I NEED SUPPORT
PREVIOUS: Co-dep angry-nice #1
SITE: 6 Basic human NEEDS
NEEDS: As young, vulnerable beings every one of us had legitimate needs that were supposed to be met by caretakers, in order to flourish. Instead, we constantly got the message that our need were annoying, overwhelming, unacceptable, even ‘evil’. But since normal human requirements don’t go away, we had to find other ways to try to supply them. As a result –
— Co-deps will take on the submissive role, trying to get others to take care of them
— Passive-aggressives (P-As) will compensate by copying the dominant parent’s role, trying to exert power over others.
The purpose is the same as for the Co-dep, but reversed. Both styles are done indirectly, to hide their early abandonment rage
A fundamental human need is for connection, but angry-niceness, in any form, prevents that very thing. Focusing on ‘protecting’ others from our anger along with ignoring all of our needs & wants is classic ACoA damage (remember:”Damaged, not defective”!). Co-deps live by the Toxic Rule: “Every else’s needs are more important than mine (always)”. The obvious implication is that we should not have any needs – that needs are a weakness & therefore bad.
Sadly, we tend to surround ourselves & stay in relationships with un-recovering addicts & other narcissists – who take their damage out on us. While most of them truly do not have the capacity to provide an emotional connection (compassion, empathy, understanding, love….), we can still clearly state how we want others to behave toward us, which is about actions, not emotions (T.E.A.).
NOTE the difference between needs & obligations:
a. NEEDS are qualities, necessities & situations that are universal to everyone – see Maslow’s pyramid. There are also needs specific to you, based on your unique personality (EnneaType, Myers-Briggs Type, Signs, Numbers, Learning Style, heredity, PTSD, physical issues….)
b. OBLIGATIONS are activities that relate to functioning in the world as older children (homework, chores….) & as adults. People tend to say “I need to do the laundry, to get to work, to call my doctor, to finish this project, to do my taxes, to walk the dog….”. These are important but not your personality needs.
Of course – there is also the 2 ‘wounded’ versions.
1. Passive-Aggressive version: Many ACoAs find it hard to take care of basic maintenance tasks which represent self-care, or to honor outside obligations, like doing work we’re being paid to do. It’s the WIC saying – not just “I don’t wanna” – but flat-out ‘I won’t! & you can’t make me! You don’t care about me so I don’t care either”. It’s the hidden rage that makes us wait to be taken care of by others.
2. Co-Dependent version: Since ACoAs are not allowed to have needs, many of us focus all our energy on tasks & obligations, as if we could earn our way to heaven – the heaven of our family’s love! Co-deps take on too much – of everything – & then pile on the tasks of others as well, trying to do it all without help! No wonder we get sick, feel depressed, overwhelmed & angry!
AWARENESS: In our current life we’re afraid to honor the need of setting boundaries for ourselves as well as with others, & afraid to admit the need for others to treat us – at the very least – with respect, much less kindness.
But asking for better responses from others is very hard for us, because:
— we’ve been trained to not deserve better, so we think it’s selfish
— we really do know (even while in ‘denial’) that unhealthy, narcissistic people only care about themselves, do not want to change their ways, might retaliate in some form…..
Even so, we need to ask! Most of the time we’ll only get lip-service, but if you get thrown an occasional crumb, don’t let that keep you on their hook! It’s much better in the long run to gather your resolve, back off & suffer temporary crumb-withdrawal!
Otherwise, we end up feeling more & more confused, frustrated & hopeless, wondering why all our efforts aren’t paying off.
Speaking up is for the benefit of our Inner Child – no matter what the response from others !