Weak DECISION Styles (Part 1)

it’ll always be wrong!

PREVIOUS: Procrastinators Anon Tools



• First 6 of 18 types of un-sound decision-making (D.M.) styles & their corrections. (No known source) While these types all represent dysfunction, people gravitate to one of these styles as a reflection of their inborn approach to life, along with an unhealthy upbringing.

• No matter what our personal style, ACoAs have a great deal of difficulty making decisions. This deficiency has nothing to do with our basic intelligence, only our damage. An apparent exception are those in the Hero / Rescuer family role – who seem to be able to make decisions easily & continuously. But the hidden worm in the fruit is that they only do it on behalf of others. Decisions for themselves are rare & usually unhealthy

– D.M. is the process of identifying & choosing alternatives, based on our values & preferences &
– D.M. is the process of reducing enough uncertainty & doubt about our options to give us the freedom to pick out the best one at the moment

SOME REASONS we have trouble with D.M.
• not having a clear identity (who am I, how do I present myself, what do I need or want….)
• letting the WIC (wounded inner child) be in charge of considering what to do, who either acts impulsively or is stuck / paralyzedbad decisions
• not trusting the knowledge, judgment & experience we’ve gathered throughout our life

• not realizing we have options to choose from, or better options than we think we have
not having permission to change our minds – about anything!
• being in denial about what we know regarding a person or situation

• fear of making the wrong choice – we think the wrong one will have life & death consequences, or result in severe punishment or self-hate, afraid of taking risks, asking for help, getting good things

• co-dependence: wanting to please everyone, all the time
• growing up with a series of double-binds (paralyzes us)
• not having enough or the correct information to decide accurately
• using CDs (cognitive distortions) in thinking about a problem

➼ As we Recover, some of these reasons melt away, some diminish & some we struggle with throughout life – & which is which will be different for different people.

What to DO when CONFUSED (Part 5)


it’s OK to ask for help

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (#3)



4. OPTIONS (cont.)
THE “LAW”: Being trapped as kids in endlessly dire situations without any possible ‘out’ left ACoAs with the Toxic Rule: “If you don’t like it you have to stay”. Controlling parents also taught us: “It’s MY way or the highway”  & “Who do you think you are?”.  Not only were we not allowed to leave bad situations, but we shouldn’t think for ourselves or disobey the ruling demigods – lest we be destroyed!

• That is how the WIC actually experienced our parent(s): as ‘gods’, and so disobedience = our death. If that seems extreme, imagine the terror in a small child trying to defy the angry, abusive authoriparents as godty.

OR, remember the intensity of your anxiety, as an adult, when you’ve said NO to a parent or mate, or tied something totally our of your comfort zone. Haven’t yet?  As long as we still hold these crippling beliefs we have little or no wiggle room, making it hard >to >impossible to take effective actions

EXP: Shona’s father had given her a few of his extra tools to use in her first apartment after college. 20 yrs later she was still struggling to making do with them for every repair job, no matter how unsuited they were for a particular task!

Eventually Shona realized this was a metaphor for the way she lived the rest of her life, & decided to work on expanding her sense of possibilities – starting at the most practical, undramatic level. Occasionally she’ll stop in a hardware store & just LOOK at the huge variety of items – each made for a specific operation!
Imagine making life easier by having the right tool!

APPLY this to all areas of life – & start by finding out what’s available – what are your options in a given situation. While there are realistic limits to our capacities & to what we can afford, they’re NOT nearly as narrow as we believe.  Of course with Amazon, eBay, Google…. – just about anything can be delivered!😀 Anyway – in T.E.A. terms, Emotions also come in a wide range, many ways to Think about something & a variety of ways to DO things.

The latter can certainly apply to small daily choices like what to wear or eat —> all the way to big ones like where to live, which job & relationship to pick or stay in…. One teacher repeats month after month: “Don’t be negative, just be open!” – a new rule to live by.

a. Venn Diagram Inventory
PURPOSE: to get an overview of where you stand on any aspect of your life right now
You can make the chart into a collage, use the computer or just free-hand it on a large sheet of paper

The biggest circle (Spirituality) is the background to our whole life.

EACH person’s Diagram will look different.
If you’re ambitious or curious, you can make one for where you were 10 or 20 yrs ago, as a comparison.

