PROCESS – ACoA Version (Part 1)

process 1 

I’ll just jump to the end. Much faster & less hassle!

PREVIOUS: Book version cancelled

See ACRONYM page for Abbrev.

Posts: Toxic Beliefs” // Risk
Why Are You Stuck?

ACoAs HATE process!
Process is the practical HOW TO of living well, which is something ACoAs barely learned, or not at all. As kids, our parents (& others) either expected us to know what to do automatically (read their mind?) OR we were told what to do, angrily, but never HOW to get there: ‘behave, make us proud, always look good, never mess up, learn a skill, go to college, be a good son or daughter / student / Christian…’

However, they:
• were not good role models for us to copy  (incompetent, drunk, controlling, bossy, weak, procrastinating, fearful – or just unavailable / absent)
• never took the time to show us how things are done (even if they could do it well)
• wouldn’t let us help them do things (we thought it meant we were hopelessly inept – even of we were only 6 or 10, or maybe a teen…)
• IF they did try, they either gave us incomplete or incorrect info,  or didn’t help us figure out the process of doing it, expecting too much, while getting frustrated & angry with us for not getting it right away, & ended up disgusted & abusive

Did I mentioned? ACoAs HATE process & will do anything to avoid it, including not even notice we’re avoiding it!  We want to get THERE as fast as we can, like yesterday. We’ll see why.   SO – what is it? Simple: A series of action steps or growth stages, between where we goalsare now & where we want to be, and is made up of T.E.A.

HERE ——>/——>/——>/——> / —–> GOAL
The overall procedure is a series of A – Actions.  Each step along the way also has 2 major aspects: T – (thoughts) ie. Information & E – emotions.

1. PROBLEMS : This looks simple, no? But nothing is simple for us!  (3 CHARTS…..)
a. HERE: It’s best to know where we’re starting from. Seems obvious? Well, not always for ACoAs. We’re often either in lala or in self-hate about our current status. What’s needed is a simple but clear assessment of our strengths, weaknesses AND outside resources/ support.
So we ask: QUO VADIS? (Where are you going?)

b. The GOAL: Another hitch. Because –
• many of us don’t know what we want, need, like, feel… so how can we have goals?
• we’re not allowed to think for ourselves & about ourselves, without interference, so we deny knowing what goals we may have
• some of our goals are only those we were programmed to  take on
• some of us have very clear goals & strong desires – BUT
— are not allowed to pursue them (form the IT)who am I
— the IC is too terrified of failing or losing,  if we try
• other of our goals come from the Wounded I.C. & are not realistic, within our capacity or just plain unhealthy. If we focus on a goal that’s not feasible, then we’ll never achieve it, which will just add to our sense of abandonment &  self-hate. So we have to think it thru’ carefully.  ( “Weak Decision Styles)

c. The STEPS: Next problem
• we don’t know what the steps are for many types of process
• we want to skip steps we can’t handle or don’t know, instead of asking for help
• we didn’t see our family go thru stages of process, so don’t even know what it ‘looks like’
• we were expected to be little adults (so they wouldn’t have to be real adults) – forced to skip the process of normal childhood developmental growth stages.  So we think that’s how it’s done (ACoAs get their MSW first, & their Birth Certificate later in life!)

Each step (the ACTION part) is made up of:
 c1. Information (facts) – like: how to make a resume, how to fill out forms or how to think thru a problem. ACoAs are VERY smart, but we’re a human version of HAL, in ‘2001’.  Think: data crystals fitted into millions of slots in our processing core – some are missing, many are there but corrupted & others are in perfect working order BUT they’re not linked to the recognition software! ie. – we don’t OWN all the good & accurate things we DO KNOW!  Even so, ACoAs are avid learners, book junkies, always searching, trying  to figure out how ‘normal’ people head & heartfunction. So this point is more manageable.  We can easily find info, especially now, on the net.

c2. Emotions – mainly FEAR (anxiety) like: when we have to do cold-calling, interviewing, talking to a stranger at an event…. This is the real sticking point.
• OLD: we bring with us from childhood so many painful experiences, which never got validated or processed, so now we have a deep well of terror – which we project out on to anything that seems hard, in the present
• CURRENT: we also have a huge Rolodex of negative beliefs in our head we brought with us from our family & our many painful experiences. We obsessively say them over & over, insuring that we won’t be able to take any actions. These toxic beliefs add to the terror we already carry.

Negative thinking  (CDs) creates high anxiety!  It’s not just the old fear that cause us problems. It’s what we’re believing right now that’s scaring us!

NEXT:  Healthy PROCESS (Part 2a)


One thought on “PROCESS – ACoA Version (Part 1)

  1. Oh my. I didnt have to read far for my emotional allergies to start manifesting.

    The mind-reading that my alcoholic parent expected me to do. And the expectation to be the final product they envisioned without an ounce of guidance or modelling on how to get there.

    And the, “you better get a grip on your temper” reprimands I would receive as an angry young child, whilst alcoholic (and probably ACOA) parent modeled the same or worse anger and certainly no how-to of getting a grip.

    Years later, in adulthood, I am so grateful to have learned about these shortcomings and to be able to pass something different along to my own kids. And to overcome my own alcholism and behaviours.

    Wow, what a blessing.




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