Co-Dep Angry-Nice UNDERPINNINGS (Part 1)


unless I try a lot harder

PREVIOUS: Co-dep #1

SITEQs @ Co-dep
False beliefs @ being angry

Co-dependence UNDERPINNINGS (all at the same time!)
• Hero – of your own story, but not really. Your sense of importance & value is totally dependent on what you can do for others, whether they want it or not, and on how others react to you. If they respond positively, you can breathe. If they don’t – even once – you feel like the rug’s been pulled out. So you have to keep running from the monster (the Introject), to make sure you always do the right thing – for others – but never for yourself

• Jelly – inside. A quivering mass of terror & self-flagellation, always waiting for the other shoe to drop! The least little thing that goes wrong – you blame yourself – whether others hurt your feelings, or heaven-forbid you don’t know something, or make even a tiny mistake – all reasons to condemn yourself

• Mind-reader – sure you know what everyone else is thinking  –MINd]D READING about you. Your shame & S-H ‘knows’ it’s never anything good, so you never bother to actually find out by asking, lest your suspicions prove to be true

• Martyr – taking on the burdens of everyone else, carrying their suffering for them, assuming they are weak & you’re so much stronger

• Secret Superman/ Wonder-woman – able to leap tall buildings with your determination to march on alone in spite of all your hardships, proving your ability to save others, while never needing any help yourself

• Antennae – that constantly swivel back & forth towards everyone else, overly attuned to your assessment/assumption of other people’s emotions & needs – whether accurate or not. Your focus is for external approval, rather than internal self-fulfillment. Left to your own devices, you feel lost, purposeless, even empty

• Brakes – like on a car – but only the emergency one, keeping you locked in place, stuck in the mud of your pain, so you can’t take care of yourself. You think if you stand perfectly still you’ll be safe, but all you’re doing is trading real freedom & enjoyment for fake-protectioncrazy committee

• A Committee – a dangerous ’round’ table in your head of warring factions – each with an opposing point of view, vying for the upper hand – AND all negative. They’re so loud, you can’t find your own voice, & they drive you crazy, because you’re trying to make sense of craziness!

• Distortions – of thinking (CDs) that warp the way you see & interpret the world – thru the haze of Toxic Rules, FoA & S-H. This includes a skewed idea of Higher Power/God. ACoAs automatically assume that “God is an Alcoholic Parent”. We either:
— hate the whole ‘spirituality’ issues because God didn’t rescue us from very real childhood trauma, or
— try to earn love & acceptance by good works (people-please HP) or
— we assume the ‘universe’ is against us, no matter what we do, just like it was at home


Weak DECISION Styles (Part 1)

it’ll always be wrong!

PREVIOUS: Procrastinators Anon Tools



• 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 – being Scapegoated (Part 5)

passing on abuse

that I am NOT bad, stupid or weak!

PREVIOUS: ACoAs being Scapegoated (Part 4)

SITE: ‘The Scapegoat’

NOTE: See ACRONYMs for abbrev.


HEALTH: People can bear a great deal of pain IF & when they’re comforted, understood & treated with respect by one or more safe & caring people.
DAMAGE: Forced inappropriately to carry the family’s burden of disowned defects, Scapegoats drown in the pain of those closest to them, & later in the collective pain of the society – with no one to comfort or understand them. In the process Scapegoats are robbed of experiencing their own pain, denied the opportunity to learn how to contain, endure & grieve the suffering they have had to ignore & bury.   (What is Scapegoat child abuse? )

● To survive, Sc have to build a wall around the toxic shadow energies they were forced to swallow, denying the origin of the abuse. At the same time the least little emotional ‘bump’ is felt with extreme sensitivity when it touches old wounds which Sc haven’t learned to contain & process. Sc automatically assume they can’t cope with intense emotions (fear, anger, sadness…), from the mistaken belief that being ‘normal’ would mean not being in so much distress or not feeling anything ‘unpleasant or upsetting’.

● Ironically, even if Sc may not be able consciously to say they’re the family victim, they omnipotentknow it at a very basic level. To compensate for being rejected by ‘loved ones’, they can cover it up feeling omnipotent, seeing themselves as the ‘chosen one’ (which they also are – but in a very sick way) for having the ‘special strength’ to carry the guilt & misery of others. It’s their way of keeping the family together!