• Think about all the areas of your life, & decide their relevant importance to you at present. Change or add any not listed.
Draw / cut the size circle for each topic as it relates to their current importance

• Play with the positions of circles…. change them around until the chart feels right. Place them close to, overlapping or far away from each other, depending on how they connect in real life

• Label circles, & draw lines to form pie wedges in each one.
— You decide how many lines (slices) based on how many problems & victories for each – you’ll probably have to guess-timate
IMP: each slice represents an issue related to the circle’s topic

a. Fill in a slice for any aspect of that topic you’re confident you have a good handle on(never perfectly)
No longer use drugs & alcohol

b. Zig-zag or cross hatch slices that are aspects you’re still working on but making progress. The degree of progress in one may be different than in another slice. Make zig-zag density accordingly
EXP: Get to places on time more often

AND THEN: Most likely there will always be one or more empty slices – representing:
c. Grey– things about a topic you know need correcting / a change but are not ready / willing to tackle

d. Blank– problems / challenges about that topic you simply don’t know you need to work on – yet

NEXT: What to do…. #2

ACoAs – ANXIETY & T.E.A. (Part 2)

about my painful emotions?

PREVIOUS: T.E..A. & Anxiety (#1)

SITEs: Anxiety Fingerprint (Tool 3)
Consciousness & Emotions & the brain

BOOK: Freedom From Body Memory : Awaken the Courage to Let Go of the Past….. “a person can accumulate years, even a lifetime of stress in their body from past experiences….”

1. T.E.A defined (Part 1)

2. ANXIETY (cont)
UNDER: For those of us who try to skate past our anxiety, when something sets it off – we’re deeply shocked, overwhelmed, can’t cope, think we’re losing our mind…… And if we unexpectedly get too flooded, without a healthy way to resolve it, it can trigger an anxiety attack, which is very scary & physically painful

ACoAs will do almost anything to avoid feeling emotions – especially fear.
‘Coping’ styles (escapes):coping styles
• keep so busy you can’t feel it (or much of anything else)
• withdraw, isolate from people, refuse help or comfort
• find other ways to escape (internet, tv, sleeping……)
• stay angry so you don’t feel scared
• blame everyone / everything else

OVER: And then there are those of us who are drowning in anxiety – for days, months, years or as far back as we can remember – our constant daily companion. We don’t know what to do about it, don’t know the source & have never learned how Reactions:
• obsess over that you did wrong when upset or disappointed
• search for answers out of yourself to fix your problems
• use various types of addictions to numb any unpleasant Es
• dump on anyone who’ll listen : compulsively go on & on about situations & people in your life that upsets you, without any self-awareness of internal causes, or attempts to make appropriate external changes where possible.

Whether anxiety (physically & emotionally painful) has been a life-long black cloud always overhead effecting everything you do, OR an occasional unexpected ‘visitor’, seemingly out of nowhere – 2 important questions come to mind:
Where is it coming from? // What can I do about it?
If you’ve asked yourself these Qs, you may have just shrugged ”I don’t know”.

a. Not everyone is self-reflective. Most people go thru life ignoring or using the list above as defense mechanism to sidestep emotional pain. They’re just baffled & stay that way.

b. Some see a connection between an event (action) & anxiety, but don’t know what it is, & attribute it to something that shows our imperfection :
√ making a mistake, forgetting something, being late, saying the wrong thing, losing something valuable (even temporarily), making  a fool of ourselves, failing at some effort…..

more often it’s something or someone outside of ourselves hat makes us anxious :
√ waiting for an important phone call, being called into the boss’s office, a break up, anticipating an attack or punishment, the death of a family member, someone important turning against us, being verbally attacked or accused wrongly, caught in a character defect …..

c. Emotionally oriented ACoAs feel the anxiety intensely, but will only ‘hear’ obsessive thoughts – “spinning” – & assume it’s a way to explain the emotional distress, after the fact. (Suggestion: Enneagram 2, 4, 6 types, & anyone with a lot Water signs in their Astro natal chart – Scorpio, Cancer & Pisces)

Sensitive /emotional ACoAs may assume that a stressful situation is what generates anxiety, CAUSING the spinning (obsessive thoughts) – as a way of explaining the emotional upset to ourselves.

