ACoAs: PATIENCE vs Co-dependent Waiting (Part 3)

Co-dep vs Patience #2

POST:  S & I: Healthy….(Part 3) Process, point #3.


Real patience :
is based on selfTRUST, an aspect of the True Self , rather than trusting others – too little or too much. This trust is the result of taking care of our needs & knowing what our destiny/ bliss/ passion’ is. It’s being willing to keep working toward them no matter how long it takes or how hard the path is to get there, believing we can last out the tough times.  This minimizes or eliminates envy & jealousy – because we have the right & power to provide for ourselves, so that needing to be Patient is not so frustrating

• requires a decent handle on boundaries, having learned what’s ‘my stuff’ vs. what’s yours – which can only come from knowing oneself well (inventories, Meetings, therapy, dreams, healthy adult mirroring….). Then patience is waiting to see what others can or are willing to do for themselves

• is working toward appropriate (do-able) goals, step by step, knowing it takes time to accomplish something worthwhile, knowing that some things take longer than others. (College was 4 yrs, meeting husband-to-be took going to singles dances for 7 yrs, Recovery – ongoing for the last 40 yrs!)

Real patience :
• comes from using our intuition, intelligence & experience to know when to “hold ’em & when to fold ’em” – letting things develop naturally
— Sometimes we just need to wait for a better (human) time, for a more appropriate location or person, for more emotional healing, for H.P.’s timing
— Sometimes we need to admit when something we want is not healthy, & let go of the original desire/demand, OR know when something is simply not possible – the way we want it – & then look for alternatives or change the goal

• is having realistic expectations – knowing how things actually work in the real world. This includes accepting that most setbacks are temporary.
EXPs: starting an online biz can take 3-5 years to become profitable
— calling a company for help or info usually takes 3-5 calls – long waits, no help, calling back, going thru several people – before getting THE answer or appointment
— having to wait for a physical injury to heal completely
— waiting in a line of any kind, a time to multi-task (context-switching, #3)……

• knowing what triggers our impatience – old childhood buttons from things that were done to us over & over – & still bother us, a lot!  Patience is a virtue because it requires self-control, so we don’t ruin things for others by anxiety & selfishness

It means accepting that we:
• can’t force an issue or project to go faster than possible – called process.   Planning, evaluation & measurement all take time
• don’t expect mates, children friends…. to be in the same place we are at the moment. Instead, we can continue our own life based on the principles of the Program (like Step 12, attraction not promotion) – allowing others their own timing
• not demand to be heard or understood in all situations & by everybody (stores, banks, service people…. loved ones…..)

🍀 Reduces stress, minimizing anger & overwhelm
🍀 Develops understanding & compassion for others because we know what it takes to deal with life’s ups & downs
🍀 We make better decisions, avoiding as many mistakes, by taking the time to assess each situation, see the big picture, weigh the pros & cons, then choose the best option at the time

With patient & diligent effort, using everything in our Recovery tool box, we can apply the Serenity Prayer correctly & wrap ourselves in love-energy as we wait for good things to come.

NEXT: MBTI – Introvert vs Extrovert BRAINS

ACoAs: PATIENCE vs Co-dependent Waiting (Part 2)

PREVIOUS: Co-dep vs Patience #3

SITE: How to cope with waiting for news

QUOTE: “Good character is not formed in a week or a month.  It is created little by little, day by day, by protracted patience” – Heraclitus of Ephesus


Co-dep also shows up as IMPATIENCE, annoyance, intolerance, worry, fear & distrust
• It’s demanding what we want, right now (instant gratification), because any delay in getting a need or a desire met is taken by the WIC as a definite “NO – you can’t ever have it, so shut up & go away!” from the PP (Negative Introject)

• It’s rushing relationships, to get that feeling of instant attachment, which is actually symbiosis. It’s an attempt to compensate for present-day fear of Abandonment pain, to make up for not having had that bond as an infant with mom, when it should have occurred

• It’s impulsively rushing into situations without considering whether they’re right for us, or what the consequences will be – to ourselves or others
• It’s pushing our way ahead of others (selfish entitlement) – the unconscious fear of being left behind – while consciously assuming it’s ‘our right’, but is actually childish narcissism
<ADD YOUR OWN kinds of unhealthy co-dep ‘patience’ & impatience>

Fortunately, Recovery gives us an out – a way to identify our damage so we can separate & strip it away from the Real us that’s hidden under all the defenses, separating the Toxic Rules from our Rights. As adults we have very real options, if we’re willing to risk leaving our attachment to the dysfunction.
REMEMBER: We’re damaged (wounded), not defective!

