RELATIONSHIPS ARE SUCH A PAIN!
I’m always dealing with some c—-p!
Healthy Adult / Loving Parent – #3
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
FORM A: “IF I WERE TO LET YOU…”
ABOUT: ACoAs did not have good role models for communicate clearly, directly & honestly.
• We became afraid & ashamed to say what we really mean, how we feel emotionally & what we want or need. So it takes courage TO:
— practice listening to what we’re thinking (usually negative), & writing down our inner mental reactions to every aspect of our life
— have the courage to recognize, admit & verbalize our emotions – not just a few, like anxiety or annoyance, but the whole range
— hear the difference between thoughts (always sentences) & emotions (always one word for each)
IF I WERE TO LET YOU (As) ___________________________
I WOULD FEEL (Es) _________________________________
& I’M AFRAID of THAT, BECAUSE I BELIEVE (Ts) ____________
SO I PREVENT YOU FROM (A)_____________________________
BY (As & words (Ts) ____________________________________
even thought I’ll still end up angry & resentful (Es), that’s
LESS SCARY than having to experience or:
a. FEEL (Es) _______________________________________
b. & DEAL WITH my (As & Ts) _____________________________
• You’ll need to know about T.E.A. ( thoughts, emotions, actions), to fill it in accurately. This is NOT about blame!
• For it to be most helpful, both people need be able & willing to be emotionally & mentally honest – which is not always possible
• IF YOU are dealing with someone who is shut down, hostile, defensive &/or uninterested – you may still choose to show them the filled-out form, but be clear that you will NOT get what you want
2. WHAT: This is a standard form for 2 people in any kind of personal relationship – friends, lovers, mates, siblings… A starting point, only!
• ★ It’s specifically about a possible/ probable future action of the person you’re dealing with – and your reaction to that possibility
• It does not offer a correction or shift in perspective, or a Recovery way of responding. That has to be added by you
• Part 1 & 2 give examples of how to use it. Keep several blank copies handy, for when one of you is bugged about something
IF I WERE TO LET YOU – go to the party without me
I WOULD FEEL – lost & alone
I’M AFRAID OF THAT, BECAUSE I BELIEVE – you’ll find someone else who’ll be more interesting & attractive to you
SO I PREVENT YOU FROM – going
BY – making you feel guilty / starting a fight / whining / getting sick ….
EVEN THO’ I END UP FEELING guilty & selfish, that would be LESS SCARY than having to FEEL – unwanted
& DEAL WITH – the possibility of loosing you, which feels unbearable
3. THEN: Once you’ve filled it out, you will want the other person to read & respond. However, that may not always happen. If you’re with someone who is unwilling to cooperate, that’s a clear signal for you to evaluate the relationship.
However, if the other person has read it, wait patiently for the response. It may not be a new problem between you.
Re. this EXP, DO THEY? :
✐ try to placate you by people-pleasing
✐ respond thoughtfully, kindly, without being defensive
✐ insult, belittle, yell, justify, or divert attention from the issue
✐ decide to stay home so you won’t be mad at them? …..
WAYS to COPE, no matter the outcome
• Take a moment for yourself – Give the WIC a hug & say: “You’ll be OK, I’m here, you’re never alone.”
• Consider if your assumptions are valid or not. Are you ‘awful-izing’, or basing it on experience & intuition? If it’s only your WIC reacting again, take time to deal with it lovingly
• If you need help, call someone else (appropriate) to share your distress with, rather than creating drama. Go to a Al-Anon ACA or SLA Meeting. Read some comforting or spiritual material to help with the FoA. Go to a movie or to a friend’s place.
• If you can, admit your FoA to the other person (fear of abandonment) & simply state that you will feel sad & alone if they go without you. They may not be able or willing to take you along, no matter how you feel. That’s their right.
• If you are invited – but NOT out of co-dependence or guilt, then go & enjoy. If not, make an alternate plan, for something you’ll like, on your own or with friends. Always have plan B
• IF you know you’re not just being jealous, & your concern is based on ;
✐ past experience or things the other person has said (threaten to leave, insensitive to your feelings…)
✐ you’ve had a nagging feeling or the ‘icK’ factor about them for a while, but you’ve been in denial….
…. then your FoA (that they’ll find someone else) may be realistic. Consider this minor event as a signal that something deeper is wrong – they may not BE safe or suitable for you, at all! You could start looking around – yourself.
Remember: “I know what I know”!
NEXT: Form A. (Part 2) Another example