● As adults Sc live out the grandiose belief that “I can do everything for everyone who needs me”, while resenting others for not providing them with their own un-spoken needs! They feel cut off from the rest of human experience for suffering ‘more’ than everyone else, but also feel superior & above it all because if it!

If you were the designated Scapegoat, YOU:
● blame yourself for the original abuse, & look for rational reasons for the way you were treated, BUT
● have developed a lack of trust & deep resentment against the world, while maintaining self-hate & hopelessness

● feel worthless, ugly, stupid, incompetent AND crazy!
● likely are living out the negative messages heaped on you as a kid, because your self esteem has been damaged (not living up to your potential, getting into harmful & unfulfilling relationships, let abusers walk all over you…..)

● struggle academically & avoid opportunities which include competition
● OR try to prove your worth by becoming an over-achiever, often to the detriment of you own interests & dreamsfamily shadow

● feel overburdened, at the edge, marginalized, but still responsible for the tribe’s shadow side (clean up others’ messes, sooth anger in a group, ‘keep an eye’ on everything, listening to others dump, put out ‘fires’….)

● feel misunderstood & burned out, BUT also duty-bound, noble, virtuous, self-sacrificing, AND
● are inevitably fueled by your accusers’ internalized voice (PP), disapproving of yourself (Self-Hate) and others (projection), or scapegoating your children
● feel a lot of shame for being ‘the bad guy’, as well as anger at being blamed for the family’s dysfunction

● are desperate to find acceptance but can not see/hear positive regard when it’s available, so you finding life almost impossible to manage, SO —
● tend to look for acceptance outside of yourself, & can be vulnerable to manipulators &/or groups who want to take advantage. Religious cults, criminal organizations, & violent or sexual predators lure their victims by initially offering validation to the Sc, who is looking for positive attention, but has not learned to identify users & abusersabuse S-H

● carry psychological & emotional scars: as a Sc you may not have started out with a mental illness (altho some ACoAs have a predisposition because of parental alcoholism), but are highly likely to have developed one or more – after years of being subjected to this pattern. Common reactions are academic failure, delinquency, depressions, drug/ alcohol abuse, rages, PTSD, stress-related ADD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sexual acting out/pregnancy….. especially in teens, & can continue for many years into adulthood.

● It can take Sc half a lifetime (anywhere from age 30s to 60s) before getting the right information to put the pieces of the puzzle together, & then emotionally strong enough to bear knowing why interactions with their family & others have been so horrendous.
Once Sc realize that all the blame & slander they’ve endured came from the very people who are supposed to love us the most on this earth, they often decide to cut interactions with the very ones who used them as a punching bag, in order to avoid dealing with their own issues.

Instead, as a liberated person, having learned to love their Inner child, we can legitimately believe & accept that we are a wonderful person – gifted, loving, intelligent, sensitive, & for many – highly accomplished.

NEXT: ACoAs – being Scapegoated (Part 6a)


being blamed 

No matter what I do, it’s wrong!

PREVIOUS: Self-Hate – #3

ALSO see posts : What is Guilt? /  What is Shame?
/ ACoAs’ Need for Revenge

There is a lot of talk in the ‘spiritual’ community about forgiveness – ie – that we should not be blamers. Not blaming ourselves (S-H) or others (an attack) is a good rule for us in the present – now that we’re adults. And that’s a discussion for another post.

However, those same teachers & preachers never talk about what was done to us as kids – that among many other types of harm, our parents unfairly, inappropriately blamed us for all kinds of things – and what that did to our tender & vulnerable developing sense of identity!  This post is about what happened TO US as children. A hallmark of alcoholic (& other emotionally unhealthy) families is the mistreatment of their children in all 4 of life’s aspects: Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, Physical.

➼ Parents blaming their children for ANYTHING is ABUSIVE. Blaming us is the same as holding us responsible for their deficiencies & unhappiness.
Remember – abuse is not just physical, in all its forms. It encompasses all the ways people harm others – especially their children – by injuring another’s rights, self-esteem, mental clarity, sense of safety, emotional equilibrium & boundaries. So Blame fits into 3 categories – S, M & E.

