SYMPTOMS of Co-Dep Anger – toward others

WICs communicatingI’VE GOT TO BE NICE
so they won’t see my anger

PREVIOUS: Symptoms- in us

SITE: Co-Dependency  (includes characteristics Qs)

<— Inner children in adults

as you scroll thru these various lists (this & the previous), do NOT use them to berate yourself. If they are primarily psychological rather than medical, they tell us our degree of woundedness, embodied in the False Self. We did not cause these patterns, but it is our choice & option to correct them, a little at a time.

• Looking at Plutchik’s “Emotion Wheel” – we see that anger & fear are opposites – so:
— if we are only aware of or act from being anxious, depressed, feeling like a victim – we’re hiding intense anger we’re afraid to admit to
— if we are in a continual state of anger, rage, resentment & hostility – we are denying feelings of sadness, vulnerability, hopelessness & fear

NOTE: Some things in the list will seem counter-opposite, but can in fact be different sides of the same person, like – act Superior on the outside, feel Inferior on the inside, calm on the surface, but roiling inside…..
ALSO – you don’t need to identify with everything to say you’re hiding rage, & as stated above, some of these things can be caused by sources other that repressed Es (medication, temporary intense stressors, a major illness….).
See —- upcoming — statements which signal indirect anger

• ‘love-buy’ – overspend on gifts, tips, treats
• women often financially support their spouse
• rarely buy anything for yourself
• anticipate needs of others & supply them before being asked
• overly-kind (one of the subtlest forms of anger – think of Dexter, TV’s good-guy serial murderer bringing donuts to work)
• overly responsible at work, trouble delegating
• put yourself at risk rather than refuse someone’s request
• do much more than you’ve been askedscreen-shot-2017-02-24-at-11-41-20-pm

• agree with everything others say, or just smile
• patronize (as in the Southern phrase “Bless your heart!”)
• laugh at jokes that are not funny or you’ve heard many times
• listen endlessly to other people’s problems & complaints
• won’t speak up against disrespect or abuse
• only hint, obliquely, at what you want or don’t like
• mistake honest, respectful dialogue for malicious confrontation
• repress, deny, ignore true thoughts & emotions (dishonesty)
• complain to everyone else about your relationship dissatisfaction except to the one involved

• terrified of being dominated, & weakly try not to be, but  unconsciously act dependent, indecisive, unsure, non-assertive, with weak or no boundaries
• don’t go places or do things if your mate isn’t available or interested – then sulk, complain, cold-shopeople-pleaseulder
• refuse to leave harmful or ‘dead’ relationships, & make the other person responsible for ending it
• cause many ‘little problems’ that irritate your partner, & then seem surprised

• take a partner ‘hostage’ by needing them so much you can’t live without them, make them your whole world
• keep attracting partners that are overtly angry, P-As & narcissist, so you can keep being secretly angry – at them
• pick & stay with addicts, so you can fix them (control)
• don’t say what you want, like, need…. but expect others to mind-read
• withdraw from anyone you like, if it will prevent conflict – without explanation
• imagine worst-case scenarios even when things are going well
• keep bringing up old complaints  with children or mates

• go to any length to not rock to boatat risk
• keep recycling old ways of dealing with complicated situations
• re. sex – women – refuse to ask for what you want/like, never initiate, undermine mate’s sense of adequacy & skill, refuse to respond, lack of desire

NEXT: Co-Dep behavior #1

Why RESIST talking to the Inner Child? (Part 2)

love the kid
to stop & talk to the kid!

PREVIOUS: Talking to the Inner Child (#1)

POST: “How to Dialogue with your I.C.”


🗣 FORMS of Self-Talk (Part 1)

Putting off talking WITH our Inner Child (inconsistently OR not at all) is another example of the insidious delaying tactic many ACoAs are plagued by. It represents resistance to self-care, either from the WIC or PigP.
Many times we put off taking actions, even ones we would like to do, because we can’t make a decision. Our thinking is thoroughly confused by having several conflicting points of view about something & we don’t know how to parse them out. Which one is right?

🔸 This hamster-in-the-wheel thinking can include :
🗣 the real ‘voice’ of a mentor, friend or relative, ➕our own —hamster wheel
• the PigP, society’s rules & religious beliefs as CDs
• the WIC’s fear, hopelessness & self-hate
• possibly the Healthy Child’s intuition / wishes
• sometimes even the rational Adult voice….
…… all at the board meeting in our head, vying to be heard & trying to win over the others

When this happens on a regular basis it does NOT means we’re crazy. It DOES mean we don’t have an clear sense of our own identity & permission to ‘know what I know’.

However, as we connect with our True Self – our general human rights &  specific needs – we can separate out the various internal voices, choosing the one most fitting to us & the current situation, via the healthy Adult. The others we ignored as irrelevant, incorrect or harmful

When ACoAs in Recovery are asked “Why don’t you talk to your Inner Child at all, OR if you do occasionally, then why not every day?” –  the most common response is “I don’t know” – with a lilt & a shrug. We know we’re supposed to but we have so many ‘reasons’ for not doing it!

