ACoAs being ‘RIGHT’ (Part 1)

no one will pay attention!

PREVIOUS: Psychopath Red flags #3

 Why is it so important to be right?  

QUOTE: “Everything that is in agreement with our personal desires seems true. Everything that is not puts us in a rage.”~ Andre Maurois

What does ‘being right’ (BR) mean?
a. OK : Generally refers to having accurate information, knowing the right way to do something, or being sure of who we are, what we want, how we feel… It can be about:
Assertiveness: being accurately sure about a subject or a person (“I know what I know”) & not afraid to stand by it
Justice: fighting for what is just & right, especially in the face of opposition, but not for personal gain or to feed one’s ego
b. NOT OK : Trying to force others to see our point of view & see the world exactly the way we do. It can be from:
Narcissism: needing others to agree with us (“I’m right & you’re not”), in order to preserve the False Persona we’ve carefully crafted to cover up feeling insecure & vulnerable 
Symbiosis: the need/demand that others are just like us (“agree with me”) in order to not feel alone & abandoned
🚫 BOTH are being out of touch with one’s True Self

SO – it’s important to know when it’s legitimate to be right or not
Al-Anon tells us to ask ourselves “Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?” It’s a choice between getting our way (at any cost) OR having peaceful encounters with others.
This Q. is addressed to those of us who are co-dependents & addicts, since it would be a rare issue for healthy people. We can also say that Right and Happy are really not opposite ends of a spectrum. Instead it’s about the right/freedom of others to have their own point of view, AND being OK/safe with their right/freedom.

● The Q. comes up when we are having a disagreement with someone & feel an internal pressure (from the PP or the WIC) to get them to do something our way, to understand our point or to agree with our opinion – in order to feel connected. This can only happen if we still have a great deal of unresolved abandonment fear. Remembering the co-dep Triangle (Rescuer-Victim-Persecutor), even victims can become bullies when terrified & desperate to not feel but off.

● It’s a tricky Q. for us to answer because:
— some of us go along with whatever others say just to ‘keep the peace’ but really it’s to not have the other person be angry or leave us
— some of us never agree with anyone for fear of being swallowed up & disappear (used as a false boundary)
— other can manage disagreements in some situations (casual friends, co-workers….) but not in others – when we are attached to a person or position (lover, job…) our WIC desperately feels it needs.

The Brain Is Hooked on Being Right
In situations of high stress, fear or distrust – like being wrong, ignored or laughed at – our brain chemistry (cortisol….) makes ‘decisions’ about how best to protect itself. We default to 1 of 4 responses:
appease –‘make nice’ by simply agreeing
flight – revert to or hide behind group consensus
freeze – mentally disengage, or shut up
fight – keep arguing the point, which is the hardest on relationships, & unfortunately the most common

Fighting is partly due to other neuro-chemicals. When we argue & win, our brain floods with adrenaline & dopamine, making us feel good, dominant, even invincible. It’s understandable that we’d want to repeat those feelings. So the next time we’re in a tense situation, we fight again, & over time will get addicted to being ‘right’.
BUT if we are getting high from being one-up, then the other person / group is one-down & therefore diminished.

NEXT: Being Right (Part 2)

ACoAs & WEAK Boundaries (Part 1)

so they won’t get mad, or worse – leave me!

PREVIOUS: B. Invasions’ #3

SITE : 12 Signs You Lack Boundaries

REVIEW:Safe & Unsafe People
and  ACoA Rules – Healthy (#1-3)

People who were brought up in a relatively healthy home have what’s called a ‘cohesive or integrated self’, based on consistent, good-enough parenting. They got enough of their needs met early on, which gave them a strong psychological foundation in the form of the internalized Good Introject.
Thrivers have good personal boundaries (Bs) that are self-protective, but which also allow them to be sensitive to the needs of others, making them open to giving & receiving nurture in relationships.
(READ excerpts from: “The Reciprocating Self…healthy Bs

Healthy Bs  can be illustrated as a circle of our personal space – that has gaps, so we’re not walled in – but with a door at each opening, which WE are in control of.

In contrast to Thrivers
• Since boundaries are not inborn, the way we were raised determines the state of our self-protective mechanism as adults. Weak Bs, also called diffuse, are a common result of a traumatic, chaotic childhood – when parents treated us as property, or an extension of themselves, or annoying pest to be swatted away.
Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 2.27.06 AMPINK – Walls: One unhealthy option is to keep all interpersonal door shut tight, keeping everyone out, so we’re always PMES starving
BLUE – no Bs  : we have those same gaps in our personal space BUT without any doors, so the openings indiscriminately let in useful, neutral or damaging info & experiences.  EXP: We’re available to absorb :
a. inaccurate, deliberately distorted or outright harmful information
b. the negative, poisonous energy of constant complainers, accusers, blamers, insulters…..
WHICH makes it easy for others to get under our skin or stomp on us!

 REVIEW : The family symbiosis shows up as members who ‘understand’, accommodate & over-tolerate bad behavior (spouse – of the drinker / rager…  children – of sick, abusive parents….), making them increasingly dependent on each other at the expense of outside relationships.

Many of our parents were over-controlling, sexually abusive, neglectful or attacking, using us as a substitute spouse or substitute parent (role reversal)…, while they disowned or tried to crush the Real us!
Whether totally oblivious, OR too involved in our lives in wrong ways, never leaving us alone — it was extremely hard for us to define who we are.

In some cases the symbiotic connection takes a twisted form of empathy, so that members ‘feel’ each others’ thoughts & emotions, wishes & needs – especially their suffering.
This kind of empathy is engulfing & strangling, which prevents the children from having their own separate thoughts & emotions, AND from getting the comfort, understanding & help they need to develop normally. It stifles personal growth & independence, insuring that outsiders are excluded from having meaningful relationships with anyone within the family.

Wounded ACoAs end up with :
i. a ‘vulnerable self’ with weak boundaries. These are easily hurt by people, places & things (PPT), but without adequate self-protection. Being more subtly needy, we actively connect with exciting narcissistic friends & mates, still looking for love in all the wrong places like the Toxic Introject.
More severely damaged ACoAs have:
ii. a ‘fractured self
, having been subjected to such severely bad parenting that they have almost no internal resources (no strength, resilience, esteem, empowerment, hope…), who are also without Bs, truly fragile – so desperate that they cling, whine, complain, ‘suffer’… OR may compensate by being demanding, controlling, rageful & cruel….but with fragile egos.

•The Co-dependent triangle : When in the Victim Role our weak Bs are more obvious – so co-dep trinaglewhen anyone disrespects an important boundary of ours (often that they’re not aware of) we feel discounted, hurt, oppressed, ignored, abused, taken advantage of.
The Victim’s slogan is “Poor me!”, yet we perpetuate it by staying with emotionally unavailable Persecutors OR co-dep Rescuers, trying to get the love & attention we desperately need but don’t feel we deserve.
HOWEVER, we can also turn into Perpetrators by imposing ourselves on others! & then become rageful when too frustrated with anyone who’s not capable of satisfying our demands.

NEXT: Weak Bs (Part 2) – Characteristics