CDs & the Unconscious (Part 2)

cds & thoughts


I can give birth to new thinking

PREVIOUS: CDs & the Unconscious (Part 1)

AA saying: “Alcoholics dig themselves into a rut, & then they decorate it!”

1. THINKING (cont)
Automatic but hidden : even tho information is out of our awareness, there is still continual thinking going on. When an emotionally upset ACoAs is asked: “What are you thinking or believing about this situation?”, most of the time the answer is “I’m not” or “I don’t know”, while insisting they’re ‘just’ angry or worried, or scared….wrong thoughts

• With some encouragement & digging, the negative thinking
can be uncovered. Anytime we have strong emotional reactions they’re usually being driven by automatic thoughts, which may be in the form of:  — Self-hate beating us down
— repeating insensitive or cruel things others have said to us
— projections about dire outcomes – which we believe

Automatic thinking can be helpful or harmful:
as a + it makes it easier to respond to life’s many tasks & situations without having to stop each time to figure them out – whether driving a car or how we raise our children
as a – it causes problems when our subconscious reasoning is flawed by CD. Since we’re not aware of what we’re ‘saying’ to ourselves, we don’t know it is creating painful emotions (anxiety, rage, unbearable loneliness, sadness….) Instead, we blame our distress on something in our environment, which is only a trigger

EXP: 2 people are called in to see the boss. One goes in calmly, curious but confident. The other becomes more & more agitated while waiting his turn.  The difference is not the upcoming ‘talk’ but what each person is automatically, unconsciously thinking / believing about it

MODIFYING the Unconscious
• While there are people & situations we DO need to change – get away from – it’s always self Qsgood to check our point of view first. This is not a blame or a judgement. There’s a big difference between what the WIC thinks or that the PP is telling us about ourselves & others – vs – how the Healthy Adult / Loving Parent views things.

• So in terms of CDs, if we assume our pain is ONLY caused by something outside of ourselves, we’ll waste a lot of energy trying to change the wrong things – another person, a job, a location… rather than our frame of reference & inner thought process. This endless wild-goose-chase leaves us feeling frustrated, out of control & hopeless. It reinforces our victim role & keeps us convinced we can’t take care of ourselves

• A major purpose of many psychological therapy styles is to bring up from the unconscious as much of our accumulated pain & distorted thinking as possible, so we can actively process the emotions (Es) & correct the beliefs (Ts), which then gradually changes our behavior! (As) When we consistently, deliberately think in a new way, we add 10 times the power to our conscious mind

FYI: • Counseling, Coaching & some types of Psychology focus mainly on actions, along with thinking, NOT on the past & our childhood programming – when most of our ACoA damage was formed!

Psychiatry & psychoanalysis is deliberately structured so psychiatrythat there is almost NO feedback from the therapist.   This has proven harmful for many ACoAs, because:
i. it’s a repeat of – no one responding to us as kids – leaving us yet again terribly alone with someone who’s supposed to be helpful!
ii. it doesn’t interfere with or correct our S-H & other distorted thinking, which we desperately need

iii. it ignores positive mirroring, which we also desperately need – a healthy voice feeding back to us not only what we’re denying but also all of our wonderful native characteristics & accomplishments
iv. it doesn’t provide appropriate caring, sensitivity & kindness, with good boundaries, all of which were in short supply for us a kids
✶ The best kind of one-to-one therapy for most ACoAs  ‘family of origin’ work (FoO), based on a good understanding of family systems & addiction. It works best when including lots of well-boundaried interaction – and humor!

AWARENESS (A-1): It’s imperative that we don’t expect the changes in our thinking to be in a straight line or done perfectly (S-H), nor to be immediate (impatience of the WIC).  However, positive shifts can occur with repetition & enthusiasm. We do have direct control over what we think, even when it goes contrary to our emotional state. We can choose to think a different way until it becomes habit and then it will ‘feel’ valid.  Understanding this process will help to have power over it

It pays to be purposeful. To start (A-1) what’s required is to gradually become aware of all thoughts & beliefs which cause our anxiety, depression, S-H, rage, over-reactions, pessimism, fear of abandonment….. like: “I can’t try that new job”, or “I’m sure something’s wrong with me…”,  & my personal favorite: “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’m going to eat worms & die!”

See: ACTION – in part 3 // ACCEPTANCE – in part 4

NEXT: CDs & The Unconscious (Part 3) Making changes

5 thoughts on “CDs & the Unconscious (Part 2)

  1. Hi Donna! I got a lot out of this. Thank you so much.

    It is consistent with much of what I have been learning through all avenues.

    I really connect with the notion that our brains want to maintain the status quo. This to me is one of the anchors that make change cumbersome and why many people give up.

