PREVIOUS: “Putting things off” Part 2
POST: “Why are you Stuck?”
2. NOW we put things off because of: ❓Feelings // ❓ Knowledge
✳️ ULTIMATELY – we put things off :
a. so we won’t feel so alone – that inner loneliness of not having nurturing parents growing up! Being our own caretaker, being competent – even in small things – is an emotional reminder of how terribly alone we always felt as kids – no one to guide (only bully), no one to comfort (only control), no one to encourage (only shame)….
• Instead of doing something positive, all that wasted time spent worrying, obsessing about things we’re not getting done actually serves a purpose for the WIC : it fills up the emptiness inside – where a good parent should be – the Inner Supporters we never had (early abandonment).
EXP: Pre-Recovery, Tina needed to replace a knob for her radio that had fallen off & was lost. She knew she had the manufacturer’s purchase list in her files, but felt a general lethargy about taking the action = all of 5 minutes to find, make the call & order the tiny part. It was several months before she did this simple task.
• In the mean time Tina had to turn the radio on & off by awkwardly using 2 fingers on the sound stub. When the part arrived, in a little pouch, it sat on her night table several more weeks. Eventually she ‘faced’ the great task of taking the knob out of the package & clicking it into place = all of 1 minute!
b. because we have a deep (usually unacknowledged) feeling of hopelessness. After all – the WIC believes that our actions are supposed to get us the love & attention we’re always craved, specifically from our parents (dead or alive!). The Child’s logic says – “since they hurt me & hated me, it has to be my fault, so I have to find a way to fix it.”
But no matter how hard we work at being the perfect son or daughter, we rarely achieve this wish. So eventually taking actions gets harder & harder. Scapegoat & Lost Child ACoAs give up trying a lot sooner than Heroes & Mascots, but they never give up wanting to be loved & accepted! They just pretend they don’t care!
c. we feel powerless to have any effect on our environment (being efficacious). We could never get our parents (& sometimes siblings) to notice us, listen to us, take us seriously, consider or feelings & needs. So why would we be able to influence anyone else in the world? If we have no ability to influence, then why even try to DO anything?
3. WHAT makes it HARD to act
a. Internal FEAR of —
• not doing everything Perfectly (a form of S-H)
• not knowing how to do something (even tho we’re actually very
smart, clever, creative, knowledgeable)
• not knowing what to say when challenged or attacked
• looking weak, needy, incompetent, lazy, stupid…..
• having to stand up for ourselves
• making the ‘wrong’ choice, when having several options, or many demands on us at the same time
• having to feel the loneliness & pain of our original abandonment
b. External FEAR of —
• getting disappointing, hurting or angering someone
• being judged harshly (the way we do to ourselves)
• asking for help when we really need it
• having to deal with difficult people
• being interrupted & lose our train of thought /activity
• having to make everyone else happy (not be in pain) but resenting it
These can show up as:
• Not being able to decide what to do first, when we have several options, or what to do at all (like with free time)
• Starting things (refinishing a pc. of furniture, art work, a book, even relationships…) but never / rarely finishing anything – IF for ourselves
• Can’t motivate ourselves – to have a life of our own, as in following our dreams, leaving bad relationships, moving to a better location….!
NEXT: Procrastination Part 4