ACoAS & BLAME (Part 1)

Blame the victim 

is that even the right question?

 ACoAs & Disappointment (#2)

SITE: Fixing Blame & Nurturing Resentments

REVIEW:Parents Blaming Us”  & “Satir’s BLAMER Role
NOTE: Here the emphasis is on anyone who uses this ‘flaw’ on a consistent basis

SET UP: In everyday life outside events trigger us to respond. Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 4.55.44 PMWhen we do, we then decide if our response got us what we wanted. Normal FLOW is always 2-way: Red light <–> Stop <–> Be safe.  BUT – what if our action didn’t produce the desired result?

BLAMEIn general: to assign responsibility for having a fault, for doing something wrong, or for causing someone’s pain. Used correctly, it’s a way to hold oneself or another person accountable.
ALSO: It can be making negative statements about an individual or group, saying that their action/s are socially or morally irresponsible – and therefore they’re bad. It’s the opposite of praise.images-2

SELF-HATE is incorrectly blaming ourselves when anyone else hurts us, even tho we had nothing to do with causing the (abusive) event
ABUSE / cruelty: ‘Blaming the victim’ is holding someone responsible for pain they have or are suffering, which they did not cause & had no way of preventing

BLAMERS’ ‘REALITY’ is based on over-emphasizing themselves (the WIC ego state in charge), using a 1-directional cause-&-effect blame cycle‘radar’. The only things that seem to register as blips on their ego-screen are those that effect them & their feelings – good or bad – which they use to justify their unhealthy actions. (MORE….)

Because of this self-centered focus, habitual blamers either don’t notice or don’t care about the negative effect their actions & words have on others, or how they’re coming across (arrogant, stupid, outrageous…..). Since their view of reality feels normal & logical to them – they don’t recognize the pattern as dysfunctional.  CHART :
• The core belief is based on S-H & shame – that they’re wrong, bad, not deserving of care / respect / help….
• The emotion is rage at the unfairness of it all. Under that is fear, loneliness, hopelessness….
• The desire (as compensation) is for everything to go their way, regardless of what’s real & possible, ignoring that others have needs too, which may be different from their own

This combination (belief-emotion-desire) results in the blamer-‘victim’ insisting that bad outcomes are always someone or something else’s fault. They’re dedicated to protecting the illusion that the world is against them. It reinforces their ‘position’ —
— that they had nothing to do with things going wrong (everything from running across the street against a red light to staying in a damaging relationship)
— that they should not have to cope with adversity (don’t know how to self-soothe & don’t want to anyway)
— that it’s NOT up to them to make things better

CRUCIAL: When considering this character defect, remember that it only refers to adults, not children. We also need to distinguish between what’s ‘legitimate’ finger-pointing, & what’s not.bully blaing child
Legit’ blame (assigning responsibility), on behalf of Children: parents & other adults ARE answerable for the pain they caused us growing up – whether they had a choice to do so or not (a parent being physically & emotionally abusive or abandoning because of mental illness, divorce, death…).

Not Legit’ blaming OTHERS – adult to adult, or about any group: Only the unhealthy parts of us indulge in this technique.  Blamers look at everything that happens to them in the world thru the internal filter of their WIC (excitement or abandonment), but react externally from their PP (superiority or finger-shaking). Both are filters which may be well-hidden until something doesn’t work out for them. Using it as a defense mechanism is habitually holding others responsible for our life problems & emotional unhappiness, believing that our decisions & choices are because of what others say or do.
This applies to everyone, not just to ACoAs. It’s a way of never having to look at one’s own self-defeating beliefs & life patterns – to avoid doing the hard work of growing & changing.

• But underneath, chronic blaming is also a way of expressing ACoAs’ sense of powerlessness – assuming we’re unable (not allowed) to get our needs met. So we rely on others to make up for & provide us with all the things our parents alanon handshakecouldn’t or didn’t want to. Then we can accuse people of letting us down – when they ‘don’t come thru’ – even tho what we’re expecting from them is totally unrealistic & inappropriate! <— IMAGE: The Al-Anon handshake: one finger pointed at others & 3 pointing back to ourselves.

ACoAs IRONY: While we’re pointing out everyone else’s shortcomings (as it affect us, of course) we also have huge S-H when anything hurts us. We have it backwards – blaming ourselves for the source of our pain to avoid holding our parents accountable for those original wounds. “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”.

