I HAVE TO PROTECT MYSELF AT ALL COSTS
– even if it keeps me from being loved!I

Previous: UNDER-Trusting

NOTE: It’s very important to remember we are not to blame for being deeply mistrustful of everyone. We have experienced many, many betrayals by the important people in our lives – whether by family, friends, spouse, school, church or government. Some or all of these betrayals are so extreme that we may never be able to forgive, regardless of what the ‘gurus’ tell us. This is not to deny the benefits of forgiveness – just that if we are not able to do it (yet) but believe we should, ‘or else’, we unfairly add to our self-hate & sense of failure.
• The point to this post is to make it clear how we perpetuate the patterns set down for us by our trauma (see CDs: INFO & the Brain) so we can stop beating ourselves up or feeling ashamed, & instead try out new internal beliefs & external actions

PATTERNS* of Mistrust
* All of these are being generated by the WIC in an attempt to protect us from further harm, but are totally unsuccessful, since they prevent us from getting the closeness & love we need. And all are forms of control – which is always based on trying to prevent being abandoned in P.M.E.S. ways

a. FAKE ME – we clearly got the message that who & what we were as a child was unacceptable to our parents. So as adults, when interacting with others, we try to ‘improve’ our personality by twisting ourselves unnaturally into something we think this present-day person or group is going to want
• We spend a lot of time trying to figure out “how I should feel”, “what I should wear”, “what I’m going to say”…… & never get it quite right, because it’s artificial. Of course, if we are being run by our WIC, we don’t know who we are or how to relate from a place of empowerment, so it is very hard to be healthy and safe at the same time

b. LABELING – some of us decide at the beginning of a relationship (potential friend or lover) what kind it’s going to be, without having enough information about the other person or giving it enough time to develop organically. We may think:
• “This is just going to be a friendship” • “This one is just for sex”
• “This one isn’t going to last” • “This is just casual”
• “This is permanent” • “This is the one I can’t live without”

Again, this is trying to control the outcome and be prepared for the inevitable abandonment we expect. Preconceived notions may –
– actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy of loss because we prevented it from growing into something positive
– shock us with unexpected results, if we have illusions about it
– severely disappoint all unrealistic expectations
– occasionally surprise us by turning into something better than hoped for

c. PARANOIA – because we were so often hurt as a child, we conclude that for the rest of our lives everyone will inevitably do us harm, sooner or later. So we assume the worst of everyone we meet, men & women, altho’ some of us may be more afraid of one gender than another, depending on which parent was crueler. This is our reaction even with people who have proven to consistently treat us well, making it hard to benefit from anyone who can be there for us – in healthy ways

d. MIND-READING – we’re always trying to figure out
– WHY they did or didn’t do something (“Why hasn’t he called me back?”, “Why did they leave?”…) because we think that if we can figure it out, we can fix ourselves so they won’t leave us, or so they’ll come back
– WHAT they are thinking in general, & specifically about us, so we know where we stand, what they want from us, how we should behave ……. Our co-dependence makes us assume that if they like us we‘re allowed to live, but if they disapprove or are angry at us we should be dead! & this happens over & over with each person, so we’re like emotional yo-yos

e. OVER-TRUSTING (recent post) – everyone tells us about themselves, subtly or not, yet we ignore all the unhealthy things we hear & experience in people we ‘need’, staying too long at the party & getting trampled! Then wonder why we can’t trust

f. BACK-DOOR – at the same time we build-in a defense strategy in relationships to manage our FoA by automatically looking for flaws in others, which we can use as an excuse to escape the minute we feel disappointed (they failed our test) – by not reading our mind, not rescuing us, not symbiosing with us…. It’s our ‘fear of commitment’, so we never quite have both feet firmly in the relationship, BUT then complain that we can’t connect / don’t feel close / aren’t valued….
• an extreme version of this is when we really do want to get out of a relationship but don’t have the right or the courage to do it directly — we create drama (fights, an affair, constantly pressuring them….), pushing the other person away in order to force them into doing the leaving. BUT then we feel abandoned & unloved – & angry!

g. TESTING – on the one hand we have created a set of rules for others to follow (no matter what kind of relationship), often unconsciously AND which we don’t tell the other person about. Our rules:
– are the good ways we wish we could be treated, but are not allowed to ask for directly or do for ourselves
– represent our demand that others be the good parents we didn’t have
– are the measuring stick we use so we can know what to expect – so we won’t be conned & to not feel so vulnerable
• Then we wait to see how many rules they fulfill or which ones they violate – & when they fail the test we can feel justified in our anger & disenchantment with them – & all of humanity!

h. The THIRD DEGREE – on the other hand, we may try to be safe by asking endless questions, probing to see what’s really going on, to see if the situation is safe, what do they like, want, need…..
NOTE: Information about who people are is legitimate & necessary – but here we’re talking about frantic, incessant interrogation because of not trusting or believing in our perceptions, or letting things unfold slowly

i. PREEMPTIVE STRIKES – verbally attack or threaten physical harm ahead of assumed danger, especially if someone has inadvertently pushed one of our old buttons, like accusing us wrongly or acting needy
Exp: One young woman threatened each new lover with bodily harm on the first date if he ever did or said anything to scare her
Exp: Another young woman reacted with great anger when a new boyfriend would innocently ask if she cooked. She’d spit out “I wouldn’t be caught dead cooking!”

https://acoarecovery.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/acoas-patterns-of-mistrust/

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