ACoAs WANTING REVENGE (Part 1)

little devils 

MAKE THEM SUFFER !
The same way they made me suffer!

Post: ANGER CATEGORY #12 – Retaliatory

POSTS: Parents Blaming Us / ‘Shame’ / ‘Guilt’


DEF: REVENGE
, Vengeance, Retribution, – injury inflicted as punishment in return for one received
• To plot revenge – the bitter desire to injure another for a wrong done to oneself, a loved one or others like oneself
• To avenge – exact satisfaction for a sense of injury, following a wrong received. Any form of personal action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice.

1. AS CHILDREN
😡 Many of us hated one or more parents for their neglect & cruelty – but that was to-o-o dangerous to admit! We wished they were dead or that we were.
BOOK: “So the Witch Won’t Eat Me” by Dorothy Bloch (NY psychoanalyst) gives an excellent explanation in her intro.

a. External CAUSES – Growing up, our parents & other adults:
• neglected, attacked & humiliated us, assumed the worst of us… blamed us unfairly for everything
• AND didn’t allow us to defend ourselves, never bothered to ask for our side of a situation, didn’t believe us, weren’t on our side nor defended us

b. Internal –
All children:
• are vulnerable to & at the mercy of their caregivers
• think in B & W, simple cause & effect, so a believe in JUSTICE – that the world SHOULD be fair
• AND, assume they’re the center of everything, therefore everything that happens to them is about them (good or bad)!
SO
It makes sense to a kid’s mind that, when our parents hurt us —
• they were justified in what they were doing to or not doing for – us
• somehow we caused it, even if we couldn’t figure out what we did wrong

• we deserved whatever was dished out: “The gods punish us for our own good (a lesson) & because we deserve it (being bad)!”
BUT
• we were in constant, intense pain.  Even though we had no choice but to accept blame, still – we wanted it to STOP! Of course.
• no one else seemed to notice or care – no one helped (maybe someone did try, but it didn’t work out & we stayed trapped)
• we couldn’t get any justice from them (they didn’t care how their abuse effected us)
• they got away with it – were never held accountable! UNFAIR

AND
• we tried & tried – to figure it out, to change ourselves and get them to change, to protect ourselves & others in the family
• but nothing got better, so we got more & more frustrated and hopeless
• failing to MAKE adults stop hurting us, our sense of danger never left
whivoodooch led to getting angrier & angrier.
Being powerless in an unsafe family, especially one that was actually life-threatening – will always generate RAGE
• and after all – fair is fair – eventually we began to have fantasies of REVENGE, to even the score, so the world would be in balance again.

Without help, comfort or a way of escape, we had to suppress the pain as best we could, but our fantasies scared us.
We could’t attack our parents directly, because —
– we were too dependent on them
– they had some positive qualities we used to deny the bad ones
– it wasn’t safe to rebel outright

We needed to deny our fury at them. We weren’t big or strong enough to punish ‘those mean, stupid adults’ the way they deserved, so we did the next ‘best’ thing :

• Masochism, Revenge in REVERSE – some took it out on ourselves (self-mutilation, fantasies of being hurt/ tortured, tried suicide either directly or by dangerous activities….) as a way of punishing our abandoners

Sadism: As kids, some of us hurt smaller, younger, weaker things, such as:
— an older child hurting or even killing a new baby in the family
— bullying (in person, on line….)
— physically torturing birds, cats….
— stealing, hiding or breaking other’s toys & possessions
— making fun of someones disabilities…

NEXT: Wanting Revenge #2

Positive Character: HUMANITY (Part 1)

BEING RESPECTFUL & RESPONSIBLE
makes me a better world citizen

PREVIOUS: Character – Social I.Q.