We may use this kind of endless ruminating:
• to beat ourselves up, taking on all the blame for a situation
• to identify how bad/ weak/ inadequate… we’re convinced we truly are & in what way
• to figure out how to fix it, but from a narcissistic perspective (“It’s all about me!”), via people-pleasing, groveling, hiding out, being belligerent…. depending on our personal defensive style.

HOWEVER – the reality of our internal process is the reverse : our harmful THINKING CAUSES our anxiety!

NEXT: T.E.A. & Anxiety (Part 3)

Ego States – CHILD (Part 5)

broken home

 PREVIOUS: Child E.S. (Part 2)

CES = child ego state
AES = adult   ”     ”
PES  = parent  ”    ”

NC = Natural C.  // AC = Adapted C.

2a. BROADLY (Part 4)

2b. SYMPTOMS of the -AC
Ways it expresses uncomfortable or painful emotions
Physical – have temper tantrums, roll eyes, shrug shoulders, use a whining voice
AND / OR inappropriately giggle, kid around, laugh, raise hand to speak, squirm, talk behind hand, wink….

Verbal – baby talk, be literal, talk too much. Phrases : “Oh no not again, Things never go right for me, ….worst day of my life, I dunno”….
AND/ OR  brag, exaggerate, pontificate. Use many superlatives (best, most, biggest), ‘big’ words to impress…. Phrases start with :  “I wish, I want, I’m gonna, I don’t care”.
In adulthood :  
Three negative adaptations to early trauma, -AC styles, found in C2
These nuances are ways the WIC can act up at WORK or in other groups, expressing “I’m NOT OK” or “I’m not OK & neither are you!” (OK Coral)

• Compliant Child ES
Fearful attitude :“I’ll do anything to please you as long as you don’t get mad at me or fire me”.
This person doesn’t make a good team member (don’t pull their weight), & will be highly stressed if they have to manage others. Often feel depressed, overwhelmed & unrealistically anxious
• Oppositional Child ES
Angry attitude : “No one can control me”  
Reacts against others, whether someone actually agree or disagree with them – as a false boundaries & a temporary sense of power. Negative repercussions are obvious
• Reckless Child ES
Arrogant attitude : “I only do things MY way”. (-FC)
This type has no boundaries & does whatever it wants, no matter the consequences to self or others. The person never / rarely takes responsibility for their actions. If they’re an employee it takes a great deal of management effort to keep them focused & out of trouble. As a boss – they run roughshod over everyone.

NOTE: We can switch into whichever state gets triggered by a current situation, often related to different ages in our past “Compliant’ is usually the youngest Inner Child of the past – age 3-5 . “Reckless / Rebellious” tends to be our teenager….
(⬆️ see the 3 Damaging Parent ES in “Parent – #4”)

FIXATION (see Basics Part 3)
DEF : an attachments to people or things persisting from childhood into adult life. An inability to adopt any different or new perspective about a problem

As long as the original trauma in our past is still lurking in the background as unfinished business, those experiences become psychological fixations – ‘stuck-ness’. So behaviors, beliefs or feelings connected to unhealed buttons can still be triggered by events in the present.
One stressor may throw us back to thoughts, emotions & actions when we were 10, while another event make us feel like a helpless infant

When the -AC E.S. takes over our usual way of functioning, we’re hijacked by something inside, out of our control because it happens so fastold damage – & we’re back in our childhood (regression). This shows us exactly where particular old wounds need to be repaired. (“Cycles of Power” has examples)

Fixations hold up a mirror to the PigP (Introject), not from our True Self which includes the Natural Child (+FC), capable of being comfortable with self & others.
Instead, mal-adaptive Introjects keep our Child part in pain, psychologically trapped in the past. Fortunately we can reprogram the brain.

⚙️ We can be emotionally stuck in the past because of verbally, physically & sexually abusive adults, physical & emotional neglect, unmet developmental needs, & generally unskillful or inadequate parenting. Children get confused when their needs are punished, misunderstood, ignored or trivialized – consciously or not. When it happens often enough, those lacks poison our whole world. (MORE…. examples)

💜 But even with caring parents, some ACoAs can get fixated at a  developmental stage because:
• the child or siblings’ needs were particularly complex or obscure
• unavailable or incompetent social / medical ‘support’ systems
• the family was under extreme stress from various hardships (severe financial or health problems, natural disasters, war / PTDS)…..
….. which under better circumstances 🌤 those parents would have wanted to & been capable of providing 🌺.

