Co-Dep INTERNAL Negatives (Part 2)


never seem to get anywhere

PREVIOUS: Co-Dep INTERNAL Negatives (Part 1)

SITE: Factors leading to Co-dep

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 High COST of angry-niceness

always outside

✔︎ On the Outside – for all our effort, you still have your nose pressed against the window – looking in! You’re still lonely, whether isolating or filling your social calendar to overflowing. When you relate to other from the facade of being OK but are really not, no one can truly know you

✔︎ Regretful – getting lost in the ‘Wudda-shudda-cudda” forest of self-recrimination & hopelessness, yet another way to prevent yourself from making healthy changes to improve your life

✔︎ Resentful – you don’t like this about yourself, but you’re filled with resentments. It’s the rage about what you didn’t get as a kid, & the rage NOW at not getting what you silently expect/demand from others. They’re supposed to read your mind so you don’t have to ask. And, why don’t they appreciate & reciprocate all you’ve been doing for them??  ”Why does _____ keep ignoring me? Why hasn’t she/he texted back? What did they mean by that remark??”…..

✔︎ Risk-Averse – being so dependent on others to feel OK keeps you from testing yourself to too what you’re actually capable of OR –
You can take risks in some parts of your life, proving you can do it, yet convinced you can’t try out new ways of doing or thinking – in other areas.

✔︎ Self-Sabotaging – making sure your goals & dreams never come true, staying in jobs & relationships you hate but can’t seem to extricate yourself, refusing to use the options that would help you move on.

✔︎ Sleepless (in Seattle??) – tossing & turning, worrying about what you have to do in the morning & the rest of the day – every day, about how you’re going to manage the ‘conversation’ you’re dreading (with the boss, a subordinate, a family member….), obsessing about an ‘incident’ yesterday by text or email because someone was mad at you….. NEVER ever really relaxed

✔︎ Suffering – stubbornly cling to your self-hate to (unconsciously) prove your deep loyalty to the family, so :
—  you pick people who are unhealthy, making yourself vulnerable to the same kind of neglect & abuse you got growing up, & sometimes even worse
— all the stress of suppressing your emotions + cruel self-talk + unhappy relationships = physical ailments, chronic & long-lasting

✔︎ Terrified – all the time, even if you don’t realize that’s why you’re breathing is so shallow. Scared to make a mistake or of not knowing something, of doing anything that will cause ‘them’ to leave you, or fire you, of taking a stand, of admitting your deepest emotions & sharing your pain, of honestly admitting your family’s abuse & neglect, or your own shortcomings….

✔︎ Trapped – with all the crazy, toxic people you’ve accumulated (& family you cling to), unwilling to extricate yourself because you don’t really want to see  how awful they are & how much they’re harming you, and you can’t bear the idea of ‘hurting’ them any more than they already are. BUT it’s OK to let yourself be terribly injured by them???

✔︎ Uncomfortable – in your skin, crying, being noticed in a group, with gifts or rewards, taking in praise & compliments, even the validation you say you crave

✔︎ Waiting – never having been allowed to know who you really are has insured that you can’t motivate yourself. You wait for any outside force to push you in some direction, never being sure if it’s what you want. If there’s no deadline or needy person – if it’s just you – you’re stalled!

✔︎ Wishy-washy – trouble making decisions, trouble being firm with others, sticking to your point of view: “What if it’s the wrong one? // What if they won’t like what I say? // I want o see what they’re going to do first // I’m not sure what they want me to be/see/feel… // I can’t figure out what to wear to that event, who should I be, how am I supposed to act?I don’t know what to feel about this”….

NEXT: Co-dep EXTERNAL negatives – in us #1



I have to protect myself at all costs


See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

Post: Book-ending’ with the IC/
‘What to DO when confused’ /
Weak Decision making styles


1. RISK-AVERSE – This category is a form of withholding & resistance. It’s expressed:

— by not opening up emotionally in the right places, in order to heal (“You’re only as sick as your secrets”)
— by not being willing to feel & deal with our damage
— as all kinds of anorexia, not only with food but in many other areas of life ($$, love, career, self-care….)
We prevent ourselves from taking in all the good things available to us, depriving ourselves because of S-H, from the belief that we don’t have a right to prosperity & peacefulness. But the deeper reason for not risking very much is to keep up the fantasy / demand that someone else will eventually rescue us from having to grow up & be responsible for ourselves.

SOME ACoAs are :
a. MORE risk-averse – hardly ever taking risks of any kind, living mainly as victims, who stay in menial or unfulfilling jobs most of their work life, stay closer to home, don’t try new things, don’t reach out…
b. LESS averse: There are also some who are more adventuresome in many ways, possibly in the ‘action’ category, but afraid to risk in other important areas, often emotional, or a combination. EXAMPLES
NOT:silent scream
speaking up for yourself, asking for your needs or preferences, protecting the Inner Child
• asking for help; making calls; talking to unfamiliar people
• responding to a Q which you know the answer to; asking Qs when unsure or confused
• setting boundaries or limits on what is acceptable behavior from others
• avoiding people who are needy, users, leaches, abusers
• leaving a bad or outgrown relationship OR rarely or never being in one; having an adequate support system
• having an adequate salary to live comfortably (under-earning), or greatly increasing your income
• pursuing a career passion or vocation which has been a long-held dream; taking classes to expand your world, ‘following your bliss‘
• starting over, somewhere else that’s more suitable to you
• trying out new foods; changing personal style of clothes or hair when appropriate (with age…), improving your living conditions
• looking for new, better or easier ways to do things  —– etc.
• learning & then doing something creative, & showing it off

