BUT SHE SAYS SHE LOVES ME
& of course I believe her!
PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (#2c)
Childhood CONFUSION : OTHER sources (cont.)
2. Gender confusion – here this only refers to parents causing a distortion in the child’s identity, rather than being born gay, bi or trans-gendered. Children want to be acceptable & loved by parents, so look to them for information & validation. When parents hate themselves & the opposite sex, they do a great deal of harm. There are a number of possible permutations to this twisting.
IF: – a ‘sick’ /alcoholic father raises a daughter by himself, & continually expresses hatred for women (mother, ex-wife….), THEN this daughter will not learn how to be feminine, & may try to be ‘invisible’ or to act like a boy
IF – a cruel mother systematically negates a daughter’s gender, THEN the girl may take on the characteristics of a boy, OR just hates her own, hiding behind promiscuity, overweight, isolation….
IF – a narcissistic mother has a son but wanted a daughter, & so from infancy treats him as a girl
THEN he may take that on as his identity, or express his rage by rape, addictions, macho fighting….
IF – a controlling father wanted a son but only got a daughter
THEN he may try to turn her into a boy to be an extension of himself, & she’ll try to be the best baseball player or company ‘man’ – if she has the ability. If not, she’ll only get disapproval & disdain….
3. COMMUNICATION Styles – review
• Passives truly believe their needs don’t count. They’re sort of like mice – small & timid – doing just about anything to avoid confrontations or being ‘seen’. They like to please others, usually at their own expense, which eventually builds into resentment
• Passive-aggressives don’t think their needs matter, but also angry about not getting them met. They use manipulation, guilt & subtle ‘games’ to get what they want because they’re not allowed to ask outright.
They hide their aggression by staying quiet, ‘forgetting’ things, refusing to listen, changing plans at the last minute…. & never admitting their anger & outrage
❇ Assertives recognize that everyone’s needs are important, so they use honest, neutral language to ask. This requires a level of emotional vulnerability, which comes with some emotional/mental maturity. Rewards : getting their own needs met, expressing emotions freely but appropriately, with healthier relationships, so everyone feels heard & connected, most of the time
a. Conflicting information: Damaging adults insist you see the world in their same slanted way, even with much evidence to the contrary. We heard:
• “Purple is Green, you don’t really see that, I’m not an alcoholic, your brother isn’t really dangerous, no one is to be trusted, no one will ever like / love you ….”
• “We’ll help you any way we can / you can tell us anything / we’ll always be there for you” BUT when do you go to them …. they negate what you say, make excuses, make it your fault, make it all about them….
They don’t actually want to deal with your emotional needs, nor will they tell the truth about what’s really going on in the family
• “Of course I love you”. BUT that’s not how it feels – as they alternately neglect & hurt you
• “Do as I say, not as I do”. Kids are master imitators – that’s how they learn. When adults’ rules & actions are diametrically opposed to their words, kids get thoroughly confused.
As kids, if we recognize their ‘game’, we feel betrayed, their hypocrisy leaving us with no one to trust. AND – which version do we follow? If we disobey the rules we get punished, but if we obey them we betray ourselves!
THEY SAY : • “Don’t lie” & then they lie in blatant or subtle ways
• “Never use drugs” as they smoke all day & drink like fish….
• “You’ll be the death of me yet”. So I wonder “Am I a potential murderer?” What if they die young-ish? And if they’re still alive many years later, what does that mean??
NEXT: ACoAs & Confusion (Part 2e)