‘Controlling’ & Abandonment (Part 1)

baby controling 

so now I force it out of others!


 Acronym PAGE for abbrev.

ABANDONMENT (A.) as SOURCE of Control Issues
• To understand being controlled or acting controlling, we have to know the underpinnings, which come from our original abandonment experiences.  In common usage, a person is said to be A. when someone physically leaves us – moving away, a break-up, divorce, long or repeated hospitalizations, death…..

However, based on ACoA experience we know this definition is too limited. When we observe little kids – ours or others’ – we notice how very needy they are.  This is perfectly normal, in spite of what we ACoAs were told growing up = that we were too much, too selfish, a bother, too sensitive, dramatic …. We got the clear message that at best we were being tolerated!

• A broader & more accurate definition of Abandonment (A.) is: “Not getting enough of our normal needs met in childhood”.  This includes all needs on each of the 4 levels of PMES – Physical, Mental, Emotional & Spiritual. We can also say that A. includes not being loved unconditionally, with the resulting loss of genuine connection to parents so crucial to a child’s sense of well-being & safety.sad/scared

• Picture all children as having 100 different needs in each of the PMES categories (total 400 – an arbitrary number, as an example). Then consider the reality that in a severely dysfunctional family each kid only gets a small percentage of those needs met – just enough to survive. Of course some of us got more, while others didn’t even get that much & have died too young as a result!

Depending on birth order, gender & personality,  different siblings received differing amounts in each category. Certain children are favored because their ‘native’ style is similar to the parent, or rejected by the narcissists because the child was not like them!
But over all, let’s say that most of us were only provided with 30 – 40% of our normal human needs – when we were the most fragile & in need of great care.

EXP: A pathological narcissist “mentally-oriented” father who incested each of his children in varying degrees, (4 boys & 1 girl) was slightly less abusive towards the one child who was also “mentally-oriented”.  This son is the only sibling who was able to forge a decent life for himself (as a doctor), but not without emotional scars. The others became addicts, severe under-achievers &/or criminals.

• With no validation & nowhere to process the emotional pain, it all goes underground & slowly eats away at us. Toxic Beliefs then get ingrained.
This distorted thinking combined with a great backlog of unmet needs – as adults – has left us with an overwhelming desperation to be ‘fed’ by someone, anyone – along with the deep hopelessness of it ever happening. Pretending we don’t have needs, or suppressing our awareness of them does not make them go away.

SHADOW : To survive & not ‘go crazy”, many of those ignored shadow sidechildhood requirements get pushed into our ‘shadow’ – made up of every part of ourselves we were taught were so awful – we have to deny their very existence.

In Jungian psychology the shadow aspect is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, instincts & shortcomings…. “Everyone carries a shadow, & the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker & denser it is.
It may be (in part) one’s link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind” (Jung-Myers Model + A Case Study & chart)

➼ Unfortunately for us, ACoAs not only relegate our ‘unpleasant’ aspects (such as the ‘7 Deadly Sins’) to Shadow, but also many of our good qualities – anything that was not allowed in our family!

We become so terrified of these aspects & activities, that we use a wide variety of defenses & addictions to keep them hidden.  But the more we suppress legitimate needs the more anxiety builds. Sooner or later they leak out or erupt in distorted ways, like being clingy, invisible, manipulative, irresponsible, vague, needy….. AND/ OR controlling, mean, demanding, domineering, promiscuous, pushy…
Sad IRONY: The more we suppress – the needier (& meaner) we get!

NEXT: Controlling & A. (Part 2)


No one acknowledged the suffering. They said it was just being ‘difficult’!

PREVIOUS: Emotional Needs & Innate Resources

DMT: I’m not a poet but wanted to include this one I wrote in 1975, as it reflects the emotions & sense of futility of a young person – a suffering GoA (grandchild of alcoholics), long before recovery, who was always searching for answers & healing. Eventually I found the validation, guidance & comfort that brought Recovery!


Forgive me! I cried.
At every turn I wished I’d died
at birth, as near I did.
Strange thoughts drove through my child’s mind:
I closed my eyes & saw infinity!
Why am I here? What is my kind?
Am I insane?

Forgive me! I seem weak,
and yet I cannot help but speak
to everyone I meet
in marketplaces & on streets –
thus twice did strangers catch me up
and carry me away – well nearly.
Then caution dogged my every step,
but never ‘dearly’.

Forgive me! I Whispered.
Had I really erred so much?
Why all that poison guilt?
Was I an empty vessel to be filled
as my masters thought & willed?
Too much to know, no one to help!
Fear to anger on my lips had grown.
Be still! I moaned.

Hear me!
I then began
to scream the pain without a plan –
blindly striking all.
No one to guide, no one to help
in clearing paths & scaling walls.
Silent or blazing, to lose or to win,
the heart, without knowing, fought to be twin
to a worthier mind.

NEXT: Excellent Inner-Child MOVIE