‘Controlling’ & Abandonment (Part 1)

baby controling 

I NEVER GOT WHAT I NEEDED –
so now I force it out of others!

PREVIOUS: Satir’s COMPUTER Role


SEE
 Acronym PAGE for abbrev.

 

ABANDONMENT (A.) as SOURCE of Control Issues
• To understand being controlled or acting controlling, we have to know the underpinnings, which come from our original abandonment experiences.  In common usage, a person is said to be A. when someone physically leaves us – moving away, a break-up, divorce, long or repeated hospitalizations, death…..

However, based on ACoA experience we know this definition is too limited. When we observe little kids – ours or others – we notice how very needy they are.  This is perfectly normal, in spite of what we ACoAs were told growing up = that we were too much, too selfish, a bother, too sensitive, dramatic …. We got the clear message that at best we were being tolerated!

• A broader & more accurate definition of Abandonment is: “Not getting enough of our needs met in childhood”.  This includes all needs on each of the 4 levels of PMES – Physical, Mental, Emotional & Spiritual. We can also say that A. is not being loved unconditionally, with the resulting loss of genuine connection so crucial to a child’s sense of well-being & safety.sad/scared

• Picture all children as having 100 different needs in each of the PMES categories (total 400 – an arbitrary number, as an example). Then consider the reality that in a severely dysfunctional family each kid only gets a small percentage of those needs met – just enough to survive. Of course some of us got more, while others didn’t even get that much & have died too young as a result!

Depending on birth order, gender & personality,  different siblings received differing amounts in each category. But over all, let’s say that we were only provided with 30 – 40% of our normal human needs – when we were the most fragile & in need of great care. Children are very often favored because their ‘native’ style is similar to the parent, or rejected by the narcissists because the child was not like them!

EXP: A pathological narcissist “mentally-oriented” father who incested each of his children in varying degrees, (4 boys & 1 girl) was slightly less abusive towards the one child who was also “mentally-oriented”.  This son is the only sibling who was able to forge a decent life for himself (as a doctor), but not without emotional scars. The others became addicts, severe under-achievers &/or criminals.

• With no validation & nowhere to process the emotional pain, it all goes underground & slowly eats away at us. Toxic Beliefs then get ingrained.
This distorted thinking combined with a great backlog of unmet needs – has left us with an overwhelming desperation to be ‘fed’ by someone, anyone – along with the deep hopelessness of it ever happening. Pretending we don’t have needs, or suppressing our awareness of them does not make them go away.

SHADOW : To survive & not ‘go crazy”, many of those ignored childhood requirements get pushed into our ‘shadow’ – made up of every part of ourselves we were taught were so awful – we have to deny their very existence.

In Jungian psychology the shadow aspect is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, instincts & shortcominshadow sidegs…. “Everyone carries a shadow, & the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker & denser it is.
It may be (in part) one’s link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind” (Jung-Myers Model + A Case Study & chart)

➼ Unfortunately for us, ACoAs not only relegate our ‘unpleasant’ aspects (such as the ‘7 Deadly Sins’) to Shadow, but also many of our good qualities – anything that were not allowed in our family!

We become so terrified of these aspects & actively, we use a wide variety of defenses & addictions to keep them hidden.  But the more we suppress legitimate needs the more anxiety builds. Sooner or later they leak out or erupt in distorted ways, like being clingy, invisible, manipulative, irresponsible, vague, needy….. AND/ OR controlling, mean, demanding, domineering, promiscuous, pushy…
Sad IRONY: The more we suppress – the needier (& meaner) we get!

NEXT: Controlling & A. (Part 2)

ACoAs: Loneliness in Childhood (Part 2)

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 1.16.35 AM 

I’VE BEEN PUSHED DOWN SO LONG
I don’t know if I can get up

PREVIOUS: Lack of Comfort #2

SITE: NEGLECT (effects & related factors)

 

CHILDHOOD CAUSES of L. (cont)
3. FROM Family DYSFUNCTIONS

c. TO FEEL SAFE
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….

d. FROM SHAME  
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)

“FEAR is the ABSENCE of LOVE”

Sscared fish 

LOVE vs FEAR
I don’t know what love is, so how can I tell?

PREVIOUS: How ACoAs Abandon Others #3b

REVIEW: ACRONYM page for abbrev.


