ACoAs MANIPULATING Self & Others (Part 2b)

child in chargePREVIOUS: Manipulating OURSELVES (#2a)

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

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


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!

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)


a. during any transition
b. when learning anything new

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 :

i. 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.

: 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
ii. 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)


WE KEEP PASSING ON – half correct ‘helpfulness’


REVIEW Intro in Part 1
3. “I don’t have to be perfect.
What’s wrong with this statement?
💜 NO – 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”

4. “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

5. “The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.”
💜 NO – 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…. .READ article – a Lesson
▶︎ None of us do everything the same way!

(❤️YES) 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.

6. “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
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, as needed – 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 noticing physical & verbal characteristics
Parent : Language is made up of value judgements, lecturing, scolding, controlling….  About ‘You…’ or ‘One…’ rather than “I or me”. Posture tends to be leaning forward

Child :  Words are direct & spontaneous. Physically, the person can be sullen from anger, stiff w/ fear…. If in the Adapted C. = may cry silently. In Free C. = have fun & maybe be excited-noisy
IF comfortable – they’re engaged, attentive, use hand gestures….
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 E.S. = “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 world

b. REGULATING: 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 PigP 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 (free of C.D.s) then when the PigP acts up – it will step in, first to stop the Introject from doing any more damage, drawing the Child away from it, & work on correcting its Toxic Beliefs. Then the A. can make space for the Good Parent to comfort the abused Child

c. ACCOUNTING Mode is part of the ADULT (A.) – the only E.S. that gives the ability to actually solve problems which can not be successfully done by either the P. or C. This is because when trying 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 reality-experience, rather than from dysfunction.
To have a rounded view & consider future actions, potential outcomes are weighed against the reactions of Healthy Parent & Healthy 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 PigP 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)


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


POSTS: “Healthy Adult…andSeparation & Individuation


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’ll continue to choose friends, mates, even jobs, whose abuse & incompatibility with us 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 an scene 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 becoming visible is a feeling of danger. Our WIC is convinced that if we can be seen, we’ll toxic beliefseveryone else in the world will treat us as badly as our family did.
So we continue to hide behind our glass wall**. We think that even if we tried to have a presence, we’d likely fail (not prepared, don’t know enough…)

The WIC says : “If I show who I really am & go for what I want”, then : • I’ll be made fun of, judged, criticized
• no one will want me or what I have to offer
• no one will pay me for what I do
• people will be jealous of me, & then attack / try to stop me”…..
AND even if I by some miracle manage, it will be taken away

**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 function exclusively from damage – it depends on how authentic they are in their personal life.
In PMES terms, most function out of their (P) Physical & (M) Mental aspects, but rarely (E) Emotionally or (S) Spiritually mature.

NEXT: ACoAs being Visible (Part 3)

REPAIRING Boundaries – with SELF


It’s so much work – but I need it

REVIEW Boundaries Defined // Source / / Info

SITE : “Setting Bs with Oneself”

REPAIRING Damaged Boundaries 
The source of unhealthy Bs comes from our upbringing. As a result – in the present – it’s a self-worth issue, not believing we have any rights.
“SIEVES” (anyone with damaged or non-functioning Bs) are trying to gain value by trying to please others, so let everyone invade their space, obeying Toxic Rules like “Everyone else’s needs are more important than mine”

Form a clear sense of your personal values.

b. Identify specific ways your WEAK Bs are unproductive & self-defeating, & explain how they show up in your life. Think of ‘character defects’ as expressions of Self-Hate

c. Notice the fear-based beliefs that reinforce your resistance to change (CDs & Toxic Rules).  List specific ones that apply to you & how you act them out (talking & doing)

dIdentify all POSITIVE Bs that are important to you (5-15 items). These may shift over time, so stay current.
List at least 1 B. from each PMES category that you:
— absolutely will not compromise on, because they’re CORE
— can afford some wiggle room on, because they’re not as important to your comfort & safety

e. Make a “Who Am I?” journal. Have separate pages for PMES sub-headings like – Accomplishments, Education, Natural Qualities, Skills, Strengths, Talents, Tastes, Values …..
Fill in any characteristics that come to mind. Ask others to provide the positive qualities they see in you. Continue adding to it as you see more good things about yourself

f. Write letters to yourself encouraging the changes you want to self-writingactivate, that nurture your right to have healthy Bs.
Include 2-handed conversations with your:
Wounded Child, about how you’d like to help it heal from S-H
• Healthy Inner Child – about ways you want to support it to be visible & happy
• Pig Parent (Negative Introject) – about how you don’t agree with its lies any more!

g. Make 2 lists of Personal Rights, for yourself & for relationships. Paste it where you can read it often & keep copies on your mirrors, fridge, phone, tablet…. (Qs re. Friends….)
Pick one ‘Right’ you’d like to develop & incorporate it rightsinto your life for a month.
At the end of that time write down what happened & how you feel.
Pick another ‘Right’ & do the same….
Re. “Support” – see next post.

h. Keep a separate journal to record the PMES 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, practically & emotionally.
🥲 This kind of pain is NOT from self-recrimination or fear of rejection. Rather, it is the most basic pain of self-abandonment, reproducing what our parents did to us. Without connecting to our feelings, we keep repeating the old ways – as if they don’t cause more damage.

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

i. Regularly build in time for yourself, away from your job, mate, children, & pets – alone to relax (just veg). Take space for spiritual growth, self-care, humor, fun & creativity, AND make plans to be with close friends
fun• If you have a hard time saying ‘No’, look for opportunities to practice, without anger if possible, or 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” for 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 usually are.

NEXT: Setting HEALTHY Boundaries (#2)