Present-day REASONSobey the rules
• can’t take center stage in your own life
• copy a parent’s life-long fear of risk
obey your specific toxic rules
• rebel against family demands for success
• don’t want to lose the proof of their abuse
• not allowed to be visible, or out-shine them

also FEAR – of:
• abandonment, reprisals, punishment
• authority; not being perfect; not picking the right thing
• being a ‘laughing stock’
• being shown as incompetent (not knowing)
• dealing with competition
• having to deal with others’ jealousy
• not getting deepest desires, anyway
• we’ll have to face our childhood damage AND CHANGE!
• have to S & I (outgrow & out do unsuccessful family)
• may have to leave someone unsafe or incompatible (parent, friends, mate, children, job, addictions, locations….) if they prevent our growth
• have to deal with the discomfort of getting good things & being successful, as an adult – which the WIC says it doesn’t know how to be
• then have to take more risky steps after that… maybe even scarier (like: write something, then publish, then promote, then…)

RECOVERY:  In terms of T.E.A., while risk is primarily about Actions, there are many which fit into Emotion & Thinking – the risk of personal growth, which comes from the WIC’s fear, as a result of:leave home
T. – internally disbelieving & disobeying the Negative Introject, which is our addiction & attachment to our family (giving up our denial)
E. – being able to tolerate the painful emotions what surface in the process of letting go, both from re-experiencing pent-up old pain, as well as facing being hurt by current family judgment & abuse for ‘leaving them’ ie. upsetting the family mobile by changing the dysfunctional dynamics.
A. …. & all the healthy actions: clearly objecting to abuse, disobeying Toxic Rules by doing positive things, & sometimes having to distance ourselves from actual family members & dealing with the possible fallout

NEXT:  Risk Addicted

ACoAs & RISK – Intro (Part 1)


That is the question

PREVIOUS: Unrealistic Expect.-UNDER

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

REVIEW posts on (not) TRUSTING


a. Risk represents taking a chance on something. Most people only use the term to refer to any situation where there’s the possibility of harm, misfortune or loss. This is most familiar.
However, it’s also possible to have a positive outcome – resulting in pleasure, accomplishment & success
OR a neutral / acceptable result – with no danger but no gain.

In general, the most common considerations of Risk are:
• dealing with something or someone who is a known source of danger
• a chosen venture undertaken without regard to possible loss or injury
• being exposed to the chance of damage or injury, not of our choice

• a situation which may result in suffering shame, humiliation, being misunderstood, accused wrongly, being manipulated & used ….
• a factor, thing, element or course of action involving uncertain, unpredictable discomfort or distress
• the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome might happen beyond ones control

FOR ACoAsmany outcomes
These basic definitions include uncertain / possible / chance of...”  which indicates more than one possible outcome – but NOT for ACoAs. Only the a. meaning (above) is an option for us. Toxic family rules that apply: “Life is endless suffering,  You must always struggle but can never get ‘there’,  Don’t expect anything good, ever”…..

Of course, in a ‘sane’ world, IF the outcome of a situation in known ahead of time based on experience, or is predictable based on dependable information, then Risk is minimized or no longer a factor. A person can take an action OR avoid a situation – with confidence. This is not wishful thinking, projecting or unrealistic expectations. It’s comes from realistic knowledge, using present-day adult ego-state evaluation.

• But that’s not how ACoAs operate. We refuse to take relatively safe actions OR deliberately pursue clearly unsafe actions – because of our very deep denial system. We persistently ignore info we do have from years of experience, only using the WIC’s distorted ‘glasses’ to dictate our interactions. We keep choosing to return to dangerous situations, stay connected to harmful people, of avoid positive & beneficial opportunities – so we keep getting burned & wonder why we don’t trust!

ANXIETY – ACoA issues around risk-taking are always about that internal anxiety. One of the scared kidscharacteristics on the Laundry List is: “We have become addicted to (negative) excitement after years of living in the midst of a traumatic & often dangerous family ‘soap opera’.”
ALL ACoAs are fear-based*. We usually say we have anxiety, but it’s Inner Child terror we bring with us into adulthood, & underlies every aspect of our life. This anxiety is what drives all our character defects, our acting out, our addictions – anything we feel we don’t have control of.

This does not negate or ignore all of us in long-term recovery – our anxiety level may have gone way down (or not). The intensity may no longer be as strong & not all the time, if we’ve been doing emotion-release work. But the terror-base is very deep, so it never dissipates completely. SO – we should not be surprised when occasionally grabs us in the gut – if or when some combination of current events set it off again. “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”. The difference is, or should be – that we have built a Loving Parent voice, & have years of experience in dealing with life from a healthy place, using the tools to take care of ourselves, whenever an old button gets pushed. (Use Book-ending)

• So – while some of us became adrenaline junkies other became some risk-allergic! (Yes, I know, one can be a combo…)
BTW – This is why the Serenity Prayer is so important for ACoAs — because we get things backwards. We keep trying to do the impossible & have trouble doing what is possible! We’re not sufficiently afraid of some very dangerous ‘people, places & things’ while being overly scared of things that are not actually harmful (like having our feelings)! Lets look at both types, The Risk averse & the Risk addicted.

The counter-action / defense against this basic anxiety is to be controlling (as opposed to Being in Self-Control). It is a way to avoid any type of risk-taking – which inherently implies unpredictability. That’s why ACoAs try so hard to be mind-readers. If we can figure out what someone feels, thinks or needs 0 before they say anything – then we can adapt ourselves, to stay connected, or protect ourselves to avoid being hurt.
The greater the inner fear, the greater the need to control – in a futile attempt to keep anything or anyone from abandoning us – yet again.

NEXT: ACoAs & RISK – #2