ACoAs & Being DISAPPOINTED (Part 1)

empty promises I CAN’T TRUST ANYONE
I’ve been disappointed too often

PREVIOUS: Anxiety & T.E.A. #3

SITEs:
Overcoming Disappointment
• “
How to Cope with Disappointment

QUOTES: “Longed for him. Got him. Shit.” ― Margaret Atwood

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope & expectation.” ― Eric Hoffer

DEF: The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest, with the focus on the outcome, rather than the poor choices one may have made that got one there (regret)

• Decision Analysis studies many different topics, including Disappointment – its causes, impact & degree to which individual decisions are motivated by a desire to avoid it.

FROM the Regret & Disappointment Scale: “The emotion most frequently studied by decision theorists is regret, the counter-factual thoughts that create our emotions – when realizing or imagining we would have had a better outcome if we’d decided differently.

Regret depends on choice or behavior-focused counter-factual** thoughts, its intensity varying in relation to the availability of counter-factual alternatives.”
**Counterfactual thinking is what we say about a past that didn’t happen the way we wished: ‘If only I had… What if it hadn’t….”

Psychologists & economists have been investigating the relationship between regret & choice since the early 1980’s…… The emotion of disappointment is also based on counter-factual thinking: We feel disappointment when we find ourselves wishing that events had turned out better for us.

Although regret and disappointment are different emotions, they’re both generated by comparing “What is” with “What might have been”.(MORE….)

ACoAs have very intense reactions to being disappointed (D) – either outright rage OR deep depression, depending on the strength & importance of the need.
This to be such a big issue for ACoAs, which tells us how constant & overwhelming our disappointments were as kids – first & foremost in our parents, & then in everyone else who let us down.

• We needed them to be there for us, encourage, guide, protect, validate, mirror, love…. & they either did these things sporadically, incompetently or not at all.
Constant, endless disappointment in our caretakers (also teachers, relatives, baby sitters…) has left us with a very big wound. It’s one of many wounds – & some of us have buried it so deep, we don’t evedisapponted catn recognize it when it happens again in the present.

To be disappointed one must:
1. have a need (desire, wish, dream, hope….)
We may not even know we have a particular need or wish, because we were not allowed to have them, or if we did we were told in many ways, over & over – that they were not legitimate, were selfish, were dumb….

2. expect that need to be met. Since we’re not allowed to have them, we become unaware that they’re always in the background. Because they’re never met – they never go away! We still have them, just by virtue of being alive.
For many of us, the greater a specific need, the more desperate we become – often because we’re waiting for someone else to do something for us we should be doing for ourselves or can learn how to.

3. not get that need met : We can track the need by the intensity of our reactions when we don’t get something we (unconsciously) hoped for, asked for or demanded.

EXPECTATIONS (Review posts – Over and Under)
No matter which form it takes, expecting others to fill our empty heart & mind, instead of being pro-active, means:Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 10.13.44 PM
• the WIC is still running our life, waiting to find the ‘right’ parent – magically – so we don’t have to care for ourselves
• we’re functioning from our narcissism – always coming from the point of view that “Everything is about me!”.
This assumption was not true about the abuse we grew up with, & it’s not true about what people do to us & around us – now.
We know this because when WE change, in Recovery, those same behaviors in others seem to bother us a great deal less!
ARTICLE: “Managing Negative Expectations” w/ chart

❥ HUMOR from Grant Snider

disappointed

NEXT: ACoAs & Disappointment – Part 2

ACoAs: PATTERNS of Mistrust (Part 2)

mistrust 

I’LL NEVER GET WHAT I WANT
so I might as well end it

PREVIOUS: Patterns of Mistrust (Part 1)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 


PATTERNS (cont)

e. MIND-READING
We’re always trying to figure out:
• WHY someone did or didn’t do what we wanted (“Why hasn’t he called me back?”, “Why did thmindreadingey leave?”…). We think that if we can figure it out, we can fix ourselves so they won’t leave us, or so they’ll come back

