IF I PAY ATTENTION
I’ll be able to know how I feel
PREVIOUS: Anger & Co-D (Part 2)
1. Re. OUR Anger – Part 1 & 2 (cont.)
b. INAPPROPRIATE anger/rage (con.)
• As adults, people-pleasing for too long without getting our own needs met is draining & enraging. BTW – anger at any of the above list (add you own) may not show for a long time, but may be burning us up inside – until it boils over. But even when Co-D anger is released, it’s only an escape valve. Without FoO Recovery, it doesn’t solve the underlying issues, so we end up filling the POT again.
• In adversarial relationships, if we react with anger against an abuser, no matter how well deserved, things can escalate, often getting much worse, leaving us feeling even more frightened, guilty & helpless. If we keep trying to change a problem by expressing anger over & over (to restore our sense of control) but the bad situation isn’t fixable, eventually we may become depressed & apathetic.
And no matter what healthy, kind people tell us to contrary – we end up concluding that “it’s always been my fault & always will be / nothing good ever comes of trying / I’ll never get it right / I always mess us…. so why bother, if I’m just going to get disappointed or battered anyway?”
Unfortunately, the stronger these negative false assumptions are (T), the harder it is to get out & find a safer environment (A). It leads many of us to avoid anger all together, but also to stay trapped & hopeless.
2. Re. OTHER PEOPLE’s Anger
• Co-dependence comes in many flavors. While people-pleasing is one of it’s hallmarks, it’s not always in the form of over-niceness. It can also be camouflaged by surliness or isolation. Co-deps who tend to crankiness or bursts of rage are just as approval-driven as the more obvious kind
Reminder: Co-dependence (Co-dep) is a defense mechanism which:
– supposedly ‘protects’ against feeling our overwhelming fear of abandonment
– is the belief that all power to act is not within us, but rather in other people & things
– is a way to bury feeling lost & worthless, living in our False Self
– prevents us from having our rights
• ANOTHER ACoA dichotomy
– Many co-deps are secretly angry, raging – inside, but convinced that any sign of disagreement is a confrontation, which we fanatically avoid. Not so.
— Being assertive includes healthy boundaries & rights, ours & theirs
— Being confrontational comes with an underlying hostility – the need to push someone around, to get our own way, to suppress the other persons point of view…..
– Most co-deps cannot bear having anyone be angry at or be disappointed in us. This makes it easy for others – if so inclined – to take advantage of us. The more approval we need, the less likely we’ll notice the extent of our self-sacrifice in favor of taking care of other people needs, want & demands.
Being used, abused & then thrown away is very painful, creating depression & S-H, in a vicious, downward spiral.
Without doing FoO & Inner Child work, we have no way of knowing who we truly are, so we co-dependently look to others to tell us.
It’s an attempt to get the healthy mirroring our parents should have provided. In stead, we compulsively go to narcissists & other wounded people to ‘see’ us, who can never reflect back to us who we are. They can only project their False Self, trying to make us like them!
Our Conflict-Avoidance is about:
US – being terrified of our own enormous anger, the loss of control that we will destroy others, causing a loss of acceptance or love
OTHERS – the assumption that everyone becomes unreasonable (out-of-control-crazy-violent) when they’re angry, which we won’t know how to handle. Actually – what we’re used to is rage, which we feel will destroy us!
NEXT: Anger & Co-del #4