ACoAs & RESILIENCE (Part 1)


   PREVIOUS: MBTI – Introverts

SITE: From Stressed out to Resilient (for students)


See ACRONYM button for abbrev.


RESILIENCE (R.) is self-righting – it’s the ability to handle losses, set-backs or disappointments & then to recover afterward – with grace & dignity.

❖ DANGER
Review: As kids, ACoAs had to deal with constant trauma, tragedy  & loss, which forced us to develop a variety of coping skills (defenses) that turned into unhealthy life-patterns as adults. They hardened into a block of grey, dirty ice – so thoroughly – that we’ve lost the connection to our funny, soft, easy, free child-self. Now we’re run mostly by our damaged Adapted child (WIC) who still listens to the PP-Introject, & sometimes the PP takes over & we sound just like ‘them’. UGH!

One such unhealthy pattern is rigidity – the inability to ‘go with the flow’, handle change – especially unexpected ones, see thing in shades of grey – only as B & W, accept opposing viewpoints, see others as separate being ….

Rigidity (mental & emotional stiffness) is a product of accumulated terror, & it’s team-mate is resentment (fear + anger) toward anyone who doesn’t provide our needs or wants.
It’s an unconscious determination to fight a losing battle with reality (denial), because to admit what we know about our alcoholic, narcissistic, co-dependent family feel too dangerous to our false sense of self-protection. Rigidity is a defense against feeling vulnerable – the Inner Child’s desperate way to hide its True Self from the onslaught of all the PMES abuses we suffered growing up.

❖ PROTECTION
Rigidity is the enemy of Resilience (R.), and resilience is imperative for going beyond survival – to living well. Resilience is about how we function every day – healthy ways of interacting & negotiating with ourselves, others & our world. More than 50 years of research tells us that R. include having optimism / hope, managing strong or difficult emotions, having a deep sense of safety, & needing a strong social support system. Everyone, regardless of age or circumstance, has the capacity for resilience, which is built into the human spirit, & so can be tapped into.

Studies of at-risk youths, in different parts of the world, repeatedly identified 3 major protective environmental factors that can buffer or insulate children from the impact of adversity (poverty, family chaos, dangerous locations, illness or disabilities ….), & help to nourish personal strength.
These must have been provided during their early years from either family, school, community, or peer groups:
1. Caring relationships (at least one)
2. High expectations
(for success)
3. Opportunities to Participate & Contribute
**  
To effectively form a basis for resilience, these 3 need to be combined – & can come from any one of the 4 environments ⬆️. (Truebridge & Benard)

ACoAs: These 3 protective benefits – from external sources – were hardly available to us growing up. While we are indeed survivors – intelligent, caring, clever, generous, resourceful….. most of our best qualities are used to benefit others (the addicts, the immature) BUT rarely for ourselves!

Along with food and shelter, children need love & trust, hope & autonomy. Along with a safe physical haven, they need safe relationships that provide friendships & commitment. They need loving support, self-confidence, & faith in themselves & their world – all of which builds resilience (R.).

NOW – as adults, we need to wrap ourselves in the power of Resilience, by uncovering & strengthening the core characteristics we were born with, that when combined, make up our True Self . It’s the stable foundation we’ve always longed for & should have gotten as kids, based on knowing who we are, so life’s troubles don’t have to keep knocking us out for as long – like before.
That means that we need to turn those same gifts toward ourselves, to heal the wounded child part.
*️⃣Good news: R. is a process – not an inborn character trait.  It’s based on a concrete set of skills & behaviors, & so can be leaned.

NOTE for ACoAs: Identifying & developing our resilience-qualities is what Recovery is all about! To do that we have to S & I – slowly outgrowing our addictive attachment to our unhealthy upbringing.

NEXT: ACoAs & Resilience #2

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