No matter how competent & creative we are in the outside world, we really don’t know what SELF-care is – because we were never taught. But we CAN learn, if we’re willing.
And, our accomplishments prove there are many things we really DO know how to do which we can apply to ourselves – because we’ve been doing them for others our whole life (anywhere from codependent care-taking to deeply loving our pets….), yet insist we don’t have a clue about how to take care of ourselves. UNTRUE – we simply:
— don’t have permission to be #1 in our own life, AND
— we compulsively want someone else to do it for us

Healthy people identify each limiting or disturbing situation – inside or letting gooutside of themselves – & decide whether it can be corrected / modified / resolved…. or not. They take responsibility for what they can do & let go of what they can’t fix.
Applying the Serenity Prayer, they accept what’s out of their control & take actions when they can. And they don’t confuse the two. If there’s legitimately no solution, they walk away.  If it can be changed, they’re willing to:
— do whatever it takes to find a solution,
— change strategies when something isn’t working, AND if on the right track —
— have the patience to see it thru, no matter how long it takes!

NEXT: ACoAs & Blame (Part 2)


'not again'

so I stay away from everyone

PREVIOUS: Disappointment – Part 1

SITE: Psychology of Disappointment

QUOTE: “Disappointment is just the action of your brain readjusting itself to reality, after discovering things are not the way you thought they were. ~ Brad Warner, Motivational speaker

ACoAs get disappointed (D) by so many things, because the WIC desperately wants the world to be a certain way (to meet all its needs) rather than our Adult noticing AND accepting the way things are – both good & bad – in our environment. With reality in clear view, we can get our needs met by choosing among the many options that are actually available in the present!

1. Covert (Part 1)
2. OVERT: The less we take care of ourselves, the more needy we are. We may reject or ignore the help & resources available. We pick people to ‘rely’ on who either don’t have what we need, or are too self-absorbed to reciprocate, especially if we’re acting the Rescuer / People-pleaser. That drives the WIC to desperately keep look outside of ourselves to provide, for as long as we aren’t willing to take on the Loving Parent role.
• We believe whatever a particular person says, especially things we want to hear – even tho they’ve consistently proven themselves not trustworthy or dependable.  EXP: “I’ll call you tomorrow” but never does. “I love you”, but is needy & selfish, or withholding & critical

• If we have the courage to actually ask for something, & are ‘promised’, but then they don’t come thru, we’re disappointed. We’re angry, even withdrawn, but are afraid to ask “What happened?”
— If you know the person to generally be dependable, we can be sure that their reason was legitimate, AND not about us.
— If you don’t know them, we need to give them at least one more chance, maybe 2. No more than that, especially if their ‘misses’ are fairly close together, which spells a pattern.
— If you know them to be unreliable & we’re stuck with them for some reason – DO NOT rely on them AT ALL. Focus on yourself & look for an appropriate support system.disapp. wedge

Disappointment works like this wedge. If our self-esteem & safety only depend on our circumstances, we’re in trouble, because circumstances are always changing. There are too many variables for them to remain the same.
• Too much Disappointment as kids left us Discouraged & frustrated. We didn’t have that many options, & even when tried to get our need met, most of the time they were thwarted.

• Slowly the wedge was driven deeper, & we began to be Disillusioned. For many of us this happened very early in life. The more disenchanted, before we could handle the reality of not having a safe family, the greater the need for illusion. ACoAs have an over-developed fantasy life, which is not to our benefit because it’s not productive. Healthy fantasy can be used to fuel our dreams, which then need to be put into FORM.

• Then D. invaded our psyche even more, leading to Depression. This D. is about loss, whether something we once had, or all the things we missed out on.
• Ultimately we end in Defeat. It’s the “Learned helplessness” syndrome. If we’re going to keep getting disappointed, there’s no reason to keep trying. This is how many ACoAs plod along – barely surviving ‘quiet lives of desperation’. And it all started with years of Disappointments!

ARTICLES: Christian perspectives 1=Response // 2=Dealing with // 3=CHART

RECOVERY: While it’s normal & human to be disappointed, from time to time, ACoAs live in it to-o-o much.
• To HEAL from early Ds, acknowledge that it happened, a lot. If you don’t, you can’t heal it. Then do an inventory of all the times you can remember being let down, no matter what the reason. Share it with a trusted person. Let yourself feel the pain, sorrow, rage, frustration, loss, loneliness…. of them all. It’s BIG.
• To counter the ongoing disappointments you experience now:flush cycle
— remember the inventory of Ds. Be sure to actually say what you need, first to yourself, & then to someone else, just to be clear.
— When you ask, try to get as many detail as you can.
If the person is reliable they’ll try to answer honestly & accurately.
If they’re evasive – take that as a NO, & move on.

