Why RESIST talking to the Inner Child? (Part 1)

many voicesI CONFUSE MYSELF WITH
many conflicting points of viewHealthy Adult & Healthy Adult &

PREVIOUS: Acceptance #2

SITE : “Importance Of Internal Dialogue In Leading A Happy & Successful Life

POST:“Ego States – Basics(Adult, Parent, Child)

TOPIC: TOOL for Recovery/ healing –
Healthy Adult & Loving Parent <–> Inner Child dialoguing

For ACoAs, the GOAL of this process is to shift the WIC’s focus away from believing all the harmful, distorted & untrue things it hears from the Introject – to stop the Child from relying on that voice for it’s identity & way to function in the world.
We need to woo the WIC away from the PP & redirect it’s attention to our Healthy Adult & the new Loving PARENT. To do that we use written & verbal dialogues, gradually replacing the harsh voice which originally created our self-hate

EVERYONE has inner dialogues all the time – it’s called self-talk. We argue pros & cons, debating: “Should I or shouldn’t I?”, we obsessively argue with a ‘real’ person about something that bothers us – but only in our head, we hear the ‘voice’ of our parents or a religious figure scolding or lecturing…. AND no one thinks that’s crazy. SO – why not conversations with our younger self??

A common Q about talking with the Inner Child: “Is it supposed to grow up, go away or what?”
ANS: We want to heal the wounded child & bring forward the Natural one, which is our essence. Then they get ‘folded into’ the other 2 E.S. to make a whole person. (Review ADULT #2)

FORMS of SELF-TALK
a. Most of the time we think in the ‘I’ form, which is either the Adult #1 or the Inner Child, positively or negatively.
➕ If the statements are positive “I’d rather not do that – thanks all the same, I need more sleep, I’ll study for that exam today…” that’s the Healthy Adult
OR
“I want to see that movie, I looove my cat, give me some more ice cream, I don’t want to be around that —, it doesn’t feel good….” you’re hearing the healthy Child

➖ If the statements in the “I” form are negative, harsh, painful…. then we know it’s the Wounded Inner Child (WIC) who is in self-hate or hopeless mode: “I can’t do anything right, no one likes me, I can’t stand being ignored!, I’ll never get anywhere – I might as well give up….”TAs P:A:C

b. However, when we talk to ourselves in the “You” form, our Inner Parent is talking to the Inner Child, probably without realizing it.
➕ If the statements are positive, then our Loving / Nurturing Parent may say: “You can do it, you’re so smart – I’m proud of you, I know you’re in pain & I’m here with you, you’ll do better next time….”

➖ If the ‘You’ statements are mean, discouraging, judgmental… we know it’s the Introject (PP / Bad Parent) talking to the Child part of us:
”You should have known better than to —, You could have done that if you’d tried harder, You blew it, you — !, You’re in trouble now! You’re so stupid, No one’s ever going to like you” ….

ACoAs: Notice that our self-talk is rarely if ever positive**, supportive, congratulatory…. Instead, we have perpetual toxic internal voices, with either the PP haranguing the WIC or the WIC attacking itself, in agreement with the PP

Some of us have a fairly well-developed Adult (from life experience & native intelligence) but only use it at work &/or to benefit others. Most of us are skating by on the WIC’s version of an Adult – which is very limited & full of CDs (cognitive distortions).
Even when we have a competent Adult ego state, we are still missing the Good Parent – the main thing we’re trying to create with this tool.

**POSITIVE: only thoughts or actions (T.E.A.) are positive OR negative – helpful or harmful, encouraging or discouraging, useful or wasteful, valuable or worthless, producing growth or stagnation….
(POST: Being Negative means….)

NEXT: Resist Talking to the IC (#2)

Ego States – ADULT (Part 1)

PAC male 

A HEALTHY ADULT INNER VOICE
helps me function well in the world

PREVIOUS: Ego States – Summary

SITE: T.A. tests & definitions


REMINDER
: Ego states (E.S.) are in our conscious mind, & only one can be in the foreground at any given moment. Whichever one is on the ‘front burner’ is called The Executive  – for the length of time it’s in charge. Healthy people can switch between ego states (E.S.) as required – most of the time.  It’s NOT supposed to be a rigid framework, but many ACoAs are trapped in the Wounded Child E.S.

