OUTGROWING Co-Dep Niceness (Part 6a)

the hardest of all

PREVIOUS“: Outgrowing P-P , #4a

SITE: I Forgive Myself for…… from ‘Journey of Be’, scroll to 9/2015

QUOTE: “You’re the Average of the 5 people You spend the Most Time with”
Jim Rohn “The Art of Exceptional Living”

<—— ARTWORK from Tiny Buddha


RECOVERY from “Too Nice Syndrome”cont.

‘FORGIVING’ OURSELVES only applies to us as adults (7a & b), when the brain is capable of self-direction – understanding that the ‘character defects’ of the False Self were developed in childhood, which we had no control over.

Tool 6. Healing our CHILDHOOD T.E.A.s is to:
1. LET GO of our Self-hate (E) & endless recriminations (Ts) re. the past
————- See “Letting go means….“, and to:
2. GIVE UP the compulsion to keep punishing ourselves & stay miserable (Es)

Review: As earlier posts have indicated, the underpinnings to co-dep / P-P ‘niceness’ is unexpressed anger / rage. And under that is a vast sewer of stuffed emotions, the majority being fear/terror, but also disappointment, loneliness, longing, sadness, despair….. Cleaning out our damage includes facing & dealing with our anger at our family as well as all our other T.E.As.
It means having compassion for ourselves & being in the present.

Judgements: Along with forgiving others who have wronged us, we are told to ‘Forgive yourself’– but it’s not always clear which part of our life that refers to. Presumably it’s for all our ‘bad’ behavior, at any age.
This is tricky, because ACoA co-deps can take this to mean that our self-defeating patterns prove what our family said all along – that our very essence is bad/evil, which is why we’re supposed to need absolution.
Those unloving messages get added to children’s minds who combine Being & Doing into one thing.  So, still run by our WIC, ACoAs are plagued by the toxic rule: “I act bad because I am bad”, which we frantically try to hide with perfectionism& P-P.

If this were true then there could be no Recovery, no second chances, no spiritual healing & growth!
We need to “come to believe” that we are not bad & therefore unlovable, but rather severely wounded, as well as perfectly imperfect!

The starting point for all recovery is working to eliminate as much S-H as possible. See: Self-Hate & ACoAs, & counter it with ‘Emotional Needs & Resources, as well as ‘Emotional Maturity’ andACoAs & Self-esteem‘.

ACTIONS: When being encouraged to see that S-H is a destructive lie, many ACoAs will counter by pointing out how difficult or bratty they were as teens, or even younger – as proof of their inherent ‘badness’.
Yes, some kids are quieter & some more rambunctious. But much of what our parents considered ‘misbehaving’ was a combination of:
a. our copy of & direct reactions to all the craziness we were stuck in
b. many perfectly normal kid ways – but mislabeled by unhealthy parents
(“10 Ways Kids Appear to Be Bad but Aren’t“)

(Ts) THINKING: The 2 categories of actions were based on:
a. the unique magical thinking of all children, who have a self-centered focus & a limited knowledge about how the world works
b. the many distortions & omissions fed to our growing brains by abusive parents, school, religion, our neighborhood & culture…..

(Es) EMOTIONS: (see list above) ACoAs often say they “feel crazy”- which is actually a cognitive issue, not emotional – because, growing up, most things truly didn’t make sense. It made our world chaotic & unpredictable, which is very scary to any child, who needs to feel safe as much as to feel loved.

THIS leads us back to self-forgiveness.
Forgiveness is always used in relation to having done something wrong. But as children much of what was labeled wrong about us was not! It doesn’t mean we were angels – far from it.  But every day we had to cope with extremely painful & frightening events. So it’s not appropriate or relevant to use the concept of forgiveness toward ourselves as children – for the survival strategies we developed in dire circumstances. There is nothing to forgive.

NEXT: Self-Forgiveness – in childhood (#4b-2)




I’m too little & scared!

PREVIOUS: Abuse of Children (Part 2)

SITE: “When Parents are too Toxic to Tolerate” (NY Times)


Some Patterns of Child-Abuse (cont.)
DEF: “An ongoing pattern of inadequate care and/or type of mistreatment which is failure of the caregiver/ parent to provide needed, age-appropriate care, by not providing all the fundamental needs of a child (physical health care, supervision, nutrition, emotional nurturing, education, safe housing…..) even though financially able to do so” (NCANDS, 2007)…. to such a degree that a child’s health & safety are endangered.  (4 types)

• Neglect can be the result of parents abusing drugs & alcohol, being physically incapable, depressed, hospitalized… but more often it’s because they don’t want to be bothered with the many PMES needs of their children.
They may provide only the Physical basics (food, clothing, shelter) but NOT Emotional (love, nurturing…), the Mental (communicating, teaching, general conversation, what to expect…) or Spiritual needs (moral & spiritual teaching….) See: “7 Spiritual needs” 

😪 Neglected children often don’t want to leave school – to go home, are constantly tired, depressed & feel like they don’t belong anywhere.
IGNORING children deprives them of all the essential stimulation & interaction necessary for emotional, intellectual & social development.

