Co-Dep Angry-Nice UNDERPINNINGS (Part 2)


I”LL DO ANYTHING
to keep you happy! 

PREVIOUS: Co-Dep Angry-Nice UNDERPINNINGS (#2)

BOOK: “Deceived” by Claudia Black, includes 3 types of anger

 

Co-dependence UNDERPINNINGS (cont.)
YOU HAVE:

• Filters – you weed out anything positive about yourself,  your actual accomplishments, positive opportunities….. including the people who actually do recognize value in you, who are willing to help you help yourself…..

• X-ray vision –  inside your personal Fun House, you’re looking into the eyes of everyone distorted mirrorelse trying to see who you are, but only seeing other people or distorted versions of yourself thru their eyes

• Fuzz – like a grey TV screen – whenever extreme terror shuts down your frontal cortex, i.e.. the ability to think at all, OR just that familiar vagueness that comes over you, especially when it’s for your own benefit. Your favorite phrase is: “I’m overwhelmed”. It’s easier to vegg out with favorite distractions than admit what you really feel & need

Magical thinking – you’re sure you have the ‘love’ & the will to fix broken people, & sure you’re doing it out of the goodness of your heart.  But actually – it’s to make them well enough to give you all the things you want for yourself but don’t have a right to get directly

• Mommy Issues – careening thru life looking to finally be rescued & taken care of, secretly scanning everyone you interact with: “Are you my mommy? – Are you my mommy?” Even if you think you only have Daddy issues (yes, they may be very real too), you still needed a strong, healthy mother back then, & where was she???

Nose – even in a room full of ‘normal’ people, if there’s one sick or needy person, you’ll ferret them out to latch on to or seduce – whichever works – to be their savior, in spite of feeling barely a few inches higher off the ground than them yourself, so you can feel a tiny bit less unlovable. Or because you assume none of the others would want to be with you??

• Pitch Fever – frantic to get everything done you’ve committed to, exhausted but never wanting to disappoint anyone, rushing from one task to the next, & feeling guilty for even thinking you need a break!

Reverse logic – getting the Serenity Prayer backwards. Instead of: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can & the wisdom to know the difference”, you compulsive try to do the impossible & keep putting off the things you really can do

put up walls• Walls – in spite of a desperate need to connect, you’re so terrified of intimacy that you compulsively pick emotionally unavailable friends, mated, jobs…. their harmful patterns keeping you at arm’s length, to guarantee that no one gets too close. If they did, they’d ‘find out’ how worthless you are – according to the PP in your head!

NEXT: Negative results – Intro

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SYMPTOMS of Co-Dep Anger – toward others

WICs communicatingI’VE GOT TO BE NICE
so they won’t see my anger

PREVIOUS: Symptoms- in us

SITE: Co-Dependency  (includes characteristics Qs)

<— Inner children in adults


IMPORTANT:
as you scroll thru these various lists (this & the previous), do NOT use them to berate yourself. If they are primarily psychological rather than medical, they tell us our degree of woundedness, embodied in the False Self. We did not cause these patterns, but it is our choice & option to correct them, a little at a time.

• Looking at Plutchik’s “Emotion Wheel” – we see that anger & fear are opposites – so:
— if we are only aware of or act from being anxious, depressed, feeling like a victim – we’re hiding intense anger we’re afraid to admit to
— if we are in a continual state of anger, rage, resentment & hostility – we are denying feelings of sadness, vulnerability, hopelessness & fear

NOTE: Some things in the list will seem counter-opposite, but can in fact be different sides of the same person, like – act Superior on the outside, feel Inferior on the inside, calm on the surface, but roiling inside…..
ALSO – you don’t need to identify with everything to say you’re hiding rage, & as stated above, some of these things can be caused by sources other that repressed Es (medication, temporary intense stressors, a major illness….).
See —- upcoming — statements which signal indirect anger

How CO-DEPENDENTS behave
Behaviors
• ‘love-buy’ – overspend on gifts, tips, treats
• women often financially support their spouse
• rarely buy anything for yourself
• anticipate needs of others & supply them before being asked
• overly-kind (one of the subtlest forms of anger – think of Dexter, TV’s good-guy serial murderer bringing donuts to work)
• overly responsible at work, trouble delegating
• put yourself at risk rather than refuse someone’s request
• do much more than you’ve been askedscreen-shot-2017-02-24-at-11-41-20-pm

