UNIT: Healthy Adult/Parent (Part 1)


BALANCE OF POWER –
I can change ‘who’ runs my life!

PREVIOUS: Ego States-Parent #4


ACRONYMS:

ES = ego states // HA = healthy adult //
LP = loving parent //  NC = natural child  //
WIC = Wounded inner child //  PP = pig parent  //  PMES = physical, mental, emotional, spiritual // UNIT = HA + LP
✦    ✦     ✦
Genuine Recovery is marked by internalizing the ‘sane’ information we’re learning, so it becomes an automatic part of us.
As we incorporate new understanding, we’ll consistently respond to the world from a different place, which gives us a sense of safety, mastery & empowerment

This can never be done perfectly or without regressions & digressions – so don’t expect that. The goal is to keep moving forward on the path of Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 3.37.08 AMhealing. To do this we need to build a healthy ‘UNIT’ (H.A. + L.P.) to be the inner EXECUTIVE.

• All unhealed ACoAs are run by the interaction of  their Bad Parent & Wounded Child ego states (E.S.)
• But so are many people who are in Recovery, before they do family-of-origin work (FoO)

• High-functioning ACoAs have a fairly well-developed Adult E.S. (with some CDs), but are missing the Loving Parent, which can be seen in how they deal with their personal relationships

3 MAJOR TASKS of the ‘UNIT’:
1.To separate the PP & WIC
, to stop the child from having to obey the cruel & unhelpful domination of the BAD PARENT .
Internally, we may only hear one or the other, but without Recovery the PP has all the power, & left on its own, the vulnerable WIC has no choice but to submit

2. To nurture, guide & take care of both the Healthy & the Damaged parts of our Child
• For the WIC – to help it heal from all it’s PMES wounds with unconditional love & nurturing. & let it know it never has to be alone again
• For the N.C. – to help it find it’s voice & develop it’s true potential, which creates our self-esteem

3. To interact efficiently with the rest of the world in order to get ALL our needs met – by developing the skills & attitudes which generate self-care & social ease, given our individual circumstances & abilities, so we can have more comfortable & fulfilled lives

How to BUILD the new UNIT
1. Read & re-read the extensive list of characteristics of each Ego State
• Print 2-3 copies, & keep 1 each where you’ll see it every day – bathroom mirror, bag, tablet, cell….

• Little by little – write something about each characteristic (what you think it means, how you do or don’t use it, how you see others doing it…)
• Pick 1 characteristic of the L.P. & focus on it for a week.  Use the same Qs as in your writing, as you go thru each day432• Take notes about your observations & talk it over with trusted people. Ask for suggestions & feedback on how to improve

2. Actions to develop the ….. ADULT ES :
INTERNAL
• learn about your damage (WIC #1 post)
• learn healthy ways of thinking
• catch S-H thoughts & stop them as soon as possible
• read everything about your issues & about growth
write some of your thoughts down every day
• do drawings of how you feel emotionally
• try things you always wanted to do (school, travel, move…)
EXTERNAL
• listen carefully to kind people & copy them
• talk to smart, sane people regularly
• stick with the winners (others on the same path)

….& the PARENT ES:
• daily dialoguing with the WIC & the NC
• hold your Kid, pat yoself careur chest, sing, say soothing things
• let yourself cry & do rage work as often as needed, but only in safe ways
• do more good things for yourself
• do less bad things to yourself
AND —
• practice standing up for yourself, say what you want & don’t want
• stay away from people who consistently cause you pain
• nurture a spiritual life that suits you
✶  If you do your best to follow some or all these suggestions you will see improvement & get lots of satisfaction!

