I WOULD NEVER DO THAT TO SOMEONE ELSE,
since I can only use my own point of view!
PREVIOUS: Abandonment Pain Now #3
REMINDER: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
ABANDONMENT STYLES: Controlling, Ignoring, Repressing other people’s Emotions, Idealizing, Undervaluing
ACoAs are usually focused on how much they got abandoned, without realizing they are just as prone to abandoning others.
This is not a surprise, since we all copy what we learned in childhood. We treat ourselves & others the way we were treated & the way we saw the adults treat each other.
➼ Each of these patterns derives from a combination of :
• Our original role models
• Our own native personality, governing the type of defenses we choose
BTW – even tho’ we can’t technically abandon another adult, the term is being used here to express the emotional experience of ‘not being there’ for someone
• Putting severe limits on what someone can & cannot do when they’re with us (what they can talk about, what emotions they can express…)
• Constantly telling someone how they should live their life or how they should be doing something (whether they asked or not)
• ALL controlling behavior is an outward manifestation of our disowned fear that has accumulated from childhood into the present
• we try to control (micro-manage) everything & everyone around us so we don’t have to feel vulnerable, as we did in our unsafe & chaotic family, & later in bad jobs & bad relationships
• it’s a defense mechanism designed to make the world feel predictable & us feel powerful, by hiding our inner mess, trying to make everything exactly the way we want – SAFE. As long as we refuse to or cannot deal with the underlying cause of this compulsion (& being controlling IS compulsive, because it’s fueled by intense anxiety) we won’t be able to stop doing it.
Regardless of the underlying reasons, this pattern is:
• disrespectful to others! We’re saying, consciously or not, that we don’t care about the effect our controlling has on the other person – we trample on the needs &/or wishes of others to preserve ourselves. Only our needs matter! If we did care, we’d think twice about continuing
• insulting. We’re saying they are too incompetent, weak & stupid to make their own choices & figure things out for themselves
• arrogant. We’re saying we know better than everyone else, about everything, AND have the right to make others do what we want.
✶ Of course, trying to be in control of others instead of ourselves – never works. Not only does it not alleviate the underlying terror, but makes others withdraw, be resentful & angry at us, which makes us feel even more unsafe & alone.
• be willing to deal with our own damage, our accumulated pain & toxic patterns
• acknowledge that each person has their own way of doing things & the right to make their own mistakes. We are NOT their Higher Power!
• ASK, ASK, ASK: what someone wants, what they need, how they feel, what works for them, what their taste is… We do not have to supply any of it IF we can’t, don’t want to or it’s not appropriate. Just become aware that others are separate from us, & that’s not bad – their differences do not negate who we are!
The pattern of NOT HEARING what someone is telling us about themselves, their needs, their tastes, their point of view, present availability….BY
• doing the opposite of, or unrelated to, what is asked of us
• twisting what they say, against them or using it later to zing them
• saying something, in return, that has nothing actually to do with what they are talking about (we’re responding from some inner thought process that may or may not relate to them)
• pretending to listen, on the outside, while inside our attention is elsewhere – wandering, worried, in a rage … (not being present)
• going into a panic state, internally, & just blanking out always & only talking/thinking about ourselves, so we can’t connect with the other person
• pretending to be involved in a conversation, even talking, BUT later can’t remember what either of us said
• accusing them of ignoring us when we want attention – even though we were told OR already know – that they’re not available at this particular time
• copying what was done to us by our family
• overwhelmed by a jumble of painful emotions (anxiety, rage, terror, self-hate…) without being able to sort them out, or own the reasons for them
• not having a stable inner core (one’s true SELF), so afraid we’ll get swallowed up by the other person if we let ourselves connect
• desperately trying to hang on to our own thoughts & emotions, so can’t hear anyone else’s (weak boundaries)
• severely limits positive input, by only focusing on our own point of view, and assuming no one is interested in ours anyway
• believe others will want too much of us if we really pay attention
• lose out on the benefits others may have to offer (friendship, knowledge, respect…)
• stay impoverished, emotionally & practically
• unable to express our true self, & give the world of our abilities & talents
• gain healthy boundaries
• process enough old pain to lower anxiety levels
• diminish self-hate by accepting that the abuse & neglect was NOT our fault
NEXT: How ACoAs abandon others (2a)