✳️ MAIN excuse
for refusing to talk to our Inner Child is:
⚠️ I don’t woma & circleswant to connect with the pain that will come up: “I hate the kid – it only causes me trouble. It’s always messing things up for me! I want it to go away because it hurts when I do let it surface, AND I’m terrified I’ll uncover some deep dark trauma I can’t handle”

ANS: Re.causing trouble’ – as long as we ignore that younger, hurt part of us, it’ll keep jumping up & down, & biting us in the butt. Only when we consistently dialogue with the WIC will it stop causing us problems
Re. fear of ‘uncovering – actually, we already know all our deepest darkest horrors. Originally we had to shove it under a mental carpet or lock it away in the dungeon of our subconscious, but we never really forgot the main events.
What we’ve resisted knowing / feeling is how truly abusive & damaging our family was, & so we ‘cope’ by cutting off & distracting ourselves.

Re. the Pain – We can only fully face early trauma when we have enough self-soothing skills via a good Inner Parent, a decent support system for guidance & comfort, & internal permission to feel all our Es without S-H.
❗️AND – not all our emotions are painful. We also feel excitement, pleasure, enjoyment, relief….

With Recovery comes a deeper, clearer understanding of what happened TO us & why! We must believe in our bones that we did not cause our damage, which will allow us to go deeper.
It takes a certain amount of healing to tolerate re-feeling the backlog of old pain, which is provided by Ego Strength : “the ability to maintain emotional stability while coping with internal & external stressors”.

In any case, (whether able to face old pain or not), we need to develop a rapport with the Child, which means talking with it throughout the day about anything & everything – the weather, the colors we like, what we’re going to do after work, what book to read or show to watch…. No topic is too trivial! It’s time to heal our sad little one & the angry teen, & only love heals. Information is important, but love is the medicine.

NEXT: Resist Talking to the I.C. (Part 3)


I have to protect myself at all costs


See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

T.E.A for ACoAs (cont)
EXP : re. Portfolio management
RISK Aversion –
a preference for safety & certainty over uncertainty, & the potential for loss or pain
vs. LOSS Aversion : 
a complex need for both risk aversion & risk seeking behavior. It’s not just the desire to reduce risk but an utter contempt for any amount of loss. These people feel the sting of loss twice as much as the joy from an equal size gain – & make financial investment decisions accordingly

Neuro-economic studies have found that when people are facing a loss, the amygdala – our brain’s fear center – begins to fire. It is the same area that reacts to being in mortal danger. No wonder many investors are influenced by loss-aversion.

So too, some ACoAs are :
a. MORE risk-averse – hardly ever taking risks of any kind, living mainly as victims, who stay in menial or unfulfilling jobs most of their work life, stay closer to home, don’t try new things, don’t reach out… And SOME are:
b. LESS averse : more adventuresome in ‘action’ ways, but afraid to risk in other important areas, most often not experiencing their emotions, & avoiding relationship intimacy

😩We learned to ignore potential options, because WE WERE:
• told anything we did was wrong, stupid or not good enough
• constantly interrupted by someone else’s needs or crises, so we avoid riskcouldn’t stay focused on what we needed to do for ourselves

• punished equally for big or small infractions of ‘rules’, many of which made no sense or were unspoken! This made us put off or avoid taking normal activities, much less branching out to try things that are deeply important to us, or something more unusual to expand our world

IN the PRESENT – our reaction to childhood trauma is to avoid as much confrontation & newness as possible (co-dependence / risk-aversion).
We’re convinced that all forms of ‘taking a chance’ are bad & will guarantee a bad outcome.
We’ve been trained to assume that that’s the way life is, forever – at least for us! This is so ingrained that we don’t even know that’s what we believe. But we live it every day.
Because WE :
• copy a parent’s life-long fear of risk
obey our specific toxic rules
• rebel against family demands for success
• can’t take center stage in our own life
• don’t want to lose proof of their abuse
• not allowed to be visible, or out-shine them

also FEAR – of:
• abandonment, reprisals, punishment
• authority, not being perfect, not picking right
• being a ‘laughing stock’
• being shown as incompetent (not knowing)
• dealing with competition
• having to deal with others’ jealousy
• not getting our deepest desires, no matter how hard we try
AND / OR have to: 
• face our childhood damage AND CHANGE!
• S & I (outgrow & out do unsuccessful family)
• leave someone unsafe or incompatible (parent, friends, mate, children, job, addictions, locations….) if they prevent our growth
• deal with the discomfort of getting good things now, & being successful, which the WIC says it doesn’t know how to be
• then take riskier steps after that… maybe even scarier (like: write something, then publish, then promote, then…)

In terms of positive T.E.A., while risk is primarily about Actions, there are many which fit into Emotion & Thinking, in spite of the WIC’s fear of personal growth.
WE CAN: leave home
T. – disagree with & disobey the Negative Introject, outgrowing the addiction & attachment to our family (giving up denial)

E. – tolerate the painful emotions what surface in the process of letting go, both from re-experiencing pent-up old pain, as well as facing being hurt by current family judgment & abuse for ‘leaving them’ ie. upsetting the family mobile by changing the dysfunctional dynamics.