NEXT: Healthy Adult / Loving Parent – #2

HEALTHY RISK

healthy risk
RISK IS NOT A DIRTY WORD!

as long as I’m realistic

PREVIOUS: Risk Addicted #2


COMMENTS

Risk of any kind usually entails some type of action (T.E.A). When average-functioning people are deciding what to do – ahead of time or if they only have a few seconds to consider – they use a reasonable thought process.
Thinking RISK thru :
• consider your aspirations – hopes, dreams AND level of wishing welldesire
• the short or long-term goal
• do you have the skill or knowledge to at least try
• know your expectations (to succeed or fail)
• weigh pros & cons of the situation
• consider possible consequences, both for yourself, & what’s socially acceptable
• “how important is it”! (whether to push or not)

😲 However, many ACoAs’ thinking about Risk – is either faulty or missing. Anxiety pushes some to act impulsively (R-addicted), & terror holds others back from even trying (R-averse).
❖ Which type you are now – & how you reacted to constant chaos & abuse as a kid – is based on your native personality

• ACoAs are trained to be perfectionist – only Actions counted in the family – but we could never be good enough, since nothing satisfied them.
EXP: Even raising my hand in class felt like too much of a risk. What if I don’t know the answer? What if I’m made fun of?

We’re bound tofall down fall down or become paralyzed from setting the bar for every accomplishment so high we can’t possible reach it (such as trying to make everyone like us!),
Sadly, to the outside world it can look like we don’t set the bar high enough, labeled lazy, stupid or crazy. We are NOT. It’s our terror (E) & CDs that stop us, or cause mistakes & procrastination.

SCIENCE: re. taking actions, we can generally be divided into
— ‘sitters’, who observe & then act, or
— ‘rovers
’ – who act more randomly.
In our culture it’s “Just do it” (Action) vs. “Look before you leap” (Thinking).
We’re born more as one than the other, but when mixed with damage it gives us the -averse or -addict style. Each Personality Type has it’s advantages & disadvantages, & neither should look down their noses at the other!  (MORE… w/ examples)

HEALTHY RISK
Appropriate risk-taking, like all other aspects of mental health – is rooted in balance & goals. What are you specifically trying to achieve in each situation?
Finding a balance between —> considering all possible outcomes (T) vs. —-> just taking a leap of faith (A) requires knowing ourself well, & planningalso how the real world works.
a. IT IS
• moving forward in any aspect of your life. Do something!
• NOT about perfectionism (a form of S-H)
• usually not something physically dangerous, AND not as emotionally dangerous as your WIC or PP think it’ll be
b. ARE
• evaluated for realistic advantages & disadvantages
• mostly small ones (sending a text, talking to a stranger at an ‘event’, asking for help)
• occasionally bigger ones (moving to a different state, changing careers, getting a divorce…)

c. EVALUATE
• which negative extreme is your False Self ‘norm‘? What would it be like to swing to the opposite unhealthy side, & what would be middle ground ?
decide what changes you can handle & what’s currently too much – based on self-knowledge about your emotional capacity

• who can help you over a hump (of fear) : ask a safe friend to sit with you, go with you, let you be at their place… while you try a new, scary action
• think through the consequences (outcome) of your actions, not using self-hate, co-dependence or fear of abandonment (FoA) as a get helpguide
• consider what the result might be of not taking any action – to you or others
• try out something small & see what happens. It may turn our OK or great. If it doesn’t, figure out what the problem is & try something else.

GROWTH : One of the benefits and joys of healthy risk-taking is finding out that positive outcomes are possible, when guided by our ‘UNIT rather than by the WIC or PP.
Use Book-Ending with your Inner Child to find out what’s possible & what’s not.
MOST IMP: No matter the outcome – catch & stop any form of S-H.
ONLY : Acceptance, Acceptance, Acceptance

NEXT:  MIND-READING vs Intuition – #1

ACoAs: Healthy RULES & Lessons (Part 3)

  new life“AND NOW, PRESENTING…. –
a new life, a better life !!”

PREVIOUS:

SITE: Healthy Family Rules

 

 

MORE GOOD Rules
As mentioned in the last post, these statements are to help the Healthy Adult & Loving Parent parts of our psyche know better ways to take care of our Inner Children. Each statement can be used as an inventory:
a. Resistance:
• why do I NOT want to include them in my life?
• what do I think will happen if I follow these idea?
• what do I need to give up in order to incorporate them?
b. Willingness:many Qs
• what do I need to have / do, before I can use these positive rules ?
• how can I implement these concepts into my life?
• who can I ask for help with them?
• who do I know who already lives them?
c. Results:
• what happens when I act on these statements?
• how is it different from what I assumed or projected?
• what do I need to do, to increase these principle in my life?
OF COURSE – If you can add questions to this list – please do.