All E.S. function on a continuum, from mild to severe … AND a person can go from OK to NOT OK & back again more than once throughout a day. We can catch this by noting physical & verbal characteristics
Parent: Language used is made up of value judgements, lecturing, scolding…. , about ‘You…’ or ‘One…’ rather than oneself. Posture tends to be leaning forward

Child :  Words are direct & spontaneous. Physically, the person can be sullen from anger, stiff w/ fear, IF comfortable – are engaged, attentive, use hand gestures….  In Adapted C. = may cry silently. In Free C. = have fun & maybe be excited-noisy
ADULT
PhysicallyPosture is erect, maybe with tilted head (listening). Attentive, interested, straight-forward, non-threatening & non-threatened
VerballyTone is measured, clear, precise, crisp, rational, logical.  Words are clear, definable, factual: “It’s a cold day so we’ll need extra clothes”.
Talks in terms of: why, what, how, who, where & when, how much, in what way. Uses comparative expressions, reasoned & accurate statements

PURPOSE of ADULT = “Neo-psyche”, for survival of the Self
a. FACTUAL: This part of us concentrates on Reality, lives in the present & holds the accumulated data of all our experiences.
It begins forming around age 6 to 10 months & is assumed to be fully developed in a normal person by age 12 (from T.A.), but its actual function is not related to a person’s age.
The A. deals with external facts (“It’s 5 pm, the train is late…”), analyzing & solving problems, also using information from Parent & Child states, giving us the ability to successfully deal with the outside world

b. REGULATORY: The A. is in charge of supervising & managing the activities of both adult vectorsInner Parent & Child, AND intervening between them when necessary.
It allows us to keep control of those other 2 states – to not let the P. become too rigid, controlling, pontificating (“Do as I say not as I do”) nor the C. too out of control, selfish, hurtful ( “I’ll kill that so-&-so!”)

EXP: When PP beats up IC : “You’re no good, look at what you did wrong again, you’re useless”, the WIC will agree: “I’m no good, look how useless I am, I never get anything right”.

🔸 However, if we’ve developed a Healthy Adult, then when the PP acts up – it will step in, first to stop the Introject from doing any more damage, & draw the Child away from it, to work on correcting its toxic beliefs. Then the A. can make space for the Good Parent to comfort the suffering Child

c. ACCOUNTING Mode is part of the ADULT (A.) – the only E.S. that allows us to actually solve problems, which can not be successfully done from either P. or C., because when we try to correct things from those 2 states, the problems keep coming back.
In the present, the A. makes balanced choices & decisions, based on stored info from a wide range of experience (not primarily from dysfunction).
To have a rounded view & consider future actions, resulting outcomes are weighed against the reactions of Healthy Parent & Child  as well as real-world consequences  (MORE…. re. Accounting – scroll way down)

Accounting Mode interacts with other E.S. without energy blockages. When it’s available & stable (uncontaminated by PP or WIC), we operate appropriately in the here-&-now, having absorbed any positive parts of our Historic Parent & Archaic Child experiences. This allows us to choose which mode to draw from, depending on the current situation, without regressing into either negative Historic or Archaic states.

NEXT: ADULT Ego States (Part 2)

Negative INTROJECT (Part 1)

IT’S EITHER ME OR THEM.
So far they’ve been winning!

PREVIOUS: Grandiosity & ‘Normal’

REVIEW posts : Ego States

SITE: Antidotes to Toxic Intimacy

 

INTRO-Who?
GENERAL: From the very beginning of life all children are PMES (Mental, Emotional, Physical & Spiritual) sponges – ‘swallowing whole’ every moment of every part of their environment. Kids are highly intuitive & very observant.
We picked up:
• what we saw, what we heard, where we went
• how we were treated, at home & outside
AND
• our parents’ emotions, values, opinions and secrets – whether obvious, unexpressed, or those hidden from themselves (denied)
• how adults treated each other – our parents with each others & our siblings, their parents & siblings, their exes, friends, bosses…  (Antidotes )

BUT, all of that was experienced & processed thru the lens of a child’s limited perspective AND their specific personality. Therefore, each child in a family will have a different ‘story’ of what happened.
So to get an accurate picture we’d need everyone’s point of view formed into a psychological collage.