• Make sure you provide as much of your adult & child needs as you are currently capable of. Reach out. Try new things. Be aware of your expectations & check to see if they’re reasonable. Follow thru & don’t just wait to see what others will do. They have busy lives, & either don’t know your needs, or don’t care!
CHART: “Opting out means consciously making different choices(many excellent relationship articles)

• Focus on gratitude – for all the things you DO have. This doesn’t mean being ‘up’ when you’re not, but only shifting perspective. You can still work toward getting what you want – but make sure it’s in the right places & with the right people – who already have what you want & can provide it to you – under the right circumstances.

ASK, ASK, ASK others:
Ahead of time – “Are you sure you can do this? When can you do it? What will it cost me? What do I have to do to make it happen?…..
After the disappointment: “What happened? Why didn’t you let me know you couldn’t —-? Can you still do it soon? / when?” etc.
SITEs: “Overcoming Disappointment” // “How to Cope with Disappointment

TREE Illustration from Dr. Randolph M. Nesse, in AZ.options tree
The above ‘wedge’ lists 5 painful emotions. This drawing clearly shows the two main branches we can climb, depending on where we start out.
• For so many of us, the ‘arousing’ factor in our early years was constant threat, generating a pileup of anxiety.

LET US use go back to the bottom of the tree, & start up the other branch, the one based on positive
opportunities & HOPE. It’s what our WIC has been waiting for. THEN – life’s ‘normal’ disappointments won’t hurt so much!

More HUMOR from Grant Snider
disapp. humor


empty promises  

I’ve been disappointed too often

PREVIOUS: 33 Things I’ve learned

SITE: Decision Analysis (Many links + charts)

QUOTES: “Longed for him. Got him. Shit.” ― Margaret Atwood

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.” ― Eric Hoffer

DEF: The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest, with the focus on the outcome, rather than poor choices one may have made that got one there (regret).

The field of Decision Analysis studies many different topics, including Disappointment – its causes, impact & degree to which individual decisions are motivated by a desire to avoid it.

FROM ‘The Regret & Disappointment Scale’: “The emotion most frequently studied by decision theorists is regret, a counter-factual emotion one experiences after realizing or imagining that a better outcome could have been obtained, had one decided differently. Regret depends on choice or behavior-focused counter-factual thoughts, its intensity varying in relation to the availability of counter-factual alternatives.

Psychologists & economists have been investigating the relation between regret & choice since the early 1980’s…… The emotion of disappointment is also based on counter-factual thinking: We feel disappointment when we find ourselves wishing that events of the world had turned out better for us. Yet, although regret and disappointment are different emotions, they are both generated by comparing “What is” with “What might have been”.(MORE….)

ACoAs have very intense reactions to being disappointed (D) – either outright rage OR deep depression, depending on the strength & importance of the need. For this to be such a big issue for ACoAs, it tells us how constant & overwhelming our disappointmdisapponted catents were growing up – first & foremost in our parents, & then in everyone else who let us down.
• We needed them to be there for us, encourage, guide, protect, validate, mirror, love…. & they either did these things sporadically, incompetently or not at all. Constant, endless disappointment in our caretakers (also teachers, relatives, baby sitters…) has left us with a very big wound. It’s one of many wounds – & some of us have buried it so deep, we don’t even recognize it when it happens again in the present.

To be disappointed one must:
1. have a need (desire, wish, dream, hope….)
We may not even know we have a particular need or wish, because we were not allowed to have them, or if we did we were told in many ways, over & over – that they were not legitimate, were selfish, were dumb….

2. expect that need to be met. Since we’re not allowed to have them, we become unaware of them, but no matter how thoroughly we deny having needs, we still have them, just by virtue of being alive. For many of us, the greater the need, the more desperate we become – often because we’re waiting for someone else to do something for us we should be doing for ourselves or can learn how to.

3. not get that need met : We can track the need by the intensity of our reactions when we don’t get something we (unconsciously) hoped for, asked for or demanded.