• WHAT they are thinking in general, & specifically about us, so we know where we stand, what they want from us, how we should behave ……
Our co-dependence makes us assume that if they like us we‘re allowed to live, but if they disapprove or are angry at us we should be dead! & this happens over & over with each person, so we’re emotional yo-yos

f. BACK-DOOR
At the same time we build-in a defense strategy in relationships to manage our FoA by automatically looking for flaws in others, which we can use as an excuse to escape the minute we feel disappointed. back doorThey’ll failed our test by — not reading our mind, not rescuing us, not symbiosing with us….
It’s our ‘fear of commitment’, so we never quite have both feet firmly in the relationship, BUT then complain that we can’t connect / don’t feel close / aren’t valued….

• An extreme version of this is when we really do want to get out of a relationship but don’t have the right or the courage to do it directly — we create drama (fights, an affair, constantly pressuring them….), pushing the other person away in order to force them into doing the leaving. BUT then we feel abandoned, unloved – & angry!

g. TESTING
On the one hand we have created a set of rules for others to follow (no matter what kind of relationship), often unconsciously AND which we don’t tell the other person about.  Our rules:
• are about the positive ways we wish we would be treated, but are not allowed to ask for directly or do for ourselves
• represent our demand that others be the good parents we didn’t have
• are the measuring stick we use so we can know what to expect – so we won’t be cotestingnned & not feel so vulnerable

💔 THEN we wait to see how many rules they fulfill or which ones they violate. When they fail we can feel justified in our anger & disenchantment with them – & all of humanity!

h. The THIRD DEGREE
On the other hand, we may try to be safe by asking endless questions, probing to see what’s really going on, to see if the situation is safe, what do they like, want, need…..
NOTE: Information about who people are is legitimate & necessary – but here we’re talking about frantic, incessant interrogation because we can’t trust our perceptions, or other people, & can’t letting things unfold slowly

i. PREEMPTIVE STRIKES
a. Verbally attack or threaten physical harm ahead of assumed danger, especially if someone has inadvertently pushed one of our old buttons, like accusing us wrongly or acting needy
EXP: A young woman threatened each new lover with bodily harm on the first date if he ever did or said anything to scare her

b. Since we assume we we’ll be abandoned sooner or later, WE:
• can’t wait to tell others about how messed up we arepreempt love
• act obnoxious & immature
• never respond to anything seriously, using ‘clever’ phrases
• stay very impersonal, only talking from the head, only about actions
• insult others, have a hostile attitude most of the time, answer civil or ‘innocent’ questions with ridiculous or angry retorts
EXP: A young woman reacted harshly when a new boyfriend asked if she was going to make him breakfast. She spit out “I wouldn’t be caught dead cooking!”
• One girl was asked by another if she liked her dress. The first answered:  “I wouldn’t wear it, but it’s ok on you”

NEXT: Healthy Trusting (Part 1)

ACoAs: PATTERNS of Mistrust (Part 1)

protect heart
I HAVE TO PROTECT MYSELF AT ALL COSTS
– even if it keeps me from being loved!I

PREVIOUS: UNDER-Trusting (Part 3)

 

IMP:
We are not to blame for being deeply mistrustful of everyone.
But we also need to be clear about how we perpetuate the patterns created by our trauma so we can stop beating ourselves up, feeling ashamed, & limiting our options. (CDs: INFO & the Brain)
Instead we can try out new internal beliefs & external actions.

• We have experienced many, many betrayals by the important people in our lives – whether family, friends, spouse, school, church or government. Some or all of these betrayals are so extreme we may never be able to forgive, regardless of what the ‘gurus’ tell us. This is not to deny the benefits of forgiveness – just that if we are not able to do it (yet) but believe we should, ‘or else’, we unfairly add to our self-hate & sense of failure.