NEXT: Ego States – CHILD (Part 4)

PROCESS – ACoA Version (Part 1)

process 1

I’ll just jump to the end. Much faster & less hassle!

PREVIOUS: Book version cancelled


ACoAs HATE process!

Process is the practical HOW TO of living well
, something ACoAs barely learned, or not at all.
Our FAMILY (& other adults) :
• were not good role models (incompetent, drunk, controlling, bossy, weak, procrastinating, fearful – or just unavailable / absent)
• expected us to know what to do automatically (read their mind?)
“behave, make us proud, always look good, never mess up, learn a skill, go to college, be a good son or daughter / student / Christian…’

• wouldn’t let us help them do things (so we thought it meant we were hopelessly inept – even of we were only 6 or 10, or a teen…)
• either gave us incomplete or incorrect info, or didn’t help us figure out the process, expecting too much while getting frustrated & angry with us for not getting it right away, & ended up disgusted & abusive

✒︎ Did I mentioned? ACoAs HATE process & will do anything to avoid it, including not even notice we’re avoiding it!  We want to get THERE as fast as we can, like yesterday. We’ll see why.

SO – what is it? A series of action steps or growth stages, between where we goalsare now & where we want to be = HERE ——>/——>/——>/——> GOAL
The overall procedure is a series of –
A – Actions
Each step also has 2 major aspects –
T – (thoughts) ie. Information
E – & emotions

1. PROBLEMS : This looks simple, no? But nothing is simple for us!  (3 CHARTS…..)
a. ‘HERE’ : wherever we’re starting from. Seems obvious? Well, not always for ACoAs. We’re often either in lala land or in S-H about our current status. What’s needed is a fair assessment of our strengths, weaknesses AND outside resources/ support
So we ask: QUO VADIS? (Where are you going?)

b. ‘GOAL’: Another hitch. Because –
• many of us don’t know what we want, need, like, feel… so how can we have goals?
• we’re not allowed to think for or about ourself without interference, so we deny knowing what goals we may have
• some goals are only those we were programmed to take on
• some of us have very clear goals & strong desires – BUT are not allowed to pursue them (form the PigP),who am I
and the WIC is too terrified of failing or losing, if we tried

• other of the WIC’s goals aren’t within our capacity, not realistic or just plain unhealthy. If we focus on something that’s not feasible, naturally we’ll never achieve it, which just adds to our sense of hopelessness. (“Weak Decision Styles)
So we have to carefully think through what we’re aiming for

c. The STEPS: Next problem –
• we don’t know what the steps are – for many types of process
• we want to skip the ones we can’t handle instead of asking for help
• our family didn’t go thru process-steps, so we don’t know what stages ‘look like’
• we were expected to be little adults – so they wouldn’t have to be real adults – forced to skip the process of normal childhood developmental growth levels.  So we think that’s how it’s done:
“ACoAs get their MSW first, & their Birth Certificate later!”

Process is about ACTIONS. Each step is made up of:
 c1. Information (facts) – like how to make a resume, fill out forms, think thru a problem….. ACoAs are VERY smart, but we’re a human version of HAL, in ‘2001’.
Think: millions of data crystals fitted into the slots of our processing core – some are missing, many are there but corrupted & others are in perfhead & heartect working order BUT not linked to the recognition software! ie. – we don’t OWN all the good & accurate things we DO KNOW!

Even so, ACoAs are avid learners, book junkies, always searching, trying  to figure out how ‘normal’ people function. So this point is more manageable.  We can easily find info, especially now, on the net.

c2. Emotions – mainly FEAR (anxiety) like when we have to cold-call, interview, talk to a stranger at an event…. This is the real sticking point. We brought with us from childhood:
• OLD Emotions: so many painful experiences which never got validated or processed, so there’s a deep well of terror – which we now project on to anything that seems hard

• CURRENT Emotions from toxic beliefs : that Rolodex of negative Rules in our head which we obsessively repeat, insuring we won’t be able to take healthy actions if at all.
Negative thinking (CDs) creates high anxiety!  It’s not just the old fear that cause problems. It’s what we’re still believing right now that’s scaring us!

