so I don’t do anything
SITE: “Fight Procrastination” – P. vs Payoff / P vs. Pain. charts
QUOTE: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ~ Marthe Troly-Curtin
ACoA “LOGIC”: I keep putting it off because –
• IF I ignore it long enough maybe it’ll magically go away
• I feel comforted – because not being fully functional keeps me from having to feel the abandonment pain of no one being there to teach, help or encourage me thru things when growing up
• It’s not fair that I have to do things by myself, for myself
• Since I hate doing it, I’ll wait until the very last hour or two, then cram in whatever I can manage. That way I’ll have an excuse for not doing it better (no time)
ALSO: maybe there’ll be a hail-mary save (rescued),
OR someone usually does show up to help at the last minute (luck), so I’ll just wait
NOW we put things off because of:
• it reminds us of how we didn’t get helped as kids. All those ‘little’ abandonments add up to one big pain!
• automatically assume we’ll be abused, or left (A.) if we act on our own behalf
• haven’t learned how to deal with the PP voice that controls the WIC (Introject)
• we are deeply conflicted – to do or not do, to obey or disobey, to do it our way or theirs, to be separate or stay symbiotic…. and intense inner conflicts leave us paralyzed!
• afraid of ‘hurting’ others’ feelings OR having them be angry at us, which means getting emotionally abandoned (cut off)
• we don’t know what’s actually stopping us (denial)
• we never actually learned process – how to get reach a goal by going thru a series of necessary steps. We look for instant grat, or we make a half-hearted attempt, or we take the least effective steps. When these don’t work we give up, rather than learn what actually works!
• we believe in our deepest being that anything we do has to be perfect, & not being able to that – we end up doing nothing
• anything we’ve figure out for ourselves is either wrong or not of any value (crap)
• don’t know how to do something AND can’t ask for help, OR feel like we have no one to ask
• afraid of what we’ll find out (outcome of a job interview, medical tests, how much is -or isn’t- in the bank…)
ULTIMATELY – we put things off :
a. so we won’t feel so alone – that inner loneliness of not having nurturing parents growing up! Being our own caretaker, being competent – even in small things – is an emotional reminder of how terribly alone we always felt as kids – no one to guide (only bully), no one to comfort (only control), no one to encourage (only shame)….
• Instead of doing something positive, all that wasted time spent worrying, obsessing about things we’re not getting done actually serves a purpose for the WIC : it fills up the emptiness inside – where a good parent should be – the Inner Supporters we never had (early abandonment).
EXP: Pre-Recovery, Tina needed to replace a knob for her radio that had fallen off & was lost. She knew she had the manufacturer’s purchase list in her files, but felt a general lethargy about taking the action = all of 5 minutes to find, make the call & order the tiny part. It was several months before she did this simple task.
• In the mean time Tina had to turn the radio on & off by awkwardly using 2 fingers on the sound stub. When the part arrived, in a little pouch, it sat on her night table several more weeks. Eventually she ‘faced’ the great task of taking the knob out of the package & clicking it into place = all of 1 minute!
b. because we have a deep (usually unacknowledged) feeling of hopelessness. After all – the WIC believes that our actions are supposed to get us the love & attention we’re always craved, specifically from our parents (dead or alive!). The Child’s logic says – “since they hurt me & hated me, it has to be my fault, so I have to find a way to fix it.” But no matter how hard we work at being the perfect son or daughter, we rarely achieve this wish. So eventually taking actions gets harder & harder. Scapegoat & Lost Child ACoAs give up trying a lot sooner than Heroes & Mascots, but they never give up wanting to be loved & accepted! They just pretend they don’t care!
c. we feel powerless to have any effect on our environment (being efficacious). We could never get our parents (& sometimes siblings) to notice us, listen to us, take us seriously, consider or feelings & needs. So why would we be able to influence anyone else in the world? If we have no ability to influence, then why even try to DO anything?
NEXT: “Putting things off” Part 3