    I also relate to and find hope in, “We can choose to think a different way until it becomes habit and then it will ‘feel’ valid”. Practicing over and over these the new patterns eventually makes them the new defaults. And just as importantly, they over-shadow the old beliefs that hurt us so badly.

    I have gone through some serious bouts of depression lately. Gladly they have been short term and I have applied a lot of deliberate redirected thinking toward new chosen patterns of thought, while letting go of the old erroneous ones.

    Maybe you have a perspective on this…. one trigger for me lately has been seeing my step kids be lazy and not fulfilling their personal responsibilities. Not doing chores, creating mess and not cleaning up, not lifting a finger to help overworked Mom, etc.

    This makes me inordinately upset and I sense it has a link to my childhood. Maybe I resent that they don’t appreciate the parenting, guidance and trainging in taking personal responsibility that I wish I would have had by a loving, present, and effective parent when I was growing up. I don’t know but it is a real trigger for me and I am doing all I can to find a way out.

    My doctor is even considering meds again for me because of the severe downdraft that ensued this last time.

    I am not eager to do so, but I do put myself under his care and guidance. He has been a fabulous doctor for over 20 years.

    Anyway… retraining the distorted pathways will continue to be part of my journey regardless to any other approach.

    I continue to be amazed and how consistent certain traits of ACOAs can be among us all.



    • Hi Chaz,
      I’m sorry that you’ve been in pain lately & it makes sense that the step-kids are pushing a button in you. Have you done the 2 handed writing with the IC? (via L. Capacchione’s book) – once you’ve established trust with the IC, he can tell you specifically what’s bothering him & then you’ll know how to respond.

      I don’t know enough about you & the family dynamics to be on target, but here are some thoughts:
      Depression is often about loss, old or current, so definitely your loss of not being parented well. But ACoAs are HOT on fairness – & anything not fair really riles us big time. So if these kids are getting away with….. your IC may be jealous & in a rage, as well. However, the step-kids may be expressing symptoms of depression or rage too – about the things they feel they have no control over!

      Since you’re not their bio-dad, isn’t your wife more responsible for correcting their behavior? Is she needing counseling in knowing how to deal with teens — & any resistance she has in setting guidelines & boundaries?
      Are you also feeling overly responsible for her burdens? Powerless, like as a kid, re your mom?
      Let me know if I’m way off.
      Sincerely, D

  2. Hi Donna…. I read up on the two-handed writing suggestion. Interesting. Nothing I would have dreamed up, but nor would I have dreamed up 90 meetings in 90 days which was life-transforming for me. So I do my best not to edit down suggestions that I don’t immediately comprehend.

    On the web page I read by the author you mentioned there was a short exercise suggested. I will go through this and then look further after that.

    I think a big part of what I am going through is the inordinate reaction to unfairness you mention is typical for us ACOAs. This seems to be consistent throughout my life. I get very bothered at bad manners and inconsiderate behaviour. There is a personal trainer who bring clients to the gym I go to. I quietly refer to her as, “The Wrecking Ball”, because she creates disaster around the gym by leaving items where they clearly don’t belong and are frankly dangerous. Now granted, that there is a thread of practicality in this perception given that she has left small dumbells in the middle of the floor that anyone could easily trip on as they roll quite easily. And the fait de complet of her “Wrecking Ball” behaviour was when she left dumbells, her clip board, and a water bottle on a particular bench and a little old lady comes up to use it and was affraid to move them for fear of offending someone. I promptly assisted her then gave “The Wrecking Ball” shit when she returned from the far side of the gym where she was working with her clients and undoubtedly leaving more of her clutter around.

    My point? I really get riled at such things. More than other gym members. So maybe this is a mirror into my inordinate expectation for fairness like it is with my step kids. Who knows.

    Another thread making up the overall weave of what this is is my wife, their bio-mom, would rather do things for them than put up with the flack they fire at her. She had been a single-mom a number of years and unfortunately during that time, the default became her avoiding the conflict as she was exhausted a lot of the time. They got to realize this so they would whine and resist knowing Mom would give in. We still have a residual of this old default.

    My wife and I do work with a counselor and these kinds of things come up. So we are working through them. I just find I really react. We have a weekend coming up which usually means kids sitting on their asses while Mom and I go about our responsibilities. So I am preparing myself for not getting upset. I think I will focus on other things other than the house this weekend to avoid getting upset. In the mean time, continue to work on the internal struggle I feel. Go to lots of meetings, talk to sponsor, blog, work out, surrender. All of these help a lot.

    These are the cards I have to play so I will just play them and let the game unfold.

    Thanks for the insights.



    • I’m glad it helped validate some of the things you’ve observed. The 2 handed writing is very powerful. Congrats on your new blog & your forward momentum!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s