PATTERNS* of Mistrust
* All of these are being generated by the WIC in an attempt to protect ourselves from further harm, but are totally unsuccessful, since they prevent us from getting the closeness & love we so desperately need – AND have a right to. And all are forms of control based on trying to stave off more PMES abandonment.

a. FAKE MEWIC pretending
We clearly got the message that who & what we were as a child was unacceptable to our parents. So as adults, when interacting with others, the WIC in dress-up tries to ‘improve’ our personality by twisting in unnatural avatars – into something we think some present-day person or group is going to want or find acceptable

• We spend a lot of time trying to figure out “how I should feel”, “what I should wear”, “what I’m going to say”…… & never get it quite right, because it’s artificial. Of course, if we’re being run by our WIC, we don’t know who we are or how to relate from a place of empowerment, so it’s very hard to be healthy and safe at the same time

b. LABELING
Some of us decide at the beginning of a relationship (potential friend or lover) what kind it’s going to be, without having enough information about the other person or giving it enough time to develop organically.
We may think: “THIS ONE IS :peopel labels
• just going to be a friendship
• just for sex
• isn’t going to last
• just casual
• permanent  / ‘the one’
• the one I can’t live without
• I’ll hate forever”……

Again, we’re trying to control the outcome & be prepared for the inevitable abandonment we expect.  Preconceived notions may –
• actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy of loss because we prevented it from growing into something positive
• shock us with unexpected results, if we have illusions about it
• severely disappoint all unrealistic expectations
• occasionally surprise us by turning into something better than hoped for

c. PARANOIA
Because we were so often hurt as a child, we conclude that for the rest of our lives everyone** will inevitably do us harm, sooner or later.  So we assume the worst of anyone we meet, men & women, although some of us may be more afraid of one gender than another, depending on which parent was more paranoidconsistently damaging or crueler.

• We actually scan our environment for the potential danger we’re sure is there & – of course – we find it.
• We ALSO ignore all the neutral or positive people & things around us, so we can maintain our ‘story’ that “The whole world is dangerous”, in order to validate our childhood trauma

** This is our reaction even with people who have consistently proven to treat us well, making it hard to benefit from anyone who can be there for us – in healthy ways

d. OVER-TRUSTING (recent post)
Everyone tells us about themselves, subtly or not, yet we ignore all the unhealthy things we hear & experience in people we ‘need’, staying too long at the party & getting trampled. Then wonder why we can’t trust!

NEXT: Patterns of Mistrust (Part 2)

Mind-Reading vs. INTUITION (Part 2a)

intuition 1

 

I JUST KNOW IT –
but I don’t have any proof

PREVIOUS: MIND-READING – 1b

Review Mind-reading, 1a

 

2. INTUITION
DEF: INTUITION =  It’s like overhearing a conversation in a language we’re not fluent in but can still get the gist of what’s said. It’s the ability to maneuver within beliefs & knowledge, giving a relative awareness of where we are on the map of life
PS: Inspiration is seeing the whole path we need to travel on the map

Intuition is complex – mostly it’s being tuned-in to the world around us – & beyond – picking up info without any obvious source
For some it’s a gut feeling
For others it’s the universe giving them a gentle nudge
For still others it’s the answer to a prayer or a whisper from God

Intuition is an innate survival tool, a compass & a tether connecting us to our environment. It doesn’t have to be supernatural – it is most often a subliminal accumulation of what others are saying, feeling or doing (their T.E.As) & storing it for future reference (see pt. d)

SO – Intuition is in us & comes from us, but is about everything outside of us – the opposite of Mind Reading.
✶ When cultivated, it bypasses or counters certain of our ACoA damage!

a. In the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory (MBTI), the second of 4 levels is Sensate vs Intuitive, which has to do with one’s style of gathering information about the world, & making decisions based on it.

