ACoAs & Boundary INVASIONS (Part 1)

B invasion

You’re in my space!

PREVIOUS: B.Distortion (#3)

ACRONYM page for abbrev.


FoO = Family of Origin

EXP: Picture someone across a room that interests you & they seem open to being approached. You start walking toward them but something is slowing you down — tightly gripped around your neck & hanging heavily down your back is the invisible body of your whole FoO (or maybe just one parent or certain sibling…). You’re not free to have a one-to-one relationship with anyone, dragging around all that rotting baggage!

Some basic ways we were violated
1. PHYSICAL B. invasions by parents & siblings
As a kid, what belonged to you & could not be violated?  Everyone needs their own private space & time to be respected & allowed, if we’re to find out who we are & be able to function autonomously as adults. Many of us did not have that opportunity.
Instead we had:
• to sleep in the same room as parents for too long, allowed to sleep in their bed too often….. shared a bedroom with a sibling, forever
• no personal privacy: walked in on in the bathroom, open bedroom door or slept in a common area, mail & diaries being read, listening in on phone conversations, room ransacked ….
• forced enemas, constantly being poked or pulled at, ‘fixed up’….
— others using our clothes & personal items without our permission
— had to give a full recitation of everything we did when we were out….

EXP: PARTY LINES – With blurred boundaries, it’s quite common for person (A) in a toxic system to be the ‘communications hub’, in charge of hearing the grievances, messages, worries… from one member (B) about another in the family (C).  Then (A) is responsible for passing the info on to (C) — instead of (B) talking directly to C directly.

a. It makes the ‘hub’ person feel needed, important, in control, to be in charge or manipulate, be the buffer, above it all….
b. It re-enforces everyone’s lack of good communication skills, fear of confrontation, of speaking their truth, of hurting others’ feelings or getting blow-back, of standing up for themselves….

2. MENTAL Coercion (ongoing enmeshment)
a. Manipulations
For ACoAs, even our inner thoughts were invaded, usually by one parent, just like those African army ants! This is bullying, “…. a poisonous form of parenting, compelling children to act or to choose – in a particular way” – the adult’s way, never the child’s, with such tactics as:
hopeless• criticism or fault-finding    • sarcasm, ridicule
• threats or warning of punishment if not quickly obeyed
• ‘logic’ – to totally convince child of parent’s point of view
• argue to convince child about how wrong they are
• physical or verbal force – shouting, hitting…..

RESULT of being bullied: the child will inevitably end up feeling despair, beaten down, out of control, hopeless, & eventually stockpile rage

b. Over-coercion
• This is a more intense form, coming from a rigid, narcissistic** &/or active addicted parent. In the ‘a’ category, bullies are aware their victim does not want to comply, but they don’t care.
In this ‘b’ form the perpetrator is not even aware that others – even their own children – have a mind or will of their own. They’re only interested in total compliance to their own narrow view of reality!
BTW, they treat everyone the same way if they can get away with it.

** Any difference in taste, needs, opinions, style, way of doing things…. in the child – any sense of self not a carbon copy of the egotist – is labeled defiance, disobedience, arrogance, stubbornness…. so the child is constantly punished for not conforming to someone else’s personality! & will eventually become totally brainwashed or violently defiant.

• It would never dawn on an over-coercer that their child may legitimately:no way
— be too young to do or be exactly what the parent wants
— have an inherently different personality with its own set of functional requirements
— have the developmental task of becoming a separate being, which includes disagreeing with ‘authority’ from time to time
— know something the parent doesn’t. Narcissists think they’re never wrong!
EXP: Mom always said, literally: “I’m perfect” & meant it!

PART 2: More Boundary Invasions

ACoAs: Loneliness in Childhood (Part 2)

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 1.16.35 AM 

I don’t know if I can get up

PREVIOUS: Lack of Comfort #2

SITE: NEGLECT (effects & related factors)



Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
…. having to hide from parents, siblings, other relatives, neighborhood kids, baby sitters…. because they were bullying & beating on you, subjecting you to unfair & unusual punishment, verbal & physical attacks, sexual abuse, teasing, unneeded enemas, sadistic mind-games, not allowing you to have your feelings (“I’ll give you something to cry about!”)…. & no one was protecting or helping you

• You carried around constant terror all by yourself, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Where could you go for safety? Under the bed, or table, in the closet, the neighbor family, in your room, at the library, at sports? Someone may have known what was happening to you, but they didn’t/ couldn’t intervene, so you were still trapped with the abusers

Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
…having to constantly fend off boundary invasions, mental & physical.  It may have seemed that you weren’t alone (someone was always around – in your face, in your business, in your space…), so how could you be lonely? But they were not really WITH you, at all – rather: at you, using you, controlling you

It was all about their neediness: getting into every nook & cranny of our body & mind, watching you all the time, fussing with your looks, clothes, actions, even your facial expressions (“look ashamed / wipe that look off your face”….).
OR it was all about one-upping’ you, competition between you & a parent, or between siblings – for attention, knowledge, friends, skills….

Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
…. having to play out a Toxic Role  – Hero, Mascot,  Scapegoat, Lost Child – to serve the family sickness:
– only allowed to ‘use’ a small % of yourself & having to hide or cut off the rest
– never having the freedom to find out who you really are as a whole person
– not being able to develop at your own pace & for your own benefit ….

Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
…. hiding family sdysf. ROLESecrets, present & past.
SPOKEN – “Don’t let anyone see those bruises / Don’t tell anyone daddy’s in jail, that brother Johnny’s in a mental hospital or a drug addict, sister Suzy’s a prostitute, that daddy isn’t really dead….

UNSPOKEN – never ever bring up the drunkenness, fights, neglect, beatings, incest…. that went on behind closed doors. And then there were the secrets you somehow intuited but didn’t have any facts about, but found out about years later – like about a sibling before you who died, that Grandpa killed someone, mom was raped, grandma cheated on her husband….

Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
…. having to hide yourself from everyone, especially outside the house – because you were soooo bad that you couldn’t let anyone know the ‘real you’. If they got to know you, you were convinced they’d hate you just as much as your family did – & that would have been too much to bear (see Self-Hate posts)

Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
….. having to hide your family from the rest of the world, because they lonely childwere drunk, crazy, dirty, raging, seductive (with everyone) or just not there to make a home you could bring others to. You were ashamed of them & where you lives, so you stayed late at school, in the library, at a friend’s…. or lone, anywhere but there

Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
…. never able to trust the very adults who were supposed to be taking care of you – parents, siblings, other family members, babysitters, school & religious leaders
• They were unreliable, messed with your mind, were sexually inappropriate, cruel, stupid, crazy, high….
• They’re too busy with their own concerns – having a good time, working, ‘using’, cheating…. to be there for you
• No one was honest about how they felt or what they really thought. No one was direct & clear. You never knew where you stood.

NEXT: L. in Adulthood (Part 1)