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

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

• ‘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

• 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

• 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


Anger – CATEGORIES (Part 4)

hospital a.b.
over how I react!

PREVIOUS: Anger Categories (Part 3)

SITE: “Anger May Stem from Alcohol and Other Drugs



Bullies vent their anger on those who don’t matter to them, or who they’re actively trying to under-mine. They need to intimidate (using Anger + Fear)  to be one up – via verbal assaults, seduction, mind games, political maneuvering….
— Even tho they are indeed be fueled by aggressive anger, bullies can control outward signs of it much of the time in public, by disguising their true intentions & emotions, especially around people they feel thebully need to impress & who are therefore unlikely to see the bully’s cruel side. (MORE….re. the workplace)

NOTE: Both severe narcissists & bullies are only interested in getting their own way & can’t empathize with their victims. However, one basic difference is that:
bullies know their victims hate what’s happening to them & that they haven’t done anything to the perpetrator directly. Targets are just seen as fearful, passive & vulnerable (weak), so ‘deserve’ to be pick on, while —-
narcissists can’t even imagine that other people have needs or feelings different from their own & are completely baffled when someone disagrees, balks or gets mad. They can’t understand how anyone would object to their words, demands or actions – since others are just tools to be used – not separate entities in their own right.

CHEMICAL anger – This can include an imbalance of neuro-chemicals such as serotonin & testosterone, poor nutrition, low blood sugar levels, and a side effect of some medication, ‘natural substances’, & drugs (‘roid rage, PCP berserking….). In terms of substance abuse – many street drugs have serious adverse effects, & we know that alcohol suppresses ‘normal’ internal inhibitions, seriously impairing awareness & responses to external social cues. We see this in the violent or ‘mean drunk’. What they say may or may not be what they really think & feel, unleashed because they’ve temporarily lost self-control. (MORE...)

CONTROLLING angershut the boss up
A way to gain power over other people & situation, to force things to go their way, or when something doesn’t turn out the way they wanted. This anger can be in the form of acting superior, being a poor loser, expecting kiss/ make-up sessions to solve problems, not paying attention, not delegating, mistrusting everyone, showing off, talking over people’s heads, wanting center stage all the time…. (Post: ACoAs acting controlling”)
• If someone is afraid of losing their job they may feel anger, which can be acted out in many ways, such as badmouthing co-workers, in the hope of getting them fired to save one’s own position
• If someone or group is afraid their candidate will lose an election, they might get angry & argue with anyone leaning toward the opponent to get them to switch sides, rather than focusing on the issues or the candidates’ records……

Deliberate / Planned: Sounding & acting angry when the person is not actually angry about something – at least at first. This type is all about control, so you won’t expect them to blow up, making their reaction even more shocking. They really know what they’re doing. It’s a performance, without having to invest any real emotion, a way achieve power by threatening or bullying others – but this only works on the damaged & vulnerable for any length of time.

This is a tactic actually taught to cops, interrogators & top salespeople,
& used by some parents, teachers & bosses…. as a way to manipulate & intimidate a person or group into doing what they want (be quiet, buy a product, do a task, go away….)
— OR used ‘positively’ by some preachers, therapists, politician or other group leaders – as a way to rouse a person or group to action for the good of their soul, their family, community or world.
(Article: “What Do You Mean I’m Being Controlling?”)

DEF: DBs are created by trying to force you to obey or accept 2 opposing messages at the same time. You can’t object & you’ll be punished for whichever one you can’t ‘do’, so either choice will be the trappedwrong one, causing loss & pain. Trapped between Scylla & Charybdis.    (POSTS:  D.Messages  // D.Binds)

Anger used to create a DB
EXP: Workplace displays of anger raise the status of men BUT lower that of women (a form of Ambivalent Sexism)

Anger from being put in a DB
The Person in a DB is trapped & as long as they try to please the Sender, they end up paralyzed, because there is no resolution (except to get out). This no-win position inevitably causes frustration, anger, & eventually helpless rage. (Women & Anger – D. Bind)

Sarcasm, at its most complex, causes psychological DBs, producing mental & emotional tension. Depending on circumstances, this tension will be released either as anger/aggression, verbal relief or relaxation. (MORE….. excellent info)

NEXT: Anger Categories (Part 5)

BOOK Suggestions


The TOOLS – to help & inspire you to live life in forward motion”
~ Phil Stutz & Barry Michaels   /

COMPLEX PTSD”  –         Recovering from Childhood Trauma
~ Pete Walker

TRAPPED in the MIRROR” – Adult Children of Narcissists In their Struggle for Self
~ Elan Golomb, PhD

Cybernetics is a network of constant feedback loops in the brain, correcting its course & receives further feedback on the success of the transmission. This allows us to travel to places we don’t have the instructions for beforehand, & build on the history of our actions.