SEE: Expanded list of Traits to choose from


💚 APPRECIATION of beauty and excellence
(awe, wonder, elevation):
The ability to admire the masterful design of a person, place or thing, especially if has many levels to art appreciationit, each layer with a distinct flavor & secret. Noticing & valuing the skilled performances & high quality in all areas of life – the arts & sciences, nature & everyday experiences.
EXP:
• be awed by the vastness of nature & the intimate details of life • enjoy good craftsmanship  • pause often to take in a view, look at the sky • understand & appreciate what goes into making anything artistic   • watch people & animals in motion

💚 CITIZENSHIP (social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork):vote
GENERAL: be an active part of a political community, enjoying its rights & assuming duties of membership – which form a distinct sense of identity
SPECIFIC: work well as part of a group or team, are loyal to the unit, do our share, taking responsibility for our actions
EXP:
• are troubled by social injustice  • aware of the wider world, with a sense of our role as world citizens  • respect & value diversity  • willing to take actions to make the world a more equitable & sustainable place

💚 GENEROSITY (liberal in giving)
Carefully managing resources so we can freely give to those in need.generosity
NARROW: willing to give money, time, energy, info….to help others, or in order to give them pleasure, and to give more than is expected.
BROADER: being sympathetic in how we deal with people. Tending to see the good qualities of someone or something
EXP:
• give of our time and talents  • not expect anything in return for our generosity  •  praise the good we see in others   • share what we have with others • recycle

💚 GRATEFULNESS  (is NOT like being indebted)
An appropriate sense of & valuing the benefits we have received – at birth, from family, from our environment. Also, a desire to repay advantages we were given.
Letting others know by words & actions how they have improved our life.  Acknowledging someone for a favor they have done us.  Focusing on the positives in our life
EXP:
• be content with what we have  •  count our benefits / blessings, rather than our burdens   • take care of our things    • show helpful people that we appreciate them   • take care of our things • write “thank you” notes

💚 FAIRNESS
Treating all people the same, according to universal ideals of equality and justice, the same way we want to be treated. Do not make mental evaluations or decisions that unfairly favor or discriminate against others – because of incorrect or inappropriate considerations.
Act consistent with rules, logic, ethics, or in a proper legal manner.  Don’t let personal feelings bias our decisions about others.  Give everyone a fair chance & not take advantage
EXP:
• be willing to give up our share of something for someone who has a lot less  • play fair   • see everyone as having equal rights  • think how our actions will affect others

💚 KINDNESS / COMPASSION (amiable, nurturing, gentle)
Show consideration, personal concern or deep sympathy for others.  The ability to make other people feel comfortable by our attitude of calmness.  Sometimes putting our own need for attention & self-esteem second to the needs of others. Sincere sorrow for others stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering
EXP:
• comforting others without regard to race, gender, faith, age, or nationality   • doing a good deed for strangers   • listening when others want to talk • looking for lasting solutions  • not annoying or irritating people   • showing good manners

NEXT: C for HUMANITY, #2

Character TRAITS & CONTRASTS

character

 THE MORE I KNOW
the better I can manage my life

PREVIOUS: What is Character (#2)


See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 

POSITIVE TRAITS + Contrasts
The book “Character Strengths and Virtues” 2004, by Christopher Peterson & Martin Seligman, provides a renewed focus on the science of character – the research community’s first attempt to identify positive human traits.  The authors defined character strengths (CS) as the pathways to virtues which are valued by moral philosophers & religious teachers.

This CHART is for us to ponder, identify & then own all Character Strengths that fit us & we allow ourselves to acknowledge. Think of examples of each positive trait from your life experience. Get suggestions from a trusted ally, if needed.

• The 1st column lists Positive Characteristics & then contrasts each with 3 variations.  If you identify mainly with columns 2, 3 or 4, you then can see what Healthy traits you can work towards, rather than just giving up as being hopeless.
You may want to print out this form & check off the traits you identify with – in the narrow white columns. Use a gradient of 1 to 5 for each, 1 being weakest, 5 the strongest.

NEXT: ‘Positive Character – Humanity’ : the next few posts are a sample list of character qualities, divided into themes. You can add to the list or change the category you think each fits into, as it makes sense to you.

CATEGORIES : 1. Wisdom & Knowledge  2. Courage
3. Love  4. Justice  5. Temperance  6. Transcendence

Charact. + : -

PURPOSE of Emotions: SURVIVAL

 

WE HAVE EMOTIONS FOR GOOD REASONS
– so now I welcome & work with them!

