I’D RATHER SUFFER WHERE I AM
than face all the trauma of leaving!
PREVIOUS: “Trying to leave you” (#1)
STYLES of ‘Leaving’
1. ACoA AVOIDERS (Part 1)
2. ACoA CLINGERS
(a. ‘Fantasy’ in previous post)
• We convince ourselves the situation isn’t really that bad – that the mate / job / parent / sponsor / friend … has some ‘superior’ qualities we can’t live without (they may have, but it’s just crumbs, compared to the problems!)
• Some even KNEW before we got married that this was not the right person, but went thru with it anyway
• We make a huge effort to change the other person so we
don’t have to leave, instead of changing ourselves. We badger, cajole, lecture, push, punish, bribe, manipulate. We get back only more resistance – of course!
• We spend a lot time punishing the other person for not being who & what we want, instead of moving on or letting go of our demands & expectations of another
• We take care of them, do all we can, listen, take time, help with practical things, do way more than we should, pay for everything, worry, do research, take them to get help…. We must fix them, so it’ll work out.. anything to NOT have to leave
• THEN we feel resentful that we’re not appreciated, that they are not getting better, not treating us better, not valuing all we’ve done!
GUILT is generated by breaking a Toxic Rule, in this case: “Other people’s needs & feelings are more important than mine”.
• We thoroughly believe we can not tell others what we really think, how we feel about things that bother us, what we really want – in order to not ‘upset’ them, make them angry, make them leave
• To stand up for ourselves would cause too much guilt, which we can’t bear. So we stay, & suffer
• We stay because someone guilts us (see ‘victim’) – “I need you, I’ll kill myself, I can’t make it alone, no one else understands me….”
• We complain to everyone about how bad things are, but don’t change the things that we can – acting out the martyr role
• We threaten the other person with leaving, but as long as we’re ambivalent, they doesn’t take us seriously
• If the other plays the victim card, we identify with them so much , we can’t abandon them – after all they say they LOVE US sooo much!
g. Self-Hate (posts)
• When we’re with narcissists, addicts, the emotionally immature… that are not able to connect with us as equals so we feel deeply lonely. Since we’re so used to that from childhood, we think it’s normal AND that it’s our fault!
• We’re so beaten down by the verbal / physical abuse of a boss, partner, ‘friend’… that we believe no one else will want us/ hire us, just like our family didn’t care & told us we were stupid & worthless
• When we DO notice something is wrong in the relationship, we bargain with ourselves, the other person, even H.P.:
“If he gets help / stops using / stays sober, I’ll stay”
“If we have another kids, he won’t want to leave”
“If they give me a raise, change my chair, give me less work, get off my back … I can do this”
“If she only got a job / lost weight / had more sex with me, things would be ok”
“If I help him out financially just for a little while he won’t be so depressed, so violent, so suicidal….“
…. BUT we’re just conning ourselves!
i. Staying too long
• Even though all ACoAs have a deep fear of commitment, many will hang on & on & on… even when we know very well that certain ‘people, places & things’ are not good for us or not what we want
• We stay too long, ignoring the signs of disintegration, sometimes to the point of not noticing, until it hits us in the gut. Then we’re devastated!
j. Getting Dumped
• Even when we get the message that the other person is done
with us, some ACoAs just can’t believe or accept it! We’ll stubbornly stick around, keep pushing for an explanation, cajoling, manipulating…..
• When we do get dumped, some of us chase after the person – texting, calling, threatening, begging….
Having our old abandonment pain re-awakened is excruciating!
OUTCOME: Whether we do the leaving or get left – we feel abandoned. It touches that deep well of childhood pain, from when we were totally dependent and powerless to stop others from hurting us.
✶ We are NO longer children. We need to CHOOSE healthier friends, lovers, jobs… We can learn to cope with loss in a new way in the present, but we’ll always have to deal with the old pain, when it gets kicked up.
NEXT: Romantic Attraction Qs – #1