I CAN BE SEEN
without being in danger
PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Visibility (#2)
ARTICLES: “Psychological Visibility”
and “Psychological Visibility as a Source of Value in Friendship”, by Shailushi Baxi
Safe, appropriate visibility comes from Emotional Health – based on unequivocal permission to be our Authentic Self, as a result of S & I work. This allows us to see ourselves & be seen by anyone capable – for who we really are, as we were born to be – MINUS our damage, as well as in spite of it! With boundaries we can be noticed & not lose ourselves or be invaded.
We now have the opportunity to choose who to associate with, especially people who are already capable of ‘getting’ us, as well as —
— some who will like us superficially, some who will not at all & the majority who are neutral toward us. We need to accept all 3 categories AND not take it personally when we don’t fit with someone.
• Ultimately, being Visible means taking center stage in our own life – and away from the Negative Introject! We especially have to de-throne the parent who was most selfishly, aggressively dominant in our childhood. This person was the focal point of our world. Everything & everyone revolved around them – what they wanted, demanded & got!
• Resistance: Our WIC really believes that if we
leave the family mobile (be different from them & Recover) we’ll surely be flung out into the endless emptiness of black space (aloneness & inevitable death). This is simply not true, because we were born with our very own pre-set tendencies & nascent identity. But because of the WIC’s belief – for us to become the center of our universe is very scary, no matter how we act on the outside.
We need to teach our Inner Child, by consistently loving actions, that being in charge of our own life actually give us a joyful freedom, and that we are NOT alone – if we have a connection with ourselves & to our Higher Power, as well as the right kind of human support system.
DEFINITIONS – Part of the confusion about genuine visibility is our distorted definitions & beliefs re. Humility vs. Humiliation, Arrogance vs. Having Rights, & Confrontation vs. Self-Assertiveness. We often have a mistaken notion that being visible is arrogant, showing off, expressing hubris. NOT SO.
Arrogance: having (&/or showing) an exaggerated opinion of one’s own importance, value, ability, arising from an assumption of one’s superiority over others. Also not being able to take correction, criticism or guidance
vs. Having Rights – review “Having Rights” and “My Rights”
NOTE: Arrogance is only the WIC’s or PP’s exaggeration, narcissism & grandiosity. HOWEVER – When we know our rights and have self-esteem, then acknowledging our assets & beliefs is HEALTHY!
Confrontation (aggressive): to face someone (in person or not) in a threatening way, with argumentative intent, wanting to unsettle them especially with defiance, abuse or accusations. A hostile clash of opinions and ideas, vs.
Assertiveness: being confident and direct in claiming one’s rights or putting forward one’s views, in a clear way & without being aggressive. Having the courage to express one’s own feelings, even about difficult issues, in a way which is respectful and honest.
NOTE: ACoAs are so trained to not speak up that we think any form of standing up for ourselves is a confrontation. NOT true. If we speak from our Adult Ego State, use ‘I’ statements & don’t attack – we are in the right.
Humiliation: (not including as it relates to degrading sexual interactions)
MUST involve 2 or more people – one who bullies, intimidates or socially embarrasses, tho not always directly, AND the other as victim, usually not a willing recipient.
— To cause someone a painful loss of pride, self-respect, or dignity
— Be reduced to a lower position in one’s own eyes &/or others, losing prestige or self-respect
— To degrade, dishonor, disgraced, mortify, shame. vs.
Humility / Humble: the quality of being modest, courteously respectful, a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank… Free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions. Perhaps: retiring, unassuming, unobtrusive. Can be sought alone as a means of de-emphasizing the wounded ego.
NOTE: Damaging parents & some religions use humiliation to control & make others submissive to their power. HEALTHY people & institutions teach how to function well, AND encourage or at least allow others to develop their own way of thinking & doing.
IRONY: The more self-esteem we gain the more humble we become – comfortably! It’s what John Bradshaw has called “healthy shame”, which is knowing what our actual human limitations are – without S-H, shame, guilt or toxic beliefs. Then we’re not afraid to make mistakes, or to not know everything & to be imperfect. At the same time we are comfortable owning our God-given attributes, our talents, knowledge & accomplishments. Therefore visibility is not dangerous to our welfare or identity!
• In order to be Visible, we have to gradually tease out our own identity (S & I) ↘
• the more Separate we are, the less symbiotic we need to be ↙
• the less symbiotic, the more we feel the origin HOLE inside (where a Good Parent should have been instilled & then internalized) ↙
• the more we become aware of the hole, the more we feel the original loneliness of not having had safe, loving parents ↘
• the more we feel the hole, the more we can own our True Self ↙
• the more of our True Self we claim, the more visible we can be!
Being genuinely visible means – YOU take center stage, by:
• being your Truest Self & let others see that – using good judgement
• appropriately express what you really feel, need, want, don’t want…
• develop your talents & then put them out in the world
• find people & situations which are compatible with your personality
• ask for help when you need it & keep reaching for your dreams
• Being visible is ONLY ‘dangerous’ when we’re with emotionally, mentally & spiritually UNhealthy people. The risk is that we’ll get hurt – but with Recovery the pain won’t feel like it’s going to kill us! So it’s not actually that dangerous! It may still feel that way sometimes when a partially healed button gets pushed.
• Whenever we have the experience of being truly visible, AND are received well, we need to reinforce that for ourselves, first in our thinking & then in taking more of the same kinds of actions. At first, this may be difficult, but the longer we are seen, accepted & valued – the more it becomes our natural state!
NEXT: Autonomy & Attachment (#1)