I REALLY WANT TO,
but I just can’t get myself to do it!
PREVIOUS: Fear of Commitment – general (#2)
QUOTE: ‘The worst thing isn’t fear of commitment – the worst thing is being with the wrong person because of fear of loneliness”. ~ ANON
1. ORIGIN – the basis for this fear (FoC) is the fear of intimacy, ie. “in-to-me-see”.
• In general, INTIMACY is the mental & emotional closeness between 2 people which allows each to know the other person behind their defenses or socially acceptable mask. Sexual intimacy may or may not be included.
a. But initially, it’s the intimacy between a child & its mother. From the very beginning of life, each child is totally dependent on its primary caretaker(s), & therefore totally vulnerable to the adult’s plusses & minuses.
If the mother (or substitute) is an active addict, controlling, cruel or crazy, depressed, ill, distracted, insensitive, manipulative, raging, scared, (usually some combination) —
— then the child will be in an intimacy double bind:
☼ on the one hand, desperately needing the parent to love it, protect it & take care of all its needs
☼ on the other, emotionally & intuitively aware that the connection with that person is totally unsafe & therefore terrifying.
🌀 In this case the child is trapped in this most intimate of all relationships, which is truly dangerous to its well-being, but inescapable. Being raised with unreliability & chaos inevitably creates a lack of trust, which then becomes the model for all future relationships, creating a deep terror of intimacy.
b. In most cases we witnessed one or both of our parents:
— be unable to make a commitment – to each other, to their children, to work, to personal growth…. OR
— be committed to work instead of relationships (us), to their spouse but not their children, to their addiction & nothing else!……
…… so we didn’t have a role-model for the emotional & spiritual requirements needed for consistent reliability
• Sometimes a child has another parent, older sibling or other relative who are more available & attentive than the primary. But if they are part of the same family, they too will have narcissistic damage & be limited in how much emotional safety & love they can provide. Often this ‘better’ person will either leave, die or turn on the child at some point – multiplying the abandonment pain.
“All roads lead to Rome” was a familiar statement to the ancient Romans, & still is to modern-day History students.
The ACoAs version is: “All roads lead to Abandonment!”. This fear is the bottom line for us, governing all our responses to the world. So much so that we can even feel abandoned by the end of a book or movie we feel intensely connected to!
• Whenever we beat ourself up, feel distrustful, hopeless or obsessive, are terrified something bad will happen to us….. we’re tapping into old abandonment pain (E).
Given how much abuse & neglect we experienced as children, it makes sense that the WIC would believe (T) that Ab. is the only possible outcome for us, forever!
SO – why bother committing to anything, if we’re always going to mess it up or have it taken away??
2. RE-ENACTING (F=fear)
➼ Healthy : Making a commitment to something or someone means showing up regularly, being self-motivated, taking risks, not knowing everything, asking for help along the way, having rights…. all the things we’re not allowed!
• The ACoA’s WIC has a whole trunk-full of reasons for FoC, even when we don’t have words for it or are aware of the WHY.
As adults, this fear is perpetuated by Self-Hate & weak or missing Boundaries. We can apply the following issues to PPT (people-places-things), even though the focus here is mainly on relationships.
It shows up as:
– Confusion (I don’t know what I want, who I am)
– Indecisiveness (should I or shouldn’t I?)
– Perfectionism (I have to know it all & do it right – the first time!)
– Procrastination (maybe later, but secretly – maybe never)
NEXT: FoC – Part 2
3 thoughts on “ACoAs – Fear of Commitment (Part 1)”
Yes, yes, yes. Yow! This speaks to my soul and my experience on this earth. I’m going to add a twist and say that for me the pattern is mostly come here, get away. That is an exhausting anxiety filled hell.
Mine is test test, ok let you in a bit…but not enough I cant run.
When we use our Healthy adult to chose our relationships, instead of the WIC, we don’t have to run.