What to DO when CONFUSED (Part 1)

PREVIOUS : Recovery Confusion (#5c)

SITE: Confusing communicators

REVIEW – See posts: “ACoAs & Confusion” —  not due to mental or physical diseases (brain damage, Alzheimers, psychosis, depression…..)

: Any time we have trouble sorting out 2 or more conflicting / opposing : points of view, rules, options, desires, experiences, needs.
Being torn between the facts as we know them AND a resolution we can’t see or find, (being sure about the facts) because we don’t understand our environment.

Can be caused by:

• getting too much information at the same time
• learninScreen Shot 2015-07-20 at 4.54.04 PMg something new, & not knowing how yet (this or that?)
• absolutely not understanding some info, communication, instruction, expectation
• not knowing what to do because of —
– having too many desirable options, but can’t do them all
– not allowed (internally) to admit what you really want to do
– not knowing yourself well enough, & so – afraid to make the wrong choice & then have regrets

You’re confused about how you feel – emotionally. You wonder :
= “Am I angry or scared? I shouldn’t be upset about the way that clerk talked to me, like I was dumb, but I am upset about having such a strong reaction…..

= I’m feeling sad & relieved at the same time about the breakup. Am I crazy?”…..
NO – not crazy, it’s just normal human complexity. Having a variety, even simultaneous contradictory Es is common, especially when considering that each Ego State has it’s own & they often disagree

EXP: Carla came to the party on her own, & wondering who all these people were. After a while she found herself talking with 2 older out-of-town business men, obviously colleagues & obviously married. They were charming, friendly & amusing – telling funny ‘war stories’  & how they’ve helped each other at work. Carla was having a good time laughing with them, genuinely enjoying their company.

At the same time,
she felt sad inside, & checking with her inner child, “Little C” said she was sad because then the party was over she’d be going home alone & missing the fun!”

– severe Narcissists are dangerously confusing. They’ll crush any attempt you (target/victim) may make to figure out their agenda – to keep you constantly walking on eggshells, emotionally off balance & mentally confused (feeling crazy). Narcissists always need to be in control of every situation, & react accordingly to keep you in line

SECOND: those who knowingly leave out important info about themselves – that you need to know (married man, ex-con, addict….), or crucial info about a situation they’re in

OTHES Confusers – so you never know where they stand, where you stand with them, what they want….. They’re the ones who:
– talk a lot, but never say anything of substance (shallow)
– sound like they’re trying to tell you something – especially when upset – but just beat around the bush & never get to their point
– only respond in non-sequiturs that have nothing to do with what you’re saying
– lecture, pontificate…with no emotional content
(11 Posts: ‘ACoAs & Confusion‘)

Most people are sloppy in their use of words & phrases, causing much confusion. (See post “Sayings that Misrepresent“)

❎ The most common is the word -FEEL- to mean 3 different states – physical, emotional & mental .(See post “Feelings aren’t facts
• Repeating words they don’t know the actual meaning of (co-dependent, introvert – when they mean shy…. )
• Using a word that sounds like another but with totally different meaning (flamingo instead of flamenco)

• Misusing words (that’s schizophrenic, your crazy, pathological… ) when we’re angry at someone
• Vague words, usually about some emotional state, but unspecified (upset, triggered, off, out of it, acting weird, not themselves…. ).
Is the person unusually angry, sad, scared, nervous, withdrawn, unusually angry, cranky… ?

• Using this word as a pejorative, “Don’t be so emotional, women are too emotional…” by which someone means they’re angry or crying.
BUT emotions come in a wide range of colors.
Why can’t “they’re being emotional” also mean “they’re so excited, thrilled, happy-shocked….!” ??
 And yes, maybe even crying a little!

NEXT: What to do …#2

ACoAs & CONFUSION – Growth (Part 5b)

PREVIOUS: Recovery Confusion (#5a)

SITE: 🔺 “Overcoming Anxiety & Confusion
🔺 Uncertainty and Cognitive Control

🔺 8 Ways to Eliminate Brain Fog Once & For All

QUOTE:”Good communication is the bridge between confusion & clarity” ∼ Nat Turner (slave rebel leader)

A Zen Buddhism story
Two monks were walking along the banks of a river. They saw a young woman who was afraid to cross. Although the monks had taken vows never to touch a woman, the older monk picked her up and carried her to the other side of the river. The younger monk was angry about it all day.
The two didn’t speak until sunset, when they were allowed to break their vow of silence.
Then the angry younger monk accused the older monk of polluting not only himself but also the whole order. The older monk simply answered, “I put the woman down on the other side of the river early this morning. It is only you who have been carrying her around throughout the day.”

REVERSING life-long Confusion (cont)
1. Learn to apply Logic // 2. Get more info

Because our parents provided no mirroring or very distorted feedback about who we are, we think we’re invisible – both internally toconflicted ourselves (“I don’t know who I am”), & externally to others (“No one gets me”).
As adults we can reverse this training by risking what we fear the most – any form of abandonment.

4. Grow the ADULT/PARENT ego states
Since our internal confusion comes mainly from the PP & WIC, we need to form & strengthen the UNIT so that it can be the decision-making voice.

Posts: Book-ending // Problem-solving // My rights // Why are you stuck?
USE: relevant books, YouTube, 12-step Programs, spiritual groups, therapy …. to learn what’s normal & healthy.

‘Being stuck’ always includes intense internal conflicts we don’t know how to resolve, or are unwilling to do the Recovery work it would take. They are mainly in the form of frustrating disagreements – between the WIC (obeying the PP) & the UNIT, or the Unit fighting against the PP’s injunctions – between old damage & new Mental Health

The goal of Recovery is to get the PP completely separated from the WIC, so that both Healthy & Wounded parts of the Inner Child can align themselves with our healthy Adult/Parent.
a. List real Needs (Parts 1 & 2) of each ego state – not the WIC’s outrageous demands (Part 3). ‘Normal’ childhood needs: acceptance, approval, attention, emotional comfort, physical contact, security & stimulation

b. Write down conflicts between the various opposing ego states
c. Inner Selves must agree to help each other get those needs met, brainstorming as many ideas as possible

• When Loving Parent & Inner Child are on the same page about any given subject (shutting out the PP) – the conflict melts away & useful choices seem self-evident. Whatever actions we’ve been dragging our feet about suddenly are easy to do, & usually don’t take much time. But when we’re deep in our damage, all our time is spent obsessing, worrying, planning, complaining… but NOT acting

6. Take SOME Action
Once we’re ready to focus on taking some kind of appropriate action, we can consider the next part of the process.
It may be something we’ve been thinking about for a long time but couldn’t move on, or something shifted in us so we formed a new way of thinking about the problem, which quickly translates into a new way of functioning.
*️⃣You don’t have to know if the action will lead you where you want to end up. But it can tell you if you’re on the right track or not

• Break down potential tasks into bite-size pieces – called process
• Identify the ones you know how to do, & the ones you don’t – & get the missing info
• Choose the simplest action you can & take it – one phone call, one evening class, one hour of internet searches….
• Don’t give up. It’s OK to take breaks but then start again & keep trying new things. It can eliminate some confusion & you’ve possibly learned something along the way (More….)

NEXT: Confusion – Growth #5c