NEXT: Safe & Unsafe People

 

 

ACoAs: Healthy RULES (Part 2)

Snever give up
YEAH. I WANT TO FEEL SAFE!
Will you take care of me, Good Parent?\

PREVIOUS: HEALTHY Rules (Part 1)

SITE: How To Never Give Up On… (CHART)

 

 

HEALTHY RULES
Part 2 & 3 list statement that have been accumulated from years of Recovery experience. They’re geared to the Healthy Adult / Loving Parent parts of our higher self – so we can know how to take care of our wounded and healthy Inner Children, in the best possible ways.

❀ YES, we have a broken heart!  What’s more painful to a child than not feeling loved by their parents?   BUT NOW – to be happy, we need to:
• accept who our family really was & is
• believe in every fiber that we did not cause our abuse & neglect
• accept that now we’re individually responsible for our lives
• know that we have the ability to outgrow much of the damage, but not all completely
• consistently apply mental health truths to our lives

❀ We all live by rules, whether we like to admit it or not.
• Some ACoAs were so neglected they think they weren’t taught any rules.  No, not good ones, but we did pick up all the Toxic Rules!
• Others of us were so constricted by rules & regulations, we nearly choked to death on them.
In either case we tend to shy away from rules, or have raging hatred for them. And yet we are run by the bad ones, as long as they stay hidden from us and we don’t challenge them.

❀ So here are a few Healthy Rules to try out, & apply to our every-day living.
Think about each one, carefully.
Pick one & try it out for a month. See what happens. Then try another….

ACoAs & Emotions (Part 3)

clean out old Es 

I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY
but first I have to clean out the damage

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Emotions #2

SITE: Help for Emotional Reactivity

 

WHY DO WE HATE having emotions so-o-o much? (cont)
b. OVER-REACTIONS 
(cont)
🦠 This is 
not self-indulgence or being manipulative, but rather:
1. Sensitivity = too strongly wired to react to external cues, & then reacting to those Es (knowing they’re out of control). Nerve endings are exposed & raw, acutely affected by:
— the threat of or proof that a relationship is about to dissolve
— being told they can’t have something they badly want or are convinced they need

2
. Reactivity = having a ‘higher baseline”, 0-20 vs a continual 80 out of 100 – so sadness is experienced as overwhelming despair, anger becomes rage….. and behavior is also intense & doesn’t fit the actual present situation
3. SLOW return to baseline = having a hard time calming down & stay upset longer than someone with a safer upbringing (
emotion fires in the brain for around 12 sec. vs 20% longer)

EXP: You’re in the middle of working on a project & someone keeps trying to control how you’re doing it. You get angrier & angrier**, since you interpret their ‘directions’ as proof you’re not doing it right & so aren’t good enough – not just your work but as a person!
✶* This anger is caused by S-H.

• Instead of just raging at the other person (in your head) & wanting to smash their face in, Ask: “What does this reaction tell me about my damage?”
Ans: Some deep part still believes I’m so bad that I have to be perfect, to compensate, BUT since I can’t be, I hate you for exposing me, & means I’ll never be loved!

• Yes, we are responnot mesible for our behavior & attitudes.  But we also need to remember that HOW people treat us is ALWAYS telling us about them. When it’s insensitive or mean it’s coming from their inner PP &/or WIC (very few have a L.P. even when they have a functioning H.A. in the UNIT)

Their behavior tells us about their inner world, even if we made a mistake. So we don’t have to take responsibility for or try to fix our personality, only our actions – IF appropriate or possible!
In any case – OUR WIC desperately needs a hug & a mental course correction – modifying the CD of Perfectionism. If we do that every time – much of the anger will dissipate, even if the other person is still being a big pain!

