REVERSE Laundry List & Healthy Version

drunk narcissists I HATE KNOWING
how much I’ve copied them!


 LL (#1)

SITE: ACoAs – Qualities & Traits

REVIEW:Variation of ACoA Laundry List” post

NOTE: Reprinted from the ACoA World Service Org.

REVERSE Laundry List – acting out the Introject (the PP)
1. To cover our fear of people and our dread of isolation we tragically become the very authority figures who frighten others and cause them to withdraw.
2. To avoid becoming enmeshed and entangled with other people and losing ourselves in the process, we become rigidly self-sufficient. We disdain the approval of others.
3. We frighten people with our anger and threat of belittling criticism.
4. We dominate others and abandon them before they can abandon us or we avoid relationships with dependent people altogether. To avoid being hurt, we isolate and dissociate and thereby abandon ourselves.

5. We live life from the standpoint of a victimizer, and are attracted to people we can bad attitudemanipulate and control in our important relationships.
6. We are irresponsible and self-centered. Our inflated sense of self-worth and self-importance prevents us from seeing our deficiencies and shortcomings.
7. We make others feel guilty when they attempt to assert themselves.
8. We inhibit our fear by staying deadened and numb.
9. We hate people who “play” the victim and beg to be rescued.
10. We deny that we’ve been hurt and are suppressing our emotions by the dramatic expression of “pseudo” feelings.

11. To protect ourselves from self punishment for failing to “save” the family we project our self-hate onto others and punish them instead.
12. We “manage” the massive amount of deprivation we feel, coming from abandonment within the home, by quickly letting go of relationships that threaten our “independence” (never get too close).
13. We refuse to admit we’ve been affected by family dysfunction or that there was dysfunction in the home or that we have internalized any of the family’s destructive attitudes and behaviors.
14. We act as if we are nothing like the dependent people who raised us.

OPPOSITE of Reverse Laundry List
1. We face and resolve our fear of people and our dread of isolation and stop intimidating others with our power and position.
2. We realize the sanctuary we have built to protect the frightened and injured child within has become a prison and we become willing to risk moving out of isolation.
3. With our renewed sense of self-worth and self-esteem we realize it is no longer necessary to protect ourselves by intimidating others with contempt, ridicule and anger.
4. We accept and comfort the isolated and hurt inner child we have abandoned and disavowed and thereby end the need to act out our fears of enmeshment and abandonment with other people.

5. Because we are whole and complete we no longer try to control others through manipulation and force and bind them to us with fear in order to avoid feeling isolated and alone.
6. Through our in-depth inventory we discover our true identity as capable, worthwhile people. By asking to have our shortcomings removed we are freed from the burden of inferiority and grandiosity.healing heart
7. We support and encourage others in their efforts to be assertive.
8.We uncover, acknowledge and express our childhood fears and withdraw from emotional intoxication.

9. We have compassion for anyone who is trapped in the “drama triangle” and is desperately searching for a way out of insanity.
10. We accept we were traumatized in childhood and lost the ability to feel. Using the 12 Steps as a program of recovery we regain the ability to feel and remember and become whole human beings who are happy, joyous and free.
11. In accepting we were powerless as children to “save” our family we are able to release our self-hate and to stop punishing ourselves and others for not being enough.
12. By accepting and reuniting with the inner child we are no longer threatened by intimacy, by the fear of being engulfed or made invisible.
13. By acknowledging the reality of family dysfunction we no longer have to act as if nothing were wrong or keep denying that we are still unconsciously reacting to childhood harm and injury.
14. We stop denying and do something about our post-traumatic dependency on substances, people, places and things to distort and avoid reality.


Anger TYPES (Part 1)

dragging angerI’M STILL CARRYING
all this baggage – mine AND theirs!

