I ALWAYS MAKE SURE
there’s a way to protect myself
Fear of Responsibility (#1)
POST: Toxic Family Rules
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
With all the frustration & lack of ‘success’ as children to fix our family, we unconsciously assume that if we failed at that, we’ll inevitably fail at everything else – so why bother. Since they didn’t take responsibility for their emotions & actions, we didn’t learn how to either, & we don’t know there is a clear line between what’s our job in life & what isn’t.
a. Re. OTHERS:
Because we were treated badly by our family, we often treat others the same way (“How ACoAs Abandon Others” posts):
• by not considering others’ rights, boundaries & emotions, being so focused on our pain & trying to protect ourselves
• by our narcissism, idealizing, constant criticism, being controlling…..
THIS INCLUDES how we treat both our external children & other adults
ACoAs as ‘LEAVERS’
According to the WIC, we still have no one we can depend on for our needs, AND we’re responsible for everyone & everything around us. We say we don’t want to have such a great burden, YET we reject being with people or groups who would allow us to relax, focus on ourselves & also be supported.
This leaves us completely overwhelmed & exhausted. So on the assumption that we still have to carry the weight of any association (personal or professional), we’re too scared to fully commit.
• To take healthy, ‘adult’ responsibility for our choices & relationships, we would need to become familiar with & embrace our True Self, via S & I, which is the goal of all therapy & Recovery.
However, ACoAs greatest addiction is to our family of origin, making it very hard to let go of our symbiotic attachment to them.
This results in a great resistance to taking center stage in our life, while playing the satellite (or slave) to someone or something else.
The irony is that at the same time – we think everything others do or say is about us, taking everything personally – which is not the ADULT ego state being responsible for ourselves, but rather the narcissistic stance of the WIC.
• While we consciously insist we never want to be anything like ‘them’, unconsciously we copy them in many different ways, having absorbed the PP, ie. negative introject. Because the WIC is by nature narcissistic, it can’t distinguish itself from our narcissistic parents. SO:
— If they didn’t take responsibility for themselves, we won’t either
— If they never connected with their True Self, we won’t either
— If they treated us badly, we’ll do the same to ourselves…..
• Even when ACoAs truly want to be connected to Self or others in a meaningful way, our terror of being trapped in the position of caretaker leads to having a back-door mentality – always looking for an out: finding fault, being resentful, feeling inferior or superior, getting bored…. And above all – picking people who are emotionally unavailable & not suited to our personality, but familiar because of our family structure. Keeping ourselves at emotional arm’s-length in all our interactions is the only way we think we can protect ourselves, since we don’t have actual boundaries
The WIC says: “I can’t afford to commit myself to anything serious – especially if it’s really important to me – because then I’ll be stuck having to handle everything (perfectly) myself. I don’t know how, & I resent being in that position – so I won’t. Besides, since I always fail at getting my needs met:
— it’ll be too painful to try & fail again (lose out on what I really want)
— I’ll have to re-live all the ways I failed my family when I was a kid, adding to my S-H
NEXT: Fear of Responsibility (Part 3)