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)

SITEs :What is Child Abuse & Neglect ?
• “When Parents are too Toxic to Tolerate

Child Abuse in Hong Kong
• Child abuse is a global epidemic



• expect child to be ‘caregiver’ to the parent, & young child expected to take care of even younger siblings
• give unreasonable responsibilities for jobs around the house
• give a child / youth responsibilities that are far greater than their age can handle, or using a child for profit
• hold responsible for or blame them for misbehavior of siblings
• require or encourage participation in sexual exploitation, such as pornography
• require / demand the youth supports family financially
• sexually abuse child or youth, revealing private parts
Buying, selling or trading for legal or physical custody of a child.  Does not apply to legitimate adoption or domestic relations planning.
DEF:  To morally contaminate, to ruin utterly in character or quality, change the original form of, destroy or subvert the integrity of…
✶ From Canadian Criminal Code:  (S.C. 1953-54, c. 51, s. 157)
“In the home of a child, everyone who participates in sexual immortality, or indulges in habitual drunkenness or any other form of vice – thereby endangering the morals of the child, or renders the home an unfit place for the child to be in – is guilty of an indictable offense & is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.”

Children will grow up unfit for normal, healthy social interaction – when parents model, teach or force children to engage in antisocial behavior that’s harmful to themselves & others, such as:
• encourage & reward child for lying, cheating, stealing
• encourage or allow criminal activities
• ignore or reward child for substance abuse
• reinforce inappropriate sexual activity; force or promote child prostitution
• reward child for bullying & harassing behavior
• supply child with any form of illegal substance
• teach hatred, racism, ethnic or religious bias
• teach “Win at all costs”; encourage violence in sporting activities

DEF: To cause 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 causing a child under 18 “cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.”
2nd ° : this is when someone causes physical or mental pain by “criminal negligence” instead of a specific intent to cause harm
3rd ° : when an adult 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 in order 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 or prolonged
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 & is left to her/his own psychological imaginings – assuming only the worst outcomes in life
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, they don’t behave NUT more likely for just being a “sinful, evil child”

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
• kick teen permanently out, disown them
• ‘promise’ to give a beating – later (but then forget)
• 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
human needs🔅 Attention (to give & receive it) – a form of nutrition
🔅 Autonomy & Control – the free will to make responsible choices
🔅 Competence & Achievement
🔅 Emotionally Connected to others
🔅 Friendship & Intimacy – knowing that at least one other person accepts us totally for who we are, “warts ‘n’ all”
🔅 Meaning & Purpose – being stretched in what we do & think
🔅 Part of a wider community
🔅 Privacy – opportunity to reflect & consolidate experience
🔅 Security – a place to feel safe, & environment to develop fully in
🔅 Status within social groupings

B. Innate Resources (human ‘givens’) to meet Emotional needs:
• The ability to develop complex long-term memory, helping to add to our innate knowledge. & accumulate new information
• The ability to build rapport, empathize & connect with others
• The ability to ‘know’ – to understand the world unconsciously through metaphorical pattern-observing brainmatching
• A conscious, rational mind that can check out emotions, to question, analyze & plan
• An observing self – that part of us that can step back, be more objective & aware of itself as a unique center of ‘presence’, 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 not acted out the previous day.
Imagination, so we can focus our attention away from emotions, use language, & problem-solve more creatively & objectively

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

NEXT: “ALONE” – ACoA poem