NO-DRAMA DISCIPLINE: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind” ~ Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
COMMENT: They talk about what works & what doesn’t – in disciplining your “outer” kids – but can apply to dealing with the Inner Child as well.

How manipulators take control of personal relationships – re mates, but is also clearly about our family’s ‘games’.

“ADULT-CHILDREN of EMOTIONALLY IMMATURE PARENTS” ~ Lindsay C. Gibson PsyD. How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents who create a sense of neglect, & discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhood.

Pls let me know if these are helpful.

Thanks, DMT

ACoAs – Healthy GIVE & TAKE (Part 1)

taking in love 

& I decide what they are or are not

PREVIOUS: Not allowed to receive (#3)


WHAT TO TAKE from others – or NOT
ACoAs have a tendency to do everything in extremes, black & white, no room for fitting an action or emotion to the current situation. This applies to the issue of ‘receiving’. Because we think that taking anything is a form of manipulation, we don’t want to seem greedy or taking advantage of others. So, as with all mental health, we need a balance. NOT everyone is like our family, many of whom were selfish & stingy or insensitive & oblivious.

People GIVE – based on their state of mental health:
healthy ones only offer what they legitimately have, can & want to do
co-dependents usually give others what they want for themselves but aren’t allowed to have. They want to fix you (whether you need it or not) so you’ll be well enough to take care of them in return, hoping you’ll intuitively know to do that
narcissists only extend themselves for whatever they like to do or give, having nothing to do with you. If their offer doesn’t suit you, say not thanks & don’t give it a second thought. If it does suit, don’t agonize & wonder why they’re doing it & what you have to do in return – just take it & smile. AND – they do love to be appreciated & fawned over!

a. START from the assumption that IF someone volunteers something, they have the ability &sharing the willingness to give you what’s offered. Take it at face value. In general, people like to share what they know, what they have & what they create. They feel good about it & we have the right to take what is being offered.
NOTE: unless taking what is suggested would in any way harm you or someone else, it is usually best to accept it – as a way of respecting the positive motivation of the giver. This is not co-dependence as long as you also feel free to refuse, when appropriate.

b. Exceptions – You can say “no thanks” :
— If it truly does not fit with your genuine needs & tastes – especially if you ask for something specific & are offered something completely different.
— When a gift or action is inappropriate for the current situation (‘too soon’, not ‘that kind of friend’, not age-appropriate….)
— If you already know that a specific person is manipulative, sneaky or will use it against you – based on your experience with them.

CAVEAT: Don’t get the a. & b. types confused! If you consistently have unhappy experiences with someone (a narcissist or bully), stop giving to them, expecting reciprocation. You’ll always be disappointed, then angry, then hopeless – and back in your childhood! This is the WIC’s denial of the abandonment: trying frantically to create reciprocity with someone who’s not capable – wanting/demanding to get a return on our investment, in an impossible situation.

Say NO to anything which retards our Recovery, & is:
reject the bad• generally harmful / abusive
• something we don’t want, ever
• useless & a waste of our time
• not what we need at the moment
• not suited to our personality, or not our taste
• mentally boring
• something we’ve outgrown
• against our principles & spiritual beliefs
• not our right to have
• not suited to the state of the relationship

SAYING NO requires that we know enough about ourselves & our rights – to make the best choices. In some cases it also depends on who is offering us something & why. If the giver is a relative, a boss or important client, taking the gift may be the kindest, or wisest thing to do, regardless of our taste. We can always pass it on to someone else. But if it’s close family or friends who are supposed to know who we are – & they insist on giving us things that are clearly not appropriate or suited to us – then it’s legitimate to say “No thank you!”

EXP: Paula & Sharon were BFFs who lived in adjacent buildings & spent a lot of time in each other’s place. Paula was ‘earthy’ & preferred antiques, while Sharon like everything bright, shiny & new. For their B/days (one day apart) they exchanged lovely gift BUT Paula always gave Sharon things that were her taste & totally NOT Paula’s. After a few years of this Paula finally spoke up, asking to be considered correctly. The following gift yet again did not fit with what Paula wore or her decor, so with regret, she gave the gift back!
PS. Years later Paula developed another close friendship, also with an ACoA, who admitted to not knowing how to give appropriate gifts. They solved it by exchanging a short list of what each would like, to choose from. It worked great.

