ACoAs & TIME (Part 1)

slow time TIME IS SUCH A DRAG!
Everything takes forever

PREVIOUS: Over-Feelers (#2)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

ARTICLE: Time Management Tips


REVIEW: Pre-FoO work, ACoAs are run mainly by 2 internal ego states: by the WIC, who is listening to the PP. One of the signs of this is the unrealistic way many of us deal with time, and timing. The Inner Child:
IS still confused by not been given age-appropriate or sufficient limits by neglectful parents, which resulted in not having learned how long things take. Depending on the size of a project, there may be many steps between setting a goal & achieving it, yet we don’t allow for the realistic stages of process.
IS reacting to too many constraints put on us by controlling parents who interfered with our natural internal rhythms & time sense. We either follow the training & become rigidly time conscious, rebel by taking our own sweet time or do nothing as often as possible.

a. To the disease – yrs spent in S-H, with the wrong lovers, friends, jobs, apartments, the wrong neighborhood or city (for you), still involved with abusive &/or uncaring family members…
In Recovery, we need to mourn the loss of time due to our damagelosing time

b. Losing track of time
from anxiety. ACoAs are fear-based, so we have a backlog of anxiety carried from childhood. When faced with any situation which pushes a button or touches an old wound, we may temporarily ‘go blank‘ & lose track of time, for a few minutes, or much longer.

EXP: Janie desperately wanted to study art, but couldn’t afford it. She had to work in an office, which didn’t suit her temperament & where she was not liked. One day she was reprimanded for always being late. Trying to change that, the next day she got up 30 minutes earlier & started her ‘automatic’ morning routine BUT found herself standing in the middle of her room – completely blank – not knowing what to do next. Eventually she snapped out of it & finished getting ready, but by then she knew she’d be late – again!  Her unconscious had sandbagged her – she clearly didn’t want to be going to that job.

from ADD. Many ACoAs have learning disabilities like ADD & dyslexia.    They do NOT indicate intellectual deficiency – on the contrary, usually it correlates with high intelligence, but such people have varying degrees of difficulty in learning, communicating, & dealing with time accurately

• Keep in mind that many ACoA characteristics mimic ADD in adults.  They’re both caused by stress & affect the brain, but ADD is genetic, so the method of treatment is different for the 2 problems. The healthier we get, emotionally, the more we can tell the difference. In recovery, many ACoA symptoms will diminish or disappear, while the ADD ones will not, which need the right medication & some behavior-mod training.

a. Much more time than something should take, normally.  ACoAs will put off taking actions because:
• we’re convinced it’ll will take forever – having an unrealistic time sense, & hating the slowness of process. Whether a task is it’s a big or small, we don’t divide it into manageable chunks
• we have to obey the rule “No play ‘till all your work is done” which of course will never happen, so we go on strike instead, & do nothing!stuck in time
• we (think we) don’t know how, & can’t ask for help, so why bother?
• we have to obey the rule “You have to struggle but never get there” so why start?
• we can’t decide what to do first – everything is equally big, important, scary… because as a kid the same amount of emphasis was put on large or small events, mistakes, tasks… so we never learned to prioritize
• we’re afraid of making the wrong choice, & the get punished or be terribly disappointed – again

❇ While these are all ‘hangovers’ from childhood, the root of it is our inner conflict, between:
— what we want & what they want us to do (from the Introject, or other people in the present)
— our damaged part (WIC) & the emerging Healthy Adult voice

These internal arguments have to be resolved by the ‘UNIT in order to proceed. The exciting thing is that when the IC on the same page with the healthy Self, we find that many actions take very little time, are not a big deal AND we actually did know how. No conflict = No delay!

Suggestion, using T.E.A.
Thoughts: write out the opposing points of view (sometimes 3 & 4 different ones) of the argument you’re having with yourself about a situation you’re stuck on.
Emotions: list all your feelings related to each ‘voice’
Actions: identify the ones you want or need to take, & what you think the results will be, depending on which option you decide to follow.
✧ Try out whichever side you choose (As) & then later write down the results. Evaluate (T) the outcome & see how it feels (Es).
You may want to use the 2 forms on the post “Why Are You Stuck?

NEXT: ACoAs & TIME (Part 2)

One thought on “ACoAs & TIME (Part 1)

  1. Wonderful post. Reading this, I identified with everything. I also, can
    be less hard on myself knowing the root of my habitual lateness. Another thing – I ALWAYS overbooked everything! I would have to let one thing og or just not show up for it then feel deep shame. I will use the tips as well.

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