ACoAs & CONFUSION – as Kids (Part 2c)

teaching congusionWHICH WAY DO I TURN?
They’re mixing me up! (# 4)

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (#2b)

🖌️ Childhood CONFUSION : PARENTAL sources (2b)

(cont) OTHER sources
1. Being LIED to
a. about US
EXP: Sick little boy is dressed up, & some of this things put in a suitcase.
TOLD: “You’re going to a party & staying over for a while”.
REALITY: Child is taken to the hospital for procedure, dropped off & just left!

COMMON LIES parent lying
• You killed your mother (at birth)
• Your bad behavior caused your father’s drinking
• You can go play later – when all your work is done
• That therapist is bad for you / confusing you (tells you I hurt you)
• You’re a ‘bad seed’
• You’re father didn’t meant to hurt you/ he really loves you but doesn’t know how to show it….

4 yr. child bumps her head while playing under the dining table. She’s bleeding & goes crying to her mother. Mom (also a drunk) yells at her: “You’re not really hurt!. Go to your room.”

b. about THEM
EXP: A boy’s mother spent most of 20 yrs holed up in her bedroom.
TOLD: Mom is suffering from menopause. (She was in her early 30‘s).
TRUTH: She was either drunk, sleeping it off or hung over!
It was only many years later, as a young man, he learned that menopause usually comes much later in life & doesn’t last 20 yrs!

• I’ve never said that! / I didn’t mean the way that sounded (Yes you did!)
• I’m never wrong / I’m perfect
• We’ll go to a movie / beach…..this weekend (not)
• I’ve never done anything wrong to you
• I’ll pick you up after school – but never shows up, or always very late
• I’ll come to see you at the game / in the play…. (not)

EXP: Severe alcoholic father TOLD the same story for years – that he was in WW II, on the front lines, & participated in terrible events.
TRUTH: For the whole war he was a supply clerk, & was never in combat.

EXP: Mom pushed to stay with daughter Marcia on a visit for a week in another city. Marcia kept saying “Come, but you can’t stay here”.lying mother
TOLD: “But I’m coming to see you, I’m just low on money, I won’t get in your way….”.

Marcia felt bad for mom’s ‘poverty’ but couldn’t put her up in the tiny apartment. In spite of Marcia’s explanations, mom decided to spent the last night of her trip at daughter’s place, and then announced this ‘favor’ at the last minute without asking if it was OK.  Marcia felt she could handle that much, so agreed.

TRUTH: Mom brought along a BFF, stayed in a fancy hotel for the week AND between lunch visits with Marcia, went shopping – buying many expensive clothes & shoes – & then showing them off on that last evening! Poor????

c. about OTHERS in the family
EXP: Early Saturday a.m. child looks out front window & sees dad face down on the lawn. Terrified, child rushes to wake mom, screaming “Dad’s dead, dad’s dead!” Mom reluctantly comes down to see, looks out & says: “Oh, your dad just went camping last night”. REALLY??
TRUTH: Dad was out drinking – again – & passed out before he could get in the house. Child is confused. If this is camping, where’s the tent?

EXP: Family myth – Grandpa was a traveling salesman & died tragically in a train derailment
TRUTH: He was on a train, but merchandise wasn’t the only thing he was carrying. He was with one of many ‘girlfriends’, got into a drunken fight with her husbandeath bed lied & was killed. Not a good guy, & not tragic!

EXP: Selena is an only child of 2 severely alcoholic parents – who fought like 2 wet cats for 40 yrs. Dad dies of cirrhosis. A few years later, on her deathbed, Selena’s mom tells her: “Your dad was not your biological father”, & before she’s willing to say more, mom dies.
🔹There are no other relative to get info from, so to this day Selena still doesn’t know if her mom was lying or not!

NEXT: ACoAs & Confusion (#3a)

What ACoAs Know & Don’t Know

I’ll never get it!

