ACoAs & TIME (Part 2)

take so much longer than I think??!!

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Time (Part 1)

ARTICLE: Kids, ADHD & Time


2. REQUIRED TIME (cont.)
b. Much less time than is realistic. There are the ACoAs who:
• always over-book, plan things too close together, don’t allow enough time to get places or time for possible delays – and don’t allow for process… Like: how long it takes for – a renovation, a doctor visit, to taking a trip, developing a friendship, wait for a delivery, a check, an email or the return of a phone call! (it pushes our Abandonment button)

• try to do several things at one time. This does not refer to multi-tasking, but rather expecting, magically, to be able to be in more than one place at a time, like 2 conflicting events – without planning to do things consecutively, OR just pick one & let the other go.  Like: making plans to go shopping alone and have lunch with a friend – at about the same time!  It’s one of the reason some ACoAs are habitually late.

SOURCE: Psychologically, our WIC is stuck at a very young age (pre-clock-child timereading) as a result of trauma.
NORMAL: Small children are very much in the moment, living from event to event, so time is unrelated to behavior. Motion-in-time (action) seems to be a succession of unplanned situations that just happen. There are no boundaries. Children flow through consecutive activities, none of which are measured by clock-time. They live in infinite space, with no responsibility for the past or the future. Time has no real duration, events have no beginning or end. Before developing structured thought, there can be no “time” for a child…..

DAMAGE: Adults who act that way are in a temporary or constant state of regression – not living in present time-reality & not being run by a Healthy Adult ego state. Difficulty in accurately assessing & using time is another way ACoAs are ‘out of control’*.
* BTW – being ‘out of control’ means only one thing: Not having a choice, in a particular moment, in a given situation. This can be either compulsively (without a conscious decision) DO-ing something – like verbally attacking a person, or NOT doing something – like not leaving a place where you’re being hurt in some way.

Suggestion for Correction
If you identify with this issue, then no matter what the activity – always add 2x or 3x the amount of time you’re sure it will take. If it’s less, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If the extra time was needed, you won’t feel as frustrated, disappointed & angry.

For a while, each evening you can write down:
• a simple outline of activities you’re planning for the next day, including daily routines, like getting ready, eating, chores… Don’t forget transportation times.  If you look on GoogleMaps, it tells you times allotted to get from point A to point B.
• decide how much total time you want to allot, in chunks (2 hrs in the am, or 4 hrs in the pm, or 3 hrs before bedtime…) to each segmentcheck time

• Next to each action – write how long you think it will or should take. Then add 15-30 min. to each item.
• If you don’t know, pick an easy action you can repeat once a day, for a week, & time how long it took.
OR set a timer to go off every half hr, do an activity & see how far you get in that time. KEEP A LOG! If you get stuck, write down what you were feeling and thinking at the point where you stopped your activity.

• Adding up the actual time amounts something lasted will give you an idea of how many things you can get done in your personal time-frame. What are you thinking and FEELING?Timelog
• Choose the activities you most have to do first, & then balance it with some healthy soothing or fun treat for your kid. If you do have to put off play time, AND if you promise to make it up later, be sure to do at least one of them on the next  ‘free day’, or else your IC:
— will be angry, sulky, disappointed, despondent…
— will experience You (the Adult) as being as bad as the PP (abusive, unfair, uncaring, untruthful…)
— won’t be able to depend on you, trust you in future, be willing to turn its ‘power’ over to you – in order to be taken care of.

Having chunks of free time – but don’t know what to do with it:wastw time
— too much anxiety – from perfectionism, toxic rules, fear of commitment & decision-making, avoiding disappointment, fear of risk…
— not self-motivated (Autonomy & Attachment, Part 2)
— wanting to do too many things at once, so don’t choose anything, puttering around, not accomplishing much
— too tired from all the daily stress we put ourselves under so need to veg out but then feel gypped, frustrated, angry at ourselves…

✶ REQUIREMENTs: To work on this problem, we need the willingness to break some Toxic Rules, like the ones listed in “Part 1, 2a
• Plan ahead, write on a monthly or weekly calendar things you can schedule ahead. Stick to your plans, whenever possible, & notice how it feels afterwards. When things don’t work out try something new.
• Make a list of the activities you would like to do during ‘free time’, & keep it handy, to look at, when you can’t think of what to do
• Fun time is NOT about priorities. You don’t have to know what to do FIRST! Just pick something you know you like & focus on enjoying it.

NEXT: ACoAs & Time (Part 3)


4 thoughts on “ACoAs & TIME (Part 2)

  1. Yes time is such a BIG problem for me. I identified more with Part 2 of your post.

    I don’t know what happened to my time. For the last 3 years it’s gone haywire. I started to be late to work every single day (I had to start 15 minutes earlier than what I was used to and it threw my routine way out). Every job I’ve had since then I am always late. I now work 15 mins away from home and I am still late! I get up at the last possible minute and rush rush rush because I want to conserve as much sleep as possible.
    I did notice a change in my time habits for a short time at the start of the year when I left my r/ship and the pressure/unmanageability was off but now that I am back in the r/ship again my time has gotten worse! I feel pressured to take on ALL responsibilities at work and at home. I am not allowed fun time until all work is done – BUT work in my head is never DONE. I work three days pw and I still say I don’t have enough TIME for me!
    God I hate it but thank you, I did not know it was an ACOA trait. Now I have to work on being on time right? Writing down what I need to do in the morning and allowing enough time to do it.
    Oh and work too – I can’t prioritise anymore. I just pick up a file and do it regardless of whether I have something urgent to do, I stick in meaningless tasks with important tasks just to finish them.
    I’m going to start my list tonight! THANK YOU 🙂


    • I am doing 12 Steps, attending f2f meetings, online forums and have a sponsor but finding TIME for all these things plus the rest is not easy…
      I am uncertain what PP has to do with it all thought – Pig Parent?
      Incidently after reading your post of yesterday I did get up a little earlier as I knew I had to get petrol before work but I got up because I don’t want my unhealthy traits to rule my life.


  2. Good for you! & I know what you mean – having time for it all!
    Yes PP is the pig parent, also called the Negative Introject. See my 3 posts on that topic. It is telling the Kid all the bad things the kid believes about itself, but is only interested in using us to sooth it’s own fear. We have to learn to detach from it.


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