EXPECTATIONS (Review posts – Over and Under)
No matter which form it takes, expecting others to fill our empty heart & mind, instead of being pro-active, means:magic
— the WIC is still running our life, waiting to find the ‘right’ parent – magically – so we don’t have to care for ourselves
— we are functioning from our narcissism – always coming from the point of view that “Everything is about me!”.
This was not true about the abuse we grew up with, & it’s not true about what people do to us & around us – now.  We know this because when WE change, in Recovery, those same behaviors in others seem to bother us a great deal less!
ARTICLE: “Managing Negative Expectations” w/ chart

1. COVERT: Because we’re not allowed to know our wants, needs & emotions, NOR ask for anything, we imagine (silently expect, demand) that someone will read our mind & provide for us – which comes from the WIC

• We truly believe that if we want something a certain way – without saying it – it will automatically happen
EXP: Your B/day (or any other holiday that’s important to you) is coming up & he hints that you’ll do something together. You have it all planned omind-readingut – exactly what you want to do, how it will look & feel. But you never say any of it. Then the day comes & it turns out very differently – maybe not bad, but not what you imagined. Now you’re angry at him, unappreciative, cranky, attacking – OR you decide he doesn’t really love you at all, you don’t feel the same about him…..
OY! You’re deeply disappointed, but how was he supposed to know?

• We naively assume that everyone means what they say, OR will do what they promise. To feel safe we need to believe that others are as literal (& ‘responsible’) as we are
EXP: Josie says she’ll bring the book to work tomorrow that you’ve been wanting to borrow. You not only believe it, but count on it, looking forward in anticipation. Tomorrow comes & she’s ‘forgotten’ the book. You’re angry. You’re convinced she’s messing with you, she lied, she…..

• When going into a new situation (class, work, relationship), the WIC presumes they will be / needs them to be safe, helpful, informative, consistent, appreciative, respectful…. & then they’re NOT. Sometime it/they turn out to be very ‘bad’, but most of the time they’re just not what we secretly (unconsciously) needed & expected. We’re disappointed, so we get depressed or really mad.
— If you’re an introvert, or still in Victim mode, you’ll just sulk, withdraw, not participate, sit in misery, or leave without saying anything
— If you’re an extrovert, & feisty, you’ll try to get more of what you want from the person or situation, but angrily, maybe even attacking (the teacher, the belief, the procedure) – & then leave, or keep trying to “force solutions” (Al-Anon)

HUMOR from Grant Snider


NEXT: ACoAs & Disappointment – Part 2

“33 Things I’ve learned” – REPOSTED (Part 2)


from the writer of the
Blog post:


a. The 33 points have been separated into categories, making it easier to absorb & remember.

b. The original number of each point has been kept so you can easily find it on the source post.

c. Each point is accompanied by how the author learned the lesson.
If interested in expanded explanations for any point, go to the above link

3: Just because a group of seemingly “educated” people say things to be true does not mean they are right. If there is one person against the group, they may be the only one that is not willing to go along with the community lie. Sometimes, the teachers are wrong

6: There are many people in this world that have it much worse than you can possibly imagine. There is serious abuse and damage being done to kids, which will affect them and those that they come in contact with their whole life. It is going on right now. There is true sadness and pain out there

8: Hurt people hurt people.
You have to love yourself first, or you will hurt others unintentionally. Monsters are created by other monsters. People who are very sad, especially when they are children, can do damage to the world. It does not mean they are bad people. It means they are hurting.

22: You’ll never help anyone by punishing them.
Those that attack others usually have the most to hide. Loving is a sign of strength. To see someone for who they are despite everyone what everyone else says is a special person. If you ever have decision-making power over someone’s life. Get to know them. Do not ever base it on what other people say, they have their own biases and agendas. If someone gossips a lot, they have a lot to hide. If you sit in silence while they gossip, you are an active participant. Gossip and talk is not harmless, it destroys character. Punishment does not work ever for an illness.

25: Appearance means nothing at all.
People at the top can be much, much sicker than so-called “sick” people. What people tell you a crazy person looks like is different than the truth. Do not be swayed of by others opinions. What we see in others, good and bad, is a reflection of ourselves and what we like or dislike of ourselves.

27: Labels are destructive.
People are not their illness and no one fits the pattern of the book. Do not treat the illness. Treat the patient. What helps the most is love

28:  Sometimes, people live up to the hype
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Words can change people. But they must be pure and genuine and come from truth.

