ACoAs – Fear of Commitment (Part 4)

my whole world collapses

PREVIOUS: FoC – Part 2b

QUOTE: “Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision & gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality.” ∼ James Womack, founder of Lean Enterprise Inst.

2. RE-ENACTING (cont)
c. Fear of being trapped / d. F. of responsibility / e. F. of losing control
f. F of being vulnerable To the WIC, C. to anything is leaving
oneself open to all kinds of danger
. As long as the WIC is in charge of relationships (of any kind), it believes that letting someone in, to see the ‘real us’ leaves us open to being hurt again.

Of course the tragedy is that without enough recovery, it is exactly that ego-state which chooses our relationships – always unsuitable, unfulfilling or outright dangerous – which Vulnetableinevitably does add to our suffering!

This fear leads to over-protecting ourselves, which can create a Double Bind – we’re damned if we pick someone to stay with (symbiosis), we’re damned if we keep everyone away (false boundaries).

g. F of the Truth.To the WIC, C. to our growth & Recovery means admitting we failed – somehow!. Also, we’ll have to feel all that pain – & then we’ll go crazy or die!
ACoAs are intensely resistant to acknowledging how traumatic our childhood really was, & how severely damaged we are as a result. We love our family & don’t want to face how abusive & emotionally unavailable they were. Review (DMs – ACoAs). “Denial is not a river in Egypt!” (de Nile) says the pun. Denial prevents us from healing our wounds, which then keeps us from finding & keeping nourishing relationships.

One way this is expressed is seen in the chart.  When we continually act out either STAYER or LEAVER ‘position’, as a form of false protection, we know that our WIC is in charge. “Leaving” isn’t just about walking away. It’s any form of being withholding, distant, ‘cool’, emotionally detached. Both groups are equally terrified of commitment, but it’s more visible in Lestay/leaveavers. C = Conscious / UC = Unconscious FoA = fear of Abandonment / FoC = fear of Commitment

h. F. of making mistakes. To the WIC, C. is not possible because we’ll never be able to ‘do it’ perfectly.
Punishment / rejection: We were continually punished or made fun of for things we: were never taught / had difficulty learning / took too long to ‘get’ / were simply too young to know / could not possibly have known, at any age / were deliberately left out of ….. So now we can’t take the chance of not knowing everything & being seen as ‘frauds’.
If commitment means intimacy, then letting someone inside our defenses means exposing how imperfect we are, & then they’ll punish or leave us!

Greed: The WIC, being deprives of so much growing up, now wants everything at once, & can’t tolerate being told NO about anything. So, when there’s a decision to be made among 2 or more options, we want to do them all, afraid to choose one & have to let go of the other(s), afraid of picking the wrong one & being disappointed – again

Confusion: It’s not knowing ourselves well enough to choose among options or possibilities, based on our True Self – whether picking the right kind of mate, the right kind of career, the ‘right’ spiritual path, even down to the right kind of food, clothing & entertainment. It’s not being allowed to admit what we want or need. So many opportunities for making mistakes!mistakes

Failures: Not having a Loving Parent & access to our True Self, we’ve already made many unhappy life choices – of friends, lovers, jobs, homes, hair cuts…. so we’re convinced we’re doomed to never do any better. We keep forgetting (or don’t know) that our ‘picker’ has been a combination of the WIC & the PP. When those ego states no longer run our life, we can choose better, & so can commit to safe, suitable PPTs.

NEXT: FoC – Part 2d

Double BINDS – Tools (Part 10)

THERE IS HELP AVAILABLE – all I have to do is use it!

PREVIOUS: Double Binds (Part 9)


😓 Remember the old Gershwin song “Someone To Watch Over Me”? Maybe no one ever did truly watch over you, so you didn’t learn to do it for yourself. NOW is a good time to start – by learning to be the Loving Parent you never had.

While we can’t stop being afraid of making changes in dealing with D.Binders, we can take some preemptive actions.
Before talking to / spending time with a difficult person, you can plan ahead to reinforce yourADULT& PARENT ego states, so that your WIC doesn’t take over when around them :
• get enough sleep the night before, & eat healthily
• take more time to get ready, leave enough time to travel, wear something comfortable
• call a safe person for support. Take a friend with you, if possible
• talk to you Inner Child before the ‘event’ to prepare him / her. Do the first half of book-ending
• remember – you are NOT the crazy one
• know that you cannot be perfect, because humans aren’t!
• do some rage work, if possible, to go with less pent-up rage & frustration
• pray for guidance & inner peace (see Part 12)

✦ It’s not you: You are not stupid or crazy. DBs are crazy-making, setting you up in a no-win situation by a damaged /abusive person or system
✦ Trust your gut: If you ‘feel’ something’s wrong, believe it! & if necessary – check it out with someone you trust

✦ Believe in yourself: Be aware of your own power to break free & the intelligence to get out of the dilemma, so you don’t slide into one of the co-dependent roles – Victim, Rescuing the S, or become a Perpetrator
✦ Question the statements: If what you’re being told is self-contradictory, AND you’re supposed to act on both, you know the whole communication is flawed & not to be honored

✦ Threat of or Real punishment: Be sure the person can do you actual harm. You may already have experienced how they react when you don’t fall in line with the craziness, & you survived.
INVENTORY: What form did it take? How did you cope? What was the outcome? What kind of actual power do they have over you in the present? Do they pay your bills, are they in charge of your employment ……?

If not then you definitely have the freedom to ignore the mental games they’re playing. If they do still have some control over your life, you can use suggestions in other posts

✦ Redefine punishment: Yes – the S may get angry & say mean things – but once you believe you’re a good person & you “know what I know” they’re not dangerous to your spirit.
To a child, all forms of abandonment on any PMES level feels intolerable (‘death’) . Besides physical abuse, it includes disapproval, verbal abuse, being ignored & deprived…. But you are no longer a child.

✦ Meet your own standards: Since all DB choices lead to punishment – if you must choose – give yourself permission to pick the side of the bind that fits your personality & circumstances, even if others around you don’t agree
✦ Change the focus: In some cases, you can successfully shift attention outside the double bind (DBs – Part 5b)

✦ Look for allies within the situation: Adults need to go elsewhere for approval, respect, kindness… since the S is not willing or able to provide these. In the medical example (DMs, Part 4b) maybe someone in the doctor’s office can encourage & validate you. Don’t let your fear & shame isolate you.

✦ Get external support: Look for people, groups & activities that help you feel strong, resilient & creative – so you can breathe!
Keep searching until you find outside witnesses or authorities who will believe you & understand the problem

✦ Walk away: It’s a big world AND you have options now.. Teach your WIC that you can get your needs met in abuse-free ways. Keep looking for them using your UNIT.  (MORE….)

NEXT: DBs  (#11) – Uses