Our damaged parents blamed us for things which :Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 5.06.44 AM
a. were NOT our fault (difficulties because of a learning disability, like dyslexia or ADD; the illness or death of a parent; a parent being left by a lover or spouse…)
b. was a projection of what the parents are guilty of (being fearful, irresponsible, lazy, feeling unlovable, risk-averse….)
c. we were not doing what they’re being accused of (being a ‘whore’ when she’s too young to have had sex at all OR seducing a parent’s lover/ spouse, when that adult is actually sexually abusing the child; using drugs, when the kid never has…)

d. we couldn’t do, especially without any instruction, & is accused of being stupid – when he/she legitimately can’t know something (fixing a car or other machinery, shopping by themselves, ‘getting; a hard school subject,  expected to know how to fix a parent’s personal, sexual & financial problems or forced to take care of a drunk or crazy parent, alone…)
e. were actually no one’s fault (an act of God, getting sick or having an accident…
f. one of our siblings or other child did, but we were held responsible for, especially if we were the Hero or Scapegoat (start a fight; steal or break something; get into trouble at school…)

g. our parents were jealous of, because they couldn’t do something we could (a natural skill or gift) & so they made that ability a bad thing
h. was mostly not true – like: always lying (“Kids always lie so we can’t believe anything they say”), always being stubborn, selfish, too sensitive, difficult, disobedient, stupid….Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 5.07.37 AM
➼ This may be a group of normal childhood characteristics which:
— sick parent cannot tolerate because of their own issues
— occur sometimes as a defense in the child because of family abuse & neglect…
— happen occasionally because kids are human ie. imperfect. Those behaviors & attitudes then get demonized – which make them both a ‘sin’ and more likely to continue, while we try to be perfect. We CAN’T WIN in a sick environment.

SOURCES of Parental Blame
a. Projecting their own self-hate, frustration & inadequacy onto us
b. Copying what was done to them – without any self-awareness, considering the effect on us or questioning if their behavior made sense
c. Automatically reacting badly to normal child behaviors which trigger their own old pain (their denied traumas, still unresolved)

d. Another way to take the focus off of themselves – making us responsible for their unhappiness allowed them to keep their denial in tact, thus perpetuating the ‘disease’ of alcoholism & narcissism
e. Parental Narcissism – seeing us as an extension of themselves, rather than as separate individuals, & their need for us to be perfect – in order to keep up the illusion of their personal & family OK-ness.

Kids are too young & vulnerable to fight back, stand up for themselves or even understand exactly what’s being done to them – only that it HURTS! And when they’re old enough to try – if they dare – they’re punished without mercy!
➼ Pushing away intense S-H & shame —> creates the need to BLAME someone or something else for ones own fears & lacks.

Now when others blame us (if were victimized that way as kids) :
a. we believe what that person is accusing us of (boss, parent, lover, friend…) because it agrees with our Negative Introjectblamed
b. we take that blame on, which feeds our self-hate. We feel terrible, & try to ‘be/do better’ BUT we may not have been at fault in the first place and one can never win, anyway, when dealing with a blamer!

c. we continue to choose (unconsciously) those people as friends, lovers, bosses… who already have the habit of blaming others – TO:
• keep us connected to / locked into our family system, from a sense of loyalty, love AND denial about how much that system harmed us
• validate our self-hate: after all, if our family told us over & over that we’re a mess – and see – all these other people tell us that too – then it must be true !
➼ THAT WAY we never have to hold our parents responsible for their verbal & emotional abuse, because it feels ‘safer’ to keep blaming ourselves, even though it’s self-destructive! (review: “They did the BEST they could” post, #2, b, ii.)

NEXT: ACoAs’ need for revenge

ACoAs – “Being Negative” (Part 2)

mouth silenced 

or no one will like me

PREVIOUS: Negative Thinking (Part 1)

SITE: “Depression & Letting go of Negative thoughts

Negative Thinking (NT)
• Anyone reading this blog & other self-growth material, going to 12-step meetings & therapy – knows this category of NT is a core issue for ACoAs. It’s called self-hate (S-H) – powerful, deadly & tenacious! If our parents were unable to love us unconditionally OR not at all (no matter that they said), we concluded it was because we weren’t worth it.
✶ So, our WIC is sure that if the family didn’t make us feel wanted, safe & accepted, why would anyone else? We think cruel things & say them to others about ourselves, while secretly being smug about being victimized by the whole universe! Playing the role of the victim allows us to not be responsible for our own life, in the present, while protecting the illusion of coming from a loving (or at least an ok) family.