 Communication
• agree with everything others say, or just smile
• patronize (as in the Southern phrase “Bless your heart!”)
• laugh at jokes that are not funny or you’ve heard many times
• listen endlessly to other people’s problems & complaints
• won’t speak up against disrespect or abuse
• only hint, obliquely, at what you want or don’t like
• mistake honest, respectful dialogue for malicious confrontation
• repress, deny, ignore true thoughts & emotions (dishonesty)
• complain to everyone else about your relationship dissatisfaction except to the one involved

Relationships
• terrified of being dominated, & weakly try not to be, but  unconsciously act dependent, indecisive, unsure, non-assertive, with weak or no boundaries
• don’t go places or do things if your mate isn’t available or interested – then sulk, complain, cold-shopeople-pleaseulder
• refuse to leave harmful or ‘dead’ relationships, & make the other person responsible for ending it
• cause many ‘little problems’ that irritate your partner, & then seem surprised

• take a partner ‘hostage’ by needing them so much you can’t live without them, make them your whole world
• keep attracting partners that are overtly angry, P-As & narcissist, so you can keep being secretly angry – at them
• pick & stay with addicts, so you can fix them (control)
• don’t say what you want, like, need…. but expect others to mind-read
• withdraw from anyone you like, if it will prevent conflict – without explanation
• imagine worst-case scenarios even when things are going well
• keep bringing up old complaints  with children or mates

• go to any length to not rock to boatat risk
• keep recycling old ways of dealing with complicated situations
• re. sex – women – refuse to ask for what you want/like, never initiate, undermine mate’s sense of adequacy & skill, refuse to respond, lack of desire

NEXT: Co-Dep behavior #1

Weak DECISION Styles (Part 1)

NO MATTER WHAT I PICK –
it’ll always be wrong!

PREVIOUS: Procrastinators Anon Tools

 

 

PART 1
• First 6 of 18 types of un-sound decision-making (D.M.) styles & their corrections. (No known source) While these types all represent dysfunction, people gravitate to one of these styles as a reflection of their inborn approach to life, along with an unhealthy upbringing.
• No matter what our personal style, ACoAs have a great deal of difficulty making decisions. This deficiency has nothing to do with our basic intelligence, only our damage. An apparent exception are those in the Hero / Rescuer family role – who seem to be able to make decisions easily & continuously. But the hidden worm in the fruit is that they only do it on behalf of others. Decisions for themselves are rare & usually unhealthy

– D.M. is the process of identifying & choosing alternatives, based on our values & preferences &
– D.M. is the process of reducing enough uncertainty & doubt about our options to give us the freedom to pick out the best one at the moment

❀ SOME REASONS we have trouble with D.M.
• not having a clear identity (who am I, how do I present myself, what do I need or want….)
• letting the WIC (wounded inner child) be in charge of considering what to do, who either acts impulsively or is stuck / paralyzedbad decisions
• not trusting the knowledge, judgment & experience we’ve gathered throughout our life
• not realizing we have options to choose from, or better options than we think we have
not having permission to change our minds – about anything!
• being in denial about what we know regarding a person or situation

• fear of making the wrong choice – we think the wrong one will have life & death consequences, or result in severe punishment or self-hate, afraid of taking risks, asking for help, getting good things
• co-dependence: wanting to please everyone, all the time
• growing up with a series of double-binds (paralyzes us)
• not having enough or the correct information to decide accurately
• using CDs (cognitive distortions) in thinking about a problem

➼ As we Recover, some of these reasons melt away, some diminish & some we struggle with throughout life – & which is which will be different for different people.


ACoAs – ARROGANCE vs Humility (Part 1)

I CAN ONLY STAND MYSELF
if I pretend to be superior!

PREVIOUS: Humiliation (Part 2)

SITE: “Arrogance

QUOTE: “Much to learn, you still have.” ~ YODA to Count Dooku, in Star Wars, #II

“Do you wish people to think well of you? Don’t speak well of yourself.” ~ Pascal
“Confidence without humility is Arrogance. Humility without confidence is self-deprecation.”

