BOUNDARIES & ACoAs (Part 2)

love hurts
I DO THE BEST I CAN –
why does love always hurt me?

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Bs (#1)


2. ACoAs & Boundaries (Bs)  
(cont)

c. Some Results of not having healthy Bs
i.  FAILURE: No matter how badly we were treated or how angry we were about it, like all children – we were/are deeply attached to our parents & didn’t / don’t want to injure them.
They indicated that their unhappiness was our fault (Parents Blaming Us‘) – so we turned ourselves inside out in a desperate attempt to protect them – but it never worked.

Realistically, we could never satisfy them, because what they objected to was:
— normal behavior for a child, with our many developmental needs & limitations
— a reaction to us from their unhealed damage (buttons) which never had anything to do with us

EXP: One young mother would snap at her 8-year-old whenever Katie came home from school excited by a newly learned piece of info: “Mom, mom, did you know that ________?”
The wounded ACoA parent would say with great annoyance: “Of course I know that!” instead of being proud of her daughter. What the mother ‘heard’ was that her own intelligence was being questioned, which came from being constantly put down by her mother!

ii. RISK: We developed a fear of taking any kind of risk, because it wasn’t safe to be ourselves at home where it should have been. How could we expect it to be safe anywhere else in the world, with strangers?

This unconsciously created a fear of ‘leaving home‘ (S & I), so even if we physically move far away, we’re internally loyal to the very system that crippled us, by staying attached to their toxic rules!
We isolate or stay & stay in harmful situations & with unavailable or abusive people, don’t follow our dreams, or if we try – we stop short of reaching our goals….

iii. INTENSITY: Given the message that we were “too much” for them, our child’s grandiosity made us conclude that we were ‘negatively powerful. The conclusion was that IF we were so detrimental to our family, we would naturally hurt everyone else in the world too – especially with our rage – making us afraid to let anyone get too close to us as adults.

✶ALSO, it left many of us with the deep-seated belief that it would be better if we were dead – it would spare our family the suffering we seemed to be causing then but couldn’t change!

People-pleasing / Rescuing
Trying to be here for others but having weak or missing Bs :
To US — we get used by others
— overwhelmed by their damage
— get burned out & exhausted
B-less ACoA— eventually get enraged & attack
— bitter & disappointed with ‘love’

To OTHERS
— they get bored with us, or never let go
— criticize us for not being perfect
— take as much as they can
— unaware of our needs & hurt
— blame us for their weaknesses

d. No Boundaries – No Choices
Un-recovered ACoAs, even those of us who see ourselves as strong, smart, adventurous…. act like victims because we don’t internal permission to choose who we connect with & who we leave behind, from a deep sense of powerlessness!

Without Bs we fall into the co-dependent trap, because:
• we’re so afraid of having to face our abandonment pain, AND our S-H says no one can possibly love us . What a double bind!

So when someone ‘wants’ us – our WIC is so relieved – that we accept them, even though they may be totally inappropriate, self-centered & just using us as their narcissistic supply.
Often some deep part of us knows they’re unsuitable, it won’t work out & we may not even really like them! BUT —

• we convince ourselves to stay, because they have some qualities we find appealing, maybe similar to ourself – even though it’s not nearly enough to offset the enormity of their dysfunction (addictions, depression, self-hate, immaturity, narcissism, controlling, cruelty…)

• we’re afraid to reject anyone, worry about hurting their feelings, identify with their pain… instead of honoring ourselves (we identify too much with their WIC, while ignoring our own!)
• we focus on fulfilling their needs, wants and demands, so they won’t get upset & shut us out – while most of ours go unmet.

NEXT: ACoAs & Bs (#3)

ACoAs: NOT ENOUGH LOVE? (Part 1)

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.39.57 PM

THEY CHEATED ME –
&  now I’m left out in the cold

PREVIOUS: “Fear is the Absence of Love”

REMINDER: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 

An ACoA CORE ISSUE is the conviction that:
• there’s not enough love in the world – for us
• we don’t have the ability to love, OR
we don’t have enough love to offer others, or go around

EXP: Manda wants to study Veterinary Medicine but hesitates because of a fear-based belief: If she takes care of other animals & gives them her affection, she won’t have enough left over for her own dogs, which she adores (& eventually her children). 💙 NOT true!

LOVE – some observations:
Science
is finally studying it, & Spirituality has always maintained that we can’t live in harmony without it   (definition of LOVE) :
1. Love is first & foremost an emotion, & all emotions are psychic energy generated in the brain, so it has no limits “…love sides inside the very cells of our physical body, hidden away until we learn to access it…”
2. Love is expressed in words & actions – not just “feelings” (bottom of pg 14)

3.
Love can be nourished & enhanced by consistently interacting with positive & joyful ‘people, places & things’ (PPT)
4. Love is a healing force – for mental distress, physical ailments & emotional wounds (re. bi-polar illness) (music album) (Book:”Healing with Love“)

5. Healthy Love includes: good boundaries, a strong sense of worth, mental clarity, a connection to a H.P. & a generous spirit
6. Healthy self-love (a deep sense of value) is created from unconditional acceptance by ourselves & someone important to us

7. Developing healthy self-love allows up to have the inner resources to share with others in a non-toxic way
8. The more we share healthy love with others the more love we get back, so we feel safer & more comfortable in the world, which strengthens our capacity
♥                                         ♥                                           ♥
Where do our fearful, LOVE-LIMITING beliefs come from?
1. FROM THEM: our needy & abusive FAMILY (& often other Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.40.44 PMsources such as school, religion, the community…)
• It’s helpful to remember that the adults we grew up with also had:
✓ active addictions  ✓ cognitive distortions    ✓ emotional problems such as depression, NPD, co-dependence…..
✓ fear of abandonment    ✓ self-hate  …..

• These dysfunctions combined to make our parents very fearful (Es), with a ‘deprivation mentality’ (Ts) & a deep sense of lack (As).  To survive without Recovery for themselves, they used whatever was in their environment to get by – each other, their work, their addictions – but most often they used their children as a source of vitality – like vampires!

a. Our parents (P) being ISOLATED from the outside world:
FoA (fear of Abandonment) – since they never dealt with their own losses, they emotionally & mentally crippled their children to keep us attached & loyal for a lifetime. This was done by neglecting, berating, controlling & belittling us, AND sometimes also over-praising us – for their benefit – all of which prevented the development of legitimate self-esteem

✓ Being “Tight Knit” – Many of our Ps didn’t want us to get involved with others outside the family because it would take us away from focusing on them, but when they socialized, it was at our expense!

Addictions, Shame, Fear of Risk – alcoholic families are typically a closed system – they generally don’t reach out to be of service or help the community, NOR participate in outside activities for fun & PMES nourishment

Narcissism – all Ns feed off of the attention & ‘service’ of others in order to keep their facade in tact (‘Malignant Self-Love’ – Dr. Sam Vaknin, about male narcissists, + Links )

🔻 Children need to FEEL loved. It’s not enough that Parents (Ps) think or say they do. If they ‘show’ it in self-centered ways – even without beatings, molesting or physical torture – they definitely fail to get the message across.

NEXT: Not enough Love? (Part 2)