🦋 🐯 🦆 🐳 🦒 🐇

This kind is an ACTIVE response to reality (personal & environmental)
Just like ‘Acceptance‘ does NOT mean giving up or giving in, Patience does NOT mean letting the world trample us.
Nor does it mean ‘taking the moral high ground’ as some spiritual superiority, nor a punishment from the ‘universe’
• It does not imply the hopelessness of being forced to endure suffering & deprivation
• It does not mean being passive, of not taking appropriate actions when necessary to accomplish something, especially if it’s something only we can do. (Posts: Healthy Actions // What to do when confused // Why are you stuck?)

It DOES mean being emotionally mature. This allows us to tolerate delayed gratification, which can only come from lowering the WIC’s intense anxiety. Healthy patience is active in the sense that we choose to wait for a desired outcome, while at the same time actively continuing to live the best way we can – every day.

Real patience :
• requires knowing the difference between Rescuing & Helping, because it takes patience to sit with our own discomfort of not jumping in to someone else’s problems. Knowing the rules for Helping is important. But we can also tell by being physically stressed or relaxed, & our emotions:

— Rescuing / people-pleasing is driven by anxiety (before), a compulsion to compensate for something broken in us. The excitement of ‘doing’ comes from a false sense of connection, & temporary relief of abandonment fear. Afterward – we can feel drained – from overdoing, disappointed if we didn’t get what we wanted in return, & then angry. Here the actions are ALL about us, the WIC trying to cover up S.H.

— True Helping is done from an inner sense of calm & confidencebefore taking action a choice that comes from the Healthy Adult’s enjoyment of sharing our personal talents, knowledge & experience. And we feel pleased, satisfied & comfortable – afterward. We benefit, but it’s not so much about ourselves.

NEXT: Co-dep vs. Patience #3

OUTGROWING Co-Dep Niceness (Part 5a)

if I’ll ever be able to

PREVIOUS: Outgrowing P-P #3

SITEs: PMES forms of Self-Care    //  • 30 day challenge, to make

RECOVERY from “Too Nice Syndrome” (TSN) cont.

a. LET GO of our anger  (Es= the emotion), & resentments (Ts= angry thoughts /obsessions) toward anyone whose offenses, flaws or mistakes have seriously injured us   (See “Letting go means….“), AND
b.  GIVE UP the desire to punish, seek revenge or exact payment

The mental health, Recovery & religious communities keep telling us we must forgive others in order to move on, insisting it must happen before healing can occur. This may be true for some people, but doesn’t really work for most ACoAs.

Forgiveness is important, but it’s not that easy to extend it to all the damaging & crazy mates, friends, bosses…. we’ve collected along the way, & especially not toward the adults who tortured & neglected us as kids.
There are things done to us that are – or seem to be – unforgivable.

▶︎ For ACoA angry-nice people forgiveness IS about ‘letting go’ – but not first. Instead, it is the outcome of the process of gradually releasing layers of old pain, combined with developing the UNIT, so that we don’t need all those ‘unavailables’ anymore.

This takes a lot of time & effort, & maybe forgiving our abusers will never be complete because of the amount & intensity of trauma we suffered, but we are worth the effort to try, & that effort ends up benefiting every part of our life.

Not getting our rage out (& the tears underneath) is what keeps us stuck in obsession, which we’ve covered over with denial & then express as P-P angry-niceness. It will continue to plague us as long as we’re still desperate for their (unavailable) love & acceptance. Our WIC wants the Perpetrators to admit what they did, to genuinely feel sorry & to apologize.

This rarely happens, so don’t hold your breath! Our anger is appropriate, but it must finally be vented safely so we don’t have to keep carrying its corrosive effect. (“How to forgive” – even if they never apologize!)

ACoAs live in one extreme or the other about almost everything.
As adult we are responsible for our Ts, Es & As, but as angry ‘nice people’ (P-P) we are afraid to admit our emotions & opinions, instead taking on the burden of other people’s feelings, especially if we love or need them, & especially if they’re acting needy or aloof. This comes from a set of opposites, a double message that becomes our bind :
— the WIC’s narcissistic desire to symbiose (be the same as me), AND
— the compulsion to escape from being ourselves (from S-H)

So, as long as we’re being run by the wounded child,
— we either refuse to even consider letting go (forgiving), or
— we’re too easy on everyone who hurt us.
Taking the High Road is more likely a way of staying in denial than it is of being emotionally free.