CHECKLIST
ACoAs are often CONFUSED, because
• of our conflicting Es: old vs. current, WIC vs Adult, PP vs Adult…
• we confuse Es with thoughts/ beliefs, usually Toxic one, because we use the word “feel” to mean both (“Use THINK instead of FEEL posts)
• mix up Es with normal human needs, which we’re deeply ashamed of
• don’t know our RIGHTS or what ‘normal’ is, much less have permission to act on them

1. Which Toxic Rule is in play? (all have become self-destructive toxic rules
patterns, also called character defects)
Exp: “If I don’t like it, I have to stay” becomes passivity
2. Which of my WIC’s unmet needs am I re-experiencing?
Exp: Constantly ignored or punished for trying to get attention

3. What am I thinking about this situation?
Exp: “They’re never going to call / write back / I’m unlovable…..”
4. Which of my old buttons is getting activated? — an emotional sore spot from things your family & others consistently did to you &/or to each other – that hurt you  Exp: Being accused wrongly / being shushed

5. Which ego state is likely in charge at the moment (WIC or PP) ?
6. If I’m acting out, which parent am I copying & how?
7. What am I most afraid of in this situation? (FoA, punishment, isolation, not being heard…)
➼ Use the info in other posts to help you answer.

NEXT: ACoAS &  Emotions #4

POSITIVE Responses to Painful Events (Part 2)

flowers 2 

 

PREVIOUS: Positive Responses – re events

REVIEW: Part 1: Events + Large Chart

POSTS : EMOTIONS – To Motivate


2. EMOTIONS Square

Healthy ACoAs are not afraid to feel, own & deal with our emotions. Es are a vital part of our self-protection & self-correcting mechanism, built in to our brain (the limbic system).  It doesn’t matter which ego state the emotions come from – they’re all part of us. As we learn to identify ‘who’s’ saying & feeling what (Ts & Es) – we can respond to internal cues more accurately

a. From the WIC (adapted child)
• These emotions will be left-over from our difficult childhood – abandonment terror, hopelessness, profound existential loneliness, rage, self-hate, even feeling suicidal – all based on actual experiences, PLUS internalizing those of our parents

b. From the Negative Introject
It includes all the dysfunction from their background, & their feelings towards us, including:
desperation, disgust, fear of abandonment, indifference, impatience, neediness  ……  emotions we absorbed & continue to carry – until they’re cleaned out.  We have to face our pain, but the thoughts & feelings of our parents MUST be given back to them! via repeated visualizations & statements

EXPs:
• “Dad, I love you but I can’t save you from mom’s cruelty. I tried to ease your pain, even taking on your covert suicidal feelings, but never could fix you. You chose her & stayed with her – it’s your marriage. You’re not my mate, so I give you back to her!”

• “Mom, I’ve been carrying your fear, helplessness & unfelt rage all these years, thinking it would help lift your burden. I’m sad that you’ve been suffering, but I know now it was an impossible task & not mine to deal with anyway. I’ve rolled up all your pain in a big black ball & now give it back to you. I have enough of my own to Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 9.34.34 PM.pngheal!”

c. From the Healthy Child  
• Our Natural Self, whether Introvert or Extrovert, is a combination of – amusement, amazement, anger, curiosity,  excitement, disappointment, love, joy, shyness, trust … and  envy, fear, greed, need, naiveté, selfishness, stubbornness ….  (PAC characteristics)

d. From the Loving Parent
• This is the missing ego state in all wounded ACoAs & so is the most important to develop, replacing the PP (pig parent / bad voice) : love, consistency, patience, persistence, sense of humor, tolerance, faith….. needed for positive self-care

NOTE : the Healthy Adult is basically emotion-free – primarily our computer mode, practical, rational & objective
ACCEPTANCE

i. I didn’t Cause it
Other people’s reactions to us speaks about who they are.
😻 Getting this truth into our cells is a core imperative !!! a requirement for peace of mind!  ONLY our co-dependence & narcissism says otherwise
ii. I can’t Control it
Being controlling is driven by anxiety – the fear of loss (abandonment) & the grandiose belief that we have power in powerless situations. (Serenity Prayer –  backwards). We can’t make others do or be what we want, only continue working on ourself
iii. I can’t Cure it
While some spiritual practices teach that we have all power, over everything – ultimately there are things in this lifetime we cannot cure, whether in ourselves or in others.  Focusing on the impossible is a waste of time & takes energy away from the many wonderful things we can accomplish!

