THOSE OLD FEELINGS –
give me acid-reflux!
Previous: Controlling & A. (Part 1)
Long-term Abandonment (A.) experiences, especially in childhood, always create fear / terror, which inevitably leads to some form of Controlling, in an attempt to feel a little less unsafe by NOT being at the mercy of others.
• EMOTIONAL A. makes children have to hide the parts of themselves that are considered NOT OK by the family (from the “Laundry List”), in order to not get rejected: DON’T make mistakes, have needs, be successful, show emotions …
EXP: We were told that what we felt was not true or legitimate – “You don’t have anything to cry about so stop being such a baby”, “Stop crying or I’ll really give you something to cry about” “That really didn’t hurt”, “You have no right to be angry”…
• Having our childhood PMES needs severely unmet causes damage to our development. It’s the same as nutritional deficiencies, like for sailors in the past who came down with scurvy (internal bleeding, connective tissues weakness & sudden death) for lack of vitamin C in their diets during long trips.
For ACoAs this deprivation will eventually show up as fear of taking appropriate risks, lack of trust, fear of intimacy, not having a personal dream to follow, lack of healthy communication skills (how to talk to oneself kindly, how to make small talk, how to stand up for oneself), a weak sense of self…..
• Think of accumulated old A. pain (terror & rage) as acid, filling a deep well buried in our unconscious. We may not taste it all the time, but when it bubbles to the surface it gives us intense emotional heart-burn! All intense present-day A. pain is kicked up from the reservoir when someone or something bumps up against an unhealed wound in our psyche & the lid get blown off. (Like: not getting a call back, being left out, a broken promise, being accused wrongly or made to wait ….)
However, this pain can actually be an opportunity to clean out a little more of that acid – as long as we recognize it for what it is & don’t put all our attention on the other person or event that pulled off the scab. What the WIC needs then is total empathy & nurturing!
OVER-CONTROLLED: Primary (hidden) emotion is SELF-HATE
Not having had the freedom to ‘be all you can be’ in our family made us believe that certain parts of us were so unacceptable that we had to lock them away – forever! We tried to protect ourselves from rejection and punishment – even tho what they were rejecting & punishing was the very essence of our being! So little by little we became controlling toward ourselves, to the point of forgetting our True Self.
CONTROLLED: The Primary visible Emotion is FEAR
Not ‘being in our power’ makes us terribly vulnerable to people, groups & institutions whose specific goal is to control & dominate, especially the ones who tell us they just want to help! This makes it easy to let ourselves be controlled, since we think this means we’ll be taken care of. All it gets us is more repression & damage.
CONTROLLING: Primary Emotion visible is ANGER
Not being internally ‘allowed’ to meet our needs pushes us to insist that others do it for us – any way we can – and we desperately try to arrange our world to fit an ideal, so we’ll feel safer. We become the ‘control freak’ we hate so much in others!
MEN & CONTROL
Men who are unconsciously ruled by their unresolved A. issues are fearful & insecure. They often use their rage as a way to cover this up since they’re aware of their pain but don’t know how or refuse to deal with it. In many cultures men are ‘allowed’ to be angry rather than sad, hurt & vulnerable. Using the male stereotype of maintaining power, they: • are charming & clever, but manipulative & self-centered
• withdraw from everyone, to control themselves
• control others by verbal, physical, sexual or psychological abuse …. to transfer their emotional pain onto others.
WOMEN & CONTROL
Woman have a greater capacity for awareness of their emotional states than men (because of a larger corpus callosum). When unresolved A. issues overwhelm, women who are unable to control their inner emotional turmoil often turn to the external world to find things they CAN control :
• themselves – via weight, clothes, shopping, guilt, anxiety, self-harm, chemical addictions…..
• others – jealousy, over-protectiveness, bossiness & nagging, fixing…
Also, to ‘manage’ their pain they are more likely to find others to hurt them, but while playing the victim role they can still do a lot of damage
BOOKs by J. Ray Rice: “Thank You for Loving Me…” (originally for teens in treatment for Abandonment) and “What I Must Give Myself – First!”
NEXT: Controlling & Abandonment (Part 3)