PREVIOUS: What to do …(Part 2)
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
ACTIONS: UNRAVELING CONFUSION (cont.)
Before anything else we need to know what our goal is. Oh no! That means having permission, knowing our needs & letting our ADULT choose the actions.
What’s your bottom line GOAL? Are you pursuing it or still protecting your Negative Benefits? EXPs:
• re. GOING OUT: is it to stop being so lonely & risk being disappointed, but maybe gain friendship, good info, new opportunities ….
OR is it to protect yourself at all cost by hiding out & continue starving!?
• re. WORK: is it to do a job search, no matter how long it takes, to find something more suitable & better paying
OR stay in a place you’ve outgrown or hate, so you don’t have to make the effort of improving your life?
• re. SELF-CARE: is it to gain a sense of personal power & get needs met (no matter how small),
OR is it to wait endlessly for someone else to come along & rescue you?
• re. STANDING UP for yourself: is it to get a need met, without anger
OR suffer in silence & stay resentful?
• re. RELATIONSHIPS: is it to work toward & eventually leave a dead-end or destructive relationship that continually hurts you (even tho it may bring up pain in the short-term – but in the end be a relief, an opportunity to heal & the freedom to choose better next time)
OR is it to stay endlessly, & be in denial that it keeps adding to your low self-esteem, generates more humiliation, anger, sadness….?
Small chunks – practice chopping down any task into bite size actions, based on what you can swallow at the moment. ACoAs are in the habit of being overwhelmed by goals in general, & by some that no one can possibly do all at once, but for some insane reason we think we should be able to!
In spite of the fact that current reality is usually not as grim as our childhood was – we still opt for staying overwhelmed rather than simplify whatever is going on in the present, right?
Clearly – that attitude comes from the WIC’s beliefs–
• who is terrified of breaking any of the Toxic family Rules because if we actually got things accomplished & our needs met via reasonably sized actions – that would trigger the ‘inevitable’ punishment of abandonment, from family or anyone else (RULES: “Must always struggle but never get there”, “Don’t outshine us”, “All risks are dangerous”)….
• who is still convinced we don’t know how to do anything! since we were expected to know & do all sort of impossible things even as very small children, without anyone bothering to show us how or being a good example! Many of us got the message “Just do it!”
EXP: Anyone remember the 1980’s TV show “The Greatest American Hero”? A high school teacher was given a super-hero costume by aliens, with the manual, which he lost in the shock of the encounter. Each episode was about how he had to figure out how to use the suit & all the trouble it / he caused because he didn’t know how it worked. Sounds a lot like our lives!
• who refuses to acknowledge all the years of accumulated knowledge & experience we HAVE gathered along the way since those early harrowing days, because then he/she would lose an excuse for waiting to be rescued!
NEXT: What to do when….. #4