ACoAs MANIPULATING Self & Others (Part 2b)

child in charge 

PREVIOUS: Manipulating OURSELVES (Part 2a)

DEF: Con / conning – to persuade by deception, cajolery…..

POSTs: Negative Benefits
Emotions & the Body
Dealing with the PP (healing)

 

 

REVIEW
It’s important to remember that we all have an Inner Parent, but for us as ACoAs & addicts, one part of this Ego State (voice) is usually contemptuous & cruel, while another part may be kindly but weak, both sides neglectful in important ways.

“Introjections involve attitudes, behaviors, emotions & perceptions that are usually gathered from influential or authoritative people in one’s life. They are neither digested nor analyzed; they are simply adopted as a part of one’s personality as concepts that one considers should be believed or behaviors that one thinks ought to be followed.” (MORE…..)

Except for psychotics / sociopaths / malignant narcissists, the super-ego (Introject) provides an endless self-policing process, to reinforce family restrictions long after the original authority is changed, unavailable or gone.

• Object Relations Theory: D. W. Winnicott said that when we use the defense mechanisms of projection or introjection …. we (temporarily) hand over omnipotence to another person, letting them be our manager – even tho they may never be aware of it!

A classic example of Introjection is Butters Stotch, in SOUTH PARK, who seems to have completely internalized his alcoholic father’s frequent use of grounding as a punishment.

INNER CHILD : WIC’s manipulation
As laid out in other posts (ACoAs & S-H), the WIC is so used to having to do everything itself, with little or no resources & info, that it A-P-Cbelieves it still has to be that way – even tho it’s terrified & full of self-loathing. What an awful double bind!

Originally, being in a powerless situation as children we got a little sense of power & control by doing everything for ourselves AND doing without. So NOW – the WIC will try to sabotage any attempt by our healthier Voice (True Self) to take over, in order to stay attached to the PP!

Re. the OUTSIDE
The WIC cons us about our dealings with the whole world, especially at work:
• that showing up/ being visible means that we’ll be judged
• that we have to work extra hard & do the impossible to not get fired
• that we have to know everything, or we’ll be humiliated
• that being ‘perfect’ is the only way we’re allowed to live
• that we have to give others whatever they want so they won’t leave..

FALSE: ALL forms of self-conning are lies! We need to regularly remind the WIC that he/she —
• is NOT the one who is supposed to work, that’s only for the adult
• is NOT seen by other adults, they only see the grownup-us
• is NOT responsible for the company’s agenda, the demands of bossed, the plight of co-workers…..
• is NOT supposed to be in charge of every-day functioning. That’s the job of the UNIT – Healthy Adult/ Loving Parent.he world.

Re. our INSIDE: The WIC cons us with Self-Hate, to not have to be our own motivator & be in charge of our life –
• I’m stupid, stupid, bad, bad, wrong, wrong, weak, weak…..
• I don’t know how to do anything, & too dense to learn
• No one loves me, and no one ever willS-H results
• I can’t love anyone, I don’t know how to connect
• No one is safe & I can’t trust anyone

• No one will ever help me or be there for me
• I’d be better off dead, they’d be happier
• I’m boring, in the way, too much trouble
• I’ll never safe, happy, have my dreams
• I don’t have a right to ….
• If I let go of them I’ll die -OR- they’ll die!
• I wouldn’t recognize a healthy person if I fell over them
• I have to rescue them. I’ll do anything to make them feel better, not feel abandoned, stop drinking, be happy…..

NEXT: Manipulating OURSELVES (Part 2c)

ACoAs &CONFUSION – in Recovery (Part 4b)

 

 PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (#4a)

 

 

RECOVERY CONFUSION is NORMAL (cont.)
c. what we know vs don’t know
This kind of ‘not knowing’ is an indication of growth, the confusion part of any issue we’re working on (career, relationships, self-care….), & will be to different degrees for each. Our reactions will be too little AND too much :

Too Independent

With little or no guidance as kids, many of us are used to doing everything ourselves. What we can’t figure out – we do without! Even in Recovery we still believe we’re supposed to know everything, making it hard to:no thanks
• reach out for comfort, guidance & information
• make an effort to see what else is possible in the real world
• try out a variety of new ways to do things
• be OK with making mistakes or having to try many different options before find the right answer or right fit

We were trained to believe we’re supposed to be self-sufficient – both emotionally (“Don’t bother me / don’t be such a baby….”), & how things are done (“You figure it out / should know that”)…. without anyone’s help. So no matter how confused we are – we don’t want to look dumb or make a fool of ourselves.