PREVIOUS: Anger & the Brain (#5)

SITENaming types of anger – worksheet

NOTE: That Anger is considered a secondary emotion is only part of the story. Yes – it’s often used to cover up more vulnerable emotions we don’t want to experience or admit to (fear, guilt, neediness, loneliness….), but it’s also an underlying feature of neurotic narcissism & sense of entitlement (Post : “Narcissistic Rage” – scroll down a bit)

However, like anxiety, anger is an appropriate & legitimate instant reaction to anything threatening our physical, psychological, spiritual or existential integrity.
Being angry in stress circumstances is to assert of our most basic identity. Without it we wouldn’t be able to defend ourself or those we love, when needed to fight for freedom, or for what we truly believe in & value

😡 BASIC CATEGORIES identified by psychologists
Hasty & sudden – connected to the impulse for self-preservation. It’s shared by human & non-humans, when tormented or trapped
• Settled & deliberate, a reaction to perceived deliberate harm or actual unfair treatment by others. These 2 forms are occasional & based on triggers. However,
• Dispositional is related more to personality traits than instincts or thoughts – someone who is more easily irritated, sullen, rude, difficult to work or deal with…. & therefore the anger is character-driven

RANGE of expression chart tells us that:
Silent, unexpressed anger – like deliberately ignoring someone – is experienced by the ‘target’ as psychic murder

Loudly expressed anger may be experienced by others as physical murder.  Overt rage tends to be sudden, undeserved & often uncontrolled. It unleashes waves of negative energy on another person, making them instantly weak. Both types are especially harmful to children

😡 INTERESTING distinction:
WET ANGER – the eyes water & voice shakes, the type we hate because we’re angry and crying. It makes us feel weak, because it shows we still care too much
DRY ANGER – when the face is like stone, the voice is sharp, which means we’re done! ~ Unknown

OLD but ongoing: Anger as a direct result of the trauma we’ve suffered, often on a daily basis, & therefore reasonable, but not caused by a current event. It’s long-term, maybe just under the surface simmering, or suppressed. But the origin is very real, especially when we were the most vulnerable & powerless.

Directed AT US: Someone’s current behavior toward us triggers our deep well of fear, frustration & hurt (Aaron Beck, 1980s).
Our anger-reaction is an attempt to protect ourself from further injury when feeling threatened, slighted or rejected – deliberate or not. Our rage can be explosive & feel like it’s taking over, since the situation reminds us, consciously or unconsciously, of very real childhood PMES abuse.

This explains out-of-proportion reactions, because “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”. While the source was real, often the present cause is not actually dangerous, because the triggering incident is neutral or minor, AND we are no longer a powerless child, even though we may be run by the WIC.

Happening TO SOMEONE ELSE: Intense anger in the present, but not from observing abusesomething happening to / at us. It’s an empathic over-reaction to something we see or hear actually happening to someone else, pushing an unhealed button

EXP – We can get very angry when we:
• see a mother verbally abusing or ignoring her child
• watch a movie where someone is being treated as if invisible, made fun of, threatened, beaten, molested….
• see animal abuse or neglect (identification with)….. bringing up memories

😡 INTROJECT’s Anger (the PigP)
Anger we carry absorbed from one or more passive-aggressive or raging parents / caretakers. It became so much a part of us that now we don’t even recognize it as “not mine”.

We absorbed all their emotions, (not our choice at that time) from:
• adults unloading their disowned rage & hurt on to us, as verbal & physical abuse
AND from :parent's rage
• a genuine love for our family, the Child’s desire to ‘help’ our parents by taking on some of their suffering, as if we could lighten their burden

: ACoAs need to separate out their anger & rage from our own – their childhood disowned pain passed on to us vs. our anger at how they treated us. Then mentally ‘package it up’ & return it.
This can be done with visualizations, drawings & body work.

NEXT: Anger Types #2

Why RESIST talking to the Inner Child? (Part 3)

missing info
I HAVE TO WORK THROUGH                 
my resistance to  the IC

PREVIOUS: Talking to the I.C. – #2

SITE: Write Action – Dialoguing with the IC” (1-12)

1. OUR RESISTANCE to Dialoguing
🚫 Procrastination
✳️ MAIN excuse (Part 2)

⚠️ It feels silly, stupid, fake, self-conscious
ANS: It’s going to be awkward at first – like many new things – but that’s resistance, from the WIC &/or the PigP. If you keep at it – correctly – it begins to make sense, then becomes more natural & automatic

