SITEs: Hope Vs. ‘Realism’ – Challenging the Negative Assumptions of our Fears
•“Things My Dog Taught Me: Don’t Project Negatives”
Underlying BELIEFS / assumptions
• We have no choice but be trapped in bad situations (Toxic Rule: “If you don’t like it you have to stay”)
• So we have to figure out all the bad things that will for-sure happen – to us, or to a loved one, a family member, a beloved pet, the new job, house, neighborhood, the world
• And, the more we prepare for the inevitable, the more we can protect ourselves
Secondary assumption – based on S-H, also a defense mechanism:
➼ Since everything bad that has happened & is happening to us (or our loved ones) is our fault, we have to figure out how to correct the problem in order to stop the pain
• If we fail, it just proves how worthless & stupid we are, & therefore unworthy of anything good
We’re Double Binded when: (post = ACoA Double Messages)
A. we think that if we’re prepared for the worst, it won’t be so painful, we’ll know how to fix things, be able to manage, won’t be so effected….
At the same time:
B. we are not allowed to make things better, so
• can’t even imagine viable options, much less implement them, and
• can’t ask for appropriate & useful help, much less leave an unsuitable person or bad environment
• it’s the WIC who is projecting negatively, based on actual childhood (& many adult) experiences. It still believes the PP voice (negative introject), with its cruel Rules:
“Life is only hardship, You can never be happy, You have to keep struggling, You can never ‘get there’, You have no choices, Don’t ever risk...”
🔅NOTE: Projecting is NOT the same as Planning Ahead.
Planning ahead starts with the assumption that things are possible, that we can do it, & that we have options. It can be: evaluating a current or potential relationship, a new job or living space, picking a pet, a diet, a doctor, a vacation…..
• It DOES includes having or getting enough information so we can do a ‘cost-benefit’ analysis (pros & cons), & inventory our assets or liabilities – to fill in what’s missing (if possible).
• It does NOT include unrealistic expectations, denial about whats not feasible, nor narcissistic entitlement (to what’s not rightfully ours.)
Whether you’re having trouble with a person or situation OR going to try something new / different, OR making a change:
1. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! – in general, as well as specific to the issue
(posts: My Rights // Healthy Rules // Recovery Thoughts // What Recovery IS)
2. Develop the ‘UNIT’ to take charge of the WIC, correcting CDs as they surface. Set a healthy boundary with the Bad Voice: “Stop scaring my kid!”
(posts: What just happened? // Noticing painful events“)
4. Use Positive affirmations, using your own – they work best. They need to be directly opposite the specific beliefs your WIC is holding, or a replacement
EXP: “No one can ever love me” becomes “______ & ______ & ______ & _______ love us, I love you & HP has always loved you”
5. Get help (if you need some) TO:
• identify what you really want & need in a situation
• figure out the most useful opposite beliefs
• learn what legitimate options there may be
• list realistic pros & cons
(posts: use charts in Why are you stuck?, and What to Do when confused)
6. Don’t neglect your spiritual needs. Read the Psalms, watch TED Talks, listen to soothing music, pray for guidance – for ‘right thinking’ & to heal the underlying terror all ACoAs carry from childhood.
NEXT: Defense Mechanisms #1