IF I DON’T KEEP A TIGHT LID ON
I’ll do all kinds of bad things!
PREVIOUS: Over-controlling ourselves (Part 2)
REMINDER: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
ACoA Damage – Being over-coerced &/or under-attended are abusive & abandoning styles of upbringing. Any form of prolonged & intense control is painful & debilitating, especially for children, who are powerless to escape it.
Deliberately or not, our family gave us the message: “Search & Destroy any signs of personal identity. Be ‘good‘ (emotionally O-C) or you’re not part of this family!” And we know that every kid obeys their Family Rules – whether by giving in or rebelling. Toxic rules are like a virus in our operating system, invisible while corrupting, which needs to be de-bugged!
• This treatment forced us to gradually over-control ourselves (O-C) in reaction to the restrictions & neglect. It has become the most familiar way ACoAs have of relating to self & others. As a result, we can be both controlling and controlled, depending on who we’re with & what kind of stress we’re under. Now it poisons all our interactions as long as we’re run by the WIC, who is filled with fear (FoA) & false beliefs (various CDs) that come from our Negative Introject.
• FREUD theorized that successful socialization is a process by which children learn to suppress immediately gratifying impulses, to do what is best for them and for society. After all, you can’t have your cake (later) – & eat it too (now)!
✶ Unfortunately for ACoAs – that suppression went on too far in our family – not just of our child-ish impulses but our very core self had to be obliterated. The more some of us conformed to this harmful requirement the more acceptable we seemed to be – on the surface – perhaps even getting less of the abuse. But CoAs who tried to hang on to our True Self (which ‘they’ labeled rebellion, disobedience, stubbornness, back-talk…) were crushed, leaving us scarred & crippled
Over-Control comes from the punitive version of our Superego (the PP), which tells us to be afraid of ‘id’ desires AND our legitimate needs.
The ID, proposed by Freud, it’s the only part of us (id, ego, super-ego) which is present from birth, & contains everything that is inherited. It is entirely unconscious, includes our instinctive and primitive behaviors & is the source of all psychic energy, making it the primary component of personality. The id is driven by the Pleasure Principal, always pushing for immediate gratification of all desires, wants & needs, which if not satisfied right away creates much tension. The PP (persecutor parent) has been programmed by our family to push all unacceptable (but normal) parts they’ve suppressed in themselves, & can’t bear to see in us, as a reflection of their own unmet needs.
• Since ACoAs were not raised on the ‘Handbook of how to be a Healthy, Happy Human Being’, it has left our Child-part impulsive, anxiety-ridden, only able see itself & the world thru the distorted lens of the alcoholic /narcissistic thinking we grew up with. Unhealthy BELIEFS of Over-Controllers:
• Everyone is out to rape me emotionally
• If I lose control, there will be no sanity in my house (or on the job)
• No one’s ever going to get under my skin again, & I’ll never let myself get hurt again
• No matter what happens to me, I’ll never cry or need anything again
• Don’t trust anyone with your feelings, beliefs or thoughts
• Getting angry or losing your cool is unsafe, so avoid conflict at all costs
• It’s important to keep control over your feelings so you don’t go insane
• Never let others know how their behavior or actions affect you
• There’s only one way to survive a crazy environment – to climb into your shell, & stay there! (Do you hear the voices of the Toxic ROLES?)
Pre-FoO Recovery, most of the time we act as badly as our family, or put ourselves in positions to get punished for trying to be ourselves. We’ve been so brainwashed that we’re desperately afraid of letting go of our family patterns, which the WIC believes would make us fall into a black hole of chaos & pain we’d never get out of
EXP: — Anytime we’re faced with scary new experiences – the WIC comes up with the usual reasons why it won’t work out
— If we even consider going after something we want a great deal, the PP says: “Who do you think you are – anyway?”!
When either of these two ego states is in charge we don’t have an ‘off’ switch for obsessive thinking or compulsive behaviors. Without a Loving Inner Parent to sooth & a Healthy Adult to guide, we use the only tools we have for ‘self-control’ – various forms of self-abuse!
Copying our early training leads ACoAs to BECOME —
— on one hand: ‘anorexic‘ about self-care – depriving ourselves of many legitimate human needs. Depending on our personal style, we don’t allow ourselves enough (if any) awareness, accomplishments, comfort, compliments, food, kindness, love, money, relaxation, respect, sex, support, touch …… There’s even a net forum called ‘I Starve Myself to Have Control Over Something In My Life’!
— at the same time: over-indulgent, over-spenders, hoarders & debtors – so that on the surface it looks like we’re giving ourselves whatever we want. Actually, it’s the WIC spending time & resources on love-buying & filling the empty-hole-in-our-soul with people, places & things that can never satisfy because they’re all forms of addiction – to relationships, to substances, to activities… rather than being nourished by love & right-knowledge.
NEXT: O-C Ourselves – Part 3