⚠️ It feels ‘schizophrenic’
ANS: This term is mistakenly used, because schizophrenics hear voices & sometimes talk to themselves. Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness based in defective brain chemistry, with hallucinations & delusions.
It has nothing to do with various Ego States interacting internally, which are normal conscious parts of a whole personality.
NEVER apply it to the process of talking to the Inner Child.whose voice

⚠️ I’m just making it up
ANS: Review Ego States. They’re real. We need to learn about the various components, how they sound, what their point of view & purpose is. With enough info & practice you’ll hear the differences

⚠️ I don’t know who’s talking
ANS: “I” statements are either from the Adult, if it’s a logical thought, or the Inner Child, especially if it’s self-deprecating or self-defeating.
The “You” form is the Parent voice, either mean or kind.
When you have strong emotions it’s definitely the Child.
Some of us hear the WIC very easily, some only our rational voice, some mainly the bad Parent. Writing out dialogues using both hands helps to differentiate them

⚠️ I don’t have time / it’s too much work, takes too longtoo much time
ANS: This is the same as saying you don’t have time to eat – ever. If you don’t nourish your body you get sick & eventually die.
AND if you don’t feed you heart, mind & spirit with attention & love, you starve your essence.

So no matter how outwardly successful you may be, your sad, lonely, hurting part keep gnawing away at your insides. As long as we ignore it – it runs us! If you want your life to function better, this tool is an absolute must!

✍️ Written dialogues using both hands does take time. If you’re serious about your recovery you’ll find a way – somehow. You know that you make time for the things you really want to do
🧠 BUT you can also have brief dialogues in your head throughout the day – no matter where you are – in the bathroom, on the bus, waiting in line or on the phone, before you go to sleep…. ALSO, sometimes it’s enough to just pat yourself on the chest, letting the kid know you’re thinking of him or her in a caring way.

⚠️ I never get a response
ANS: Our Inner Child (Natural & Adapted) is all our historical ages, from birth on, so when we do connect, it can be with the pre-verbal child or one of the older ages. Once it feels safe enough, the IC will talk a lot!

• The youngest one won’t have words to respond, only emotions & sensations. Pay attention to what your body & imagination is telling you
• The middle kid (around 13-14) can be the most honest, but sometimes withdrawn. Either way it needs to be encouraged to express how it feel & what it knows
• Some ACoAs don’t even talk to their teenage self, so it’s being ignored like at home, usually angry, in rebellious mode with folded arms & facing away

HOWEVER – the main reason we don’t get a response (assuming we’re actually trying!) is because the child doesn’t trust us yet – we haven’t proven ourself consistent or safe. Do you make an effort to communicate regularly, & with compassion? Are you being neglectful, and do you sound like you original parents?

REALITY – if we are persistent in talking kindly, realistically to the kids & asking them Qs, eventually one or more will respond, even if it takes months, but only if we care enough to show up evert day!

NEXT: Part 4 – Resistance from the WIC

Negative INTROJECT (Part 3)

bad voice 2
I don’t know how to get rid of you

PREVIOUS: Introject (Part 1)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

💠PURPOSE of the PigP (Part 2)

A Healthy Self would include the Natural Child as our essence, & a relatively un-wounded Adapted Child, composed of the positive values, mores & beliefs of its specific society. Eventually well-adjusted people also form a Healthy Adult & Loving Patent ‘UNIT’ learned from a family with competence, generosity, humor, self-esteem, social ease & love.

However, OUR:
a. ADULT may or may not be functional – some of us put all our energy into being ‘competent’ while others barely get by, waiting for someone else to be the Good Parent for us.
b. Introject (PigP  / ‘IT’) holds all of the dysfunctional familys accumulated minuses, along with some plusses, & secretly runs our lifeCHILD e.s.

c. Adapted Child holds all of our damage, from trying to Do or Be whatever we thought would finally get our parents’ approval & acceptance – but never did
EXP: If you liked & were good at sports AND they (only) approved of you for that, you’d put all your energy into being the best at sports – not just to express yourself, but to wring a drop of acceptance from them. Anything else, like needs & emotions, were sacrificed

d. Natural Child is mostly hidden, yet peeps out in spite of the PP
EXP: being good in school, winning awards, love of music, reading, sports, being quiet vs, being boisterous…. AND even our choice of addictions reflect our natural personality. Why do some people choose sex over a food addiction, pot over alcohol, addictive relationships rather than chemicals….?