DEF: ARROGANCE (ARR) = inflating, exalting, over-valuing oneself. It’s “bigging yourself up”, whether publicly or just inside your own mind, & often involves knocking others down at the same time.
“The act or habit of making unjustified declarations in an overbearing manner…. exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation, or power”

It’s one of 7 chief features of “dark” personality traits, based on 7 basic fears. These features are the False Self’s primary means of self-preservation. (MORE…..)
Arrogance = FEAR of vulnerabilitychar defects
Impatience = f. of missed or lost opportunity
Self-Destruction = f.  of loss of control
Self-Deprecation = f. of inadequacy
Martyrdom = f. of worthlessness
Greed= f. of lack / not having enough
Stubbornness = f. of change or new situations

ARR. is the result of Negative childhood experiences, causing:
a. misconceptions about the nature of Self, life & others
b. constant (hidden) terror & insecurity (fear of abandonment)
c. dysfunctional strategy to protect the Self, from the WIC
d. a False Persona to hide a, b & c in adulthood

The opposite poles on either side of ARR are :
– Vanity (unhealthy False Self):  an irrational / obsessive belief in our superior attractiveness or abilities as reflected in the eyes of others – which is what happens when we fall for our own lies (egotism & narcissism).
It comes from the Latin vanities: empty, foolish, futile, untruthful

+ Pride (healthy Confidence): recognizing & valuing all our good qualities, rather than exaggerating or making them up to mask or deny our normal human imperfections. It can be seen as the positive version of ARR, an expression of the True Self, by being realistic about our innate value as human beings

confidence vs ARR

• We all have the potential for arrogant tendencies, but for people with a strong fear of admitting or showing shared human limitations, it can become a dominant pattern.  This character defect comes from a need to be seen as flawless, because exposing weaknesses makes them feel unbearably vulnerable (like Ennea Type 1, but not exclusively).
Hidden belief: “Who I really am will never be good enough for others to accept. So no one must ever see the real me.”
ACoAs are very familiar with this obsession with perfection, because our family punished or made fun of normal childhood needs & behavior, which they treated as unforgivable flaws!

ARR can be built on a wide variety of sandy/swampy foundations, such as:
— family lineage, ‘connections’, money, possessions
— achievements based on natural talents + hard work
— illusions / self-deception about non-existent personal qualities
— being stuck in past glory & accomplishments
HOWEVER none of these things provide genuine self-esteem, which only has one source: Unconditional love!

ACoAs: Self-Hate & ARR
● On the one hand we see others as superior to us, ‘saner’, more capable, luckier, not damaged – like us….. We nurture the bad habit of “compare & despair”. Many of us have such a poor understanding of what self-esteem is that we’re often duped by people who have created a persona / False Self which makes them seem confident, but are actually arrogant, narcissistic & grandiose. Just because someone has a career, family, education, a social life…. doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Consider our own parents, who may have had some of these externals, yet were selfish, neglectful, cruel, even crazy.

● On the other hand – we have our own secret arrogance. Hard to believe? secret ARRDon’t want to admit to this character defect? How could depressed, victim-y, self-hating ACoAs possible be arrogant?
ANS: No matter how well disguised, ARR is the WIC’s
— mistaken way of compensating for its deep sense of powerlessness
— copying how some of our caretakers acted, absorbed into our PP

Our ARR shows up in several ways, AS:
Self-Hate, which says we are the worst – the bad seed, evil …. AND
Superiority, which says “I’m actually better than everyone else, even tho they don’t know it. I’ll never let on, or they won’t like me.”

Co-dependence, which says that we can prevent others from feeling certain emotions (the ones we’re most afraid of) OR from abandoning us. That we have the power to control how others see & treat us, by how well we ‘behave’ (suppressing our True Self)
Dependence (as adults) which says we have the right to use others to ‘take care’ of us so we don’t have to, because we are victims. We wait for them to be substitute parents, to do for us what we can & should be doing for ourselves: waiting to be chosen (rather than choosing), to give us permission, approval, validation, basic info, constant pushing, motivation, love…. & most of all giving us an identity!arrogance

Grandiosity, which says we can do superhuman things, like fixing our parents’ pain & damage, getting narcissists to ‘see/hear‘ us, doing 20 things at once, skip over process, know things we were never taught…..
Perfectionism, which says we can make ourselves flaw-less, in order to be loved & approved of. (Failure is inevitable, which adds to our S-H)

Symbiosis (our narcissism), which says that everyone should think, feel & act the way WE do or would. We’re confused when they don’t.
IMPLIED: Everyone has to be just like us, otherwise the world is too dangerous for us to survive !!
HINT: Any time we say with anger or anguish: “I just can’t understand how he/she could do/be XYZ….” we are saying that because WE would feel or do things a certain way – they should too!… that our way is reasonable & correct, so how can they be so dumb, mean, selfish….?

BTW: It very IMP for ACoAs to learn & believe that it is NOT arrogant or selfish* to take care of ourselves, acknowledging our needs & acting on them – before the needs/wants of other adults.
➼ It is in fact self-esteem, a requirement for mature, successful living, so that we’re not ‘using’ others to get our needs met or to tell us who we are supposed to be.