IN THE PRESENTgood voice
In common: Everyone has an Inner Guide to good & proper behavior – our inborn, God-given conscience, & the beneficial or harmful ‘super-ego’ version of our specific society. (This is NOT schizophrenia, or other mental illness)

People with relatively sane childhoods have an OK or POSITIVE INTROJECT for self-soothing, & to be of legitimate help to others

However, ACoAs raised in an emotionally unhealthy, neglectful, abusive, torturing environment have a Negative Introject – cruel, distorted, rigid, unsympathetic, & a LIAR! – the Pig Parent (PP) in”Games People Play“.
We absorbed:
• some good stuff, here & there, but mainly it was …..
• …. all the damage & dysfunction of our home & community!  Imagine – every kid has to try to make sense of their ‘world’ with distorted info & very limited experience, & many without any loving help to navigate life

This turned into Self-Hatethe #1 defense used to keep from going crazy.

MAKE UP of the PP
Our version** of each major caretaker – anyone who was important to us, &/or that we spent a lot of time with
** We did NOT misunderstand, exaggerate or distort our perception of them.
Later on we sometimes get additional facts that form a deeper – but not necessarily better – opinion of them.  More often it validates our experience!
bad voicePP is :
• a specific parent with the most forceful, controlling &/or crazy personality, & now is our loudest voice
• parts of our psyche we disown – a pitiless ‘conscience’, an ‘alcoholic’ Higher Power, distortions of positive life-rules…..
• the rules of our social & spiritual communities

At the same time:
not all those who raised us / taught us – were evil, just very damaged – so we’ve also internalized some of their skills, hopes, dreams, talents, knowledge, goals… as much as were visible. BUT it’s a small part of the PP, compared to their sickness

WHY is it so IMPORTANT to identify the PP?
Because we copy it! To the degree that we ‘honor & obey’ it – we feed our S-H, live in fear, sabotage ourselves, choose inappropriate people, can’t grow into our best self, hurt others & allow others to hurt us !

a. IF we were in pain as kids, and are in pain now, even if we don’t remember what happened, or don’t understand why – we can be sure that:
• we absorbed what others in the family were feeling – especially whatever they refused to acknowledge (their suffering was ‘in the air’)
• we felt our own daily emotional pain, without anyone to comfort us, to validate our feelings, to explain that it was NOT about us & so NOT our faultbroken heart

b. We may have a limited understanding of who everyone in our family was – what their motives were, what they went thru, what their ‘diagnosis’ may be – since even with our intuition we couldn’t possibly know all the facts of their lives – unless we’re told

BUT the one thing we can be sure was not a distortion : Our suffering NOW is all the proof we need of how bad it was. Not being able to remember is not an excuse to maintain denial. Emotions say it all.

NEXT: Negative Introject (Part 2)

ACoAs & RISK – Intro

risk 

TO RISK OR NOT TO RISK –
That is the question

PREVIOUS: Unrealistic Expect.-UNDER

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

REVIEW posts on (not) TRUSTING


Basic MEANING of RISK

a. taking a chance on something, most often referring to the possibility of harm, misfortune or loss
b.
can also be about a positive outcome, resulting in pleasure, accomplishment & success
c.
OR a neutral / acceptable result – with no danger but no gain

STYLE “a” characteristics
PHYSICAL
• dealing with something or someone known as a source of danger
• a venture chosen without regard to possible loss or injury
• being exposed to the chance of damage or injury, not by choice

EMOTIONAL / PSYCHOLOGICAL
• a situation which may cause suffering — being accused wrongly, manipulated & used, humiliated, misunderstood or shamed
• an element or course of action involving uncertain, unpredictable discomfort or distress
• the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome might happen beyond ones control

FOR ACoAsmany outcomes
Although the definitions indicate more than one possible outcome, only the a. meaning is an option for ACoAs – because of the Toxic family rules , such as: “Life is endless suffering,  You must always struggle but can never get ‘there’,  Don’t expect anything good, ever”…..