• At one extreme are the Sensates (S) who need proof of everything, literal & practical. They prefer hands-on, here-&-now tangible experiences, only believing what they can see & touch. They are about 70% of the US population & are considered ‘hard-nosed’ by their opposites

• At the other end are the Intuitives (N) who ‘just know’ – they look for meaning, possibilities & relationships among things (the gestalt). They like to put things in a theoretical framework, looking at things holistically, seeking the big picture. They comprise about 30% & are considered ‘flakes’ by the S. (See all 4 levels)

✶ Most people don’t live at the extreme ends of this level (S vs N). But when 2 people in any kind of relationship DO, it is one of the most difficult discrepancies of the 4 levels to overcome.
They never really ‘get’ each other.  It’s especially hard when an extreme S mother has a very N child – she’ll likely negate the child’s way of understanding its environment, making the child doubt its perceptions, even its sanity –  especially if the mother is also a narcissist

b. As Children
• From birth, kids have a capacity for seeing & sensing things that many adults are unaware of. This is an important instinct for them, since they’re so vulnerable & don’t yet have language.  Infants mirror what we present to them, especially our emotions

EXP: When a mother takes a slow, deep breath each time she feels tension, either in herself or the infant, it teaches the baby to do the same. She’s creating & reinforcing the state of anxiety – without ever saying a word!
• Equally so, children who comfortably spend time contemplating & exploring their thoughts & feelings, without interference, will develop self-awareness & the intuitive abilities that come from this inner knowledge

•  The absorption capacity of intuition, so highly developed in kids, allows us to assimilate our parents’ inner feelings as much as their overt messages. The combination becomes the Introject – which is only negative if our parents were mentally &/or emotionally damaged

Exp:  A friend remembers one evening when she was 6 or 7, sitting with her dad in the living room while he was reading the paper. For no apparent reason she asked him who Lydia was.  He looked at her puzzled but didn’t answer. Many years later she found out that he was having an affair with a Lydia back then, but at that time no one in the family knew about it.  What had she been ‘picking up’ on? – A smell? his guilt? his residual pleasure?

NEXT: INTUITION – 2b

MIND-READING vs Intuition (Part 1b)

illusion
YOU DON’T KNOW ME!

I know I’m right

PREVIOUS: Mind-Reading  (Part 1a)

 

1. MIND-READING (M-R) – cont.
a . Official meaning

CONTINUING this kind of M-R keeps us:
• Internally  – attached to our dangerous family // anxious & needing to isolate
Externally – suspicious of everyone’s motives // missing out on all the good people & opportunities that present themselves

Reality: Once we clearly know an un-recovered person’s toxic pattern from many painful encounters, it’s time to stop giving them the ‘benefit of the doubt’!  How many more times do we need to be hit over the head?

EXP of NOT mind-reading:
I taught my 12-week ACoA course “Knowledge is Power” over 10 years. Reaction from students varied widely in every class.   Some listened intently, taking notes & asking questions.  Others fidgeted, yawned, fell asleep, got mad, or stopped coming.

Regarding the latter group – IF I had been prone to mind-reading, I would have assumed the ‘disinterested’ people indicated the ‘truth’ – that I was a boring speaker, gave complicated or worthless info & generally wasted their time – the LIE thatScreen Shot 2015-08-30 at 11.33.21 PM the bad voice whispers!

➼ However, I KNOW I’m a good teacher, that my material is important & useful, & have been told by many students that the course greatly improved their lives.

I also know that some people were very tired (especially being an evening class), some had ADD & so usually have trouble sitting still for 2-3 hours, but most of all –  the class material brought up a lot of difficult awarenesses & intense pain, so that some people just wanted to opt out.
Actually – their seeming lack of interest was ALSO a validation of my work! So there – PP! See – Little One??

b. A Variation
Another way mind-reading can show up is projecting our wishes, needs & tastes onto others.  It’s not a strict interpretation of the definition, but is the same aspect of the child’s narcissism – ‘I am you & you are me.’  It’s still based on OUR personality, not on who the other person is.

INSTEAD OF nurturing us, our family:
• over-controlled us               •  expected us to be little adults
• demanded we be perfect and without needs – so they wouldn’t have to deal with us
• didn’t guide us, so we had to fend of ourselves, without much training!