9: Everything you gain and all you love will one day go away.
Attaching the idea of love to other people or things is a set up for suffering. If you attach all your hopes and dreams to what other people do, say or think gives them ultimate power. It is also power that’s false. The only one who can give you the love you need is you

10: There is a truth out there that when you get to it, is the most magical, exhilarating thing you can ever experience. When it happens, enjoy it and remember it for future use.
What is important is love. True love. That word does not do it justice. It is like experiencing a oneness with the world and everything pours out. You will one day experience this. Hold on to that feeling whenever it comes. You will need to use it again. It is there. That is who we are at our core.

11: If there comes a time you lose everything, it may be the best thing that ever happened to you.
If you have deep pain, It means you are about to awaken. Soul search and look within yourself. All you can change is yourself. If you want change, take a long look in the mirror. You can only change you and your reaction to things. The loss of everything can be liberating. It brings an immense freedom to be yourself without anything to worry about.

13: You never know how close you are to the miracle.
Human angels come in unexpected spots and from unexpected people. You never know what good you are doing in the moment

17: Who you surround yourself with is one of the most important decisions of your life. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Who you surround yourself with plays a major factor in your life.

19: It does not always end happy.
It is not people who work hard who get better and ahead. It is a lot about the breaks. Society is set up to keep the people in the gutter, in the gutter. It is not right. Life is not fair sometimes.
You can be a part of the problem or the solution, which is up to you. You may not see the results you wish. Do not let that keep you from trying. When we start planting trees that we will never benefit from, then we have grown as a society.

23: Drop all preconceived notions of everything.
You cannot truly see the beauty and magic until you lose all the things and knowledge you think you have. You have to lose that. When you do, you see magic.

26: If you choose to fight for something, make sure you are fighting for something that you are willing to lose everything for. That way, you can fight without reservations and with all you’ve got.
3 things will help you to fight when you have to. Your intentions must be pure. You must know how to fight, and you must be willing to lose everything in order to fight with all you have got

33: If what you do comes from your heart and is genuine, you can’t go wrong.
This is the last lesson. It came from my mom. It is the lesson of how to love. This is how you change the world.
Through all of this I have had something to always go back on. Someone who was always there for me. Every single moment, there and with love. With unconditional love and acceptance. I did not make this on my own. There have been many teachers, many breaks. Many opportunities. But we go back to our core when we are in trouble. What was given to me was a love that cannot be matched

NEXT: ACoAs & Confusion (Part 1)

“33 Things I’ve learned” – REPOSTED (Part 1)


from the writer of the

blog post:

a. The 33 points have been separated into categories, making it easier to absorb & remember.

b. The original number of each point has been kept so you can easily find it on the source post.

c. Each point is accompanied by how the author learned the lesson.
If interested in the expanded explanations, go to the above link.

1: If you are different, you will be separated and labeled.

It is ok if you are lonely and feel different. That does not mean something is wrong with you. It in fact is a sign you are on the right path if you do not fit in. People in power are not always the ones that are the wisest. It is ok to question authority.

5: Stay true to yourself and who you are, even if it upsets others and they reject you.
The person who suffers the most from being someone that others want you to be, is you. What is in your heart is all that’s real. Embrace who you are in your heart. Show the world that person. That person is beautiful.

30: Do not believe your own thoughts sometimes, they come from other people.
Your false self is just that, false. Acceptance comes first. You can change yourself, only after you accept yourself

2: If you speak the truth, be prepared to be attacked and ridiculed.
This is done to keep everyone in the “normal box.” To keep things under control, and to give everyone a mask. If you speak the truth through actions or words, people will be threatened. People who are threatened and in power will do whatever it takes to quiet you down. This is where the judgments, labels, and forced isolation come from

4: How well your message is received depends greatly on how you deliver the message.
The world is full of people in power who know nothing. If you feel what is going on is wrong, the way you respond and your attitude about it will determine if people listen.

7: It is not really about what you say but how you make other people feel.
If you believe in someone or something, do not let anyone or anything stand in your way. You may change someone’s life by believing in them.

14: Do not ever leave words unsaid.
Speak from your heart in each moment. Every moment is precious. Tell people the great you see in them. It takes nothing away from you. In fact, you grow from it.