e. The Loving Parent, because we didn’t have any role models for that, OR if we did have one person in our childhood that treated us better than others, it couldn’t make up for the avalanche of bad parenting from everyone else

💠PRISONERS of the Negative Introject (PigP)
Until we do FoO work (family of origin), too much of our persona is the result of the harmful way our family trained us. Unfortunately, this False Self is what we consider our identity. We say “I’m just born that way , It’s my personality…” when talking about our character defects. We don’t see that they’re expressions of S-H, since we aren’t allowed to acknowledge our inherent gifts & talents

• Without S & I, (separation PP's prisoner& individuation) we’re ‘one’ with the bad voice – constantly placating & obeying it, without knowing that’s what we’re doing. After all, “Does a fish know it’s wet?”

As kids we were afraid of them – of displeasing them, of their temper & craziness, & of being punished, which was usually unfairly & over the top
• And we’re still afraid of them, if they’re alive, OR if they’re only in the form of our Introject. Even if they’re gone – it doesn’t diminish the power of their imprinting.

As adults, in spite of our rage & frustration at their unavailability & abusiveness, we’re afraid to let go of the PP. Although the voice is always torturing us, the WIC is so used to the connection it doesn’t know any other way to ‘get taken care of’. This holds true until we take on the responsibility of parenting ourself.

This desperate attachment is based on:
• our longing for them, & not wanting to give up the illusion that someday they’ll come thru for us
• not having a solid identity of our own. As long as our S-H has us in its grip, we continue to perfectionistbelieve no one else will want us, so better stay “with the devil we know”

If we believe we can’t leave the PigP or get rid of it, we spend a lot of our energy trying to silence it with addictions (food, money, sex, chemicals….), while at the same time making inhuman efforts to get it to stop hurting us, to see reason, to understand… rather than getting away by disobeying its Toxic Rules!

NEXT: Negative Introject (Part 4)

Mind-Reading vs. INTUITION (Part 2a)

intuition 1

but I don’t have any proof


Review Mind-reading, 


DEF: INTUITION =  It’s like overhearing a conversation in a language we’re not fluent in but can still get the gist of what’s said. It’s the ability to maneuver within our beliefs & knowledge, giving us a relative awareness of where we are on the map of life
PS: Inspiration is seeing the whole path we need to travel on the map

Intuition is complex – mostly it’s being tuned-in to the world around us – & beyond – picking up info without any obvious source
🔺For some it’s a gut feeling
🔺For others it’s the universe giving them a gentle nudge
🔺For still others it’s the answer to a prayer or a whisper from God

Intuition is an innate survival tool, a compass & a tether connecting us to our environment. It doesn’t have to be supernatural – it is most often a subliminal accumulation of what others are saying, feeling or doing (their T.E.As) & storing it for future reference (see pt. d)

SO – Intuition is in us & comes from us, but is about everything outside of us – the opposite of Mind Reading.
✶ When cultivated, it bypasses or counters certain of our ACoA damage!

a. In the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory (MBTI), the second of 4 levels is “Sensate vs Intuitive”, which has to do with one’s style of gathering information about the world.
From MBTI Posts :
🟢 S
= ‘I need to work thru a problem to see a result’. Fun: This was great for the price. Communication: Specifics
• At one extreme are the Sensates (S) who need proof of everything, literal & practical. They prefer hands-on, here-&-now tangible experiences, only believing what they can see & touch. They are about 70% of the US population & are considered ‘hard-nosed’ by their opposites

🔴 iN = ‘I see results/solutions to problems at the beginning’. Fun: This just gave me a great new idea! Communication: Big picture
• At the other end are the Intuitives (iN) who ‘just know’. They look for meaning, possibilities & relationships among things (the gestalt). They like to put things in a theoretical framework, seeing things holistically. They comprise about 30% & are considered ‘flakes’ by the S. (See all 4 levels)

NOTE: Whichever side a person prefers is important because MBTI’s 3rd level : “Thinking vs Feeling” then bases decisions on it.