EXP
: You take a college course on a subject you know very little about, maybe just for credit, or because it’s of interest. But you don’t really understand the material & find that you’re floundering. You get the sinking feeling you’re missing something everyone else understands but you don’t know what.

So, as a ‘good’ ACoA we beat ourselves up – either we should already know the info OR be able to figure it out (“I guess I’m just too dumb”). But how can we? The whole point of taking a class is to learn what we don’t know! Believing otherwise feeds S-H.
This issues applies to work, relationships, self-growth…..

Having trouble understanding something means you:
• are rushing the learning process
• don’t have enough facts about the lesson or situation you’re in
• are trying to do too much, or everything at the same time
• are trying to use ‘graduate level‘ info before being solid in the fundamentals

vs. Too Dependent (longing for symbiosis, someone to take care of us so we don’t have to).  Actually – there are many thing we DO know – and have always known, even as little kids. But we’ve been brain-washed by family (& sometimes church & society) to deny it, so it gets pushed it away or completely forgotten. The internal conflict makes us feel crazy. (“I know / I don’t know”)

We feel too lost & afraid to trust our own judgement, common sense or experience, so we constantly, compulsively ask others for info & help, even when we actually know the answer or what to do —
• as a way to stay dependent on others, esp. on authority figures
• trying to get validation because we don’t believe in our knowledge & intuition
• from being taught (usually by a religion) that talking about -even- legitimate knowledge & accomplishments is arrogant, presumptuous or the sin of pride

It’s true that we have many cognitive distortions (CDs) learned from family, BUT ACoAs are very smart & perceptive. We need to recapture the many truths we’ve suppressed & ignored for so long. It will UN-confuse us. REMEMBER: “I know what I know – but I don’t have to / can’t know everything ”.

d. because of incongruity.  DEF – when something is “strange, becausinconsistenciese it doesn’t agree with common principles, or what is usually expected”
CONGRUOUS: exhibits harmony in it’s logic parts, has internal & external consistency, is perceived by others as sincere or certain

For ACoAs, incongruity has to do with anything we’re thinking (CDs) or doing which conflicts with how the real world works. This is similar to ‘Old Patterns’ (‘Confusion-Part 3b, #g). When we try to function from our historical training in ‘normal’ relationships or work settings – we don’t get the response we expect or want, so we get confused – and we confuse others.

In Recovery – the main incongruity, at least internally, is between the False Self (wounded Adapted Child) & the fledgling True Self (healthy ‘UNIT’), how we’ve always reacted vs new ways we’re learning to apply.

NEXT: Confusion (Part 4c)

SAYINGS that MISREPRESENT (Part 2)


WE KEEP PASSING ON
half correct ‘helpfulness’

PREVIOUS: SAYINGS… (#1)

 


REVIEW Intro in Part 1
I don’t have to be perfect.
What’s wrong with this statement?
Unfortunately, people in Recovery who say this actually consider it a sign of growth, but is in fact one of those sneaky ways our ‘damage’ keeps us hooked. Why? Because:
It implies we COULD be perfect, we just don’t have to be. NOT true!

No one can be perfect except God. So, what is true & accurate is that “Humans are not perfect, & I am human, so I can’t be perfect!” That’s normal. To think otherwise is arrogant. We can only do the very best of our ability given where we are in our life-progress right now. It means that “To err is human”,  so we must accept the reality of having limitations. This does not minimize our accomplishments or gifts! We can say: ‘There’s nothing wrong with being imperfect, because it’s a universal Truth”

“Feelings aren’t facts” is not about our emotions, as most people assume. The confusion comes from the reality that we use the word ‘feeling’ in 3 completely different ways: As physical sensations, as emotions AND as thoughts.  See POST

The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.”
It’s the word “EVERYTHING” that’s the problem. Taken literally, this is a blatant inaccuracy. Always keeping PMES in mind, how we do the various parts of our life depends on many factors.
It will depend on your fundamental personality, such as indicated by their MBTI or EnneaType – whether you’re more left or right-brained, (scientific vs artistic) Introvert vs Extrovert, AND above all what areas of childhood experiences were allowed & praised or ignored & punished.