*Selfish is when we expect someone to give themselves up for us – to do what we want them to do instead of what suits them.
Selfish is when we expect others to take care of us, instead of supporting them in taking loving care of themselves.

SELF-CARE is about taking responsibility for our own life, being in charge of our choices, being our own motivator – rather than blaming others or the ‘universe’ when we don’t feel taken care of. Self-care = Mental Health

NEXT: Humility

Roles & Co-dependence

invisible bars 

THESE INVISIBLE BARS
have me trapped in the mirror!

PREVIOUS: Toxic Family Roles #4

BOOK: Is it Love or is it Addiction? ~ Brenda Schaeffer


Co-dependence (Co-dep)
is a family-systems syndrome developed in reaction to the stress of addiction or other”shameful secrets”
DEF:
• A pathological way to live “through the expectations of others
• An addiction to being in a supportive role in any relationship
• Keeps the co-dep✶ one-up (better than) & the addict one-down
✶ BUT, at the same time – the co-dep feels like a Victim, makes the addict into the Perpetrator & then feels resentful (Co-dep triangle).  Co-deps look strong but feel helpless, act controlling but are actually being controlled by their compulsion to save someone else

IT RULES US WHEN:
a. We focus all our attention on the needs, feelings & problems of another person – instead of ourselves – including the ones we think they have, in order to make that person love us AND never leave us.  So we feel guilty when we don’t tend to their wishes, needs or demands!

b. The False Self  (FS)
✶ we developed in our dysfunctional home makes us believe we need someone & false vs real selfsomething outside of ourselves to be complete, to feel safe, to have any worth at all, even to give us permission to exist!
✶ Basing life on a False Self robs us of our dignity & individuality! It is what the Adapted Child ego state becomes when we are not properly nurtured in childhood, & which ends up running our life until we do FoO work in Recovery   (CHART)

• The concept of the FS was developed in the 60s by Donald Winnicott, who specialized in Object-Relations psychology. The FS is motivated by a basic need to survive, starting in infancy – an unconscious choice to change our behavior, repress our emotions & push aside our own needs – to fit in with others who cannot accept us as we really are. It comes out of a desperate attempt to control a person or situation that is actually out of our control

• It includes 5 levels, the most extreme case being when the True Self is completely hidden, while the FS appears authentic to the person & everyone else, & may be successful in the world but fails in intimate relationships
➼ In contrast, the True Self is the core of we who are, unshaped by upbringing or society, the person we were born as & still exists inside us

Symptoms of Co-dep: Avoiding emotions, being controlling, care-taking, denial, distrust, guilt, hyper vigilance, intimacy problems, perfectionism, physical illness from stress.  • Basic Rules:co-dep
— It’s not OK to feel, to have problems, to have fun, to be separate
— If anyone acts bad, irresponsible or crazy – it’s my fault
—  I’m not good enough just as I am
Qs to see how co-dependent you are or are not:
— Who am I?   — What do I want?     — What are my needs?
—  What makes me happy?    angry?    sad?

Roles & Co-dependence
Toxic Family Roles (TFR) inevitably foster co-dep  (“How do the Roles play out in Codependency”). They’re a way of organizing & expressing it, taken on to make sense of’ & cope with the family (work, church, national…) dysfunction, as well as enabling the addict (bully, narcissist, sadist….) to continue their toxic life-style.  Co-dep is reinforced by well-known cognitive distortions (CDs) :
Minimize: acknowledge that there may be a problem, but make light of it
Project: blame the problem on others & often pick out a child to be the Scapegoat, to bear the family’s shame & ‘badness’
Intellectualize: explain the problem away – assuming that by offering a convenient excuse or explanation the problem will be resolved
Deny: demand that oneself & everyone else believe there is no problem.

Co-dependency uses overt & covert rules which close each member off from outside world, BY:co-dep
• discouraging healthy communication of issues & feelings among themselves, & everyone else
• destroying their ability to trust themselves or others in intimate relationships
• freezing into unnatural roles, making interaction with others stiff & limited
• teaching each person to completely focus on someone else’s desires or problems, so they gradually lose the ability to know their own Es, wants & needs
• preventing children from growing & developing their fundamental identity, gradually ‘becoming’ the Role forced on them by the disease

Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse notes that the longer people play a role, the more rigidly fixed they becomes in it. Eventually, family members “become addicted to their role, seeing it as essential to their survival and playing it out with the same compulsion, delusion & denial as the Dependent plays his or her role as drinker / addict” . From Another Chance: Hope & Health for the Alcoholic Family.

