What to DO when CONFUSED (Part 7)

PREVIOUS: What to do when…#6

Questions: Personal Strengths Inv

POST: ACoA Time-line Inventory



a. Venn Diagram Inventory (in Part 5)
b. Fill in the charts in the

c. OUTLINE in Part 6
EXP #2 – Woman with Bad Parent
EXP #1 – Man with Inner Child

EXP #3 – Adult to Wounded Inner Child

Adult: WHEN YOU (Inner child) constantly people-please or give in to a parent, adult-child, friend, lover (or potential), boss ……(A)
Adult: I FEEL (E) your longing, loneliness, emotional hunger (E) Qsand I know YOU BELIEVE that (T) :
no one is ever going to like you just for yourself, so you have to go out of your way to make yourself indispensable or at least to not make any waves – at all

stopping me from standing up for us (which prevents humiliation)
BY (actions & words – A & T) setting boundaries, saying what I need to take care of you, admitting I don’t know something, asking for something I/you want that’s fun, leaving harmful or unsuitable PPT (people, places, things), getting warm support…..

because it’s less painful than for :
a. You to FEEL: (E) rage, abandonment, boredom, sadness, frustration ….
b. both of us having to DEAL WITH (A): people taking advantage or walking all over us, ignoring, demanding, controlling, verbally or physically abusing….us

NOTE: An indicator of Recovery growth for ACoAs is not being ‘kid-whipped’ – when our Adult ego state is in charge more often. And being emotionally healed enough that we can say NO when appropriate without fear or guilt.


INTERESTING: The human brain is a pattern-recognition machine – able to identify related things, connecting them into a meaningful whole. This skill helps us recognize everything from underlying themes in literature, to deep structure in science & math, to anticipating hidden complications in relationships, to seeing solutions to work problems. With experience, we gather a subconscious familiarity with the basic nature of the world which we can hardly verbalize, but instinctively act on

It’s why confusion can be so uncomfortable, but it can also have an up side:
a. NOT assuming there’s only one correct way to resolve a problem lets us explore lots of potential options, giving us a deeper, broader sense of the issues involved
b. NOT knowing answers creates a powerful drive to figure things out. We’re motivated to look deeper & more thoroughly for solutions, & so find things we wouldn’t have otherwise.

To encourage this, we can:
• expose ourselves to interesting but unfamiliar info
• tackle a new problem without instructions – instead of coming up with the ‘right’ answer – generate lots of ideas about its ‘parts’, & suggest potential solutions, leading us to perform better on future problems

• test ourselves before learning about a new subject – using only minimum info, like chapter titles. Speculating about material we haven’t seen yet will help us learn it better once we do look at it, having provided “fertile ground” in the brain for encoding knowledge when it’s eventually available (like answers to your Qs)

• Once you’ve done some inventories, perhaps considered some actions, you may want to run it by someone else, especially for the ‘big’ decisions. You have the right to ask & get help & encouragement from safe people, BUT ultimately the choices are yours alone

• Go to someone you know is trustworthy (not family), who will:
– just listen & not give advice (no agenda) & validate your emotions
– can help you work through any confusion you may still have, look at pros & cons, options, real limitation…..
– won’t be judgmental or expect you to have the answers
– provide mirroring (feed back your wishes & needs, not theirs)
– encourage your autonomy (“You CAN decide”)

• Ask them if you can book-endused when you want or need to take an action that makes you nervous & unsure (Call for support, take action, call back with results)

• CHECK – After taking an action, did you get the concrete results you hoped for? How did others respond? Was anything missing? Were the benefits greater than you imagined?….

• EMOTIONAL – How did taking that action feel:  Make you happy & more confident, or leave you feeling empty or bad about yourself? Were you disappointed & less satisfied, or you did feel stronger & empowered ?

NEXT: Why are you Stuck?

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