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 (next 2 posts), 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: “A type of maltreatment which is failure by the caregiver to provide needed, age-appropriate care, although financially able to do so or offered financial or other means to do so” (NCANDS, 2007)…. an ongoing pattern of inadequate care by parent by not providing all the fundamental needs of a child (physical health care, supervision, nutrition, emotional nurturing, education, safe housing…..) to such a degree that a child’s health and safety are endangered. It is the most common form of abuse seen by anyone outside the family who is in close contact with the child, and will have long-term effects (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 the child. 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, are constantly tired, depressed & feel like they don’t belong anywhere. IGNORING children deprives them of all the essential stimulation and interaction necessary for emotional, intellectual and 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 –
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 control – Robs children of opportunities for self-assertion and self-development by preventing them from exploring the world around them.  Authoritarian parents (“it’s my way or the highway”) are more likely to raise disrespectful, delinquent children who do not see them as legitimate authority figures. Causes shyness & fear.

Over-protection – stunts a child’s growth as a person and 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 overprotected children eventually have a hard time going out into the world to finding a spouse, job or place to live since they are not used to having to do things on their own.
Inconsistent control – (see previous post) can cause anxiety, depression, inconsistent self-esteem & mental confusion in children, and can lead to a variety of inappropriate behaviors & impair intellectual development.

DEF: The absence or significant withdrawal of warmth, affection, care, comfort, concern, nurturance, support, or love by parents by a variety of physically and psychologically hurtful behaviors and emotional reactions (disgust, anger, disappointment…).  A negating caretaker destroys the child’s self-image, indicating they have no value.
• Children who are rejected from the start by their caretakers develop a range of disturbed self-soothing behaviors. Rejected 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 or youth’s needs, worth &/or actions by:
• constant criticism – nothing is never good enough
• frequent teasing about child’s body type or weight
• exclude child from family activities or expel child from family
• express 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 allow youth to make own reasonable choices
• physical abandonment, deny child’s existence
• refuse hugs and loving gestures
• treat an adolescent like she/he is still a young child
• yell, swear at or verbally attack the child

FACT:  The most insidious of the types of emotional abuse.  A U.S. study that randomly assigned ‘rejection experiences’ to students found them to dramatically reduce people’s IQ & their ability to reason, while increasing their aggression (Baumeister, 20021).

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

ALSO:  make extreme verbal threats TO:
— abandon them (send them away or leave them behind)
— harm or destroy a favorite object or pet
— give them a beating – later (then forget)
— reveal intensely embarrassing traits to peers or other adults
— kick adolescent out of the house

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, 2000).

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