• In addictive & other dysfunctional homes, the ‘problem person’, most often a parent, doesn’t pull their weight (fulfill their appropriate family role) so:
— others have to take on a lot of work & effort to make up for it
— the rest of the family feels compelled to take care of the ‘sick’ one, both out of love & in order to fix them so that the whole unit will work better, WHICH leaves everyone depleted & defeated!

• Because the damaged / damaging person is so focused on their own activities & inner drama, they can’t be love begthere for anyone else, for sure not emotionally & spiritually, sometimes mentally & physically as well. This triggers a great need, especially in the children, to do everything they can to win or earn the love & attention they’re not getting & desperately need. That compulsion turns into co-dependence, which keeps us trapped –  trying to get love from people who are not available AND not knowing to look for those who are already capable.
✶✶ The saying “My loving you is none of your business!” means we can’t make someone love us & we can’t stop them from loving us!

AS ADULTS
• Co-dependency can show up as occupational instability, as well as produce secondary addictive & compulsive behaviors
• the TFRs we grew up with drive every aspect of our life, being replicated at work, school, family & in all social interactions (employee, student, spouse, parent, friend). Understanding the components of each childhood role give us all the clues needed to identify adult acing-out & make it possible to slowly outgrow, even if no one else in the family has made any changes!

NEXT: The HERO role

SITE MAP of the ACoA website

 

“HEAL & GROW for ACoAs”
80+ pages of great info!  

Go to http://www.acoarecovery.com,
& click on SITE MAP to navigate

ABOUT ME
Pg. 81-83 • Info, Background & Testimonials

ACoA SYMPTOMS
3  • Laundry list, 12 Steps for ACoAs
4  • Unhealthy Parenting
5, 6   •  Expanded characteristics
7  •  NARCISSISTS – characteristics
8  • Cognitive Distortions, w/ examples

ARTICLE
69, 70 • “Healthy Opposites- Change Behavior to Change Your Life”

BARGAINs WITH FATE
12,13 •  Intro & 5 Bargains  (from Shakespeare’s plays)

BLOG
87 • as of 7/15/10 — 16 entries

BOOKS
84,85 • Recovery Titles

BOUNDARIES (Bs)
39  •  Definition, Purpose
40, 41  •  Unhealthy Bs
42-44  •  Healthy Bs  (emotional, mental, physical)

CO-DEPENDENCE
45, 46 • Definitions; Unhealthy & Healthy

COURSE
55-58 • “Knowledge is Power: What Makes an ACoA” outlines

DECISIONS
72 •  Good  & Bad Approaches
73-74 • Extensive List of Personal Values
75-76  • Types of Decision Makers
77-79  • Decision Making Criteria (1-5)

DEFINITIONS
52-54 • Brief explanations of Confusing Terms

4 FAMILY ROLES
20 • Toxic Roles: Hero, Scapegoat, Lost Child, Mascot

EFFECTIVE RESPONSES
51 • Short & longer THINGS to SAY back to abuse or stupidity !

EMOTIONS
47 • Extensive list of emotions words
48-50 • Unhealthy & Healthy expressions/ uses of ANGER

FRIENDS
80 • Extensive list of characteristics

HEAD GAMES
9, 10 • 4 common games
11 •  4 more games, Expanded

INNER CHILD
14 – 17 • ‘Parent, Adult & Child’: Voices, Purpose, Characteristicssca0219
18, 19  • Developmental Stages, Memo from Child

LINKS
86 • @ Narcissists, etc.

NEW RULES
65, 66 • Healthy rules to take care of the Inner Child

RECOVERY
59, 60 • What it’s NOT & what it IS
61- 63  • Mental Health & Healthy Families
64  •  Benefits of Group Therapy

RELATIONSHIPS
23,24 • Issues & Beliefs
25-27 • Intimacy – Unhealthy & Healthy
28 • Love addiction; Power Plays
32 • LOVE – 5 languages, 5 Types
33 • TRUST – Who can, why not, How To
34 • Gay & Lesbian ACoAs
35 • M vs F ways of Responding
36 • 16 Men – by Myers-Briggs Typing
37 • Givers vs Takers

SAYINGS
67, 68 • Affirmations, Promises, Serenity Prayer

SEX & LOVE ADDICTION
29, 30 • Self-Diagnostic Qs

SEXUAL ABUSE
31, 32 • Survivors’ Symptoms;  Recovery

TOXIC RULES
21, 22 • Long & Short versions of dysfunctional childhood rules

WORK ISSUES
71 • ACoAs at Work; Healthy ways to work