► Forgiving requires some mental/emotional distance from our wounds, by:
— having done enough venting of our old pain in safe ways
— having had our childhood experiences validated by people who understand
— having gotten enough correct info so our thinking is clearer
— having good enough boundaries so we can take care of ourselves
— having developed a healthy Adult to be more in charge of our choices

A VISUAL : We can think of our many painful memories as a series of pictures in a large gallery in our head – each one with an art lamp over it, the cord plugged into the wall at the baseboard. For us – the light is all the emotions attached to each memory, plugged into our nervous system.

A little at a time, by crying, raging, talking them thru & being validated –  in safe places – the plug can get pulled out of the wall. We’ll still be able to see the images, but they will be in shadow because much of the pain will be gone. THAT is letting go. That is the forgiveness that benefits us.

NEXT: Recovery – Forgiving ourselves (#5b)

Procrastinators Anon TOOLS

putting it off 



I’ll try them later!

PREVIOUS: ACoAS & Procrastination (#5)

POSTS“ACoAs & Procrastination” / / “Weak Decision Styles – “a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.”
1. Break It Down: Break down projects into specific action steps; include preparation tasks in the breakdown.

2. Visualize: Plan what to do, then imagine yourself doing it. The more specific and vivid your visualization, the better. See yourself doing the task, and doing it well.

3. Ask Yourself Why: While you are visualizing doing the task, see if you can detect what it is about the task that feels odious to you, what uncomfortable emotions you are avoiding. Knowing what’s behind the avoidance can help you get past it – for example, address real problems or ignore irrational fears.

4. Focus on Long-Term Consequences: Procrastinators have a tendency to focus on short-term pleasure, and shut out awareness of long-term consequences. Remind yourself how panicked and awful you’ll feel if the task isn’t done, then imagine how good it will feel when the task is finished.

5. Avoid Time Binging: One reason procrastinators dread starting is that once they start they don’t let themselves stop. Plan to work on a task for a defined period of time, then set a timer. When the timer goes off, you’re done.

6. Use Small Blocks of Time: Procrastinators often have trouble doing tasks in incremental steps, and wait for big blocks of time that never come. When you have small blocks of time, use them to work on the task at hand.

7. Avoid Perfectionism: Procrastinators have a tendency to spend more time on a task than it warrants, so tasks that should be quick to do take an agonizingly long time. Notice this tendency and stop yourself. Some things require completion, not perfection.

8. Keep a Time Log: Increase your awareness of time by logging what you are doing throughout the day. This is a great diagnostic tool for discovering where your time went, and an excellent way to become better at estimating how long tasks take.

9. Develop Routines: To help structure your day and make a habit of things you always need to do, develop routines for what you do when you wake up, regular tasks of your workday, and what you need to do before going to bed.

10. Bookend Tasks and Time: Use the Bookending board on the P.A. Web site to check in throughout the day, or at the beginning or end of specific tasks you are dreading.

Please visit for more info.  Details are at the top of the Bookending board.  AS A REMINDER:

putting off cartoon
NEXT: WEAK Decision Styles, #1


file drAwer

Procrastination (Part 6)



Some readers have expressed a sense of  overwhelm by the amount of info presented. on this blog.
(SEE also 80+ pages of website: www.acoarecovery.comSoverwhelmwd

When working toward any goal it’s typical of ACoAs to skip Process, but instead insist on trying to do things ‘perfectly’ & NOT use small steps or do things in orderly stages.

Then the WIC balks at the ‘bigness’ of  the task / project /  procedure – & will quit part of the way in, or procrastinate & so not get started at all.


To get the most out of this blog – cruise thru each year (2010-2021, at top of Home Page) & just familiarize yourself with what’s available.
See what jumps out at you & only read that.

Then when Sprocessan issue comes up in your life, go back to the lists & read what applies.

Slow down enough to mull over what comes up for you.

ALWAYS take things in small chunks. The brain absorbs info better that way.

A LOT OF WORK to re-order all !
The complete listing of over 600 posts has been re-distributed (2010-2016).