PREVIOUS: Ennea-Triads (3b)

SITE: Self-esteem – the problem behind the problem


ACoAs are some of the smartest, most intuitive people around.
We had to be – to survive our childhood!  But we:
a. don’t acknowledge it (taught to not trust our judgment)
b. are ashamed of it (taught to not think so highly of ourselves)
c. are missing basic, ‘normal’ info about ourselves & the world

a. About Alcoholism in the family, denial. THAT:alcoholism
• they were drunk, or that their drinking effected us
• we were abused & neglected (abuse is perpetrated on one or more of the 4 levels: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual)
• we were molested, sexually or physically abused
• we carry deep pain, from all that abandonment
• their damage & our was not our fault or responsibility
• we don’t have to suffer any more
• we have a right to be here
• we can trust our intuition   -etc.

b. About Healthy Living
• what process actually is & how to use it
• what clear, sane thinking ‘sounds’ like
• that we have options & what they may be
• what we want to be / do, when we ‘grow up’ – some of us do
know, but are not allowed to go for it & we’re too scared to failno crisis
• how to live without constant crisis, abuse, anxiety
• that we don’t have to manipulate to get our needs met
• that we can take care of ourselves, if we grow a Healthy Adult
• how to be kind to our Inner Child – grow a Loving Parent!
• what mental health is  (see posts on ‘Recovery’)

c. General
• how the rest of world actually functions
• what reality is – mental, emotional, physical
• what to SAY to people when they say hurtful or outrageous things
what healthy people are like EXP: ACoAs think they don’t get angry, overwhelmed, make mistakes, love relationships…
• why other people do what they do (get away with things, are entitled, can function well…)

• what is NORMAL – which has 2 meanings:
i. the opposite of crazy.  Our S-H says we are crazy & everyone else is normal.  Yes, we do have distorted thinking, which can be corrected – but that doesn’t make us nuts.
It’s normal to: have emotions, to succeed via process, to mourn losses, to not get along with every one, all the time, to have some damage….

ii. what is average – for humans, & in your society
It’s about the behaviors & attitudes common to the majority. But in this meaning, normal is not always healthy! It’s what the norm was where you grew up, in your religion, in your neighborhood & school… 
SO – normal could have been – drinking to excess, physical danger, verbal abuse, insensitivity, lack of education…OR being up tight, having to succeed, always looking good, doing the ‘right thing’…
It’s normal to: laugh when someone gets hurt or makes a fool of themselves, to not help strangers in trouble, to stare at an accident on the street…
no happy reunion
a. Not possible or unlikely
• our parent to love us, unconditionally
• to be free of all pain & suffering
• to have relationships that never end
• to be liked & wanted by everyone, all the time
• to be a star, be famous, be adored, worshiped

b. Can be worked towards & accomplished
• diminish S-H & gain self-esteem
• be heard/ listened to/ get healthy attentionScreen Shot 2015-07-11 at 11.53.34 AM
• healthy friends & mates
• improved health & appearance
• an enjoyable career, creative outlets
• to belong & be accepted
• respected, treated well
• feel comfortable, safe, secure
• have fun, relax, enjoy life   – etc.

3. What ACoAs DO Know
• what really happened to us as kids (abuse, neglect, coercion, torture) – BUT don’t want admit or deal with
• some of the things we want in life – BUT are not allowed to have
• what we’ve learned and accomplished since we left home – BUT not allowed to admit or own it
• ALL the things we figured out on our own, as kids and as adult – BUT don’t value or validate, because of:
— S-H – we deserved anything bad that happened to us (then and now)chinese S-E
— shame – not allowed to have our need or our value our accomplishments
— lack of healthy mirroring – our real self wasn’t validated by our family, so we negate our natural abilities

SELF-ESTEEM comes from validation & unconditional regard / love.
Validation means admitting what we know & learning what we don’t. Regard is being kind, patient & respectful toward ourselves. It’s never too late to have a happy life!

NEXT: Ennea Development Levels #1