ACoAs: DIS-comfort & Comfort (Part 2a)

hiding under bed

any more stress!

PREVIOUS: Dis-comfort & Comfort #1

SITE17 Habits of a Self-destructive person

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

• neneg-comfver 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, & who me?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).

UNDER ‘feel’
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!

: Dis-comfort/Comfort #3a


being blamed 

No matter what I do, it’s wrong!

PREVIOUS: Rebellion vs Compliance #2

SEE posts : What is Guilt?
What is Shame?
• ACoAs’ Need for Revenge


There is a lot of talk in the ‘spiritual’ community about forgiveness, ie – that we should not be blamers.
Not blaming ourselves (S-H) or others (attacks) is a good rule for us in the present – now that we’re adults. And that’s a discussion for another post.

However, those same teachers & preachers never talk about what was done to us as kids – that among many other types of harm, our parents unfairly, inappropriately blamed us for all kinds of things – and what that did to our tender & vulnerable developing sense of identity!

This post is about what happened TO US as children. A hallmark of alcoholic (& other emotionally unhealthy) families is the mistreatment of their children in all 4 of life’s aspects: Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, Physical (PMES).

😿 Parents blaming their children for ANYTHING is ABUSIVE. Blaming us is the same as holding us responsible for their deficiencies & unhappiness.
Remember – abuse is not just physical, in all its forms.

It encompasses all the ways people harm others – especially their children – by injuring another’s rights, self-esteem, mental clarity, sense of safety, emotional equilibrium & boundaries. So Blame fits into 3 categories – S, M & E.

👥 A variation on Blame is a constant negative COMPARISON with a dead or living sibling, another relative, a famous person….
“Why can’t you be more like ____”

Damaged parents blamed you for things which :
a. were NOT your fault
• difficulties because of a learning disability, like dyslexia or ADD
• the illness or death of a parent; a parent being left by a lover or spouse…

b. was a projection
of what the parents were guilty of being (fearful, irresponsible, lazy, feeling unlovable, risk-averse….)

c. you were not doing
what you were accused of
• being a ‘whore’ when you were too young to have had sex at all OR
• of seducing a parent’s lover/ spouse, when that adult was actually sexually abusing the child
• of using drugs when you never did – at least not at the point…)
Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 5.07.37 AM
d. you couldn’t do, especially without any instruction, & then accused of being stupid
• when you legitimately couldn’t know something (fixing a car or other machinery, shopping by themselves, ‘getting
• a hard school subject
• expected to know how to fix a parent’s personal, sexual & financial problems or forced to take care of a drunk or crazy parent, alone…
e. were actually no one’s fault such as • an act of God
• being born with a physical or mental limitation
•  getting severely ill or having an accident…

 something one of your siblings or other child did, but we were held responsible for, especially if you were the Hero or Scapegoat (start a fight; steal or break something; get into trouble at school…)

g. your parents were jealous of, because they couldn’t do something you could (a natural skill or gift) & so they made that ability a bad thing

h. was mostly not true
• always lying (“Kids always lie so we can’t believe anything they say”)
Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 5.06.44 AM• always being stubborn, selfish, too sensitive, difficult, disobedient, stupid….

➼ This last category are a group of normal childhood characteristics which:
√ sick parent cannot tolerate because of their own issues
√ occur sometimes as a defense in the child because of family abuse & neglect…
√ happens occasionally because kids are human ie. imperfect.
Those behaviors & attitudes then get demonized – which make them both a ‘sin’ and more likely to continue, while we try to be perfect. We CAN’T WIN in a sick environment.

NEXT: ACoAs’ need for revenge