NEXT:  Healthy PROCESS (Part 2a)

Negative INTROJECT (Part 4)

I’ll be able to catch the NI’s lies

PREVIOUS: Negative Introject (# 3)


💠PRISONERS of the Negative Introject  (Part 3)

A starting point to free ourselves of our self-destructive attachment to the Negative Introject (PigP) is to clearly hear what’s being whispered in our inner ear. We may never completely rid ourselves of it, but can go a long way toward setting it aside

• Take each phrase below that applies – write down how it feels emotionally (Es), & what negative patterns you’ve developed in response to it (As). Then for each one, find a loving & logical counter you can tell your Inner Child.

The PigP (IT) voice, reflecting our actual family:
• but everything it says is actually cruel, discouraging, fear-based & inaccurate or distortedinner talk
✒︎“I want to be proud of you, isn’t that normal?”
⚠️ unfortunately it’s ONLY about how we reflect on it, not what’s truly good for us

✒︎ “You can do anything you want”
⚠️ but only as long as it approves
✒︎ ”You’re such a Good Boy / Good Girl”
⚠️ as long as you act the way it wants

✒︎ “I just want to stop you from making a big mistake”
– It’s projecting:
⚠️ its own fear of taking any risk, much less positive ones
⚠️ mistakes it has made, without owning them or explaining to us
⚠️ its inability or unwillingness to see our personality & skills

Can it imagine us as a separate being who may know what we want? maybe very different from them?
OR PigP repeats:
About youinner-critic
• You’re a looser so don’t bother, you never do anything right anyway
• you’re ugly, stupid, selfish… no one will ever want / love you
• no matter what you do, you’ll never get anywhere ….
💟 NONE of these are true about us!

About the world : “Sure, you can leave home (us) but just remember —
• the world is a dog-eat-dog place, don’t trust anyone
• no one will help you, you’re on your owndog-eat-dog
• everyone’s out to get you, so always watch your back….”

This may be what our parents went through. In some ways it can be true about the outside world, but for us, it was definitely true about our home life!

The Negative Introject is ONLY interested in itself, NOT us, no matter what it’s saying.  We need to get this on a cellular level – even if it claims to “only wants our best”.
It’s really talking about its own survival, focused only on its own loneliness, fear of abandonment & self-hate, NOT ours. It’s their dis-owned projections that’s now our PigP.

Role reversal : to the degree that the PigP represent one or both damaged parents, who were also run by their WIC’s pain, it wants us to take care of it. The originals were narcissists (or sadists) – emotional children who wanted to be rescued, to vent their rage & frustrations, using us to dump that on. Only their needs counted!

For many of our caretakers, the only “power” they had in the world came from controlling weaker beings (us) who wouldn’t defy them or leave – sometimes employees or friends, often a spouse, always the kids.
This is crucial to understand, because the WIC is still trying to get their attention & love, which is not possible!

YES, our extejudgmentalrnal parents may say / have said they love us, but even if they felt an attachment, it is / was in a selfish way – as an extension of themselves, not for who we are inherently.
We can tell this by:
• the fact that we never felt safe, seen or loved by them, AND BY
• noticing all the ways they disapprove(d) of us – not just some behaviors & choices as teaching tools, (normal for loving parents), BUT of our Natural Self – our very essence!

AND NOW – if we spend any time with the original source of the Introject PigP we absorbed —> afterward we feel depressed, confused, rageful, incompetent, self-hating, guilty, even suicidal.

NEXT: Positive Introject – Healing

Negative INTROJECT (Part 1)

So far they’ve been winning!

PREVIOUS: Mind-reading vs Intuition #3

REVIEW posts : Ego States

SITE: Antidotes to Toxic Intimacy

💠GENERAL: From the very beginning of life all children are PMES (Mental, Emotional, Physical & Spiritual) sponges – ‘swallowing whole’ every moment of every part of their environment. Kids are highly intuitive & very observant. We picked up:
• what we saw, what we heard, where we went
• how we were treated, at home & outside
• our parents’ emotions, values, opinions and secrets – whether obvious, unexpressed, or those hidden from themselves (denied)
• how adults treated each other – our parents with each others & our siblings, their parents & siblings, their exes, friends, bosses…  (Antidotes)

BUT, all of that was experienced & processed thru the lens of a child’s limited brain capacity & mental perspective, AND their specific personality. Therefore, each child in a family will have a different ‘story’ of what happened.
So to get an accurate picture we’d need everyone’s point of view formed into a psychological collage.

