d like, but are not allowed to ask for directly or do for ourselves
• fulfill our expectation & demand they be the good parents we didn’t have
• are the measuring stick we use to know what to expect – so we won’t be cotestingnned & not feel so vulnerable

💔 THEN we wait to see how many of our ‘rules’  they provide or which ones they violate. When they inevitably fail, we feel justified in our anger & disenchantment with them – & all of humanity!

On the other hand, we may try to be safe by asking endless questions, probing to see what’s really going on, to see if the situation is safe, what do they like, want, need…..
NOTE: Information about who people are is legitimate & necessary – but here we’re talking about frantic, incessant interrogation because we can’t trust our perceptions, or other people, & can’t letting things unfold slowly

a. Verbally attack or threaten physical harm ahead of assumed danger, especially if someone has inadvertently pushed one of our old buttons, like accusing us wrongly or acting needy
EXP: A young woman threatened each new lover with bodily harm on the first date if he ever did or said anything to scare her

b. Since we assume we’ll be abandoned sooner or later, WE:
• can’t wait to tell others about how messed up we arepreempt love
• act obnoxious & immature
• never respond to anything seriously, using ‘clever’ phrases
• stay very impersonal, only talking from the head, only about actions
• insult others, have a hostile attitude most of the time, answer civil or ‘innocent’ questions with ridiculous or angry retorts
EXP: A young woman reacted harshly when a new boyfriend asked if she was going to make him breakfast. She spit out “I wouldn’t be caught dead cooking!”
• One girl was asked by another if she liked her dress. The first answered:  “I wouldn’t wear it, but it’s ok on you”

NEXT: Healthy Trusting (Part 1)

One thought on “ACoAs: PATTERNS of Mistrust (Part 2)

  1. Both Mark (my husband) and I subscribe to your blog. It feels like you’re latest emails (over the past week) have been spot on for him. It’s like you know exactly what’s going on for him right now!
    I am trying to persuade him (trying not a word I like to use) to come and look properly at your blogs and interact, but so far there is mistrust and resistance 😉
    “How can anyone be interested in what I have to say” !!!
    Thank you Donna….keep up the good work 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.