Say YES to:accept good
• offers of aid when you most need it
•  kindness, respect, positive attention, appreciation…
• complements about anything – our looks, skills, style, accomplishments, knowledge, talents,  creativity
• freely given generosity – of money, help, provisions, short-term free services, lending something you need
• something frivolous & fun – just because!
• to new ideas, suggestion, other people’s experiences that we can learn from & benefit

CONSIDER: Rejecting someone’s good-faith offers of their time, kind words or small objects is a way to dismiss the person as unimportant & can un-necessarily hurt their feelings. It implies that what they are or have isn’t good enough for you.
EXP: In early Recovery Sean was reminded to be appreciative whenever he was complemented, rather than negate it by explaining at length why he didn’t deserve the acknowledgement. The sponsor said: “It’s insulting to the other person, who is giving you a gift, by throwing it back in their face. Just say ‘thank you’ & then zip the lip.”
He remembers thinking: “OK, I’ll just say thank you, but privately I don’t have to agree with the compliment!”  Oh well, Progress – not Perfection! Eventually he was able to appreciate genuine praise.

NEXT: Healthy Give & Take (Part 2)

SYMBIOSIS & ACoAs (Part 1)

mother/infantAM I ME, AM I YOU & ARE YOU ME?
I hate myself, but I also want you to be exactly like me!

PREVIOUS: Autonomy & Attachment (#3b)

REVIEW: Ego States – CHILD

SITE: Do you Love to be needed or Need to be loved?


• As infants, all humans are born with a built-in biological & psychological set of tendencies, which interacts with & responds to their specific environment in their own unique way – but not with a formed personality.  The child’s first connection is to the mother (usually) & at first is not aware of a difference between it & it’s caretaker. This symbiosis (one-ness) is normal & appropriate. It allows the child to feel safe & protected while it gradually becomes acquainted with oneself & the big world it has come in to.

• Regardless of the type of home environment, nature & nurture (how we’re treated) combine to form what we think of as our SELF.  If born into a reasonably healthy family, the child is allowed & encouraged to develop it’s own way of being, true to the pre-set template they came into the world with.
✶ This creates a sense of external & then internal safety & gives permission to be oneself, which gradually makes it possible to function in the world as an individual who is comfortable in one’s skin & with other people.

a. BROKEN Symbiosis – BUT, if the mother is not available or mother rejectingunable to connect with the infant so that the mother cannot nurture the infant from a deep place of love, the symbiotic bond is never formed or it too soon broken, before the child can tolerate it.

This can be:
— because of’ illness or death, spousal abuse, external trauma such as natural disasters/ war / an accident…
— OR most commonly – a personality dysfunction like narcissism, anxiety, depression, rage at having to be a caretaker, not wanting to be tied down..

✶ This creates intense & long-lasting terror in the baby, with the message that there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. This can lead such children to spend the rest of their life trying to create that missing link with someone – anyone, to stop that terrible, relentless anxiety, SO
• they may find another wounded soul they can attach to & live together in isolation  – OR
• keep being attracted to emotionally unavailable people, reproducing the very abandonment they so fear (trying to symbiose with the ‘distant’ mother)

b. UNBROKEN Symbiosis – at the other extreme – some mothers who did not have that bond providedheli-mom in their own infancy will try to get it from their child – creating a captive which can never leave them! This type of mother will make every effort to negate the child’s individuality in favor of her own needs & wants, to make that little person her clone & will punish any disagreement or separation.

If there is no one else available or strong enough to interfere with this suffocating attachment (father, sibling or other…) the child never has the freedom to develop it’s own identity but stays dependent on the mother (& family or substitute) for it’s very existence throughout life.

This creates a child who grows up to (some or all):
• never leave home     • not have any rightsoctopus mom
• be depressed, isolated, suicidal
• have weak boundaries
• be unable to have healthy, autonomous relationships
• be terrified of abandonment in any form
• be unable to support oneself
• not trust one’s judgment
• not have one’s own opinions about things
• have only symbiotic relationships with domineering people….
If the child is able to get away – then as an adult, they’ll be terrified of any close involvement with others – & the fear of being engulfed again is so unbearable that it’s expressed as fear of commitment. Even when they are in some form of relationship, they do it with extreme emotional detachment, need for total control, endless sexual conquests, come here – go away interactions, irresponsibility…. or just walking away & never look back!