A. …. & risk healthy actions : clearly objecting to abuse, disobeying Toxic Rules by doing positive things for our life, & sometimes having to distance ourselves from actual family members & dealing with the possible fallout.

NEXT:  Risk Addicted

ACoAs: Healthy RULES & Lessons (Part 3)

  new life“AND NOW, PRESENTING…. –
a new life, a better life !!”


SITE: Healthy Family Rules



As mentioned in the last post, these statements are to help the Healthy Adult & Loving Parent parts of our psyche know better ways to take care of our Inner Children. Each statement can be used as an inventory:
a. Resistance:
• why do I NOT want to include them in my life?
• what do I think will happen if I follow these idea?
• what do I need to give up in order to incorporate them?
b. Willingness:many Qs
• what do I need to have / do, before I can use these positive rules ?
• how can I implement these concepts into my life?
• who can I ask for help with them?
• who do I know who already lives them?
c. Results:
• what happens when I act on these statements?
• how is it different from what I assumed or projected?
• what do I need to do, to increase these principle in my life?
OF COURSE – If you can add questions to this list – please do.

NEXT: Safe & Unsafe People



RESPONDING to Controllers (Part 1)

resist control
unless I let them

PREVIOUS: Being controlled – #5

POSTS Relationship FORMS 1 & 2’

See Acronym PAGE for abbrev.


• As adults, even when we’re with a Controlling person, we always have at least some control of our own over what happens to us, whether we use that option or not.  As Glenda the Good Witch says in The Wizard of Oz “You always had the power!” If we must stay with a C., we have to protect ourselves, otherwise all we can do is capitulate

: As soon as Jody met sexy Sam at a party, she could tell he was a C – just like her mom. Even so, they started dating & eventually he moved in.  His charm compensated, but Jody still needed to deal with his habit of assuming she was exactly like him (narcissistic control).
She went along when it didn’t matter, but stood her ground when it did. At the beginning of the relationship, to shift the focus from any specific topic of contention – to the bigger picture – she started calling him ‘Martha’ whenever he acted like her mom! It took him a while to catch on, but eventually he got the point & backed off (but most C. won’t!)

Re. THEM – Cs are also wounded people who don’t have a right to their needs, but choose to manipulate others into providing for them, & to feel cared for. Pay attention & evaluate which type you’re dealing with:

• Some are not consciously aware of being a C, & will be confused or surprised if it’s pointed out. They have no idea what they are doing ‘wrong’, but also don’t want to know, so they won’t change easily

• Others are aware of trying to deceive or control, but will vigorously deny it because they don’t want to be caught (it’s socially shameful), OR they just don’t want to be responsible for their actions or old pain.
So they’re less likely to change at all, because they’d have to deal with their damage

• A few are willing to consider the issue when ‘confronted’ & will work to change it
• And some of us are already in the processes of letting go of being controlling!


DECIDE: When responding to a C, consider what outcome you want:
❈ for revenge, to punish, retaliate, humiliate….OR
❈ to inform, vent, set a boundary, for self-protection, fairness….
✶ If you want to be as psychologically clean as humanly possible (NO "I" statementperfectionism!) then practice making neutral or I’ statements:

“I don’t respond well to being bossed around , That’s not helpful! ,  It sounds like you’re trying to get me to_________ Is that right? , I’d rather__________ , When you ___________ I feel _________  , That doesn’t work for me / not how I feel about it / not what I need…”

EXPECT: resistance in the form of excuses, protests, denials, blaming …. especially from the hard cases.  You can let them know you understand their feelings & wishes, but that you hold the right to have yours, even if that upsets them, makes them angry, attack you or leave in a huff!
• No matter what their reaction, you decide what you’re going to agree to – or not, based on your needs, not theirs!

REMEMBER: When someone insists on accusing you wrongly (a big button for ACoAs) or just refuses to ‘get it’ – only state your truth as clearly as you can. You may have to repeat your position, but DO NOT:
try to make them understand where you’re coming from
—  keep explaining why your point is valid, and
— NEVER justify yourself – ever!  To stay & argue with someone like that makes a fool of yourself!

• The more relentless someone’s controlling behavior, the more narcissistic the person is. In that case you cannot win, because they can’t & won’t see you as being separate from them, with your own personality.
If you have the option, you either limit contact (Read : 60 Healthy responses tp narcs“) , OR walk away, no matter how much it hurts, even if it means letting them think they won.
😰 To do anything else is to humiliate yourself!

NEXT: Responding to Controllers (Part 2)