IT FEELS LIKE I’M CRAZY
I just can’t get it right!
PREVIOUS: Gifted Children #4
DEF of Confusion (Cf) – Mentally disoriented. The inability to make decisions clearly & quickly
– Cf occurs when another person’s Boundaries are vague, not easily understood, or in conflict with themselves
NOTE: These posts refer to Cf which is NOT caused by long-term severe mental illness or physical changes in the brain due to accident, aging, chemicals/ medication, drug use or illness.
Important distinction – confusion is always a cognitive (mental) NOT an emotional issue. It’s about whether or not we can think clearly, based on what’s going on in our head or how someone else is presenting information.
For ACoAs – overcoming life-long confusion is mainly about coming out of denial about our traumatic past. It includes identifying & correcting cognitive distortions (CDs) and toxic family beliefs, which lead to procrastination, self-doubt, perfectionism & self-hate!
To do that we need to know enough about ourselves AND how the world really functions – to not blindly follow what our unhealthy family taught us, or what the WIC has come to believe because of it.
The opposite of confusion is Certainty, which is not the same as being rigid, dogmatic or opinionated.
Based on NLP, David Rock explains that there are 5 major goals of the human brain geared towards ‘maintaining’, ie. increasing positives & reducing negatives (the SCARF model): Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness & Fairness. (MORE….)
• Executive Coach Ed Batista commented that certainty is a result of the brain’s effort to conserve energy, which comes from the limited capacity of the prefrontal cortex, the seat of executive function….
Human beings resist putting great mental effort into decision-making & impulse control because the body is preserving resources for a possible emergency in the next moment, & the same dynamic contributes to resisting uncertainty.” (CHART & info….)
Some causes of Mental / Psychological confusion
• Complex lifestyles – too much to do & not enough time, constant stress
• Denial – not wanting to admit & accept the way things really are (re. people, places, things), & so create a variety of defenses to mask the truth
• Dysfunctional interactions with others
• deliberately Distorted info – from media, politicians, advertising, cults, corporations …..
• Ignorance – trying to figure out something without enough or the correct info
• Grandiosity – trying to DO something without actually knowing how
• Major changes (Recovery process, new work, moving, divorce…..) without research, mentoring or other info, therefore being unprepared
• Misunderstanding & differences between countries, boss & workers, men & women, people speaking different languages….
• Overwhelming amounts of info from too many different sources (especially for Introverts)
• Transitions : those in-between times, from one inner state or outer situation to another, because we don’t know what to expect
Again, here we’re mainly concerned with the kind of confusion which comes from distorted ways people communicate with themselves or others, with words & body language, either unconsciously or deliberately.
When someone says “I feel confused”, they’re combining emotions & thoughts without expressing either one!
🔺What DO you feel – angry, happy…. ? It sounds like they’re speaking about an emotion (I feel), but this ‘feel’ only refers to thinking . (See also “Feelings aren’t facts”).
🔑 What are you confused ABOUT? The phrase actually means they doesn’t know what to think about something (the jumble in my head, conflicting opposite needs or desires…. ) – often because of CDs, obsessions & Toxic Rules
• Someone can also be (mentally) confused when we have several or opposite emotions re. the same situation at the same time – happy/sad, lonely/excited…
🟢 Instead of either/or, think in terms of layers, coming from different levels of desire, experience, need or maturity…..
No one taught us (info = mental) that having ➕ / ➖ emotions together is not unusual, & will come from the same or different ego states.
EXP: Parent – loving someone while being angry with them
Adult – relieved someone’s gone away / Inner Child: (yet) missing them…..
🧩 Without knowing this, it may seem like a dilemma. However, feeling many differing emotions at once doesn’t need to be confusing, which only comes from negative beliefs, or having a limited awareness of human complexity.
NEXT: ACoAs & Confusion #2