This became another version of the familiar ACoA Dilemma :
✓ As kidsworried childwe had to take care of ourselves – not always in material ways, but definitely emotional & often mental, which gave us the message we weren’t worthy of being taken care of – SO
✓ As Adults – we believe we should not / cannot care for ourselves, from lack of appropriate help and lack of permission

i. The WIC projects that everyone is like our parents – who were totally wrapped up in their own worries & addictions.
They expected us to figure out what they needed & then provide it. This was either said or implied, but we got the message
☁︎ So we assume everyone else wants of us too

• Also, we were punished for not getting it right!  Either directly, by them berating or hitting us, or just by continuing to be drunk, crazy, mean, depressed….
This left us with a great deal of anxiety – fearful that we’d get it wrong but not knowing what to do or how to be

ii. NOW – we’re the ones being controlling – trying to make everyone & everything around us SAFE so we can feel less terrified, by making sure they have all their needs met – by us. The assumption is that everyone is as weak, needy, incompetent, scared, sick…… as our parents were

The WIC is convinced that when we fix them, they will:  protect us, never leave us,  take care of us, love us …. if only we work hard enough to get it right. Unfortunately, as long as we let our Adapted Child pick relationships, they’re going to be unhealthy, just like our family!

NEXT: Mind-reading #1c

MIND READING vs. Intuition (Part 1a)

mind-readingIS IT REAL OR…..
am I just projecting?

PREVIOUS: Healthy RISK

POSTS: Symbiosis & ACoAs
• “How ACoAs Abandon Others”

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


1. MIND-READING (M-R)

a. OFFICIAL Meaning
This is one of the many Cognitive Distortions (CDs) that plague ACoA & alcoholic thinking:  “… an arbitrary conclusion that someone is thinking or reacting negatively to you, without any real evidence… often going contrary to what the other person actually says or does, almost always pessimistic…”

• This CD is a projection of our WIC’s self-hate or the critical voice of our Negative Introject (PP).  It is a form of narcissism, which makes the WIC conclude we are the same as the other person, so — if I think & feel a certain way, so will you!

Wikipedia: Psychological projection** is a defense mechanism whereby a person unconsciously denies their own attributes, thoughts & emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world (the weather, other people….)
It reduces anxiety by allowing a way to express unwanted / unacceptable unconscious impulses or desires, without the conscious mind recognizing those needs & wishes

**NOTE: It’s not the same as Projecting

🦠 Mind-reading is completely about us – notmindreading
about the person or group we’re referring to.
Because of that, we insure staying disconnected from the rest of humanity, which reinforces our sense of alienation.  ACoAs are notorious for believing ‘We don’t belong anywhere’, even when in a room full of other ACoAs!

M-R comes from:
• knowing from experience that our parents did not love us unconditionally & so assume everyone else will feel the same towards us
• growing up in families where emotional & mental honesty was missing, so we had to guess at what others were thinking or feeling
AND
• our fear of separateness – if we ‘know’ what someone is thinking then we’re permanently joined (symbiotic), to stave off the bitter loneliness of the WIC
• needing to protect ourselves at all times from the ‘dangerous’ world
AND
• not being taught how to gather info correctly, we make up things. We’re not allowed to ask AND assume we won’t get the truth anyway
• trying to figure out how to behave (if I “know” what you’re thinking I can adjust my actions accordingly)

SO OUR:
✧ S-H becomes “Nobody likes me”
✧ FoA becomes “She would never spend time with me”
✧ paranoia becomes “I know they’re talking about me”
✧ fear of rejection becomes “She’ll too busy to help me”
✧ perfectionism becomes “They all thought my _____ was awful”
✧ lack of boundaries becomes “The boss expects me to be just like her!”

Me, me, me!  It completely erases others, as if they didn’t have separate identities, minds of their own OR had other things to think about besides us!

EXP: Paul sits anxiously in a 12-step meeting, raising his hand but not getting called on.  He’s convinced the speaker is deliberately avoiding him – “he must not want to hear what I have to say… he doesn’t like me… he thinks he’s better than me…”, so Paul sits & fumes.angry guy

Reality: If Paul had asked the speaker about this, he would have been told: “I’m sorry, I saw your hand, but just didn’t get to you.  It’s so hard to pick – you want to include everyone, but there’s just not enough time.”