In a ‘sane’ world, Risk is minimized or no longer a factor IF the outcome of a situation in known ahead of time based on experience, or is predictable based on dependable information
Then a person can take an action OR avoid a situation – with confidence. This is not wishful thinking, projecting or unrealistic expectations. It comes from realistic knowledge, using present-day Adult ego-state evaluation

• But that’s not how ACoAs operate. We persistently ignore info we do have from years of experience, only using the WIC’s distorted ‘glasses’.
We compulsively pursue unsafe actions, when we  —
— choose to return to dangerous situations, stay connected to harmful people…..
— & avoid beneficial opportunities, often refusing to take relatively safe actions.
Because of our very deep denial system we keep getting burned – then wonder why we don’t trust!

ANXIETY – ACoA issues around risk-taking are always about internal anxiety. One scared kidscharacteristics on the Laundry List is:
“We have become addicted to (negative) excitement after years of living in the midst of a traumatic & often dangerous family ‘soap opera’.”

ACoAs get things backwards. We keep trying to do the impossible & have trouble doing what is possible!
We’re not sufficiently afraid of some very dangerous ‘people, places & things’ while being overly scared of things that are not actually harmful (like having emotions)!

ALL ACoAs are fear-based*, the Inner Child terror of feeling out of control that we bring with us into adulthood, underscoring every aspect of our life. Anxiety is what drives all our character defects, our acting out, our addictions . It’s why the Serenity Prayer is so important for ACoAs!

 Fortunately, long-term recovery – if we’ve been doing emotion-release work – diminishes the intensity of our fear, so it’s not on the surface all the time.  But since our terror-base is very deep, it never dissipates completely.
So we should not be surprised when it occasionally grabs us in the gut – if or when some current event sets it off again. “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”.

The difference is, or should be – that we’ve built a Loving Parent voice, with years of acting in healthier ways & using our tools, so we can soothe & comfort the WIC whenever we’re triggered (Use Book-ending)

CONTROLcontrolling
The counter-action defense against anxiety is to be controlling (as opposed to Being in Self-Control).
It avoids any type of risk-taking – which inherently implies unpredictability.
The greater the inner fear, the greater the need to control – in a futile attempt to keep anything or anyone from abandoning us – yet again.

This is the reason ACoAs try so hard to be mind-readers. If we can figure out what someone feels, thinks or needs – before they say anything – we think we’ll be able to be ‘prepared’ – for the worst, of course – to prevent being hurt, & stay connected by twisting ourselves into what we hope others will find acceptable.

NEXT: ACoAs & RISK – #2

Emotional MATURITY – General

 

I INTEGRATE ALL PARTS OF ME
while still working on the ‘old stuff’

PREVIOUS: Emotional Immaturity (Part 3)

SITE: True Happiness (Emotional Maturity Questionnaire)

 

QUOTES: “Maturity consists of no longer being taken in by oneself” Anon.
“Maturity is the ability to think, speak & act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become during the midst of your frustrations.”  Samuel Ullman (American businessman, poet & humanitarian)

Emotional Maturity (EM) means having a healthy self-concept: not thinking too highly or too lowly of ourselves, being in the world but realize we’re not the center of it

Characteristics can be identified in relation to AGE :
a. Social  – can relate well socially for our physical age
b. Emotional  – can handle emotions appropriate for our age
c. Spiritual  – can behave in a spiritually mature way

In ACoA language, EM develops slowly by minimizing the damage in our WIC & quieting / limiting the PP voice, as much as possible. Ultimately it’s about no longer having S-H & living from our True Self.
Maturity comes from growing the Unit (Healthy Adult & Loving Parent), who are regularly (but not always) in charge of the WIC, encourage the Natural Child to blossom, & keep in touch with our Higher Power.

• Maturity does NOT mean having eliminated all our damage, but rather to lessen the grip of the Introject, diminish accumulated old pain & be abie to deal with our core wounds when they do surface, so they don’t take over & getting over them faster.

ACoAs are quite capable of developing mental, emotional & spiritual maturity – as long as we don’t strive for perfection*.  Internalize the “Principles of the Program” helps to outgrow the worst of our damage so we can live more comfortably in the present, instead of our tortured past.  When psychological health takes root, we carry it with us even under stress, & express it in ‘all our affairs’

Perfectionism is a sign of immaturity, based in FoA & S-H,- a belief imperfect
(CD) rather than an event or action.
To be human is to be IMperfect, & to be mature is to be OK with that!
Fortunately there are times when everything works out well = we’re successful at a task, reach a goal, or feel empowered. These do NOT come from perfection.
Basically, they’re just events without mistakes. Those moments are the result of our knowledge, effort, practice & persistence, help from H.P, our faith, & perhaps some ‘luck’.