💠IN THE PRESENTgood voice
In common: Everyone has an Inner Guide to good & proper behavior – our inborn, God-given conscience, & the beneficial or harmful ‘super-ego’ version of our specific society. (This is NOT schizophrenia, or other mental illness)

People with relatively sane childhoods have an OK or POSITIVE INTROJECT for self-soothing, & to be of legitimate help to others

However, ACoAs raised in an emotionally unhealthy, neglectful, abusive, torturing environment have a Negative Introject – cruel, distorted, rigid, unsympathetic, & a LIAR! – the Pig Parent (PigP) from”Games People Play“. We absorbed:
• some good stuff, here & there, but mainly it was …..
• …. all the damage & dysfunction of our home & community!  Imagine – every kid has to try to make sense of their ‘world’ with distorted info & very limited experience, & many without any loving help to navigate life. This turned into Self-Hatethe #1 defense used to keep from going crazy.

💠MAKE UP of the PigP
Our version** of each major caretaker – anyone who was important to us, &/or that we spent a lot of time with
** Remember – we did NOT misunderstand, exaggerate or distort our perception of them.
Later on we sometimes get additional facts that form a deeper – but not necessarily better – opinion of them.  More often it validates our early experiences!
bad voiceThe PigP is :
• a specific parent with the most forceful, controlling &/or crazy personality, & now is our loudest voice
• parts of our psyche we disown – a pitiless ‘conscience’, an ‘alcoholic Higher Power’, distortions of positive life-rules…..
• the rules of our social & spiritual communities

At the same time:
not all those who raised us / taught us – were evil, just very damaged – so we’ve also internalized some of their skills, hopes, dreams, talents, knowledge, goals… as much as were visible. BUT it’s a small part of the PP, compared to their sickness

💠WHY is it so IMPORTANT to identify the PigP?
Because we copy it! To the degree that we ‘honor & obey’ it – we feed our S-H, live in fear, sabotage ourselves, choose inappropriate people, can’t grow into our best self, hurt others & allow others to hurt us !

a. IF we were in pain as kids, and are in pain now, even if we don’t remember what happened, or don’t understand why – we can be sure that:
• we absorbed what others in the family were feeling – especially whatever they refused to acknowledge (their suffering was ‘in the air’)
• we felt our own daily emotional pain, without anyone to comfort us, to validate our feelings, to explain that it was NOT about us & so NOT our faultbroken heart

b. We may have a limited understanding of who everyone in our family was – what their motives were, what they went thru, what their ‘diagnosis’ may be – since even with our intuition we couldn’t possibly know all the facts of their lives – unless we’re told

BUT the one thing we can be sure was not a distortion : Our suffering NOW is all the proof we need of how bad it was. Not being able to remember is not an excuse to maintain denial. Emotions say it all.

NEXT: Negative Introject (Part 2)

MIND READING vs. Intuition (Part 1a)

mind-readingIS IT REAL OR…..
am I just projecting?


POSTS: Symbiosis & ACoAs
• “How ACoAs Abandon Others”

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

a. Meanings
This is one of the many Cognitive Distortions (CDs) that plague ACoA & alcoholic thinking :
♦︎Expect yourself to know what others are thinking, without them having to tell you, and
♦︎ Magically assume you know how someone’s feeling, or what they need or want – from you —> so you can provide it!
♦︎ expect others to know what we need, feel & think, without having to tell them.

This CD is a form of symbiosis, (opposite of S & I), the WIC’s desperate desire to stay connected to others — the same way an infant needs the mother to KNOW what the baby needs & feels.
In a healthy family mindreadingthis is provided, which allows the child to form a safe internal base. Then they can outgrow the need to be intertwined & rely on themself.