✶ Most people don’t live at the extreme ends of this level (S vs N). But when 2 people in any kind of relationship DO, it is one of the most difficult discrepancies of the 4 levels to overcome.
They never really ‘get’ each other.  This is often a problem between many men (Ss) & women (iNs). But it’s especially hard when an extreme S mother has a very iN child – she’ll likely negate the child’s way of understanding its environment, making the child doubt its perceptions, even its sanity –  especially if the mother is also a narcissist.

b. As Children
• From birth, kids have a capacity for seeing & sensing things that many adults are unaware of. This is an important instinct for them, since they’re so vulnerable & don’t yet have language.  Infants mirror what we present to them, especially our emotions

EXP: When a mother takes a slow, deep breath each time she feels tension, either in herself or from the infant, it teaches the baby to do the same. She’s creating & reinforcing the state of anxiety – without ever saying a word!
• Equally so, children who comfortably spend time contemplating & exploring their thoughts & feelings without interference, will develop self-awareness & the intuitive abilities that come from this inner knowledge

•  The absorption capacity of intuition, so highly developed in kids, allows us to assimilate our parents’ inner feelings as much as their overt messages. The combination becomes the Introject – which is only negative if our parents were mentally &/or emotionally unhealthy

Exp:  A friend remembers one evening when she was 6 or 7, sitting with her dad in the living room while he was reading the paper. For no apparent reason she asked him who Lydia was.  He looked at her puzzled but didn’t answer. Many years later she found out that he was having an affair with a Lydia back then, but at that time no one in the family knew about it.  What had she been ‘picking up’ on? – A smell? his guilt? his residual pleasure?


Family INVENTORIES – Purpose (Part 1)

LOOKING AT HOW IT ALL STARTED is not always easy!

PREVIOUS: Personal Responsibility-#1

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

QUOTE re. the need for S & I
“It is not possible to live too long amid infantile surroundings, or in the bosom of the family = without endangering one’s psychic health. Life calls us forth to independence, & anyone who does not heed this call because of childish laziness or timidity is threatened with neurosis.” Carl Jung
DEF: INVENTORY – To evaluate & make an itemized report of abilities, assets, or resources. To take stock of one’s life and accomplishments.

1. IN 12-Step TERMS
a. Doing our 4th Step – to write out as many of our qualities as we can – both positive (gifts) & negative (defects), as well as a list of all actions throughout life (to identify our Being and our Doing)

b. Taking someone else’s inventorya big no-no, & for good reason, when understood correctly, is an unhealthy defense mechanism. This can mean recounting someone’s faults to all who will listen, or using a sharp tongue to tell someone off who we’re angry at.

NOT doing this is a valid rule in general for everyone, & specifically – geared toward addicts & co-dependents, because:
• we copy our parents’ habit of always finding fault with everyone & everything else, instead of owning our own thought & emotions (likes & dislikes….)
• of the compulsion to blame others for all our woes, instead of taking responsibility for our part in any situation (but not in the form of S-H)
•  our character defect of using any upset as an excuse to gossip
•  our fearful avoidance of dealing clearly & honestly with anyone we’re currently having a problem with, using the Adult ego state
• the fear-driven habit of avoiding very hard decisions, making small or major changes, leaving toxic people, standing up for ourselves …..

a. Re. Safe People: To identify the healthy characteristics we find in positive role models, which we then can look for in everyone we associate with, so we can ‘Go where it’s warm’ – toward people who are reasonable (T), kind (E) & functional (A)

b. Re. Unsafe People: to break thru our denial.
ignoringACoAs deal with abusers – either :
• by having thick blinders on, denying the character defects & emotional damage of unhealthy people, while only see our own flaws – even where they don’t exist. OR
• by being terribly judgmental & critical of everyone – including ourselves (S-H), while not trusting anyone with genuinely good qualities. BOTH types tend to shy away from healthy people!