24: Fierceness and toughness are not always loud. 
Sometimes it is timing. It is not what you say but when you say it. The best way to know what time to say something and what advice to give if any, is easy, but easy only if you are truly listening. Do not force it, timing is everything

12: When you are silent, still and deal with emotions, only then will the answers come.
Only then, can you move forward. The only way out of it is through it.
You cannot escape pain. Pain may not end up being a bad thing. Seemingly great things at the time can end up hurting you. Withhold judgment and let things play out. You can spend your whole life running from your pain. But then, at the end, you are tired, and you have spent your whole life running and not living.

15: It is hard to give love when you are in pain. But try it, and watch the miracle. If you give love away, love will come back. You will get what you need, if and when you are prepared for it. If you start to heal yourself and be good to others, regardless of your pain, then great things and even miracles begin to happen. You will be amazed at what the world gives you.

 16: Where you end usually depends on where you start.
We need to equalize things for people that start off life with less opportunity. Those with privilege need to stop acting like they are on 3rd base because they hit a triple, when in fact they were born on 3base. We need to give everyone the same opportunity. Or stop claiming that we are the land of opportunity when we are not. We have to stop penalizing people because they have less resources

18: Living for others approval will kill you inside
Buying and accumulating things is not the answer. You will walk around depressed because you are living someone else’s dream for you.

20: When you make someone the center of your world for the moment you are with them, you can save their life.  You can change the world by simply being present with someone in pain.
Taking time with people, and listening to them is what is important.

21: Lessons will repeat themselves until you finally learn what you are supposed to.
There are many different ways to try to escape. Other people, food, gambling, anger, self-harm, alcohol, drugs, and many more. I think I have tried them all.

29: Little things add up to big things
When trying to change things, patience is crucial. Systems don’t change fast. First, listen and observe. Pay attention to small things and details. You gain credibility and build up through small things. You lose credibility if all you do is fight. You don’t need to fight all day, every day. Pick your battles

31: If you want to help people, walk with them, not above them.
Stay in the senior slow lane of life. Let people rush by you if they want. Patience and walking with people is how you help them. Even if you get in a position of power, there is more corruption at the top.

NEXT: 33 Things I’ve learned (Part 2)


and the other one not at all!

PREVIOUS: Harmful Mothers (#1)

BOOK: “The Emotionally Absent Mother” ~ Jasmin Lee Cori

NOTE: All 5 maternal styles effect both sons & daughters, but each of these mothers will treat their male & female children with differing degrees of ‘favoritism’ & abuse. ALSO – your mother may be some combo of these 5.

5 types FROM: Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers.  Read rest of article for suggestions of how to deal with each type.

Harmful MOTHERS (cont)
Normally, parents want to see their children prosper & be happy. Instead,
a child’s success & pleasure arouses hostility in the envious mother. Glowing with good news, a son or daughter expects a parent’s face to reflect admiration. What they see instead is a frozen jaw, the corners of her mouth pulled down in contempt. ‘Who do you think you are? Someday you’ll realize you’re not as good as you think you are,’ she warns. jealous mom
OR she may at first act pleasant, but later the child notices that she;s irritated by ordinary things they do ‘Stop making such a racket / Do you have to go on and on about it? / When are you going to do the dishes?’….

• Instead of bolstering the child’s confidence & inspiring a sense of potential, an envious parent begrudges her child’s independence & appropriate self-pride. She thinks: “How dare she get all the attention! / No one is allowed to outshine me! / My — is better than his” OR: Why does he have a chance to succeed when I’m always disappointed? / Look at what I’ve had to give up! / How can she be happy when I’m not…..”

Parental envy will show up even stronger when a child hits adolescence & starts to make their own way in the world. She (unconsciously) believes she’ll only feel secure & connected to her child if it’s self-worth is as low as hers. So, instead of feeling pride & delight in their child blossoming, the envious mother feels something is being taken away from her.
These children learn that the good things in their lives somehow offend, even harm, the person who matters most to them, and who they long to please. As adults they will spend years of trying to please her & other like her – in vain, making it hard to enjoy their achievements – OR give up altogether!
Sites: Mothers Who Are Jealous of Their Daughters” 
“On being the daughter of a Jealous Mother

This mother is almost totally focus on the external – how things look – to others. Internally, she isn’t capable of the empathy so necessary & important to a healthy parent-child relationship. She craves attention & adoration because of her own low self-worth, which is usually well hidden – even from family members. In her self-focused mind, children are only a reflection of her, so have to be outstanding / perfect in absolutely every way – to make her look good. Any time thenarcissist child needs attention, just for themselves & for any reason, this mother experiences it as competition, which is unacceptable to her.

