ACoAs – ANXIETY & T.E.A. (Part 2)

HOW AWARE AM I
about my painful emotions?

PREVIOUS: T.E..A. & Anxiety (#1)

SITEs: Anxiety Fingerprint (Tool 3)
Consciousness & Emotions & the brain

BOOK: Freedom From Body Memory : Awaken the Courage to Let Go of the Past….. “a person can accumulate years, even a lifetime of stress in their body from past experiences….”

1. T.E.A defined (Part 1)

2. ANXIETY (cont)
UNDER: For those of us who try to skate past our anxiety, when something sets it off – we’re deeply shocked, overwhelmed, can’t cope, think we’re losing our mind…… And if we unexpectedly get too flooded, without a healthy way to resolve it, it can trigger an anxiety attack, which is very scary & physically painful

ACoAs will do almost anything to avoid feeling emotions – especially fear.
‘Coping’ styles (escapes):coping styles
• keep so busy you can’t feel it (or much of anything else)
• withdraw, isolate from people, refuse help or comfort
• find other ways to escape (internet, tv, sleeping……)
• stay angry so you don’t feel scared
• blame everyone / everything else

OVER: And then there are those of us who are drowning in anxiety – for days, months, years or as far back as we can remember – our constant daily companion. We don’t know what to do about it, don’t know the source & have never learned how Reactions:
• obsess over that you did wrong when upset or disappointed
• search for answers out of yourself to fix your problems
• use various types of addictions to numb any unpleasant Es
• dump on anyone who’ll listen : compulsively go on & on about situations & people in your life that upsets you, without any self-awareness of internal causes, or attempts to make appropriate external changes where possible.

CHICKEN or EGG
Whether anxiety (physically & emotionally painful) has been a life-long black cloud always overhead effecting everything you do, OR an occasional unexpected ‘visitor’, seemingly out of nowhere – 2 important questions come to mind:
Where is it coming from? // What can I do about it?
If you’ve asked yourself these Qs, you may have just shrugged ”I don’t know”.

a. Not everyone is self-reflective. Most people go thru life ignoring or using the list above as defense mechanism to sidestep emotional pain. They’re just baffled & stay that way.

b. Some see a connection between an event (action) & anxiety, but don’t know what it is, & attribute it to something that shows our imperfection :
√ making a mistake, forgetting something, being late, saying the wrong thing, losing something valuable (even temporarily), making  a fool of ourselves, failing at some effort…..

OR,
more often it’s something or someone outside of ourselves hat makes us anxious :
√ waiting for an important phone call, being called into the boss’s office, a break up, anticipating an attack or punishment, the death of a family member, someone important turning against us, being verbally attacked or accused wrongly, caught in a character defect …..

c. Emotionally oriented ACoAs feel the anxiety intensely, but will only ‘hear’ obsessive thoughts – “spinning” – & assume it’s a way to explain the emotional distress, after the fact. (Suggestion: Enneagram 2, 4, 6 types, & anyone with a lot Water signs in their Astro natal chart – Scorpio, Cancer & Pisces)

Sensitive /emotional ACoAs may assume that a stressful situation is what generates anxiety, CAUSING the spinning (obsessive thoughts) – as a way of explaining the emotional upset to ourselves.

We may use this kind of endless ruminating:
• to beat ourselves up, taking on all the blame for a situation
• to identify how bad/ weak/ inadequate… we’re convinced we truly are & in what way
• to figure out how to fix it, but from a narcissistic perspective (“It’s all about me!”), via people-pleasing, groveling, hiding out, being belligerent…. depending on our personal defensive style.

HOWEVER – the reality of our internal process is the reverse : our harmful THINKING CAUSES our anxiety!

NEXT: T.E.A. & Anxiety (Part 3)

‘Controlling’ & Abandonment (Part 2)

feelings 

THOSE OLD FEELINGS –
give me acid-reflux!

Previous: Controlling & A. (Part 1)

Review Posts: My Rights – Qs
and
 ACoAs & Having Rights

 

 

LONG-TERM Abandonment (A.) experiences, especially in childhood, inevitably creates intense fear & shame in children. Total dependence on caretakers make them very vulnerable, so too much deprivation will feel life-threatening, & in some cases it is!  As terror grows, so does the compulsion to control oneself & the environment grows – to feel a little less unsafe by not being at the mercy of others.

EMOTIONAL A.  Children have to hide the parts of themselves not considered acceptable by the family (from the “Laundry List”) – to not get rejected. We were told what we felt was not true or legitimate, so DON’T make mistakes, have needs, be successful, show emotions …
We heard:  “You don’t have anything to cry about so stop being such a baby , Stop crying or I’ll really give you something to cry about , That really didn’t hurt , You have no right to be angry”…

• Ignored or punished childhood PMES needs causes developmental damage, the same as nutritional deficiencies, like sailors in the past who developed scurvy (internal bleeding, connective tissues weakness & sudden death) from lack of vitamin C in their diets during long trips.

For ACoAs, this will eventually show up as fear of taking appropriate risks, lack of trust, fear of intimacy, not having a personal dream to follow, lack of healthy communication skills (how to talk to oneself kindly, how to make small talk, how to stand up for oneself), a weak sense of self…..

• Think of accumulated old A. pain (terror & rage) as acid, filling a deep well buried in our unconscious. We may not taste it all the time, but when it bubbles up it’s emotional heart-burn!  When someone or something bumps up against an unhealed wound in our psyche, the lid get blown off the reservoir, releasing a spurt of that old paScS-Hin (Like when – not getting a text back, a broken promise, being left out, accused wrongly or having to wait too long….)

OVER-CONTROLLED: main hidden emotion is SELF-HATE
Not allowed to ‘be all you can be’ in our family, the very essence of our being rejected & punished! Slowly we became controlling toward ourselves, thinking this would please themcontrolled

CONTROLLED: main visible Emotion is FEAR
Not ‘being in our power’ makes us terribly vulnerable to everyone & everything, so it’s easy to let ourselves be controlled, thinking we’ll be taken care of. All it gets us is more repression & damage

CONTROLLING: visible Emotion is ANGERcontrol freak
Not being internally ‘allowed’ to meet our needs pushes us to insist that others do it for us – any way we can – desperately trying to arrange our world to fit an ideal, so we’ll feel safer.  We become the ‘control freak we hate so much in others!

BLAMING: In the present ACoAs often accuse other adults of abandoning us when we feel hurt by some interaction or loss.  What we’re actually experiencing is the WIC’s unresolved old A. pain. The intensity is usually out of proportion to what’s actually happening. Naturally there are real-life situations that make us sad, frustrated, angry… but unless an event is extreme (death of a loved one, a life-threatening attack or illness, a fire…), most situations don’t warrant our level of reaction. “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”

When others A. us: When someone we hungry to be with doesn’t respond right back – we get very angry. We feel as devastated as if they had threatened to take away our livelihood or our home, which are NOT = to being ignored or put off. Yet we get just as scared & blame ourselves, wanting to control them to stop the pain.

When we Abandon others: We also have great FoA when we aren’t perfect. Talking too much, asking questions, expressing strong emotions – or standing up for ourselves! – are NOT = to punching them, yet ACoAs can feel the same anxiety & self-hate as if we had!  So we over-explain, withdraw or grovel – to stave off being abused &/or left.

NEXT: Controlling & Abandonment (Part 3)