I GRATEFUL I STUCK IT OUR
& see the results of my perseverance
SITE: “How to face Confusing Thoughts”
PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Confusion (Part 10)
QUOTE: I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery & death….I think…peace & tranquility will return again” ~ Anne Frank
REVERSING life-long Confusion
It’s normal to not know everything, to be confused sometimes, & to need guidance. It’s when any of these shows up at either extreme that we know something’s off.
Internally: While we can never know everything, it’s imperative that we start with ‘I know what I know’. Clear thinking does not preclude or ignore INTUITION, which is based on unconscious or subliminal info we’ve gathered along the way. We need all parts of our knowledge base, from all 4 PMES levels.
Externally: The main way we get confused is when others are unclear in any way (see Part 8) and from Double Messages
1. Get VALIDATION. Because our parents provide no mirroring, or very distorted feedback about who we are, we think we’re invisible – both internally to ourselves (“I don’t know who I am”), & externally to others (“No one gets me”).
As adults we can reverse this training by risking what we fear the most – any form of abandonment.
2. Grow the ADULT/Good PARENT ego states (UNIT). Since our internal confusion comes mainly from the PP & WIC, we need to form & strengthen the UNIT so that it can be the decision-making voice
3. Get more INFO
Clearly define the problem. Try to answer honestly, even if you have to sleep on it. What’s your actual goal / what outcome do you want? Is it realistic? What’s your motivation? Write everything out & ask someone to review it with you.
a. Make notes of all the conflicting points of view on a subject that’s making you you ‘feel crazy’. Then put it aside & come back later. Ask someone to review it with you.
b. Try to find the emotion under the mental confusion /resistance:
— maybe you may already know the answer to a problem, but are afraid to go for it
— the PP or WIC is stopping you, each having their own agenda for not wanting to proceed
4. Learn to apply LOGIC
INDUCTIVE reasoning – (bottom-up logic) means to observe something & then use that to form a conclusion, & is called the scientific method.
EXP: I notice Joe drinks a lot, on a consistent basis, & when he’s drunk he gets mean. I can logically assume that he is going to continue this way – for some unknown time. THEREFORE it’s safe to say he’s not at present good partner/mate/friend material – no matter how charming he is the rest of the time!
The problem for ACoAs is NOT that we’re not smart or observant enough to do this, BUT rather that we’ve been brainwashed to not trust our perception & experiences. Denial is our default position.(See Part 2). If we allow ourselves to see present-day reality with adult eyes, we may come to realize how crazy & bad things really were for us as kids – & in many of our adult relationships. We’ll have to S & I, stop obeying the PP & be our own person!
DEDUCTIVE reasoning – (top-down logic) starts with an idea, belief, premise (X) – which we assume to be true. Such ideas are formed using general rules of logic, which hold true within a specific framework. IF & only IF the premise if correct, deduction provides absolute proof of our conclusion. IF a premise is unproven or unprovable, this must be accepted at face value, on faith, or for the purpose of exploration. (MORE…), even when we don’t like the answer (reference: The Serenity Prayer).
EXPs of X: All ‘men’ are mortal (realm of philosophy) / I have inalienable rights (realm of psychology) / God exists & is good (realm of religion, faith). (Other examples)
● Based on (X), we consider what else might be true (Y), making generally accepted observations, & proceed to an IF-THEN conclusion (Z), reached by generalizing or extrapolating from our initial statement. Some (X) premises can be proven (re. mortals), others cannot (re. God):
EXP: If God is real & is good (X), then He watches over me (Y), & therefore I am protected (Z)
EXP: X – all mothers always love their children
Y – I have/had a mother (reality)
Z – therefore my mother loves me (her child)
Of course, this second ‘X’ is not true, since not all mothers love their children. Y is true, but Z is not a guaranteed outcome!
5. Take SOME Action
• Break down potential tasks (job-hunting, changing careers, breaking up, medical issues, re-decoration….). into bite-size pieces – called process
• Identify the ones you know how to do, & the ones you don’t – so you can get the missing info you need to proceed
• Choose the simplest action you can & take it – one phone call, one evening class, one hour of internet searches…. You don’t have to know if the action will lead you where you want to end up. But it can tell you if you’re on the right track or not
• Don’t give up. Keep going & keep trying new things. It can eliminate some confusion & you’ve possibly learned something along the way