RELATIONSHIPS ARE SUCH A PAIN!
I’m always dealing with some c—-p!
PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Time (Part 3)
FORM A: “IF I WERE TO LET YOU…”
ABOUT: ACoAs did not have good examples, growing up, of how to communicate clearly, directly & honestly.
• We learned to be afraid and ashamed to say what we really mean, how we feel emotionally & what we want or need. So it takes a lot of:
– practice to know what we are thinking, by listening to ourselves & writing down our inner reactions to every aspect of our life
– courage to admit & be able to verbalize our emotions, not just a few, like anxiety or annoyance, but a whole range of feelings
IF I WERE TO LET YOU (As) __________________________
I WOULD FEEL (Es) ________________________________
& I’M AFRAID of THAT, BECAUSE I BELIEVE (Ts) ___________
SO I PREVENT YOU FROM____________________________
BY (As & words) ____________________________________
even thought I’ll still end up angry & resentful (Es), because that’s
LESS SCARY than having to experience or:
a. FEEL (Es) _______________________________________
b. & DEAL WITH (As & Ts) _____________________________
• You’ll need to know about T.E.A. – what your thoughts, emotions & actions are, to fill it in accurately. This is NOT about blame!
• For it to be the most helpful, both people must be able & willing to be emotionally & mentally honest – which is not always possible
• IF YOU are dealing with someone who is emotionally closed off, hostile, defensive &/or uninterested – you may still choose to show them the filled-in form, but be clear that you will NOT get what you want
WHAT: This is a standard form for 2 people in any kind of personal relationship – friends, lovers, mates, siblings… A starting point, only!
• ✶ It is specifically about a possible/ probable future action of the person you’re dealing with – and your reaction to that possibility
• It does not offer a correction, or shift in perspective, or a recovery way of responding. That has to be added
• Part 1 & 2 give examples of how to use it. Keep several blank copies handy, for when one of you is bugged about something
IF I WERE TO LET YOU – go to the party without me
I WOULD FEEL – lost & alone
I’M AFRAID OF THAT, BECAUSE I BELIEVE – you’ll find someone else who’ll be more interesting & attractive to you
SO I PREVENT YOU FROM – going
BY – making you feel guilty / starting a fight / whining / getting sick ….
EVEN THO’ I END UP FEELING ANGRY & RESENTFUL, BECAUSE IT’S LESS SCARY THAN HAVING TO FEEL – unwanted
& DEAL WITH - the possibility of loosing you, which feels unbearable
THEN: Once you’ve filled it out you will want the other person to read & respond. However, that may not always happen. If you’re with someone who is unwilling to cooperate, that is a clear signal for you to evaluate the relationship.
However, if the other person has read it, wait to see what the response is. It may not be a new problem between you. DO THEY?:
– respond thoughtfully, kindly – without being defensive
– insult, belittle, yell, justify
– try to placate you from people-pleasing
– decide to stay home so you won’t be mad at them? …..
WAYS to COPE, no matter the outcome
• Take a moment out for yourself - Give the kid a hug & say: “You’ll be OK, I’m here, you’re never alone.”
• Consider if you scary thinking about what might happen is valid or not. Are you ‘catastrophizing’, or basing it on experience & intuition? If it’s simply your WIC reacting again, take the time to deal with him/her in a loving way.
• If you need help, call someone else (appropriate) to share your distress with, rather than creating drama. Go to a Meeting. Read some comforting or spiritual material to help with the FoA. Go to a movie or to a friend’s place.
• If you can , acknowledge to the other person your FoA (fear of abandonment) & simply state that you will feel sad & alone if they go without you. They may not be able or willing to take you along, no matter how you feel. That is their right.
• If you are invited – but NOT our of co-dependence or guilt, then go & enjoy. If not, make an alternate plan, to do something you’ll like, on your own or with friends. Always have plan B
• IF you know you’re not just being jealous, & your concern is based on
– past experience or things the other person has said (threaten to leave, insensitive to your feelings…)
– you’ve had a nagging feeling or the ‘ich’ factor about them for a while, but you’ve been in denial….
…. then your FoA (they’ll find someone else) may be realistic. Consider this minor issue as a signal that something deeper is wrong – that they may not safe or suitable for you, at all! You could start looking around – yourself. Remember: “I know what I know”!
NEXT: Form A. (Part 2) Another example