PREVIOUS: Healthy Give & Take
QUOTE: “Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.”
😁 Calvin: “Now what state do you live in?”
Hobbes: Denial.” ―
1. The ‘PROBLEM’
ACCEPTANCE is the middle ‘A’ of Al-Anon’s 3 As (2. Awareness — 3. Action). Correctly understanding & using this concept will make our life much clearer & saner.
For ACoAs this pesky A2 is the most misunderstood & the one many ACoAs HATE! We don’t even want to acknowledge it’s something we need to deal with, because of thinking that “I can’t accept anything I don’t like or is too painful”, which is a CD – cognitive distortion
DEF : A2 does NOT mean –
• liking or not liking something! – a MAJOR misconception
• staying a victim, accepting our lot in life, being resigned
• giving up, not trying, not looking for a way up & out
• putting up with ‘crap’ from people, including our Introject’s bad voice
• sitting around waiting for things to happen or for someone to rescue us
Parts 2 & 3 will explain what it IS. Sadly, as in other areas of life, ACoAs will turn almost anything against themself, even good things. But first let’s see how we do use the 3 As, in the service of our dis-ease, a shorthand for all of our toxic thinking.
Negative MEANING of the 3 As
To put Acceptance in context, the alcoholic / narcissistic family message given children is —
“You are Bad, We are Good, the World is Bad”.
And the WIC understands this triple threat to mean:
Neg. A-1 = “I’m so bad, no one will ever love me”, &
Neg. A-2 = “I try to ignore it, but believe it absolutely”
Neg. A-3 = so – “I must be perfect, (or dead!), to make up for it”
These 3 became the foundation of our world view – being stuck with this awful protocol without any possibility of escape. Negatives EXPANDED :
A1 = Awareness re. US – the deep-seated belief of the WIC that we’re unworthy, not entitled, beyond redemption! (S-H)
A2 = Acceptance re. THEM – that our family was right about everything, which we absorbed from their overt / covert brain-washing. Guess whose opinions we still hold on to!? We believed them because :
• all humans are intensely loyal to their upbringing – it’s our most basic connection to others
• it’s the way our brain got programmed – every experience created the neural pathways which formed our understanding of life (“How we Learn“)
• AND ‘they’ constantly made it clear that we were un-acceptable. Some parents even used God, spirituality & religion to convince us of their beliefs!
As a result we were trained to accepted all sorts of terrible things as normal & inevitable for the rest of our life, in obedience to our family & community’s lessons
A3 = Action re. the WORLD – everything & everyone who’s not part of our distorted & insulated family mobile is considered dangerous, unhelpful, unwelcoming, indifferent…. since our family (& community) forced on us their narrow, alcoholic, bigoted view of the world. Our actions reflects this.
Unhealed ACoAs deal with the ‘A3‘ BY:
• Defiance of all authority & systems, which have become substitutes for our parents.
We can hate outside forces instead of admitting our rage at the family.
AND since the world is SO-O-O dangerous – we’re NOT going to give in or let them get us! OR —
• Compliance – we have to give in, keep our head down, hide in the shadows, so no one will get us!
NEXT: Acceptance & ACoAs (#2)