Changes in site-map:

— Listed in order of topic posting, per month – rather than alphabetically

— Similar topics grouped together pr.year, as much as possible – rather
than by original writing date

— Space made between topics, or between bub-topics of a group, rather than
clumped together each month

— If something has not been ‘linked’, it means it’s a future post, in the pipeline.

Comments or corrections welcome.

Donna Marie

NEXT : Procrastinators Anon TOOLS

ACoAs – What about ANGER? (Part 2)


That’s all in the past, right?

PREVIOUS: ACoAs- What about anger (#1)

BOOK: Strategies for Survival in an Angry World”  ~ Dr Eva Bell


Anger – A temporary & episodic emotional reaction to a frustrating situation. It’s ‘rational’, because the cortex is still functioning, so the person can think & decide actions
▸ A strong, uncomfortable emotional response to something unwanted & not fitting with our values, beliefs or rights (triggered)

Irritability –
 A milder feeling in reaction to minor annoyances that happen as part of our daily routine
Aggression – An intentional desire to harm someone or something

Rage – An “irrational” emotion – meaning it’s unreasoning, automatic, instinctive – for the protective purpose of pushing away danger to self or someone/ something vital & loved.
Often expressed as an explosion, sometime into completely irrational behavior (without conscious thought), sometimes very deliberate!

– An emotional attitude of distrust + a negative mental opinion of everyone (chronic antagonism) causing a person to harm or want to harm others, indiscriminately.

 (internal) • extreme hurt which has hardened into cold rage.
In childhood it accumulates from being powerless to stop repeated & relentless abuse & neglect.
As adults, it’s
a. from persistently blaming others for our problems, instead of finding & using valid ways out of bad situations
b. as Self-Hate – turning our legitimate rage at family & environment back on ourselves
BIG PICTURE T.E.A. – Psychologists consider the 2 most basic human emotions to be love & fear (Es), which colors our thinking (Ts) & so our actions (As). All other emotions are seen as nuances & variations.
😍 LOVE generates: caring, compassion, contentment, happiness, honesty, enjoyment, satisfaction, trust….  (Diagrams in Part 5)
❖ Unconditional LOVE is the only source of self-esteem! (see Posts: “Being Loved“)
Healthy Love is what make a child feel safe, & Love is the all-powerful healer of wounds.
BUT – ACoAs did not experience a genuine sense of being loved, even if our parents said it or thought they did.
How do we know this? Because of the intense fear under everything we think, feel & do – seen in our S-H, FoA, PP….

🥶 FEAR generates : anger, anxiety, confusion, control, depression, guilt, hurt, inadequacy, loneliness, sadness, shame….

All ACoAs are fear-based, having been thru so much abuse, chaos, controlling, denial, judgement, lies, narcissism & neglect – to ever feel totally safe – without healing

And sooner or later – fear always generates ANGER. Being constantly scared – with no comfort, no relief, no explanations…. will pile up & turn into RAGE.
NOTE : counter-phobia & addiction-to-excitement are defenses, not lack of fear.
⬅️  Emotion GRAPHS – computer models from the Atlas of Emotions

★ Normally, all emotions are short-term, in-&-out reactions to some immediate event, & in this form – anger is not a problem. In fact, modern psychologists view anger as a mature emotion experienced by everyone at times, having survival value. When understood & accepted, it can often be used to correct life’s imbalances, although it’s not possible in every situation.

But when painful EMOs persist for days, months or years – from living in harmful situations – they got stockpiled, without having:
✦ permission to be experienced as true emotional responses to abuse & losses
✦ anyone to listen to us, identify them (give them words) or comfort us
✦ an opportunity to process the events, so we wouldn’t have to suppress or deny them

NOW, painful emotions are being held in place by toxic T.E.A.s:
◽️(T) The WIC / PP’s thinking in the form of CDs, mental obsessions about something unpleasant/ unacceptable, without understanding our interaction or participation in the problem

◽️(E) mountains of unprocessed pain accumulated from old hurts & unmet needs, suppressing awareness of all that hurt, in order to keep going (denial)

◽️(A) staying in harmful or inappropriate situations we know are not good for range of Esus, and continuing to live in self-deprivation (not enough company, education, finances, fun, love, rest, self-reflection, sex, support….)

REMINDER – Thoughts & Actions can be either Positive, Negative or Neutral,
 but EMOTIONS are never negative!
They can range from :
Joyful <—–> to most Painful (+/- 100)
       with the calmest, pleasantest in the mid-range (+/- 20).

