ACoAs – Fear of Commitment (Part 4)

my whole world collapses

PREVIOUS: FoC – Part 2b

QUOTE: “Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision & gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality.” ∼ James Womack, founder of Lean Enterprise Inst.

2. RE-ENACTING (cont)
c. Fear of being trapped / d. F. of responsibility / e. F. of losing control
f. F of being vulnerable To the WIC, C. to anything is leaving
oneself open to all kinds of danger
. As long as the WIC is in charge of relationships (of any kind), it believes that letting someone in, to see the ‘real us’ leaves us open to being hurt again.

Of course the tragedy is that without enough recovery, it is exactly that ego-state which chooses our relationships – always unsuitable, unfulfilling or outright dangerous – which Vulnetableinevitably does add to our suffering!

This fear leads to over-protecting ourselves, which can create a Double Bind – we’re damned if we pick someone to stay with (symbiosis), we’re damned if we keep everyone away (false boundaries).

g. F of the Truth.To the WIC, C. to our growth & Recovery means admitting we failed – somehow!. Also, we’ll have to feel all that pain – & then we’ll go crazy or die!
ACoAs are intensely resistant to acknowledging how traumatic our childhood really was, & how severely damaged we are as a result. We love our family & don’t want to face how abusive & emotionally unavailable they were. Review (DMs – ACoAs). “Denial is not a river in Egypt!” (de Nile) says the pun. Denial prevents us from healing our wounds, which then keeps us from finding & keeping nourishing relationships.

One way this is expressed is seen in the chart.  When we continually act out either STAYER or LEAVER ‘position’, as a form of false protection, we know that our WIC is in charge. “Leaving” isn’t just about walking away. It’s any form of being withholding, distant, ‘cool’, emotionally detached. Both groups are equally terrified of commitment, but it’s more visible in Lestay/leaveavers. C = Conscious / UC = Unconscious FoA = fear of Abandonment / FoC = fear of Commitment

h. F. of making mistakes. To the WIC, C. is not possible because we’ll never be able to ‘do it’ perfectly.
Punishment / rejection: We were continually punished or made fun of for things we: were never taught / had difficulty learning / took too long to ‘get’ / were simply too young to know / could not possibly have known, at any age / were deliberately left out of ….. So now we can’t take the chance of not knowing everything & being seen as ‘frauds’.
If commitment means intimacy, then letting someone inside our defenses means exposing how imperfect we are, & then they’ll punish or leave us!

Greed: The WIC, being deprives of so much growing up, now wants everything at once, & can’t tolerate being told NO about anything. So, when there’s a decision to be made among 2 or more options, we want to do them all, afraid to choose one & have to let go of the other(s), afraid of picking the wrong one & being disappointed – again

Confusion: It’s not knowing ourselves well enough to choose among options or possibilities, based on our True Self – whether picking the right kind of mate, the right kind of career, the ‘right’ spiritual path, even down to the right kind of food, clothing & entertainment. It’s not being allowed to admit what we want or need. So many opportunities for making mistakes!mistakes

Failures: Not having a Loving Parent & access to our True Self, we’ve already made many unhappy life choices – of friends, lovers, jobs, homes, hair cuts…. so we’re convinced we’re doomed to never do any better. We keep forgetting (or don’t know) that our ‘picker’ has been a combination of the WIC & the PP. When those ego states no longer run our life, we can choose better, & so can commit to safe, suitable PPTs.

NEXT: FoC – Part 2d

Backlash of Over-Control (Part 2)


the more I can get over on others!

PREVIOUS: Aggression, Over-Taxing & Regrets

REMINDER: Go to Acronym PAGE for abbrev.



3. Over-taxing self-control 
From U of Minnesota: Professor Kathleen Vohs’s study showed that suppression of emotions (NOT lack of sleep) generates aggression.

Half the subjects were required to stayed awake for 24 hours & half were well-rested. Then all were shown disgusting scenes from 2 movies –  Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life’ (1983) and ‘Trainspotting’ (1996).  Some were allowed to express reactions to the gross images & others were told to show no emotion

• Later everyone played an aggressive game in which they won or lost by chance, & winners were allowed to blast opponent with a loud noise. Those who had -suppressed- their emotions blasted their competitor at a 33% higher noise level than those -allowed- to show emotion, regardless of how much sleep they’d had

❈ “The ability to engage in self-control is determined by prior use of over-self-control, not by how much sleep one had the night before.”
❈ (Your) “aggressive behavior involves an action by someone else that causes you to want to retaliate”
❈ “Being taxed by doing one task can have spillover effects on another.” (Even if we try to compartmentalize different tasks we do during the day, it turns out they are all connected – emotionally)
The study suggests that because overtaxing self-control drains us, leaving less in reserve for later tasks, doing that makes it easier to fail at achieving all our personal or social aims.

“People have a diminishable supply of physical & mental energy for self-control. When they use their energy toward achieving one goal, they have less of it available for others.  When you want to succeed, the best thing is to set up your day so you focus your self-control resources on the specific task you most want to accomplish.”

Spillover: when we have to sit on frustration & anger cause by one or more sources (work, family, shopping…)  we may take it out on someone else – unrelated, or turn to an addiction to keep ourselves numb
Energy drain: This is especially obvious when we waste so much effort worrying, projecting failure, obsessing about some abandonment….. that we have little left over for actual accomplishments that would make our life better!

4. Over-Control (O-C) & Manipulation
More is not always better when it comes to self-control. It’s hard for ACoAs to believe that vulnerability is not a weakness, but actually is a virtue. Of course, vulnerability without boundaries is foolish. But here it refers to a defense mechanism becoming self-destructive when over-used

a. Rigidity: For most ACoAs, O-C tends to kill the joy in life, robbing ourselves of spontaneity & fun. This self-imposed caution can make us unhappy & therefore unpleasant to be around

b. Secret agenda — But for an ‘elite’ group, O-C is used as an ulterior motive.
These are the smooth operators, skillful in the art of deception & manipulation: charlatans, con artists, under-cover agents & many politicians, religious leaders, judges, lawyers, teachers & pillars of society.
They’ll to go to any length to maintain the façade of invulnerability, no matter the cost to themselves, their family or anyone else.

❈ self-control is simply one of the tools they use to maintain a positive public image, to not blow the covemanipulatorr on their actual abusive identity
❈ every action is measured & always proper for the occasion. Every word is carefully selected & they seldom reveal their emotions
✶ O-C makes them feel safe, superior. They’re usually so numb to their deeply hidden inner pain that they’re not bothered by the harm they do

ACoAs: Ironically – while many of us who are caught up in O-C believe we are total victims & would never think of ourselves as con-artists, we are if fact being manipulative & dishonest without meaning to.  We hide behind our own special mask (a role, a defense mechanism, a character disorder….) to keep anyone from seeing what we’re convinced is the real us – weak, worthless & despicable! – which is only the WIC’s toxic belief, NOT our True Self.

NEXT: ACoAs acting Controlling – #1