THEY SAY THEY LOVE ME
so why is there a hole in my heart?!
PREVIOUS: “Not enough Love?” #1
Where do our fearful, LOVE-LIMITING beliefs come from?
a. From THEM (Part 1 – cont.)
Children need to FEEL loved. It’s not enough that Parents (Pa) believe or say they love their offspring. If they express it in self-centered & inappropriate ways they’re failing to get the message across. They don’t have to beat, molest or torture a child for it to feel unloved & unwanted.
If a parent:
— constantly teases or makes jokes at the child’s expense, “all in good fun”
— doesn’t take the child seriously, belittling any effort, wish or dream
— puts down, verbally harasses, judges, criticizes
— ignores, shushes, neglects (not warm, affectionate, responsive)
— over-controls, watches the child’s every move, always correcting
— narcissistically treats the child as an extension of themselves, rather than seeing it as a legitimately separate being
— uses a child as a mate-substitute or ‘friend’, to make themselves feel better, stave off their own abandonment fears, loneliness & self-hate….
…. that child will feel unloved (for their Core Self), creating great anxiety.
EXP: While doing FoO work, Jenna had a dream: She’s 3 or 4 yrs old, standing in a big room in front of a huge life-size octopus she knows are both her parents. As their arms undulate towards her she hears their seductive voices: “You’re so beautiful, you’re so smart, you’re so sweet…” She loves to hear what they’re saying but knows that if she lets the arms enfold her, the suckers will slowly draw out the vitality of her life energy to nourish them. She’s paralyzed – to stay is to die slowly, to run away is to die quickly. Since she’s too little to leave them, the only option she has is to split off her essence & hide it in a ‘gray space’ in her mind – as the arms circle her ….
✶✶ Jenna saw in this dream the reason she had been missing the joy of life for so long! Her essential self was wonderfully alive, full of love, beauty & generosity – which her needy parents had been trying to use. Now she was in the process of reconnecting with that essence. It wasn’t gone, just hidden. Now she could reclaim her birth right & shine!
b. From US
• We absorbed all their dysfunction, which became the Negative Introject:
— so we believe we too have a limited capacity to love
— our S-H says we don’t deserve love, so can’t accept it from others
• If our family didn’t set the example for sharing with the world, then we think it’s somehow dangerous for us also to do so
• If our Parents were ‘social’, they often looked good on the outside, with other adults, BUT were selfish, neglectful & cruel at home. So WE either:
— choose to be outgoing / social too, but pick damaged people & abusive situations to be involved with – like our family – because that’s familiar, what we think love/intimacy is & all we deserve. We know deep down we can’t trust these mates & jobs, but we give them everything we are & have, anyway! (ACoA extroverts are more likely to choose this style)
— OR become isolators, as a reflection of being ignored, left out & intimidated as kids (will more likely be ACoA introverts), & to avoid more abuse.
• Our personal growth was undermined in many ways by our Ps, who could not nurture & love us appropriately, and yet we were expected to be capable & clever enough to provide emotional & physical support for them, instead of doing it for themselves
• This put us in a double bind : “Be incompetent for yourself AND be competent for us”! (See D.Messages. & D.B. posts). Since no one can obey a double bind, we were left feeling crazy, inadequate, hopeless and paralyzed! We believed that we were supposed to be able to fix their pain & worries – as any child would! But, not being able to fill their bottomless pit of neediness & suffering, we concluded that we’re fundamentally deficient, a total failure – without enough cleverness, perseverance, guts & LOVE to go around, then or now! SO, we keep trying to do things for them (or others like them), but not for ourselves!
• This dilemma has made it doubly difficult (but not impossible) for us to Separate & Individuate (S & I): we feel unworthy to love ourselves or be loved by anyone outside the family AND we feel sorry for the angry &/or incapacitated parents who ne-e-e-ed us. So they keep us hooked!
RECOVERY (The 3 As)
1. Awareness says That :
• the human mind & heart has the capacity for love built into it
• we can love others abundantly, as we learn to love our wounded IC
2. Acceptance is That :
• even tho our family was not able to love us – at all or sufficiently – we have the right to be
loved, simply because we’re here & not for what we can do for others. God doesn’t make junk!
✶ we do not have to be perfect to have love, give love or receive love! (Seeking to be perfect is a form of self-hate!)
3. Action is That :
• we can actively seek out people who are already capable of loving us & groups, literature…that can teach us to love ourselves. ✶ These will become our new Positive Introjects!
• we can pursue our dreams & talents, which will bring more joy & love into our lives
NEXT: Healthy Adult / Loving Parent – #1