So, I can be meticulous about how I dress & do my makeup, but sloppy about keeping my house orderly.  I can be a brilliant scholar & writer, but neglect my family. I can be very talented & dedicated to my native art form but irresponsible if I have to do office work…..
▶︎ None of us do everything the same way!

READ article – a Lesson:  However, if we take this phrase more psychologically, we can use this woman’s experience to indicate where we’re stuck. Each of us can have the same kind of ‘aha’ connections – between everyday ways of doing (or not doing) things & how they’re a reflection of our fears & resistance to change. Such discoveries help us remove blocks which will improve our life.

“If you hate a flaw in someone else it means you have that flaw yourself, otherwise you wouldn’t be upset by it”
NO – the things that bother us the most in the present, that push our buttons or ‘trigger us’ are actually the abusive / neglectful things that were done to us by our family (& other perpetrators) over & over throughout our childhood.
They are wounds we need to clean out, but they are not our character defects.
EXP: I’m almost never late anywhere, but I will definitely be angry at anyone who’s consistently late to dates / appointments, because of all the times as a kid I was left waiting to be picked up by my drunk parent….

YES – Al-Anon says that when we point a finger at someone else, 3 fingers point back at us. So the statement is true to the degree that our denied ‘character defects’ get projected out onto others, & we don’t like what we see of ourselves in them. These flaws are the emotions, beliefs & behaviors (TEAs) we internalized from our family & society, rolled into our Negative Introject’s voice (PP).

BUT that is not who we are. It’s the False Self we developed in reaction to our unhealthy upbringing.
Even so, our True Self sneaks thru in spite of early brainwashing – sometimes indirectly, sometimes obviously.
EXP: a secret interest, types of addictions we chose, our career path, the way we dress, places we love to go….. So the goal is to find out who we really are & live it!

NEXT: Sayings #3

Ego States – ADULT (Part 1)

PAC male 

A HEALTHY ADULT INNER VOICE
helps me function well in the world

PREVIOUS: Ego States – Summary

SITE: T.A. tests & definitions


REMINDER
: Ego states (E.S.) are in our conscious mind, & only one can be in the foreground at any given moment. Whichever one is on the ‘front burner’ is called The Executive  – for the length of time it’s in charge. Healthy people can switch between ego states (E.S.) as required – most of the time.  It’s NOT supposed to be a rigid framework, but many ACoAs are trapped in the Wounded Child E.S.

All E.S. function on a continuum, from mild to severe … AND a person can go from OK to NOT OK & back again more than once throughout a day. We can catch this by noting physical & verbal characteristics
Parent: Language used is made up of value judgements, lecturing, scolding…. , about ‘You…’ or ‘One…’ rather than oneself. Posture tends to be leaning forward

Child :  Words are direct & spontaneous. Physically, the person can be sullen from anger, stiff w/ fear, IF comfortable – are engaged, attentive, use hand gestures….  In Adapted C. = may cry silently. In Free C. = have fun & maybe be excited-noisy
ADULT
PhysicallyPosture is erect, maybe with tilted head (listening). Attentive, interested, straight-forward, non-threatening & non-threatened
VerballyTone is measured, clear, precise, crisp, rational, logical.  Words are clear, definable, factual: “It’s a cold day so we’ll need extra clothes”.
Talks in terms of: why, what, how, who, where & when, how much, in what way. Uses comparative expressions, reasoned & accurate statements

PURPOSE of ADULT = “Neo-psyche”, for survival of the Self
a. FACTUAL: This part of us concentrates on Reality, lives in the present & holds the accumulated data of all our experiences.
It begins forming around age 6 to 10 months & is assumed to be fully developed in a normal person by age 12 (from T.A.), but its actual function is not related to a person’s age.
The A. deals with external facts (“It’s 5 pm, the train is late…”), analyzing & solving problems, also using information from Parent & Child states, giving us the ability to successfully deal with the outside world

b. REGULATORY: The A. is in charge of supervising & managing the activities of both adult vectorsInner Parent & Child, AND intervening between them when necessary.
It allows us to keep control of those other 2 states – to not let the P. become too rigid, controlling, pontificating (“Do as I say not as I do”) nor the C. too out of control, selfish, hurtful ( “I’ll kill that so-&-so!”)

