IF I PAY ATTENTION
I’ll be able to know how I feel
PREVIOUS: Anger & Co-D (Part 2)
1. Re. OUR Anger – in Part 1 & 2 (cont.)
b. INAPPROPRIATE anger/rage (cont.)
• As adults, people-pleasing without getting our own needs met for too long is draining & enraging. BTW – your anger at any of the situations in Part 2 “Sudden Flashes” (add you own) may not show for a long time, yet could be burning you up inside – until it boils over.
But even when Co-D anger is released, it’s only an escape valve. Without FoO (family of origin) Recovery, it doesn’t solve the underlying issues, so we end up filling the POT again.
• In adversarial relationships, if we act out anger against an abuser, no matter how well deserved, things can escalate, often making things much worse. This can leave us even more frightened, guilty & helpless.
If we keep trying to fix a problem by expressing anger over & over (to restore our sense of control) but the bad situation is not fixable, eventually we can become depressed & apathetic.
And no matter whatever healthy, kind people tell us to the contrary – the WIC part of us still believes the Toxic Rules — “it’s always been my fault & always will be / nothing good ever comes of trying / I’ll never get it right / I always mess up…. so why bother, if I’m just going to get disappointed or battered anyway?”
Unfortunately, the stronger / deeper these false assumptions are (T), the harder it is to leave unhealthy PPT & find safer environments (A). Without a clear awareness of our needs – & permission to provide them – many of us avoid anger all together, staying trapped & hopeless (3 posts re. NEEDS)
2. Re. OTHER PEOPLE’s Anger
• Co-dependence comes in many flavors. While people-pleasing is one of it’s hallmarks, it’s not always in the form of over-niceness. It can also be camouflaged by surliness or isolation. Co-deps who tend to crankiness or bursts of rage are just as approval-driven as the more obvious types.
REMINDER: Co-D is a defense mechanism which:
♟ supposedly ‘protects’ against feeling overwhelming fear of abandonment
♟ assumes that the power to act is not within us, but only in other people/ things
♟ is a way to bury feeling lost & worthless, living in our False Self
♟ prevents us from having our Rights
ANOTHER ACoA dichotomy is that
we confuse assertiveness & attacks.
❤️Being assertive includes standing up for oneself, with healthy boundaries & valuing Rights, ours & theirs — vs.
💙 Being confrontational, which is fueled by underlying hostility – is the need to push someone around, to get our own way, suppress the other person’s point of view, to punish…..
• Co-deps are secretly angry, raging inside, convinced that any sign of disagreement is an attack, which we fanatically avoid. Not true.
• At the same time, most co-deps can not bear having anyone be angry at or be disappointed in us.
This makes it easy for others – if so inclined – to take advantage. The more approval we need, the less likely we’ll notice the extent our self-sacrifice is in favor of taking care of other people needs, want & demands, ignoring our own
Being used, abused & then thrown away is very painful, creating depression & S-H, in a vicious, downward spiral. Without doing FoO & Inner Child work, we have no way of knowing who we truly are, so we co-dependently look to others to tell us.
It’s an attempt to get the legitimate mirroring our parents should have provided.
Instead, we compulsively go to narcissists & other wounded people to ‘see’ us, who can never reflect back to us who we are. They can only project their False Self, trying to make us like them!
Conflict-Avoidance is about:
US – terrified of our own enormous anger, the loss of control that we think will destroy others, causing loss of acceptance or love
OTHERS – the assumption that everyone becomes unreasonable (out-of-control-crazy-violent) when they’re angry, which we won’t know how to handle. Actually – what we’re used to is rage, which we feel will destroy us!
NEXT: Anger & Co-dep #4