PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (Part 9)
SITE: “What to do when you’re unclear, confused ….”
QUOTE: “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~ Hans Hofmann
RECOVERY CONFUSION is NORMAL (cont.)
c. family influences
What are ACoAs primarily ADDICTED to? Our family!
They installed our buttons & they can push them all too easily – any time we’re in contact with them. BUT not forever! Recovery does allow us to S & I.
However, until then, dealing with our family (especially parents) means we can still be influenced by their disease :
— In recovery, part of what confused us is that we underplay / deny how great our damage really is. Assuming it “wasn’t that bad” makes it harder to appreciate how much work it takes to heal
— The WIC wants to be loyal to them & not feel abandoned and not to abandon them! “I have to listen to my family They KNOW. I’m wrong & they’re right…..”
All of this creates internal conflict, having one foot in the old & one in the new – ideas, patterns, awarenesses, choices… old PP tapes still blaring their poison, competing with the new info we’re been learning. Very confusing. Who to listen to? We keep wondering: “What’s true? Am I just feeling my parents’ pain for them – so they don’t have to (because they don’t want to)? Am I just feeling sorry for myself? Am I depressed? Why can’t I get it? There are so many versions of ‘health’, & what about Spirituality? Aren’t I supposed to turn the other cheek, take the high road?….”
Any time we get stuck in some area of life – we want to do it differently, but can’t seem to move – it means we’re in serious conflict – & the negative side is winning. Then we have to find out what the PP & WIC are thinking & feeling, so we can identify the “Negative Benefit” of not moving forward. As we stay on The Path to mental health, we begin to experience our own inner truth. With the right teaching & support these Qs are answered & things get clearer.
d. when learning anything new – including the process of going thru developmental stages in a healthier way than we did originally. (See book “Cycles of Power” + comments — by Pamela Levin). We get confused not only for the obvious reason that it’s all new to us, but also because most of us never learned process.
We are impatient & want our progress to be faster than is humanly possible:
— we think we should already know things we never learned and which our brain needs time to grow into, because repetition is what makes the change – & that takes time
— we’ve been miserable for so long we want a miracle cure, & right now!
— ACoAs rarely have a realistic sense of time & how long things actually take – we think something takes much, much longer OR no time at all
• Always remember the analogy to having physical injuries. The greater the damage to our body – from an accident, illness or surgery – the longer it takes to heal. And if we try to use / over-use a recovering part of the body too soon – before it has had time to heal – it can be re-traumatized. It’s the same for emotional wounding.
Recovery work needs to be done consistently – every day – in order to see progress, AND it cannot be rushed. 12-Step Programs remind us “Progress, not perfection”.
e. because of incongruity. DEF – when something is “strange, because of not agreeing with principles, or what is usually expected”
CONGRUOUS: harmonious, exhibiting harmony in it’s parts, is internal and external consistency, perceived by others as sincerity or certainty
For ACoAs, incongruity has to do with anything we’re thinking (CDs) or doing – which conflicts with how the real world works. This is similar to ‘Old Patterns’ (‘Confusion-Part 7, #7). When we try to interact from our historical training in ‘normal’ relationships or work settings – we don’t get the response we expect or want, so we get confused – and we confuse others.
In Recovery – the main incongruity, at least internally, is between the False Self (wounded Adapted Child) & the fledgling True Self (healthy ‘UNIT’) , how we’ve always reacted vs new ways we’re learning to apply.
f. because of the contrast – between:
— the way we were treated by our family & other abandoning, abusive, neglectful, torturing adults (school, religion, caretakers…) vs.
— the way healthy, respectful, kind, loving PPT treat us – in the present – once we have enough self-esteem to place ourselves in saner situations.
This tectonic shift in the ways we’re now treated by healthier people – represents our growth! But at first the contrast just doesn’t compute, doesn’t feel real, can’t last, is an accident…. Our discomfort with ‘goodness’ points out the severity of our early abuse & neglect, which brings up rage & sorrow. Eventually we come to live ‘in the light’ of the positive, which becomes the new norm!
CAUTION: S & I is very scary to the WIC, and intensely resisted by our PP. So as we move away from damaged ways of thinking & acting, there’s a strong pull to revert! The Program reminds us that our ‘disease’ is “Cunning, baffling & insidious!” It’s as if it has a life of it’s own & doesn’t want to be left behind. SO – practice disobeying the Toxic family Rules – no matter how confusing. When we backslide / regress – we do NOT have to stay there! We will feel guilty at first, but that will pass as we keep up the self-care.
So even when we hear the old tapes, they won’t be as loud – most of the time. We may still get confused occasionally, but now we have new tapes with better info, & slowly we get less trapped between loyalty to the family vs. loyalty to ourselves!
NEXT: Confusion (Part 11)