PREVIOUS: Recovery Confusion (#5b)
QUOTE: I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery & death….I think…peace & tranquility will return again” ~ Anne Frank (Jewish German-Dutch diarist)
ACTIONS: UNRAVELING CONFUSION (cont.)
They are by definition, about the future, whether 5 seconds or 5 yrs from now. But ACoAs want to know how everything is going to turn out NOW, to quell a little of our enormous anxiety. We assume that without our vigilance & interference (control) we’ll always be in danger (lose), as in childhood.
• Aa kids we were treated equally harsh – for spilling the milk, not knowing how to do math, talking back, stealing something, fighting…..
No nuances, no degrees of value, no room for a lack of info or experience, for accidents, human error, or just being a kid. The unfairness & lack of proportion was very confusing – and enraging!
• In the present, ACoAs continue to give the same importance to all situations & all outcomes. This causes confusion which can paralyze.
a. Responsibility – We do need to step up – for ourselves, so our efforts have at least a chance of being favorable. How well things turn out generally depends on having healthy beliefs & ‘right’ actions – from the UNIT – plus helpful outside forces.
Many times :
i. NEW-ish: we can make an educated guess about the outcome of an unfamiliar date, meeting or event. This is not mind-reading, projection or wishful thinking.
Rather, such ‘predictions’ are based on logic, knowing what’s real & sane, intuition, education, & many previous experiences
But having been taught to deny all of these – we rarely use them – for ourselves
ii. REPEAT: If we’ve been through a particular situation several / many times, AND are willing to acknowledge what we’ve observed & felt, we can give up poor choices without a lot of agonizing, like:
• NOT going to an abusive parent for emotional comfort, ever again
• NOT dating an addict or other narcissist, again
• NOT taking another job that doesn’t suit our talents & goals
• NOT-not dealing with our money / bills wisely….
b. Control – However, here are things in life we’re not responsible for! – mainly what others think & do. And many situations we can’t manipulate or predict the outcome of.
i. UNKNOWABLE: things we can’t control or predict, because we’re not all-powerful, as some ‘spiritual’ or philosophical teachings insist. Even very ‘psychic / sensitive’ people don’t have all the answers!
We usually can’t know things like —
• if medical tests, procedures or medicines will give us answers, will heal or harm us
• how everyone else (or us) is going to react when pushed to their limit
• when we’re going to met the ‘right one’
• how our children will turn out, really
• whether cold-calling will get us business
• when we’re going to die (usually) ….
ii. UNKNOWABLE: when we don’t have any or enough info about something ahead of time, like how a new experience is going to turn out (first time in a group, moving to a new job or location…. ), what value we’ll get from taking a class, how our relationship will work out in the long run, where Recovery will take us in life….
ACoAs believe we’re supposed know everything – and perfectly, & feel ashamed or self-hating when we don’t. This is narcissistic magical thinking which sends many ACoAs into a panic, even paralysis, because the WIC assumes if we’re powerless we’ll always suffer, as in childhood
EXP: Whatever you may think of the Kardashians, Kim’s comments to Oprah about the ‘reason’ her 1st marriage broke up after 2 1/2 months speaks to the lack of info: she said they had never spent time alone with each other, so once they were under the same roof every day, she realized they were NOT at all compatible.
• This can remind us that most situations – especially relationships – need to be researched more thoroughly before jumping in. So we’re back to: “Take the action & let go of the result”, or – do the best you can & learn from each outcome. Look before you leap! LACK of INFO can certainly lead to CONFUSION.
NEXT: What to do when confused #1