PREVIOUS: SAYINGS… (#1)
SITE: “Understanding How Words Work: You Can’t Say What You Mean!“(Scroll down to ‘Language’)
REVIEW Intro in Part 1 if needed.
“Everything that has happened to me is OK because it’s made me the person I am today”.
There are a couple of ways this is wrong. Yes the things that happened in childhood naturally molded us, & for some people that was beneficial.
BUT for ACoAs, saying that what happened to us was OK – is cruel. Was it OK that you were beaten all the time? That you had to take care of everyone but not yourself? That you were mind-f–ed, punished for having emotions? That you were molested, raped, neglected, starved???? NO!
If some or all of these were part of your early years, then all they accomplished was to form a False Self, which we mistakenly believe is who we are. (“Our Wounded Inner Child“)
All the horrifying things that happened to us made us who are today – all right! – into frightened, self-hating, over-working, ego-less wrecks.
But anyone in Recovery know that our healing work is to strip away the layers of defenses (self-destructive messages) to get to the person we actually are inside & would have been a long time ago – without the abuse!!
(“They did the best they could”)
“First impressions are the most important.“
YES – It’s necessary – in business, in social settings & in casual public situation. It matters when we need to convince someone of our value in order to get something we need from them. Or, it matters when we want someone new to get to know us, so they won’t be scared off. It can be good for our self-esteem to put our best foot forward…. ARTICLE: “A second chance to make the Right Impression”
AND Yes, a bad first impression can potentially cause a loss.
EXP: What if you meet me for the first time – say on a job, at a party or other group – when I’m having a bad week, as ill or going thru a painful time, when I’m frantic, angry, down…. so I sound like a lunatic – but it’s not who I really am most of the time. You’ll go away thinking “They’re a lunatic. I don’t want to be around them!!!” That’s sad but understandable. It’s an unfortunate interaction that can’t be salvaged. So you will miss out on my ‘normal’ wonderful, interesting self – just as has happened to some of us re. our family, who may never have gotten to know our best Recovering Self. Oh well.
NO – If we’re presenting a fake facade or a ‘too good’ version of ourselves – which will become too hard to keep up – whether in a new job or new relationship. When we no longer want to or just can’t – then we might disappoint people who bought the facade & feel bad about ourselves – unless you’re a narcissist or sociopath who needs to keep the mask in place all the time 🤖.
NO – We can’t always go by 1st impressions – especially for ACoAs, since the WIC will always react to a 1st impression from the unconscious IMAGO modeled on our family.
a. Idealizing: When we first meet people we have a habit of making up who they are based on how they treat us. If they show an interest then we over-estimate them & therefore assume they’re going to provide everything we’ve been longing for. If they’re not interested we take it personally & either slink away or try to win them over.
First, the big problem is that without doing FoO work we tend to be most attracted to unhealthy people & then proceed – sometimes deliberately – to ignore all the red flags they wave at us! in order to stay with them. All the while expecting them to be the parents we never had. Ridiculous! Then when all the WIC’s hopes & needs get disappointed, we turn those same people into monsters (over-value then under-value). Either way – it’s harmful to us – & unfair to them.
Secondly, we cheat ourselves of real ‘nourishment’ by not seeking out people who have a healthier sense of self, which allows them to connect with us, but without enmeshment. They will not want to take on the missing-parent-role, but will be able to see & value us for our True Self, even when we can’t.
b. Over-disclosing: If we first meet a new friend or lover who seems interested in us – we tend to immediately tell our life’s story, with all our sorrows & self-hate. This is he WIC’s desperation to be heard & comforted, but also to get a jump on ‘inevitable’ abandonment. Unfortunately, when we pour our heart out to non-professionals, is only makes us more vulnerable & seem foolish or weak. Of course we do this with others too, but that kind of ‘sharing’ belongs in Al-Anon, therapy, & spiritual counseling. Developing healthy boundaries lets us be more balanced in our presentation of ourselves. ARTICLE:
NEXT: Sayings #3