EXP: When PP beats up IC : “You’re no good, look at what you did wrong again, you’re useless”, the WIC will agree: “I’m no good, look how useless I am, I never get anything right”.

🔸 However, if we’ve developed a Healthy Adult, then when the PP acts up – it will step in, first to stop the Introject from doing any more damage, & draw the Child away from it, to work on correcting its toxic beliefs. Then the A. can make space for the Good Parent to comfort the suffering Child

c. ACCOUNTING Mode is part of the ADULT (A.) – the only E.S. that allows us to actually solve problems, which can not be successfully done from either P. or C., because when we try to correct things from those 2 states, the problems keep coming back.
In the present, the A. makes balanced choices & decisions, based on stored info from a wide range of experience (not primarily from dysfunction).
To have a rounded view & consider future actions, resulting outcomes are weighed against the reactions of Healthy Parent & Child  as well as real-world consequences  (MORE…. re. Accounting – scroll way down)

Accounting Mode interacts with other E.S. without energy blockages. When it’s available & stable (uncontaminated by PP or WIC), we operate appropriately in the here-&-now, having absorbed any positive parts of our Historic Parent & Archaic Child experiences. This allows us to choose which mode to draw from, depending on the current situation, without regressing into either negative Historic or Archaic states.

NEXT: ADULT Ego States (Part 2)

ACoAs & BEING VISIBLE (Part 2)

invisibility
I DESPERATELY WANT TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED

but I don’t want to expose the real me!

PREVIOUS: ACoAs Being VISIBLE (#1)

POSTS: “Healthy Adult…andSeparation & Individuation

AS ADULTS
STAYING Invisible
– In the present we have many options never available to us as kids – such as searching out people who are relatively ‘sane’ & already capable of seeing & hearing us.
However, as long as the WIC is still running our emotional & mental life, it is the Ego State in charge of the picking process, so we will continue to choose friends, mates, even jobs, whose incompatibility with us or abuse make us feel unsafe

This reinforces the WIC’s conviction that we should stay invisible, not just because of the unhealthy people we surround ourselves with, but because of the WIC unconscious connection to the Negative Introject (IT), which is our real source of threatplexiglass

EXP: In doing early childhood visualizations, Tamara had a visualization of herself as a 15 months old, sitting alone on bare earth in a big yard, only wearing diapers & a tiny top.

Near by her mother was hanging the wash on a clothes line, talking & laughing with another women, paying no attention to her little daughter.
It was as if there was an infinitely large sheet of plexiglass between Tamara & her mother – they could see, but not hear each other.
The infant sat there alone, unnoticed, neglected, unable to get thru to her mother – bewildered & scared! She had not created the wall, so she couldn’t tear it down & it was too vast to be gotten around. She WAS utterly alone!

🥀 This image represented her daily emotional experience growing up with a narcissistic mother, who was controlling & over-protective, while at the same time accused the child of being ‘difficult’, distant & disrespectful.  Tamara’s mother had made her feel invisible & then blamed her for the result!

Now, the only possible result of our True Self being visible is danger. Our WIC is convinced we’ll be subjected again, by everyone else in the world, to the same kinds of abuse we experienced growing up.
So we continue to hide behind our glass wall**. We think that “If I show who I really am & go for what I want”:toxic beliefs
• I’ll probably fail (I’m not prepared, I don’t know enough…)
• even if I by some miracle manage, it will be taken away
• no one will want me or what I have to offer
• no one will pay me for what I do
• I’ll be made fun of, judged, criticized
• people will be jealous of me, & then attack / try to stop me”…..

**Glass wall: While we’re trying to hide behind a creative facade, we do NOT really go completely unnoticed. Depending on how we function in the world, other people see various aspects of us – both our good qualities & our damage.