Re. OTHERS – ACoAs still living primarily in the WIC ego state get most things backwards – we’re emotionally dyslexic! What is generally safe in the world we ignore or think is dangerous, while being drawn to what is actually dangerous or inappropriate, often considering it acceptable, exciting or ‘feel good’.
• Identifying what is & isn’t NT regarding others must be considered very carefully because ACoAs weren’t given a realistic picture of the world by our childhood scared NEGexperiences & so we now live in extremes.

SCARED – overtly terrified ACoAs think everyone is dangerous, laughing at us, shutting us out, shunning us….
On the one hand, people may in fact not be there for us because they’re just living their busy lives, are depressed or not feeling well, narcissistic or otherwise dysfunctional, from another culture where relating styles are different….
 On the other hand, if some of these things are being ‘done to us’, it may be the result of us:
— being with ‘people, places & things’ that are definitely not appropriate or suited to us, but we keep staying there & complaining!
— being so full of fear & S-H that we make ourselves invisible to others, so they can’t connect to us
— being depressed, negative, needy, whiny… OR bossy, controlling, micro-managing, angry or secretly superior – that others are uncomfortable around us

ANGRY – in an opposite form are the constantly rageful ACoAs who assume everyone’s an angry NEGidiot, out to get us, aren’t doing the right thing (by us) so we just don’t like anyone, we’re better off alone….. but we hate that too!
 We’re very angry that:
— we can’t seem to get away from trouble
— others have ‘entitlement’ to good things in life that we don’t have
— people everywhere get ‘away with murder’, sometimes in general, sometimes at our expense, and it’s not fair
— we can’t seem to get it together to have a life when everyone else is moving forward
— we think we know what everyone is thinking about us & it’s all bad….

 These Angry & Scared NTs come mainly from:
— projecting what our parents did to us as kids (& maybe still doing) onto ‘innocent’ people in our environment
— choosing & staying with people who are unavailable or unkind to us
— expecting people to be & do more for us than is realistic
— NOT asking for what we want / need or don’t wantheal&grow
— not having permission to pursue our goals & dreams….

 Both type of ACoAs need to :
— identify & acknowledge our CDs
— take back our projections (own our damage)
— learn what healthy vs unhealthy behavior is
— learn & accept our Human Rights
— then, identify who is genuinely safe & who’s not!

‘SPIRITUAL’ – AT THE OTHER EXTREME are the ‘good girl / good boy‘ ACoAs who can never allow themselves to think (much less say) anything bad about others – no matter how rotten someone treats us! It’s fine for others to abuse us but we can’t even think they might be wrong, much less be upset with them! If we do, we feel ashamed, guilty & berate our lack of compassion. We believe that if we let ourselves think badly of others (who have earned it) that it would make us just like our parents who were mean to us & we don’t want to be anything like them!

So we try to be ‘above that’ by excusing others’ bad behavior, while judging our own angry thoughts by saying:
 it’s not nice, it’s not being fair to them, they’re hurt too
 it’ll hurt their feelings, they didn’t mean it, they can’t help it
 it’ll come back on me (like a boomerang), it’ll cause me bad karma …

There are plenty of religious & self-help teacher who reinforce these distortion. It’s called ‘taking the High Road’, BUT …
✶…. for us – it’s just used as a form of denial, a way to not acknowledge & accept that there are inappropriate or unhealthy people we need to stay away from. Ignoring the selfishness, rage, abuse & disrespect we experience from others keeps us from leaving them as soon as we first notice it. We stay attached to abandoners & abusers, validating our victim status & adding to our abandonment.

mental health➼ This type of being ‘positive’ thinking is harmful to us because it ignores a huge chunk of reality. It’s actually white-washing mistreatment.
✶ Clearly seeing and naming toxic people & situations is not a form of NT! It is what sane (mentally clear / emotionally healthy) people do, automatically & easily. It doesn’t always need to be said out loud, but it does have to be acted on – by staying at arm’s length or staying away.

NEXT: “Being Negative (Part 3)

ACoAs – Dealing with CRITICISM (Part 1)

being judged 

it takes me right back to childhood!