NEXT: What about anger – Part 2



once I understand it

Acceptance & ACoAs (# 1)


1. The PROBLEM (cont)
🔹 Negative MEANING (cont)
We (self-destructively) ACCEPT that we deserve / or must endure:
• being controlled, verbal abuse, disrespect,
• being treated like a dumb kid (we were never dumb, even as kids!)
• being over-looked, unappreciated, ignored
• having to let others use, manipulate & torture us
• having to deny / destroy ourselves in order for others to be OK
• not be able to have a positive impact on our world (be effectual)
Hansel & Grethel• never finding love & validation, since our parents didn’t (narcissists attach, but don’t actually love others)
• only staying with unavailable, distant, cruel & selfish people (note the parents in Hansel & Grethel).
• staying small & ‘weak’, not knowing how to take care of ourselves

Our Toxic Rules are so deeply ingrained that even when we start having useful, valid new information about ourself & the people in our life (A1), we still skip over A2, automatically going to A3.
Whenever we have any new Awareness, ACoAs immediately ask: “What can I / should I DO about it?” (Action is not Acceptance) . This Chart shows why :
NEG 3 As
We compulsively SKIP the middle ‘A’ because:

• it’ll make us safer, considering the harmful CD we think it means
• our whole culture focuses on Action (just DO it!)
• our culture does not value process, ONLY immediate gratification
• we’ve been waiting so long for something better to come along, we don’t want it to take time. The WIC is convinced that if we’re told to wait, it means it’ll never happen / never get our needs met
• our dysfunctional family made their approval conditional (if at all) – based on our actions that suited them. If you act bad, you’re bad, if you act good, we ‘love’ you – sort of.  YUCK. Healthy love is unconditional!

We think we have no choice, trapped in a double bind:
• on the one hand – we hate the rules we grew up with
• on the other hand – we’re terrified to disobey them, ever.
So, since OUR version of acceptance is so painful & debilitating, we keep trying to ignore it altogether, as if we could control the truth away!

♦️                                   ♦️                                ♦️
ALL Acceptance is simply acknowledging the TRUTH about things, without any makeup or mask. It’s ONLY about what actually is or was! It’s about reality, not what we wish things were like, what we think they should be, what others say things are, or even what could potentially be.

Acceptance is only about WHAT IS, such as:
• being damaged in childhood, whether from an alcoholic family or not
• that it caused us great harm
• that we are NOT the source of that damage
• that we’re responsible for fixing that damage, no matter how unfair
• that people aren’t always what we want them to be
• that we don’t have the power nor the right to try changing others
• seeing who people ACTUALLY are, not ignoring the parts that hurt us….

ACCEPTING good things requires that we slowly:
• leave behind all our ratty, smelly baggage & garbage in the old internal universe, carrying that broken down spooky old mess we grew up in, dropping the rags of our False Self , a piece at a time
• patiently move our God-given True Self into a beautiful new Inner Universe, with a castle that we have the full deed to, which has level floors, clearly defined halls, stairs & comfortable rooms, with cozy furnishings just to our taste!

NEXT: Healthy A2 – Cont. (#3)

PROCESS – Recovery (Part 2b)

makes life easier


Posts: Toxic Beliefs” // Risk
Why Are You Stuck?

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

BOOKsRecycles of Power” & “Cycles of life”, ~ Pam Levin

REVIEW: ‘Emotional processing happens when we can cope with distressing events – over time, so that new experiences can occur (stressful or not) without a return to the previous upset. Everyone goes through things that cause pain, but for most people those emotions don’t last.

Why do some look at a situation without fear while others are gripped by a fear or anxiety so strong they are paralyzed? Scientific research has identified  the cause as cognitive-emotional processing, in which both feelings regarding the incident and thought processes were involved — not just an overly emotional response or a lack of normal emotional processing ability.’ (“Anxiety & T.E.A.“) feed the mind
a. Awareness  //  b. Acceptance

i. WHAT – Present-day behavior patterns are :
• based on how the real world works & our many experiences
• motivated by self-respect & permission to act on our own behalf
• the result of S & I – taking center stage in our own life
• considering our effect on others, without being co-dependent

ii. HOW
• always looking for possible, appropriate options
• asking for, gathering & using a variety of help
• considering realistic consequences
learning by trial & error, & never giving up
• taking appropriate risks, then observing the results

iii. WHO – Definitely by the “UNIT”
• Healthy Adult – the competent, objective part of us that has accumulated knowledge & experience about ourself & the world
• Loving Parent – the mature care-taking part of us that has both kindness & boundaries, patience & limits, compassionate but realistic