PREVIOUS: Repressing Emotions #2

Review post : “Getting to our Es – Under

 

PURPOSE
✥ Do you know what to say when you hear someone insist that emotions are a waste of time, unreliable, too much trouble? The next several posts will give important reasons – biological, personal & social – why we have them!

SOCIAL NEEDS
1. For SURVIVAL
• That’s the evolutionists’ answer. According to their theory, animals are aggressive & self-conscious (compared to rivers, mountains, plants….which have also survived) & humans are the most self-conscious, making us increasingly invested & crafty in our efforts to endure.
Over time we developed a wide range of Es & a complex rational thinking system, which allowed us to imagine our own past & future selves, giving us preeminence over fauna & flora. ‘”If you want to create a system that works hard to survive, make it be conscious and emotional. It will want to keep itself around!’”Es for survival

• Researchers believe that Emotion, rather than logic, is the driving force in the human brain. Studies show that Es are responsible for neural integration – linking various brain functions (talking to each other) by tying together physical, cognitive, sensory & social processes, keeping us sane, healthy & functioning effectively

• Robert Plutchik, of the Emotion Wheel, wrote that the purpose of emotions is to form behavioral interactions between a person & a stimulus – event, thing or another person – so that when Es are acted on (correctly, of course) it brings the person back to a state of equilibrium — feeling ok / safe
EXP: You’re in the woods & see a bear loping towards you. You’re very afraid. The fear makes you run away, so the emotion served to produce an action that saves your life. You’re then returned to a calm state (eventually).

2. For CONNECTION
• Humans are fundamentally social animals, needing to rely on each other for survival. So we not only have personal feelings, but also social Es deeply embedded in our nature for connection.  Es motivate & organize individual behavior & social interactions, as well as facilitate communication.  Social needs include acceptance, prestige & access to certain people, events or resources, & provide a mirror for our feelings, attitudes & realitybelonging

• Belonging to a group or community gives us a sense of identity.
Researchers found that people are happier when they’re with others rather than too much alone – & the “boost” is the same for Introverts & Extroverts.

✶ Loving relationships are important to our well-being & happiness because they’re comforting It creates the psychological space & safety to explore & learn, which builds inner resources for inevitable times of difficulty.
AND the positive effects are long-lasting. Strong emotional support also reduces immune system abnormalities that contribute to various stress-related disorders.

EXP: The success of the many 12-step Programs (AA, GA, OA / Al-anon, Gamanon, Oanon….). The Al-Anon closing says: “The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you. After a while, you’ll discover that though you may not like all of us, you’ll love us in a very special way—the same way we already love you.”

Emotions that serve social functions:
Guilt (not the ACoA type) is appropriate when we’ve done something social Esinappropriate or hurtful, to motivate us to make amends (AA’s 8th & 9th Step)
Responsibility (not co-dependence) to keep us from harming others, or to help where needed….
Altruism, going beyond passively ‘behaving’ oneself to not cause social problems, but rather to actively participate in groups & organizations that provide relief for the needy & suffering

3. For UNITY
• Because Emotions are universal, the ‘positive’ ones may help overcome prejudice & divisions. Tragically, even fatally, many cultural, religious & political beliefs separate us. But Es – such as empathy, cooperation, forgiveness & heroism – can help.
Unifying Emotions:
Caring: listening to concerns of others helps them feel understood & valued
Faith: a Spiritufun singingal belief providing wise rules (of right & wrong) can connect us to like-mined people
Music (& other art forms) emotionally link artist & a wide public
Laughter: a universal language that makes people feel good
Love: fostering acceptance, compassion, education, responsibility, understanding, & spiritual growth.

NEXT: For survival #2

IDENTIFYING Emotions (Part 2)


EENY MEENY MYNIE MOE –
 catch a feeling by it’s show!

Part 1: Plutchik’s Emotion Wheel

SEE post
: Getting to our Emotions – OVER

 

This CHART, by W. G. Parrott, is another way of grouping emotions – a general guide you can agree with in whole, in part or not at all. The more Es you can identify in yourself & others, the better. One reason I’ve added it is that it includes the Es of Shame & Guilt, which Plutchik does not.