Passive Aggressives – Review for ACoAs (Part 3)

not Pass-Agg 

WHAT A CONCEPT:
Honest doesn’t mean hostile. 
Pleasant doesn’t mean passive!

PREVIOUS: Passive-Aggressive ACoAs (Part 2)

SITEs:” Emotionally Volatile People
• “Difficult People & how to Handle Them

 

REVIEW (cont.)
3. CAUSEs of the game
ACoAs – from our family, school, religion…. we were NOT allowed :
• to be angry, to the point of not even knowing we are!
• to know what we wanted, how we felt, what we preferred (being too much of an individual got smashed – so it left us confused)
• to ask for anything (don’t bother them)
• taught to never put ourselves first
AND
• always had to always be perfect (no mistakes) – so better not choose anything
• no matter what we did, we were punished, so we couldn’t win
• safer to not be too visible (in a dangerous family, & later in abusive relationships)
taking any risk was discouraged, made fun of, punished (so now we can’t risk ‘failing’& being disappointed)

4. EFFECTs of the game
a. Negative BenefitsWE DON’T:
• have to figure out who we are, what we want & need
• have to disobey any of the toxic family rules
• have to admit we’re angry, even raging, underneath
• have to stand up to the ‘control freaks
• have to make a mistake & deal then with the consequences
• AND we get to blame others when something goes wrong
• & maintain the illusion of being nurtured (taken care of by others)

b. Negative Consequences:
• we are dis-empowered, loose self-esteem, stay a victim, are infantilized, stay mute, don’t risk anything
• always feel scared of losing people (FoA), of being disapproved
• increases our Self-Hate & Loneliness

• never get what we really want, unless by accident or by luck
• lose out on many opportunities to grow, to be heard, to have fun
• always feel scared of losing people, of being disapproved of
• make other people mad at us, a lot! for forcing them to carry all the responsibility & then getting blamed

4. HEALTHY
a. General: We need to identify
• all the ways we were hurt as kids, including the specific messages we got & still obey, like ‘don’t feel’ , ‘don’t talk’ (Toxic Rules)
• prevent the Wounded Inner Child from running our life BY growing a Healthy Adult & Loving Parent  who then can make executive decisions about how to own & express our needs
book-end with the IC, to outgrow living in the past. If done consistently, it will teach the IC the difference between what’s possible & real in the present, vs the way it was in our dysfunctional family

b. For Passive-Aggressives – we need to:
own our resenpassiveagrro3tments, anger, rage, bitterness, which are hidden
• learn safe ways of discharging our rage & healthy ways of expressing it to others, when it’s needed
• practice saying what we need, want, like, prefer – to find out that nothing bad happens to us or others
• stop looking for other people to be in charge of our lives, tell us what to do, make our decisions & choices
• keep a safe distance from anyone who is easily provoked to anger

Practice making ‘I statements’ every day, silently to yourself, so that it becomes easier & easier to say out loud:  “I want… I need… I don’t like… I’d rather…  that’s not for me… ” UNTIL it’s second nature!

c. For Volatiles – we need to:
• find out what’s under the rage: the reality of child abuse & neglect we lived thru, and the pain it created
• accept that the rage is legitimate, but our actions are not always healthyScreen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.24.27 PM.png
• work on getting our rage out in safe, appropriate places (therapy groups, 12-step programs, doing rage-work at home, drawing, writing…)

own our Inner Sadist: make friends with it, but don’t ever let it act out
• learn calming techniques (bio-feedback, meditation, prayer, visualizations…)
• become safe enough to feel what’s underneath – grief, sadness, loneliness, hurt, sorrow, vulnerability
• keep a distance from P-As, who try to pull us in by their surface charm & ‘interest’ in us

Practice comforting & mentally holding the IC, so he/she doesn’t feel so alone with all it’s pain.  Give ourselves permission to cry – it is not a weakness – no matter what our family taught us!  Crying clears out toxins & releases pent-up emotional stress. It’s very necessary!

Realistically, while P-As can definitely work on having permission to express anger & rage, it’s usually up to the V. to STOP the game, stop reacting to / expecting (anything) from the P-A. Maybe even have to leave!

NEXT: Qs – Are you P-A?

ACoAs: Getting to our EMOTIONS (Under)

feelings hurt 

FEELING BITE!
I won’t let anyone get to me

PREVIOUS: Feelings Aren’t Facts – #2

POSTs:    “Feelings Aren’t Facts”

 

ISSUE
All ACoAs were trained to ignore our Es, often with tragic consequences. It prevents us from being able to identify what’s:
• suitable or not for us          • mentally sane & logical
• psychologically healthy       • genuinely pleasurable
STYLE
• At its simplest: The Right brain governs our emotions & the Left brain our thinking (among many other things).
Connecting the 2 sides is a thick mass of nerves, the Corpus Callosum, allowing the halves to communicate, like being able to verbalize (T)<—> feelings (E).  (see posts re. M & F Brains)

• Everyone is born with a unique personality which then interacts with environment & training.  Growing up in constant stress, the 2 sides stop communicating, for protection. Then some people function too much from the L & others too much from the R. We can see this in the way we react to physical or mental hurt.

1. UNDER-FEELING – L brain
Under-Feelers (U-F) live in our head’ to avoid painful Es, cut off from a vital part of our being, & need ways to re-connect the ‘wiring’.
a. GOAL – TO:all Es
• feel all our emotions without fear, shame or guilt
• learn names of a wide range of emotion & be able to associate them with sensations the body generates in the limbic system
• use available tools to help us get in touch with repressed emotions
• learn how to manage painful emotions when they surface
• nurture the Inner Child so that our Abandonment pain diminishes – making us less afraid of Es!

