NOTHING SCARES ME!
as long as I’m defended
PREVIOUS: Conclusions re. Events (Part 2a)
REMINDER: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
2. CONCLUSIONS (Our THINKING ) cont.
b. IT’S ALL THEM – (Perpetrator) THEY are crazy, mean, unfair, stupid, stupid, stupid!
▶ Alternative negative approach (T) to painful EVENTS:
COUNTER-PHOBIA (“against fear”): At the other extreme, some ACoAs have hidden our childhood terror behind a defensive wall of brains & bravado. It has become so dense that we don’t know we have a WIC hiding back there who is still afraid for its life We were subjected to the same chaos, cruelty & neglect in childhood as paranoids & victims, but our native personality found a different way to survive. So we don’t stop to think about what we’re doing – that would be too painful – but underneath are all the same core issues
✶ Counter-phobia is driven by great fear but also the WIC’s rage that has been turned into an attack on everything in the world that is ‘going to get us’. We couldn’t protect ourselves as kids but now we’re determined to slay & triumph, not just passively accept. We pushed the fear so far down that we have become the complete opposite. NOW nothing seems to scare us! We joyfully chase all that is unpredictable & treacherous, calling it exciting. We’ve become addicted to the adrenalin. When something does bother counter-phobics – we stuff it, laugh it off, stay very busy, get sarcastic – & find new ways to keep the drama going.
• What we’re really doing is seeking out the kinds of people, places & things no healthy person would touch, experiencing them as a challenge – everything from running across the street just as the traffic is staring to move, to tumultuous & unsafe relationships with crazies & abusers, to manic careers (show biz agent, inner-city cop, broker/ trader…), to life-threatening sports, addiction to illegal substances…. & will use CD such as ‘Minimizing’, ‘Always being Right’, ‘Egocentric thinking’, ‘Blame’…. to justify our self-destructive lifestyle
IRONY: On the one hand – this form of defense keeps us from having to slow down & feel the intense panic, loneliness & vulnerability of those early years. On the outside it looks like we’re nothing like ‘them’, doing our own thing, living far away & hanging with people the very antithesis of our background. We’ve rebelled & we think we safely away from the family
On the other hand – it’s just another way wounded ACoAs use the dangerous aspects of the world to reinforce our connection to our dangerous family. We’re just as hooked to our past as the victims – because as counter-phobics we’re emotionally & mentally dishonest with ourselves. While we’re busy running, running, running away, we continually attach ourselves to environments that are degrading & debilitating, & to people who are disrespectful, taking advantage while laughing at us – just like at home. We’ve done the very opposite of our goal – instead of winning, we’ve added more pain. In a convoluted way we’re still doing everything to not let go of our parents, even if it kills us. Then wonder why we’re still so angry!
• Some counter-phobics eventually have to make some big changes, either because:
— we hit a personal bottom & go into Recovery, taking away some of the numbness
— something in our life changes dramatically (illness, accident or death)
— a parent or spouse dumps us & we’re on our own, finally facing the void inside
• When we finally begin to let go of all those ‘balls in the air’ that kept us distracted, we’re in for a hard time, at first. As the denial gets stripped away, we can feel:
— extremely depressed and bored, longing for the old excitement
— be full of anxiety, to the point of panic attacks, even a hospitalization .
NOTE: For the most part, counter-phobics are strong-willed people who have a backlog of accomplishments, skill & guts. Before Recovery these were often put to the ‘wrong’ use:
— not for our own benefit, (care-taking or promoting others’ careers)
— for some kind of harm, to self or others
— in our work or career not compatible with our soul’s purpose
IN Recovery these same abilities can be used to:
— face our deepest damage, slowly feeling the pain that’s been covered over by rage & hyper-activity
— use our experience to rebuild / redirect our work life
— choose friends & mates who are already able to ‘give’, not just take, so we don’t have to be drained by rescuing the victims of the world
With healing & support we can stop focusing on or blaming others for our pain. Our determination & persistence will allow us to create a balance between DOing & BEing.
NEXT: ‘ACoA Emotions re. Events’