DEF: Overly-firm or restrictive, where parents intrude into the child’s activities without regard to their emotional state, needs or current activity. Tend to be motivated more by parent’s own personal needs or wishes than a realistic need to monitor or control the child’s actions.
Inappropriate control takes several forms :

Over control – Robs children of opportunities for healthy self-assertion & self-development by preventing them from exploring the world around them.  Authoritarian parents (“My way or the highway”) are more likely to raise disrespectful, delinquent children who don’t see them as legitimate authority figures. Can also cause over-compliance, social anxiety & isolation.

Lack of control – not proving guidance, information, attention & boundaries for the child. Puts a child at risk for causing danger or harm to self & robs them of the knowledge handed down generationally. Can cause disobedience, fighting or being withdrawn & socially phobic

Over-protection – stunts a child’s growth as a person, & prevents them from learning to successfully deal with fear & life stresses. Makes the child unable to trust their own abilities because they were never tested. Severely over-protected children eventually have a hard time going out into the world to finding a spouse, job or place to live, since they’re not used to having to do things on their own. May find a controlling mate to replace parents.

Inconsistent control – (see previous post) can cause anxiety, depression, inconsistent self-esteem & mental confusion in children, leading to a variety of inappropriate behaviors & impaired intellectual development.

DEF: The absence or withdrawal of warmth, affection, care, comfort, concern, nurturance, support, or love by parents – by a variety of physically and psychologically hurtful actions & emotional reactions (disgust, anger, disappointment…).  A negating caretaker destroys the child’s self-image, indicating it has no value as a human being.

• Children who are rejected from the start by their caretakers develop a range of disturbed self-soothing behaviors. Such infants have very little chance of developing into a healthy adult. Rejection can be indirect (lack of emotional support, encouragement, feedback…) or direct (“I never wanted children in the first place”).

Putting-down a child’s/teen’s needs, worth & actions by:
• constant criticism – nothing is never good enough
• frequent teasing about child’s body type or weight
• excluding child from family activities or expel child from family
• expressing regret the child wasn’t born the opposite sex
• regular verbal humiliation, name-calling & belittling: demeaning jokes, labels such as stupid, selfish, ugly, worthless, over-sensitive, geek ….

• not allowing the teen to make own reasonable choices
• physical abandonment, deny child’s existence
• refusing hugs & other loving (non-sexual) gestures
• treating a teen like she/he is still a young child
• yell, swear at or verbally attacking the child

FACT:  Rejection is the most insidious of the various kinds of emotional abuse.  A U.S. study that randomly assigned ‘rejection experiences’ to students found them to dramatically reduce their IQ & so the ability to reason, while increasing their aggression (Baumeister: Rejection).

DEF: continually terrify a child/teen by threats & other intimidation, including any form of exposure to violence in the home, threatening to walk out forever…. locking child in closet, in their room, in basement…(for long periods),  OR lock child out of the house, especially when quite young,,,,,

ALSO:  make extreme verbal threats to / or actually do:
— abandon them (send them away or leave them behind)
— harm or destroy a favorite object or pet
— ‘promise’ to give a beating – later (but then forget)
— reveal intensely embarrassing traits to peers or other adults
— kick teen permanently out, disown them

FACT:  A 1995 phone survey that identified types of emotional abuse showed that by the time a child was 2 years old, 90% of families had used one or more forms of psychological aggression in the previous 12 months (Straus, Vol. 15).

NEXT: Victimizing ourselves (# 1)

Emotional NEEDS & Innate RESOURCES

and they said I was tooo sensitive!

PREVIOUS: Purpose of Es – Motivation

REMINDER: Use Acronyms Page for   abbrevs.

THIS post comes directly from The MindFields College Blog & is being reproduced in it’s entirety because it fits so well into the current ‘Emotions’ series & speaks for itself.

“We are all born with fundamental physical & emotional needs which have to be met in order to promote good mental health – as well as the innate resources to help us fulfill them, known as human ‘givens’.
Life is never perfect, but as long as our basic needs are being provided for & our resources are being used well, we don’t suffer mental health problems. However, if just one of these needs is unmet, or our resources are being misused, it can negatively affect our total being!

A. Essential Emotional Needs
1) Security – a safe territory & an environment to develop fully in
2) Attention (to give and receive it) – a form of nutrition
3) Sense of autonomy & control – free will to make responsible choices
4) Being emotionally connected to othershuman needs
5) Feeling part of a wider community
6) Friendship, intimacy – to know that at least one other person accepts us totally for who we are, “warts ‘n’ all”
7) Privacy — opportunity to reflect & consolidate experience
8 ) Sense of status within social groupings
9) Sense of competence & achievement
10) Having meaning & purpose – which comes from being stretched in what we do and think

B. Innate Resources (human ‘givens’) to meet our emotional needs:
• The ability to develop complex long-term memory, which enables us to add to our innate knowledge & accumulate new information
• The ability to build rapport, empathize & connect with others
Imagination, so we can focus our attention away from our emotions, use language, and problem-solve more creatively & objectively
• A conscious, rational mind that can check out emotions, question, analyze & plan
• The ability to ‘know’ — that is, understand the world unconsciously through metaphorical pattern observing brainmatching
• An observing self — that part of us that can step back, be more objective and be aware of itself as a unique center of awareness, apart from intellect, emotion & conditioning
• A dreaming brain that preserves the integrity of our genetic inheritance every night by metaphorically defusing expectations held in the autonomic arousal system because they were not acted out the previous day.

✶ To see how many of your emotional needs are being met, take the Emotional Needs Audit.

NEXT: “ALONE” – ACoA poem