“ALWAYS THE BRIDES MAID –
never the bride!”
PREVIOUS: Over-Controlling Ourselves -#3
SITE: Self-Control (Wikipedia)
SEE: All the post re. Toxic Family Roles
CONSEQUENCES of OVER-CONTROL
Always the Outsider – it’s ironic that even when attending 12-step meeting of ‘like-minded’ people, we still feel like we don’t belong! When we’re emotionally over-controlled (EOC) —
• it keeps a wall between us & others, especially those who already have a genuine capacity to ‘see’ and accept us
• we gravitate toward ‘people, places & things’ which simply don’t suit our needs, our personality or our goals. We stay even when we’re angry & unhappy with them – insuring that we don’t fit in or feel a part of things
• we often don’t stay long enough or go deep enough with others to let them get to know us & show the good things they’re capable of providing
• we do & say inappropriate or obnoxious things that are likely to put people off & make them withdraw from us, especially if things are going too well for too long (like a week or a month!)
Envy & Jealousy – emotions considered ‘negative’ that have to be O-C
Envy is about 2 people : “I envy you for having such great hair, having an advanced degree….”, ie. wanting what we don’t have, while —
Jealousy involves 3 or more : “I’m jealous that he has so many friends”, ie. wanting a relationship someone else has, OR
“She pays more attention to her friends than to me”, ie. trying to hang on to someone or something we don’t want to lose.
BOTH emotions come from feeling powerless to get what we want & need in life, not necessarily what the others have, exactly – just that they have something good, & we don’t.
• We may deny being EOC, yet often covet what others are or have. What gives us away is the rage we feel at certain kinds of people or situations! We say ‘those people’ are ‘entitled’, with a sneer in our voice because:
— we think they’re unfairly lucky – having a family, a decent relationship, a good job, lots of friends… & hate them for what we don’t have permission to get for ourselves
— or, we call them brats, selfish, arrogant …. because they don’t hold back the way we do. Perhaps they are, and/or we just wish we had some of that confidence & permission to do & say what we’ve always wanted to, but aren’t allowed!
And this kind of ACoA deprivation is always about the BIG A – abandonment – family taught us we couldn’t have, so we won’t let ourselves. The WIC says it’s so-o unfair, but we refuse to admit that now we are perpetuating the original A/A!
Feeling Unsupported – by staying EOC, we are always suspicious of anyone wanting to be kind, encouraging & helpful, so that:
• we isolate ourselves from the mainstream of society, which keeps us from finding out what kind of support systems are available to us, OR refuse to make use of them when we do know
• we unconsciously prevents ourselves from attracting people who have the capacity to be nurturing &/or nourishing, instead – choosing or letting ourselves be chosen by narcissists & abusers, wolves that are sometimes disguised in sheep’s clothing
• we reject legitimate offers of nurturing or help & find it painful when we’re complemented or lauded. This is predictable as long as the WIC is allowed to make our relationship choices – which will inevitably duplicate our family
Illusion – Experiencing great disappointment in our parents when we were too young to handle it & being in constant emotional pain made it imperative for many of us to create an inner world of fantasy about having an ideal life, with a loving family & never any disappointments!
• As adults this fantasy life can turn INTO various illusions, such as:
— looking for the ideal partner, friend, teacher, boss…. so that we’ll finally feel safe & get our needs met. Anyone less than that brings up all our terror. When we are inevitably disappointed, we get angry that they don’t live up to our expectations – leaving us feeling hopeless! ALSO —
— being convinced everyone else has the happy life we don’t, even people on the street we’ve never met, especially if we see them with a partner, children, clothes, cars…. that we wish we had. We know how bad we feel inside, and think everyone actually can see how worthless we are – & we think that’s why they stay away from us. So we look at the glossy surface appearance of others & assume that’s the whole story, O-C (repressing) our ability to see ourselves & others as having several dimensions.
• ACoAs are encouraged to maintain these illusions because:
— our media & culture pushes surface images as reality, when they’re not
— emotionally we’re in child-mode, & little kids are very literal, concrete (what you see is what you get)
— our family taught us to deny & ignore what’s inside – the deeper truths, whether emotional, mental or spiritual. What counted to them was how good everything looked to the outside world. The facade was all-important, and became the only possibility we were allowed to see.
REALITY: Everyone has problems, no matter how their outsides look!
NEXT: Over-controlling Ourselves (Part 5)