That way we can be angry at anyone for not giving us what we want & need, just like our parents, but stay with them so we don’t have to notice of the many ways they abandon us, & then face having to do something about it (leave?)
AND we can stay loyal to the dysfunction, continuing to long for but never receive the love & acceptance we believe we’re not allowed.

✳️ As we know, people tell us something about themselves all the time – their pluses & minuses – which we miss all together & could see if we paid attention, knew what to look for, & be willing to respond appropriately
OR we do notice but ignore or excuse. Then it bites us in the butt later!

Sadly, as kids ACoAs were brainwashed to deny much or all of our experiences, intuition & perceptions, so it’s particularly necessary to do this type of inventory for all of us who:
• are genuinely ignorant of, or in deep denial about, the harmful effects that addicts & other damaging people we spend time with (family, lovers, bosses, friends…) have / have had on us

• are surrounded by unhealthy communities (family, religious, social, work….) where everyone is continually bombarding us with a distorted reality about us, themselves & the ‘right way’ to do things

• are by nature so idealistic that we only want to see the good in others, as a defense against the dangers of life, to our great detriment
• know there’s something wrong with certain people & situations in our life, but are not allowed to believe our intuition & knowledge.

NEXT:  Family Inventory – Purpose

ACoAs: OVER-Controlling Ourselves (Part 4)


I LET THE PP BEAT ME UP – to keep me in line

PREVIOUS: Emotional Over-Control #2

SITEs:  Self-Control (Wikipedia)
▪︎ Over-Controlled Primary Aggressor

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

AS ADULTS (cont)
• ACoAs
were not raised on the handbook for “How to be a Healthy, Happy Human Being , which left our Child-part being impulsive, anxiety-ridden, only able see itself & the world thru distorted alcoholic / narcissistic lenses. So, one way to deal with our trauma is to do what they seemed to want – for us to die! Some ACoAs try literal suicide, but most do it by PMES forms of starving.

Being Over-Controlled is NOT related to being Introvert or Extrovert, which are inborn, but rather about ignoring qualities we all share to varying degrees (intuition, intelligence, being perceptive, artistic…) – which were unacceptable in our family.
It would have made our lives even more miserable if we hadn’t suppressed them – although some of us couldn’t hide them well enough to escape being attacked or ignored.

Unhealthy BELIEFS of Over-Controllers:
• Everyone is out to rape me mentally & emotionally
• I have to keep control of my feelings so I don’t go crazy
• If I lose control, there will be no sanity in my home (or on the job)
• Losing my cool is unsafe, so I avoid conflict at all costs
• No matter what happens to me, I’ll never cry or need anything again
• No one’s ever going to get under my skin or hurt me again
• Don’t trust anyone with your feelings, thoughts or dream
• Never let others know how their behavior or actions effect you
• Never show your anger so you won’t get abandoned
• There’s only one way to survive a crazy world – climb into your shell, & stay there!
► Do you hear the voice of the Toxic ROLES?)

HOW we Over-Control ourselves
a. DEFENSES – Rigidly held defense mechanisms are used to hide from emotions we’re afraid to experience, but the ‘protection’ ends up running our lives:
Addictions – as a way to numb the cruel PP voice & to ignore our WIC the same way our parents did, but actually adds to our suffering.

Counter-Phobia – being attracted to things that are scary while not fully aware of the accumulated terror underneath. Dangerous relationships & activities are seen as fun, which keeps the adrenalin pumping. We’ve stuffed the anxiety into the unconscious, but it needs an outlet, so we rush towards unhealthy ‘excitement’. If we stopped running we’d have to feel all that fear

Fear of Engulfment, feeling suffocated & over-controlled by someone else’s need & demands. Not allowed originally to develop our own inner boundaries, we end up erecting a very thick wall against intimacy so that we won’t get swallowed p again. It keeps everyone at a distance, while longing for connection. The wall gets activated whenever anyone wants genuine intimacy with us, even if it’s what we say we want

Guilt (review post What is guilt?’) – an emotion that controls us to:
— ensure we never disobey our family’s Negative Rules
— keep from learning healthy rules so we could improve our lives
— prevent us from developing our True Self via S & I, which would unhook us from the family dysfunction

