OUTGROWING Co-Dep Niceness (Part 6a)

the hardest of all

PREVIOUS“: Outgrowing P-P , #5b


QUOTE: “You’re the Average of the 5 people You spend the Most Time with”
Jim Rohn “The Art of Exceptional Living”

<—— ARTWORK from Tiny Buddha


RECOVERY from “Too Nice Syndrome”cont.

‘FORGIVING’ OURSELVES only applies to us as adults (Parts 7a & b), when the brain is capable of self-direction – when we can understand that the ‘character defects’ of the False Self were developed in childhood, which we had no control over.

TOOL 6a. Healing our CHILDHOOD T.E.A.s is to:
1. LET GO of our Self-hate (E) & endless recriminations (Ts) re. the past
(See “Letting go means….“), and to:
2. GIVE UP the compulsion to keep punishing ourselves & stay miserable (Es)

Review: As earlier posts have indicated, the underpinnings to co-dep / P-P ‘niceness’ is unexpressed anger / rage. And under that is a vast sewer of stuffed emotions, the majority being fear/terror, but also disappointment, loneliness, longing, sadness, despair…..
Cleaning out our damage includes facing & dealing with our anger at our family, as well as all our other T.E.As.
It means having compassion for ourselves & living in the present.

Judgements: Along with forgiving others who have wronged us, we are told to ‘Forgive yourself’– but it’s not always clear which part of our life that refers to. Presumably it’s for all our ‘bad’ behavior, at any age.

This is tricky, because ACoA co-deps can easily take this to mean that our self-defeating patterns prove what our family said all along – that our very essence is bad/evil, which is why we’re supposed to need absolution.

Those unloving messages get added to children’s minds who automatically combine Being & Doing into one thing.  So, still run by our WIC, ACoAs are plagued by the toxic rule: “I act bad because I am bad”, which we frantically try to hide with perfectionism & P-P.

If this Rule were true then there could be no Recovery, no second chances, no spiritual healing or growth!
We need to “come to believe” that we are not bad & therefore unlovable, but rather severely wounded, as well as perfectly imperfect!

The starting point for all Recovery is working to eliminate as much S-H as possible. See: Self-Hate & ACoAs, & counter it with ‘Emotional Needs & Resources, as well as ‘Emotional Maturity’ andACoAs & Self-esteem‘.

ACTIONS: When encouraged to see that S-H is a destructive lie, many ACoAs will counter by pointing out how difficult or bratty they were as teens, or even younger – as proof of their inherent ‘badness’.
Yes, some kids are quieter & some more rambunctious. But much of what our parents considered ‘misbehaving’ was a combination of:
a. our copy of & direct reactions to all the craziness we were stuck in
b. many perfectly normal kid ways – but mislabeled by unhealthy parents
(“10 Ways Kids Appear to Be Bad but Aren’t“)

(Ts) THINKING: These 2 types of actions were based on:
a. the unique magical thinking of all children, who have a self-centered focus & a limited knowledge about how the world works
b. the many distortions & omissions fed to our growing brains by abusive parents, school, religion, our neighborhood & culture…..

(Es) EMOTIONS: (see list above in “Review”) ACoAs often say they “feel crazy”- which is actually a cognitive issue, not emotional – & we did think we were because most things truly didn’t make sense. That made our world chaotic & unpredictable, which is very scary to any child, who needs to feel safe as much as to feel loved.

THIS leads us back to self-forgiveness.
Forgiveness is always used in relation to having done something wrong. But as children much of what was labeled wrong about us was not! It doesn’t mean we were angels – far from it.  But we were reacting because every day we had to cope with extremely painful & frightening events.

So it’s not appropriate or relevant to use the concept of forgiveness toward ourselves as children – for the survival strategies we developed in dire circumstances. There is nothing to forgive.

NEXT: Self-Forgiveness – in childhood (#6b)



PREVIOUS: Abuse of Children (#3)

SITE: “When Parents are too Toxic to Tolerate

• “What is Child Abuse & Neglect ?




DEF: A pattern of assaults &/or coercions in the family (physical, emotional, sexual), as well as economic duress – that an adult use against their intimate partner – to gain power & control in the relationship.
• It includes parents battering the child, exposing children to the adults harming each other or another sibling, as well as cruelty & inhumane acts against animals, in & out side the home.

