ACoAs Getting Controlled (Part 1)


just so you won’t leave me!

PREVIOUS: “Controlling” & Abandonment (#2)

SITE: Recognizing…..Control” – extensive list of tactics used by Controllers

REMINDER: Go to Acronym PAGE for abbrev.

GETTING controlled by others
People who are easily controlled don’t know there’s a difference between –
a. Natural, appropriate authority (& mental/emotional coercion). Being IN control is using our power in a positive way – to be in charge of oneself or to be a good leader. The person in control is the main decision-maker, in charge of communication & makes things happen. People choose to listen & follow Cs because they want to learn, connect &/or be taken care of —
— VS.
b. Un-natural, abusive control. Controllers (Cs) misuse power – they force us to obey them, against our will. They have no regard for our rights, needs or individuality. They use their position to suppress our identity so only their personality is visible. Their main weapon is their anger, aimed at making us afraid, so we’ll be more compliant.

ACoAs letting ourselves get controlled:
• Most ACoAs were negatively controlled as kids, and without Recovery we continue playing out the victim role we were originally forced into. Allowing others to control us, as adults, copies our earliest experiences. It keeps us symbiotically attached to the ‘source’ of our wounds & therefore emotionally immature, AND ‘protects’ us from having to face our own fear of intimacy (“ACoAs & Boundaries, Part 1 & 2”)

• Allowing ourselves to BE CONTROLLED as adults is a dual experience:controlled
First: We have to be around someone who is a controller – who belittles us, embarrasses us in front of others, treats us like a child, tells us what to do or how to be….who is manipulative & intimidating, however subtly.

Second: We have to be available.  While dealing with such a person is unpleasant for anyone, for ACoAs it is emotionally debilitating – but also emotionally addictive!  We fall into a black hole, regressed to an old familiar space of being a powerless child with no options. We’re trapped & become mute! We’ve been programmed to instantly surrender – we have no rights or identity of our own. And then we stay, & make excuses for the controller!

T.E.A. (thoughts, emotions, actions)
Many teachers & groups teach us that we choose to feel the way we do, often with a subtle judgment attached. Of course the word feel is being used to mean thoughts rather than emotions, (see post: “Feelings Aren’t Facts”, Sept ‘10) which is confusing & harmful, as it leads to believing we should ‘control’ our Es! This is not fair or realistic. No one chooses their Es, only what we Think & how we Act! Yes, sometimes changing Ts & As can shift our Es, but not always, especially not when the pain we’re feeling is old & therefore cumulative. That takes time to vent & process out of the body.

• Being controlled is an outward manifestation of beliefs internalized from childhood. And when we consider those Toxic Family Rules (‘beliefs’ being a sub-category of Thinking) we find them very hard to change, indeed.
As adults, allowing ourselves to be controlled in not a conscious choice! It’s a knee jerk reaction to specific people or events that are carbon copies of our family experience.  It’s a clear indication that in those moments of capitulation to the will of another – our WIC is in charge. To flatly ‘accuse’ us of choosing to be manipulated (Action) or be miserable (Emotions)…. only adds to our S-H & is in fact a subtle form of abuse & abandonment.

self-acceptanceYES – we are responsible for changing our training. We do need to learn new ways of thinking & acting so we can take back the power we give to others.  BUT we can only do this if -first- we:
— understand what’s actually going on inside of us
— have compassion for ourselves (we didn’t cause this originally)
— remember that changing deeply-etched brain patterns takes time
— learn what our needs are & use them to practice having boundaries
— ask for help whenever we need it, especially when we’re regressed (in that child ego-state of being a victim, lost child, scapegoat…)
— develop & continually strengthen the Loving Parent voice in us

The more we try to please others (and the more people we try to please), we become:
— MORE frantic, disorganized, overwhelmed, angry, unhappy, exhausted
— LESS focused, rested, peaceful, satisfied, pleasant to be with
AND the fewer people we actually please!

Letting ourselves be controlled (by our fear and/or by another person) is giving our power away. Yet we think it will actually:
— GAIN us acceptance, love, continual attention, protection
— PREVENT being ignored, made fun of, punished or left
Unfortunately, this is an illusion!

• We CAN find these things – but only with SOME people, SOME of the time. It depends on who THEY are – such as people:
— who are already capable of offering positive qualities
— with whom we are genuinely compatible (not just matching our damage)

• We can be absolutely wonderful, healthy, charming, appropriate… & still be abused or negated by someone who is wounded, angry, prejudiced, drunk, crazy…. The measure of our recovery is how quickly we get ourselves away from such people. Think: how sometimes good people in the public eye are vilified, even killed, over controversial topics!  What matters is:
a. To be as sane & responsible as we can be, a day at a time
b. To choose wisely who we spend our time with!

NEXT: ACoAs Getting Controlled (Part 2)


8 thoughts on “ACoAs Getting Controlled (Part 1)

  1. It was good to read that a measure of our recovery is how fast we get away from an unhealthy relationship, not that we never encounter one! I was developing a friendship with another ALCOA who seemed really centered and healthy but while everything looked “good” on the surface I was feeling increasingly uneasy around her….the veneer was slipping and underneath appeared to be a very angry controlling person. But for once, I recognized it (before too long) and ended the relationship firmly but respectfully – no “maybe we can be friends”, avoidance, relationship caveats or excuses for their behavior, for me it was unhealthy and I am really proud that I handled it like I did.

    Your posts really help. Thank you again.


  2. I am new to this site. Freedom is like forgiveness. We don’t always realize we have it until something comes up to remind us that we have a choice of which path we take. Thanks for sharing your stories. It is great to know I am not alone on this journey of healing of negative & unhealthy relationships. I believe like Claire, this is changing my life. May we all forge ahead with hope for the future!


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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s