I’M SUCH A FAILURE!
I can’t get anything right
PREVIOUS: Noticing Painful Events (Part 2)
REVIEW post : “What just happened”
2. CONCLUSIONS (OUR THINKING)
The middle circle (see below) is about how we mentally (Ts) assess or try to explain any event that is upsetting. Without the right info + S-H = we either blame ourselves or everyone else! The unhealthy conclusions we come to (CDs) about ‘what just happened’ are mainly based on what we went thru as kids, so it will be from the WIC or PP’s point of view.
• Many of us are not even aware of what we’re thinking – we just react (As). Even so, those reactions give us a good hint as to what’s going on in our head. And what are we thinking?
Also, notice that between ‘Event’ & ‘Conclusion’ on the chart, there’s a space that is not acknowledged or accounted for – our emotional reaction to the original situation.
Reminder: The ‘painful events’ we react to so strongly may be:
— something genuinely insulting, shaming or otherwise abusive
— something which most people encounter just in the course of living (rudeness, ignorance, delays…)
— something accidental, from people just being busy or preoccupied
• When any of these get us excessively riled, it’s because it has pushed a button in us, which represents an old wound that’s still raw. When anything or anyone bumps up against one of these wounds, we react with intense anxiety or rage. Some of our buttons are:
— being ignored, nor responded to right away, having to wait too long
— being accused wrongly – of anything
— being stood up, or being let down (we take people too literally!)
— being controlled (told what to do) – etc.
EXP: If you’re walking around with a physical sore which is very painful but not visible, and someone accidentally pushes hard against you in rush hour, aggravating the ache, how do you react? ACoAs tend to either go into a rage at the person and the whole world OR we feel sorry for ourselves, sulk & wonder why this is happening to us!
• So, our intense response to certain kinds of events are usually an over-reaction to the present situation. (“If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”). We really hate to hear this because it sound like our experience & our pain is being negated – just like at home! This is NOT what is meant.
• Any over-reaction to normal, imperfect human situations (not pleasant BUT not really awful) comes from our Wounded Child – who is not actually living in ‘present time’, has unhealed emotional wounds, is still taking things personally, & feels unloved & unprotected – at least about that particular issue.
The Co-dependent Triangle: Rescuer, Victim & Perpetrator.
Every ACoA can switch between these 3 roles at a moment’s notice – depending on the person we’re with or the situation we’re in, but some ‘live’ in one of the roles more than the others. Regarding the present topic, we are talking about the Vs & Ps. (More in next post).
a. IT’S ALL ME – It’s my fault: I’m bad, dumb, weak, lazy, ….
• The core emotion is FEAR
• ALL ACoAs start out from this premise, (S-H) & then layer it over with a variety of defenses. Whenever something doesn’t work out, or someone hurts us / ignores us / leaves us… we try to analyze what we did wrong & how we can fix it. We obsess for days, sometimes years about a painful situation, always from the point of view of self-blame.
➼ Unhealed ACoAs have a wide streak of narcissism – mainly in the form of: EVERYTHING IS ABOUT ME! I know you’re saying “What, it’s not??”
It’s our default position, & continues to be as long as the WIC is in charge of our life. Once the UNIT takes over, that perspective greatly diminishes. And, yes there is a difference between believing we’re responsible for everything (Self-Hate / grandiosity) vs being appropriately responsible for our T.E.A.s
EXP: Maria is sitting in a nigh school class with only 6 other people. She’s an extrovert & would like to connect with someone to share info with. Looking around, she sees only one other woman & looks at her several times. The woman blatantly ignores her. Maria’s not just disappointed, she’s hurt. There’s a pain in her solar plexus, but all she can think is: “Nobody likes me!”
NEXT: CONCLUSIONS about painful events (Part 1b