EXP: If your therapist yawns or seems distracted – you assume he / she is bored with you.
Or if you get invited to a dinner party, you’re sure they only invited you along to make up the seating numbers.

Reality: you’re therapist was up all nite with a sick child or writing their blog! & you were invited to dinner because the hostess likes you & knows you’ll be a great addition!

NEXT: MIND-READING vs Intuition – 1b

Unrealistic Expectations – OVER (Part 2)

 

WHAT DO YOU MEAN
you don’t know what I need?

PREVIOUS: Unrealistic Expectations (Part 1)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

REVIEW post: “Symbiosis & ACoAs

 

What ACoAs SHOULD NOT expect…. (cont)
A. ….of OURSELVES (cont.)
(1. Unrealistic Recovery beliefs – Part 1)

2. Staying Attached : WE WANT to stay connected to even the most abusive family members & believe it’s our fault when that never seems to work out in our favor
• many ACoAs still have the illusion that if only we are perfect, ‘good’, successful, smart, care-taking of them…. enough – our addicted, self-centered, self-hating, severely damaged parents or substitutes (spouse, boss, adult-child….) will finally accept & love us just the way we are – so we never have to let go & grow up (love ourselves)barren tree

• even the smartest of us may harbor a secret hope that one day our parents &/or siblings will ‘get well / ‘see the light’… for themselves. We want them to get better, because we know they’re suffering, BUT we also want it for them so we can stay connected

• some of us have a parent who does eventually enter AA, & may become less abusive in some ways – but unless they also do at least some FoO work, their narcissism still shows, so they’re not going to be the parent we always wanted

• we’re so desperate to get their approval we refuse to see how incapable of love many of them really are – especially if they throw us a crumb once in a while.  Walking away or pulling back from such people entails “Crumb withdrawal”!
• when they hurt us yet again, we either suck it up & use our own addictions to numb the pain OR we turn it completely on ourselves & become depressed, non-functioning & suicidal – for some time after any encounter with them

B. ….of OTHERS
1. Be Rescued: WE WANT too much from others, which is the WIC’s demand that somebody make up for what we didn’t get from our parents. Yes, demand. We know this because of the hurt & rage that comes up when we don’t get the care & attention we so desperate long for – but rarely verbalize. The bigger the disappointment, the greater the helpless rage
• This seems obvious with Compliers, by hooking up with Rescuer ACoAs, who will do way too much for the ‘poor helpless victims’, so we don’t have to ASK

• It’s less obvious with Isolators, who don’t seem to need much, if anything. They have the same longing, if not more so, but are even more afraid & filled with shame to let anyone see how weak & needy they are. So they keep ‘starving’.
And waiting – for a miracle – which they think they don’t deserve anyway, & don’t really believe will ever come. But they still wait – instead of getting some of what they need for themselves

• Even harder to see is that Rescuers also want to be rescued. They’re not allowed to be given to either, but under all their care-taking is the intense demand they secretly have of the rescuee: “Pay me back for all the hard work I’ve put into you…make me feel appreciated, capable, loved, needed, smart, valued  … and most of all – get well so you can take care of ME!”

2. Symbiosis: WE WANT / expect others to treat us the way we would treat them (a symbiotic wish) – as if everyone is our identical twin. ACoAs will often say things like:
• “But, I would never do that to them!”
• “I don’t understand how she could have said that?!”
• “They can’t really be that dumb/ mean / selfish/ careless…”
• “I don’t understand how she could not like that!”symbiosis

• So what? They are not us! It should be obvious, but clearly it isn’t: that they have separate bodies, separate experiences, separate minds, separate tastes … so why do we still expect them to be like us?!
• When we think that way we’re reacting the same way our parents treated us – as extensions of themselves, rather than as separate beings. That’s our narcissism.

NEXT: Unrealistic – OVER #3

Relationship FORM B. (Part 3)

couple problems 

WHEN I’M HURT I DON’T WANT TO
‘keep the focus on myself!’