ACoA impulse to Mind-Read is :
• knowing from experience that our parents did not love us unconditionally & so assume everyone else will feel the same way toward us
• being raised in an environment where the adults hardly ever talked to us, or evaded admitting what was happening, so we couldn’t know what others were thinking or feeling
• growing up in a family where emotional & mental honesty was missing (lying, hypocrisy), so we had to guess at reality
• our fear of separateness – if we ‘know’ what someone is thinking then we’re permanently joined (intertwined), to stave off the bitter loneliness of the WIC
• needing to protect ourselves at all times from the ‘dangerous’ world by ‘figuring out’ what to expect – always
• not taught how to gather info correctly, we make things up. We’re not allowed to ask AND assume we won’t get the truth anyway
• trying to figure out how to behave (if I “know” what you’re thinking I can adjust my actions accordingly)

🦠 Mind-reading is completely about us – not about the person or group we’re referring to. Because it’s not based in reality, it does the opposite of what it’s supposed to accomplish.
Instead of keeping us attached & safe, M-R insures staying at a distance in a fantasy fog, separating us from the rest of humanity, which reinforces our sense of alienation.  No wonder ACoAs feel like we ‘don’t belong anywhere’, even when in a room full of other ACoAs!

M-R also means WE :
♦︎ are sure someone is reacting badly to or thinking negatively about us, without any real evidence… often contrary to what the other person actually feels, says or does….
✧ S-H becomes “Nobody likes me”
✧ FoA becomes “She would never spend time with me”
✧ paranoia becomes “I know they’re talking about me”
✧ fear of rejection becomes “She’ll be too busy to help me”
✧ perfectionism becomes “They all thought my _____ was awful”
✧ lack of boundaries becomes “The boss expects me to be just like her!”

angry guyMe, me, me!  M-R completely erases others, as if they didn’t have separate identities, minds of their own OR had other things to think about besides us!

EXP: Paul sits anxiously in a 12-step meeting, raising his hand but not getting called on.  He’s convinced the speaker is deliberately avoiding him – “she must not want to hear what I have to say… she doesn’t like me… she thinks she’s better than me…”, so Paul sits & fumes.

Reality: If Paul had asked the speaker about this, he would have been told: “I’m sorry, I saw your hand, but just didn’t get to you.  It’s so hard to pick – you want to include everyone, but there’s just not enough time.”

EXP: If your therapist yawns or seems distracted – you assume he / she is bored with you.
Or if you get invited to a dinner party, you’re sure they only invited you to make up the seating numbers.

Reality: You’re therapist was up all nite with a sick child or has a bad headache! AND, you were invited to dinner because the hostess likes you & knows you’ll be a great addition!

NEXT: MIND-READING vs Intuition – 1b

WHY ACoAs LIE (Part 1)

when I tell people how awful I am?

PREVIOUS: Adult Play Benefits – #2

IRONIC & Humorous article : How to Lie – 14 ways

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

QUOTEs: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”  — Nietzsche
▪︎ “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” — Virginia Woolf
▪︎ “Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.”  — Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina

Everyone lies, sometimes, in varying degrees – even knowing that it causes problems. This universal reaction is tied to self-esteem. People want to look good to themselves & to others. The higher the threat to ones self-image, the bigger the lies.
Many animals engage in deception, deliberately misleading another, but only humans are wired to deceive both themselves & others. Lying to oneself (denial), mostly unconscious, is used by anyone who believes they can’t bear to acknowledge (not accept) what they truly know about themselves or their loved ones
• to cover one’s butt when they’ve done something wrong & don’t have the courage to admit it
• to make themselves feel smarter & superior to everyone – a way to have the power to fool, or to make fools of others, who they disrespect for swallowing the lies
• to cover feeling inferior, because they believe others won’t accept them for who they are, so they “enhance / embellish / exaggerate” their accomplishments…. in conversation, on resumes, dating sites….lie to protect

SOMETIMES lying is necessary, IF —
• is saves you from more abuse (as a child / or by spouse)
• your reputation, your rights or your life are in danger
• it could save your job, your home, your community
• it protects your family from harm by another
• it’s the only way to protect your privacy
This is not an endorsement of lying, only acknowledging certain realities

Pathological -grossly abnormal- liars (PLs) suffer from habitual dishonesty they can’t seem to control, which can be part of other ailments such as Manic-depression, Paranoia, Conduct Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder…… and can be a reaction to childhood incest, torture, constant beatings……They’ve created a fantasy world that’s ‘better’, so they may actually believe their own lies, not consciously realizing what they’re saying is mostly fiction. It’s a persistent & pervasive compulsion, motivated by survival rather than some kind of reward or other external factors (social pressure, family obligation, loss of job…)