TOOLS
• The process of breaking thru layers of emotional denial is different for every person & can’t be predicted. Each of us is born unique & therefore is at a different mile marker on the road to Recovery. So the effectiveness & timing of these activities will vary
• Any one, or a combination of these methods can bring up Es we had to push into the unconscious.  It takes patience & perseverance. Try as many as you can & never give up:

BODY WORK — ANY available in your area, like:
core energetics, a safe way to clean rage out
massage, to release holding Es in muscles
acupuncture, to re-align meridians so energy can flow freely (Es are energy)
Brain Gym (re-patterning), to reconnect the 2 brain halves
craneo-sacral therapy, to get trapped cerebro-spinal fluid moving …..
If none of these are available, go to a gym, find a place to run, get a punching bag, hit pillows, get a plastic bat & use it on the bed or couch
READING
• 12-step literature            • Personal-growth articles & books
• Spiritual works                • any other writing that ‘touches’ us
SEEING / LISTENINGspiritural practice
• movies, plays, classical & modern music, choirs
• old family photos, diaries, letters….
SPIRITUAL
• religious services, spiritual gatherings
• meditation, prayer….

TALKING
• 12-Step Meetings – Al-Anon,  ACoA, SIA (Survivors of Incest)….
• any form of therapy – individual, group, experiential, primal….sharing
• loving friends, getting family info from anyone willing to talk
VISUALIZING
• Inner Child visualizations & guided imagery
• ‘hypnosis’ – with a trained therapist or self-administered (fully awake but with focused concentration on a topic)
WRITING
4th-Step inventory: list of character defects, childhood traumas & losses – but NOT used for self-abuse!
 Lists of positive qualities – 5 or 6 categories (PMES, Natural abilities, Learned Skills, Talents, Interests, Personality traits… ).
— Add to each as often as you think of: things you do automatically, what you’ve learned in school or on your own, natural tendencies, tastes, interests…, whatever you’re good at, AND anything positive that other people say about youjournaling

Morning pages – stream of consciousness – first thing in the a.m. we’re less ‘defended’ against our inner truth
2-handed IC dialogues – learning to listen to the Inner Child AND how to respond lovingly
Dreams – write them out using the Gestalt method

• keep a separate list of self-hating belief every day to ’hear’ how ugly & untrue they are.  ASK: “Would I say these things to someone I love?” If not, then why let the Pig Parent say them tor let the kid agree with them? You can change that!

NEXT: ‘Getting to our Feelings’ – OVER – #1

The BODY & Emotions (Part 3)

body Es 3

 

I TRY TO HIDE MY FEELINGS
but my body keeps giving me away

PREVIOUS: The BODY & Emotions – #2

SITEDiagnostic Features of Acute Stress Disorder (clinical)

SENSING Emotions
Even though there are still people who deny the value of having emotions, (& some still flatly deny that animals also have them!) – fortunately there are scientists who continue to gather data identifying brain structures associated with emotions & the ways we can use our senses. Maybe it will eventually convince the skeptics!

BLINDSIGHT is a term coined by researchers at Oxford in the UK, over 40 years ago – working with blind monkeys & then humans, in the process of testing their ability to sense their environment using other parts of the brain that eyes.

• In the TV series “Through the Wormhole” the episode Blind Sight’ (clips) shows a scientific study from the Netherlands about how Es travel from person to person, by picking up changes in faces. Dr. de Gelder’s subjects were stroke victims who can see with one eye but not the other.
They were shown pictures of people with a neutral emotions – to their ‘good’ eye – at the same time that the same time faces with a variety of emotions were shown to the blind eye.

• In every case, each time the unseeing eye was presented with people’s features that expressed emotions, the subjects automatically mimicked those exact expressions on their own face – without realizing it. When asked if they knew what emotion was on the screen, they all said they were just guessing.
Clearly they were using some other areas of the brain.  For an explanation see the whole program

• CAT scans show our brains experience many complex interaction we don’t consciously realize & don’t make enough use of, which include emotion centers of the brain.  It would benefit us as ACoAs to learn about these connections & realize they are legitimate parts of us – built into our biological system. We can then become more comfortable with our Es & use them to navigate the complexities of life – which is why we have them!

HOLDING IN Es
• How we carry our body can indicate how we’re feeling emotionally, not just at the moment, but habitually. We store un-processed stress in our body’s organs, muscles, chakras, meridians & electro-magnetic layers. Specific emotional residue of abuse AND negative beliefs are stored in various locations in the body.  (Anger in the liver, not being supported in the lower back muscles, shame in the gut, fconcave solar plexusear in the heart or stomach….)

EXP:  Some people’s whole body center is visibly concave, as in these drawings. It shows they were severely & regularly abused in childhood, which is often continued in current toxic relationships.

Their solar pleabusedxus has been emotionally punched (sometimes physically too) so often that their body is trying to pullback from future blows they know will come – or are still expecting, even long after the danger has passed.
There are also many abused people whose outward signs are much subtler, but the cues are there as well – for us to understand their behavior

➼ Generally, people who are confident & happy stand erect, head up, shoulders back, & walk with a sure but nor arrogant gait. Depressed or self-hating people may stand with head down, slumped shoulders, slow or unsure walk…..  Changing how we hold our body can improve how we feel about ourselves.

Of course there are exceptions:
♿️ someone with a chronic physical illness may move slowly, be hunched over, clumsily, need a wheelchair. Yet they can be confident & emotionally balanced, with ups & downs, but not miserable
☢️ while some who are deeply insecure may strut & seem ‘strong’ emotionally, only because they present a facade to compensate for being afraid, expressed as anger & inflated self-importance

NEXT: Identifying Emotions (Part 1)