PREVIOUS: FROM B. (#1)

 

 

 

REVIEW: KtFoY (keep the focus on yourself), in Part 1

Relationship FORM B
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHEN YOU ___________________________________________
I FEEL  _______________________________________________
& BELIEVE THAT I AM ____________________________________
These are my thoughts & feelings, which are not your fault, and which
you’re not responsible for.
HOWEVER, I’D APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD ______________________________________________________
WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO TRY THAT? ________________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXPL 2.
WHEN YOU (As) – spend too much time talking to other people (especially to ___) when we’re out together
I FEEL (Es)  – invisible, disrespected, humiliated, angry, hurt, lonely
& BELIEVE THAT I AM (Ts) – not attractive, not desirable, boring, a burden to you
These are my …
HOWEVER, I’d APPRECIATE it if YOU WOULD (As) – pay more attention to me, include me in your conversations, show people I’m important to you, maybe even brag a little about me to others… 🙂
WOULD YOU BE WILLING….?Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 4.29.26 AM

RESULTS
Re. US
• ACoAs unconsciously expect others to know our needs without having to say anything. This is ‘mind-reading’ & not kosher to expect. It comes from the WIC, whose needs were not met sufficiently at a very young age, when we genuinely needed mom, or someone, to consistently know what to do for us, especially before we could talk.

🗝 NOW we refuse to ask for what we want & need – not just because we’re not ‘allowed’ but because that wounded part of us insists (unconsciously) that if we have to ask – whatever we get doesn’t count! What the kid doesn’t realize if that ADULTS are supposed to ask.

• Although our intense anger & hurt is from inside, we cab have a ‘legitimate beef’ if the other person consistently disappoints or abuses. It will take some work for ACoAs to know the difference – by identify our specific needs and human right, speak up for the WIC from the UNIT

Re. THEM
• If you’re dealing with an older child or teen – the way to handle them will be quite different. You’ll need to be more assertive bit not punitive, & may need to insist they ‘behave’ by your rules.Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 4.29.57 AM

a. But if you’re dealing with a self-centered, immature, narcissistic adult, they’re not likely to do as you ask – even if they promise to. With anyone who is that heavily ‘armored’, you probably won’t get anywhere.
They may not even be willing to look at the ‘dumb’ form you worked so hard to fill out!

In that case the purpose of the Forms A. & B. is for YOU to be clear about the issue, & stay awake to who / what you are dealing with.
You may have to decide to distance yourself, if not physically, then emotionally. Save every form, & fill a new one out each time a new ‘issue’ comes up, for you or from them. Only show them to someone trustworthy, like a sponsor or therapist. They are NOT to be used to beat someone up, or to hold resentments

b. Re. annoying or harmful actions, such as —
• at home : ruining furniture, breaking objects, throwing important things thing out…..
• in public : revealing too much, over-explaining, not answering direct questions…..
• inter-personally : promising but rarely coming thru, not listening, not holding up their end of responsibilities…..

➼ ….  one possibility is that the person has ADD, OCD, dyslexia, serious depression… & isn’t getting the right treatment for it.  So they may not be able to stick to an agreement, even if they want to.

EITHER WAY: If the person balks – at listening to your request, at considering it or at actually doing something differently – it’s important to ask “why not”:
— is it the way you’re stating the request or need?
— What would it mean to them to comply? the personal cost?
— What worries them about your request?
— Can they give you an alternative action they are willing to do – but only if it’s legitimate and acceptable to YOU – for you to consider?

• Of course, if they listen with an open heart, you have a chance at getting some of your needs met
• Even if the person’s response is favorable, don‘t expect miraculous shifts.  We all take time to change. Be willing to remind then, nicely!

Start the sentence with “Please, would you … / Do you remember you said you would be willing to…’ , rather than angrily:
“You never… / Why haven’t you… / You promised to…”!

• ALSO, you may need to be more assertive, more pro-active, more visible – to not be a victim of other people’s personalities & / or their damage.  🪒 ASK, ASK – nicely!

NEXT: ACoAs – Being Visible – #1