It’s present in all socio-economic classes, cultures, & communities of faith. 2 out of 3 children who grow up with physical & other kinds of violence will either become a batterer or consistently mate with one

Domestic Violence and Child Abuse
DEF: Causing the suffering of another, indifference to the pain caused, even feeling pleasure in inflicting it. Can be direct (cruel comments, physical torture….) or indirect (any form of withholding). MORE….)
1st degree : intentionally cause a child under the age of eighteen “cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.”
2nd ° : only requires someone causes physical or mental pain by “criminal negligence” instead of any specific intent to cause harm
3rd ° : when a person is fighting or doing some other violent behavior – in the presence of a child

• Results are similar to ‘coldness’, but more severe. Children need to feel safe & loved to explore the world around them, to form healthy relationships. Treated cruelly by caretakers prevents their world from making sense – so the child’s social, emotional, & mental development are hindered & prolonged
a. Leaving children alone to fend for themselves. Both are NEGLECT (Part 1)
b. DEF:  “Separate or cut child off from normal social experiences (friends & family), resulting in extreme aloneness”.
This form of control is usually includes other forms of emotional & physical abuse:
🤍 done seductively (“I need you, you’re my special little boy / girl”)
🤍 or brutally (“Everyone knows how bad you are. No one else wants you”)

• insist Child C. study, practice, do chores…. excessively or to exhaustion
• lock in closet, in their room, in basement…(especially for long periods)
• OR lock C. out of the house, especially when quite young
• keep C. away from one parent or other family, if parents are separated
• prevent C. from having friends & participating in activities outside the home, while praising / rewarding C. for withdrawing from social contact
• make C. look & act differently from peers (weird or inappropriate clothes, not groomed….

• serves to keep the child attached to the caretaker – used as a companion, spouse substitute, punching bag &/or slave
• equally important, it keeps the child from telling others about their abuse
• limits child’s knowledge of the world & any healthy options it may have – depending on severity & duration
• prevents the child from forming its own identity
• keeps it dependent on the caretaker to the point of being afraid to interact socially, sometimes for the rest of its life.
Emotionally, the child is left confused, terrified, lonely, depressed & hopeless.
DEF: continually terrify a child/teen by threats & other intimidation, including any form of exposure to violence in the home, threatening to walk out forever…. locking child in closet, in their room, in basement…(for long periods),  OR lock child out of the house, especially when quite young…..

The end result is that the child experiences profound fear and is left to her/his own psychological imaginings. In strict-religion families (fundamentalist….), children can be terrorized by parents putting “the fear of God” in them, or threaten with the devil’s wrath, if they dont behave.

ALSO:  make extreme verbal threats to / or actually :
• abandon them (send them away or leave them behind)
• harm or destroy a favorite object or pet
• ‘promise’ to give a beating – later (but then forget)
• kick teen permanently out, disown them
• reveal intensely embarrassing traits to peers or other adults

INFO:  A 1995 phone survey, re. types of emotional abuse, showed that in the previous year 90% of families had used one or more forms of psychological aggression – toward a child by age 2. (Straus, Vol. 15)

NEXT: Victimizing ourselves (# 1)

Emotional NEEDS & Innate RESOURCES

and they said I was tooo sensitive!

PREVIOUS: Purpose of Es – Motivation

REMINDER: Use Acronyms Page for   abbrevs.

THIS post comes directly from The MindFields College Blog & is being reproduced in it’s entirety because it fits so well into the current ‘Emotions’ series & speaks for itself.

“We are all born with fundamental physical & emotional needs which have to be met in order to promote good mental health – as well as the innate resources to help us fulfill them, known as human ‘givens’.
Life is never perfect, but as long as our basic needs are being provided for & our resources are being used well, we don’t suffer mental health problems. However, if just one of these needs is unmet, or our resources are being misused, it can negatively affect our total being!

A. Essential Emotional Needs
1) Security – a safe territory & an environment to develop fully in
2) Attention (to give and receive it) – a form of nutrition
3) Sense of autonomy & control – free will to make responsible choices
4) Being emotionally connected to othershuman needs
5) Feeling part of a wider community
6) Friendship, intimacy – to know that at least one other person accepts us totally for who we are, “warts ‘n’ all”
7) Privacy — opportunity to reflect & consolidate experience
8 ) Sense of status within social groupings
9) Sense of competence & achievement
10) Having meaning & purpose – which comes from being stretched in what we do and think

B. Innate Resources (human ‘givens’) to meet our emotional needs:
• The ability to develop complex long-term memory, which enables us to add to our innate knowledge & accumulate new information
• The ability to build rapport, empathize & connect with others
Imagination, so we can focus our attention away from our emotions, use language, and problem-solve more creatively & objectively
• A conscious, rational mind that can check out emotions, question, analyze & plan
• The ability to ‘know’ — that is, understand the world unconsciously through metaphorical pattern observing brainmatching
• An observing self — that part of us that can step back, be more objective and be aware of itself as a unique center of awareness, apart from intellect, emotion & conditioning
• A dreaming brain that preserves the integrity of our genetic inheritance every night by metaphorically defusing expectations held in the autonomic arousal system because they were not acted out the previous day.

✶ To see how many of your emotional needs are being met, take the Emotional Needs Audit.

NEXT: “ALONE” – ACoA poem