WHENEVER I MESS UP
my whole world collapses
PREVIOUS: FoC – Part 3
QUOTE: “Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision & gives us the ‘right stuff’ to turn our dreams into reality.” James Womack, founder of the Lean Enterprise Inst.
2. RE-ENACTING (cont.)
h. F. of making mistakes. To the WIC, C. is not possible because we’ll never be able to ‘do it’ perfectly.
— Punishment / rejection: We were continually punished or made fun of for things we: were never taught / had difficulty learning / took too long to ‘get’ / were simply too young to know / could not possibly have known, at any age / were deliberately left out of ….. So now we can’t take the chance of not knowing everything & being seen as ‘frauds’.
If commitment means intimacy, then letting someone inside our defenses means exposing how imperfect we are, & then they’ll punish or leave us!
— Greed: The WIC, being deprives of so much growing up, now wants everything at once, & can’t tolerate being told NO about anything. So, when there’s a decision to be made among 2 or more options, we want to do them all, afraid to choose one & have to let go of the other(s), afraid of picking the wrong one & being disappointed – again
— Confusion: It’s not knowing ourselves well enough to choose among options or possibilities, based on our True Self – whether picking the right kind of mate, the right kind of career, the ‘right’ spiritual path, even down to the right kind of food, clothing & entertainment. It’s not being allowed to admit what we want or need. So many opportunities for making mistakes!
— Failures: Not having a Loving Parent & access to our True Self, we’ve already made many unhappy life choices – of friends, lovers, jobs, homes, hair cuts…. so we’re convinced we’re doomed to never do any better. We keep forgetting (or don’t know) that our ‘picker’ has been a combination of the WIC & the PP. When those ego states no longer run our life, we can choose better, & so can commit to safe, suitable PPTs.
i. F of Compromise. To the WIC, C. to anything means always having to giving in to others – yet again! Having had to give up so much of our identity as kids, ACoAs fiercely cling to whatever shreds of ourselves we’ve pieced together over the years – which are usually based on S-H, Toxic Rules, our family Role & a few genuine aspects of ourself. In AA those shreds are called “Self-will run riot”, which really means our WIC is in charge – using it’s defense mechanisms to survive, and believing those behavior patterns (character defects) represent our real personality.
• Not having legitimate boundaries, we can’t bear the idea of meeting someone even part of the way, for fear of disappearing completely. We ‘can’t afford’ to take into account all the ways they’re different from us – their personality, idiosyncrasies, or their woundedness – if it means changing some of our habits or way of thinking. If feels like loss of freedom, so the child panics, sure that ‘giving in’ would mean being back home & having to negate ourselves. But healthy compromise allows for both people to get their needs met. It is not co-dependence, which excludes ourselves in favor of another.
➼ Of course, this includes another ACoA Double Bind: We give ourselves away completely, while being unwilling to bend
• We also are afraid of conforming to social requirement or norms – a dress code for work, the authority of a boss, a different ‘language’ for different venues… We have to always be RIGHT & do things a certain way – which usually turns out to be our family’s way, not actually our own. Al-Anon asks: “Would you rather be right, or be happy?” The child’s answer is: BOTH! But compromise can mean choosing one or the other.
If you know yourself well, make 3 separate lists, of THINGS:
— you absolutely need – can not or will not give up, change, or modify. This list is usually the shortest & you need to be sure it really is from your True Self, using the UNIT. If this includes things about a person, job, object, locations… which truly does not suit you – it’s imperative to get away as soon as you can (not just as a ‘geographic’ escape)
— you like, prefer, even love, but are willing to work around. It means sometimes you go somewhere or do something you want, alternating with things the other person wants. It requires enough recovery to not feel resentful or diminished when you don’t get your way
3. that aren’t that important or meaningful to you, one way or another – so the other person or situation can have it their way, & it’s no skin off your nose.
➼ In REALITY – if we commit to anything, from a healthy sense of self – a career, a person, a pet, a location… – we do have to adjust ourselves somewhat to their requirements or needs, BUT without losing ourselves.
NEXT: FoC – Part 5