PREVIOUS: Helpful/clever responses

SITE: ”7 Realizations to Help You Deal with Feeling Judged


Being Judged – (Usually) being told / have implied there is something terribly wrong with your fundamental identity (Mother to daughter: “You’re not smart enough to become a doctor” / “You’ll be the death of me yet” …)

Having Good Judgement – deciding between an objective positive or negative alternative (that fruit is spoiled, I’ll take the fresh one / the left hand trail is safer than the right hand one….)
OR between something that is personally suited to you – or not (I’m allergic to sugar, so I avoid it / I regularly watch comedy shows but never horror flicks)

Being criticized – when a mistake in our behavior is pointed out – OR when our behavior or communication is not liked by the criticizer. This may or may not be accompanied by being told how to do/say it correctly (according to the speaker). It is most often done with one or more of the following: anger, disdain, superiority, to be controlling, to manipulate, BUT in rare cases with caring & good will, if the person is healthy & you’ve agreed to learn from themcriticism styles

Given a suggestion
– When we’re told of a better way of doing something – to make it easier or better for us, or our environment (If you added an aspirin to the water, the flowers would last longer / When you travel, why not take less baggage?…). This is done with kindness, respect & from a genuine desire to make your life better

‘Negative’ Opinions: When someone says what they think or feel about something or someone – having nothing to do with the object of their criticism (I hate that hairdo / You’re doing that backwards / That’s no way to….. / they’re just stupid)

Being judged vs. legitimate criticism
The main difference is that judgmental comments are about the essence of something or someone & is generalized to the whole category (Blue is bad, all men are pigs….),
— while legitimate criticism is aimed at someone’s behavior (hitting your little sister is not OK & not allowed) or the state of something (that building is a mess, & needs a lot of repairs)

Children & wounded adults do not make the distinction between BE-ing & DO-ing. So – it’s imperative for ACoAs to ‘hear’ whether we’re being told something about our behavior (speech or actions) vs. our identity. The latter is absolutely not acceptable, & healthy adults don’t stoop to this low blow (usually), nor will they tolerate it from others.

ACoAs confuse criticism with abuse
Legitimate criticism is an ‘evaluation of the merits or weaknesses of an action, choice, decision, thought process….’ & at best used as a method of correction. It is NOT a de-valuation of our whole being or identity! as ACoAs believe.abuse vs criticism
We confuse or blend the two because:
a. In the past – our family we were almost always judged & misjudged, attacked & humiliated, with little or no balance provided – no praise, encouragement or patience when we couldn’t do something – perfectly, the first time, without guidance or when we were too young
b. Now, having absorbed the original abuse from the PP, it has become the essence of our Self-hate. So any ‘disapproval’, slight or even a correction from others is taken as a personal indictment of us.

This causes much confusion, because of our own Double Bind: (review ACoAs’ D.Message)
— on the one hand we agree with them: any time others are not positive & supportive to us, our Self-Hate flares up, because it mirrors what our PP has been saying/ implying all along, AND what the WIC believes as absolute truth (S-H). Even as we’re terribly hurt & upset, when someone points out what they consider to be our imperfections (even when it’s only their opinion or their projection), we feel exposed & worthless. Endlessly obsessing about what we did wrong, we try to justify ourselves to ourselves, but deeply convinced we are to blame

— on the other hand we’re resentful:  we hate the person who has said or done something that hurt our feelings, that makes us feel disrespected…. We’re depressed & hopeless, or rageful, getting on our high-horse, thinking “Who do they think they are saying that to me, judging me, ignoring me” ….).
Endlessly obsessing about what we should have said, what we will say or do to get back at them, get them to see how wrong they were, wanting to justify ourselves to them….. we go round-and-round, digging our hole even deeper, getting nowhere.

