NEED TO HEAL THE FEAR –
to stop controlling
PREVIOUS: Letting Go, Part 1
See : “Negative Benefits of…“ posts
REMINDER: Use Acronyms Page for abbrev.
Practice: To help you identify the various layers of this issue, consider these 4 Qs. Write as much as you can about each. Put it away for a week or a month & then go back & read it. Share about the Qs in meetings, therapy & with friends. Add more thoughts as they surface.
1. NEGATIVE BENEFITS (-+) of being Controlling
Q: What do you personally get from holding on to this pattern?
• N.B. are patterns that keeps us attached to our damage, that feel familiar & safe – but stunt our growth. It’s the narcissistic grandiosity of the WIC, as well as the ‘entitlement’ attitude of many young people of the current generation, since it makes people temporarily feel powerful.
• When we’re in C. mode, we’re functioning from the underlying position that everything revolves us – good or bad. “Put a sweater on, I’m cold”! , “I should let you go” , “I don’t understand why you don’t (like what I like, think the way I do)….” . This lets us to feel important, to always be right, to get our way, to never be vulnerable, to be heard & paid attention to, to have an effect on the world…. many of the things we didn’t get as a kid – but don’t actually heal us since it keeps us totally dependent on others to provide them.
2. NEGATIVE DETRIMENTS (–)
Q: What are all the ways it hurts you & others?
• This may be hard to answer at first because Cs are not genuinely interested in others – their experience, their emotions, their needs… only their own. But we can think about the ways we felt when someone was controlling us: resentful, stifled, belittled, disrespected….
• Being C. limits our option – it keeps us from being in the flow of life. We don’t get to find out what wonderful things can happen if we stopped trying to force the world to conform to our narrow vision.
3. POSITIVE DISCOMFORT (+-)
Q: What are you afraid will happen if you stop controlling?
Changing a deeply ingrained pattern like C. can bring up a lot of anxiety, especially if we’ve built our whole persona on ‘running things’, like Heroes do. (However, the other Roles each control in their own specific ways).
• We think we’ll be in some kind of danger, mainly internal, but not the kind of physical danger that can come from standing up to a bully. More like feeling our old abandonment pain & letting go of cherished illusions.
Changing means giving up a way of experiencing ourselves we thought was our personality, but was another form of acting out our history – just the False Self.
• OR we’re afraid someone we love will be in danger. This may be somewhat realistic
if we’re dealing with active addicts who are bent on self-destruction. Sadly, the Healthy thing to do is let them find their own way. We can present info & options for them to Recover, but they have to want it. Sometimes formal interventions work, but not always. And sometimes, no matter what we do, addicts die.
• BUT – most of the time, the world goes on just fine without our two-cents! As we grow we can more & more tolerate the discomfort of not interfering with the natural order of things, & eventually it gets easier.
4. POSITIVE BENEFITS (++)
Q: Why is it worth giving up?
• Taking responsibility for ourselves is the opposite of being C. Instead of wasting energy on manipulating others, we get to find out who WE really are – our talents, knowledge, gifts, experience… to take center stage in our own life & express our multifaceted Self.
• Even when we’ve achieved / earned a measure of success in the world, ACoAs often don’t own it or feel comfortable being valued & acknowledged. Being in-the-flow (not C.) allows us to enjoy our achievements & accolades.
• For anyone bent on Recovery -at all costs- the gain is in self-esteem, a genuine sense of freedom, & the ability to connect with healthy people who respect us & whom we can trust to be ok without our constant vigilance!
✶ Most people have more resiliency, depth, strength and flexibility than they give themselves credit for. Trust yourself to handle all kinds of circumstances. Keep saying: “I know what I know”!
SO – catch yourself in the act of being C. & stop as soon as you can. Remind yourself of the benefits of changing & give your kid a big hug!
NEXT: Letting Go, Part 3