KEY QUALITIES of MATURITY
1. Emotional
Emotional Responsibility : identifying them, AND know they come from inside, rather than caused by other people, places or thingsconfidence
Self-control: accept & control your passions, impulses & desires. Can handle stress well, ‘let go’ & detach, know when you’re powerless over a situation
Self-esteem: have inner fulfillment, enjoy life, experience yourself as one source of love.  Have understanding, insight

2. Psychological / Mental
Cognitive Responsibility: be accountable for thoughts – beliefs, opinions & prejudices. responsibleHandle finances, have good work habits & are reliable
Mental Clarity: able to think clearly & rationally. Process information based on current reality, know how to gather & communicate info
Independence: make appropriate decisions & observe consequences in order to make better choices. Learn & grow from experience

3. Practical
Action Responsibility: know what you want & can mental claritymake it happen
Function: make the effort to learn what you need to know in order to accomplish your goals
Participation: join group & community activities that encourage creativity, collaboration & empowerment, perhaps volunteer for a relevant cause

4. Relational
Inter-personal Responsibility: treat people as separate entities with the
relational right to their own needs, wishes & dreams (not use people)
Respect: understand & tolerate different views, cooperate with peers or teams, care about others & represent their concern
Connections: make connections easily, sustain intimate relationship, take in friendship & love, share decisions & resources

5. Spiritual
Moral Responsibility: have a healthy value system / code of ethics. spiritual Choose what’s right for yourself first & then in relation to others
Congruent: Act honestly, live by your principles & listen to your intuition
Altruism: have concern for all humanity, do what you can to help others – realistically!

NEXT: Emotional Maturity (Part 2)

ACoAs : OVER-Controlling Ourselves (Part 1)

bad voice
THE BAD PARENT –
doesn’t want me to outgrow it

PREVIOUS: Self-Care around Controllers #3

SEE:  Toxic Family Roles

❖ S-C = self-control


AS CHILDREN

Normal / Healthy: since children are not born with boundaries it’s a parent’s job to help them learn self-control (S-C), which is about setting limits for oneself & with others, but forming then is a long process. S-C is closely linked to:
• how children feels about themselves, which comes from guidance, stability & unconditional love
• being taught how to deal with everyday frustrations & practicing those skills by making their own age-appropriate choices & decisions

To DEVELOP healthy S-C people need 2 mental ABILITIES :
a. To estimate time, in order to make reasonable decisions, based on immediate as well as future outcomes.
❖ Young children cannot do this because they live completely ‘in the present’, so it’s not rational to expect them to have the same S-C as older kids & adults (post: ACoAs & TIME)

b. To direct one’s attention away from a current event. This is needed in order to have the time to evaluate situations, make better choices & weigh possible consequences.
Since young children’s attention can be easily distracted, they aren’t able to -stop – to consider alternatives or potential outcomes, so it’s inappropriate to demand it of them

• Children do best when guidance & boundary setting are given with consistent, age-appropriate expectations & realistic consequences, AND without constant punishment or power-conflicts with parents.
Children do need the security of knowing the rules & limits of behavior – otherwise they feel uncared for & at a loss. The healthy goal for parents is to guide & nurture them so they feel supported & valued, rather than judged or rejected

Alcoholic PARENTING extremes
In most cases, ACoAs had to be totally obedient to survive & later to fit in – first with parents, then in school, a religious community & then work. (Posts: Parenting styles & Results)

OVER: Many of us were given too many rules, assumed to be ‘little adults’, demanded that we be competent & self-sufficient way beyond our years.
We were bullied & manipulated into being compliant on pain of suffering & death. There was no fairness, or any leeway for our individuality. We submitted – or else.

This created great anxiety, knowing we couldn’t fulfill their spoken & implied expectations, but desperately trying to please.
✏︎ For some of us the rules kept changing, arbitrarily.
✏︎ For others they were rigid & unrealistic.
✏︎ For all of us, no matter what we did, it was never good enough!
Eventually we either rebelled or caved.

UNDER: Others of us received little or no guidance – left too much on our own, so that we basically raised ourselves, which also created great anxiety. It left us:
• without knowing how to pay attention to other people
• with no respect for, willingness or need to obey legitimate authority
• with no sense of boundaries, limits, discipline or self-trust
• not knowing what is expected of us or how to function in the world.