WHAT DOES this quote MEAN?
• Like so many popular ‘spiritual’ saying there’s some truth in it, but not the whole story, so we can easily get confused & also misuse it. Love & Fear are both Emotions, see. T.E.A.
Generally, it means that if we did have enough love in our life, we won’t be afraid = loved by a Higher Power, by family, by pets, by friends…  Yes, these are to be desired & cultivated.
BUT the reality for ACoAs is that we are fear-based, no matter how much recovery we may have. There are 2 separate issues re. this quote:

1. Fear is created in CHILDHOOD by genuinely being in danger!
• As kids, ACoAs lived in an atmosphere of constant trauma, subjected to fear-inducing experiences (mental, physical & emotional) practically every day of our childhood.
AND there was very little comfort or validation of our reality. On the contrary, if we told anyone or complained, they said we were over-reacting, making it up, being disloyal, AND it was our fault “What did you do?” Even if anyone believed us, they didn’t / couldn’t help, so we had to suck it up.

EXP:  A lot of our childhood was like being:
— a 5 yrs old, dropped off in the middle of a huge traffic intersection at rush hour, left there in our underwear, told to not whine & ‘JUST COPE’ !!  How cruel !

All that pain & terror got pushed down, so where did it go?  Yes, in large part, psychologically, it went into the unconscious. But physically – the chemicals generated by terror & other painful emotions got stored in our body – in our organs, our muscles, choking our aura, meridians & chakras.

2. Fear is created NOW by outer events & inner thoughts
a. Present-day reality. There are many real-world stressful events we may be faced with in life requiring a clear mind, much human help & Spiritual support. .
It’s normal to be fearful when WE:
• or someone we love is in danger (a child, a pet …)
• loose something very important to us (apartment burning down…. )
• are overwhelmed by too many things needing our attention
• have a lot of emotional turmoil (visiting family, getting married or divorced…)
• find out we’re very sick, & sometimes – don’t know the cause… or we hear about traumatic world events ….

BUT for ACoAs, such events can easily trigger the pain of past trauma, and push us over the limits of our scarce reserves. So our emotional reaction will be much bigger than that of less wounded people.

b. Toxic Thinking. Fear will always be generated by harmful thoughts – our inner world of beliefs babad voicesed on negative family rules (CDs) – the harsh, scary things we tell ourselves, creating more terror on top of what we’re already carrying from our past. Terror & S-H are behind ALL rage and ALL obsessions.
WE:
• worry about future catastrophes & abandonments, which may never happen & which we have no control over
• project only painful outcomes to situations & relationships
• assume others will react to us the same way we think about ourselves – badly !
WE:
• are so used to things not working out, & having anxiety as our constant companion, that we create mental drama when it’s not called for…
• believe we’re “dying of cancer” when we’re not seriously sick (especially when not feeling well but don’t know what’s wrong)
• are convinced someone’s angry at us or can’t stand us, because they didn’t say hello or give us a compliment …..

Daily childhood abuse & neglect (unprocessed) accumulate in deep reservoirs of hidden pain, which most people call anxiety, because on the surface it doesn’t seem to be connected to anything obvious. HA ! As long as this backlog remains frozen, the pain:
a. drives much of our behavior, our thinking & our interactions with others
b. causes physical & psychological ailments ….

… but in Recovery, much release work can be done, which definitely helps!  We can get to a place where we live more in a state of calmness rather than upset. There will always be some residual ‘old’ fear that shows up thru the years when we’re under stress – never completely rid of all the original abandonment terror. This should not be a surprise, since there was so much of it.  We need to be extra kind to ourselves.: “Feel the fear & keep going”, but softly, softly.Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.34.08 PM

“Fear is the absence of Love” is a combination of:
— not the not having loving safe parent, originally,
— the scary thoughts which torture us
— not searching out people who can be good to us, &
— not believing that there’s any safety in the world – for us !

HOWEVER when we practice nurturing our Inner Child, connecting with the peace of a loving H.P. & with healthier people, our overall fear level diminishes, especially the unnecessary suffering we’ve been add to the ‘pile’.
➼  We can’t always control or eliminate old fear, but we can be in better charge of that we THINK & what we DO about it.

NEXT: Not Enough Love? – #1