ACoAs & RIGID Boundaries (Part 2)


walls 

I HAVE TO PROTECT MYSELF
at all costs

PREVIOUS:  Rigid Bs (Part 1)


OUR DAMAGE
:  As a result of being boundary invaded throughout childhood, ACoAs have not been allowed to develop true boundaries of our own, but we still need to find ways to protect our inner space – even when we don’t protect our outer – in various ways:
Thick walls, when both our inner & outer self are barricaded
No Bs, where we let everyone tramp in & out of our life, head & heart
Partial Bs, when we protect some parts of ourselves but not others, or protect our inner self but not the outer — which will depend on time, place or circumstances, usually based on a previously bad experience in a similar situation

INFLEXIBLE BOUNDARIES
Is our way is the only way? Does our unbending style alienate others? Rigid Bs effect us & everyone we interact with, BY:
Abandoning others – we withdraw, sulk, shut down & hide behind our wall, making it almost impossible to allow anyone to love, care for or nurture us
Abandoning ourselves – we ignore or eliminate so many options that are available to us that we can’t really care for ourselves properly. Spiritually, we don’t take personal responsibility for our values….

PHYSICAL – We:
• are stoic, have stiff body posture, are often “stone faced”, trouble giving or receiving physical affection (afraid to let stay awaygo), don’t like to be touched or hugged, so avoid physical closeness
• don’t react outwardly, or under-react to personal or external events, whether pleasant or unpleasant
• are sexually cold & disinterested, have perfunctory or pity-sex, OR are promiscuous without feeling or deep enjoyment, don’t use protection
• Stability is our highest value, so have very predictable behavior patterns (no room for freedom or fun, for last-minute opportunities, for being flexible & trying new things)

EMOTIONAL – We:
• fear both abandonment AND engulfment. Fear being hurt, vulnerable, or taken advantage of, so will avoid intimacy (stay too busy, pick fights, often make plans & then cancel or just not show up…)
• seem emotionally numb, don’t show or talk about our emotions,
rarely share personal information, don’t react or under-react emotionally
• don’t trust anyone, generally suspicious of other people’s motive, tend to be somewhat paranoid
• appear insensitive to the feelings of others, aloof and disinterested, don’t allow themselves to connect with other people & their problems, do NOT want to hear other people’s troubles, especially when they’re very upset or crying
• struggle with loneliness, low self-esteem, distrust, anger, and control. Have few or no close relationshipisolateds. If we do have a partner, we have very separate lives and virtually no shared social life

MENTAL – We:
• ignore all feedback. If it’s criticism, it validated our belief everyone’s against us, and if it’s positive we just don’t believe or trust it
• ‘listen’ to others without responding, being in our own little world, & don’t know how to make small talk, respond to other people’s emotions or afraid to say the wrong thing
• stick to preconceived notions (learned & concluded in childhood), with no room for learning anything new
• have difficulty identifying wants, needs, but when we do, we try to meet all of them ourselves & when we can’t, we do without
• are more likely to lie, even about unimportant thing OR omit important information

SOCIAL – We:
• don’t allow ourselves to connect with other people & their problems,
having difficulty giving to others & are likely to say no, if the request involves close interaction
• don’t allow ourselves to connect with other people & their problems,
having difficulty giving to others & are likely to say no, if the request involves close interactionreject help
• won’t ask for help when needed, don’t know who to ask, believe no one will help anyway, so why try.  Have difficulty receiving from others & if someone offers we get mad or defensive
• don’t share anything even slightly personal, even with people they spend a lot of time with, like mates or co-workers
• Generally – unconcerned with the world outside of own borders

Love requires trust. Trust requires (appropriate) vulnerability.
ACoAs with rigid Bs sabotage any shot at healthy love by running from anything unfamiliar…. keeping everyone at arm’s length, picking the wrong people to trust &/or wrongfully associating all humans with painful events of the past, assuming everyone is as dangerous as our family.
All wounded people fear being vulnerable, because it means —
— their WIC will be exposed without a strong Inner Parent for protection
— they don’t have access to their human rights
— (therefore) are not allowed to exercise boundaries, so are easy preynutty

BOTTOM LINE: Rigid boundaries are walls we build around us as a substitute for real ones. (See posts on Healthy Bs.) They are meant to:
— keep us from getting hurt again
— get our needs met, by insisting everything be OUR way
UNFORTUNATELY they don’t work to our benefit. We just end up starving ourselves!

NEXT:  Healthy Boundaries – INFO (#1)

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