PREVIOUS: Dis-comfort & Comfort #1
1. NEGATIVE Comfort
• all forms of addictions, inching ‘addicted’ to religious / ‘spiritual’ pursuits “They’re so heavenly minded no earthly good”
• try to avoid everything hard or painful // regularly zone out, over-sleep, over-use internet, games, TV….
• always complain but never change //refuse to be self-reflective
• make excuses / blame all difficulties on others, never seeing our part
• stay the victim / be in self-pity / ‘practice’ unnecessary self-sacrifice
• never use direct communication (leave out things, beat around the bush, don’t stand up for our rights….) // justify, exaggerate, lie
• never rock the boat // stay in denial // act dumb
• always have to ‘be the ‘good’ one
• try to “know everything”, be perfect
• use self-injury to ‘cope’ with too much pain
• isolate / distance everyone // be invisible
• stay connected to unhealthy family & other dysfunctional or dangerous people
• don’t risk trying new & better ways to live
• be controlling (trying to force PPT to be what we want)
• people-please / don’t say NO when appropriate
• look for others to rescue, validate & take care of us
• busy minding someone else’s business, rescuing, over-helping
• stay constantly busy, over-work / try to be perfect
▶︎Think of all the ways you use to escape, & fill in the blue square ⬆️
Keeping these patterns alive, especially once we know better, insures that we stay stuck. It’s the WIC who is in charge of this resistance, & it takes great deal of determination, correct info & unconditional love to pry it loose from the toxic family system.
2. NEGATIVE DIS-comfort
In this category we can look at the Nigglies that are discomforting, & Biggies – that are more obvious. But first let’s review ACoA reactions to experiencing pain over long periods – Under & Over – regarding how we interact with people, events & situations (PPT).
As kids we had to clamp down on our emotions because we were punished or ignored for having them, had very little or no comforting when in pain, & no way of processing them. That taught us to ignore feelings. BUT they never go away – they just go underground & pile up until we are one big sore – but blaming ourselves. The enormity of our accumulated pain is overwhelming, & not knowing that we can process them out, we have to shut down, so the pain turns into depression or we use it to attack others, & for many of us – we do both.
Being in denial about the abuse we have suffered leads many ACoAs to emotionally & mentally under-react to most stressors. It’s not unusual to observe ACoAs smiling, even laughing, when talking about traumatic events, especially things that happened in childhood.
EXP: Recently Sara stopped in at a fast food joint down town. While eating her sandwich 5 local teens came in & sat at the next table. The were laughing as they compared beatings they used to get at home, one out-doing the others in their descriptions.
Sara wanted so much to tell them that being beaten is not funny, but rather painful, unjust, horrible, truly abusive….., but knew they would not have believed her nor welcomed her interference.
Clearly, they needed to protect the ‘value’ of the family at their own expense. Sara also knows that with – at least 4 out of the 5, if not all – this pattern will be passed on when these teens have their own children, & likely with their mates as well – either as abuser or as victims!
Sitting on all that disowned pain takes up a lot of psychic energy, making it very hard to pay attention to real difficulties when they occur in the present. So naturally, daily annoyances are more likely to be dismissed or overlooked as unimportant (T)! This makes sense, since we don’t have the inner quiet (serenity) to deal with them. We’re just trying to keep our head above water!
NEXT: Dis-comfort/Comfort #3a