• acting on our needs & in accordance with spiritual beliefs
• always give ourselves & others enough time to get things done
• it’s based on sound planning, & knowing our current limitations
• choose activities that are pleasurable but not self-destructive
• consider both the ‘price’ & rewards of our actions
• do things for our own growth, not just for others

• know timing – don’t force or try to control but don’t wait too long, don’t try to do too much at the same time or schedule things too close together
• NOT use activities to cover up self-hate, loneliness, avtimingoiding painful emotions & relationship difficulties
• some actions need to be repeated many times, to be effective
• sometimes NO action is the best option
• stop to decide what to say or do, before ‘jumping’ (not reacting)

RECOVERY – 2 major ways to change our actions:
1. Do the opposite of our old behavior patterns (“Actions: Healthy Opposites post). The trick is knowing what rational, healthy opposites are

2. Doing the same activity for an opposite reason.
The basic issue here is motive. This is even trickier, unless we are clear what our reasons are for taking actions. And, others may not understand, so some people will give us a hard time, or walk away frustrated & disgusted

EXP:  We may repeat an old behavior : staying in bed a lot, sleeping longer than usual, spending more time alone than with others (assuming we’re not physically ill), eating ‘family type’ foods
a. Old Motivation: To escape, to not feel old pain, not deal with difficult life situations, fear of ‘people, places & things’

b. Healthy Motivation (same action, new reason)
self growth• to recover from re-experiencing deep emotional trauma (childhood pain)
• to process a major stressor in the present (death, divorce, moving, marriage, a baby, new job, a fire…), when too many things are happening at once, especially if we have no control over those events
• recover from Introject attacks – because we’re doing so well (back lash)
• catch up on a lot of positive, new input – internally or externally
• resting up after a big event (wedding, surgery, travel….)

Also: IF we can NOT take some positive actions we would like to. YET – we can practice patience – keep working at it & never give up!

NEXT: Ego States – Summary

ACoAs & SELF-ESTEEM – what it IS


– & I approve!

PREVIOUS: What Self-Esteem is NOT



1. Knowing Ourself well (with + & – characteristics), accepting & genuinely enjoying who we are, without denial or arrogance
** Some years after both her parents had died, one woman Recovery said about herself: “It’s sad that they missed out on experiencing the wonderful person their child has matured into, & would have been from the start, without the damage.”

2. Knowing that all our Emotions (Es) are legitimate, valid & a part of the complete personality.  Es are neither positive or negative – which is a value judgment. Implication: If it’s negative it should be gotten rid of. WRONG! ALL emotions are part of being human AND are valuable, because they tell us what’s right or wrong for US!

3. Knowing that all our Needs are normal & acceptable. Understanding that not all of them will be met, all of the time. That some will take longer than others to achieve, & that some which we didn’t get in childhood may never be fully realized.  But the more we reach for them, the more we’ll get. mistakes

4. Being OK with being Human – knowing what our limits & limitations are, realistically. That to be human will always mean making mistakes, not knowing some things, being imperfect, having weaknesses – as well as having the gifts of abilities & talents, which we can hone & enjoy

5. Accepting that no matter how ‘Good or Spiritual’ we are, life can still be unfair, bad things can happen to us, other people will sometimes mess us up… but that does not mean it’s personal or that we’re not trying hard enough.  Having S.E. means we have a right to be here – on the planet – & that our H.P. wants the best for us

6. Being willing & able to take Responsibility for ourselves (all our T.E.A.s) without guilt, shame, fear of punishment or of being abandoned (FoA). We’re able to be our own motivator, rather that using others to give us permission to be or act.  We can protect ourselves from other people’s damage, but own all our reactions, especially to upsetting eventsbalance Es

7. Being able to live in Balance between extremes, most of the time (minimizing drama / trauma). Part of S.E. is knowing how to think clearly & accurately, which lowers anxiety
✏︎ Being peaceful does not mean standing still.
✏︎ Being calm is not the same as being bored.
Living between +5 & -5 is the best for us, rather than too high or too low (-25 or +25).