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 9.35.19 PMOTHER PEOPLE — Their reactions to our behavior can have something to do with us, directly OR indirectly IF:
a. about Them:
• we accidentally bump against a long-standing emotional ‘hot button’ in them (we ONLY create buttons in our own physical children)
• we inadvertently remind them of someone in their own damaged past
• we don’t go along with their narcissistic needs or expectations

b. about Us:
• when our unhealed rage &/or neediness pushes others away
• we keep asking unavailable people to be there for us when they can’t
• we consistently expect too much of others, including healthy ones
• we say or do something hurtful, disloyal, selfish…. from our damageScreen Shot 2016-06-22 at 9.38.02 PM

🔸 The things WE ARE responsible for can be worked on in Recovery, especially things we do / say that hurt others.
To heal we have to own it all, objectively, without self-hate, & be willing to make changes.
Reasons that others may legitimately be uncomfortable with us (our repressed rage, neediness, unavailability…) will lessen as we develop our ‘UNIT’ & progressively interact with others in new ways.

NEXT: Positive Responses (Thinking)

Loneliness in RECOVERY (Part 3)

not lonely

I NEVER IMAGINED
I’d ever be this comfortable!

PREVIOUS: Loneliness in Recovery (Part 2)

SITE: The GIFT of Loneliness ~ Dr. Chip Dodd (scroll down)


The middle A :
ACCEPTANCE  (#3)
Recovery (Rec) Loneliness is part of the process, so it’s normal & to be expected
(cont.):

6. Accept temporary Rec. Loneliness of…..
…. Shifting our dependence on to ourselves & our Higher Power as the Good-Parent we never had. Humans will always let us down, even the best ones, but “God, as we understand Him’ never will.

NOTE: For those of us who have trouble with this (from lack of faith, anger at the God of our childhood, or not having a concept of a H.P. greater than ourselves…) we can ask for guidance from Governing Principle that will be a comfort to us. connect W.HP

TRUSTING an unseen Spirit Being or Force is hard when we don’t trust anyone or anything. But that can start the shift by learning to trust ourselves, AND by picking healthier more reliable people. Also, because Spirit is intangible, we need to be in touch with the emotions housed in the Healthy Child & Loving Parent ego states, which includes our intuition or 6th sense.

SOME RESULTS
Emotions from leaving inappropriate people can be sadness & brief loneliness, OR relief and healthy self-congratulation – which we’re not used to & not ‘allowed’ – & think it’s arrogant & selfish!

Practical outcomes can be:
• short-term isolation, which we need to process such big changes, but not from fear, guilt, shame or S-H
• that some people we distance from can’t tolerate their own abandonment pain, so will keep bugging us : ”What happened? Where are you? Are you all right”? even after telling them you need alone to thinkspace, or ending with a final good-buy.
If you’re truly done, you don’t have to respond. We are not responsible for THEIR WIC, even tho we can understand & have compassion
• we’ll feel lighter & have more energy for our own life & pursuits
• having the space to add in more & more healthy suitable people/ places & things (PPT) for ourselves

Keep in mind Al-Anon’s 3 As:
1. Awareness 2. Acceptance & 3. Action.
It’s never healthy to jump from #1 to #3, which is what most ACoAs do automatically. We need to spend as much time in #2 as our psyche /WIC needs. Then the eventual Actions will likely be much healthier.

Occasionally we’ll still find ourselves lonely, as when we’re :
• with the wrong people, which triggers old Abandonment pain
• outgrowing old ‘supports’, leaving behind (or limiting contact with) people & locations we’ve had in our life for a very long time, but were never suitable, or just plain bad for us
• moving on to each new level of personal growth, from :
“I don’t belong anywhere”—-> to —-> “I know who I am & I go where it’s warm”

With RECOVERY we don’t feel as deeply L. because:
• the L. that was based on S-H & hopelessness is so much milder
• we know it’s OK to the alone when we want to, & it’s not isolating, nor an indication that we feel unwanted & unlovable, ie. unsafe
• we’re more likely to find a healthier life partner, if we want one, not out of loneliness but to share our principles, goals & dreams
• we’re living mainly in the positive present, & enjoying it

These big ‘changes for the better’ can be hard on us emotionally, as another layer of old pain surfaces, but now we know how to deal with it because the UNIT is in charge, & we’re happy to clean out more of the old damage.