This may seem heavenly – to a teen, but a neglectchild without rules or expectations not only is being severely neglected – but will likely suffer from lack of motivation & direction for years to come!

EITHER WAY – we were deprived of the opportunity to learn healthy self-control – which requires a SELF to implement!
Since having a Self was not allowed much mess encouraged, the only thing we could do was to over-control ourselves. We had to hide our true emotions, needs, as well as our intelligence, competence & talents – except as those gifts were needed to take care of sick, abusive, depressed & crazy parents &/or siblings – but never for ourselves!

▶︎ Since over-controlled adults are generally responsible & reserved, they don’t get much attention, suffering loneliness & chronic depression in silence, which may include anorexia, or being obsessive-compulsive.
An an evidence-based therapy Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT), was developed to help “over-controllers” activate the brain’s neurological systems which help regulate smoother ways of interacting with others. SKILLS include:
social spontaneity, taking it easy, make true friendships, correcting rigid thinking & minimizing perfectionism. (MORE….)

NEXT: O-C Ourselves – Part 2

ACoA CONCLUSIONS re. Painful Events (Part 1a)

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 6.14.39 PM
I’M SUCH A FAILURE!
I can’t get anything right

PREVIOUSNoticing Painful Events  (Part 2)

REVIEW posts : “What just happened

REMINDER: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


1. EVENTS – the Stimulus

2. CONCLUSIONS (our THINKING)
Here is another use of T.E.A. (Thought, Emotions & Actions ). The middle circle (in pink) is about how we mentally (Ts) assess or try to explain any event that’s upsetting.
🙄 A common reaction is to ‘be in our head“, endlessly obsessing, without ever understanding the situation (T) or resolving it appropriately (A).
REMEMBER – “crazy” is mental (what we think / believe), not emotional

Most ACoAs grow up convinced we’re crazy!  We say we feel crazy, or that we’re going crazy, or we afraid of being crazy.
Well, most ACoAs are NOT, but we came to believe it because – while our emotions & observations told us that a lot was seriously wrong with family, school, church….
the grown-ups kept telling us our opinions were way off base, & anyway we were the problemCause & Effect

Reminder: ‘Painful events’ may be situations that :
a. are accidental, because people are just busy or preoccupied
b. we run into in the course of everyday living (rudeness, ignorance, delays…)
c. are genuinely insulting, shaming or otherwise abusive

We can instantly react (As), out of our conscious control  = yelling, sulking, blaming….. or just spend all our time worrying.
If we pay attention, those reactions will give us an idea of what we’re actually thinking.
HINT – that the painful event is :
💦ONLY /all about ME, & we’re the Victim (V), creating FEAR , OR
🔩ONLY /all about the OTHER person, as Perpetrator (P), creating our ANGER

💦 IT’S ALL ME – It’s my fault, I’m bad, dumb, weak, lazy….
• Whenever ACoAs experience a painful event or loss we try to make sense of it. The WIC always thinks they’re the source or cause – that we should have been able to prevent it.
The Adult in us may know this is not true. Others are also not in control of every outcome, but they are responsible for their beliefs, decisions & actions (not us), whether they acknowledge it or not

EXP:  It’s sad to think of JFK Jr. – his very bad decision to fly with a broken leg, without a co-pilot or auto-pilot, in predicted bad weather – ended in disaster. Accident? Yes, but his unwise choices contributed.

• ALL ACoAs start out from this premise (Self-Hate) & then layer it over with a variety of defenses. When something doesn’t work out, or someone hurts us / ignores us / leaves us…. we try to analyze what we did wrong & how we can fix it. We obsess for days, sometimes years about a painful situation, always from self-blame.

➼ Unhealed ACoAs have a wide streak of narcissism – mainly in the form of: EVERYTHING IS ABOUT ME!  but you may be saying “What, it’s not??”
It’s our default position, & continues as long as the WIC is in charge of our life.

EXP:  Extrovert Maria is in a night-school computer class with 6 other adults, 5 men & one other woman. Maria glances at her several times, hoping to connect, but the woman blatantly ignores her. Maria’s not just disappointed, she’s hurt. There’s a pain in her gut: “Nobody likes me!”