Over-activity, such as workaholism, controls how much & what kinds of emotions we allow ourselves to experience = staying so busy that we don’t have to feel anything ’real’, & using it to cover up S-H & as sense of powerlessness

Paralysis, mostly our voice – stopping ourselves from saying & doing things that would be good for us, because of fear of punishment, fear of abandonment & fear of visibility….. speaking up for ourself, which would help us grow, stop others from hurting us, enhance our self-esteem & move us toward our dreams

Vagueness / dissociating – staying in ‘la la land’ so we don’t have to face any reality we don’t want to deal with, starting with how badly we’ve been treated by family / school / religion / mates / work….& that we’re responsible now for having to care for ourselves.
So – we don’t notice how much we spend / eat / drink… how others treat us, how we feel, what we need, how we treat others….

NEXT: O-C Ourselves – Part 4

WHAT JUST HAPPENED? – Intro (Part 2)

caught in their mess


in these messes with people!

PREVIOUS: “What just happened” (#1)


See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


PURPOSE of the INVENTORY (in Part 4)Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 5.32.57 AM
We can use the Qs to strengthen our HEALTHY ADULT to be more in charge in the future, whatever the circumstances.
We can LEARN about:
1. OURSELVES – strengths, weaknesses, style, beliefs, needs, wishes…
a. conscious parts we ignore, don’t accept or deal with, parts we’re working on, need to pay more attention to, are OK with…
b. aspects that are hidden in the shadows which ‘force’ us to act out old fears & beliefs AND prevent us from shining our inner light

2. WHAT to expect – so we’re not shocked & reactive, every time.
ACoAs have a built-in ‘forgetter’ after experiencing a run-in with painful people & situations which mirror of our childhood trauma
a. In the present we bury the knowledge we could have gained from this encounter, & are then “taken by Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 5.27.10 AMsurprise” for the umpteenth time when dealing with the same situation – again! as if it had never happened before

b. Even when encountering an unpleasant stranger, the interchange with them is often similar to others of that type, but we’re still surprised, not able to assert ourselves, shocked into muteness… OR over-react from the WIC’s old rage.

INTERCHANGES that hurt — 
a. but are not even remotely about us
EXP: Mona is an acupuncturist & is at a banquet honoring a prominent friend of hers. She starts talking to a man at her table & eventually they exchange business cards. He’s relatively friendly at first, but looking at her card, he becomes quite hostile, bad-mouthing her profession. She’s shocked & hurt.

Excusing herself, Mona moves to a distant table. After mulling it over for a while she goes back & asks him “What just happened?”. Slightly calmer, he tells about a very bad experience the only time he ever went to get acupuncture – when he almost became paralyzed from a cramp in his back & could hardly breathe. He didn’t apologize, but Mona was satisfied.

b. occur when we accidentally step on someone toes
EXP: Sandi gives Joe a CD of Edith Piaf for his B/day, knowing how much he loves her Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 5.53.00 AMmusic. He’s thrilled & puts it on speaker. Sandi ‘hates’ Piaf (which he doesn’t know) & asks him to play it later. He wants to know why & she admits Piaf doesn’t suit her.

He feels hurt – as if it’s as an attack on his taste (taking things personally & being ‘over-sensitive’). Then he gets angry & attacks her for being insensitive & having no taste in music!
Sandi explains that Piaf’s voice & music are too painful to listen to, which has nothing to do with him or his taste! This only moderately mollifies him.

c. are actually meant as a positive, but are said ‘wrong’Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 5.42.57 AM
EXP: While visiting a friend, Pat mentioned that she goes to her dentist on Sundays, since he didn’t work on the Sabbath. Her friend said “Only you could have found a dentist to see on Sundays!”  Pat was hurt & angry, but didn’t say anything for a week. It reminded her of being teased at home & in school.

After going thru the 30 Qs (Part 4), she called her friend. “Bobby, remember what you said last week about my dentist?”
-pause- “No”.
“You said…. & what I heard was that you were making fun of me, like – I’m so weird…”
-pause- “No, what I was saying was that I admired you for your cleverness…”
-pause-  “OH!. Well, thanks. But it would have been clearer if you’d said that!”

NEXT: “What Just Happened?” #3