• In some cases, an important factor in pathological lying is the difference in the brain. A study by Yang et al., published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2007, found that brain scans of PLs  showed structural differences in the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain controls morality, honesty and remorse
compulsive liar
PLs show less gray matter, associated with the controls needed for moral behavior (less inhibiting factors) & more white matter, which is possibly associated with increased brain activity (more lying). (More…. )

• Some PLs may be Sociopaths – people who lie incessantly to get their way, are goal-oriented (lying is focused on self-gratification), having no regard or respect for the rights & feelings of others. They are often charming & charismatic, using their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways, & have no remorse for their illegal or immoral activities

SITE:  Pathological Liar vs. Straight Shooter

NEXT: Why ACoAs Lie (Part 2)


– why do I feel so alone?

PREVIOUS: Emotional Maturity

POSTS: Ego states”  and Toxic Roles


Invisibility is a basic protective mechanism for any abused child.
Physical: kids in dangerous homes will often try to make themselves invisible by hiding in their room, under tables or beds, in closets… or spend a lot of time out of the house, at the library, in sports, at a neighbor or friend…..
Psychological: damaged parents give their children a strong message – spoken or not: “DO NOT BE YOURSELF” – only be what we are, what we want you to be, what we can tolerate & control, what we believe is ‘right’

ACoAs, having experienced both kinds of harm, learned early on to mask our True Self, so much so that we end up not knowing that we even have one! Our family threw our essence on the trash heap, so we learned to do the same. We needed to protects ourselves from family, school, church & neighborhood because
THEY:trashed child
• used our weaknesses/ feelings/ desires / sensitivity – against us
• made fun of & teased us, played mean or cruel ‘jokes’ on us
• punished us unfairly or unnecessarily
• ignored or belittled our skills & gifts (often from jealousy)
• didn’t back us up, take our side – anywhere (at home, at school…)
• physically hurt us (abused for not being perfect – or just for being there)
• expected too much of us (be a little adult, take care of them…)
• never gave us the right info to function successfully in the world….

Bad mirroring: The more severe the parents’ self-absorption is, the less they provide their children with positive mirroring, which all kids must have in order to forge a sense of Self & how we relate to other people. Without this pure feed-back from the start (“I get who you are, exactly the way you are”) it’s very hard to develop a true image of ourself. Our family’s narcissism created a kind of childhood black magic: “If they don’t see me then I must not exist!”

No matter at what age, when we’re in the presence of a severe narcissist we are invisibleactually alone, since N. only recognize themselves as having reality or viability. We are in fact INVISIBLE to them as separate entities
For a healthy adult, being with someone & still feeling ‘alone’ is at best boring, at worst aggravating.

For a child, when it’s our parents – it’s life-&-death terrifying. We come into the world helpless & are totally reliant on caretakers to provide all the basic needs, as well as safety, information & emotional connections
• The only way a pre-verbal infant has of communicating is thru their emotions.  If the adults cannot tune into the child on that wavelength, the baby experiences such aloneness & frustration that it creates intense anxiety

• The baby then tries to ‘manage’ that anxiety in any modernchineseorphanage
way it can, with extremely limited options – sucking it’s thumb, crying a lot, clinging to mother / doll /  blanket, not responding to stimuli, being afraid of strangers …..

Studies in orphanages have shown how great the toll is on children who only get the minimum of care & are neglected mentally, emotionally & physically.  Also not being held, touched & comforted creates permanent personality damage. A common reaction is continual heads banging & compulsive rocking, & never developing the ability to bond with others.

For an infant, being left physically alone for too long is a death sentence. Being with a lot of others (family) without emotional connection is soul murder.

For ACoAs, growing up with adults who were supposed to be nurturing YET were NOT, was overwhelming to the point of powerless rage!  It felt like we might not survive. They made us feel so worthless & unlovable that we assumed they wanted us to be dead. Some parents even said so!  One narcissistic mother would say: “You’ll be the death of me yet!” – so even that was about her! but the child understood the translation: ‘You’re a murderer, you don’t deserve to live!’

NEXT: ACoAs & being Visible (Part 2)