ACoAs take ‘Alternative Suggestions’ AS Criticismsuggestions
ACoAs usually think in B & W, only knowing one way of dealing with all situations, ways which are most often ineffective, negative or harmful. We use one tool for every job, like using a ‘hammer’ equally for pounding in a nail, changing a lightbulb or petting a cat.  We don’t even realize that there are potentially several other – positive – ways of responding (& thinking), & that different tools are needed to handle different situations.
SO – being given such alternatives is not criticism but rather an offer of information, to improve our lives. (from ‘CONFUSION’)

NEXT: Criticism (Part 2)


not trapped 

there’s a way to protect myself

PREVIOUS: Fear of Responsibility (#1)

POST: Toxic Family Rules



SO — with all the frustration & lack of ‘success’ as children to fix our family, we assume that if we failed at that we’ll inevitably fail at everything else – so why bother. Since they didn’t take responsibility for their emotions & actions we didn’t learn how to either, & we don’t know there’s clear line between what’s our job in life & what isn’t.

a. Re. US – we do NOT:
• take care of ourselves – body, living space, appearance…self-neglect
• acknowledge the damage done to us, & get the right help
• stand up for our rights, provide for our own needs
• use our inborn talents & don’t contribute our best to society
• prosper, perpetuating general ‘anorexia’ — under-earning, bad relationships, isolation….

• Most ACoAs do not show obvious outward signs of this underlying problem, but all of us suffer from it to some degree, even in Recovery. We:
— didn’t learn self-care from our family, having been neglected & mistreated, thus given the message that we didn’t deserve any better, and —
— this left us with a lack of information as to what self-care is, so that we don’t actually think in terms of what we need

• At the extreme, there are some of us whose self-neglect is more visible. Gibbons (2006) defined self-neglect as: “The inability (intentional or not) to maintain a socially & culturally accepted standard of self-care, with the potential for serious consequences to the health and well-being of the self-neglecters, perhaps even to their community.” (Wikipedia) (MORE….)
Some symptoms of self-neglect include hoarding items & pets, feelings of isolation, living in an unclean environment, poor personal hygiene, neglecting household maintenance, unwillingness to take medication, unkempt personal appearance, eccentric behaviors……(ACoAs may only have 1 or 2 of these & still ‘seem normal’ on the outside, but the damage is there).

b. Re. OTHERS:
At the same time we often treat others badly (How ACoAs Abandon Others5 posts):
• by not considering others’ rights, boundaries & emotions, being so focused on our pain & trying to protect ourselves
• by our narcissism, idealizing, constant criticism, being controlling…
THIS INCLUDES how we treat both our children and other adults

According to the WIC, we still have no one we can depend on for our needs, AND we’re responsible for everyone & slaveeverything around us. We say we don’t want to have such a great burden, YET we reject being with people or groups who would allow us to relax, focus on ourselves & also be supported. This leaves us completely overwhelmed & exhausted.
So with the assumption that we have to carry the weight of any association (personal or professional), we are too scared to be fully committed.

● To take healthy, ‘adult’ responsibility for our choices & relationships, we would need to become familiar with and embrace our True Self, via S & I, which is the goal of all therapy & Recovery. However, ACoAs greatest addiction is to our family of origin, making it very hard to let go of our symbiotic attachment to them. This result is a great resistance to taking center stage in our life, instead – playing the satellite (or slave) to someone or something else.
The irony is that at the same time – we think everything others do or say is about us, taking everything personally – which is not the ADULT ego state being responsible for ourselves, but rather the narcissistic stance of the WIC.

• While we consciously insist we never want to be anything like ‘them’, unconsciously we copy  them in every way possible, having absorbed the PP, ie. negative introject. Because the WIC is by nature narcissistic, it can’t distinguish itself from our narcissistic parents. SO:
— If they didn’t take responsibility for themselves, we won’t either.
— If they never connected with their True Self, we won’t either
— If they treated us badly, we’ll do the same to ourselves…..

• Even when ACoAs truly want to be connected in a meaningful way, our terror of being trapped in the position of caretaker leads us to have a back-door mentality – always looking for an out: finding fault, being resentful, feeling inferior or superior, getting bored…. & above all – picking people who are emotionally unavailable & not suited to our personality, but familiar because of our family structure. Keeping ourselves at emotional arm’s-length in all our interactions is the only way we think we can protect ourselves, since w don’t have actual boundaries

distanceThe WIC says: “I can’t afford to commit myself to anything serious – especially if it’s really important to me – because then I’ll be stuck having to handle everything (perfectly) myself. I don’t know how & I resent being in that position – so I won’t. Besides, since I always fail at getting my needs met:
— it’ll be too painful to try & fail again (lose out on what I really want)
— I’ll have to re-live all the ways I failed my family as a kid, kicking up more of my S-H

NEXT: Fear of Responsibility (Part 3)