• What all ACoAs** present to the world is our ‘defensive persona’, an outer shell housed in the PP or WIC ego states, & in some cases a clever but unhealthy Adult. The sad thing is that we believe this outer shell is the real us. Actually, it’s a mis-directed version of our natural personality, distorted by childhood abuse & neglect

While many of us are terrified of even that much exposure, those of us who tend towards the blatant are nevertheless suppressing or perverting the healthy Natural Child, trying to show the world (our parents) we deserve to be valued (“look at me – and – I hate you all”), as compensation

**This is not to diminish the accomplishments of many determined & talented ACoAs who have worked hard to achieve one or more goals. And not all successful people functioning exclusively from damage – it depends on how authentic they are in their personal life. In PMES terms, most people function out of their (P) Physical & (M) Mental aspects, but are usually not (E) Emotionally or (S) Spiritually mature.

NEXT: ACoAs being Visible (Part 3)

Setting HEALTHY Boundaries (Part 1)

Bs 

OY, ANOTHER PROCESS!
It’s so much work – but I need it

REVIEW Boundaries Defined // Source / / Info

 

 

1. FOR YOURSELF
REPAIRING Damaged Boundaries (Bs)
a. Use a therapist, Al-Anon meeting & other resources to identify & examine the underlying causes of your unhealthy Bs. While we may have an extensive knowledge of our background, we often need an experienced listener to tag unhealthy life-patterns so automatic we don’t even notice

b. Identify specific ways your Bs are dysfunctional, listing how they show up in your life.  Think of ‘character defects’ as expressions of Self-Hate

c. Write letters to yourself encouraging the changes you want, whichself-writing
nurture the right to have healthy Bs. Include 2-handed conversations with your:
Wounded Child, about ways you’d like to help it heal from S-H
• Healthy Inner Child – about ways you want to support it to be happy
• Pig Parent (Negative Introject) – about ways you won’t let it hurt you any more
d. Notice the fear-based beliefs (CDs & Toxic Rules) that reinforce your resistance to change.  List specific ones that apply to you & how you express them

e. Make a list of Personal Rights, for yourself & in relationships. Paste it where you can read it often & keep a copy on your phone.
Find an appropriate sponsor, friend or mentor to strengthen your desire to be kind to yourself.
Pick one ‘Right’ you’d like to enjoy. For a month incorporate it rightsinto your life. Write down what happened & how you feel at the end of that time.  Pick another ‘Right’ & do the same…..

f. Keep a journal to record the pain* you feel when you don’t stick to your Bs with others. The idea is to cut thru denial about how it affects you
This kind of pain is NOT from self-recrimination or fear of abandonment from others. It’s the most basic pain of self-abandonment, reproducing what our parents did to us. Without contacting with our emotions we keep repeating the old ways – as if they don’t do any damage.

*A certain level of pain is a useful motivator if it’s not too much.
Don’t turn ‘failures’ into S-H, depression & isolation. Identify what led up to each B violation – because you were (are):
• with the wrong person, always invading Bs, & no one can stophurting
• tired, ill or otherwise stressed, so you were more vulnerable
• in a situation which pushed a very big button that’s still unhealed
• unaware there would be problems in a new situation
• still letting the WIC run your life, or at least in certain areas…..

g. Have a journal page titled: “Who Am I?” with sub-heading like – Accomplishments, Education, Natural Qualities, Skills, Talents, Tastes, Values …..
Fill in as many characteristics as you can.  Ask others to list the positive qualities they see in you. Continue adding to it as you see more good things about yourself

h. Look for role models & other examples of healthy Bs in your life & in media.  In any situation that challenges your Bs, take a minute to ask: “What would my role model do?” If they’re part of your life, ask them, but don’t assume that what’s good for them HAS TO be good for you. Try a variety of options & come to your own conclusions. One size does NOT fit all

i. Regularly build in time for yourself, away from your job, mate, children, & pets.  Find time alone to relax (just veg), be with close friends, time for spiritual growth, self-care, humor, fun & creativityfun

• If you have a hard time saying ‘No’, look for opportunities to practice, without anger if possible, with anger if that‘s the only way – at first. Eventually people will get used to this change in you. If they don’t, one of you will inevitably let go

• If you have trouble saying “Yes” to one-to-one social events, or anything involving groups, be willing to accept an invitation from time to time.  You’ll be uncomfortable, but do the Inner Child book-ending for each situation & see what the realistic outcomes are.

NEXT: Setting Bs with Others