PREVIOUS: Mind-Reading (Part 1a)
1. MIND-READING (M-R)
a . Official meaning (previous post)
b. A Variation
Another way mind-reading can show up is projecting our wishes, needs & tastes onto others. It’s not a strict interpretation of the definition, but is the same aspect of the child’s narcissism – ‘I am you & you are me.’ It’s still based on OUR personality, not on who the other person is.
INSTEAD OF nurturing us, our family:
• over-controlled us • expected us to be little adults
• demanded we be perfect and without needs – so they wouldn’t have to deal with us
• didn’t guide us, so we had to fend of ourselves, without much training! – which then became another version of the ACoA Dilemma mentioned recently:
✓ As kids – we had to take care of ourselves – not always in material ways, but definitely emotional & often mental, which gave us the message we weren’t worthy of being taken care of – SO
✓ As Adults – we believe we should not / cannot care for ourselves, from lack of appropriate help and lack of permission
i. The WIC projects that everyone is like our parents – who were totally wrapped up in their own worries & addictions.
• They expected us to figure out what they needed & then provide it. This was either said or implied, but we got the message.
✶ So that’s what we assume everyone else wants of us too.
• Also, we were punished for not getting it right! Either directly, by them berating or hitting us, or just by continuing to be drunk, crazy, mean, depressed…. This left us with a great deal of anxiety – fearful that we’d get it wrong AND not knowing what to do or how to be, anyway
ii. We’re still trying to make everyone SAFE so we can feel less terrified, by making sure they have all their needs met – by us. The assumption is that everyone is as weak, needy, incompetent, scared, sick…… as our parents were. The WIC is convinced that when we fix them, they will: protect us, never leave us, take care of us, love us …. if only we work hard enough to get it right. Unfortunately, as long as our Adapted Child picks, they’re going to be unsafe!
iii. At the same time it’s also a projection onto others of what we want & need, but are not confident we can provide for ourselves. “If I take care of you, you will become strong (& grateful) & then be able to return the favor – without my having to ask!” We learned it was shameful to have needs, so we have to “depend on the kindness of strangers”.
WE are not allowed to have anything for our true self, so all our efforts go into ‘figuring out’ what others need.
1. our need for information becomes “I have to tell her why she’s doing that self-destructive thing – she’ll be so interested”
2. our desperate hunger to be loved becomes “I know he loves me”
3. our need for healing becomes “he‘ll be glad I gave him this
recovery book to read, because he’ll see the light & feel better”
4. our fear of loneliness becomes “How could you go on that trip alone? That must have been depressing!”
5. our fear of abandonment becomes “It must have been so hard for you to leave that relationship / job / country…”
6. our fear of risk becomes “… that was so brave of you!”…..
➼ At first glance this may seem legitimate because it sounds like the focus is not on us but on the other person. Actually – we are making up what the other person is needing, thinking or feeling, without honoring or respecting who they are! ✶✶✶ Even when they have told us what they like or don’t like – we still believe we know better! How arrogant.
REALITY (of the previous 6 points):
1. she tells you you’re not being a good friend & just listen without lecturing – that you’re insulting & insensitive
2. he barely knows you’re alive, or just sees you as a friend
3. he didn’t ask for the book, doesn’t read it, doesn’t take any other advice you give & tells you you’re being controlling
4. she has no problem going anywhere alone, & while she may feel a bit lonely, she makes friends wherever she goes
5. she was ready to leave, in fact – couldn’t wait!
6. it did not take bravery on his part because he was not afraid
EXP: Ernie is an only child, raised by a mentally ill mother who sat staring at the wall – often for day, & then sometimes she’d be ok for a while – except for an occasional fit of rage. His father was depressed & had no time for him. One way Ernie survived was to live in a fantasy world and also be a good student.
• As an adult he has done very well at ‘mental’ work that does not require much interact with others. Even so, he longs to know the comfort of a loving relationship & family life, which he has never been able to achieve. When he walks down the street and sees couple hand-in-hand or a parent talking with their child – he assumes that their life is great, they have no problems, they are happy and will be so ‘forever’.
CONTINUING this style of M-R
Internally — stay ‘separate’ by living in our own fantasy world // stay deprived by minimally providing for our own needs
Externally — actually hurt others instead of helping them // don’t interact with others based on reality
➼ No matter what excuse or explanation we make up about it, mind reading is detrimental to ourselves and others.
NEXT: Mind-Reading vs INTUITION – 2a