EXP:  Felicia was in great distress. She’d invited her family to visit her at college, so they drove down to see her. On their way another car plowed into them, causing a huge accident & her brother was killed. That was enough of a heart breaker – but her CD added to it. She kept saying: ”If only I hadn’t asked them to visit, he’d still be alive!” – tortured by thinking she has that kind of power

REALITY: There are times when we have made a wrong choice, but self-abuse does not help us learn from the error or improve our options in the future. S-H is a lie & therefore SELF-DEFEATING. It’s based on a false sense of power, but it’s still false.

Once the UNIT kicks in, that perspective greatly diminishes. There’s a big difference between believing we’re responsible for everything (grandiosity) vs being appropriately responsible for our T.E.A.s

NEXT: CONCLUSIONS  (Part 1b)

SELF-HATE & ACoAs (Part 3)

addictionsI CAN’T GIVE UP
the only ‘truth’ I know

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & S-H #2

QUOTEs:
🔻 “I won’t sleep if that’s what it takes to not wake up as myself”
Casey Renee Kiser, Hold Me Under: Poems to Drown to

😰”To keep my mind occupied when I can’t sleep – some people count sheep. I self-loathe.” ∼ Rainbow Rowell, Attachments

🥶 “Hostility, malice & sadism are the result of helplessness & self-loathing; all produced by adaptation to a hypercritical social reality, & are not attributable to innate aggression.” ∼ Arno Gruen, Swiss-German psychologist

FoO = Family of origin

1. DEFINITION
2. SOURCES of Self-Hate (S-H)

3. PURPOSE of S-H is TO:
• keep from risking any change via S & I (fear that letting go = being forever alone)
• keep us attached to the family (stave off deep loneliness)
• prevent us from dealing with ‘ugly emotions’ like our rage, envy, longing, hopelessness….
• protect our fantasy of having good, loving, safe parents
• protect us from feeling the reservoir of old abandonment pain
• protect us from Growing up, taking care of ourselves (we want to be taken care of! no matter what the cost is)

WHY is it SO HARD to GIVE UP S-H?
The above reasons are all part of the answer, but the MAIN one is that:
It gives us a FALSE SENSE of POWER! How?
Since every child is self-centered, which is human-normal, they think everything is about them – whatever happens in or around them has to do with them.
The child’s logic says: “I’m in pain, & somehow I caused it. Therefore I CAN / must stop them from hurting me, if I can just figure out how!”

• Then we spend the rest of our childhood (& well into adulthood, until Recovery) trying different ways to FIX whatever the problem was & may still be – re :
US – by re-inventing ourselves (must be the origin of this USA craze), trying on different ‘personae‘ (be the perfect kid, the trouble maker, the helper, get good grades, be invisible, don’t have any needs, be funny…)
AND re :
THEM – by trying to make our parents see reason, get sober, get help, leave the marriage, get taken care of by us, cover up for them, fix their ‘craziness’, cater to their every whim….

Unfortunately NONE of our EFFORTS WORKED! In most cases ‘they’ didn’t change, didn’t listen, wouldn’t stop – drinking, raging, being unsuccessful, molesting, beating us, leaving, cheating, berating, controlling….!
But we kept trying, always asking: What’s wrong with ME?

Even if some of our parents did stop drinking,
— it was NOT because of our efforts. We assumed their ‘sobriety’ was because we were extra good, prayed really hard or badgered them into it
— very few were willing to do the deeper work to become healthier human beings, so mostly they were just “Dry Drunks”. So their unhealed narcissism kept in hurting us.
RESULT -in us- was an intense feeling of failure!

• This is why so many ACoAs believe we’re FRAUDS – that people will eventually, inevitably FIND OUT.
Q: Find out what?
A: “Since I couldn’t make my parents/ family get well, be happy & be there for me – I’m not capable of and NEVER will be able ably to succeed at anything else!” (WIC logic)

It’s an assumption ACoAs are not usually aware of, but glued to us by anxiety, and believed both by the less accomplished AND the most outwardly successful ACoAs, pre-FoO Recovery. Unfortunately, what we don’t realize is that the fundamental premise is false :
No child
— ever caused the adults’ messes
— was ever responsible for making them better! AND
— can fix anyone else

NEXT: ACoAs & S-H #4