Relationship FORM A. (Part 1)

discussing 

RELATIONSHIPS ARE SUCH A PAIN!
I’m always dealing with some c—-p!

PREVIOUS:
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) _____________________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. WHO
• You’ll need to know about T.E.A. ( thoughts, emotions, actions), to fill it in accurately. This is NOT about blame!Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 4.10.17 AM
• 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

EXP 1:
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
Re. YOU:
• 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.

Re THEM:
• 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

RECOVERY Thoughts for ACoAs

lion & lamb
MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR INNER JUDGE
– just don’t obey it!

PREVIOUS: My Rights Qs (25-48)

SITE: 5 Major Benefits of Recovery


This is a open-ended review
– which can be used as a set of goals to work toward & to see our progress. Add your own to each category.

♥ Be absolutely sure that you:
• are damaged, not defective. Damage can be healed, & you’re OK
• can be of service to others without being co-dependent
• can say & believe – “I Know what I Know, & I can’t know everything”
• have a right to be alive, and be exactly who & what you are
• have a right to & can achieve a measure of healing & happiness

♥ Be Accepting of:
• all your emotions, no matter how unpleasant or socially unpopular
• other people’s differences. You don’t need them to be carbon copies
• your childhood damage, without constantly repeating it
• the time it takes to work on your issues
OF
• your own reactions to what others do & say to us
• your Inner Sadist (I.S.). The more they hurt us as kids, the angrier we are. If we make friends with the I.S. we don’t have to act it out on anyone
• other people’s kindness, compliments, validation
• our humanity, with it’s beauty & it’s imperfections

outer child♥ Be Aware :
• of your talents, gift, accumulated knowledge & experience
• of the options you have in most situations
• of your effect on others, positive or negative
• of how other people can trigger your old pain (the buttons)
AND
• that you’re not your own Higher Power
• that God is not an alcoholic parent
• that your emotions cannot harm others – only your words & actions
• that others’ reactions to you are about them & are their responsibility

♥ Be healed enough to:
• be able to take care of yourself, reasonably well
• hear what other people are actually telling you about themselves
• not try to fix others, no matter how much pain or trouble they’re in
• no longer be sexually attracted to emotionally or physically inappropriate or dangerous people (rage-aholics, alcoholics, gamblers drug addicts, & other narcissists)
TO:
• stay at a respectful distance from ‘nice people’ who are passive-aggressive, needy, or so shut down that you can’t connect with them
• act appropriately in most social situations – neither from perfectionism nor from rebellion, not from co-dependence nor from terror
• not have to obey your Toxic Rules
• to listen to good advice, but ultimately follow your gut & experience

♥ Be willing to:
• be as emotionally honest with others as you’re capable of, without hurting yourself or them (live in your truth)
• be the Good Parent & Healthy Adult, taking care of the Healthy kid
• express all your talents (skilled or imperfectly)
• follow your dreams, no matter who objects
• keep looking for answers to your difficulties. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help before you collapse!
• listen to the needs, thoughts & emotions of the WIC
• never give up, no matter how hard things are, but it’s good to take breaks
• not let the WIC run your live, nor let the kid do self-harming things

MAJOR RECOVERY TRUTH: A sure sign of mental health & emotional maturity is to know in your very bones that:
Most things being done to us or around us have NOTHING to do with US!
Being convinced that it does – comes from the PP or WIC.

self-love treeTo repeat: Most the time, “It’s not about us = ie – our True Self”!
That includes all the stuff our parents did to us, at us, on us, around us, BUT not about who we are fundamentally!
Even when people react to something we did or said, their behavior is their responsibility. As a reminder, see post on ‘Personal Responsibility’.

NEXT: “Feelings aren’t facts” #1