NEXT: Recovery from Loneliness #4

Our Wounded INNER CHILD (Part 2)

OW>OW<OW EVERYONE’S HURTING ME!
Ow, Ow, Ow!

PREVIOUS: OUR WIC (Part 1) Raising ourselves

POSTS: The Introject /  Negative Benefit

SITE:”When Your Inner Child is Running the Show


WHO IS this INNER CHILD ?
Our Adapted Child
(which everyone has) became our WIC by absorbing the Toxic Rules of our family, and is now determined to keep acting out the patterns we learned in our family & society (Repetition Compulsion), no matter how sick or self-destructive, by either being:

Compliers – who are the good obedient adult-children, (over-responsible / people-pleasing) who are desperately trying to earn the family’s love they never got, who suffer a variety of stress-related illnesses from suppressing their own needs & emotions  (POSTS :” Secretly Angry ‘Nice People
OR
Rebellers – who feel compelled to copy their terrible training, but hate it & desperately try to resist. They are oppositional (always say NO, even when they want to say YES) in a futile attempt at disobeying the Toxic Rules & having some personal boundaries. But they do it in such self-defeating & self-destructive ways that end up causing even more harm!

Wounded Inner Child’s (WIC) in charge
We never learned from our family INTERNALLY to be a Healthy Adult or Loving Parent (The UNIT) to ourselves – our role models being mainly other people’s PP and WIC!
So when CoAs become adults, our Wounded Inner Child, in symbiotic slavery to the Bad inner Parents, is still the main persona running our life, in the form of the False Self.

The WIC in charge has kept us alive so far – but not well :
• it doesn’t really know what it’s doing, so it’s always faking it
• has learned to trust no one, even people who are OK
• is in endless terror, (consciously or not), from birth – on
• is stubbornly loyal to the family, even if it kills us
• is smothering the Natural Child with S-H & shame

✶ AND – is secretly very proud of it’s ability to survive the odds, which gives it a strong determination to keep the reins of power! Since it has no better inner guide to rely on, it is not going to let go just because we ask it to!
These are some reasons why Recovery is so long & difficult.

This cannot be stressed enough:
Without family-of-origin Recovery (FoO work), the WIC ego state still dominates our life** in all T.E.A. ways, with the deadly combination of S-H & fierce loyalty to the Negative Introject (PP), via Cognitive Distortions (CDs).
This is true even though, for many of us, our various defense mechanisms which are layered on top of the original damage – make it seem as if we’re managing ok.
But no matter how externally talented, successful, competent, & accomplished we may be – if our thinking & emotional reactions are mainly coming from an old place – we are still not Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 9.45.08 PMpsychologically free.

** So it’s inevitable that much of the time we’re emotionally immature in how we respond to people, places & things (PPT)!
Keep in mind: As long as we don’t have a fully functioning Loving Parent, plus a stronger Healthy Adult, the real voice in charge of us is the PP.

The easy way to tell which is which is by listening to how we talk to ourself —
a. the PP belittles us in the “YOU” form : You should have known better. Why didn’t you_____
b. the WIC in S-H always talks in the “I” form: “I’m such an idiot. I should _______ ”
The WIC consistently carries out the attitude & commands of the Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 9.43.08 PMPP. So whether we’re in Rebel / defiant mode or playing Victim, we’re hooked into the family dynamic.

Without a Healthy Adult in charge:
• we don’t handle our life properly
• we let other people’s WIC or PP mistreat us
• the healthy Natural Child doesn’t get to develop & shine
• we can’t be the best we were born to be

Without a Loving Parent always available, the WIC:
• is at the mercy of our PP, with the damage it causes us
• is’s run by its S-H & distorted thinking
• feels constantly scared & vulnerable
• is terribly lonely & desperate to be rescued

NEXT: Abandonment Pain, Now #1