If a child says they’re tired, mom will snap back: ‘Don’t talk to me about feeling tired. I’ve been hard at work all day. You don’t know what being really tired is’. If the child says “Look what I did / learned in school today!” She might say “That’s not so great. You could have done that better. I already know that” …. These children are in a double bind:
— constantly pressure to be totally subservient to the mother’s ego, AND
— also expected to shine for their accomplishments.
So no matter how hard they try to please her, they live under a black cloud of disdain & disapproval. The constant anxiety is that their relationship with her could break apart at any minute, whenever she’s inadvertently offended – which is inevitable. It’s a bewildering & volatile situation.

Narcissists have fragile relationships with others as well, since their overblown ‘ego’ causes them to take offense at the smallest imagined slight, so they will suddenly cut people out of their lives or punish them in some way for being ‘insulting’.
Sites: The Narcissistic Mother /6 Faces of Maternal Narcissism

DEALING with hateful or neglectful parents, now
Many ACoAs are so symbiotically bonded to their unloving / harmful parents that it hard for us to let go – even if we’ve moved a million miles away. When they get old, sick or have some other difficulties, we often feel the need to step in & ‘help’ them. Often times this is just another form of rescuing & people-pleasing. We all accept that there is an enduring bond between parent and child. BUT interactions with our earliest abusers (if they’re still drunk, cruel, self-centered, verbally abusive, manipulative….) can re-traumatize us, whether we’ve been away from them for a while, OR if we’re still around them – continuing to add pain to our already wounded souls, making healing that much harder & longer.

WARNING: Unfortunately there are some people in our adult lives – having no understanding of how traumatic & pointless reconnecting with the family is – who will urge us to “make up with them before it’s too ate / they’re the only parents you have / of course they love you even if they don’t know how to show it / just take the high road, they don’t mean anything by it….”

While these people may think they’re well-intentioned, their insistence that YOU do something which is unsafe for you, is actually:
— a projection of who they are & what they will do or have done
— their garden-variety narcissism, not even imagining that their way would harm you, much less that it’s not what you want! DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM.

NOTE: Many ACoAs say they stay in contact &/or help out their abusers because they are / want to be ‘a good person’. In our specific circumstances (not some TV-show ideal) this idea actually means being good to the perpetrator instead of oneself.
There is confusing belief that if we’re ‘well enough’ their craziness won’t bother us AT ALL. This is 1/2 true & 1/2 false.
TRUE: As our wounds heal, many of the buttons they installed will shrink, but not all. So we’ll be less reactive to & definitely less hurt by many of their ploys. We might be able to just say “Ohhh, mooom!”, or “Sure dad.”
FALSE: The healthier we get the less we will be able or want to tolerate their addictions, abuse & unavailability. We will stay away more often, & not get caught up in their games.

“Dear Prudence” columnist Emily Yoffe writes:
There is no formula for defining one’s obligations to the parents who didn’t fulfill their own. The stories of famous people with abusive parents reveal some possible responses.

Abraham Lincoln couldn’t stand his brutish father, Thomas, who hated mean old manAbraham’s books & sent him out as a kind of indentured servant. As an adult, Lincoln did occasionally bail out his father financially. But during his father’s final illness, Lincoln ignored letters telling him the end was near. Finally, he wrote not to his father, but his stepbrother to explain his absence: “Say to him that if we could meet now, it is doubtful whether it would not be more painful than pleasant.” Lincoln didn’t attend his father’s funeral.

Warren Buffett remained distantly dutiful to his mother, who had subjected her children to endless, rabid verbal attacks. On the occasions he visited her at the end of her life, he was a “wreck” of anxiety, sitting silently while his female companions made conversation. He was 66 when she died at 92. His tears at her death were not because he was sad or because he missed her, he said in his biography, The Snowball. “It was because of the waste.”

Bruce Springsteen’s frustrated, depressive father took out much of his rage onold house his son. In a New Yorker profile, David Remnick writes that long after Springsteen’s family had left his unhappy childhood home, he would obsessively drive by the old house. A therapist said to him, “Something went wrong, and you keep going back to see if you can fix it or somehow make it right.” Springsteen finally came to accept he couldn’t. When he became successful he did give his parents the money to buy their dream house. But he says of this seeming reconciliation, “Of course, all the deeper things go unsaid, that it all could have been a little different.”  (MORE…. both pages 1 & 2)

NEXT: 33 things I’ve learned…..