8. Accepting that Process is part of all accomplishments & personal growth. Delays do not mean failure or being abandoned (never reaching a goal). Process takes time & with S.E. we know we can do a great deal.  When we fail, we have the ability to learn from mistakes, improve ourselves & keep reaching for our goals

9. Always looking for new things to Learn & explore, curious about ourselves, other people, including all the newest developments & difficulties in world.
We can take the time to research topics we don’t know about, especially relating to problems that come up with ourselves or family. As we age – our brain stays functional longer IF we include something new / different every so often

10. Being able to freely Express ourselves artistically, using all our talents, knowledge & special gifts. S.E. allows us to pursue our dreams, no matter relaxwhere they lead us. We don’t have to be perfect, so we’re not afraid to share those talents with others

11. Being able to Relax, Enjoy, have fun, take time off, rest, ‘veg’ – on a regular basis.  These are necessary to increase ‘good’ chemicals in the brain, which elevate mood. It also give us time to process our daily experiences on internal conscious & sub-conscious levels & to heal from past wounds. We have a right to healthy pleasure!

NEXT: RECOVERY – Is & is NOT (Part 1)

NEGATIVE BENEFITS of Old Patterns (Part 3)


I’d rather do it my way!

PREVIOUS:   Negative Benefits (Part 2)

SEE posts:Denial & Acting out
The UNIT: Healthy Adult, Loving Parent”

PMES = Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual

Why do we keep blanking on what we’ve learned in Recovery?  Because even ACoAs who are sincere about self-growth – have a powerful built-in forgetter, pounded in place by our family. We can hear the same thing over & over, & still….

So, when clients are asked* some basics of ACoAs damage & recovery, such as:
a. “What is self-hate & why did we develop it?”
b.  “What do we need to have in place in order to have good boundaries?”
c. “How does this problem of anxiety relate to your childhood?”
d. “Why do you need to stay vague about your finances?” …..
…. they often give a blank stares & shrug, even after years of Program & therapy!

• ACoAs are not stupid people.  In spite of ADD, depression, hormone imbalances or other issues – we remember lots of other things – like how to do our jobs, how to surf the web, how to buy a house or car, how to expend lots of futile energy giving great advice to friends, lovers, family – that we don’t use for ourselves ….. but NOT what we’ve learned about our own damage OR about mental health!  adults-acting-childish
(adults acting like school kids  —>)

So if we want to keep growing, it’s very important to keep looking for the unhealthy payoffs (same as NB) behind our self-defeating patterns.

ANSWERs to the above Qs :

a. If we did understand what S-H is truly about, it would be harder & harder to maintain. THEN we’d have to deal with the intense pain & rage of the many ways we were neglected, abused & abandonment by our family.

Keep all that swept under the rug – locked away in a dark room of our unconscious.  The WIC thinks that if you ignore something scary, it doesn’t exist.  Too bad it doesn’t work that way!

b. To have good boundaries we need to:
1) know what our needs are
2) give ourselves permission the actually have those need
3) actively go about meeting those needs, a day at a time.
It would mean disobeying fundamental Toxic Rules, taking care of ourselves, not staying a victim (which we were originally) & stop waiting to be rescued

NB: Not have to be in charge of our own life – not ‘grow up’ emotionally, & face angry or fearful reactions from our family & ‘friends’ if we were to get better (we think it prevents getting abandoned – but that has already happened by those people!)S-H

c. Identifying how each problematic situation / relationship / emotion / pattern – in our life mirrors our childhood (S-H) would mean having to face what our parents were really like, what they did to us, what they didn’t provide…. which IS reflected in how we treat ourselves now.  We’d have to break many illusions & feel the deep hurt & longing of our eawrly years

NB: Not have to do an extensive written family inventory, to look at these realities on a deeper level – even when we think we’ve dealt with our issues or that we already know all about what happened.

d. To stop being vague about anything (our finances, time, our emotions, our knowledge…) means identifying the Toxic Messages we’re still obeying, feeling the old terror & having to take full responsibility for our actions in the present. S & I = becoming your own person, the one you were born to be, minus your damage!

NB: Not having to fully acknowledge knowing how bad it was growing up, not dealing with our accumulated old pain, not having to separate from the dysfunctional system we grew up in — which the WIC thinks means abandoning them, & us being alone forever!

NEXT: Neg benefits #4