➼ Both types are ripe for any form of addiction,  trying to fill that big emotional hole inside – but it never works.

INFO: Symbiosis can best be explained with the use of the ego state model. In a relationship with a symbiotic pattern, both people use only some of their ego states to relate to each other, resulting in less flexibility. It’s as if both partners take on stable roles and don’t come out of them again. In symbiosis, two people function as if they only had one set of ego states between them.

NEXT: Symbiosis (#2)

ACoAs & Boundary INVASIONS (Part 1)

B invasion

You’re in my space!

PREVIOUS: B.Distortion (#3)

ACRONYM page for abbrev.

IMAGINE seeing someone across a room that interests you & they seem open to being approached. You begin walking toward them but something is slowing you down — tightly gripped around your neck & hanging heavily down your back is the invisible body of your whole FoO (or maybe just one parent or certain sibling…) You’re not free to have a one-to-one relationship with anyone, dragging around all that rotting baggage!

Some basic ways we were violated
1. PHYSICAL B. invasions by parents & siblings
As a kid, what belonged to you & could not be violated?  Everyone needs their own private space & time to be respected & allowed, if we are to find out who we are & be able to function autonomously as adults.  Many of us did not have that opportunity.
Instead we had:
• to sleep in the same room as parents for too long, allowed to sleep in their bed too often….. shared a bedroom with a sibling, forever
• no personal privacy: walked in on in the bathroom, open bedroom door or slept in a common area, mail & diaries being read, listening in on phone conversations, room ransacked ….
• forced enemas, constantly being poked or pulled at, ‘fixed up’….
— others using our clothes & personal items without our permission
— to give a full recitation of everything we did when we were out –etc.

EXP: PARTY LINES – With blurred boundaries, it’s quite common for person (A) in a toxic system to be the ‘communications hub’, who is in charge of hearing the grievances, messages, worries… from one member (B) about another in the family (C).  Then (A) is responsible for passing the info on to (C) — instead of B talking directly to C.
a. It makes the ‘hub’ person feel needed, important, in control, able to be in charge or manipulate, be the buffer, above it all….
b. It re-enforces everyone’s lack of good communication skills, fear of confrontation, of speaking our truth, of hurting others’ feelings or getting blow-back, of standing up for ourselves….

2. MENTAL Coercion (a type of ongoing enmeshment)
a. Manipulations
For ACoAs, even our inner thoughts were invaded, usually by one parent, just like those African army ants! This is bullying, “…. a poisonous form of parenting, compelling children to act or to choose in a particular way” – the adult’s way, never the child’s, with such tactics as:
hopeless• criticism or fault-finding    • sarcasm, ridicule, making fun of
• threatening or warning of punishment if not quickly obeyed
• logic – trying to totally convince child of parent’s point of view
• arguing to convince child about how wrong they are
• physical or verbal force – shouting, hitting…..
OVERALL RESULT of being bullied: the child will inevitably end up feeling despair, beaten down, out of control, hopeless

b. Over-coercion
• This is more intense form, coming from a rigid, narcissistic* &/or active addicted parent. In the ‘a’ category, the bullies are aware that their victim does not want to comply but they don’t care.
In this ‘b’ form the perpetrator is not even aware that the other – in this case their own child – has a mind or will of his/her own. They’re only interested in total compliance to their own narrow view of reality!
BTW, they treat everyone this way, not just children, if they can get away with it.

• It would never dawn on an over-coercer that their child may legitimately:no way
— be too young to do or be exactly what the parent wants
— have an inherently different personality with its own set of functional requirements
— have the developmental task of becoming a separate being, which includes disagreeing with the ‘authority’ from time to time
— know something the parent doesn’t.  Narcissists think they’re never wrong!
EXP: Mom always said, literally: “I’m perfect” & meant it!

✶ Any difference in taste, needs, opinions, style, way of doing things…. in the child – any sense of self not a carbon copy of the egotist – is labeled defiance, disobedience, arrogance, stubbornness…. so the child is constantly punished for not conforming to someone elses personality! & will eventually become totally brainwashed or violently defiant.

PART 2: More Boundary Invasions